Rare has addressed issues players have hit trying to jam its just-released online pirate adventure Sea of Thieves.
The much-hyped Xbox and Windows 10 game launched on Tuesday, and while it was initially smooth sailing for those of us here in Oceania, once the US servers went online, the waters got a little turbulent for all involved.
More than a million unique users have logged on to play the open world title, but that number apparently isn’t the issue. Rather, the join rate – which cleared more than 5000 users per minute at its peak – is causing trouble.
The result is that some players have been being unable to log in, and errors with names like “cinnamonbeard” “greybeard” and “lavenderbeard” have been surfacing.
Rare temporarily blocked new players from joining the game yesterday, but has since lifted that restriction.
With problems persisting, the studio today posted an update where it runs through the main issues facing players, and what it intends to do about them.
“We have seen 3-4 times more concurrent players than we saw during any Scale Test or Beta session,” wrote executive producer Joe Neate.
“This has led to some scale-related issues that we are working hard across the team to resolve.
“We are aware that temporarily not being able to access the game, or seeing any of the problems listed below, can cause immense frustration. Please rest assured the issues below are our top priorities and we are doing everything we can to address them.”
Rare is working on fixes for problems like players having difficulty getting into the game at peak times and rewards being delayed, and a patch is coming next week for delayed achievements, missing items, and performance issues on Xbox One X.
The studio also released a candid video addressing each problem at length.
Sea of Thieves will be down for maintenance tonight, Saturday night, and next Wednesday night from 10pm-1am NZT.
In related news, Rare has responded to comments from players that Sea of Thieves is too slight content-wise.
The game has been criticised for lacking progression and customisation options, and for the repetitive nature of its quests.
Reddit threads with titles like “we’re 3 hours in...I’m concerned we experienced 95% of the game already” and “Having put about 5 hours into the game, I've experienced most of what it has to offer already” have popped up.
“Sea of Thieves is designed from the ground up to be a game that grows and evolves, and we will release new cosmetic options ongoing as part of that, alongside new mechanics and ways to play,” executive producer Joe Neate told IGN in response.
“Our focus for launch is on delivering a great initial experience, and as we move beyond launch we will be assessing and reacting to player feedback across all areas of the game.
“We have worked with our community throughout the development of Sea of Thieves, and that will continue in exactly the same manner beyond launch.”
The game isn’t faring particularly well on OpenCritic though, with a score of just 63. However, to be fair, few reviews are in just yet.
Forbes reviewer Paul Tassi has probably been the most critical of Sea of Thieves so far, calling it “no more than 10% of a finished game”.
We received keys in order to start reviewing Sea of Thieves at launch, and we’ll have some impressions up next week.
In happier related news, Xbox ANZ has worked with Australian pirate band Captain Hellfire & The Wretched Brethren to create what it believes is the world’s first ‘Sing us a Shanty’ in-game service.
On March 24 and 25, the Sing us a Shanty service will go live, and the band will broadcast personalised shanties about players via Mixer, Facebook and Twitch.
It isn’t clear how you get a song sung about your exploits, but Xbox said the service will be offered on “a ticketed first-come, first-serve basis”, and that those interested should keep an eye on the Xbox ANZ Facebook page for more details.