Sea of Thieves’ closed beta is live but in choppy waters

Sea of Thieves’ closed beta for PC and Xbox One kicked off earlier today, and it’s not going that well. Or rather, it’s going so incredibly well with so many people rushing the high seas that bugs are swarming the decks.

“Pirates! We’re aware some players are getting a ‘too early’ error when attempting to launch the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta,” Rare tweeted early this morning. “We’re currently all hands on deck investigating and will provide updates ASAP.” A similar message was blasted out two hours ago on Twitter and an hour later on Reddit, suggesting the studio is still working on the problem. The game’s subreddit is a sea of bug reports and complaints that all boil down to this same issue too. But hey, no big deal, right – you didn’t take off work to beta an online game! Right, guys? Guys?

We’ve tucked the closed beta launch trailer down below, along with a quick roundup of all our coverage of the game since its announcement back in 2015; it’s a lot of content, both because we’re excited about this hybrid MMO-ish game and because Rare has been really consistent at delivering updates all along. We’re partial to our hands-on with the game back at E3 – that should give you something to flip through while you wait!

Source: Twitter, Reddit. Thanks, Thorsten!
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Mewmew
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Mewmew

How is that dude in the cannon in the header picture? The hole is barely big enough for his neck to fit through, unless his entire body is the same width as his neck? Or is that a head on a stick or something? A decapitated head and neck just stuffed in the end of a barrel?

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It’s a person getting ready to shoot themselves out of a cannon. It’s not really a game where you should be worrying about physics :)

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It’s a great looking game that got pretty boring to watch, pretty quickly. I guess it could have some replay-ability factor with friends, similar to the L4D games, but there just doesn’t seem much to it. The exploration wears out extremely fast, especially when every “surprise” chest you find is just something to bring back and sell to a guy? There doesn’t seem to be any actual world loot? Can’t steal another group’s ship, just sink it and/or steal the boring chests from it.

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Sorenthaz

Uh, you can steal chests from other players and you can occasionally find extra chests on islands oor in shipwrecks found while sailing about.

That said there’s not much to it right now. It’s the same gameplay loop of “go to this island, do stuff, bring the stuff back to sell so you can buy cosmetics and raise meaningless numbers”.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

I don’t think you actually read anything I typed.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

if you man like wow style loot from mobs no it doesn’t have that. why does it have to have that? it’s not wow nor an arpg.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

The game has upgraded weapons. The game has cosmetics. The game has upgraded tools (new shovels, etc). All of that is loot, and right now, all of that is just bought with the same gold you get from finding and turning in chests.

Right now, chests are nothing more than a token worth X amount of gold. There’s no excitement around finding it and wondering what’s actually inside; it’s just an empty box you give to an old guy in return for a random amount of cash. Yippee.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

sounds like a personal problem.

coming across a ship wreck or doing a quest and getting a special chest is pretty exciting.

i don’t need more lootboxes to get excited in my gameplay thanks.

nor would that kind of design make sense in a fucking pirate game that is about getting gold to get rich. you know pirates?

i don’t know many pirate games that involve opening chests to get a +10 blunderbuss of pwning newbz.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It’s called a suggestion, not a problem. Lord forbid someone has a different preference than you.

Pirate game? It’s a game about people going to an island, picking up a “treasure chest” that doesn’t actually contain any treasure, and then bringing that chest (ticket) of anonymous “treasure” back to someone else so they can BUY new guns, or clothes, or tools.

Pirates who buy 100% of their own goods instead of stealing them?

At no point do these pirates find these things on the “high seas.” At no point do these pirates actually do any real pirating. The closest you get is PvP where they take someone else’s treasure tickets, but those tickets are still exchanged for gold to buy things.

You’re not pirating, you’re fetching tickets for a guy in a booth who rewards you with money you can use to buy things.

The things I’m suggesting *already exist in the game*. I’m just suggesting alternatives to obtaining them; like, you know, actually getting them through piracy rather than a carnival game.

I’m not asking for RPG stats on weapons, even though the game already has buckets that pick up water faster and shovels that dig faster, so it’s not as if those things don’t exist. I’m just suggesting other ways of obtaining all the loot that’s *already in the game*.

