Sea of Thieves fans have been aching for content, and the upcoming Hungering Deep expansion promises to deliver the first of three announced DLC packs. The Hungering Deep will hit on May 29th, and it will be followed by Cursed Sails, Forsaken Shores and weekly events. All content updates will be available for no additional cost, and we know that they bring new PVE mechanics that require cooperation but, other than that, we’re still largely in the dark
With less than a week to go until the expansion hits, the developers have revealed some more information. Executive Producer Joe Neate returned to the most recent Developer Update to share quality of life updates, information on delayed features, and confirmed that there will be a pioneer program to test new features before they hit live.
The trailer, which Neate sheepishly admits was a teaser trailer, didn’t give too many details.
A new campaign: We now know that the Hungering Deep has a story campaign with the first real “character” of the game, centered around a quest to uncover the secrets of the Hungering Deep. “Merry” Merrick appeared in the teaser trailer, and now he’ll be the game’s first campaign character.
This is a first step for Sea of Thieves; while the outposts are full of characters who have basic conversation trees or vendor stocks, they’re not really characters and they don’t offer quests beyond the option to buy randomly generated voyages.
Exclusive cosmetics: There will be time-limited rewards and cosmetics available during the Hungering Deep, with the developers keeping an eye on how many players are able to unlock the goodies. Hungering Deep tattoos and scars will be available, expanding the vanity chest to allow players to customize both of these features.
New items: Pirates now have access to a third instrument, the drum, and a speaking trumpet, which will allow them to project their voice to other crews across the waves. This should be excellent for players who want to parlay.
Flags: Instead of a plain white triangle above your sails, players can now display flags. Flags will show intent: there’s a skull and bones, for instance, which seems pretty menacing, but other flags are an olive branch, suggesting you’re interested in teaming up.
Persistent content: When the campaign ends, the new AI threat and supporting infrastructure will remain in the world. This will be the standard for future expansions; while playing at launch can get you some excellent stuff and the ability to pursue the in-game quest, the world will be forever changed by the expansion.
Weekly events incoming: The Sea of Thieves developers split into three teams, with one on each expansion pack. The Hungering Deep team are now done with their content, and will be moving into weekly events. There is no information on what those events are — presumably the devs will remain on deck until the Hungering Deep is completely ironed out and free of bugs — but the first expansion’s release heralds a significant bit of manpower being freed up within Rare to work on new things.
The latest developer update is definitely worth a watch. Rare is finding its sea legs with development, and it’s interesting to hear the developer discuss the issues that have led to rough waters for recent patches. Anti-cheating initiatives and pioneer programs to test new content should help clean up the experience and make things a little smoother. So far, Sea of Thieves has yet to receive any substantial new content beyond quality of life buffs or new cosmetics; The Hungering Deep should dramatically change the game, and it’ll be interesting to see how the core experience shifts and which pirates end up on top.
Update: Rare has launched a standalone Hungering Deep site that clarifies some of the future content coming to the game. The post has been updated to reflect this new information.