In case you were hoping to dive into the Sea of Thieves open beta, then better start sacrificing goats to whatever deity holds patronage over Microsoft's Insider program. The submission from understates the necessary wait greatly.
Microsoft and Rare were more than vocal about treating their customers with respect ever since the NDA was lifted following Sea of Thieves' closed beta phase. Today marks the beginning of the open beta scale test, and the first issues are becoming somewhat hard to ignore.
Submitting a request for open beta access at the time of writing will show that it is only semi-open at this stage. We here at AltChar were already taking part in the closed-beta phase, and had little trouble getting back into the game, but anyone just registering for the beta may not be so lucky. Relate has been having a blast streaming his swashbuckling mishaps all day now.
Submitting a new request via Microsoft's Insider Program for Sea of Thieves will net you a pat on the back and the promise of a confirmation email within minutes. Minutes being hours, and probably even days in this case. There are more reports of similar experiences on Rare's own forums.
And yes, we checked our spam folder, restarted the client more times than we care to admit, and eventually resigned to the fact that Microsoft and Rare now operate on Valve time apparently.
Your luck may vary, but here are the instructions Rare has left for players struggling to get in.
There could be an ocean of reasons for this state of affairs - servers not being ready for a player onslaught, Rare letting people in slowly for data harvesting purposes, or just Microsoft being crap at designing a functional UI and hoping you will get fed up with the Insider Program's waiting line and just pre-order.
Players who previously had access to the closed beta should have no problems setting sail, but they already finished their homework a few weeks ago, have insider access and all the necessary files on their machines. It's the newcomers that are getting the shaft.
Patience may be key here, but then again - so would honesty. If it could take 24 hours to get approved, don't tell us it will just be a few minutes, or potential customers might decide to move their pre-order notions to the spam folder.