Rare has posted its final update of the year for Sea of Thieves, announcing that the pirate sandbox game will look very different in 2021. In January, players will log in to see a seasonal progression system, with each season lasting three months.
This will be a big change from the current model, which brings an update to the game once per month. The seasonal model will feature additions like new enemies or world events, as well as the usual gameplay activities of voyages, treasure hunts, and rocking the hurdy-gurdy aboard a boat.
Along with the “new way of play” that runs throughout a season, players will be able to earn new cosmetic items for their pirate and ship via a battle pass that offers 100 levels of “Pirate Renown.” These Pirate Renown levels will exist in addition to the current progression system of working for a trading company and gaining reputation with them via voyages. Characters who are Pirate Legends will get exclusive rewards, which is a nice bonus.
Players will also have the option of paying for a premium version of the battle pass known as the Plunder Pass, which will offer unique rewards and Pirate Emporium items for players. The price for the Plunder Pass has yet to be announced.
Rare also announced that Sea of Thieves’ Arena PvP mode will no longer receive updates, because Adventure has proven to be the more popular option by far. The Arena mode will remain active, along with its trading company and cosmetic rewards, but Rare will no longer dedicate resources to improving and upgrading the mode.
The January 2021 update will also include a new Merchant Alliance voyage type, where the trading company sends pirates out into the world to hunt down lost shipments and find shipwrecks full of valuable cargo.