We sit down with Blizzard to talk about the Alliance, Horde, and Island Expeditions
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Interview
Retribution, the new PvE co-op mission now live in Overwatch finally delivers on the promise of fun story-based content.
Overwatch Retribution Delivers Fun PvE Story Content
Where we talk about lessons learned, the early experiments, and the evolution of PvE Overwatch.
Talking Overwatch Retribution with Game Director Jeff Kaplan
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves

Xbox One
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Rare Official Site: https://www.seaofthieves.com/
Publisher: Microsoft Classification: TBC
Release Date:
March 2018
Saturday, 14 April 2018
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:40pm 14/04/18 | 0 Comments
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:

  • Bringing players together in interesting ways, encouraging different types of player encounters
  • Enriching the world that players adventure in
  • Giving players new ways to play
  • Giving players a variety of goals and rewards
  • Broadening the journey to Pirate Legend and beyond

  • 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.

    Wednesday, 28 March 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:52pm 28/03/18 | 0 Comments
    Well, it only a few years of waiting but Rare and Microsoft's Sea of Thieves is finally here. And after spending several hours on the high-seas in search of treasure, engaging in combat, and not-so-high speed chases across the water, we're ready to give our verdict.

    One that took a while to come to terms with because there's so much to love about Sea of Thieves. Even if it's lacking in content and long-term appeal.

    Let’s begin with what Sea of Thieves does well, other than letting you load yourself into a cannon. And that is let you become a pirate. One of the main reasons it can instantly sell the concept of becoming a pirate so effectively is with just how impressive the water looks, behaves, and interacts with your equally impressive ship. Easily the best digital water ever seen in a game, waves swell and foam realistically, and your ship sways depending on the wind and current. Water splashes and rolls around your desk as you sail further out from shore into increasingly choppy waters. Coupled with the impressive lighting and translucent nature of the sea’s surface, it’s often breathtaking. Even after several hours. A technical tour de force from Rare.

    An aspect of the studio we haven’t been this impressed with since the days of the Nintendo 64.

    Click Here to Read Our Full Sea of Thieves Review
    Tuesday, 27 March 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:28pm 27/03/18 | 0 Comments
    Okay, so as part of a future Sea of Thieves update Rare was looking to implement what was being dubbed a 'Death Cost'. That would as per the description, have "the Captain of the Ferry of the Damned deduct a small gold fee when you die". Naturally for a game all about getting gold, this proved to be extremely unpopular within the Sea of Thieves community. And so, it's been scrapped.

    With Rare's Joe Neate taking to Twitter to confirm.

    Although the Death Cost would have excluded any PvP deaths, it would have dissuaded smaller crews from trying to tackle Skull Forts. Outside of it sounding like a bad addition to the game, it's great to see that Rare is actively responding to community feedback.

    Tuesday, 20 March 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 09:07am 20/03/18 | 0 Comments
    It’s finally here, Sea of Thieves! And to celebrate the launch of the long-awaited pirate adventure from Rare and Microsoft for Xbox One and Windows 10, Xbox ANZ has teamed up with a real-life pirate band. For, and this is very cool, a service that will let Australian and New Zealand residents get their own pirate shanties sung whilst they play online.

    The appropriately named Captain Hellfire & The Wretched Brethren will broadcast the shanties via Mixer, Facebook and Twitch this weekend – March 24 and 25. This Sing us a Shanty service will be available on a first-come first-serve basis, with the shanties themselves personalised to the unique stories and adventures of those who end up lucky enough to participate.

    Jeremy “Harbinger” Hinton, Captain of Xbox Australia, said: “’Sea of Thieves’ is already such an immersive game by design, so it’s only fitting we give fans the chance to get their very own shanties from a real-life pirate band. We’re really looking forward to seeing and hearing the tales of adventure on high seas, shanties and treasured stories created between players and the band.”
    Be sure to keep an eye on the Xbox ANZ Facebook page for details and a link to secure your ticket (via Eventbrite). Sessions will then be broadcast across the Xbox ANZ Mixer, Facebook and Twitch channels Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00AM till 06:00PM AEDT.

    And hey, when you add in the brilliant Quest for the Golden Bananas competition, where the prize is real golden bananas worth tens of thousands of dollars - Sea of Thieves is certainly launching in style.
    Monday, 12 March 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:23pm 12/03/18 | 0 Comments
    The Quest For The Golden Bananas begins 7:00PM AEDT on March 19, where clues will be revealed every 3-4 hours for three days. Solving the 15-part riddle first in one of the eligible regions will then place your Sea of Thieves pirate crew in the running to win real-world golden bananas.

    As part of something called the Ultimate Test.

    Eligible regions include the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, and Canada. Runner up prizes will also be handed out. With Sea of Thieves launching March 20, this is certainly a fine way to celebrate the occasion.

