Rare have launched Sea of Thieves: Season One, the first in a new series of content updates for the piratical multiplayer game that will reshape how the game develops and grows in future.
Switching to a seasonal plan is a controversial change, to be sure. Leaning on the format popularised by Fortnite, each Season will last for around 3 months, with Rare planning a large update to start off a season and implement major changes, followed by smaller updates on a monthly basis. For Season One a new Merchant Alliance Voyage becomes a permanent part of the game, and this will be followed by Events and challenges dropped through the next few months.
This is free for all Sea of Thieves players, and ties in wiht a new progression system. As you play, you’ll level up through Renown, which has a reward track that includes in-game currency, cosmetics, emotes and more. However, there’s also a premium Plunder Pass, which will cost 999 Ancient Coins ($9.99 in real money) and has a second reward track that features in-game cosmetics from the Pirate Emporium that would otherwise cost $40.
Alongside the Seasonal progression are new Trials, which will test your adventuring, exploring and battling skills with Deeds. These come in a variety of forms, so that there should be something to suit game sessions both long and short, and reward players in their own right.
Sea of Thieves has come a long, long way since it launched in March 2018. Originally feeling rather bereft of meaningful content, but with an alluring promise of adventure and mischief on the high seas, Rare quickly adapted to add new content. This came in the form of in-game events, new sea monsters, the PvP Arena mode, and some narrative adventures to follow, you’ve also been able to become an Emissary and get a pet cat. They built up a steady following, boosted further by the game’s release on Steam, and it feels logical that they turn their focus to ways to monetise and sustain the game in the long run, especially as other parts of the company get to grips with developing Everwild. Reportedly, they’re still in the experimental stage of trying to figure out what that game will actually be…