As well as developing the competitive focused Arena mode, Sea of Thieves developers are also working on a new quest system for the PvE side of the game. During an interview with Gamereactor at the Fun and Serious Festival in Bilbao, Executive Producer Joe Neate explained more about the new questing system being created for Sea of Thieves and the new highly anticipated competitive Arena mode that will be available for testing early in 2019.
“I think it’s fair to say Sea of Thieves at launch appealed to a certain range of players that love that freeform creativity, kind of having their own adventures in this shared world, and almost our quest system gives you a little nudge but that’s not the only thing that you chase. But for some people that want guided goals, they want lore, they want story, we know that we’re underserving players, but we’ve proven that we can do it and that it works in the shared world with campaigns we’ve done around the Hungering Deep or Cursed Sails where you put lore, put story in.
We’ve had a team working on basically a new and improved quest system around story and lore in this shared world for quite a while now actually, and it was originally planned to be our fourth update, but we actually moved it back to next year because we wanted to add and grow. We saw the potential in it and we wanted to really, fully do it justice. So yeah, there’s a team working on that, has been for quite a while and will be for a little while more, but I think when we bring that into the game it’s gonna appeal to those people that want that crafted lore, want that adventure, want that story, and also appealing to maybe single players as well. You know, those players that want to go out and maybe they want to live a story, maybe they don’t want to be that social. There’s a lot of stuff going on at the studio right now about that.”
Executive Producer Joe Neate explains more about the competitive focused Arena mode :
“We’re playtesting Arena. We want to get it into our Pioneers community program early in the new year, so we are just trying to nail down that almost MVP of an experience. It’s kind of all the best bits of Sea of Thieves condensed down, it’s treasure hunting, it’s battling at high intensity, high speed. Even though it uses a lot of the same mechanics, it feels very different.
As soon as you put on that competitive slant, it changes how you feel about certain things. We’re making tweaks to that core experience to facilitate Arena and competitive play. It’s actually I think it’s more of a challenge than it seemed initially. We want to get this out early, like a rough version of it, and just test how it works and get feedback. We’ll probably make lots of changes and iterations with our players before we bring it to the wider audience, because we want it to be the best it can be.”