Sea of Thieves' latest update, Vaults of the Ancients (opens in new tab), has arrived at last, bringing with it new voyages to secret treasure vaults, an enchanted compass to help you find hidden map scraps, and yadda yadda yadda—there's dogs now!
That's the main thing. There are now dogs in Sea of Thieves.
You have to buy them, naturally, with ancient coins that cost real money. Each pooch will cost you 499 coins ($5.49), though there's a Dog Pack Bundle that gives you all three types of dogs (Alsatians, Whippets, and Inus) for 1,249 coins ($12.49). You can also buy outfits for your dog (the bundle comes with one costume per pooch) that cost 249 coins ($2.99) each.
On the plus side, if you don't have the coins and aren't interested in spending money on a virtual pirate dog, you'll still be able to interact with the pets of anyone you play with. Pick 'em up, pet 'em, feed 'em worms and bananas, fire 'em out of cannons, and so on, all without spending a dime.
I did spend a dime because I'm very easily taken with fake pets. I went with a Whippet, and I have no regrets. Jasper is a very good boy and my new best mate.
But back to the actual Vaults of the Ancients update. These new voyages begin when you speak to a Gold Hoarder's rep (if you've reached a rank of 25 or higher). The treasure vaults are buried deep underground and protected by traps, their locations kept secret, but the Hoarder will give you an enchanted compass you can use to track down the scattered pieces of a map that will lead you to a Vault Key.
You can either sell the key to the Hoarders once you've found it, or go after the Vault yourself and sell whatever you find inside.
Oh, look, Jasper is taking a wee!
Where was I? If you haven't reached rank 25 with the Gold Hoarders, no worries: Look for Larinna, a new character who hangs out by the pub at any outpost. She apparently has a different way for you to acquire a Vault voyage. Larinna is also your contact if you're looking to shop for cosmetic items on the black market.
Mainly, though, dogs are now in Sea of Thieves. Make sure you treat them right, like I do.