It’s been some time since Sea of Thieves kicked out a news bulletin video — three months to be exact — but that time away has meant that the most recent news video is chock full of information about where the pirating sandbox (oceanbox?) is going as the new year rolls forward.
The video first starts off, like usual, with executive producer Joe Neate, who talks about the growth of the game in terms of player numbers, pointing out that the playerbase has grown every year for the past three years, with 2020’s numbers helped along by SoT’s arrival to Steam as well as players from China and Korea. Most of those players, incidentally, spend 97% of their time in Adventure mode, so with that in mind the devs will be putting full focus on improving Adventure and leaving updates to the competitive Arena mode behind; Arena will still be maintained, but don’t expect new features.
On the subject of updates to Adventure mode, SoT will be moving from monthly updates to Seasons, which will last approximately three months. Each season promises to add a new piece of content for players to engage in, along with regular live events, a featured live event, and extra rewards. This also introduces a battle pass system that will be available each season, each with 100 levels of new cosmetics for characters and ships as well as unique rewards for Pirate Legends. And yes, there will be a premium tier known as a Plunder Pass, with additional unique rewards and exclusives from the Pirate Emporium.
Sea of Thieves’ first season will launch sometime in January and will feature a new Merchant Alliance voyage where players will “play the role of detective” as they piece together clues across land and sea in order to find a lost shipwreck. This voyage, like Ghost Ships for the Order of Souls and Vault delves for the Gold Hoarders, will be a permanent fixture for those who sail for the Merchant Alliance.
In the immediate future, December 9th will introduce the Festival of Giving, with promise of live events, Twitch drops, login bonuses, and the return of Gilded Voyages. And for those players who are curious about their past year out on the digital seas, there’s a personal stats tracker that players can use to find trivia on their playtime.