[Dev Blog] End Game Update

December End Game Update

Based on feedback on the High Water Mark (HWM) system and our desire to have a compelling and diverse end game, we are making some major updates in our December 1.2 patch.

Our goal for the end game is to provide a variety of activities that all provide compelling rewards and interesting challenges. In this article, I’ll discuss 3 big changes we’ll be making – improving our end game gear progression, increasing rewards for some end game activities, and tuning difficulty of end game content.

Expertise & Gypsum System

Since New World's launch, we've heard the feedback from our community that the HWM system was not communicated effectively, promotes a single monotonous activity, had too much randomness, and was a bit too grindy. So, we are completely revamping the system to address these concerns. This new and improved HWM system is called **Expertise**.

In the December update, Expertise will govern the highest drops you can get per slot, much like HWM did. But starting in early 2022, it will also govern the effectiveness of your gear. This means if your War Hammer Expertise is 520, and you equip a 550 Gear Score War Hammer, the weapon’s effective Gear Score will be reduced to 520. While we understand to some players this may result in a temporary reduction in power, we believe in the long run this will result in more rewarding progression loop that can’t be bypassed by buying gear off the trading post.

A major improvement provided by Expertise is that a player’s Expertise per slot is displayed on the inventory screen, as well as the average Expertise of all equipped gear. Additionally, each time a player gets an Expertise bump, a level up banner will appear showing their new Expertise Level. Note that the Expertise system unlocks at level 60, so this information will not be shown until then.

The second major improvement we made is adding a way for players to control their gear progression. To achieve this we introduced Gypsum. Gypsum is a new resource that is found by doing a variety of activities. Gypsum can be crafted into Gypsum Orbs, which can then be turned into special caches called Gypsum Casts. Gypsum Casts are gear type specific and when opened guarantee an Expertise bump for that type of gear as well as an item of that type. So if you really want to increase your Bow Expertise, you can craft Gypsum Bow Cast. Players can earn Gypsum by doing 7 different end-game activities:

  • Obsidian Gypsum – defeating level 60+ open world named bosses, typically found in Elite Landmarks
  • Sapphire Gypsum – defeating the final bosses of The Lazarus Instrumentality and Garden of Genesis
  • Ruby Gypsum – found in Outpost Rush Caches
  • Emerald Gypsum – found in Trade Skill Aptitude Reward Containers
  • Citrine Gypsum – found in Arena Caches
  • Amethyst Gypsum – found in Breach Caches
  • Topaz Gypsum – found on hostile creatures Level 55+, but only after consuming a special Attunement Potion that can be crafted at a Tier 5 Camp.

We believe that providing different ways to collect Gypsum will allow players to play a variety of content, while always finding at least a few activities they love to progress in their gear score. Engaging in these activities for 30-60 minutes a day will earn players enough Gypsum of that type to craft a Gypsum Orb (except for Topaz since the Attunement potion can only be crafted once a week). After players have earned sufficient Gypsum for an Orb, they won’t earn more for 23 hours. Gypsum Orbs can then be crafted into Gypsum Casts of any weapon, armor, or trinket type. Note you can only craft any type of Cast, once per day. Opening a Gypsum Cast will guarantee an Expertise bump and reward players with a random piece of gear of that type with Gear Score equal to the new Expertise level. We’ve introduced a new Kiln crafting station in all end game zones that allows players to craft Gypsum Orbs and the various Gypsum Casts.

Note that we’ve tuned down the general chances of getting an Expertise bump to compensate for the guaranteed bumps that were added with Gypsum. Elite chest odds were reduced a little, but open world named enemies were reduced a lot. But we have increased up the amount your Expertise increases with each bump to make Gypsum Casts and the random bumps feel more valuable.

Reward Improvements

To ensure all our end-game activities provide compelling rewards for the effort and risk involved, we’ve reviewed them and made some adjustments. We will continue to audit our rewards for each activity and make further adjustments as necessary.

For this round we’ve focused on Expeditions. Our goal is that Expeditions are super rewarding experiences, since they require a time-investment to craft an Orb and are challenging content. We’ve made 4 adjustments to make them more rewarding:

  1. Each expedition boss will guarantee a random Expertise bump
  2. We fixed all chests in Lazarus Instrumentality and Garden and Genesis so they have a chance to provide end-game Expertise bumps
  3. Added Item Shards as a guaranteed drop for Expedition Bosses and as a chance to drop from Elite Chests
  4. Added guaranteed Sapphire Gypsum drops for each Expedition Boss

Items Shards are a new crafting ingredient that enables players to craft an item with a specific Attribute Bonus on it while still being able to use a Craft Mod to guarantee a perk. Item shards are guaranteed to drop from Expedition Bosses and have a chance to drop from Elite Chests in Expeditions and Elite Landmarks.

