I love this game. It feels like a conversation with an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile. I stay up late and wake up early to play, and this is a feeling I haven’t gotten from a game since I was a kid.
I think that we are sprinting through this game, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a viable endgame.
New World was touted as a “player-driven” MMO, and I think the foundation is there, but a few key changes could drive it to have the players making the endgame content.
Just like any good story conflict is what drives engagement, and conflict can be born from multiple venues: events and people being the main two.
Event-driven games are like Halo, Uncharted, etc. Where the game is the thing that compels players through it.
People-driven games are ones like EVE, Minecraft, and New World hopefully. These games are driven by the actions, desires, and personalities of real people.
The thing is that the event-driven games have definite ends, whereas as long as humans are varied and diverse people-driven games will never end. This could be New World’s endgame. This would differ from most MMOs, where the only solution to keep players engaged is an endless gear treadmill with ever-increasing numbers, gear score, level, etc. Instead of ones like EVE where people create worldwide conflicts that draw in tons of players, and peaks the interest of the gaming press. A true sandbox.
Solution: more focus on players. Wholely.
- The game needs a robust economy. This does not mean that people only use the market when they’re at endgame or grinding skills. This means engagement as soon as possible – level 10 players should be looking towards buying player-created items, as well as every level past then. Does this mean that PvE drops less? Maybe. That might swing it too far towards crafting and no one would swing their sword in lieu of their pick.
My solution would be gear sinks – something that takes gear out of the game. Some games do drop-on-death, some do gear degradation, some do integrative crafting (when you need lower level gear as a part of crafting higher level gear). Maybe repair costs increasing on repeated repairs. Basically, we need something that makes players have to buy things from other players, which will force players to make things for other players – and create an actual economy.
This is the most important thing, because without it we will have inflation, power creep, and the only expansions possible are bigger, shinier, higher-leveled gear. Thus making New World just another event-driven game with a definite end.
- Make PvP more alluring - not so much that it’s basically mandatory - but enough that it has a large population. Increase drop rates, bump the exp bonus higher, make it actually tempting. This would make humans actually have to do a risk/consequence evaluation, which inherently drives conflict and engaging gameplay.
Imagine needing iron (classic), because there’s an upcoming war and everyone needs cartridges, and you get a 20% harvesting bonus when you’re flagged, but you have a chance of losing resources if you die. You find a spot away from the normal routes, you get to picking with the alt key firmly pressed swivel to look for baddies. Clink clink clink, you are completely full, and you see red dots on the horizon. You go prone, making your player card invisible, you pull up company chat to rally people to the convoy to the nearest town. They come in force, surrounding you as you waddle towards First Light. The group draws the attention of the warring faction doing PvP quests, and a fight breaks out.
That’s a story, that’s an event, but it’s an event driven by the economy, and an economy driven by people. That could be the endgame. This would make it easier on developers, so they don’t have to just keep creating more expeditions, more armors, higher numbers, but instead just manage the world that they created for us to play in. Owning towns and cities would mean things, would make crafting not obsolete but essential, and would keep this game alive.