Sea of Thieves fans will have another chance to play the game before its launch, and they should expect choppy waters with the latest build. Rare plans to start its “scale test” beta on the weekend of February 16 - 18 as a way to test the game’s servers prior to the March 20 launch.
This next session won’t introduce new content to the experience, and Rare said that it will use this time to bring in more players and test some changes to game. Even though you’ll get another chance to sail the seas, you will encounter numerous problems during gameplay. This includes interrupted sessions, the inability to join other players, and issues when using shops in an outpost.
However, these are all expected problems for the session. Executive producer Joe Neate wrote that he wants to see these issues arise so the team can learn and address them in a quick and proper manner. Rare will also conduct additional stress tests on the game, such as throttling performance, using different data centers, and simulating outages.
The closed beta session last month allowed access to more players than the studio’s previous alpha tests. This caused numerous problems, chief of which being capacity issues. According to Neate, Rare was able to address some of the beta hiccups immediately. It’s now focused on other obstacles, which Neate said had the “biggest bottleneck of data” during the beta: these were issues related to game startup or an inability to sell your treasures at outposts.
Because Sea of Thieves is an online experience, the final version needs to have a smooth launch. This means that the servers need to function properly even when a large number of players enter the game world. By conducting these tests, Rare should have ample time and data to prepare for the game’s March 20 release date.
Those who participated in the closed beta can also join in on the upcoming stress test weekend. Rare also plans to host another beta session closer to the game’s launch date, which will allow players to “get a test of the wider Sea of Thieves experience.” If you want to learn more about the game, check out impressions from the closed beta.