It’s been a quiet few weeks on the high seas for Rare and Sea of Thieves, but fresh from becoming the strongest first-party launch ever for the Xbox One, they’ve announced a content roadmap that looks to address some of the valid criticisms that have come their way.

Five key goals have been outlined in regards to the upcoming content, which Rare hopes all of its post-launch content will be able to achieve:

  • Bringing players together in interesting ways, encouraging different types of player encounters
  • Enriching the world that players adventure in
  • Giving players new ways to play
  • Giving players a variety of goals and rewards
  • Broadening the journey to Pirate Legend and beyond

In typical Sea of Thieves fashion, the content roadmap is about as vague as they come, complete with vague promises of ‘weekly events’, ‘new mechanics’,  and ‘new threats’. Actual details of what any of these events, mechanics, and threats even are, are sadly non-existent. Hopefully Rare knows what they are at least, although it wouldn’t be surprising if none of it was nailed down just yet.

The first major content update has been dubbed ‘The Hungering Deep. It’s out in May and brings a new AI threat to the world. Crews will have to work together if they hope to take on and defeat this threat in a unique event. A number of new mechanics (see what I mean?) will be introduced to help players take down whatever it may be, as well as new unique rewards.

The Hungering Deep will also tie in with the Sea of Thieves weekly events programme. These will, you guessed it, introduce new mechanics and offered special rewards.

Looking a little further afield, the summer will see the introduction of both Cursed Sails and the Forsaken Shores expansion. Aside from the fantastic names, they do promise to have plenty of goodies. Cursed Sails provides us with our one and only bit of concrete gameplay info - a new ship type. Meanwhile, Forsaken Shores will add a new, presumably more difficult, part of the game world to explore. There will be ‘new gameplay mechanics’, ‘new AI threats’, and ‘new unique rewards’. Stop laughing at the back.

Perhaps crucially, all of this content for Sea of Thieves is going to be totally free, so if you’ve stumped up for a copy of the game then there’s not really going to be anything stopping you heading in and checking it out. The expected Pets and Ship Captaincy features, which were going to tie into Sea of Thieves’ first microtransactions, have been shelved for now, at least until Rare can get the game more content complete.

I’m certainly intrigued to see where all this is going. The core of Sea of Thieves is fantastic, but rarely does a game launch so bereft of actual content. A lot’s going to hinge on regular, exciting updates to keep fans reeled in for the long haul.