And as discussed above we’ve added Gypsum to a variety of our end game activities. This should make all those activities more rewarding, since they will result in gear progression and one guaranteed good drop from opening the Gypsum Cast. We felt that War and Invasion were already rewarding enough and due to their limited availability wanted to be careful about making them even more rewarding. Arena Bosses also guarantee an additional random Expertise bump, which along with the Citrine Gypsum hopefully make them rewarding activities now.

Difficulty Adjustments

We’ve made several adjustments in the end-game difficulty to compensate for some accidental overtuning we did in the November patch. We improperly set several enemies to a difficulty level above what we intended. With these changes we hope to find a middle ground between the too easy end game content we had pre-November and the overtuned HP sponges we had afterwards (the upcoming December release notes will provide more specifics on those changes). Remember level 66 Elite Landmarks are supposed to be really hard, requiring very optimized gear and consumables. With the changes to Expertise, players can progress their gear in a variety of ways before venturing to those end game areas.

We’ve also modified 2 other Elite Landmarks to become end-game POIs. The Malevolence Elite POI in Edengrove was upleveled to level 66 content and now has 6 Elite chests that can all provide end game Expertise bumps. And the Imperial Palace and North Dynasty Shrine Elite Landmarks in Ebonscale reach were also upleveled to level 66 content and 8 Elite chests were added. Now there will be an end game open world area in each of the end game territories (Ebonscale Reach, Shattered Mountain, Edengrove, and Reekwater).


We’re sorry that the end game experience was not at par with the start of the game and hope these changes start to remedy that. We’re not done yet and will continue to refine, improve, and add to our end game over time. But hopefully these changes will create a better foundation to build off. Everything other than the Expertise’s effectiveness on gear (which will be released early 2022) will be available tomorrow to try out in our PTR. Please let us know your feedback on the Expertise and Gypsum system in the PTR feedback thread.


So crafted gear is going to be dead
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Any Compensation for crafter mains?
December update weak Af not gonna lie
How to give better endgame options to improve HWM other than Myrkgard
So apparently everyone going back to 500gs watermark
Re dev blog : I'm not saying your ideas are bad, but are they appropriate?
༼ づ ಠ_ಠ ༽づ downscaling equipped to watermark of player! Bad, very bad idea ༼ づ ಠ_ಠ ༽づ
Canceling players progression will make people quit
Dec update response
GOOD JOB AGS (but heres the deal) #constructive feedback
Expertise & Gypsum System suggestions and more
Question on progression reset
Expertiese downgrades make me want to quit the game
It will take at least 126k gold +taxes and at least 30 days to grind all slots 500 > 600gs
First priority server merge or tokens
A suggestion for exempting certain gear from the Expertise power reduction
Expertise is not fair decision (Grinders vs Crafters vs Gatherers)
Überarbeitung des Watermark-Systems Dev Blog aus dem Englischen Forum
Status des Spiels
Small improvement for ([Dev Blog] End Game Update)
Könnte sich bitte mal ein Moderator dazu äußern?
1.2 Hidden changes
My two Cents on "December End Game Update"
Will the current HWM reset after patch?
So let me get this straight
The change to WM becoming Expertise is fine... as long as watermarks aren't being reset
Expertise & Gypsum Issues
Überarbeitung des Watermark-Systems Dev Blog aus dem Englischen Forum
Feeling underpowered after patch
Dec update response
[Suggestion] Dungeon Improvements
Trade Skill Aptitude Carry Over?
[Transparency Response] patch 1.2 release
Why do you not value our time AGS?
Question regarding Corrupted Portal Chests and HWM
Players who ignored doing anything about their WM should be thankful
Nice Upcoming Patch!
Expertise harder than you think. Tough to get 7 Gypsum Orbs daily
༼ づ ಠ_ಠ ༽づ Endgame Gear Alturnitive
HWM Should ABSOLUTELY be reset if these changes are going through (they shouldn't)
All this rage over new WM system?
Dec update response
Hypocritical people
How To See Expertise/Watermark Score?
We need an Expertise system breakdown!
Devs - have you considered how the new system interacts with new weapons?
Why do people keep saying you have more ways to earn hwm with new patch
Some better news for Expertise System, maybe?
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Dec update response
If you are 520 GS, that is on you
Patch 1.2: Gypsum Orbs per day?
Attention all expertise ragers
People complaining about 1.2 haven’t understood the changes
Feels like the players that have actually stuck with this game are just being disregarded
Change whatever you want but
Should I buy GS 600 gear if I'm not level 60 yet?
Dec update response
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
December update weak Af not gonna lie
Watermark changes
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Dec update response
High-Water-Mark wird zu: Kompetenz
NW Content Creators Quiet Today
AGS, why did you remove details of watermark scaling from PTR notes?
Dec update response
Dec update response
Dec update response
Emerald Gypsum for Aptitude not dropping
What effects equipment Expertise and how do I affect it
[Dev Blog] End Game Update Part 2 - January Update
Leaving if GS increase goes through
No "guaranteed" expertise bump, and luck is somehow not working
The biggest barrier to New and Returning players
Where's our 600 Expertise?
Dec update response

