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Sea of Thieves updates to address players’ biggest complaints

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Rare is responding with updates like private crews and more

the brig in sea of thieves
Players keep sending an unlucky pirate into the brig.
Rare/Microsoft Studios

Rare is beginning to address some of Sea of Thieves players’ biggest complaints, as the developer detailed in a blog post about their “top feedback points.” And to players’ appreciation, the highest priority changes to come sound pretty good.

“As with everything on Sea of Thieves, we will make changes, get them out to players and assess how effective they are, using feedback and data to decide whether we need to take more steps,” wrote executive producer Joe Neate, introducing a list of players’ most common issues and how the team plans to address them.

These include putting an end to “brig abuse,” a widespread problem that’s ruined the experience for many players. While players have been throwing each other into the brig since the game’s alpha phase, Sea of Thieves’ launch has led to even more pirates getting locked up and thrown out of a crew so that players can swap in someone else instead.

The reason this happens is because players have yet to be able to form private crews, Rare explained.

“A key change we are working on is to allow players to select whether they want their ship to be open to others being matchmade with them, or closed so that it’s invite-only,” Neate said. “This will allow players to manage how many people they want on their ship, invite friends and decide whether or not to allow other players to join them. We hope this mitigates one of the key reasons for people misusing the brig.”

An update will also change the minimum number of players required to form a crew; instead of needing four people to fill out a party, which can lead three friends to dump a fourth to find someone they’d rather sail with, Rare will allow for smaller or larger groups.

In addition, the developer said it’s working on improving the game’s matchmaking so that players who opt into voice chat — another problem with Sea of Thieves, as several people find themselves as the only one on mic during play — can be paired up with others willing to chat.

Rare maintains that Sea of Thieves is meant to be an evolving experience, with further content to be introduced to fill in the gaps some players are already tired of. With these changes top of the list, however, Neate said that Rare’s tweaking the roadmap for development in the coming months.

“We are currently in the midst of adjusting our roadmap based on feedback we have received since launch, with a ton of planning meetings continuing through this week,” he said. A video will detail all of this “next week.”

“We totally understand that people want to see this ASAP, but the critical thing here is to have the right plan that allows Sea of Thieves to grow in the right way.”