Fundamental flaw with New World - and solution

New World has one fundamental problem underlying all of the complaints about it being ‘unfinished,’ buggy, having a lack of content, etc.

Underpinning all of those (otherwise valid) criticisms is the fact that only a tiny slice of the player base gets to regularly participate in the core elements of the game; the economy, the wars, the invasions, the politics, territory management, and so on.

Let’s assume all of the bugs were fixed tomorrow - literally, somewhere around 90-95% of the players out there grinding for watermarks and gear score would still soon realize, if they haven’t already, that they don’t have any meaningful outlet to use any of their gear, gold, or experience they’re gaining, because they’re literally not allowed to participate in the meat of the game.

  • They don’t own a territory or get to influence any decisions about territory management.
  • They’re not being invited to wars.
  • They’re being kicked from invasion groups to make room for the leader’s friends and company members.
  • The tradeskills they grinded to 150 or 200 don’t mean anything, because company-funded crafters already own the market and all the good recipes.
  • For gear crafting, the watermarking system kind of invalidates anything other than the absolute top tier crafts.

My prediction is that these players will start dropping like flies if they’re not given meaningful ways to participate in the game. This goes way beyond “more content,” it goes beyond Outpost Rush or rated PvP arenas or ‘mutated dungeons’ or new zones or new weapons, it’s more than bug fixes and polish.

The core elements of the game, which are supposed to:

  • be fun and engaging enough to help people overlook the bugs,
  • give people reasons to play between content patches and keep them coming back,
  • and motivate people to grind their gear score and their trade skills,

are fundamentally flawed in how they operate, resulting in the majority of the player base never getting to experience them.

So, how do we fix this? Well - already nobody’s going to read this far, but I’m going to get into it anyway, because after 300+ hours in this game, I genuinely do care, and would love to hear the thoughts of other people who do care.

Keep in mind that I don’t claim that my solution is perfect. Rather, I offer it as food for thought, both for the community and the developers. Moreover, if you don’t agree with the fundamental problem, you obviously will not agree with any solution to it, so why read any further?

If you do agree on the problem, maybe you’ll find something in my solution agreeable:

  • Companies controlling territory is at the heart of the issue. Territory should belong to the faction, and allow members of the faction to contribute to triggering upgrades and investments at the town board, much like performing faction missions to raise faction influence in a territory. Have all of the available upgrades on the board, and let players choose what they want to complete tasks to contribute to. Make these decisions community-driven.

  • Make all territory costs and upkeep be paid from a territory coffer, which no players have any access to. Make all town board tasks generate coin for the territory coffer (since the coin they offer to players is abysmal, and the time/materials have value). Have weekly votes on taxes for a territory. If players consistently vote for low taxes, the towns won’t be upgraded, and nobody will be able to craft anything - it governs itself.

A knock-on effect of making town board tasks more valuable, and allowing players to fund their territory coffers with town board tasks, is that it shifts the economy from having a coin sink to a material sink. Players need to produce things, which are then converted into coin in the territory coffer. That coin is then siphoned out of the game via territory upgrades and upkeep. This shifts demand for territory management from coin to materials, and introduces new demand for all tiers of materials of all varieties, stimulating the economy.

This doesn’t necessarily set the price of anything, the way NPC merchants would, because the value of a material to an individual player may be more or less than the value that material is converted to when it’s donated to a territory. However, it helps establish the value of labor in the game, which is sorely needed, and would keep more coin circulating between players.

  • Obviously, there would need to be a system in place for handling what happens when the town board project for an upgrade is completed without the necessary funding in the coffer. There are a lot of possible ways to handle this, and how exactly it is handled isn’t relevant to the solution (as long as it is robust and resilient to being exploited).

  • And, finally, more players need to be able to participate in wars and invasions - ideally, all of the players who sign up. This is another scenario where it doesn’t really matter how it happens, as much as that it does happen, and there are a variety possible solutions. The same companies running the same 50 people (give or take a handful) for every war and invasion (because they rarely overlap in timing), and kicking people out to make room for their preferred regulars is toxic to the game.

In all of these systems, companies with large and dedicated communities will still carry more weight and be able to influence the direction more than smaller companies and individual players; they can get all their best and brightest to pound away at town board tasks to grind gold for the territory coffer, or get the upgrades they want in a town a lot more consistently. But this way, everyone is participating in every aspect of the game, and that’s the promise New World needs to deliver on to give people reasons to keep logging in.

