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Sea of Thieves is one of Microsoft’s biggest upcoming games, and now developer Rare is finally explaining its structure. The online multiplayer pirate sim has pleasantly surprised us with its humor, collaborative interactions, and water physics the last couple of times we’ve seen it, but no one has ever explained to us what our goal is on the high seas. But now, Rare wants players to know that it has thought a lot about that, and it is sharing details about the progression system that will serve as the primary motivator during your time with Sea of Thieves when it launches in 2018 for PC and Xbox One.

“Becoming a Pirate Legend is the core objective of Sea of Thieves, and players can build their legend by accruing reputation for their exploits and adventures,” Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate wrote in a blog post.

Sea of Thieves is an online world similar to games like Destiny. You and your band of ocean criminals will take on missions in an effort to improve your infamy. Those missions will come primarily in the form of interactions with computer-controlled trading companies. These groups all have competing interests, and you can choose which ones you want to help.

“These trading companies offer quests for players to pursue, offering successful brigands reputation and gold as well as improved titles, ranks, and cosmetic items used to represent themselves to friends and foes,” reads Neate’s blog. “As players progress within a trading company, they earn access to more varied and unique quests that promise unforgettable adventures and rewards. Once players build their reputation with each trading company, they will unlock their status as a Pirate Legend.”

Sea of Thieves is still in a closed testing phase. Rare will expand that in 2018 before fully releasing the game for everyone.

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