I am the governor of the company The Slippery Peacocks on US-Calnogor. Our server was VERY heavily competitive PVP.
I wanted to share my thoughts after having sunk 1400hrs into this game so far.
Crafting - I’m not much of a crafter, but the crafting in this game is fairly deep. I actually don’t mind that the rolls are RNG. It adds content to the game, it makes me want to get things and craft them and when you finally do get that really awesome piece of gear. It feels really good to use it. I liked the addition of timeless shards. I think that was a good move. Rolling gear feels very addicting and it gives companies an extra added advantage of wanting to take territories so they can get their guys the best gear possible with the advantage of that extra income. Windsward on our server makes about 3mil per week currently and Everfall makes between 2-2.5mil per week.
PVP - The combat system in this game has a fantastic foundation. It’s really rewarding combat… When it’s working. Currently the game’s combat system is riddled with bugs stemming from extreme rubber-banding, movement bugs where you get insane speed or literally can’t run at all and have to jump everywhere, and the dreaded weapon-switch bug. These bugs make players who know they should be winning certain fights get extremely frustrated because the game is basically forcing them to lose in situations they shouldn’t. These NEED TO BE HIGH PRIORITY FIXES and is one of the biggest reasons you’re losing a lot of your PVP player base.
2a. Weapon Balancing - This goes hand in hand with PVP obviously, but deserves it’s own section. The Void Gauntlet is NOT balanced correctly whatsoever. People can win wars if they have a brain and know how to coordinate players using Nullifying Oblivion Perk, Putrefying Scream Perk, Gravity Wells, and Ice Spikes. The Void Gauntlet roots and Scream perks are just far too strong and make them absolute must-haves in your army. Something that NW Devs have openly said they don’t want. Void Gauntlets have completely taken over PVP meta simply because they’re just WAY too strong. You can have 1 Void Gauntlet, 1 Great Axe Player, and a Healer and it’s possible to kill 8-10 people clumped up without much difficulty. The Great Axe also needs a buff to it’s lunge. 1m lunge distance is far too low. That mixed with the rubber-banding issues causes Melee players to literally not be able to hit people standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. The only reason Great Axe is still used is because of Gravity Well. Take that ability away and Great Axe becomes just as useless in PVP as the hatchet (because Nullifying Oblivion gets rid of Berserk and Defy Death)
2b. OPR - This is quite honestly a terrible PVP game mode, but it’s all we have. Competitive PVPers have nothing to do outside of Wars, Open World, and OPR. The biggest mistake you made with OPR is allowing PVE content to be involved. There is already plenty of PVE content. No one wants to be fighting against another player and get hit by a Brute. What’s the point? Had you introduced a Rated Arenas system where players can fight in the different Forts around the game and compete for gold and work their way up the leaderboard in different categories like 2v2s, 3v3s, and 5v5s. Give the players who are in the top 3 - 10 best teams higher amounts of gold and exclusive skins. That would be INCREDIBLE. That would keep PVP players happy. Your Player counts would sky-rocket. This isn’t my opinion, this is the opinion of 1000s of players I’ve spoken with across multiple servers. Your combat-system is one of the main reasons people play this game and the lack of good competitive PVP combat that players can do without large groups is a MAJOR REASON players are leaving the game.
PVE Content - I’m gonna be honest, I never cared about the story. I don’t really care about the expeditions. I’m clearly a PVP focused player. However, I really like the release of mutations. I do enjoy grinding expeditions and I think the release of this content will help the game out when it comes to having more things to do that can help you grind for better armor and weapons. It’s a good move. It allows certain resistance perks and damage perks to become more viable and it will help out the economy. Good move AGS.
Economy - The gold duping, bots, gold selling, etc… It runs rampant on this game. AGS is actively working to fix it, but quite honestly this is a problem on a ton of MMOs and it’s not like New World was the first one to encounter these issues. They’ll figure it out. Economies can recover. I have faith they can figure that out and given time and more content. It’ll all be fine.
Final Thoughts - The main reason people are leaving your game is lack of PVP content that isn’t wars or OPR, Game-breaking bugs that frustrate the hell out of people who take the game seriously, Weapon Changes not being balanced in PVP combat correctly (Which you’ll get better at over time.), and the massive amount of time it takes to farm end-game armor/weapons in expeditions. (Which forces people to go mad running the same expedition over and over again when they don’ want to.)
When you log into New World… As a PVP player, you feel pretty bored. You muster the energy to maybe do a couple OPRs (Which aren’t very competitive or balanced). Once you get frustrated and burned out from that, you can go stand outside and duel in front of WW. Then you pretty much just wait around, maybe craft some gear. If there’s no wars then you log off for the night and that’s that. If there are wars, you have to pray you don’t get movement bugs or that the other team isn’t running like 10-15 VGs or you’ll probably have a bad time. Especially if you’re a melee player. That’s the typical day of a New World PVP player. If it’s not fixed soon. I will be among the many who have already decided to step away from the game. You’re capable AGS. Listen to your consumer.