Rare dropped a preview video (opens in new tab) today outlining new features coming to their co-op pirate simulator later this week.
Sea of Thieves now offers that most primal of pirate fantasies: burying your own treasure, complete with an auto-generated map to find it. The system ties in handily with multiplayer, letting you share your treasure maps via a quest board. When other players dig up and cash in on your treasure, you both reap the reward. It reminds me of other asymmetric multiplayer systems like Death Stranding's shared cargo hauls or Dark Souls' messages.
Rare has also added cannon-strapped rowboats to Sea of Thieves, offering new strategic opportunities in ship-to-ship combat and boarding. Get up close to an enemy ship with a hard-to-hit boarding vessel that's 40% gun.
As for smaller changes, a new whisper function will let you humorously speak through the wrong end of your makeshift megaphone to address close comrades (useful in a game with proximity-based voice chat.) Your tired pirates will also receive the ability to sit down and even take a nap, infractions carrying a minimum penalty of swabbing the poop deck. Most interesting of these minor changes to me is the addition of shipboard rats who will flee to the upper decks as lower ones fill with water during combat, a creative little detail that can also serve as an early warning sign of a hull that needs repairs.
The addition of a handy "take all" option for storage crates will be a welcome quality of life change, and the video ends with the announcement of a fun and immersive addition: characters' mouths will now move in sync with players' voice chat input. These all seem like neat little changes to round out Sea of Thieves' lighthearted multiplayer, and we'll be able to see for ourselves how they alter the experience later this week on Thursday, December 2.