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Sea of Thieves starts open beta, adds Merchant Alliance and no NDAs

Rare
Animated character being attacked by several sharks
Sea Of Thieves

Rare's upcoming swashbuckling adventure Sea of Thieves has left the door open for all who want to take this Microsoft exclusive out for a spin. The offer is live as we speak and you may want to hurry, because it lasts only a few days.

Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate broke the news in the latest developer update, where he broke down what to expect from the game at this stage.

So, Rare's opening up the floodgates to everyone and their dogs, hoping to get a realistic picture of how Sea of Thieves fares when overloaded with traffic.

RareAnimated character being attacked by several sharksSea Of Thieves

Having said that, this is not Rare doing stress testing - it's an open beta. This means there will be no intentional server throttling or anything like that, but there are bound to be some issues with a sudden increase in Sea of Thieves population. 

Neate pointed out that the devs added the Merchant Alliance, as a second in game faction, and threw in Skeleton Forts as well. Just to refresh your memory, they'll be visible from miles away across the seas of Sea of Thieves, attracting anyone and everyone to your loot. I dare you to repeat "the seas of Sea of Thieves" five times. 

RareAnimated character being attacked by several sharksRare: Sea of Thieves

He said any persistent problems should be reported to the Sea of Thieves developers via pretty much any social channels. Neate added that they're very serious about monitoring the pulse of the community, so as to ensure Sea of Thieves turns out as great as possible.

Thankfully there will be no dreaded non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and we'll be seeing plenty of Sea of Thieves fan videos as we draw closer to the launch, which is slated for 20 March 2018.