It has been a wild ride over the last month for Amazon’s new massive multiplayer title, New World. Due to COVID, we have seen a plethora of studios pushing back releases. The gaming communities have desperately been needing a new MMO type to sweep the industry, and everyone believed New World could be the game for 2020 until the delay. There are plenty of possible titles to take the mantle of the “WOW Killer” in 2021 with the New World delay, but we will save that discussion for another day. The TNC/VIVID crew has the opportunity to sink in some crazy hours into the New World Alpha and Beta, and this is what we had to say…
Adam – I have put in 30 hours for the New World Preview and throughout those 30 hours, I would say I have enjoyed roughly 80% of my time playing the game. Within this segment, I’ll be mentioning why only 80% and what Amazon could do to try and make the game better.
When I first started the game I thoroughly enjoyed it up until I hit level 10 or so and realized that the questing in the game is terrible – SSDD – and all they have you do is go to one area kill “amount” of creatures and gather “amount” of loot or search “amount” of chests. Once I noticed there was no story, no cutscenes, and no variety to questing my opinion quickly changed and I became bored with the game. In my opinion, a good MMORPG will have a story to follow with exciting cutscenes. This is something that draws me into games such as WoW or LOTRO.
A friend of mine was enjoying the crafting part of the game though and told me to give it a try and it might help bring me back into the game, and they were right! The crafting in the game is insane. It is very well broken down into a variety of gathering and crafting offering a surplus of new things to do from crafting yourself armor and weapons to crafting furniture for your house. I mainly worked on crafting tools for gathering and cooking food while my other friends divided and conquered the other crafting options such as weaponsmithing and jewelry crafting. I have no complaints at all or recommendations for crafting and gathering since it’s honestly unique and enjoyable.
This now leads me to the personal housing aspect of the game. This isn’t a new concept with MMORPG’s, but I would say that this game has done a fairly good job with the housing. You can own more than one house with each one costing more to purchase than the previous and you have to pay rent weekly to maintain the house. Houses are also not just a single purchase and then it’s no longer available for others. Anyone can purchase the same house since it has a separate loading area. You can decorate it any way you would like with a variety of furniture that you can craft and possibly obtain later through drops or questing such as trophies for killing an Event Boss. The benefit of owning a house is extra storage in the town that you own it and you can also fast travel to your house from anywhere in the world, but it does have a three-hour cooldown.
Travel within the game is a hit or miss, to be honest. There are no mounts and fast travel has some downfalls to it. The map is honestly really big for a new game and traveling the terrain isn’t always the easiest thing due to a multitude of creatures willing to attack you no matter what the level gap is and lots of obstacles such as lakes since you can’t swim in the game and mountains that aren’t very climbable half the time. At first, I wished there was a mount system since going from one town to another took roughly 15 minutes of just running around, but then I realized that it’s kinda nice not having a mount because it made me pay more attention to the surroundings and how truly beautiful the game’s scenery is. As for fast travel, you can do it to your house which has a three-hour cooldown and you can do it to your “Inn” which is your hometown that you can declare and change at any time which has a one-hour cooldown. There is also a resource called “Azoth” which allows you to fast travel to any town you have visited before with no cooldown, but you must already be in a town to do this and cannot do it from anywhere in the game.
The PvP in the game has potential which is odd for me to say since I’m not much of a PvP type of person. There are wars and invasions in the game where it is 50v50 combat between two factions to gain control or maintain control over a territory. I sadly did not get to experience this and that is part of the problem with the PvP among other issues. The wars are scheduled which is acceptable and you have to sign up for them in advance. My issue with that is the time that these wars occur. They typically seemed to occur between 3 pm and 5 pm CST which is a bit of an issue for the majority of people. People who have jobs will find it difficult to enjoy this aspect of the game since most full-time jobs will have you working morning shifts until 3-4 pm CST and night time shifts will have you working through the whole experience. This is also a little bit difficult for people who are in school to try and participate in since most higher levels of schooling don’t release the students until 3 pm CST. Besides wars, there is casual PvP where you can turn on PvP mode while in a town and once you exit the town you can engage in combat. There are no rewards worth turning PvP on. You receive an extra 10% experience while PvP tagged which is something but killing someone grants you nothing and dying just degrades your gear and sends you back to town. You don’t gain anyone’s loot nor do you gain a high amount of experience. The combat is also pretty rough right now.
