I’m now 420h into the game and we discussed in our company some pros and cons about New World. I will now focus on the negative part as thoe overwelmlingly influence my view on the game compared to the positive aspects. One particular problem most people see in our company is that no matter what you want to play there are allways dependencies you have to cover until you can get to the fun part (actually enjoying the game):
• Expeditions are covered behind keys which themselfe are dependent on crafting level and components to farm, which themselfe depend on running portals, and also is related to invasion because otherwise your crafting station level gets lowered. What my mates want is to run expeditions and raids all day long and they do not want the other content. But the game actively forces them to play something they don’t like. Just imaginge going to a Fastfood place where they force you to take a Milkshake when you are lactose intolerant. Makes no sene. My mates never experienced such a mechanic that actively prevents you from playing a gamemode. We are at a point where we a scared to use keys in fear of loosing them for nothing, because we are a bunch of casual noobs. All it took from earlier games we knew off was to gather a group of friends and enjoy a raid or dungedon. the sense of achivement came from resolving riddles and mechanics. If you didn’t made it, no problem! Just retry! So based on player experience this is a downgrade mechanic compared to similar games.
• Wars are time gated and you can not play when you want but only then when you can. There are people that actually were interested in large scale PvP and wanted to do this all day long. But also here you have to do a boring PvP Quest walk for around 3h just to play what you want. But no you even have to show up at a specific time to play. I mean people have lives, and responsibilites. They mostly moved back to ESO and GW2 to play large scale PvP when they want how they want. There I can tear down walls with cataputs, destroy the gates with rams and actually conquer castles in realtime 24/7.
• The only dedicated PvP mode (outpost rush) basically forces you to also cover PvE content by farming materials and engaging with mobs. And funny enough upgrading bases is something I expected in large scale PvP and not in a small session PvP mode. Despite the game beeing initaly designed to be a PvP game the lack of PvP modes and engagements is rather surprising. I expected 1v1 & 5v5 arenas, tournaments and real prizes (unique skins,weapons dedicated to playmodes). Matchmaking takes 40 Minutes on my server. Our bar is our experience. And this is the first game i know of where I waited for 40 Minutes for matchmaking. Nobody in their right mind would play Online-Shooters if Matchmaking would take 40 Minutes and no the trying out weapons at the ingame training camp does not compensate that.
• The lack of an achivement roadmap is weird. Back in the day I knew if I did this and that i will get something for it. I searched for what i wanted and hunted for it. And no this didn’t only include farming materials but actually playing the game. I mean titles are nice but what the playerbase cares for is tho show of unique skins and goods in Windsward by completing an achivement.
• Watermark farm has been covered enough and I share the same feeling as 99% of the playerbase. The underlieng reason might not even be tedious task but rather because it is the only progression mechanic New World currently offers.
The design philoposy seems to be clear in New World. “you put in work into this game before you even dare to think having fun in this game”, “sense of achivement is defined by grinding”, “time locking is our mantra”, “We can compensate player needs with other content”
I really hope this design philosophy will change in the future towards creating player happiness, felxibility, freedom and more horizontal progression (achivement hunting, skin hunting, funny games in taverns, transmogging, raiding on differnet dificulty levels, PvP ranking & tournaments, etc.) Games should be engaging and spontanous but i never felt that in New World because there is allways a mechanic preventing that.
At the moment the game feels more like poker, roullet or black jack. instead of gambling with money you gamble with your time. You pull out your pick axe and try to get that void ore. This game is not particually fun but addictive, because, yes some mechanics are actually pleasant and well put together. But in the long run this design philoposy is rather toxic. This obviously has led people of my company to leave new world and move to other games where they can freely chose what and when they want to play. I mean in games like GW2 you even get a chest for logging in, this just feels rewarding. I mean i went back to another game and realized I accidently unlocked a legendary skinset by just writing with other people. There are no happy accidents in New World.
Despite that i still think the GameDevs do what they can to make New World better. The game has shifted it’s focus several times and a lot of content was crated within a year. So this shows that there are competent people working on NW. But i also have to say there were some thinking steps that coulnd not be followed by the playerbase, which might have seemed logical for the GameDevs. There i hope the Developers and Managers could see themselfe more in the shoes of players and really see this game in a customer centric view.