Earlier this week, Rare hosted a special event, revealing a whole heap of brand new features for their enormous action-RPG MMO, Sea of Thieves. The update will introduce two massive new mechanics that focus on storytelling and progressing the overarching lore and narrative. You can watch the entire 2022 Preview event below:
Following the presentation, we sat down with Executive Producer Joe Neate to chat about Season 6 of Sea of Thieves and what the team over at Rare has in store for the rest of 2022.
For readers that are unfamiliar with the game or haven’t played in a while, how would you describe the Sea of Thieves experience to them?
Joe Neate: Sea of Thieves is a Shared World Pirate Adventure, where you can live out your pirate fantasies on the seas. Growing and evolving for nearly four years, there has never been a better time to venture onto the seas. Whatever your motivation, you will find it catered for in Sea of Thieves. The progression system is also based around cosmetics, with no power progression limited who you can play with. This means you can join now and play freely with friends who have been playing since the start.
You mentioned that players would work together to solve Mysteries inside and outside the game. Can you elaborate a bit more on the ARG side of things?
JN: Players will work to solve mysteries both in and out of the game, but elements outside of the game will feel totally on tone & related to with what is happening in-game. We have experimented with teases in this style with Duke’s runes leading up to the reveal of A Pirate’s Life, and even recently ahead of our Adventures/Mysteries reveal some of our keener eyed players have been able to piece together what’s coming up, with our Christmas song even having a clue in it! We are going to be more cryptic and devious with Mysteries though, for sure!
What are you looking most forward to the players experiencing?
JN: We are so incredibly excited to be entering into this new phase of the live service for Sea of Thieves. Regular Adventures and Mysteries making the world move forward, feeling dynamic and alive whilst still adding cool new features and mechanics with Seasons is going to be AWESOME.Q: You mentioned using movies, novels and television serials to research a broad spectrum of storytelling methods.
Are there any particular pieces that have especially inspired the team while working on the ongoing narrative?
JN:Ha. One of our internal powerpoints referenced Phil Mitchell’s death in Eastenders, as well as who was H in Line of Duty. We see these as great examples of mysteries that get people talking and speculating, but I’m sure everyone has their own examples. TV series like Lost and Westworld are also great examples of shows that get people really trying to figure out what’s really going on.
How often should we expect to see episodes of the new Sea of Thieves developer podcast popping up?
JN: We hope to do this every 6-8 weeks, but as our regular community now, we aren’t the best at sticking to an exact schedule. Having said that, we LOVE podcasts and that longform dialogue with the community, so we will continue doing them as long as we have stuff to talk about!
Can you tell us anything more about the Community Day scheduled for March?
JN: This is an idea that came directly from our Community team and is all about celebrating the community in fun and social ways. We love our community, and we wanted to do something they could get involved in that would allow them to have fun together and celebrate each other.
We noticed that “new social options for crews” was listed on the roadmap for this year. Can you tell us anything more about that and what we can expect?
JN: We’ve been purposefully cryptic with our season descriptions so that we can surprise and delight our community nearer the time, so I can’t expand on this one yet, unfortunately…
Arena is closing during season six. Does the development team have any plans for other PvP driven content or modes?
JN: It was a really difficult decision to close Arena, and we know that one of the many motivations of our players in Sea of Thieves is that desire for combat and to prove themselves on the seas. As we look to future season headliners, we definitely have plans to help scratch that itch in Adventure…
Sea of Thieves is a first-person action-adventure MMO game developed by Rare Ltd. and published by Microsoft Studios. Season 6 is scheduled to set sail on February 17th, 2022 and is available on Xbox, Windows 10 and PC via Steam. You can check out the game’s ambitious collaboration with Disney in the Pirate’s Life update right here or learn more about the game in general by reading our coverage on all things Sea of Thieves right here.