New World: Everything You NEED to Know Going Into 2021
Amazon Game Studios have just revealed that they’re taking their upcoming MMORPG New World back into Alpha testing. With that knowledge, I thought it would be in our best interests to create an all encompassing “everything you need to know about New World” article going into 2021.
I did a video on New World featuring my first impressions of the game as both Mrs Stix and I managed to play it during the Preview event held a couple months ago.
After playing for several days, I, along with many other players were of the opinion that the game needed a lot more content, a lot more variety if it is to compete with any of the other premium titles dominating the market right now.
So you guys are going to want to take a little bit to sit back and I urge you to watch this until the end as it will cover every question you might have.. and trust me, there’s a lot of info here.
WHAT IS NEW WORLD?
New World is a brand new upcoming open-world MMO set on the fictional island of Aeternum during the 17th century.
It features various survival mechanics but for the most part a large number of those survival elements were removed with the game moving more towards traditional MMO features. The game features action combat, and has a 3D graphical style.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL?
I know a lot of people wanted New World to be a free-to-play MMO but unfortunately it seems as though Amazon Game Studios is determined to release the game as a premium title, requiring a one-time purchase that varies in price depending on the package.
It is unconfirmed whether or not the game will feature paid expansions like Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2, or rather if the studio will instead focus on regular, free content updates.
Considering the game will utilize a buy-to-play business model, it would stand to reason paid expansions are likely. Otherwise, realistically, what kind of source of income would they have outside the initial influx of sales?
WILL THERE BE A CASH SHOP?
According to the studio, there will in fact be a cash shop present within the game. However they claim it won’t have any items that promote pay-to-win. Currently, cosmetic items and furniture are planned to be added with a fully functional housing system present in the final version of the game.
I know cash shops are concerning by default – just because a developer claims they won’t include a certain type of item doesn’t mean they won’t go back on their word at a later date.
The devs have revealed they want a level of “fashion wars” to be present at end-game, kind of how Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2 have a large focus on outfits, so that’s promising.
Currently they stated that they’re not interested in adding mounts into the game, but they noted if enough players want the feature introduced they might be willing to go ahead and add it.
If that does happen, they might end up selling various types of premium mounts within the cash shop as well but that’s all just speculation.
HOW IS THE COMBAT?
Honestly, when I played during the Preview, the combat was basic. Very basic. It was slow, it felt clunky and it wasn’t at all enjoyable for me mainly due to your abilities sharing cooldowns between weapons.
What I mean by this is: You have 3 different types of weapons you can equip at any given time. You also possess various skill trees to invest into to develop your character. You’re able to select 3 skills at any given time per weapon, totaling 9 abilities – but can only use 3 abilities per weapon equipped.
Now during the Preview, each weapon ability shared cooldowns across each weapon type, meaning that if I clicked Q on my sword and then swap to my bow.. the Q ability would also be on cooldown for my bow.
However, as of their most recent update on October 20th, it turns out they’re making alterations to the current system, with each weapon now having their own independent cooldowns, allowing for the swapping of weapons without restriction of abilities.
The combat itself wasn’t bad. It was definitely very slow – much slower than I expected it to be but it required more calculated movements and choices. This is something I’m not used to and I know a lot of people aren’t used to especially after playing games like Black Desert and Blade & Soul.
ARE THERE CLASSES?
No, there are no classes available. Not in the traditional sense at least. You do obtain experience and level up just as you would in any MMO, you also gain attribute points and skill points that you can distribute between a selection of abilities and statistics.
These function, in essence as your “class” but provide you with a lot of individual identity, allowing for you to really craft something that fits the type of class you want to play.
As an example: There are Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Focus and Constitution stats that you can distribute points between. Each one obviously affects a different aspect of your character. Mana regeneration, total HP, overall weapon damage with various different weapons.
Now this allows for you to essentially take a certain “path.” If you pump everything into Strength or Constitution, you’ll probably find quite a large benefit from Heavy Armor and large 2-handed weapons, or 1-handed weapons and shield.
Depending on what weapon you choose, what armor you choose, whether you opt for a shield.. your entire skill-set will change allowing for so much creative freedom over your character, something you really don’t see much anymore.
But at the same time, there are still going to be “cookie-cutter” builds that are just.. better than every other build so the majority of players will still opt for those, removing the need for personal experimentation.
BUT CAN I CREATE AN AWESOME CHARACTER?
Honestly.. I’d like to say yes, but if you’ve ever played a Western RPG then for the most part you’ve likely grown accustomed to the limitations that are imposed on character creation.
There were some face types, some hair styles, some facial hair options and a couple skin tones.. but other than that, for the most part, you’re going to look like every other character running around.
You didn’t have any options to customize your eye shape, nose shape, lips, brows, body size, body shape or anything. I know customization options are important to an MMO and I feel like this will really stifle any type of creative freedom players might have had or wanted.
Of course this might change over the course of the current Alpha test so there’s no guarantee they won’t improve or expand on the available options.
SO THE GRAPHICS, THOUGH..
The graphics, if we disregard the character models themselves as they look like something out of a 2008 RPG look great. The world is bright, it’s vibrant, it’s filled with life.
The world is completely open. There are no segregated zones, the world isn’t split between loading screens. I was surprised to see this as MMOs these days make heavy use of zone segregation – having large areas filled with content, but small loading screens connecting them to one another.
Typically this hasn’t bothered me at all. A small loading screen isn’t enough to turn me off of a game, nor is it enough to really disconnect me from the world and actively enjoying whatever it has to offer, but I’m happy to see there are MMOs that still care about seamless open worlds.
I only played for maybe 15 to 20 hours total, and I didn’t see much in the way of diversity with regards to actual environments. There were plenty of forests, rivers, farmland, mountains. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see if there were other biome types but I can only hope!
