The Sea of Thieves Developer Update Reveals Duke's Black Market

By Heidi Nicholas, 29 days ago
Joe Neate, the Executive Producer for Sea of Thieves, discusses what to expect in September's update.


Apparently, according to the game's news site, "Duke has been buddying up with the Trading Companies over recent months in order to secure investment for reasons he was keeping close to his chest". Now, the reason is clear — in September, he'll be opening a Black Market shop. This shop is where they'll be "bringing in both new cosmetics" and "introducing variants on...time-limited cosmetics from the past". Neate states that "some people managed to earn" previous "cosmetics that were available for a limited time... but a lot of people...didn't", and so variants of these cosmetics will be brought into the Black Market. "If you didn't manage to get your hands on a certain really cool set of cosmetics, there's going to be a variant of that coming in", he reiterates. Neate emphasises that they "want to make sure that people who earned" those limited cosmetics initially have "got the original, it's still unique to them," and that their sets remain "indicative of the time and effort...that they put in". But they also want to give the people who have "been clamouring for the opportunity" a chance to "to earn something kind of similar that's still really cool." So, to maintain the "exclusivity for the original players that earned" them, these cosmetics coming to Duke's shop are not the same but variants, with "twists".

Players can use a "mixture of doubloons and gold" at Duke's Black Market. Variants of Outpost shop items, i.e. "stuff that's already out there in the shops" which the developers "want to do little spins on", can be bought with gold. The September variants on Outpost items will be different varieties of the Ocean Crawler weapons. Meanwhile, doubloons can be used "for the variants of previously time-limited or exclusive sets" and any "brand new items that are coming in". For example, in September, players can purchase Bone Crusher items exclusive to Duke's shop, and the game's site hints at other updated variants of limited sets which may be shown over the next months. Duke will also sell brand new "items from sets that, until now, have not been possible to fully complete". There'll also be brand new sets entirely, exclusive to his shop. These can all be paid for with doubloons. Nor will these items be gone forever once they expire in Duke's shop each month, but will be brought back to Black Market at some point in the future.

As doubloons will be able to be spent in Duke's Black Market, the team are "removing the cost of the voyages that you can get from Duke". As of September, players will no longer need to spend doubloons on them. Neate notes that due to the fact that players can earn doubloons from Reaper's Chests and the monthly Voyages with Duke, "there's quite a lot of ways to earn doubloons in the world". As a result, they've been looking at the "balancing across the game in terms of what you can spend doubloons on" and limiting "the amount that you can use doubloons to progress." Letters of Recommendation will be limited, so that from September onward, players can only purchase 1 Letter of Recommendation with each trading company per month. These will still cost 30 Doubloons each. As Senior Designer Chris Davies says on the site, until September "you can still purchase as many Letters of Recommendation as you can afford! Or you could save your Doubloons for the Black Market..."

In other Sea of Thieves news, don't forget that tomorrow is the last day you can login to get the free Halo-inspired ship skin set. If you're on the fence about this skin set, have a look at its trailer below:


What do you think? Will you be saving your doubloons for the Black Market or spending them all now on Letters of Recommendation? Let us know in the comments!

We've got the full list of Sea of Thieves achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.

This game was featured in our Best Xbox MMOs Available in 2018 article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!