Saturday, August 20, 2022

A month of New World - Is it any better?



 I've been playing New World again this past month. I played at launch, got to 60, played for a few weeks, then got bored and quit. Decided to return to the game and see how it has changed. Here are my thoughts.

Table of Contents

  1. Leveling
  2. PvP
  3. PvE
  4. New Weapons
  5. QoL
  6. What is the endgame?
  7. Biggest problems
  8. New Enemies

Leveling

Many people had trouble with the leveling this game initially. Mainly stemming from it just feeling like a bit of a slog, variety, etc. Luckily, they have taken some strives to improve this. The time it takes to level overall (compared to launch) has been reduced quite a bit. They added in more quests. They also increased monster variety in a few areas (such as adding an a whole new enemy faction). The variety is still an issue and can get monotonous at times, it isn't night and day. However, there is a noticeable improvement. Craft leveling has also been reduced in difficulty/complexity. So overall the costs and time it takes to level up crafting has been reduced. I think right now to get 1-60, if you follow the guides, it can take 8-12 hours to do of gameplay.

PvP

PvP is still a big part of the game. They added in arenas where it is 3v3. They also added in a new reward system via PvP tracks. Basically as you do PvP (open world, Wars, Forts, outpost rush, arenas, etc) you get this PvP experience. This levels up tracks and once you reach a checkpoint in the track, you get to choose from a selection of rewards. You "buy" these rewards with something called azoth salt. Which again is gathered via PvP. Basically similar to honor currency in a game like WoW. As you level up these tracks, you also unlock things like more item drops, emotes, titles, etc. Faction balance can still be a bit of a touchy subject. On my server it was pretty balanced with each faction owning the same amount of land as the other. In terms of people flagging for PvP, I'd say the amount of people that I see flagged for PvP (ratio wise) is the same as it was at launch. Not really a huge amount, not none either though.

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?
https://newworldfans.com/articles/pvp-reward-track

PvE

PvE has gotten quite a bit of content itself. Recently we saw the release of a new dungeon. Making it so there are now 4 regular endgame dungeons (Lazarus, Garden, Tempest, and Barnacles). Along with this, they added in Mutators. For comparison, this is similar system to Mythic Dungeons in WoW or the fractal system in Gw2. There are new "difficulty" levels for each dungeon and as you go up in mutator level (up to 10) the rewards get better. They're on a weekly rotation so every week 2 new dungeons become mutated and you can do their harder counterparts. Unlike regular dungeons, all except 2 dungeons can be mutated. Armine and Startstone are the only two expeditions that cannot be mutated. So that means Dynasty Shipyards and The Depths can become mutated. Including the mutated systems, you now have 6 choices for endgame dungeons. Along with this, you of course have the 3 PvE arenas that are still there.

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Another new addition to the PvE is Rafflebones. Which is like a loot goblin Diablo 3. There's a set of locations that he can spawn in the world of varying levels. He will run when you engage him and if you kill him you can get some good loot. They also raised the max gearscore to 625 where the only way you can get that loot is via a new currency called Umbral shards. These are acquired through various endgame methods can can upgrade gear from 600 to 625. You can also use them on items 590-600. So if you get a 590 item that has all the perfect stats and perks, you can keep it and upgrade it via umbral shards. The final thing they did was the removed orb keys. Which has really helped encourage players to play the PvE content. Instead there's a 15 daily limit on the dungeon content (but i believe its been raised recently to 25? Till they can fix a bug). They're still working on getting a group finder out in the future and along with this there is set to be a new zone and possibly another new dungeon releasing later this year. There have also been rumors about raids being worked on that will released next year, but nothing has been confirmed in this realm. The final thing they added was a new profession called Music. With this you can purchase musical instruments, find music sheets in the open world, then play a guitar hero like game to apply buffs to those around you (if they tip you).

