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Rare addresses Sea of Thieves' launch issues in new developer video

"We appreciate the patience and support".

Rare has posted a candid new developer video, addressing the various issues that Sea of Thieves players have faced since the game's launch yesterday.

The ten-minute update, presented by studio head Craig Duncan and Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate, highlights the main problems that players have experienced since launch, and attempts to explain why they're occurring and what the studio is doing to tackle them.

Top of the list are the connection issues dogging Sea of Thieves, with many players still struggling to get into a game during peak times. These, says Rare, are predominantly a matter of scale; although Rare attempted to prepare for launch day through its various pre-release scale tests, it says that the "unprecedented" number of players has caught them by surprise.

Server loads are currently three to four times the size of those seen during the final closed beta, with more than one million unique users having logged in since launch and more than 5,000 people attempting to join per minute at peak times.

This is putting particular strain on Sea of Thieves' matchmaking systems, explained Rare, and these issues are being exacerbated by the fact that two matchmaking processes are required to get into a game: one to get a player into a crew and another to get a crew into the world.

As such, Rare says that players might find more success attempting to join an existing in-game crew, as this will at least bypass one of the two required matchmaking steps.

Elsewhere, Rare shared advice for players that aren't receiving quest awards. Rewards, it said, are still being registered, but server loads are causing delays between a server receiving confirmation that a quest is complete and the rewards being returned.

Rare suggests that, in these instances, it's best to simply keep playing - reward alerts will eventually be delivered. Contrary to its earlier advice, the developer does not recommend that players log out and back in to force the server to update, as this will require people to once again go through matchmaking, putting further strain on the system.

For those experiencing delays in receiving achievements, Rare notes that this particular issue occurred when it elected to temporarily prioritise the delivery of gold and commendations through the system. Achievements should start appearing soon.

Finally, some players have reported items going missing on joining a game, and others have experienced performance issues on Xbox One X. Rare says that both these will require a client-side fix, and that it's currently looking at other high-priority issues to determine when the required patch should be released. Early next week currently seems most likely.

Rare says it's constantly working to remedy Sea of Thieves' launch issues, and that those affected should keep an eye on official social media channels for further updates.

"We absolutely thank everyone for playing," the developer concluded, "we appreciate the patience and support. Sea of Thieves is super important to us, a real passion project, and we want to get to a state where everyone has a good time all the time, every time they play".

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Sea of Thieves

Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.