Rare has revealed its future plans for its live pirate game with the Sea of Thieves July 2019 developer update. You might want to strap in because there is a lot to take in. From new in-game goodies like pets, emotes, and Rare-themed ship cosmetics, to the quality-of-life changes with Arena cross-play and hit registration improvements, there are a lot of things to get you excited for the future of Sea of Thieves. This guide takes you through everything that was discussed in the developer update.
Sea of Thieves July 2019 Developer Update | Pets, emotes, and Rare-themed ship cosmetics
The nearly 10-minute video, which you can view below, features Sea of Thieves Executive Producer Joe Neate discussing all the new features and implementations you can expect to see via the Insider Programme in the near future. To preface, the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme is a fancy name for its public test server. First on the list is the inclusion of pets, new emotes, and special Rare-themed ship cosmetics.
Pets are coming back to the Insider Programme “fairly soon.” Initially implemented to the Insider build before the Sea of Thieves Anniversary update, after receiving feedback from players, pets were taken out so more work can be done to them. Now that they are closer to Rare’s expectations, they will be rolling out pets once again for players to test and give feedback.
New emotes will also be coming to Sea of Thieves after the pets. There are already general emotes available for players to use to express themselves in the game. Details on the new emotes are sparse, but they are intended to express yourself further in the game.
Special ship cosmetics will also sail their way to Sea of Thieves. However, these cosmetics will be themed after some of Rare’s most beloved games and characters. Again, specifics on what games may be featured were not detailed, but it is mentioned that these cosmetics will be similar to the Perfect Dark and Banjo-Kazooie figurehead cosmetics the team has done previously.
All of these features will be part of Sea of Thieves‘ digital business model, which means you will have to purchase them with real money to get them. Neate assured that pets, emotes, and ship cosmetics are all completely optional. Additionally, Rare will not put these items within a loot box-like system; you will always know what you are buying. While they will be released in the Insider Programme separately, they release together when they inevitably come to the full game.
Sea of Thieves July 2019 Developer Update | Arena cross-play
The idea of cross-play throughout all of Sea of Thieves is something is a goal that is currently in the works. This will allow console players to widen their pool of players by including PC players into the mix. To test this new implementation, cross-play will be coming to Sea of Thieves‘ Arena mode. The reasoning behind bringing the feature to the competitive mode first is due to the amount of feedback Rare has received for cross-plays inclusion in Arena. In order to make the most satisfying experience for all players, cross-play in Sea of Thieves will be a preference setting.
For example, if you want to play with other console players, you will select that as your preference. During the matchmaking process, the game will attempt to find the best match that suits your preference and put you in that match. However, if the game cannot find your favored match setting, instead of giving you a fail state, the game will widen its search into cross-play options and put you into one of those matches. If that is the case, the game will notify you when you’ve entered a cross-play match.
Arena cross-play will be coming to the Insider Programme “fairly soon.” Once cross-play for Sea of Thieves‘ competitive mode is ready to roll out to the public, work on bringing the feature to Adventure mode will begin.
Sea of Thieves July 2019 Developer Update | Hit registration improvements, Arena ship sizes, and Black Powder Stashes’ time-limited content
The rest of the update is fairly straightforward, pertaining to smaller issues found in testing and when we can expect updates on these particular issues. This includes hit registration improvements, Arena ship sizes, and black powder stash time-limited content.
Hit registration has been an issue for a while now, especially with the game’s firearms and projectiles. Neate mentioned that “significant improvements” have been made and will be brought into the Insiders Programme. If everything goes as intended, you can expect improved hit registration for projectiles in the main game pretty soon.
For a few weeks now, tests on bringing different ship sizes to the Arena have been conducted through the Insider Programme. As of right now, the competitive mode only allows galleons, the largest ship type available in the game. However, this initial test allowed players to choose the sloop and brigantine type ships within the same session as galleons. Essentially, it gave players the choice to pick whatever type of ship they wanted regardless of its strengths or weaknesses.
After reviewing the pros and the cons, Rare has decided this is not the best way to implement different ship sizes to the Sea of Thieves Arena mode. There will still be testing on how to implement the sloop and the brig into the competitive mode, but how that will be done is currently unknown.
Released just under a week ago in the Sea of Thieves 2.0.5 update, there have been a lot of questions pertaining to which Black Powder Stashes were time-limited and which ones weren’t. As of now, those questions have not been answered, but you can expect to get those answers in next week’s developer update.