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Dumb Things Everyone Ignores About New World

Amazon Game Studios' first blockbuster release, "New World," has been met with mixed reception among players and critics alike. Players have praised the gripping "Souls"-like combat in grand-scale PvP matches, as well as the overall aesthetic. Other players, however, have condemned the game's lack of polish and broken in-game economy. Compiled in a post-release report by Polygon, "New World" faced considerable challenges with game-breaking exploits and bugs.

Since its release, "New World" has seen a sharp decline in its active player base. This is to be expected with any MMO months after launch, but some of the issues in "New World" have caused headaches for fans and set it back. The overall success of "New World" is yet to be seen, as many MMORPGs have grown with time and fixed their issues in expansions. "New World" is a game with many quirks, so here are some of the title's most overlooked (and sillier) aspects.

New World's complicated development history

 The cinematic reveal trailer for "New World" was tinged with horror elements, drawing players into its story and setting. Hype for "New World" would only increase with time, but the actual gameplay of "New World" changed drastically over the course of its development.

The developers revealed to Rock Paper Shotgun that "New World" was initially conceived as a survival-horror game. The title's first iterations lacked the town centers, quest hubs, and other staples of MMORPG play that one might expect. Instead, according to PCGamesN, the open-world experience felt more like "Rust," an entirely loot-and-survival-driven PvP quagmire of battling factions. Katy Kazsynski, senior producer at Amazon Game Studios, described the game as feeling "toxic" for its first players, with many gamers responding to the forced PvP by killing low-level players. Some also constructed nothing but menacing, ugly forts to control territory, and players had to join these factions or else be cut off from all meaningful resources.

Changing paths, "New World" shifted its focus towards becoming a PvP-centric MMORPG. Once these plans likewise turned sour as a result of toxic player behavior, as reported from an interview with Amazon Game Studios by MassivelyOP, "New World" finally began implementing PvE content and more structured PvP instances. When one plays "New World," it becomes readily apparent how much polish went into each phase of the game's development, but it's wild to think that the title spent so long swapping between visions.

Gear Score is not random

Some players love RPGs for exploration, some for strategic challenges. However, many players get into RPGs purely for the loot. Getting a new piece of gear in RPGs is like unlocking a new part of the character, and most MMORPG devs take this player behavior into account when designing their endgames.

Typically, acquiring endgame gear in an MMORPG can take a great deal of time. Whether it's gathering and combining special resources from across the world or taking down the final boss of a difficult raid, that end-game gear is earned. "New World," however, does not share this philosophy. Instead, as noted by Game Revolution, once a player reaches the maximum level of 60, their gear score starts to take into account a "watermark" score. 

The watermark gear system slowly progresses the endgame player from a level 500 gear score to level 600 gear score. In order to earn 1 level of gear score, players must loot an item of the same type. For example, a player looting their first helmet after hitting the maximum character level will loot a level 501 gear score helmet. After looting their second helmet, their "watermarked" gear score for helmets would then be level 502. This process is repeated for each separate piece of armor, all the way to level 600 gear score. 

Furthermore, loot from late-game dungeons does not count towards a player's watermarked gear score. So in order to get the best gear in the game, a player has to run around looting the same elite chests over and over until their gear score inches up. It's a real grind.

NPCs do not defend chests

When a new player hops into the supernatural island of Aeternum, they will find countless groupings of hostile NPCs guarding their stockpiles of loot. Normally, a player would eliminate all the mobs one-by-one and only take the loot from the chests once they are unguarded. However, once a player spends a bit of time in the game, they'll likely discover that the NPCs guarding loot chests are not the smartest.

"Dark Souls" is famous for this conundrum as well. New players will spend all their time and resources to kill every last mob one-by-one to safely reach their next bonfire point. But once players get a real feel for the game, players will run past every mob and only kill the ones with important loot.

