Yarrghh mateys, buckle in for a major Sea of Thieves update!

Sea of Thieves was announced at E3 2015, propelling a resurgent Rare back into the limelight. Rare, of course, worked on such pivotal titles as Goldeneye, the original Killer Instinct, and Donkey Kong Country. Since joining Microsoft Studios, the company spent a lot of their time building casual games for Kinect, but many of the studio's older fans yearned for something grander. That something will be Sea of Thieves.

Today's announcements detail how questing works in Sea of Thieves' huge and connected multiplayer world, ahead of an upcoming closed Technical Alpha tests set for December 16th.

It doesn't look like there will be Krakens in this build...

The video trailer below for the Technical Alpha test details what players will experience in this iteration of the game. Budding pirates will be given a treasure map, a compass, and other tools to help them plot a course to one of the test's islands.

Players will have to compare their map to the wider area map located in the bowels of your ship, which provides a larger overview of local islands and ports, as well as your ship's current position. Comparing the shapes of your map to the islands available on the ship's navigation table gives players the opportunity to work together to discover the location of the Technical Alpha's treasure.

There won't be any quest arrows guiding you to the exact location of the treasure, thankfully. Similarly to the treasure maps in Assassin's Creed 4, players will have to compare their maps to local landmarks to find the correct dig spot.

As a connected world game, naturally, players outside of your crew will be able to steal the treasure from you, either by sneaking on your ship or by force. Players will have to guard their treasure carefully, making sure to hide it deep within their ship. If you survive the ordeal, you'll be able to cash the treasure into a vendor at a friendly port.

The Technical Alpha has mechanisms to revive players from death. Mermaids will recover lost ships, and the ghostly captain of the Ferry of the Damned will revive deceased players. Both scenarios seem highly likely to occur, given the dangerous swashbuckling weapons and first-person flintlock pistol duels shown off in the trailer.

Sea of Thieves clearly has utterly immense potential on Xbox One, delivering us the connected RPG Fable Legends sadly failed to be. If you're interested in participating in the game's Technical Alpha tests starting December 16th, head to the link below to become a Sea of Thieves Insider. Yarrghhh!