After the successful beta of Sea of Thieves, Rare has lifted the lid to put gamers minds at rest about a beautiful, but potentially empty world, post-launch support, content and most importantly ... No lootboxes.
Completing Sea of Thieves by becoming a pirate legend unlocks a new section of the game featuring hideouts, special ships and unique treasures, its makers have revealed.
Developers at Rare said last month that players of the highly-anticipated shared-world adventure game can complete quests from trading companies with the aim of being awarded the title of “pirate legend”.
Now they have announced that achieving that status marks the start of a new part of the game that features “legendary” voyages.
“When you become a pirate legend, everyone assumes you just get an outfit. Actually, that’s just the start," said Mike Chapman, Design Director, Sea of Thieves, "There’s a hidden location that no one knows about – a pirate hideout called the Tavern of Legends. If you go up into the captain’s cabin in the tavern, you can meet the Pirate Lord. He will give you legendary voyages, which are the best and most rewarding voyages in the game.
“This hideout becomes your hideout. You’ve started this journey to become a Barbosa, a Jack Sparrow, a Blackbeard of the Sea of Thieves world and now you’re going to build your Black Pearl. When people see your ship, they will know that it’s the ship of a pirate legend. When you embark on a pirate legend voyage it leads to ancient chests, which are the best chests in the game. They’ve got unique clothing and weapons inside; only the pirate legends can dig them up but when they’re on a ship, anyone can steal them.”
The first person to find the Tavern of Legends will “no doubt become a celebrity” in the Sea of Thieves world, Chapman added.
Executive producer Joe Neate said Rare set out to make a game that is “fun and social”. To ensure this continues as players progress through the world, pirate legends can team up with gamers who haven’t yet achieved this status. This means that even if you’re playing Sea of Thieves for the first time, you can make friends with a pirate legend and they can take you to the Tavern of Legends, invite you on their ship and embark on voyages that are classed as “legendary”.
However, their ships and weapons will have the same attributes, which means that gamers who are just starting out can battle pirate legends and sink their ships.
There are so many pirates to choose from that it’s unlikely you will meet another character like yours
Pirate legends can also choose whether to wear the special outfit that comes with title or the rags they start the game in, so other players won’t know they have achieved the sought-after status, Chapman revealed.
Rare also revealed there will be more updates to the game after it launches next month.
Animals will play a big part in the game. As well as playing with chickens and fleeing sharks, players will have to battle krakens that can pick players up from their ships and throw them into the sea. Gamers will also be able to use real money to buy pets for their pirate characters, such as cats and monkeys. These will be fun animals to play with, and can’t be used to attack enemies, Neate said.
“If only one person on your ship has bought a pet, everyone can play with it. You can also pick up the cat; they’re a social thing. There will also be fun potions, things you can drink that will make you look different.
“When it comes to optional ways for people to spend money, we don’t want to do anything around power, we don’t want to do anything around progression, we want you to know what you’re buying, so nothing around loot crates. Stuff that allows people to have fun, that has an emotional value and not a mechanical value.”
He also revealed there would be a “speaking trumpet” that will let players shout at gamers on other ships. This will be free for everyone.
News of the updates came after a successful closed beta for Sea of Thieves, which saw 150,000 people a day try out the game and stream a total of 14 million hours of gameplay. Rare noticed that 65% of players took part in the beta on Xbox, with the rest using PCs; they helped Sea of Thieves become the most-watched game on streaming sites Mixer and Twitch.
“It was a hugely successful beta by every measure,” said Rare studio head Craig Duncan. “Now we are seeing people tell their stories of what they saw in the beta and the adventures they had – finding crews and making friends or putting an explosive barrel in the bottom of someone’s ship, shooting it and running off, or stealing someone’s treasure; all of these unique stories. It has been awesome to see.”
Trading posts will send you on quests
Sea of Thieves will be released on the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs on March 20. It can be pre-ordered from the Xbox website, priced at €59.99. Anyone signed up to Game Pass will be able to play the game from this date, too