Microsoft and Rare's highly anticipated Sea of Thieves will be playable once again this weekend, as the developer will be running the first of a couple "scale tests" a little more than a month before launch.
This scale test's goal is to try out the work that has been done on the game since the popular beta ended in January. Rare hopes to stress its services by trying to hit a higher concurrent player number to test out its capabilities.
"With this added scale we expect—and plan—to see issues, that we can learn from and address," Rare said. "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.
The developer says to expect sessions being interrupted, inability to join the game at certain times throughout the weekend, and issues when using shops in-game. It's all part of the plan to make sure the game's launch goes smoothly.
The test will be available to all those who had access to the closed beta, as well as Xbox Insiders. Preordering the game gave players access in January, and this test will feature largely the same kind of gameplay.
Rare also said it plans to run another beta closer to the launch of the game "where players will get a taste of the wider Sea of Thieves experience," but the focus right now is on testing.
The scale test will run from Friday, Feb. 16 at 4am CT to Feb. 18 at 4am CT. Sea of Thieves releases on Xbox One and Windows 10 on March 20.