Season 5 is now live for Sea of Thieves players and brings with it the new treasure burying option among other fun things such as rowboats equipped with cannons and helpful rats on ships.
With the season, you are now able to put your shovels to use by burying treasure rather than unearthing it. After you bury it, you can make a map and either hold on to it or pin it to the Quest Board for others to find. Doing the latter will earn you both reputation and bonus Renown.
Be aware though that if you put Map Bundles on the Captain’s Table they can be stolen by other pirates should they sneak aboard your ship. Also, when a ship sinks, Map Bundles will float to the surface like any other item to be collected.
You can bury more than just treasure. Other items such as gunpowder barrels can be put under the earth too to create traps for whoever digs them up.
With the season comes plenty of gameplay improvements along with the addition of fireworks, cannon rowboats, signal flares, and the ability to sit and sleep in more places.
Fireworks can be acquired by purchasing themed Firework Crates from the Merchant Alliance at each Outpost or discovered across the seas. Fireworks produce a range of effects and colors, with over 50 different designs. To use one, just load it into a cannon and it will explode in a display of lights. Just be careful as a "rogue spark" could set a ship ablaze.
With signal flares, these will be found in the ship’s Cannonball Barrels, and when loaded into a cannon, they will launch a bright beacon into the sky to call for aid or signal allies.
Speaking of firing cannons, you can now arm your rowboat with one, and docking a Cannon Rowboat to your ship will provide an additional cannon for those smaller vessels.
You will also find rats on ships when your vessel starts to fill with water. This is a sign that there's trouble below. If you aren't interested in having these helpful rats aboard your ship, the feature can be disabled from the Settings menu.
The season also brings with it six new Dice Rolling emotes, and the ability to find floating treasure easier thanks to circling seagulls that appear after defeating Kraken tentacles or a Megalodon. Transferring resources more quickly between barrels, storage crates and Rowboat chests is now possible, and Skeletons and Phantoms now have a chance to drop ammo pouches upon defeat.
You can also expect improved cannon aiming and island navigation and more and other gameplay improvements.
Another season also means another 100 levels of Renown-based progression, with plenty of rewards to claim and more Trials and Deeds to attempt. There are also new Ledger awards when you grab the latest Plunder Pass.
Events during December will also keep you busy. There's the Festival of Giving December 13-27 complete with Powder and Arms Voyages and Gilded Voyages. There's also the Grogmanay event that takes place December 27 through January 11 which will feature Firework Stash Voyages. You can also expect Twitch drops that will help you earn more Twilight Hunter items.
The Pirate Emporium also has some new items. There's the Royal Revenge Ship collection, Royal Revenge Essential Ship bundle, a Royal Revenge Weapon bundle, the Captain Barbossa costume, an adorable Mutinous Mutt pet, the time-limited Captain Barbossa pet bundle which contains both variants of the Captain Barbossa costume and the Mutinous Mutt pet, Frozen Horizon Equipment, the Sea Dog Weapon Pose and Say Cheese emotes.
There are also these limited-time offers - the Bonechiller costume, Festival of Giving weapons, Festival of Giving Pet Outfits collection, and the freebie Festive Tree Emote.
And finally, there are plenty of fixed issues and some accessibility updates added with the new season. You should really check out the entire list of changes in the patch notes through the official website.