Nice pissy attitude over mere suggestions though, good job.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

do you go into a wow thread and say “this game sucks without first person shooting and guns”?

because that’s what your suggestion is like.

this game literally has never advertised itself as being the loot grinder you want it to be for w/e reason (that just happens to be the qq meme from streamers pandering to their bases), in fact quite the opposite.

also the chest hunting is just one of three loops available in the final game.

and don’t play it off like it’s mere suggestion, you were complaining that the game wasn’t yet another loot grinder:

The exploration wears out extremely fast, especially when every “surprise” chest you find is just something to bring back and sell to a guy? There doesn’t seem to be any actual world loot? Can’t steal another group’s ship, just sink it and/or steal the boring chests from it.

that’s not what it ever advertised as it was going to be. so why would you ask to be something it’s not even remotely ever was going to be at any point in time? it’s asnine and banal af.

teh game has it’s share of flaws and potential lack of longevity, but not for these reasons. not every game needs to be the same loot grind your head off and corpse loot the other guy (which again, you can pvp other players and take any chests or other loot they have on board).

it’s abundantly clear you want a differnet game than what this game is. and that’s fine really, but this game doesn’t need to change to be the game you (and apparently a bunch ofpopular streamers) want.

nevermind why does every single game have to be like that anyway? can you not enjoy games without a gambling box carrot on a stick?

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

The game is a loot grinder though. It’s a loot grinder where you grind loot with currency rather than earning it out doing the thing it’s supposed to be about, piracy.

I never suggested replacing the current game loop, I suggested adding to it with content that’s already in the game waiting to be utilized.

The other two factions? They’re essentially the same thing. One has you go out and retrieve cargo for it, to sell back and earn currency to buy gear. The other has you go kill a skeleton to, you guessed it, cart back its skull to earn currency to buy gear.

I suggested adding some additional incentives to exploring and finding the tokens you dig up from the dirt. Yes, tokens, because that’s what they are. They’re not treasure chests, because treasure chests contain treasure. These are box-shaped tokens you exchange for currency used to buy gear.

That’s a loot grinder.

Edit: And on the topic of what they’ve advertised? They’ve barely advertised anything concrete. We’ve known since 2016 that you can shoot out of a cannon, fight other players and skeletons, and dig up boxes. Besides that, they’ve prided themselves on the supposed features they’ve kept “secret” even to the alpha players. Sorenthaz himself talked about how fluffy and completely lacking in detail their ‘progression’ video was.

Had they come out and said “what you saw two years ago is what you get” then that would be one thing, but that’s not the case. Even with this current beta they talk on their site about how it’s “crafted to give a taste,” implying there’s a lot more to the game than what we see. Except that doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

if you’re gridning at all you’re not going to enjoy the game.

what grind is there is trivial and it most certainly is not even remotely a loot grinder game.

these is more to the game than what’s in the beta – 2 more faction track quest givers that give different kinds of gameplay.

but i suspect you don’t care about that if you don’t know about them despite the devs communicating and showing them before now or else you wouldn’t go on and on about how the entire game is just finding chests.

i think you have this game confused with some other game because rare has been nothing but forthcoming about what this game will be throughout the past year plus.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

All my suggestions would do is give players additional options for their “treasure chests” when they find them. There’s zero additional grind being added to what’s already there.

Currently a crew’s only option is to follow the mission/randomly find a “treasure chest,”, turn the “treasure chest” in to an NPC for gold, and then go buy the specific items they want.

With the second option, they can open the “treasure chests” while at sea for the chance at those same items they’d already be buying, as well as a reduced (or even small chance at BETTER) gold value.

The latter turns the current “treasure chests” into chests with treasure, with actual contents inside them. It turns the pirates into pirates, guys who go out and risk finding their own fortune rather than just playing worker bees for someone else.

There would also be downsides, because the current turn-in system would give consistently better gold than opening chests at sea, allowing you to buy more missions, to continue that game loop. On the flip side, immediately opening the chests would keep you safer from loss via piracy, with the disadvantage being potentially lesser rewards than carrying them to port. That other pirate crew won’t be able to steal your fancy new gloves, but you also won’t have that 500 gold chest to turn in.

