Sea of Thieves is changing in the new year, with the game’s usual update schedule going away in favor of seasons. On Monday, the official Sea of Thieves Twitter account posted a lore teaser that sets up a new kind of mission in-game … and hints at the possible arrival of a longtime lore enemy that could really shake the seas up.
The note is written to Larinna, the representative of the Bilge Rats, the faction which gives out limited-time quests and explains events to players. The Merchant Alliance is in “grave danger,” Chief Trader Mollie warns, with their ships going missing upon the seas. Mollie asks if “The Grand Maritime Union [has] some part to play in these catastrophes.”
The Grand Maritime Union is Sea of Thieves’ in-game equivalent to the East India Company and other massive trade corporations set up by England as it colonized huge swathes of the world. The Sea of Thieves comics explain that the entire Grand Maritime Union fleet cannot enter the game world due to the fog that shrouds the Sea of Thieves from everyone else. However, if they did show up, it’s pretty clear they wouldn’t respect the pirate companies and our antics, so they would be a major antagonist. Now that pirates have battled the forces of Lord Flameheart, Rare could be setting up a new big bad.
Players will be able to explore these mysteries with the new mission type for the Merchant Alliance. We’ll take the role of detectives hunting down lost shipments around the world. This new mission type will launch with season one. Rare intends to debut more details on the seasons and their format in the coming days, including how long each season will last, and the exact rewards players can earn from the Plunder Pass.