Sea of Thieves’ 11th season is right around the corner, and it looks like its arrival next Tuesday, 23rd January, could very well bring the most radical overhaul for the multiplayer pirate adventure since its launch back in 2018. Behold the advent of fast-travel!
As per Rare’s latest video update, Sea of Thieves’ Season 11 makes sweeping changes to the way voyages are accessed and activated. Previously, voyages – essentially self-contained quests directing players to specific themed activities, if you’re familiar – could only be purchased from trading company representatives at one of the game’s starting outposts. That meant a whole lot of time spent engaged in often wholly uneventful sailing as you traversed back and forth across the map to pick up new voyages, drop off loot, and so on.
From Season 11 onward, however, all voyages will be immediately available at any time from the updated Quest Table on your ship. Here, you’ll get on-demand access to trading company voyages (ranked by length), Tall Tales, and more, meaning you can dive straight into any voyage type you fancy without first needing to take a lengthy trip back to an outpost to buy it.
And when I say “dive”, I mean it literally; in a hugely surprising move, Rare is introducing the equivalent of fast-travel to Sea of Thieves, potentially cutting out sailing time almost completely. Once you’ve selected a voyage via the Quest Table, you can either opt to hoist anchor and travel the old fashion way or to immediately sink beneath the waves, popping up right next to your destination.
Rare isn’t jettisoning the “sea” bit of Sea of Thieves completely though (which is probably just as well given you’d only have an “of” left after last month’s private servers already made it possible to entirely ignore the “thieves” bit); any loot onboard your ship will immediately be lost when a dive is initiated, floating to the ocean’s surface, meaning you’ll still need to first drop it off at an outpost to claim your full reward. There is some concession here for the new faster style of play, however: players will earn a small amount of reputation whenever a quest is complete without needing to return to a trading company representative – meaning you can dive again immediately or simply log out without totally forfeiting a reward.
Additionally, alongside trading company voyages, all world events – which include the likes of Ashen Lord fights, Sunken Kingdom treasury raids, sea forts, and ghost ship battles – will also be immediately accessible via a new Raid Voyage category on the Quest Table. Available event types will slowly unlock as you progress through the ranks, and all on-demand world events will reward treasure specific to their associated trading companies.
As Rare notes, all trading company voyages now reward exclusive company specific treasure – and cashing in this new loot will contribute to unlocking the Cartographer’s Pistol and Blunderbuss. Additionally, emergent loot – such as that found in shipwrecks or via Message in a Bottles voyages – will now take the form of new Kingly treasure, which contributes toward unlocking the Cartographer’s Compass and Eye of Reach on delivery.
And that’s not all; the maximum level for all trading companies has been raised from 75 to 100, with new decorative ship rewards including character plushes, a wooden carriage clock, a spooky mirror, and more. Additionally, there are new ship crests for Captains to unlock through progression, while reaching level 100 in a trading company rewards Distinctions, unlocking rings for your pirates to flaunt on their fingers.
Elsewhere in Season 11, there’s a new Discover tab available via the Quest Table that’ll highlight activities relating to your current progression, as well as recently unlocked voyages and active time-limited events. Rare has even added brand-new tutorials for each of the trading companies – which does, perhaps, suggest it might be anticipating an influx of new players needing guidance soon. Could recent reports that Sea of Thieves is coming to PlayStation and Switch in the not-too-distant future be true?
Season 11 – which also brings 100 new levels of seasonal progression and associated rewards, a new paid Plunder Pass, new earnables for Emissaries, the new Maestro clothing set at outposts, and various additions to the premium Pirate Emporium cosmetics store – launches for Xbox and PC next Tuesday, 23rd January, if you fancy diving in.