A new Sea Of Thieves content update heralds the start of a new season today, encouraging pirates to plunge overboard and explore the beautiful halls and mysteries of the Sunken Kingdom. All sorts of coral-y PvE surprises await, with Shrines to quietly explore and Treasures to plunder by force. As beautiful as the game's water is from above, I'm very keen to see more from below.
So, Shrines are the gentler addition for people who'd rather not fuss with the game's still-really-quite-boring combat. Six different Shrines are scattered around the map and yup, they are helpfully marked. That's good. Some are focused around solving puzzles or navigating the environment, though some will have fisticuffs.
"You've got these huge structures within the Sunken Kingdom, which you must go down and explore all the different nooks and crannies for hidden treasure and secrets," senior environment artist James Crosbie explained. "This is going to be a real treat for those who are really interested in the lore and the untold stories of both the merfolk and the Ancients."
Treasuries are the murder option, combat arenas to give seafolk a sound kicking then yoink their stuff. Treasuries will also always be marked on your map but are not always active. If a big purple swirly hangs over the waves above a Treasury, and the coral is lit up, you'll be able to go in and give folks a good kicking. Kill them all and the vault opens for you to grab Coral Treasures.
"In A Pirate's Life we created these two new awesome AI types in the Ocean Crawlers and the Sirens," game designer Ryan Hall said. "And then this was a place where we could really show off those AI types in an arena-like environment."
I don't do much of the fighty stuff in Sea Of Thieves but yeah, I will be lured in by coral caverns. I can't help it. I just love the sea.
Other noteworthy additions include another 100 seasonal levels of rewards, an option to have the game narrate your compass direction when sailing or holding a compass, and an option to disable Disney's copyrighted audio so Twitch doesn't explode your stream. But more important than all that: it's added a bind to swim directly upwards, which defaults to holding the space bar or the A button on a controller. As a pirate who gets extremely lost inside sunken shipwrecks, I am very grateful for this.