We’ve seen this question pop up a lot since the post and to clarify, your HWM progression will not be reset and any HWM you had earned will be converted to Expertise. Thanks for your feedback so far!

“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Player WM will NOT be reset
The day I log in and see my jewelry I worked so hard to get nerfed will be the last moment i spend in this game
Progression reset
Überarbeitung des Watermark-Systems Dev Blog aus dem Englischen Forum
Devs please reset HWM to 500 GS
Wird das Watermark auf 500 zurückgesetzt?
Canceling players progression will make people quit
The loud and negative minority needs to be told this ASAP so they calm the f down
Dec update response
Screenshot of AGS support chat confirming the watermark reset to 500
Is the new expertise system going to reset current water mark
Feels like the players that have actually stuck with this game are just being disregarded
Welcome to NERF WORLD
A real kick in the balls
HWM Should ABSOLUTELY be reset if these changes are going through (they shouldn't)
Is that true? About watermark reset
New end game system question
Will the current HWM reset after patch?
Expertise & Gypsum Issues
Damn it, ags, will you answer the question already?
Könnte sich bitte mal ein Moderator dazu äußern?
Überarbeitung des Watermark-Systems Dev Blog aus dem Englischen Forum
Damn it, ags, will you answer the question already?
A breakdown/ Timeline for Expertise changes
Könnte sich bitte mal ein Moderator dazu äußern?
HWM Should ABSOLUTELY be reset if these changes are going through (they shouldn't)
So crafted gear is going to be dead
Watermark and Expertise lvl
Watermark hat sich verringert um 30 punkte
Any official response if WM will be reset with new system? - Sorry to make topic, just woke up
Dec update response
Könnte sich bitte mal ein Moderator dazu äußern?
NW Content Creators Quiet Today
Can devs just say simple yes or no if HWM resets
Dec update response
IS HWM Being Reset?
High-Water-Mark wird zu: Kompetenz
Reset HWM to 500 is that the new content?
Reset HWM to 500 is that the new content?
High-Water-Mark wird zu: Kompetenz
New Expertise for all will be reduced to 500?
Watermark changes
Änderung Watermarksystem
Noob question incoming- Chest runs
Will the Expertise system reset your current HWM?
Expertise reseting Watermark? Fake Screenshot or not?

Thanks for the active discussion and feedback on the system so far. A few questions have come up that may not have been explained as clearly as possible, so here is a brief F.A.Q. with some more details.

Expertise & Gypsum FAQ

When an item’s gear score has its effectiveness reduced to your Expertise level is that permanent or temporary?

  • It’s not a permanent change. The item will retain its inherent Gear Score, and as you increase your expertise the effective Gear Score of the item will increase up to that inherent Gear Score. So you can still buy, craft and use higher Gear Score items, but you just need to grow into them to fully utilize them. Note that all perks and other bonuses will be still be active, though reduced in effectiveness, so those legendary items will still provide nice bumps in power.

How do crafters fit into end game? Will crafting still stay important if there are so many other ways people are able to gain higher gear score?

  • Crafters will still be critical to end game gear. At end game, crafters are the best source of custom GS600 legendries. And with the addition of Timeless Shards they will now have even more control over the outcome of their crafts.

Will you be selling Gypsum in the cash shop?

  • We will not sell Gypsum in the cash shop.

With the new Expertise system, if you craft your own level 600 gear, does that also raise your expertise, or does it have to come from drops?

  • Crafting items does not raise your expertise. However, with the addition of the Trade Skill Aptitude system, crafters will be able to earn Emerald Gypsum as a path to increase their expertise.

