Microsoft and Rare are taking an incredibly personal approach to the development of Sea of Thieves. The two are taking in player feedback during a Closed Alpha, and the process seems to be quite beneficial. One of the biggest benefits of the program is the ability to introduce new features and have players test them out.

The world of Sea of Thieves will gradually continue to grow over the coming years. This coming E3 2017 will likely be a time when Microsoft gives an update on how the game’s development is coming along. Things seem to be moving forward nicely, thanks to communication between players and developers.

Rare is trying to introduce new features into the world of Sea of Thieves. With it being a live service, features that pair well with that idea will likely make or break the game. Christina Parker, who is the live campaigns producer, explained what the new feature, Live Campaigns, is about.

“Live Campaigns are time-limited events that will happen in-game. They’re exclusive, they only last for a certain amount of time. They’re meant to spice up the everyday gameplay and potentially give you a unique experience and a unique reward. Campaigns are a directed event. We want you to go and do something at a specific time. It’s all about bringing more unique story and more unique experiences. How we implement it is something we’re still working on,” Parker said in a new video.

For those of you who played Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you might remember certain instances that came up. As you would sail across the ocean, special targets would pop up on your map. These ships would be elites and gamers would have to take them down within a given period of time. Perhaps, this concept is sort of what we’ll see from Live Campaigns in Sea of Thieves?

Gamer feedback and learning what players like and don’t like is a balancing act for Rare. They are constantly talking to players about what should fit within Sea of Thieves. Parker elaborated further on just how important player feedback is to Sea of Thieves‘ creation.

“That’s part of the whole development process that’s unique to Sea of Thieves. [We get to take] what players actually say and consider it for our future development process. Hopefully Live Campaigns will be this long and ongoing thing. It really matters what our players want and how we deliver that to them,” Parker said.

Getting further into what Live Campaigns are, they will be instances you discover as you play. These seem like they’ll be exciting optional objectives for players to chase. Presumably, players will earn loot and rewards for completing Live Campaigns, though what that is remains to be seen.

“A [Live] Campaign will be unique in that it doesn’t rely on a content update for us to initiate it. It can be as small as, ‘we’re going to do something this Friday and it’s going to last for three hours, but you don’t have to download anything new to do it.’ Or it could be a month long thing, or a week long thing that can potentially encompass multiple content updates,” Parker said.

This is what will make Live Campaigns very unique. Gamers don’t have to download a new update in order to experience them. Rare sounds like they’ll be able to trigger them within the game at any moment. Being able to experience Sea of Thieves and suddenly have a Live Campaign emerge sounds exciting.

Live Campaigns have the potential to grow to be one of the game’s most important features. What will be the thing that keeps players coming back to Sea of Thieves post-launch? This is the question that will be crucial to the game’s ultimate success. Perhaps Live Campaigns is one of the answers to that question?

“It’s safe to say we’ll have some seasonal events…community events, social events…We have this open-world and we’re going to be putting these directed goals in there. They’re similar to Voyages but on a grander scale. So how do we get people to participate in this potentially scripted thing compared to your open experience and your ability to do anything?

“I think it comes down to a lot of showmanship. It’s about fitting it well within the world, making it seem seamless, have reasons why it’s there for a certain amount of time and then fades out. As long as it fits within the lore of Sea of Thieves, I think players will love it,” Parker said.

There is no release date for Sea of Thieves. Microsoft and Rare are taking their time with the upcoming game, though a date may come at E3 2017. Xbox will host its E3 2017 press briefing on Sunday, June 11. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Sea of Thieves.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.

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