“New World:” Review

Recommend: 9/10

A breath of fresh air in the world of MMORPGs.

Upon its release, “New World” received a very mixed response from the public. The Amazon original video game was highly anticipated, bringing in over a million players on its first day public. The issue of server size became readily apparent, as there were player queues in the tens of thousands. Many people got discouraged and left the game entirely, disappointed with the state that game was released in. It went on sale on steam, prompting me to give it a try now that it has had time to get those issues fixed. I am happy to say I was completely blown away by the game. It has fun combat, an interactive world, immersive landscapes, good story, and some unique factors that make it unlike any game I have played. 

“New World” cover art (courtesy of wikipedia)

The Combat

On the surface, this game has souls-like combat. The core mechanics are attack with your weapon, block, and dodge out of the way of enemy attacks. But the combat becomes more varied when you incorporate “New World’s” design of character classes. Rather than picking a class during your character’s creation, you choose your class solely in what weapons you use. There are four different weapon types that have similar fighting styles. There are one-handed weapons, which include the sword and shield, rapier, and hatchet. All of these weapons swing fast, and do alright melee damage. The next type is two-handed weapons, which includes the spear, great axe, and war-hammer. These weapons swing slowly, but fit a role better. The spear is best for range and maneuverability, the great axe is best at crowd control, and the war-hammer is great at single target damage. The third weapon type is ranged weapons, which includes the bow and the musket. These are weapons that fight at a range and consume ammunition. The final weapon type is magic, which includes the fire staff, life staff, ice gauntlet, and void gauntlet. These weapons fight mostly at a distance, but consume Mana rather than ammunition. Each of these weapons have two skill trees you get to pick skills from every time your weapon mastery increases to the next level. You increase weapon mastery through using the weapon and winning fights. You can use two weapons at a time, and can always switch up which weapons you use. This means you are never locked into one play style, and are allowed to experiment with your character to your heart’s content. 

This idea of freely switching your character’s purpose is supported by how that stats work. There are five different stats: strength, dexterity, intelligence, focus, and constitution. All of these will increase your character’s effectiveness with different weapons (excluding constitution, which just increases your character’s maximum health.) Every time your character levels up, you get to dump points into increasing one of your stat totals. All of your stats begin at 5, and you add points all the way up to the max 300. These points can be refunded for a small price. The other way to increase your stats is through your gear. Starter level gear will not increase your stats, but once you start getting uncommon rarity gear, they will boost your stats scores. This applies to head armor, chest armor, hand armor, leg armor, foot armor, and your weapons. You also get some jewelry that increases your stats a lot.

Trade Skills

It isn’t uncommon for an MMORPG to have trade skills. There is usually a system that allows you to choose some materials to gather, then use those materials to craft your own weapons, armor, or items. “New World” has that, but it doesn’t make you choose which avenue you go down. This alone wouldn’t be anything too special, but it’s the way Amazon implemented the trade skills that really does it for me. All of the crafting avenues mix the needed resources from all of the gathering skills. The gathering skills are logging, mining, fishing, harvesting, and hunting & skinning. 

Most of the world is inter-actable. Most trees can be cut, most rocks can be mined, most water can be fished in, most plants can be harvested, and all beasts can be skinned. From there, you take those resources and bring them into your refining skills. You can take the gathered wood, leather, stone, or whatever you got, and refine it into a better crafting material. Then you get to actually use your crafting skill. The crafting options are weapon smithing (self explanatory), armoring (self explanatory), engineering (ranged weapons, and ammunition), jewel crafting (making jewelry), arcana (making potions and magic weapons), cooking (self explanatory), and furnishing (yup.) You can make these items for yourself, or you can sell them… speaking of which…

The market in this game is VERY fun. It is completely run by players. The players will put items on the market for their preferred price. Then other players can look for an item they need and pay that player the money. The item is automatically transferred, so there aren’t many scams. There are also taxes on the trade that go to the city. The cities are also mostly player-run. This game’s version of guilds, called companies, get into wars with each other for control of the different cities. The leader of the company sets the tax prices for crafting via the city’s crafting station, trading, refining items, and owning a home. The higher ranked people in the company are also able to set out city goals for any player to fulfill. If enough goals are filled by players, the city will gain a higher quality crafting station. These goals are resources that can be donated by anyone. The company is also at risk of losing their city to another company in a war. The wars are 50 v 50 PVP battles. These are only really accessible to higher level players however. 

The Story

The story set up is left a bit vague, but here’s what you know at the beginning. You make your character, and they are on a boat. A large storm rolls in and your character wobbles around a bit then the boat crashes and the screen goes dark. Upon waking up and getting control of your character, you walk through the tutorial of how to move and fight. The following story is trying to get rid of the corruption in this… new world, Aeturnum. You go through a series of quests to bring you all the way to the current max level of 60. You will NOT be able to rush the main story. The game requires side quests and exploration to be on level with the main story. The level difference between quests ramps steadily at the beginning, then rockets up the further in you get. 

Here is a link to the tutorial.

Another part of the world’s lore is the ongoing conflict between the 3 highest powers in the world. The first of these three is the Covenant. They are religious zealots that seek to rid the world of any perceived impurities. Their controlled area is marked in orange on the map. The second faction is the Syndicate. The Syndicate are seekers of lost knowledge who thrive in learning and documenting everything about Aeturnum. Their controlled area is marked in purple. Lastly, is the Marauders. The marauders want to have the strongest military power, through raiding, and plundering areas controlled by monsters. Their controlled area is marked in green. All of the aforementioned companies fall under one of these 3 factions (the one of the company creator’s choice.) Only players from that faction can join the company. These factions also offer a great source of powerful equipment, and power leveling. There is a faction representative for all 3 factions in all cities. The representative of the faction you choose will assign you short quests to complete. You can take 6 at a time, 3 PVP related quests, and 3 PVE related quests. Completing these quests gives you a solid amount of XP, faction tokens which can be exchanged for good equipment or valuable items, and increase your faction rank over time. Your rank determines what items are available for purchase in the faction’s shop. 

The Flaws

No game is free from flaws. The Witcher 3’s main story runs a bit long, Skyrim has wonky physics, and Sonic 06 was released. So inevitably, “New World” does have a couple issues. Just like when it was released, the servers can have some issues. Usually on the weekends when more people are able to log on, there can be some pretty egregious server lag. Your character will teleport around when doing climbing animations, you will occasionally be frozen in place for a couple seconds. The lag can even cause the attack animation to move at half speed, which is annoying for fast weapons like the hatchet, and downright infuriating for weapons like the bow, which just will not fire arrows at times. 

Another issue that is frequently talked about is how some people were upset with the endgame story, saying it was unsatisfactory for all of the effort put into the game (Easily over 100 hours to get to that point casually.) The game has a decent endgame, with mutated dungeons, which are the dungeons already in the game, but with more / stronger enemies inside. They do have better loot. High level PVP and wars become much more fun, when you know you have honed your character to your play style, and hand picked the perfect gear for what you need to get the job done. You also get the option of supporting other people in your company, and helping them get materials, or beat challenging areas. The game is still very active, coming out with new weapons and areas in the future. It is likely the level cap will be increased with new content too.

The last flaw that is worth being addressed is something that is true with all MMORPGs. There will always be some party poopers that will ruin the fun for everyone. You could get toxic people being mean in voice chat or text chat. You could also fall prone to a scammer. There are some people that work as mercenaries, offering assistance as a healer or tank in dungeons in return for a sum of gold or crafting materials. That by itself is completely ok, but there are people who abuse this by demanding the money first then leaving the party if you are lucky, or sabotaging the dungeon if you are unlucky. Giving players the right to choose how much money to sell things for leaves the door open to stark upcharging on items that are worth far less. Luckily, the game makes this VERY difficult to do. Players who find glitches or exploits, such as item duplication or invincibility will get their accounts banned if they use it in a game breaking way. An example of this was when a player found an item duplication glitch, then tried selling a bunch of rare items for cheap to rack up unearned money. The developers banned his account, and the accounts of anybody who also used the glitch. They removed the glitched items from players inventories, and closed down the market for a couple days to get all of the glitched items off. 

Should I Play The Game?

New World runs uniquely compared to a lot of MMORPGs. If you want to reap all the game has to offer, you are going to have to put the work down to make it happen. One of the leading promises made by the game developers was that they were not going to cater to people who wanted to progress all the way to max level quickly. Quick traveling has an in game cost. Gathering crafting materials takes a good bit of time. Getting your character to max level takes a LOT of time. The developers also strived to ensure the game does not become pay to win like other MMORPGs. The game costs $30, then it’s yours. You can buy a special currency for special items, but it is strictly only cosmetic items. You cannot buy in game materials, or strong items. You need to work for them. This is why this game is a breath of fresh air for so many people. It requires effort and time to get good. That time and effort is rewarded. If that sounds like something you want, then the game is absolutely worth $30. If you prefer quickly getting to a strong character, and rushing through the story to reach the end game content, you will not have fun in this game. There are plenty of other games for you.

If you are planning on buying the game, you get to choose what server you play on. If you happen to be in the east coast United States area, join the Valhalla server. Please. We need more people desperately. The server is dying, and at risk of being merged with another server to keep the player base higher. Also, if you join the Marauders, and happen to be on ECUS Valhalla, join the rebellious rebels company. We are really helpful to new players, and are a great group of people. If you take all of the advice I have given, then I’ll be seeing you in Aeternum!