In "New World," NPC pathing creates an environment where players can easily trick enemies into not attacking while the player takes the contents of the chest right in front of the NPC's face. Players can either lead the NPCs through a vertical loop by jumping off of cliffs that NPCs refuse to jump from, or by just standing in certain unreachable spots (of which there are plenty surrounding almost every chest in the game). 

So instead of player-led combat raids of elite camps, "New World" tends to see its players simply exploiting pathing mechanics. These endgame camps have essentially turned into chest farming routes where monsters just watch as you take their "guarded" treasure.

Reskinned models everywhere

While "New World" may fall short in some areas, it certainly does not disappoint when it comes to the overall look and feel of the game. The aesthetics are top notch, and some of the best moments of play come from simply exploring the changing landscapes and gathering all of their exotic resources. But despite the great designs of the models and textures in "New World," it seems there wasn't enough time for the developers to go into such detail for every model, or for the game designers to include the range of variety expected across an entire world of enemies.

It has become somewhat of a joke in the "New World" Reddit community to point out how many models are duplicates in the game. Popular Twitch streamer and MMORPG player Asmongold echoed this distaste for the overall lack of unique models, calling it "pathetic." 

There is so little variety in mob type in "New World" that once a player hits around level 25, they've likely seen almost all the game has to offer in terms of novel combat scenarios. The "New World" player community has already been able to make a guide to the different birds that are found across the continent. Even some of the settlements in "New World" are exact replicas of each other, just slightly rotated in their orientation on the world map.

Transferring storage is inefficient

One of the most innovative aspects of "New World" is its localized economies. In most games, the trading of resources is done across the world, or at least across factions. But in "New World", each settlement has its own localized economy in which trading goods and using services are not the sane across settlements. This creates a world where the blacksmith in one town may be way more advanced than the blacksmith in another, and therefore the price of ore in the good-blacksmith town costs more.

In order to keep these localized economies working as planned, "New World" had to likewise implement a localized storage system. What one storage chest contains in one settlement does not equal what another chest contains in another settlement. However, players will often need the resources they stored in a different settlement. 

Getting those resources to the proper town can be quite expensive. Whether it is the time that it takes to travel back and forth with small loads, the high cost of azoth for teleporting with a heavy inventory, or the raw gold it takes to transfer storage across settlements, it's going to be expensive. Unless the player needs very specific and expensive materials, it is almost always more worth it to buy whatever is missing in each localized settlement. Maximizing efficiency between storage systems has become a core element of "New World."

Profession progression lacks depth

Most MMORPGS allow for endless amounts of progression, and "New World" certainly gives players plenty of tasks. Most notably, the gathering and crafting mechanics in "New World" are especially fleshed out. Or, at least, they appear to be. 

Running around the starting zones of "New World" will see players encountering resources far past their grasp, giving them targets to strive towards. While a player might only be able to chop down young trees with a low woodcutting skill, "New World" puts ancient trees alongside those young ones as way of silently enticing players to keep progressing.

The end result of that gathering, however, is not entirely fulfilling. That is not to say there are not plenty of craftable items with a variety of components. In fact, "New World" has about as expansive a crafting library as any other MMORPG. But despite its breadth of content, the crafting system lacks depth.

Specifically, the game's Reddit community has identified that leveling up a crafting skill is most efficiently done by spamming low-cost items. Instead of crafting legendary items of ramping difficulty to become a master crafter, a player might instead find it easier to craft thousands of pairs of linen gloves because they give the best gold-to-experience ratio in the tailoring profession. This leads to a gameplay loop where cheap craftable items are spammed and then instantly salvaged, never actually getting used by players.

Items are still missing from the game

"New World" has had many promises to keep during its different stages of development. Starting from a survival game, then moving to a PvP-based MMO, and then to a fully-rounded PvE MMORPG, "New World" has changed form so many times that something was bound to slip through the cracks. Sure, there were plenty of exploits and bugs upon launch (per Den of Geek), but you may be wondering if everything even made it into the game.