The combat needs a lot of work. It’s fairly clunky for melee, yet melee is also the strongest form of combat for PvP. The hammer is absolute trash and everyone should stay away from working on it. The ax and sword on the other hand are insane. The sword provides the user with constant crown control with slowing effects and knockdowns that leaves your opponent unable to escape while the ax provides high damage. The bow is very strong for PvE and definitely, most people tend to go towards this combat style since it’s skill-based and enjoyable to use. The musket is a weird weapon. It provides high damage with a high penalty for missing. Reloading takes a long time and you can barely walk while doing it. The abilities with the musket aren’t very useful either for PvE or PvP. The magic is where the game truly needs some attention. The fire staff is fairly good for PvE and is supposedly needed for wars due to the AoE effects. My complaint with magic is the life staff. Its damage specialization isn’t good by any means and the healing specialization is extremely tough to use. The healing is primarily AoE which is a bit of an issue since the reach for the heal isn’t that far and the game requires players to constantly be dodging and rolling out of harm’s way which tends to have the player roll out of the heal and now be doomed to running around until the healer’s abilities are off cooldown.
World Events are honestly so much fun. They pop up out of nowhere and require anywhere from 1-10 players to try and complete them to gain a reward at the end. There are some different ones, but not too much variety in these. They are quick for the most part but grant the traveling player a nice break between travels or questing for a possibly insane reward.
Overall as mentioned at the beginning of this article, I enjoyed playing the game for the most part. It has plenty of work that needs to be done to make it a game that will last for the community. I would recommend trying all aspects of the game before you make a final decision on whether or not you enjoy it and try to play with friends because they definitely will make it more fun for you than playing alone.
Let me start by saying there is a lot to really like about New World. The experience I have had in the game so far has been entirely solo but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The game is already incredibly stable, game world is diverse and includes great detail. The gathering and crafting loop is satisfying and does not feel tedious, and best of all the community was very friendly from my experience. There is nothing that turns me off from an MMO that has a lot of depth to it more than a community that is unwelcoming to new players.
With all that said, I am thrilled that they decided to delay the game after playing it’s current state. The crafting system is quite impressive and in-depth but the other parts of the game feel a bit shallow and lacking. There are only: 3 melee weapon types, two ranged weapon types, and two types of staves. For a game that has 300 levels of gathering for each resource type you would think they could have more than just a fire and life staff right?
On top of the lack of weapon variety the weapon trees are similarly lacking depth. Each weapon type has two different trees to spec into (or you can spec into both with you choose) and each tree has just three abilities to unlock. I like having a simplified ability system of having 3 in combat – it’s the reason I enjoy Albion Online’s combat – but unlike Albion, New World does not give you much choice in the three abilities you have in your arsenal.
The three faction system I really enjoy. Having companies (the games equivalent to guilds) also control the territories won in Wars is a good mechanic as well. My only knock against it being that their didn’t feel like much of a purpose to it beside the fact that one company got to control the taxes. Players from all three factions are still able to reside and play the game without penalty in opposing factions territories. In my opinion, if the game is going to lean heavily into faction warfare – which, from the preview, if feels like it is – then there should be consequence for people from opposing factions moving into enemy territory.
In the server we played on the Marauder faction controlled all but one controllable territory. Being a member of the faction, I took some pride in it. However, seeing people from other factions just coexisting in the town I chose as my base of operation, made that feat feel a lot less meaningful. One way to potentially fix that problem is to not allow players to use storage or crafting stations in enemy territory. It will create more meaningful PvP fights and more comradery in each faction.
