Sea of Thieves has laid out its coming year’s worth of updates, and it includes brand new adventures, a murder mystery and the closure of the game’s Arena mode.
Revealed today as part of a 2022 preview, Sea of Thieves is getting changes to its Seasons, as well as all new Adventures and Mysteries.
Adventures are new narrative-led live events designed to offer new story content more frequently, with each adventure part of a wider storyline that the playerbase will directly affect with their actions.
The plan, according to creative director Mike Chapman, is to release one Adventure every month with each lasting around two weeks. Additionally, each season will include a major Adventure that ties together plot threads and moves one of the game’s larger stories forward.
Mysteries, on the other hand, are a new storytelling style that will take place both inside and outside the game, adding side quests and ARG elements. New clues will be added as players begin to solve the mysteries.
“Mysteries are something that we’re super excited about,” said executive producer, Joe Neate. “These are going to be stories that players are going to have to work together to uncover, and this will happen in-game and out-of-game, in terms of clues being released, and they will evolve over a longer time period than a typical Adventure will.”
“We’re going to be teasing and hinting and looking at how people are solving this – are people figuring this stuff out?” added Mike Chapman. “When’s the right time to move this forward? It’s based on players uncovering the next stages of these mysteries.”
What exactly will these new mysteries be about?
“We see certain genres fitting really well in terms of mystery telling,” said senior designer Chris Davies, “so you’ve got murder mysteries, whodunnits, ghost stories, that certainly take inspiration from those kinds of mysteries in other media.”
Although little has been released about them, for obvious reasons, the first mystery will involve players solving the murder of a well-known character in Sea of Thieves.
Here’s what we can expect for the rest of the year when it comes to Sea of Thieves updates:
Sea of Thieves Season 6 will begin in March 2022 and will introduce these new Adventures and Mysteries as well as six new Sea Forts to the game. Sea Forts are designed to offer smaller scale raiding opportunities for solo players and small crews, and will be tied into the wider storyline. There will also be mysterious new missions for those that have reached Pirate Legend status. You can also expect a new Plunder Pass and an update to the monthly Emporium content.
Among all of these additions however, one element is leaving Sea of Thieves for good – the PvP Arena mode is being taken out of the game to allow the developers to focus solely on the much more popular core game.
With the player base rapidly exploding to record highs since last year, it seems Rare has a lot more ideas for its ongoing project.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.