Players will adapt to buggy and broken games as long as they’re having fun and able to participate; there are many examples of this out there. Players will also keep playing the same content over and over, if they have reason to be invested in that content and the outcomes they help achieve. This is what is lacking at the core of New World which is causing players to be fixated on bugs and content; for the overwhelming majority of the population, the only reason to log in is a pretty world and a gear score treadmill.

At over 300 hours, I’ve got my money’s worth, so I can hardly complain. But, I really hope to see the game evolve into something more for the 90% or more players who aren’t in close with their server’s top companies.

Cheers.

4 Likes

we have to slowly go back to the survival, player run economies.

They need to start getting players used to the idea that their armor is disposable and not a permanent thing.

They can sell so much more skins this way.

The player can buy the look he/she wants with the design of the underlying armor irrelevant.

Bring feminine skins back also. Women want to be feminine not masculine.

Being masculine is not feminineinsm.

Edit: the fundamental problem is that it was designed as a survival pvp game and they tried to turn it into a PvE game with PvP (to not lose PvP players). This is why everything seems a little “off.”

I agree 100% regarding the problems. The way the game is designed, the vast majority of players will never experience most of the end game content.

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the fundamental problem is that it was designed as a survival pvp game and they tried to turn it into a PvE game with PvP (to not lose PvP players). This is why everything seems a little “off.”

While I’m not totally on board with what you’re saying, there might be something to this. I’m not aware of New World’s earliest phases of development.

I think the current design of the game is already exposing the problems with a wholly player-run economy, however.

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read up on what is game was originally supposed to be. Its insane and I would actually pay a high monthly sub for it.

But i think the problem with the economy is fixed cost.

Gold is in low supply, but stuff in the market is cheap.

Fixed cost of houses and repair costs are really creeping up on people.

@KennyKenny Does make a valid point that the current New World very much is a mish-mash of (at least) two entirely different games. That is why we have several systems and features that really don’t blend well and seem out of place.

With this, I really can’t blame Amazon Games too harshly. The first iteration of the game was not at all popular with testers and I feel AGS (correctly) realized the original plan of the game was not working (although I personally thought it had great potential). Therefore, they made an entire change of direction under what was enormous pressure from both the public and I strongly suspect the Amazon Corporate execs who wanted the game released.

I think AGS did the best they could under difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, the issues of two different games smashed together is evident and hopefully will be fixed over time.

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You make a lot of good points. Territory coffers not only nicks at people looting-and-scooting via company control, but it also responds to the idea that the game is actually currently company-controlled and not faction-controlled.

What I would like to talk on a bit more is the idea that War premades, or curation of War members, is somehow bad. I get the idea that more than just the leader and 49 of their buds should get to go to Wars, but I also think that since there are actual stakes attached that require actual investments from people, this budding trend of shaming people for curating their teams is the wrong way to go about this. The issue is that even if your buddies are bad at least they’re your buddies; when you have bad randoms, that is more often than not the building blocks for a swearing competition in games if my experience in multiplayer games is anything to pull from. Especially where town control is concerned, people are not going to want to pitch their lots in with a bunch of people who don’t march to the same beat, not when you’re risking the enemy team being much more well-organized because they excluded randoms.

What there needs to be is a way for the randoms to participate in Wars of a kind, maybe just for faction influence or something. But forcing strategists to work around people who think listening to people in video games is for bundles of sticks and will happily announce that-- especially as a change to the system-- is a great way to alienate players who want to be serious about the PVP aspects.

Even revamping parts of, or the whole system, unless that includes pulling rewards away from Wars (which will spawn an entirely different discussion) there’s not likely to be a sudden shift from team curation just because randoms got forced into the groups. Chances are they’d just be ostracized or treated like cannon fodder, which is-- again-- an entirely different discussion.

@SirFuzzi I largely agree with you! To be clear, I’m not shaming anyone for playing optimally within the current system as it is designed, and I agree that nobody else should either. It’s not the fault of the people leading wars, it’s the fault of the design.

A few things:

My proposal is more of a vision of what the game could be rather than a complete design. I intentionally avoided being prescriptive about certain elements; War being one of them.

What I will say is that decentralizing the ownership of a territory to the whole faction, instead of to companies, is a critical piece of my proposed vision of the game. This necessarily introduces challenges to the structure of War as it is currently. Namely, nobody has any greater stake in the outcome than anyone else, so why should anyone have a greater say in who participates than anyone else? And if I care about my faction owning this territory, why should I not have any way to contribute to that goal unless someone picks me for the task?

For that matter, who should lead the war? Why them?

These are questions which would need to be answered by whatever system is designed to allow more people to participate in War for their faction.

