Yarggh! Sea of Thieves’ Executive Producer Joe “Three Sheet” Neate posted the news that Sea of Thieves will be playable this weekend as part of a “scale test." Xbox Insiders and players who had access to the Closed Beta will be able to set sail starting Friday, February 16 at 2 AM PST and will have to head back to port on Sunday, February 18 at 2 AM PST.
Check out Joe’s full blog post for more information about the Sea of Thieves Scale Test, you land lubbers!
Firstly, thanks to everyone that turned up to play during the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta. We learned an invaluable amount of information, which has fed back into the game’s development.
We wanted to give an update on our plans leading to launch.
Closed Beta learnings
One of our key goals was learning about what would happen when we hit a high number of players. We wanted to find out if there were any bottlenecks and if any of our messaging services had challenges processing the amount of data.
The response to the Closed Beta was humbling, where we saw increasing number of players every single day and saw more players login than we’ve ever seen before.
Due to the amount of people who turned up to play, we learned so much about our services and capabilities. Some of these we could address on the fly, some of them we could attribute to plans we already had to do before launch, and some identified completely new areas to work on, so these have been added to our list to address for launch. If there were times where you couldn’t start the game, or sell items at outposts, this was where the biggest bottleneck of data was seen, and it’s where our areas of focus are now.
Since the Closed Beta, our services team have been assessing their plans for launch to ensure the game stands up to the amount of interest we’re expecting to see. As a result of the Closed Beta, we are planning on running a couple of Scale Tests between now and launch, with the first of these beginning on Friday, February 16th at 10am GMT (2am PST) and ending on Sunday, February 18th at 10am GMT (2am PST).
The goal of this is to test a lot of the work we’ve done since the Closed Beta, and to try and hit a higher concurrent players number than we’ve ever seen before.
What to Expect
With this added scale we expect – and plan – to see issues, that we can learn from and address. Not only are we looking to hit scale, we will also purposefully be stressing our services by throttling performance at certain times, testing the game in different data centers around the world, and simulating deliberate outages.
Some examples of the issues we expect to see are:
· Sessions being interrupted
· An inability to join the game at certain times during the weekend
· Issues when using shops in-game
Who can take part in the Scale Test?
The scale test is open to Xbox Insiders and those who had access to the Closed Beta. If you are an Xbox Insider and want to take part, you can navigate to the Insider Hub on your dash, and install the Sea of Thieves Scale Test build.
What features are in this?
This will purposefully be a similar feature set to the Closed Beta, again restricted to the Gold Hoarders trading company & accompanying Voyages. The purpose of this test is to drive scale and test issues at a high scale of player concurrency. We will not be seeking feedback on the game experience itself.
Will there be another Beta?
We do plan on running another beta closer to the launch of the game, where players will get a taste of the wider Sea of Thieves experience, but for now our focus is on our scale testing plans. We will have more to share on that as we get closer to launch.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Closed Beta, and for your continued help as we head towards launch!
We can’t wait to get back to plundering for that booty this weekend. Between this and the Free Overwatch weekend, Shackers should have their hands full. If You Don’t Like Sea of Thieves, You Don’t Like Video Games. Check out our hands-on impressions of the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta.