New World - A Bittersweet 500 Hours

First of all, I’d like to thank the developers and all involved for creating this game. I’ve enjoyed much of my time in Aeternum. I’m giving feedback after 500 hours, this is my sole opinion.

Leveling 0 to 60

  • It was great, the main story kept me engaged and although rewards were subpar, the expeditions and story line kept me going.

The World

  • Aeternum is beautiful, without nitpicking the map “copy paste”, the towns and environment felt extremely immersive, the sound design was there, the environment was there.

The NPC Enemies

  • We all know there wasn’t enough, especially in the end-game zones. As a player, it felt that in order to compensate for the lack of variety and quality of enemies, quantity and scaling was used to set difficulty. We all know how the void patch increased difficulty not by adding variety to the attacks or mobs but by increasing spawn rates, damage, and hp of mobs. It would have been more engaging to have different enemies, like the huge turkey for example.

  • The feeling is different from when a player dies by skill rather than an over-tuned one hit attack. When a player dies because he/she was outplayed, it makes sense to them. When a player dies because there are 20 mobs all attacking at once or 1 extremely over tuned mob one-hitting everyone, it’s not fun. This results in mindless chest-run zergs, which no one likes but is mandatory because by level 60, they are tired of killing the same mob but with higher dmg/hp/etc.

PVP

  • This was the core of the game, and the hasty switch to PVE is felt by the whole player base. I feel like the majority of the player base bought New World because of the PVP aspect. That is why I bought the game. If you think about it, it could make sense. You had 900,000 players at launch buying the game thinking it was a PVP based MMO, only to find out it’s a half baked PVE MMO with some PVP aspects. What’s left is ~100,000 or 10% of general hardcore MMO players. Maybe New World could have retained more players at launch if it was what they thought it was.

The Grind

  • In order to try and stem player loss, a decision was made to increase the grind. Increase the amount of experience to get to level 200, decrease the amount of gold from quests, and scale up difficulty of end-game zones by changing numbers instead of adding variety.

  • Making PVE content is hard and time consuming, I totally get it. I believe the original testing player base didn’t really represent the masses, they were just louder. They came from old MMORPG grind style games, so I guess the natural reaction is to make it more of a grind. But most gamers hate grinds, especially when players are treated like cash cows.

The Quests

  • The main question I ask myself is why quantity over quality. Quests were start at point A, go to point B, kill/loot, back to point A. Rinse and repeat. There are no, “escort a merchant from First Light to Windsward.” Or “Sneak into Fort Ramos and avoid killing anyone.” All quests were generally the same. It is evident that quests were just a filler rather than an experience.

The Bugs

  • Inevitable, understandable, but patching them didn’t seem like a priority. Instead more content was rushed out rather than addressing the current state of the game. There are still bugs present in the game, like being unable to skin/harvest elemental animals. Yet there is a PTR for a new watermark system and Christmas theme.

Outpost Rush

  • If tuned and balanced correctly, you could make a whole game solely from Outpost Rush. Similar to a league type of game. It’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s dynamic.

Wars & Territories

  • Simply bugged and unfair. You want the defenders to have the advantage, but after declaration after declaration and 0 losses – it’s tiresome. The benefits of owning a territory have so many tax advantages, it should be difficult to hold, not easier. When a company owns multiple territories, collects all the taxes, uses taxes to beef up their characters only to then be better at defending an already disadvantaged war, it loses players. What’s left is the same 50v50 every war, it is not inclusive at all. What’s left is a strong 50 massively outclassing the 90% of players in end-game gear.

  • Change wars. You know what would be cool? Wars should be an Outpost Rush match. I think that would be 100% more engaging than the current war. No brutes. A mass 50v50 zerg would then naturally be changed into a three point 16v16, might help with server load. Who knows. At the moment, it’s too easy to cross the battle field from point A to B to C. Too choatic to have that much strategy and skill, in the end, it’s just button mashing and big numbers.

Summary

  • I really enjoyed New World. New World is an MMORPG that was different from any other MMORPG due to it’s PVP mechanics and ability to level from anything. It was touted as an “sandbox PVP MMORPG.” You can level from crafting, quests, killing mobs, gathering, etc. But now, it feels like it’s being changed to any other MMORPG grind.

  • If you want players to play more and spend money, the content needs to be engaging. I wish the quests were as immersive as the world and sound design. I hate to bring league of legends in this but LoL is a success because the gameplay is fun, engaging, and has variety. Every champion feels powerful in their own way. So for New World, every weapon should feel powerful in their own way, not over tuned and overpowered, but balanced and consistent.

Every player wants to feel strong and have BIS, so make it easier for them to achieve it, not harder.

  • Once a player gets BIS, they either want to PVP or PVE. But PVE mobs are the same, so it’s not satisfying. PVP isn’t fair because BIS is hard to attain, so disadvantaged players will eventually give up because grinding to 200 to get armor is long, then grinding to 200 to craft a weapon is long, then grinding to another 200 acrana to make potions to have more survivability is long too.

  • There is no PVP game mode other than Outpost Rush. There are no skilled 5v5 or 10v10s. Just mass zergs everywhere, a player numbers and gear score game. When you take away the skilled aspect of a game and replace it with time-gated PVE orbs and skill-less combat, whats the point of BIS? There isn’t. Rewarding skill > rewarding grind

As a player playing the game and feeling the result of the game and patches, I feel the disconnect in communication. The teams making the game aren’t on a same page. There are some people who want to do this and some people who want to do that. I don’t know where this game is going.

As a PVP player, I want to PVP on a fair basis. So attaining BIS gear should be accessible to everyone.

As a PVE player, I want to feel strong when I kill mobs and feel rewarded in doing so. PVE should have skilled variety. But making PVE content is time consuming as we can already see. So this is unlikely to happen.

New World doesn’t have to be like all the other MMORPGs, that’s why we like it. The strong core of the game is the player. If all input feels quick, responsive, and skilled based, you could retain the PVPers and even gain them. The hard part is that PVP is only accessible at level 60, even then you need decent gear to PVP fairly even in OPR. Then there’s wars.

The more I try to review this game and give concise and clear feedback the more difficult I see New World for what it is. New World is trying to mash a PVP game with MMORPG PVE aspects. It’s hard to please both. So in the end, I guess its just two things:

PVP = Responsive input, skill based combat.
PVE = Variety in Mobs (not reskinned), engaging content.

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