Is buying higher GS armor/weapons useless now?

  • No its not useless, but its no longer a way to completely circumvent end game gear progression. You can still buy and use any gear, it will just be temporarily reduced in effectiveness. So you can buy a legendary 600GS item and keep it forever and grow into it. In some ways this will make rarity and the types of perks & bonuses an item has even more important, since those will stay active, though scaled down in effectiveness.

Why do you limit the amount of gypsum players can earn in a single day?

  • One of the goals of these changes is to provide and promote a variety of end game activities as way to increase your Expertise. If there were no limits, players would likely find the optimal activity and just spam that over and over. So we hope this change incentivizes players to try out all the different end game options we have rather than feeling compelled to optimize by grinding the same activity all day.

Can you clarify the “one cast each day”? Does this mean that you can only craft one cast a day regardless of the type of cast?

  • This means you can only craft one of each weapon type per day. i.e. only one Gypsum Bow Cast a day or one Gypsum Fire Staff Cast a day. But you could theoretically craft as many as 20 Gypsum Casts in a day (3 jewelry, 5 armor, 12 weapons) if you had that many Gypsum Orbs. Note though you will only be able to earn enough gypsum to craft a maximum of 7 Gypsum Orbs a day.

Why do we need to craft a Gypsum Orb before a Gypsum Cast?

  • This extra step is to limit the number of Cast types you can craft per day. You can only create 1 Gypsum Bow Cast or any other item type per day.

In the past you couldn’t grind your high watermak jewelry which means everyone will be behind there right?

  • People will be a bit behind on their jewelry Expertise. But in December we have added a number of jewelry items to the drop tables, so players will be able to catch up both through Gypsum and random Expertise bumps.

Thank you for your participation and feedback about the Gypsum system! We hear you on the coin cost associated with crafting Gypsum Orbs and Casts, and because of your feedback, we will dramatically lower the coin costs before the feature hits the live game.


Thank you all for your continued feedback on the Expertise and Gypsum System. Whenever possible, we want to share upcoming changes and discuss them with you, so we can build a better game together. Your feedback on this system has greatly improved the direction, so thank you again!

Before diving in, I want to be clear that we are dedicated to not reducing the power of players in the world (other than cases addressing bugs and imbalance problems). The rest of this post details how we are achieving that while retaining the benefits of the Expertise and Gypsum system.

The BIG change

In early 2022, when we start reducing the effectiveness of gear to your Expertise level, we will exempt the following items:

  • Any item you craft
  • Any item you earn from a quest
  • Any item you purchase from the faction shop

When these changes are implemented, Gear Score scaling will only apply to items sold or traded after that patch. So any items obtained prior to this patch will not be impacted or reduced in any way. When we thought about it more, reducing power for existing players is just unacceptable and something we will not do. We initially thought it being only temporary and giving a new path with to gain back that power with Gypsum would be acceptable, but it is now clear we were wrong.

This updated system will also give players alternative ways to equip themselves if they don’t want to engage in the Expertise system. Crafting especially will gain even more importance in New World, since any item you craft will be usable at that Gear Score regardless of Expertise. Quest and faction shop items will be other alternatives to good gear, and both are things we can continue to introduce more of in the future.

We acknowledge this change will create a difference between the way the game worked before this change and after. We recognize that some players who haven’t hit 60 yet and acquired their gear may feel like the game got harder for them. Hopefully this is offset with the addition of Gypsum as a new avenue that previous players didn’t have.

In addition, when we implement the Gear Score scaling, we will now only reduce the effectiveness to the middle of your Expertise and the item’s gear score. So if your Musket Expertise is 520 and you buy a 600 GS Musket off the market, your effective GS will be 560. This combined with the getting to use all perks, should create good value in the marketplace for future users.

