In preparation for the March 20th release of Sea of Thieves on the Xbox One and on Windows 10 for PC, Rare has been working around the clock on improving testing, updating the gameplay and making sure everything runs smoothly. This includes opening up another test this weekend for Sea of Thieves.
Executive producer Joe Neate recently did a video blog that was published on the Sea of Thieves YouTube channel to talk to the community about the latest upcoming test for the game. Neate explained that, after the last closed beta, Rare was able to collect lots of data on what needed to be fixed and how the network engineers would need to address certain kinds of content to improve playability of the game.
The next phase of development is the scale test, which is entirely based on testing the scale of Rare's network infrastructure for hosting the game. It's all about monitoring how well the servers hold up under pressure and how well it scales to different player instances. The scale test will get underway this Friday on February 16th. Everyone who participated in the most recent closed beta tests will be invited back to take part in the scale tests.
Rare wants to make sure that the networking stability holds up along with how well certain features will hold up under repeated use. The studio won't be adding any new gameplay features to Sea of Thieves at this point in the testing phase. All of the features that were made available during the last closed beta will make a return for the scale tests. Rare doesn't want to focus on expanded gameplay functionality right now, but, instead, the team wants to test how well the features that are there work with more players added to the pool.
Now, don't take it that it will be all lollipops and rainbows. This scale test will have bugs and glitches and Neate expects people to convey those problems to the team so that they can be fixed as soon as possible.
Additionally, Neate mentions that the beta may not be up in its entirety throughout the weekend. There may be times where the team will have to take down the Sea of Thieves beta and work on the game to fix an issue or update an aspect of the game that may have been having problems during the scale testing.
It may seem like this closed beta test is arriving too shortly after the team just conducted one for Sea of Thieves back at the end of January, but with the full launch of the game due out at the end of March, it makes sense that the team is working around the clock in order to get it finished, tested and proper for a full release.