About ten years ago, MMORPGs were all the rage and hardly a month went by without a new (too) ambitious project emerging. Since then, most have been ‘copycats’ of WoW. Trends evolved and ‘copycats’ are now trying the way of Battle Royale and other Hero Shooters. It is therefore in a relatively peaceful context that New World, Amazon Games’ first MMO, is about to be released. The game will finally be released next 31st August 2021.
New World is presented as a completely open MMORPG, centered both on the discovery of the environment and the clashes between players, these two aspects being complementary. So far, nothing is very original. But the universe chosen by the developers of Amazon Games is indeed a bit interesting, since it is clearly inspired by the 17th century while adding a good dose of magic to it. This reminds us a bit of Greedfall and… that’s about it!
In addition to emphasizing exploration, this context has the merit of offering a wide variety of weapons, since rifles have not yet become totally essential. Thus, one can just as well fight with bladed weapons, firearms, bows or magic. The enemy creatures fall into four distinct groups: the Taken, the Undead, the Elders and the “Angry Earths”, avatars of Mother Nature made of wood and stone. Players can swear allegiance to one of the game’s three factions: Marauders, Syndicate, and Covenant.
This aspect is essential since it allows subsequently to take part in the conquest of territories, the different cities being able to be claimed (if they are empty) or conquered (if they are already occupied) by one or the other of the cities (or factions). These territories are home to forts and towns of all sizes, in which you can take quests, store resources, socialize with other players, or even buy your own house, which you can then customize as you wish. It will also be possible to participate in larger scale “city projects”.
The different players then work on a common objective, which can be fulfilled by completing various quests (killing certain creatures, collecting resources, discovering treasures, etc.) and which ultimately makes it possible to improve the city. In this way we can for example strengthen the city’s defenses or improve the craft stations. But beware, this system works both ways. If players don’t pay enough taxes or lose a battle against another faction, the facility level will drop down a notch.
The combat system emphasizes action, and the developers promise us that all the physical aspects will be fully managed on the server side, so that the detection of hits is as accurate as possible. Indeed, the timing of the attacks and the positioning of the players are very important since we have fast attacks, slow attacks, dodge rolls and parries.
About the use of weapons in New World
When it comes to weapons, their variety is not their only strong point since the game does not impose any predefined character class. It is by using this or that weapon that the heroes will gain mastery points, and will thus be able to progress in the use of their favorite tool. Each weapon has two distinct talent trees, which offer very different playstyles, but can also be mixed for maximum customization. In combat, we have three active skills, limited by a cooldown. In addition, each player can take three different weapons with him, and switch from one to the other at will in order to adapt to the current challenge.
As far as we are concerned, we have retained a musket, a sword and a fire stick, in order to be as effective at contact as at distance. Because yes, beyond the presentation of the game made by the developers, we were able to participate in a battle involving exactly one hundred players! One of the objectives of this preview session was indeed to make us discover the War mode, the very one that allows a faction to conquer a territory belonging to another.
New World’s Resources
Unlike World of Warcraft and it’s WoW Gold, the currency is called New World: Coin. Items like flints (stones), lumber (wood) are pretty much prominent and used for the in-game professions. Characters can be leveled to 60, though we do feel that players will be buying New World Accounts just like WoW.
The game is pretty balanced and exciting. It is expected to have millions of players, partly do it’s “era” difference and partly because it is made by Amazon Games which is owned by Amazon, even though it is being released just 3 months after WoW Classic: The Burning Crusade.