New pets, a dastardly PvP faction and fresh ways to earn extra gold and reputation headline the shiny new things waiting for you right now as part of Sea Of Thieves' April update. This is a big one folks, I don't think there's been an update with this amount of stuff since Tall Tales were introduced for the game's anniversary last year. There's none of those to be found in Ships Of Fortune, though. This time around, Rare are giving some life to Sea Of Thieves factions, and letting you earn big by joining up with them.
From today, you'll be able to join your favourite traders - be they the Gold Hoarders, Order Of Souls, Merchant's Guild or Athena's Fortune - and become an Emissary, allowing you to earn more gold and reputation by bringing them loot. Level caps for each faction have been raised up to 75, but don't worry if you've yet to reach Pirate Legend status, you still only have to get to 50 in each to get there. And it'll be easier to do so now, thanks to the new Emissary system.
With this, however, comes a new dastardly pirate faction that'll reward you for hunting down these Emissaries. Those who pledge allegiance to The Reaper's Bones will earn faction reputation by taking out rival Emissaries. They are avoidable though - like with the Reapers flags that are already in-game, their location is shown on your ship's map, so as long as you pay attention to where they're headed they shouldn't be able to get the drop on you.
Now, what is obviously the most important part of the Ships Of Fortune update is that cats are available to buy as pets. These are part of the game's premium store, the Pirate Emporium, where you'll find a selection of fine felines to purchase.
If updates to actual gameplay are more your thing, then you'll probably take more interest in the new revive system. If you get killed, you'll now enter a downed state for a short period of time where your crew are able to revive you. Good for fast-paced ship battles, bad for teammates who decide to cannon themselves off to the other side of an island then fall off a cliff.
There are big changes to the Arena, too. Now, rather than crews having to find multiple chests and battle it out to hand them in, there'll only be one chest that spawns on a central island. Match times have been shortened as well, and it's all to make the games more fast-paced and focused than they were before.
Sea Of Thieves already has plenty in store for the future, too. Rare announced a few weeks back that the game is coming to Steam at some point, and there'll even be crossplay with folks that play on Xbox and the Microsoft Store. There's also a helpful update on the way for Tall Tales sometime soon as well.
As you may have experienced, it's a bit of a pain in the ass if a hostile crew decides they want to sink your ship while you're trying to do a Tall Tale, as this usually ends up in you losing quest items you needed to complete it (the RPS vidbuds nearly had this exact thing happen to them in the video above). But talking to Eurogamer, Rare said they have plans to introduce checkpoints into the Tales to help stop this very thing from happening.
"The checkpoint is like an open book, and at any point you can leave the game, come back, vote on that open book, and you'll be able to pick up your checkpoint right from that point," they said. "And any physical items you had with you at that point in the tale... would pop back in on the table. So it both protects you against a loss of the items, but it also allows you to play in smaller chunks of play."
The Sea Of Thieves Ships Of Fortune it available to play today. See the patch notes for more. You'll catch me hanging out in the Pirate Emporium (which is where I'll be for most of this evening contemplating the important decision of which cat to buy).
Check out the patch notes over here.