    Stay tuned to the official competition page, where we're assume the mysterious Passage will be revealed in due time.

    Monday, 26 February 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:12pm 26/02/18 | 0 Comments
    Rare's Sea of Thieves is only a few weeks from being released, and if the number of early access tests conducted so far we should probably expect to see an Open Beta very soon. Now, we say that because Sea of Thieves is the sort of game you "get" once you start playing, with many wondering what there is to do. Well, one of those things (not in the beta) are Skeleton Forts. Like raids, but much cooler.

    In that there massive combat events that are triggered, with anyone able to visit these heavily fortified forts to try and get access to a loot vault. As all interaction with other players and ships in Sea of Thieves can go either way, Rare have of course designed these with both co-operative teamwork and classic pirate-style greed in mind.

    Work together to take out a legendary pirate? Very cool. Open up a vault to find more treasure than any one crew could carry? A very tense post-victory situation.

    Sea of Thieves is out March 20 exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10 - with full cross-play support.
    Wednesday, 14 February 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:33pm 14/02/18 | 0 Comments
    For those of us that got to play Sea of Thieves during the Technical Alpha stage or during the Closed Beta the core concept and sheer fun of sailing, hunting for treasure, without the modern trappings we see in other games was refreshing. To say the least. No quest markers, just the wits of you and your crew. Following a map and the direction of your ship’s compass.

    And of course panicking or reacting as soon as another ship came into view. Would they fire on you? Would you fire on them? Or, would you hop into a cannon yourself and get your shipmate to try and launch you onto their deck to see what’s up. Yell out “Ahoy” but draw your sword just in case. The mechanics were rock solid, the fun everywhere. But the lingering question came down to what sort of content will be there in the final release.

    You know, traditional game stuff.

    No doubt Rare nailed the concept of sailing the open seas and docking next to islands to dig up treasure. But outside of that and friendly and not-so friendly encounters with other players, was there enough to keep you interested in Sea of Thieves for days, weeks, or months? Recently, Rare has opened-up about what players can expect to find at launch, and the overall goal. Or, endgame for Sea of Thieves.

    As per the video below, we know that in addition to the Gold Hoarder faction there will be two others. The Order of Souls which hands out assassination quests to track down specific Pirate Skeletons and the Merchant Alliance which will deal with trade and pay good money for any rare animals you find in your travels.

    It’s that last bit that has us excited, because for as glorious as the water is in Sea of Thieves, the world itself as seen in the Closed Beta felt empty. We now know that in the full version there will be things to discover. From legendary caves through to mysterious messages in bottles. NPCs will be there too. And everything you do will increase your reputation across each faction, giving you the means and access to buy all manner of clothing and ship cosmetics. The big goal or reason to keep playing? To become a Legendary Pirate.

    Which will give you access to a special Legendary Cove hidden in the world, which contains a legendary ship and a tavern filled with the ghosts of, yep, legendary pirates. Rare plans to give players who reach this goal access to their own Legendary Ship, which will become a status symbol when exploring the seas. In terms of big in-game events special Skeleton Forts will appear and be highlighted by massive skull-shaped clouds. Beckoning players to fight the denizens and unlock vaults. Think of these as co-op or competitive raids, with Rare going the extra step to ensure that in any vault there will contain more treasure than any one crew could conceivably carry. Very cool.

    This all plays into Sea of Thieves very much becoming a game as a service with Rare noting that content will be added on a quarterly basis, and new factions will be added or switched around to keep things feeling fresh. As will the weather and other elements, altered and changed on a daily or weekly basis. The mystery is all starting to come together. And we're definitely excited to go hands-on with the full game.

    Sadly, there won’t be any traditional story or narrative-based quests coming at launch. Maybe later.
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:49pm 14/02/18 | 2 Comments
    Including a 486 DX2 66 from the early 1990s! Okay, so that's a lie but Rare's first PC release has been developed to basically run on Intel and other CPUs with on-board graphics. Albeit at 540p and at the minimum "Cursed" level of detail. That being said it's cool to see that Sea of Thieves can run on just about any modern PC, and be totally playable too. Hit the jump for the full specs.

    But, no matter the build you will need a copy of Windows 10.

    As Sea of Thieves is Rare’s first PC title, it gave us the opportunity to develop a PC game with a slightly different approach. Our rendering team set themselves the goal early on of “how low can we go”, sometimes also referred to fondly as “getting the game running on a potato”, which is why we want to deliver a great version of the game even for those with computers below our official minimum spec.