Notably, my proposal also significantly changes what is at stake when a territory would change hands. Let’s assume that the incentives for a faction owning a territory are sufficient for faction members to be broadly interested in protecting it (may need tweaks to get there); still, nobody owns the taxes and income generated by that town. Instead, people are warring for buffs and benefits granted to the entire faction by owning the territory, and the privilege to have greater influence over the town management.

I believe this combination of factors to be sufficient to suggest that Wars should be curated by non-human means. What those means should be, more precisely, is not a question I’m really qualified to answer.

I really think that once you take the territory coffer out of the company’s hands, the incentive to go “full sweat mode” and curate 49 of your best players for every War breaks down considerably. War becomes the activity that “the randoms” can participate in.

Now to your point, I would think that the people who are most serious about PvP and who want to be competitive would be most interested in matchmade, instanced, organized, rated PvP. A healthy competitive scene requires settings which are inherently fair and balanced, and skill in PvP to be the prevailing factor. My expectation is that a competitive rated Outpost Rush, and/or (rumored) rated PvP arenas would satisfy the serious and competitive PvP community better than a 50v50 war with all sorts of variables and inherent imbalances (lag, siege weapons, attacking vs defending, etc.)

Not trying to gatekeep or tell anyone what they “should” be interested in - just my perspective on it.

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So there’s a lot in here. I appreciate the time taken to consider this. For the sake of clarity, I’m going to summarize OP’s thoughts for brevity and separatibility:

  1. Belief that only a small slice can participate in wars/invasions due to Company cronyism / favoritism
  2. Belief that tradeskilling is unrewarding for the average due to a) Company crowd-funding of mats and b) watermarking process and loot abundance near theoretical cap
  3. Issue with impact/control over territories and who decides what.

Personally, I’m sympathetic to 1 and 2.b. I’m not going to talk about 3. 2.a may or may not be an issue, but there’s no way to stop collectivism, and its often encouraged. I am definitely onside with notions that there is insufficient other variables in tradeskilling to give younger crafters viability (such as day/night, seasonal, regional cycles of efficiency for certain recipes). The refining options (smelting, tanning, weaving) are literally the definition of a perfect competition market in econ-finance. In these commodities, handing a mastery bonus (along with correlated overtiered reagents) ensures that 200-level refiners can (and will) price commodity product as a losing endeavor for anyone levelling. It’s a bonkers concept.

Ultimately, I personally feel that the underlying issue is the lack of structured content, not Company control over Invasions and Wars. It feels like that because that’s all we have now. Add in a few World Events, an arena to sign up for PUG 5v5 fights, and the control issues will be much better.

I do, however find the concept of town boards for more coin (to player) serving as a material sink interesting. It can address a number of crafting/economic issues, though it becomes its own price floor if the rewards are fixed.

I do appreciate the time you took into thinking about it though.

Greg

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@GregM Thanks for the effort in making the problems I outlined more digestible.

The challenge I have is that - to me, anyway - ‘content’ is temporary. Players will get through the content and be done. Only seriously competitive players will continue to grind content like 5v5 PvP battles or ‘mutated dungeons’ indefinitely for rating or bragging rights. Less competitive players may grind for specific loot, and then put it down. Most players will do things a few times and be satisfied, unless it really hooked them specifically for some reason.

Wars and invasions, the everlasting struggle for territory control and upgraded town stations, are supposed to be the backbone of the game. While there is no new content, there is always a war or invasion to be invested in, and the whole faction has reason to be invested. Done correctly, this keeps players who feel they’ve completed all of the structured content logging in at least a few times a week, keeping the game populated.

For the random player who (presumably) makes up the majority of the player base, who might have 0-5 friends in the game and is not deeply involved in company relations or politics, the activities which make up the backbone of the game are inaccessible.

A lack of structured content is a common criticism of New World right now. And while I think it’s valid, I also think it only would buy New World a few months, at most, depending on the size and depth of the content added. My argument is that the underlying problem is the fact that the content which we have right now is supposed to be the foundation of the game, and the privilege to participate in it is extremely limited.

A lack of structured content is permanently less of an issue if this foundational content is accessible to all, while adding structured content is a temporary solution to the fundamental problem, and would need to happen every few months to sustain the game.

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My proposal is more of a vision of what the game could be rather than a complete design. I intentionally avoided being prescriptive about certain elements; War being one of them.

Here’s an idea. War opens a 50v50 instanced PVP mode for 24hr that everyone can queue for like Outpost Rush. At the end of the 24hr window, the side with the greater number of victories wins the War.

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