Sea of Thieves Anniversary Update brings story campaign, PvP arena

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Sea of Thieves is poised to undergo a transformation thanks to a major Anniversary Update.

Sea of Thieves’ Anniversary Update, which will go live on 30 April 2019 for Xbox One and PC, will bring a story campaign to the pirate-themed MMO for the first time, along with a new PvP section called the Arena, and will add a fishing engine plus a host of enhancements to core gameplay.

On Sea of Thieves’ website, developer Rare Software described the Anniversary Update thus: “The Anniversary Update brings you more ways to embrace the pirate life than ever before, including a host of new gameplay features and two major additions in the form of The Arena and Tall Tales – Shores of Gold. Follow immersive new quests, fish and cook for your crew and engage in thrilling contests of skill!”

Tall Tales – Shores of Gold is the game’s first attempt to impose a narrative structure. Rare Software said: “Tall Tales – Shores of Gold introduces a new epic storyline to the world of Sea of Thieves, delving deeper into the lore of our favourite pirate paradise. Follow a series of narrative adventures surrounding existing and all-new characters, taking you to undiscovered places and revealing surprising new gameplay features. Fans of the expanded game universe will recognise some of the iconic characters and locations in Shores of Gold, yet this is only the beginning of a series of Tall Tales that will allow players to immerse themselves in the legends of Sea of Thieves.”

The Arena, meanwhile, will provide an area in which gamers can formally take each other on (previously, outbreaks of PvP in the game were more or less random and emergent): “The Arena allows you to get straight to the heart of the action in the new competitive mode. Pit your ship and your crew against others in a distinct game mode which will continue to grow in parallel to the Sea of Thieves adventure experience. Trust in your crew and prove your prowess in a purely competitive setting. After a vicious battle, share a grog with your rivals in the Glorious Sea Dog tavern, home to a new Trading Company led by the heroes of the Sea of Thieves comic series.”

In addition, the Anniversary Update will bring a new trading company called The Hunter’s Call, which will introduce the much-requested feature of fishing to the game: “Led by the returning wanderer Merrick, The Hunter’s Call offers gold and cosmetic rewards, as well as another path to Pirate Legend in exchange for your best prizes and food. Master the art of fishing from shore and from ship, hunt animals and monsters for their meat and cook up delicious (or occasionally poisonous) food.”

Rare Software also promised that the Anniversary Update will freshen various core gameplay elements: “Expanded ship damage means that your beloved vessel can suffer a broken mast, capstan or even wheel, meaning that sailing and escaping battle could get very tricky indeed. Meanwhile, the arrival of the harpoon means that treasure can be nabbed by a skilled enemy and ships can make some surprising manoeuvres. Don’t get comfortable on land either! New and terrifying foes arrive in Shores of Gold – figures arising from legend, packing deadly surprises. Even simple exploration comes with additional risk thanks to traps that must be carefully navigated to avoid disaster.”

Rare Software’s pirate romp has rehabilitated the once-legendary developer’s reputation, and the Anniversary Update looks set to take Sea of Thieves to new heights. For more news about the game, keep an eye on its website.