Rare’s Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab) has been out for a while now, and in that time the swashbuckling adventure has had a few teething problems which has left players feeling pretty frustrated. There are certainly some updates that need to happen (opens in new tab) and fortunately the studio has been paying attention to a lot of player feedback. Sea of Thieves executive producer Jon Neate recently revealed an upcoming update in a blog post to help temper the waters of any salty sea-faring players out there who haven’t been enjoying their recent experiences in-game.
1. Stuck in a brig again, arrrr you kidding me?
Yes, there’s nothing quite like joining a game only to be thrown and locked in a brig by other players who don’t want you there. Sometimes you just want to play with your mates, we get it, but the brig has ticked off a lot of folk so it’s great to see the studio is addressing the “brig abuse” issue. Users on Reddit (opens in new tab) have been voicing their frustrations, and being stuck in the brig is one of the biggest complaints, with some saying it was enough to make them uninstall the game altogether.
The studio is working to tackle this by implementing the choice to make your ship private, saying “a key change we are working on is to allow players to select whether they want their ship to be open to others being matchmade with them, or closed so that it's invite-only. This will allow players to manage how many people they want on their ship, invite friends and decide whether or not to allow other players to join them.” Giving players the power to choose is always a good thing and it should go a long way to making the game more enjoyable for everyone.
You’ll also no longer have to have four people in your party since you’ll now have the option to have a smaller or larger crew. They’re welcome changes that will hopefully balm all the rage induced by unwarranted imprisonment.
2. A match made in pirate heaven
Since the game doesn’t give us much in the way of controlling who we play with, lots of players have found themselves thrown into a match with only one person using a mic.
The update will thankfully give us more improvements to matchmaking, so players will be matched up based on their mic preferences alongside the option to filter by language. Finding suitable crew mates to help you is fundamental when it comes to having a good time at sea, so it’s easy to get on board with the update’s plans to give us more options.
3. Ships will spawn further away
No one wants their ship to sink, but when it does, they certainly don’t want to reappear at the scene of their demise right next to the ship that sent them to their watery grave. Ship respawns have been tinkered with so any sunken ship will reappear a decent distance away, and - more importantly - out of sight of the enemy ship. The change is now live and based on player feedback, the distance can easily be increased further if problems still arise.
4. Countering the respawn-killing cycles
Being killed the instant you respawn is enough to make anyone voluntarily send themselves to Davy Jones’ locker. Players have been suffering through the pain of having their ship invaded, dying, respawning, and then being mercilessly slain all over again by the very same ship invaders who killed them before. That’s no fun. Well, it might be fun for the other guy exploiting the fact that they’re still on your ship and getting all the kills, but it’s getting in the way of a lot of pirate action.
To combat all the spawn-killing havoc, Rare will be encouraging players to use the Scuttle option. Using Scuttle allows you to move your ship to a different part of the map and away from the enemy pirates keep on killing you. Information will be added about it on loading screens on the way back from the Ferry of the Damned, and a reminder will be put up on the Ferry of the Damned itself if the option is available. They haven’t stipulated how this message will show up on the Ferry, but I’d wager it could be a notice board on the ship as you wait to respawn, or a simple pop up message.
5. Cheaters will not be tolerated
In reality, pirates aren’t the most reputable lot, but a line has to be drawn when it comes to in-game cheating. The update highlights reported instances of cheating where players have compromised the game client or used programs to gain an advantage in-game. Rare will be taking a zero tolerance approach to anyone caught cheating and warns that it could lead to permanent Xbox Live account bans. Get your treasure and sink ships without cheating and be the best pirate you can be.
While we still want some meatier content for the game itself, the update is a little hush hush about any new stuff in the pipeline beyond their current fixes. But we can look forward to a video due to come out sometime this week that promises to update us all on how the studio plans to evolve the game going forward. Arrrr matey.