Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Inn-side Story #26: Content Plans for Summer 2018 & Beyond

Inn-side Story #26: Content Plans for Summer 2018 & Beyond

The Hungering Deep, the game's first content update, will be released in May along with a new AI threat and event. Those more embedded in the Sea of Thieves forums are privy to these conversations, but others are possibly just now learning about these plans.

The studio added that the previously announced ship captaincy mechanic and the microtransactions based pets have been delayed to prioritize development of the upcoming content updates. The weekly events may also bring in new mechanics, but they will also focus on giving players unique goals to achieve that shake up the gameplay.

Sea of Thieves Executive Producer Joe Neate and Design Director Mike Chapman have taken to the airwaves in the latest Inn-side Story. Rare says that what they're trying to do with this new AI threat is to make players interact with the game differently, trying to bring crews together. The water looks incredible, sailing is fun, but outside of those two things many have found the game to be lacking. The Xbox One and PC game has attracted a huge audience, but Microsoft wants to keep those players coming back in part because it is one of the main attractions in its $10-per-month Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

Rare is also planning weekly events that offer new challenges and time-limited exclusive rewards, like hidden treasure, for exploring the world. The former will introduce a new ship type, the latter will introduce a new part of the world with new AI threats unique to that area of the world. Cursed Sails will feature a brand new ship and Forsaken Shores will open a new location in the world to explore.

While these updates still seem somewhat sparse, it's great to see that Microsoft is working towards responding to most of Sea of Thieves early criticism. After that, three more updates are planned for release by the end of 2018.

Rare has said this before, but it also reiterated that it is offering this content for free because it does not want to separate its players into haves and havenots. The Hungering Deep will be a permanent fixture in the game, with new mechanics and rewards, but will kick off with a timed event that Rare plans to start teasing soon.

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