Boom, easy risk vs reward system set up, no additional grind, more options for everyone, more activities to increase longevity, and a game that actually offers piracy beyond “you can get drunk and pilot a ship.” It’s supposed to be about feeling like a pirate, right?

I’m well aware of the two additional factions. One has you go out and carry cargo for them in return for… gold to buy loot with. The other has you go out and kill tough skeletons so you can return their skulls for…. gold to buy loot with. The magic faction’s about the only one that adds some real variety to things, with the “fortress sieges” they’re supposed to have, but it’s still the same ‘fetch an item in return for gold’ loop. Overall, none of this stuff really screams “piracy” to me.

Anyways, have fun with yourself. Not going to waste any additional time on this line of conversation, when you’ve clearly not bothered to read much of anything I’ve typed; you’re more interested in just jumping to completely erroneous assumptions. Have fun with that.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there’s already risk vs reward system in teh game.

making the chests have a gambling component to them not only adds nothing to the game but is bad pr.

this is intentional and concious. and it’s good. plent of other games to get a gambling fix in these days.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus


some pvp action as well as what happens when you hit the edge of the map :O

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Armsbend

Their oceans and skies – so pretty. I won’t pass this game up for that fact alone.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i just love sitting on a boat having my friends sail us around while i gaze at the water or the horizon looking for the next island to crash or enemies.

shadowplay is being persnickity with this game so didn’t get as many screens as i wanted but will put effort into solving that before the test is up. the game is just gorgeous.

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Sorenthaz

It’s definitely getting a lot of attention on Twitch right now, and people are praising its visuals/core gameplay, but of course the big question is how much is there really to do in the game. Devs of course claim this is only a snippet or whatever, but in reality the game launches in less than two months and they’re likely showing most/if not all of what’s passed internal testing.

So they are either holding some huge cards close to their chest or are doing the exact same thing every developer does when they realize they don’t have enough content to satisfy people at launch: hide behind the “it’s beta” excuse and say that you’re supposed to play the game however you want and create your own journeys.

The actual progression trailer video is a bunch of fluffy “become a pirate legend” talk that doesn’t really reveal or mention anything big. Just doesn’t look like there’s enough that’ll be there for launch to keep people tided over, as folks are going to likely get bored of the gameplay loop when the only thing that changes it up is PvP. Otherwise you’re doing the same basic tasks (go get something(s), bring it back and sell it for gold, buy cosmetics/better tasks and repeat the cycle but with a steady increase in gold earned) until you get bored.

Hopefully they prove worries wrong and deliver on the things they’ve fluffed up, but so far it seems like the whole ‘shaping the world’ and so on stuff is just that – roleplaying fluff.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

we argued about this already in discord so i’ll save you the deets. but im of the rare apparently opinion that if this is all it is, then i’m going to have fun with it. even if i agree somewhat if that’s the case it’s overpriced.

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Sorenthaz

I mean I’ll still probably buy it and have fun with it, but its longevity is the biggest problem.

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jay

That’s the point of a beta though, get these issues out of the way now, rather than later.

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johnwillo

I can’t look at the header picture without thinking, “Son of a gun….”

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Dug From The Earth

I cant even download the game, even though im a founder. Im not alone in this either.

I cant help but think that this is what happens when you use Microsoft Store, instead of Steam.

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jay

I’m sure microsoft had a say in that, as in they “donated” to the funding of the game.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

ms has fully owned rare for a very long time. >>

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mysecretid

I must be weirder than I thought. I’ve never really wanted to play a pirate. Not even a space pirate.

I wish Sea of Thieves well, though. The game does look fun, even if it’s not my thing.

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Armsbend

Have you ever wanted to be, or are you, a drunk? Because that is really important in general piracy.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

can confirm. got drunk irl, got drunk in game. vomitted irl, vomitted in game. good times.

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Armsbend

Now THAT is a youtube video we all can get behind.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’ll try to get it happening when my xbone playing friend gets on a bit later. we spent a solid 15 minutes on nothing but getting drunk in game during the big alpha test and it was amazing.

and ofc i vomit all the time irl sober or drunk due to undiagnozed illness >>