December tuning and balance adjustments

Also based on the PTR feedback from playing with the Expertise and Gypsum system we are going to make a number of tuning and balance adjustments to the system. Please keep in mind these have not be tested so consider them directional examples of the changes we are planning for December:

  1. Reduce the cost of crafting a Gypsum Orb to 2.5 coin from 100, and Gypsum Cast to 5 coin from 475. We decided there was no need to add another coin expense for our level 60 players, but kept a minimal amount so end game territory owners can earn a little more tax income.
  2. Change Topaz Gypsum to daily instead of weekly, and reduce crafting ingredients to make it less difficult to craft
  3. Change Gypsum earn cooldown timers from 22hrs to 18hrs just to give a little more leeway to people’s play schedules. In the future we want to build a global cooldown system to make it easy to coordinate this and other daily activities like crafting and faction missions, but that is a lower priority than server merges and other critical fixes, so this will not happen in the short to medium term
  4. Adjust the way Expertise bumps work so there is a minimum, as well as a maximum. Currently there is no minimum, which can result in a few bad rolls at the start really demoralizing players. This will also decrease the average bumps needed to get from min to max Expertise. Our goal is to average around 35.
  5. Move Gypsum rewards from cache to event. A few activities such as Outpost Rush, Corrupted Breaches, Arenas, and Aptitude granted Gypsum in the cache in the PTR. This leads to hoarding and uncertainty if using a cache now is safe. This change should resolve both of those concerns.

Thanks again for your feedback. One of the benefits of sharing our plans prior to final implementation is hearing your sentiment and then adjusting or designs accordingly.


Perfect "Expertise" Compromise. This needs attention. From US and AGS
Thank you for listening!
If you think crafting is being nerfed, you're wrong
Player crafts all their own gear to avoid the HWM grind, gets shafted by Expertise system
So am i wasting my time?
This is good news
Yet another expertise disappointment thread
Hypocritical people
Überarbeitung des Watermark-Systems Dev Blog aus dem Englischen Forum
So gathers screwed by "compromise"
Poll: Will you quit if Expertise lowers your GS
Expertise after update?
You tried to make Hard core players happier and the Game died
Könnte sich bitte mal ein Moderator dazu äußern?
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Comments from a crafter
Light at the end of the tunnel, Thank you AGS
AGS - Developers or Pushovers?
So is everyone feeling good different this morning?
"Crafter only sit in town and get BIS item" + "Skipping progression"
Ok we can work with that
The Endgame #3 Feedback is a massive win and shows AGS is learning
Using Gypsum on 590 slot didn't increase expertise, no message either, but got 594 item
:heartpulse: Thank you AGS! Gear Score scaling will only apply to items acquired after the patch!
Gypsum system not inclusive to all players, consider these changes
How Expertise will fix the game and remove the cry babies
Kompetenzwert selbercraften
Crafting/expertise system in Jan roadmap
Gypsum reset timer
Kometenz nach Gips Öffnung geht nicht hoch
Leaving if GS increase goes through
What will happen to OPR Chest?
Crafting and expertise question
AGS, thanks for hearing us on Expertise
Easy win for NW Developers, available... just one more step
Eines habe ich an World of Warcraft immer gehasst
Perfect "Expertise" Compromise. This needs attention. From US and AGS
Please do not allow 'expertise' to lower a gear's effectiveness (EDIT, AGS heard us, thank you!)
DEVs, Thank you for listening!
Dec update response
HEY! AGS! ..... Thanks
Änderung Watermarksystem
AGS - Developers or Pushovers?
Expertise - What if? (Viable solution)
AGS - Developers or Pushovers?
AGS - Developers or Pushovers?
Perfect "Expertise" Compromise. This needs attention. From US and AGS
[Expertise/Watermark] (SOLUTION INSIDE) Ils ne jouent définitivement pas à leur propre jeu
“Gear higher than your watermark will be reduced in power” Get grinding lads
Please do not allow 'expertise' to lower a gear's effectiveness (EDIT, AGS heard us, thank you!)
Please do not allow 'expertise' to lower a gear's effectiveness (EDIT, AGS heard us, thank you!)
Please do not allow 'expertise' to lower a gear's effectiveness (EDIT, AGS heard us, thank you!)
How Expertise will fix the game and remove the cry babies
New Expertise didn't take over my Watermark
Dec. update and gypsum in caches/containers: be sure to read the ENTIRE website to know how this will work
Expertise seems stuck at 500
AGS lied to us, Topaz gypsum cd duration
Tell me this is a joke
About Gypsum and new HWS system

Now that the Expertise system is live, I’ve gotten a few questions from players asking why their Expertise is only 590, when they know they’ve gotten drops higher than 590. The reason is Expertise is currently capped at 590. When you hit that cap, anytime you get a bump drop or open a Gypsum Cast, you get an item which is guaranteed to be in the 590 – 600 range. This makes getting those 600 rolls more special and valuable.

Note in this release there is no scaling of Gear Score, so that 590 Expertise cap in no way negatively affects any gear, even 600 items. When scaling is added to the system, there will be ways to raise your Expertise cap. More details on that coming soon…