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This week's Sea of Thieves update is now due out next week, along with DLC details

This week’s Sea of Thieves developer update video was an apologetic one, starting with executive producer Joe Neate breaking the news that the planned update that Rare was hoping to release by the end of the week had to be postponed.  The delay is due to a bug that affected some PC players during internal testing. The update will be out next week instead. 

“We worked on it, and we tried to resolve this issue; we couldn’t resolve it in time,” said Neate. “Our only choices were: do we release this build that has a known issue that will affect a portion of our player base, or do we hold on this, work on fixing it and then look to release a version of the game next week instead?” 

Rare decided to go with the latter. 

This postponed update will introduce more matchmaking options, allowing players to make crew slots private and public, so you can choose to only play with your friends. Names will be hidden when pirates are underwater, making it easier to sneak up to other players—especially handy when you’re attempting to board an enemy ship. Chests are getting tweaked, too. If you’re a higher level player, for instance, you’ll see fewer of the disappointing castaway chests.

One of Rare’s engineers is also working on a small feature that should make the game feel a little bit more cooperative. You’ll be able to hand stuff to your crew, sharing items. So if you’ve got a banana that you want to give a friend in need of nourishment, you’ll be able to do that. 

Neate also spent some time going over feedback from the last update, which added a slew of cosmetic items to the game. The Sovereign item set, which was listed in the build notes, was missing, so it will be added in the next update. Some items were not visually distinct enough, so Rare’s removing eight of them. Finally, some of the prices were more expensive than previously advertised, so they’ll be reduced and refunds will be issued.

It was a bit of a mea culpa, and in a game designed to keep players coming back again and again through updates big and small, transparency seems like a good way to go forward. And speaking of big updates, The Hungering Deep, the first of five bits of DLC planned for the year, will be getting a trailer next week, along with a release date. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.