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Sea of Thieves having been out for just over two weeks now, the team has been hard at work ensuring everything is behaving as expected, but we've also been gathering the top feedback points on the current game experience. We have been discussing these at length, figuring out solutions and getting work underway. Some issues are easier to solve than others, whereas some will require more involved fixes and take a little longer to get out to our players.

Below are the top feedback points and our current plans to address them. 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. Our priority is always to work out what can we do to address issues quickly, and then if we need to spend more time on them for a more involved fix, we will invest that time and effort.

Ship respawns

 

  • When you sink a ship, they respawn too close to you. This can be frustrating for players at a Skeleton Fort, or constantly having the same ship follow you and engage you in combat.

     

    Complete: We have pushed the distance back that ships respawn at so they are out of view of the ship that sunk them. This is pretty much double the original distance that ships were respawned at. This change is in the game update that went live on Wednesday April 4th.

    Work in progress: We are also working on having this configurable in the service, rather than in the client, meaning we will be able to adjust this further live based on player feedback. 
      
    Spawn-killing

     

     

  • Players can get stuck in a die-respawn-die cycle if another crew stays around on their ship.

     

    Work in progress: A short-term mitigation for this is to make more players aware of the Scuttle option as a way of getting out of this scenario. We are adding information on this to the loading screen on the way back from the Ferry of the Damned, and also adding a reminder on the Ferry of the Damned itself that this option is available.

    Our plan is to measure whether this makes a significant difference. Are people using the Scuttle option more, is it a solution that works for the majority of scenarios? We'll assess this before taking further steps.

    Investigating: We are also considering options around moving ships to other world instances if they are caught in a griefing situation. This is a slightly more complex change, so we are currently investigating this to understand exactly what it would take, and the value. 
      
    Brig abuse

     

  • Players are misusing the brig for various reasons. The most common of these we have seen are to hold a slot, either because they want to play as a private crew or because they want to play with people with mics/people speaking the same language.

     

    Work in progress: 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. 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. It also has the added benefit of allowing players to sail the galleon with a smaller crew if they desire, or the sloop with a larger crew. We've had a lot of feedback and requests for this so we'll be very happy to deliver this functionality. 
      
    Finding a suitable crew

     

  • Closely related to the misuse of the brig, players don't really have any control over who they play with (apart from playing with friends). The key preferences we see are to play with other players using a mic, or to find people speaking the same language.

     

    Work in progress: We are working on automatically matchmaking by microphone status. The game already detects if you have a microphone plugged in, and matchmaking will now prioritise matching you via your mic status.

    Investigating: We will be adding the option to filter by language for matchmaking so players can find other players who speak the same language to crew up with. 
      
    Cheating

     

  • We have seen a few reported instances of cheating, where players are compromising the game client or using programs to gain an advantage over other players. Everyone should understand the seriousness with which we treat this, and anyone identified as taking part will have action taken against them, up to and including permanent Xbox Live account bans. We have a zero tolerance approach to this.

     

    Investigating: We are investigating and have detected some instances of suspicious behaviour, and will be taking direct action against anyone abusing the game in this way. The number of people we are currently investigating who show suspicious behaviour make up an extremely small portion of our player base. Work is ongoing against this as a high priority, once we are certain we have identified people cheating we will swiftly ban them. 
      
    Content plans

     

  • We hear and understand that people are keen to understand what our plans are for updating Sea of Thieves, beyond the top experience fixes. 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. We plan to release a video next week updating everyone on how we plan to evolve Sea of Thieves moving forward. 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.

     

    Thanks, 
      
    – Joe Neate, Executive Producer

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