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

New Weapons

They added two new weapons into the game. The Blunderbuss and the Void Gauntlet. The blunderbuss is what you'd expect. It's a shotgun with some great AoE capabilities and zone control. It also has a "charge" where you shoot a grappling hook type thing at an enemy and if it hits, you get pulled to the enemy. Its for strength users, giving them a reliable damage option that is gunpowder based. The void gauntlet is interesting. It's a hybrid weapon where it has both DPS and healing capabilities. But more focused on DPS overall. It has quite a selection of debuffs, dots, and heals.

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Quality of Life

There's been quite a few great quality of life changes.

  1. Banks are now "linked" and you can transfer items between any bank in any city for free. So not it doesn't matter where you store your items for the most part
  2. Many new fast travel points have been added throughout the world
  3. Fast travel cost has been heavily reduced
  4. Property taxes have been heavily reduced
  5. Tuning orbs removed
  6. Bows, Blunderbusses, and Muskets have a default infinite ammo. You don't need ammo to be able to use these weapons. However, ammo makes them stronger.

These have all been great in removing some of those barriers of getting people into the game and playing consistently.

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?
r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

All but one city on my server runs taxes like this

The Endgame

Now the big question is what's the point? What is the endgame? The endgame can basically be said to revolve around getting better gear. For those who quit at launch, this was the old watermark system. It has been updated to a new system called Expertise and Gypsum. Expertise works in a similar manner. You've got a gearscore expertise number for each item slot. This determines how "good" the gear you get is or that you have equipped (buying and equipping a gs 600 item from the marketplace when your personal expertise level is say 505 will "nerf" that piece of gear to I think gs 550 until you get that expertise marker up). The gypsum is a method that guarantees expertise upgrades. You can still get expertise upgrades from endgame activity drops such as dungeons or PvP. But the gypsum system gives you a guaranteed upgrade and its this system that you can look at as a sorta of "guide" on what you're supposed to do for endgame. The premise is you get gypsum from content, you craft it into an orb, then you craft that orb into a cast for a specific item slot. This guarantees an expertise upgrade for that slot of 1-5. Each cast is on a daily timer as is the gypsum acquisition. Here are those methods.

  1. Festival activities - By doing certain festival activity, if there is one active, you can get 1 orb per day
  2. Level 55+ Monsters - There's a special potion called the Topaz Gypsum Attunement Potion. This makes it so that for the next 2 hours, any level 55+ monster can drop this gyspum. The potion is crafted at an arcana station. You can't buy the potion. You get 1 orb per day. This is a good method if you just want to farm some open world monsters real quick. You can also easily combine it with any other gypsum activity
  3. PvE arenas - Doing the PvE arenas in the game can get you 2 orbs per day
  4. Expeditions (Dungeons) - Killing the final boss of the "endgame" level 60+ dungeons. So this means killing the final boss of Tempest, Garden, Lazarus, or Barnacles. 2 orbs per day
  5. Profession Leveling - Once you max out a profession (level 200) you can still keep leveling it. These post 200 levels award a type of gypsum when you reach 1 of the 3 markers in a level. This gives you 1 orb per day
  6. Endgame Corruption Breaches - Doing the corruption breaches in the endgame zones will award a gypsum. You can get 1 orb per day via this method.
  7. Completing Outpost Rush - 2 orbs per day
  8. Completing a 3v3 PvP arena - 2 orbs per day
  9. Killing Named level 60+ Bosses - 1 orb per day

So you get a guaranteed 13 gear upgrades of 1-5 expertise a day. Keep in mind that each cast can only be crafted once per day. So you can't upgrade the sword slot 13 times in one day. Once you get to 600 gs, you must start using umbral shards to upgrade your gear. Which gypsum orbs can be converted to.

A recent addition also allows you to craft orbs with infused salvage scraps. When you salvage orange tier items, you have a chance of it being a "perfect" salvage in which you get orange tier salvage scraps. Once you get a few of these, you can also craft them into orbs to make gear casts. These are on separate cooldowns from the above methods.