Abilities at times looked and felt a little clunky, more specifically the close-range swings and ranged projectile skills.
WHAT PLATFORMS WILL THE GAME SUPPORT?
Currently, New World is going to be a PC exclusive. The game will be available to pre-order via both Amazon itself and Steam.
The devs have confirmed that they have absolutely no interest of porting the game over to any type of console in the future, and would like to keep this exclusively on the PC.
Which is honestly a shame as I feel like an MMO like this would have been perfect for consoles and having cross-play functionality between PCs and consoles is a huge missed opportunity.
I HEARD THERE'S PVP..
PvP was the main attraction for New World originally when it was planned to be a survival game. With the ridiculous overhaul, revamp and rework, PvP became much less of a focus but it still retains a certain level of importance.
Players can now entirely opt-out of PvP, meaning that you can completely ignore the feature all together. PvP requires a certain level to participate – level 10 specifically, and for you to be a part of a faction.
The Criminal System that was originally in place has since been removed and players no longer drop items when they die, removing the full-loot aspect of the game. They also have no plans on full-PvP servers anymore.
Open-world PvP takes the form of faction missions – or at least during the Preview that was the case. Players would go to a specific location, while having PvP flagged, and would attempt to participate in and complete the mission.
WHAT ABOUT PVE?
There are plenty of PvE elements that comprise the game. Let’s start with the Player Housing. Players can purchase houses and decorate them. These can be purchased beginning at level 20. Houses are only purchasable within Settlements.
Settlements are a part of the territory system present in-game, with territories being capable of being taken over by companies – essentially New World’s version of the guild system.
Players can then govern them, setting taxes, providing crafting stations and most importantly, fortifying it, in the case of invasions.
Invasions take two separate forms: You have player invasions which are large-scale 50 vs 50 Siege battles between companies, which is I guess a form of PvP – so maybe this should be in the PvP section…. but I digress.
Then you have NPC Invasions, which allow for up to 50 players to sign up and participate in a large-scale invasion of corrupted enemies lasting 8 waves.
There are no planned dungeons or raids – yup, this is a core MMO mechanic that is completely removed from the game much like Black Desert did. I know this will upset some people but Blue Protocol should satisfy those of you that want that type of competitive PvE content.
We have Corrupted Breaches that spawn around the world that allow players to group up and tackle waves of enemies, with the goal of sealing the breach and returning the land to normal.
Then there are Factions.. players have to choose a faction, and in doing so will open up quests specific to that faction. Joining a faction is permanent, and as such you’ll only be capable of joining a Company of the corresponding faction you choose.
Taking on faction quests aids your factions overall influence of the territory, and quests themselves differ between PvE or PvP as to not limit content for any single type of player.
I HEARD THERE'S CRAFTING?
If you know Mrs Stix and I.. you know we hate crafting. I prefer to just pay someone to craft the items for me, so seeing how important – how focal of a point crafting is in this game.. definitely kills me a little inside, but yes, there is definitely crafting present.
Crafting comes in various forms and requires a variety of materials. You can gather utilizing Mining, Skinning, Logging and Harvesting. You can refine using Smelting, Stonecutting, Woodworking, Leatherworking and Weaving. And finally you can craft using Weaponsmithing, Armoring, Jewelcrafting, Engineering, Arcana, Cooking and Furnishing.
When gathering materials to craft you can find special items that actually improve the items you craft, and crafted items actually have not only different tiers, but also different qualities that influence the item’s gear score and overall statistics.
Crafting is pretty extensive and is definitely rewarding if you dedicate enough time to it.
WHEN IS THE NEXT CLOSED BETA?
As of October 20th, 2020, New World has returned back to its Alpha status, with the developers claiming they’re making extensive alterations to different aspects of the game and attempting to introduce plenty of new content.
As such, they’re sending out random invites for players to participate in the revamped content, however, the entire Alpha is back to being under an NDA. Meaning we can’t stream, we can’t record, we can’t take pictures of, and we can’t even discuss what we experience until they say we can.
As for the Closed Beta, it was originally scheduled for April 2020, but after repeated, quite extensive delays, the Closed Beta has been delayed to Spring 2021.
SO WHEN DOES IT RELEASE?
Interestingly, the Closed Beta begins in Spring 2021, and the official release of the game comes at the same time. So not only are we going to be able to test the game come Spring, but if there are issues present.. then too bad I guess?
Now while they do claim the game will fully launch in Spring 2021, with the sheer number of delays the game has suffered thus far, I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question for the game to ultimately end up delayed again to a later date in 2021 or 2022.
But that’s just me. Remember, New World was supposed to launch May 26th 2020.
SO IS NEW WORLD COMING OUT GLOBALLY?
Amazon Game Studios have not confirmed which, if any regions will not have access to the upcoming MMO.
As it stands, it’s safe to assume if you could play Crucible, then you’ll be able to play New World as well, but considering the money Amazon has.. I wouldn’t expect the game to be unavailable anywhere that wouldn’t already be difficult to launch.
But then again we won’t know specifics until we get closer to release this coming Spring.
CAN MY COMPUTER RUN NEW WORLD?
And that’s pretty much everything I can think of. All of the questions I’ve seen asked, and all of the topics that I think really need covered.
New World is one of the hottest upcoming MMOs – being one of the most anticipated titles in years and could potentially be the biggest online release of 2021.
Amazon Game Studios have had absolutely no success with their games thus far, but that could potentially change if New World ends up being a huge hit. They currently have Lost Ark and a Lord of the Rings MMO planned for the future, but New World will be the first MMO release for the studio.
I think the future of the studio depends on the success of this game, but from what I’ve seen thus far from the Preview event.. it still has a long way to go and not as much time as they might need to make adequate changes to the game.