While I've not had the chance to find my sea legs yet, our Alec has greatly enjoyed his time thusfar with Rare's upcoming co-op pirate sandbox adventure Sea of Thieves. Over the past month or two, beta testing events for the game have been stepping up, and now it's in the final stretch of development. There's just one thing left to do: Bracing for impact.
In order to help ensure that their servers don't completely melt down on launch day, Rare are going to be running a series of Scale Testing beta weekends from now until release. The first of which is due to kick off tomorrow morning, 10am GMT, and end at the same time on Sunday morning.
As detailed here on the Sea of Thieves site, the Scale Test will run for 48 hours exactly, and they hope to get concurrent player numbers up to their highest yet. They're not quite ready to open the floodgates to everyone, so attendance on this one will be limited to previous Sea of Thieves beta testers, and Xbox Insider members. The game is exclusive to Windows 10 and can be acquired exclusively via the built-in storefront. It's a pain, yes, but at least it allows cross-play with Xbox One folks.
They're pretty honest about what they're expecting to see happen during this round of testing: Interrupted connections, wonky store interactions and inability to join games at especially busy times. If they do find that their hardware is choking during this test, they'll be able to roll out more servers in time for the next round. If all goes smoothly, then they can be a little more conservative in their upscaling.
I must admit that I was initially skeptical of Sea of Thieves when I first laid eyes on it, but through accounts from friends of their hook-handed misadventures, and a few Twitch streams watched, I'm rather excited to try this. I'm usually not the most social of gamers, but if there's anything I've learnt from reading far too much One Piece I'm sure I can find a crew of gentle souls to follow me on my path to adventure.