    540p, 30FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU: Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 or Intel Iris 540
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: Intregrated
  • HDD: 60GB 5.4k RPM
  • Graphics Settings: Minimum “Cursed”

    720p, 30FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU: Intel Q9450 @ 2.6GHz or AMD Phenom II X6 @ 3.3GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 or AMD Radeon 7750
  • Modern GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1030 or AMD Radeon R7 450
  • HDD: 60GB 5.4k RPM
  • Graphics Settings: Low “Common”

    1080p, 30FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU: Intel i3 4170 @ 3.7GHz or AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 270
  • Modern GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti or AMD radeon RX 460
  • HDD: 60GB 7.2k RPM
  • Graphics Settings: Medium “Rare”

    1080p, 60FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU:Intel i5 4690 @ 3.5GHz or AMD FX-8150 @ 3.6GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 or AMD Radeon R9 380x
  • Modern GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • HDD: 60GB 7.2k RPM
  • Graphics Settings: Medium “Rare”

    4K, 30FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU:Intel i5 4690 @ 3.5GHz or AMD FX-8150 @ 3.6GHz
  • RAM: 16GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • Modern GPU:Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • HDD: 60GB SSD
  • Graphics Settings: Ultra “Mythical”

    4K, 60FPS
  • OS: Windows 10 Anniversary (build 1607)
  • CPU:Intel i7 4790 @ 4GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.6GHz
  • RAM: 16GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • HDD: 60GB SSD
  • Graphics Settings: Ultra “Mythical”

  • Which means, 4K @60fps confirmed for the AusGamers PC!
    Monday, 5 February 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:51pm 05/02/18 | 0 Comments
    With the Closed Beta for Rare's Sea of Thieves wrapped up, the studio has supplied some pretty impressive numbers. Like the 332.052 total players that took to the high seas, where over 2 million collective hours were spent ogling the truly jaw-dropping water effects. Plus, news that during the beta Sea of Thieves became the most watched game across both Twitch and Mixer.

    Impressive, and if you had the chance to check it out you'll no doubt understand why. Sea of Thieves is one of the most refreshing game experiences in years, at times offering a relaxing co-op cruise through the ocean in search of treasure with bursts of intense ship-to-ship combat. And then drinking grog to mourn the loss of several treasure chests.

    It's a lot of fun.

    Our only issue, is one of content. As it stands Sea of Thieves is excellent but a little lacking. Polished, but you get the sense that it needs more. Thankfully we can probably expect to find all of the below in the final release in March.

    With hopefully a lot more to follow.

    Thursday, 23 November 2017
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:21pm 23/11/17 | 1 Comments
    Sign up for the Sea of Thieves Technical Alpha program between now and December 1 to guarantee early access to one of 2018's most anticipated Xbox and Windows 10 releases - Sea of Thieves! The move comes as Rare prepares to open the shared online experience to its largest audience yet. So yeah, what are you waiting for?

    Oh right, a link. We'll here it is, the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme page where you'll need to use your Xbox Live account to answer a short survey as part of the process. The only restriction is that you need to be at least 18 years of age.
    Wednesday, 22 November 2017
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:29pm 22/11/17 | 0 Comments
    Recently I got to play Sea of Thieves for the very first time. And what immediately stood out was just how different it was to anything I’d played before. And afterwards I had the opportunity to chat at length with Rare's Joe Neate about the game. So pull up a chair, pour some grog, adjust your eye patches, and enjoy this interview with Rare about all things Sea of Thieves.

    AusGamers: With studios that have been around for a while people assume that it's the same people that are there after 20 years or more, but that's not how the industry works. I'm assuming the culture at Rare was established a long time ago, but Sea of Thieves feels different to just about everything we’ve seen before.

    Joe Neate: Rare has been around for 32 years now and it's a studio that has always grown and evolved to kind of look at what new trends are emerging in the industry or kind of where player tastes are going and almost changing what they make and what they do to meet that. If Rare did just make the same stuff over and over they probably wouldn't still be around. Because player trends change, and player tastes change, I think what has always stayed true to Rare is that every game they make reflects the people who worked on it. So, the team's sense of humour, the culture of the studio, the values that Rare has. And so, every Rare game that you've grown up playing will have had a sense of humour, and it would have made you smile, -

    AusGamers: There's a very British and dry sense of humour throughout all of Rare's history.

    Joe: For sure. With Sea of Thieves, how we do that in the modern age, and a very different game than something that Rare has made before has been interesting. We've got this multiplayer game. We give players the tools to almost create their own humour. So, firing stuff out of cannons, getting drunk, and um, being able to be sick, and throwing up into buckets and throwing up on each other. All those things. It's almost like the difference between improv comedy and stand-up comedy. A game that delivers the jokes to you and tells you the jokes and makes you smile is like a stand-up comedian. Whereas in improv comedy, it's very much situational and dependent on the kind of tools you're given. But it's still funny.

