First revealed at TwitchCon half a decade ago, MMO fans have been hotly awaiting the release of New World, the very first MMORPG and second major release from Amazon Games.
To date, the hype has been huge as the game not only charts new ground for the MMO genre, taking us to a fictionalized version of the mid-1600s colonization of the Americas, but the game has been positioned as a make-or-break for Amazon Games as a whole. This is because, since its formation in 2012, the studio’s major releases Breakaway and Crucible were both canceled during development, leaving New World as their long-awaited flagship project.
After an incredibly small beta in September 2020, Amazon Games pleased players in blessing pre-order customers with a closed beta which began July 20, 2021.
Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from the Beta.
An Emphasis on Crafting
As with many MMOs, New World features a rich and diverse crafting system which many valued as one of the game’s strongest components. Players of the beta noted that this crafting system rivals many of the best found in the MMO world, such as those found in Albion or Elder Scrolls Online.
This means that if you’re a fan of gathering components and crafting gear, New World will have a lot for you.
Player versus player (PvP) comes in many different forms in New World.
First, you have the traditional form of faction-based territory-control PvP which will be familiar to those who have played Dark Age of Camelot or Guild Wars 2, resembling those games’ realm-vs-realm and world-vs-world game modes.
What is most exciting about New World’s PvP, though, is that it mainly takes place in the open world. Allowing you to stumble across players from other factions and choose to lay waste to them (or not).
This mechanic is helped by the fact that all players in the game are funneled into one of three factions, much like World of Warcraft’s divide between the Horde and the Alliance.
No MMO would be complete without dungeons and raids. Thankfully, the team behind New World know this incredibly well and has packed the game with a variety of “Expeditions”, the New World equivalent.
Within these players tend to take on classic Tank, DPS, and Healer roles as they fight through set scenarios to gain top-tier loot.
That said, for players unwilling to put in the hours to master these expeditions there are other ways to obtain high-level gear. Head on over to Eldorado.gg, and you can already get your hands on a plethora of New World loot and gold.
The Same Enemies
While the game has a variety of draws, enemy variety certainly wasn’t one for many players. Instead, beta players noted how many of the game’s zones felt incredibly similar, with enemy types not varying as often as they could.
For many, this led to homogenize the experience, blending the whole world of New World into one big mass.
Furthermore, players reported long wait times for particular quest-related enemies to respawn—an issue that has plagued the MMO genre since its earliest days, and something that many players wish developers would be able to circumvent given the genre’s age.
A Classic Example of MMO Storytelling
While plenty modern MMOs, like The Elder Scrolls Online or The Secret World, deliver high-level stories within the multiplayer restraints, New World certainly isn’t an example of this. Or at least not yet.
Players reported the same longstanding issues as many other MMOs, noting that character motivation felt thin and static, and dialogue forgettable leading many to skip through the story, seeing it more as an obstacle than a key part of the experience.
This is a shame, seeing as the game covers new ground, but as the game is still in beta, we will reserve our hopes that New World will be able to deliver a killer story somewhere down the line.
The combat of New World is a continual gripe of many players and has been since the very first beta.
Players complain that the combat is rather simplistic, formed from primarily hammering light attacks, heavy attacks, dodges, and blocks. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that each player only has three abilities available to them at any one time.
Given the reliance on two attack types amid a flurry of dodges and blocks, some players drew parallels with the combat of the Souls series—albeit in an incredibly watered down, far less difficult form.
This is an incredibly gaping issue for the game as combat is, well, the main part of the gameplay for most (if not all) players!
While much praise has been showered on the game, it’s undeniable that players have pointed out a whole host of problems and concerns they have about the game’s current state.
These issues have led to disgruntled players, such as well-known MMO streamer Asmongold, exclaiming that the game is simply not ready to receive a full release at the end of August 2021 (as is currently planned).
Beyond the gameplay itself, players have cited this concern regarding the game’s poor optimization which has led to incredibly laggy, buggy, and sub-par gaming experiences.
While there’s yet to be an official word from Amazon Games on whether the release will be pushed back or not, it’s worth remembering that all these players want the game to be good. Despite their gripes with the mechanics and current state of New World, they have been committing time to an unfinished product, providing useful feedback to the team. Let’s just hope that feedback can be taken on board, so that New World can join the ranks of the MMO genre as another staple. None of us want to see another example of studios over-scoping and shutting down the servers soon after release.