According to some keen members of the Reddit community, "New World" has yet to release some items that are already supposedly "in-game." One notable item is the Etched Handguard, which is a required component part of a late game recipe for legendary weapons. After the Etched Handguard's absence was pointed out by multiple people, the game's official forums flagged that the coveted item actually "might not be obtainable." Whether or not this is a bug is yet to be seen, but it's one of the many confusing bits about "New World" that continue to frustrate players.

Player Collision and Movement Blocking

Movement is the main connection a player has with their on-screen avatar, so it is imperative to get the feeling of movement right in order for both PvP and PvE scenarios to flow correctly. When designing "New World", Amazon Game Studios made movement feel pretty good, but the company also introduced a player collision system that has some members of the official forums upset. 

Player collision occurs only when a player has their weapon drawn. If a player sheathes their weapon then they are allowed to walk through any mob or player. On its surface, this system does preserve a sense of immersion, but MMORPG.com has noted that it also creates a massive problem when it comes to PvE content. When dozens of players are all tracking the same NPC with their weapons out, then running into each other becomes a constant threat. This is especially bad for melee players who have to fight with each other for positioning to even strike the enemy. It can become basically impossible to complete a task without being boxed out by other players.

While the movement blocking makes perfect sense for PvP, it can make the rest of the game seriously annoying to play with other players. 

Players can level without combat

Most MMORPGs base their leveling progression around combat-filled quests. Want to become stronger? Then go slay those scary monsters terrorizing the town. Many MMORPGs also have extensive gathering and crafting systems, but "New World" actually lets its players level up purely through those two mechanics.

"New World" goes farther than just granting experience points for each plant harvested or each pair of linen gloves tailored; it even hands out gathering and crafting quests from the settlement improvement hub in each town. These quests are another source of non-combat-related experience points, which can be spammed by players looking to level up in this unorthodox fashion. They are not the main focus of many speed leveling guides, but they can definitely be added into the loop. 

Taken a step further, players can even refuse to skin animals or cook meat, choosing instead only to harvest, mine, and craft for experience. While it would take forever and might cause burnout quickly, players of "New World" are fully capable of max-leveling their character without ever taking up the blade, and more battle-minded players might view that as preposterous.

Lack of quest diversity

Since the development of the PvE aspects of "New World" took the last priority before launch (per Forbes), many of the game's questing mechanics have turned out to be half-baked. There is really no story that ties together the quests, it is simply a progression of doing random tasks for random villagers in random towns. Where most games use quests to paint the picture of a larger story and the player's place within a grand narrative, "New World" uses quests as motivators to go out into the open-world.

In short, "New World" features a handful of quest types that are constantly repeated, and players will exhaust these types within the first 20 levels of gameplay. The quests amount to killing a certain number of enemies, looting a certain amount of boxes, looting items off NPCs, killing an important NPC, or talking to a person on another side of the map. Quests are also required to be turned in where they were accepted, meaning that players need to run all over the map to complete these tasks. 

In a developer update blog, Amazon Games openly admitted to a "lack of variety in quest dynamics." While it is a core expectation of MMORPGs to have quests, maybe "New World" should have subverted that trope in favor of more expanded gathering, crafting, and exploration mechanics, rather than an awkward middle ground for all of those mechanics.

House taxes are halved only the first time

Maintaining balanced tax forms is somewhat ironic in a game produced by Amazon, but "New World" pushes this boundary like no other MMORPG has in the past. Settlements in "New World" are controlled by player-chosen governors, who can change the tax rates of owning property and using crafting workshops among other things. The localized economic structure and lack of available storage in "New World" incentivizes players to invest in houses.

The first house purchased in a new settlement will have a half-rate tax bill for its first payment. Many players miss this fine-print and are stuck with a tax bill the next payment cycle for double what they were expecting. "New World" does not charge back taxes, thankfully, so players will only ever have a single tax bill to catch up on before reassessing the contents of their property. Owning multiple homes across settlements can quickly become costly, so planning out tax payments in advance is key to success in "New World." So much for fantasy escapism.