The PvP combat is an area where the game needs to create a better risk/reward system. In it’s current state you get killed in PvP combat you just spawn at the nearest town and lose durability on your items and the victor gets nothing of substance for their triumph. For myself, I had no interest in flagging for PvP because there was no point in doing so. If they can create a good risk/reward system for that aspect of the game it could create a very fun dynamic in the world.
I don’t want to make it sound like the game is in a bad state or is not fun, because it is very fun and is at a good point in it’s development. The game just lacks substance in some important areas for a game that is going to lean on PvP combat. These extra seven months that Double Helix and Amazon has should provide ample time for them to add some depth the combat and weapons and the faction/PvP systems. It sounds like a tall task, but adding items to the game takes a lot less time than making sure the game is stable. The potential for this game is great, now it’s up to Double Helix and Amazon to capitalize on the solid foundation they have built.
New world to me in bullet points
-Reward for grinding crafting feels fair when compared to lucky drops/enchants (not wasting time by grinding)
-Actions have a fairly quick base speed and get shorter making the grind feel less grindy and more “grab and go” as you pass resources
-Combat feels slightly unbalanced with the close range classes having best pvp damage and defense (bow/magic draw/cast time is too long imo)
-Combat PVE feels great. Hitting headshots is rewarding both in damage and visials. Very hard to swarm an enemy as your team blocks you.
-Large map with distinct different biomes and areas make you feel like you’re actually traveling.
-Party / loot / crafting / factions / housing / econ seems fair and balanced. The trading posts I feel like it’s very hard to get something to sell and know it’s value.
-Game runs smooth at any settings. I preferred high instead of ultra because the deep shadows i’m not used to but it looks great on all settings and runs 60+ fps on ultra with my mid-high tier pc TLDR; Game runs well, feels good, and doesn’t feel draining after 10hrs of straight gameplay. PVP combat and low level camping needs tweaking but I’m excited to grind this game when it comes out.
Brandon – I have always been a sucker for MMOs, as you all may have heard throughout our time as TNC. Anytime a new MMO drops, I continuously want to get my hands on it to see if it could be my new City of Heroes or Lord of the Rings Online. There is something about a genuine massive multiplayer experience that is truly like no other. There are so many aspects to these games that make them different for each player. You can have your hardcore crafting experiences, your dungeon/raid enthusiasts, or your players who love to get immersed in the social aspect to watch the player-driven world created around them.
New World does an exceptional job so far in the everyday aspects of your typical MMO. There is a little bit of everything for most players. The most impressive part of New World so far is the crafting system. I have played numerous games, and the crafting systems are all very similar to one another, but New World brings a breath of fresh air to crafting. The fact that Amazon was able to bring in such a complex but easy to comprehend the crafting system is so unbelievable!
Outside of the crafting system, I have had a lot of time to mess around with the PVP. As you may have heard on TNC Live Episode 65, we are all a little disappointed with the current PVP situation. There are some glaring issues with the current status of the PVP. The first major issue is there is no level-scaling or any balance of levels. Since there is no level balancing, this means that all levels can engage whatever level, this can create some significant predicaments for the low levels. There were times in the beta where you would see players camping the starting PVP areas to bully players out of PVPing. Which brings us to another issue with PVP, outside of trying to ruin the game for others, there are realistically ZERO rewards for flagging. I would love to see a currency added to the game for PVP kills that could get some “PVP only” gear! There needs to be something done to spice up the PVP.
My final concern for the 2021 full release of Amazon’s New World is the combat. I do believe the current combat system is alright. It is a little boring in my opinion since I come from tab targeting games with endless animations. I am hoping to see additional weapons variations when the game does finally release to bring some more flavor to the combat. I am hoping that Amazon adds dual-wielding daggers/swords/axes, as well as crossbows, a variety of mage staves, and maybe some more guns!
Amazon has done a great job with what we have been able to play so far. Yes, there have been some bugs here and there, but what else do you expect from a Beta? It has been a great adventure over the last month with the 15+ hours I have logged into New World. Make sure to let us know in the comments your thoughts on New World! What have you spent your time doing so far!?
-TNC Penguin (Brandon)
-TNC Nitrodex (Adam)
-TNC Otter (Manny)
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