UPDATE 5/9/18: Last week, fans were delighted to receive Sea of Thieves' latest update - partly because it permanently introduced skeleton ships and cursed cannon balls to the game, but mostly because an unexpected glitch inadvertently gave players proud, majestic spyglass wangs.
So far, Rare has been relatively quiet about the unfortunate (but mostly hilarious) incident. However, during an in-game Sea of Thieves developer livestream yesterday, executive producer Joe Neate finally explained just how things had managed to get so lewd.
According to a falteringly straight-faced Neate (who was being dogged by a lime green skeleton player with a telescopic dong at the time, making for two priceless bugs in a single livestream), Rare accidentally overwrote a number of animations for two of Sea of Thieves' eight body sizes when compiling its latest build.
One of these was the animation that plays when pirates hold out an equipped spyglass, resulting in the game thinking that players were actually carrying a treasure chest. "Unfortunately," explained Neate, "the default position for any item that doesn't have an animation tagged to it is basically the pelvis of any skeleton".
When everything combined, affected players attempting to wield the spyglass were rendered with their clenched arms proudly apart, giant telescopic appendages thrusting toward the sky.
Rare has confirmed that the bug will be fixed in Sea of Thieves' next update, scheduled to arrive tomorrow - so enjoy it while you can.
ORIGINAL STORY 30/8/18: Sea of Thieves' latest update has arrived, waving a fond farewell to the recent Cursed Sails event, and ushering in a new limited-time Bilge Rat Adventure, this one focussed around combat using the newly introduced cursed cannonballs. It also includes a heap of other additions, and changes - oh, and has inadvertently given players glorious spyglass dongs.
Getting the dong thing out the way first then, eager pirates returning to the Sea of Thieves earlier today, following the game's weekly maintenance downtime, were somewhat startled to discover that using the spyglass in certain instances could suddenly get a little lewd:
As you'd expect when an enthusiastic community is suddenly given the tools, albeit inadvertently through a glitch, to create majestic dong art, players are having fun:
Rare hasn't yet commented on its suddenly unusually perky player base, but there are plenty more examples over on the official Sea of Thieves' subreddit.
In other, less erotically tinged news, Sea of Thieves' latest update also introduces the new Cursed Crews limited-time Bilge Rat Adventure. This finally gives players access to the hilariously infuriating cursed cannonballs that skeleton crews have been using to terrorise the seas during the last few weeks' Cursed Sails event.
These are a rare item, and can be found by scouring abandoned barrels on your travels. Once acquired, cursed cannonballs can be loaded into your ship's regular cannon and fired at passing crews. Instead of leaving a nasty hole in their hull, however, the new weapons have powerful magical effects: temporarily putting crews to sleep, for instance, or perhaps sealing opponents' resource crates. All of which adds a hint of unpredictability to firefights out on the waves.
The new Bilge Rat Adventure also introduces new commendation challenges built around cursed combat, and players that prove their worth in battle can earn doubloons to purchase special limited-time rewards in the form of three new Bilge Rat titles and the Wailing Barnacle weapons set. This includes a fancy looking Pistol, Eye of Reach, Blunderbuss, and Cutlass.
To complement Sea of Thieves' new PvP tools, Rare has also introduced the Reapers Mark flag. Fly this on your mast, and your position will be revealed to all other players on the server, highlighted on their maps. The general idea is that crews hankering for a fight can summon other willing sorts to their location on the water in order to do fearsome battle - or I suppose you could use it even more nefariously, forming an alliance beforehand and launching an ambush on unsuspecting challengers.
That's still not everything in the latest update, however; Cursed Crews also adds the skeleton ships from Cursed Sails into the world as a permanent AI addition. These still take the form of large-scale sea battles, but will now randomly spawn on the map - you'll know where and when a battle is due to occur by the massive skeleton ship cloud beacon hovering overhead. As before, defeated ships drop valuable goods and gold aplenty.
Continuing down the list, Cursed Crews also makes changes to the way that storage barrels work, and interacting with them now brings up a separate menu, enabling you to juggle multiple resources from a single barrel. This change hasn't gone down especially well with the community so far, however; it's considerably more cumbersome than the previous implementation, and can really slow down the flow of battle - so it'll be interesting to see how Rare chooses to address community feedback.
More positively, crates for bananas, cannonballs, and wood - which were hilariously scarce in the world previously, despite having several commendations linked to them - will now appear much more frequently on islands and in shipwrecks. Additionally, outpost merchants will purchase filled crates for increased monetary rewards. And speaking of money, Rare has confirmed that the shopkeeper discounts available during Cursed Sails are now permanent in-game, meaning that you'll be able to tart up your ship and yourself considerably faster.
Finally, Cursed Crews also sees the return of the kraken, missing-in-action recently due to technical issues concerning the new skeleton ships. These have now been resolved, so you can once again expect the occasional pink-tentacled surprise on your adventures across the ocean. Full patch notes for Sea of Thieves' latest update can be found elsewhere.
And if you're curious to know a little more about features on Sea of Thieves' horizon, Rare has also uploaded a new video (which you can see above) offering a behind-the-scenes look at rowboats, due to arrive as part of the game's next major content update, Forsaken Shores. This, the third of six big content updates planned for 2018 - which also adds a perilous new volcanic biome - launches on PC and Xbox One on September 19th.