The tides of Sea of Thieves are turning once again, and next week’s Season 8 promises to be a boon for seasoned pirates, delivering an impressive and comprehensive new “PvP on Demand” system that, among other things, will see ships dive under the waves.
Core to Season 8 is a new faction system, allowing players to enroll in either the Pirate Lord’s Guardians of Fortune or Flameheart’s Servants of the Flameheart using the new Destiny’s Hourglass found on each captain’s table. vessel.
Once active, players can either represent their faction simply by taking on opposing crews they spot in the world, or they can use the war map to immediately begin matchmaking to find an equally qualified opposing crew. It’s even possible to fight crews outnumbering your own if you’re feeling particularly confident in your PvP abilities.
With a match found, it’s time to get wet, with ships plunging beneath the waves for a quick underwater journey across the map before finally reappearing with their opponent in sight. The ensuing skirmish is limited to a designated battle circle – leaving it will eventually lose the encounter – in order to keep things quick.
Each success adds more gold value to your hourglass, which can then be claimed after voting to leave the battle at an outpost. These rewards can be further increased based on how much treasure you carry when sinking your enemies, and even more while playing as an Emissary.
Victory also rewards Allegiance, increasing your level in the chosen faction – and winning multiple battles in a row creates an Allegiance Sequence, increasing the amount of Allegiance you earn per success. Additionally, crews that reach a streak of four will appear on the map for all players to see – giving enemies a chance to sink them for increased rewards.
There is a little more than that, as detailed in Rare Season 8 Breakdown, including two new roster categories for captains, with associated cosmetic rewards. But perhaps most exciting are the bonuses players receive when they reach a certain threshold in their faction of choice.
At allegiance level 100 in Guardians of Fortune or Servants of Flame, players unlock access to special faction-specific secret hideouts. These new areas – found in the Tavern of Pirate Legend and under the Reaper’s Lair – are home to a new cast of characters and the ability to unlock two new Pirate Curses.
Those who represent Keepers of Fortune can give their corporeal bodies a more spectral makeover, while Servants of Flame can choose to go entirely skeletal. Both of these skins can be customized, but the latter’s options are particularly appealing, with skeletal players able to shove a few extra skulls over their shoulders if they so choose.
Alongside all of this, Sea of Thieves Season 8 will usher in another 100 tiers of unlockable rewards, with the premium Plunder Pass including 13 additional items, including the Ravenwood ship set and costume.
Season 8 – which arrives on Xbox and PC next Tuesday, November 22 – will also feature the map’s first-ever sprawling port city, with the Golden Sands outpost getting a facelift in the coming weeks following players’ decision to save it from destruction earlier this year.