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Now the most "efficient" way that people level up expertise is just farming dungeons. I think Lazarus is the go to because it is shorter. But overall that's what the endgame revolves around. Another popular thing to do is elite chest runs where they go into certain stronghold areas as a huge 10+ man group and kill everything + loot at the elite chests. Since these are elite chests in endgame areas, they can give gear upgrades. Combine this with topaz attunement, then you can get some gypsum out of it too.

Biggest Problems

The game is not without its issues. It has come a long way and I think its current state is what it should've been at launch. I do find it a much more enjoyable game. That being said, here are things that I think they need to focus on.

  1. Obvious one is more content. Low hanging fruit with this suggestion, but I know I would've gotten comments if I didn't.
  2. Open World Endgame Content - Much of the open world endgame content that can't be solo'd is dead. People just don't see the point in it and its too much work or takes too much time or is too difficult for what you get. As a result seeing players in the open world has become far far less common. Breaches are rarely done in 40+ level areas. There's about 4 endgame elite chest run areas that people do, but beyond that the zones are disappointingly empty. I'd like for them to reapproach this type of content or figure out a way to make it rewarding for solo players. As getting a group to do it has become quite difficult. Another example of this is a level 50 stronghold with an enemy type that is very very hard to solo. And they're all over that area (Scorpius stronghold). The developers put a rare music sheet that only drops in here. Well nobody does this content, so you rarely see the music sheet drop. I spent 30 minutes getting a group of 4 to go in there and do it. With the group finding coming later, I suspect open world populations will drop further. While I know favoring solo players goes against the spirit of a MMO, I'd rather that then it just be dead.
  3. PvP Barrier of Entry - Getting into PvP is very difficult for new or returning players. With how far the general population has progressed in gearscore, on top of GS being raised to 625, you will get stomped. So not only the GS hill you need to climb, but also weapon mastery and general skill level. The combat in new world makes the skill ceiling quite high. Going into an OPR and some guy spamming crouch while being attacked by 4 people and he still wont die. That's not a good impression on players. Could it be gear differences? Yeap. Could it be build related? Yeap. Again I know it against the spirit of MMOs, but I believe they need to normalize gear ONLY in outpost rush and arenas. Keep it as it is for wars and open world. The skill and build requirements are enough of a way to keep things competitive. The amount of people PvPing is also kind of low, especially in OPR. With some OPR queues taking 5-10 minutes. Encouraging people to queue for PvP by removing gear differences I think will help it overall. Also it will help reduce toxicity. I myself joined an OPR and got a string of angry messages in chat from allies who weren't happy that myself and a few others queued for OPR without gs 600.
  4. Remove Fast Travel Costs - the azoth cost to consistent or hardcore players isn't noticeable at all and nobody cares for it. So the only people who end up feeling the "brunt" of this impact are new players or returning players. These are the two categories of players Amazon should be doing all they can to make getting them to stay easy. The azoth fast travel cost only inconveniences them and just pointless overall. Plus removing this cost may get people to be more willing to go out in the open world. Even though people have 1000s of azoth via vials, seeing that "cost" still makes them ask "is it worth it?". I really can only see good things coming from this removal.
  5. Builds - I always stand by that builds that allow players to experience different styles of plays gives them a new way to experience content again. In new world going a different build requires a gold and azoth cost. Similar to #4, I think the inconvenience is misplaced and discourages people from experimenting or trying different playstyles that could be more fun to them. Instead they fall back on the sunken cost fallacy and may not switch out of a build they dislike. So not removing it is an option, but give us build slots where we can store gear, attrib, and skill setups. Easily switch between these build slots in the field.