    Click Here to Read Sea of Thieves – The Big Rare Interview
    Friday, 8 September 2017
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:50pm 08/09/17 | 0 Comments
    As a development studio Rare's output is the stuff of legend, dating all the way back to the 8-bit NES. And even before that too, when you factor in early home computing. But during the studio's time developing games for the Nintendo 64, and then Xbox, one thing was clear. It was pretty secretive in what information it revealed, and only then when it was ready.

    Well, with the upcoming release of its shared-world pirate adventure Sea of Thieves that mindset has changed. Big time. In creating a world where players would shape their own stories, foster relationships, and be part of a community, this forced Rare to be more open. And engage with its fans and community during the development process.

    As part of our recent, and lengthy chat with studio head, Craig Duncan, we discussed Sea of Thieves' development. And this very subject.

    Craig Duncan: You know Rare’s history, which was really secretive and did everything in a bubble. So one thing was, 'hey, we need to be building a game in this way'. Like, we're going to go build a new IP, to do that in a very open, transparent way, and get a community involved who will actually help. [We need to] make sure we're building a game that people love and resonates with them, but also has this really nice side effect that people go on that development journey with you. And they kind of get that passion to understand what you're trying to do.

    This is where the transparency comes in. We've been very open. Since we showed gameplay for the first time last E3 we've been very open with our community talking about, "Hey, this is some of the stuff we're thinking about, here's some of the stuff on the roadmap". And, as well as that, running these technical alpha play tests, where we have people come in and play and give us direct feedback on features, give us… (obviously we survey them when they play), so give us feedback on how much fun they thought it was, how buggy they thought it was. You know, some really, really good stuff.

    Craig Duncan: The other thing we said from the very start, is this is all about players as the critical source. And we wanted -- the way games are made now, how you socialise your gameplay experiences, whether you're tweeting about them or streaming or making videos -- people share games very differently. We can't say, "Hey, we want to make a game where every time you play, it's magic and it's a different story and it's unique and it's your adventure". So you kind of put those two things together, and, really, you need to build a game with a community to go do that, because everyone can play our game in a completely different way. And our players do - some players are very aggressively motivated and want to go seek ships and steal treasure and kill other pirates. Some are very exploration motivated and want to go travel the world.

    And some are very socially motivated, they just want to go have a good time and play a game with their friends, so socially they can just go and have some fun.

    Click Here for the Full Interview
    Wednesday, 11 January 2017
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:02pm 11/01/17 | 2 Comments
    Sea of Thieves from Rare is definitely one of 2017's most interesting titles, but also one that we're still not sure how it will all work, and if there's more to it than roaming the seas in a group in the search for treasure. Or, for other ship to steal their booty. But even if that's all their is to it, it certainly still sounds great. And the latest developer video on the project delves into the game's unique co-op structure.

    From a design perspective it sounds like there's a huge focus on teamwork in Sea of Thieves, with everything from sailing to digging up treasure chests requiring a few people working together to get the best outcome.

    Check it out.

    As an online multiplayer game we did notice one of the devs using the word 'quest' in the video, which leads us to believe that Sea of Thieves will also feature some more traditional game-y aspects in addition to the free-form exploration and piracy.

    Plus, that amazing water.
    Monday, 18 July 2016
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:34pm 18/07/16 | 0 Comments
    If it's not on your radar yet, we need to tell you to stop what you're doing and take a closer look at Rare's new IP, Sea of Thieves. Seriously. Because it's one of the most fun games we've had the pleasure of playing, and we were also lucky enough to have a chat with the notoriously reclusive studio about their new endeavour.

    The setup is simple -- party with five people, man a ship and take to the high seas to do almost anything you want, including battling teams of other players. Find treasure, make people walk the plank, fight undead skeletons, escape the jaws of sharks, fight a kraken and do it all however you see fit.

    Sea of Thieves is an emergent multiplayer beast that redefines player-driven gameplay. Here's a snippet from our chat with the games' design director Gregg Mayles and its executive producer Joe Neate.
    Honestly, Sea of Thieves was probably the game I had the most fun with at E3, and I only played roughly 15-minutes of it, but it’s packed with potential. The game is a series of systems and opportunities, which then require the player to determine how they all work together. Actually, scratch that. It’s not the “player”, it’s players.

    “It’s a shared-world experience; a shared adventure game,” adds executive producer Joe Neate. “And what that really means is that every time you see a set of sails in the distance, that’s another group of players and you’re not really sure what their intentions are -- are they going to come at you? Do they maybe need help? Do they want to parlay, or trade, or anything else?”

    It’s best described as a kind of co-operative experience, with a team-based competitive side, as well as a personal progression component. You’re sort of forced to play together and perform individual roles, specifically on ships, but as a pirate it’s not a hard and fast ruleset -- you get to play the game how you like.
    Click here for our complete Sea of Thieves interview feature.