UPDATE 16/5/18 9.44pm: A fix to address the frequent disconnection errors plaguing Sea of Thieves since the deployment of its weekly update yesterday is rolling out now, Rare has announced.
Following yesterday's 1.0.7 patch, pirates began experiencing considerably higher than usual instances of so-called AllmondBeard errors, causing them to be kicked from the game. In response, Rare twice performed emergency server maintenance, eventually removing all three headline features introduced in the update. Unfortunately, AllmondBeard errors persisted.
We've issued a fix to the game which is now gradually decreasing the chance that you will be disconnected from a server - this will take a few hours to fully take effect.— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) May 16, 2018
After a day of investigation, Rare now believes that it may have a solution, and has issued a fix "which is now gradually decreasing the chance that you will be disconnected from a server". It notes that "this will take a few hours to fully take effect". As of result of the update, however, "there will be fewer washed up items appearing on beaches in the game."
As for the features that Rare was forced to temporarily disable yesterday, the developer says that it's still reviewing their return, and will have more information to share tomorrow morning.
UPDATE 16/5/18 1.00am: After a thoroughly eventful patch day, Rare has now temporarily removed all major new features seen in Sea of Thieves' latest 1.0.7 update.
Sea of Thieves' servers all went down for the third time earlier this evening, ready for another bout of unscheduled maintenance. The result is that now, at the time of writing, all three headline features originally delayed from last week and released earlier today have been disabled: that's public and private crew settings, stealth underwater gamertags, and the ability to hand resources to other players.
Due to a high volume of AllmondBeard errors weâ€™ll be scheduling another emergency maintenance window at 16:15 PDT. During this window weâ€™ll temporarily remove the Open/Closed Crews feature as well as the invisible underwater gamer tags. Weâ€™ll post more information as we have it. pic.twitter.com/KBRpYxVLTU— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) May 15, 2018
The Sea of Thieves Twitter feed says that today's features have been temporarily removed "due to a high volume of AllmondBeard errors". AllmondBeard errors, as stated on the game's support page, occur when Xbox Live or Sea of Thieves' services are disrupted or lost.
Rare promises to post more information "as we have it".
UPDATE 15/5/18: Following last week's delay, Sea of Thieves' 1.0.7 update is finally here, introducing the long-awaited public and private crew settings - and, regrettably, a serious issue which required additional server downtime.
As Rare announced in its developer diary last week, 1.0.7 was also due to enable crew members to pass important resources - namely bananas, planks, and cannon balls - between each other, to assist during the game's more frantic moments. Unfortunately, following 1.0.7's deployment earlier today, Rare identified an issue whereby passing items to other players while in the water could potentially cause server crashes.
As a result, the developer announced that it would, as an emergency measure, be shutting down servers for a second time today in order to temporarily remove the new feature. That revision has now been made, and normal service has been resumed.
Rare says that it hopes to restore item sharing "very soon", but, in the meantime, 1.0.7's other features are happily still in tact. That means that players can now set crew sessions as private, invite-only affairs before entering a game (which, interestingly, now means you're able to solo a galleon if you fancy the challenge), and can enjoy a plentiful line-up of other improvements and bug fixes, all of which are detailed in the latest patch notes.
One especially welcome change affects rewards earned through Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls, and Merchant Alliance voyages. Now, you're far more likely to acquire higher-tier chests, skulls, and animal contracts, and far less likely to encounter the likes of those accursed Castaway Chests, as you nudge ever-closer to Pirate Legend status. Oh, and there's this rather swanky new ship cosmetics set, which somehow got left out of update 1.0.6:
For those waiting on news regarding Sea of Thieves' first sizeable content update, known as The Hungering Deep and due later this month, Rare says that the promised trailer and release date announcement are still coming this week.
ORIGINAL STORY 10/5/18: Rare has confirmed that its piratical multiplayer escapade Sea of Thieves will finally be getting its much-requested private crew option next week, after a last-minute delay.
Private crews essentially allow pirates to lock down their vessel so that no random players can be auto-matched into it when not wanted. This should hopefully reduce the regrettably common practice of insta-brigging that occurs when players join a random game, and go some way to combatting the frustrating rise in AFK players - who join a crew to rack up the gold and rep without contributing themselves.
Sea of Thieves' private crew option was originally intended to launch this week (as outlined in Rare's previous video update), but the developer elected to delay the feature earlier today after it identified an issue that would adversely affect PC players.
Private crews will now, as explained in executive producer Joe Neate's latest video update, arrive in a patch next week, alongside a number of other popularly requested features. Gamertags of enemy pirates will, for instance, be made invisible while they're underwater to facilitate a more stealthy form of PvP play, and crew members will be able to pass bananas, cannonballs and the like to each other for a smidgeon of extra co-op interaction.
The update should also add the missing-in-action Imperial Sovereign set ship colours and weapon variants, and make a number of other customisation adjustments, including price reductions on some incorrectly labelled items, and the removal of eight cosmetics retrospectively deemed too similar to others. Gold already spent on these will be reimbursed.
The bigger news, however, concerns Sea of Thieves' highly anticipated The Hungering Deep update - the first significant content update since launch. Currently, we only know that it will introduce a new AI threat, alongside a variety of new items, mechanics, and rewards.
Interestingly though, last week's update sneakily added the wreckage of a ship known as The Killer Whale, alongside a portrait of its shark-tattoo-covered captain, lending credence to speculation that The Hungering Deep might introduce a whale-like creature requiring inter-crew co-operation to defeat. Neate says that a full Hungering Deep trailer will arrive next week, alongside firm word on its May release date, so we should know more then.
Neate also reiterated that Sea of Thieves' regular programme of weekly activities and rewards should begin shortly after The Hungering Deep's launch. Curious pirates can find a few more details on things to come in the Developer Update video above.