  6. Satisfaction - I find the expertise system just doesn't feel as satisfying. I'm not saying either method is better or worse in the sense of gear upgrades. I imagine getting max gearscore takes a similar amount of time as getting max ilvl in WoW. But leveling up gearscore and expertise just doesn't feel satisfying at all. It's just a number that appears and you ignore. Its easy to afford some good gs 590+ gear. So you end up ignoring many of the drops you get till 590+. And you don't get any satisfaction of reward for leveling up said expertise. It's just a number that appears that you kinda ignore unless you're poor and can't afford somewhat decent gear. I don't have a solution for this one, just that the "umpf...that feeling of reward is lacking in New World. And why I think some people have trouble sticking with it over long periods of times.
  7. In game explanations. There are so so many systems and content in the game (like the expertise/gypsum system) that just isn't explained super well. The guides at New World Fans was a godsend and helped me understand what the heck any of this stuff means. But yeah they've got a journal section with tips/guides inside the game already. They need to utilize this. So that once a player reaches level 60, they get a pop up that says "Grats on 60, here is how endgame works". You can get lost very easily without guides and a fresh person to the game.
  8. Make the world more interesting. There's some really cool zones here but the way quests are handled and such, the world itself is just...not that interesting. There are some really cool looking zones. Mainly the endgame zones. But there's not a lot being done in the world building area to draw you in. Compared to other games in the MMORPG genre. The way they handled the main story was a missed opportunity. The inquisition sounded like a really cool faction that no longer exists, another missed opportunity. We need more cool factions, cool interactions, cool world building. Things that make the world feel more alive. Instead of just NPCs waiting around to be killed by the player. This game doesn't have an extensive library of lore and foundations to pull from. No RTS games. No singleplayer RPGs. So the world building needs to happen. The player factions are meh and you don't really interact with them outside of the vendor in town, save for a few NPCs quests. We need a silverhand. We need a lightbringer. We need a morag tong or a dark brotherhood. We need to see faction NPCs out there in the world like they actually exist. What if the inquisition still existed? And you saw a few of their NPCs fighting hoards of lost in an area. Or soulwardens fighting corrupted in certain areas. Like a true warzone. You get my point. The world looks amazing, but at times doesn't feel alive.
  9. Archetypes - This game doesn't really do a great job at fulfilling the "class fantasy". Since there aren't really any classes. Looking at the basic spread of DnD archetypes, there's quite a few of them that don't feel like they're represented in the game or not well. Warrior/barbarian, Marksman, mage, and kind of knight. Those are the main ones. There's not really something that "feels" like a paladin or a priest. Life staff is cool, but it just shoots out basically green air. It doesn't feel satisfying to me, for example. So I think that class fantasy satisfaction isn't really there. Which is another thing that keeps players from getting invested into the game.
  10. Armor/Transmog - The armor looks in this game are certainly an acquired taste. There's a lot of armor that looks like you just walked out of a halloween party. Now this isn't an issue unique to New world of course. But I think the game desperately needs a transmog system. There is some really cool looking armor in the game that I really love. But I don't get to look like it because the gear is either low level or just not the right perks. So I end up looking like a clown most of the time, relying upon costumes.

In short, the game has improved a lot. There's a lot more content to do than at launch and more guaranteed ways to get gear upgrades. But the game suffers from player engagement and investment stemming from satisfaction. The satisfaction of gear upgrades, class fantasies, and completing certain endgame content just isn't there. That being said, there are for sure good upgrades coming along the pipeline and I hope the game can keep improving.

Edit: New Enemies

A few people have commented on this, so to help showcase the changes I made this section. The game added in quite a few new enemies to help shake things up. Here are some pictures of them. I'm not sure if this is all of them as there's not a "list" of enemies you can find. But here's a nice gallery so you can know what to expect

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Varangian Knights

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Ancient Guardian Mage

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Swarmmancer

r/MMORPG - A month of New World - Is it any better?

Withered Beetle

Along with those there is also the Lost Shaman, Lost Alligator Pet, a buffed up corrupted laborer, and corrupted villagers have different attack sets now. So this helps increased variety in those areas before endgame zones where most of the variety is.

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