And it all sounds pretty great! After a few weeks of being out in the wild Rare has finally divulged its plans for the next several months of Sea of Thieves content - in addition to the planned and timely balance and bug fix updates. Starting in May, a new AI threat will join the world alongside new mechanics and weekly events. Beyond this a new ship type, AI ghost ships, rewards, and cosmetics will be coming within the next three or so months.
The first update, called The Hungering Deep will introduce a new AI threat. Where crews will need to work together to find and defeat the mysterious new menace. Although Rare isn't divulging any more info than that what we can gather from the developer update video below is that it might be a giant whale (there's some art you can glimpse to that effect). Also, that this new threat will become a permanent fixture of Sea of Thieves moving forward.
Where Rare is using the following guidelines for any and all new content:
The second content drop is coming in winter (Australia!) and is called Cursed Sails. In addition to introducing a new ship type for players to sail around in, will also introduce a new, and permanent AI threat to the world. As per the title we can probably assume that it will be - Ghost Ships! Yeah, very cool.
As per the update, Rare are focusing on creating and emphasizing new and existing mechanics and offering players rewards for completing tasks or simply discovering fun and new ways to engage with the world. Some examples mentioned in the video include Skeleton Thrones that will be located in high and hard to reach places. Where getting to them not only offers a fun photo/screenshot op, but also in-game rewards. Also mentioned, activities that actually reward players for finding and exploring underwater caverns and ruins. Two things that not many people actually realise are in the game.
Weekly events will be designed around these sorts of activities and will begin in May. A third content update, also coming in winter (Australia!) is titled Forsaken Shores - which will introduce a new part of the world to explore in addition to a new way to play. All Sea of Thieves content updates will be free. And the great thing is, three additional content updates will be coming in the second half of the year.
What this means for Rare's previous planned updates is that the real-world money cosmetic store that was to be used to purchase Pets has been put on hold. Also, the late-game Ship Captaincy update is also on the back-burner.
Now, we've been critical of Sea of Thieves so far mainly because we love the core sailing experience. Today's update does a lot to alleviate just about all of our concerns. In fact if Rare said, "Oh, and by the way we'll be doubling the number of in-game cosmetics in the next few months, plus upping the gold rewards being handed out" we'd confidently say that Sea of Thieves is back on track to becoming an exceptional game from Rare and Microsoft.
Who are we kidding - with ghost ships, giant whales, new islands, and underwater treasures coming in the next few months - kudos Rare! We're back on board.