After our hi-jinks in the closed beta the TiX team will once again be sailing the seven seas, getting eaten by sharks and probably getting our galleon stuck in a rock formation again. Yes, Sea Of Thieves is (kind of) available to play again this weekend in the Sea Of Thieves Scale Test.
Executive Producer Joe Neate has detailed just why the scale test is taking place and what to expect should you take part this weekend. As usual, I need to remind those angry internet people that this is not a representation of the quality of the final release, as these tests are there to ensure that on the day of release the game has minimal issues.
“One of our key goals was learning about what would happen when we hit a high number of players. We wanted to find out if there were any bottlenecks and if any of our messaging services had challenges processing the amount of data. The response to the Closed Beta was humbling, where we saw increasing number of players every single day and saw more players login than we’ve ever seen before.
Due to the amount of people who turned up to play, we learned so much about our services and capabilities. Some of these we could address on the fly, some of them we could attribute to plans we already had to do before launch, and some identified completely new areas to work on, so these have been added to our list to address for launch. If there were times where you couldn’t start the game, or sell items at outposts, this was where the biggest bottleneck of data was seen, and it’s where our areas of focus are now.
Since the Closed Beta, our services team have been assessing their plans for launch to ensure the game stands up to the amount of interest we’re expecting to see. As a result of the Closed Beta, we are planning on running a couple of Scale Tests between now and launch, with the first of these beginning on Friday, February 16th at 10am GMT (2am PST) and ending on Sunday, February 18th at 10am GMT (2am PST).
The goal of this is to test a lot of the work we’ve done since the Closed Beta, and to try and hit a higher concurrent players number than we’ve ever seen before.
With this added scale we expect – and plan – to see issues, that we can learn from and address. Not only are we looking to hit scale, we will also purposefully be stressing our services by throttling performance at certain times, testing the game in different data centers around the world, and simulating deliberate outages.
Some examples of the issues we expect to see are, sessions being interrupted, an inability to join the game at certain times during the weekend and Issues when using shops in-game.”
Joe also pointed out that there be a similar feature set to the Closed Beta, again restricted to the Gold Hoarders trading company & accompanying Voyages. He also hinted at a further stress test and another beta, maybe an open one this time, which will include more features that will be present in the final game.