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New World Hands-On Preview – An MMORPG That Puts Freedom

Today’s preview is a little different from what we usually do. For this one, we got to meet the developers in person to learn about their plans for the game and also to get a better idea about the game’s technology. What we found is a game-world that is significantly different from most MMORPG games—this one is targeted to those who enjoy a more ‘realistic’ experience.

As a gamer, I love MMORPGs, but I don’t love them as much as I used to. For years I’ve been a huge fan of the genre. In particular, I love the “You’re the hero, you’re in control” approach that most MMORPGs have. In the end, you are the one that gets to make the decisions that shape your character’s adventures, and ultimately the world.

I was recently invited to New World Interactive’s headquarters to check out the latest build of their game, New World: Quest for Glory. New World is an MMORPG that takes place in the fictional continent of Castopia, a land that has been separated into three regions. The game is set after a great war between the Alliance and the Imperial Alliance. (Following the war, the Alliance split into the Silver Covenant and the Black Covenant, and the Imperial Alliance split into the Haven Empire and the Vanguard Empire.) The players take on the role of a new generation of heroes who must restore peace to the land.. Read more about new world beta and let us know what you think.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

New World has a major hurdle in competing for a place in a genre that has a reputation for being difficult to break into. As the newest kid on the block, Amazon Games’ debut MMO relies on familiarity to appeal to long-time fans of the genre, while also attempting to carve out its own niche with a combination of PvP and PvE activities, a departure from tab-targeting combat, and an emphasis on freedom of choice.

One obvious takeaway from our experience with New World’s closed beta is that it does an excellent job of enticing you to explore the island of Aeternum while also easing you into the majority of the activities available. We were greeted with the first of many beautiful views after surviving a shipwreck and a brief but clear instructional battle against a nasty-looking zombie sailor.

Several times when traveling across the globe, we just had to stop and take in the beauty. The moonlight cutting through the trees and lighting an empty road heading to our next location seemed like an unofficial guide. The mesmerizing light of a sunset showering a forest, its animal residents, and thick foliage provided lots of photo opportunities.

When we returned after a day of exploration, the hamlets that serve as temporary residences in each of the map’s regions greeted us with gorgeous, gloomy lighting, teeming with life as players wandered about creating, taking up missions, and forming groups for their next adventure. However, although New World does this without over-emphasizing its supernatural elements and staying reasonably grounded, its landscapes might benefit from a little more diversity outside of the towns, which provide various layouts and themes to the mix.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

The primary mission in New World is a breadcrumb trail that not only provides a flavor of its history but also progressively teaches fundamental ideas, such as cooking meat into healing rations and manufacturing equipment for various professions (trade skills), weapons, and armor. It also introduces the three factions that play a significant part in PvP battles.

Even with the Corrupted overrunning parts of each territory and sieging towns in instanced endgame Invasions, the game’s sparse narrative offers nothing to lend weight to your fight against them, whom the game attempts to portray as a formidable adversary. This gap is mirrored in the characters, whose sparse speech makes it difficult to trust in their motives.

Rather than helping NPCs rekindle their friendships or persuade them to aid their settlement in the battle against the Corrupted, the primary purpose for questing in the closed beta was to fill up the XP meter. The typical questing, which never attempts to go beyond the “kill x enemies,” “collect x things,” or “speak to y” type of goals, also saps the vitality out of lengthy periods of leveling up, committing one of the genre’s most egregious faults.

Harvesting and crafting, thankfully, allow you to earn experience as well, making them a nice diversion and alternative when conventional leveling becomes tedious.

Despite the fact that New World has level-based gate quests in certain places, you are free to wander in whatever direction you choose and even take on some of the more challenging chores if you’re brave enough (or know a high-level player or two). One of the game’s fundamental principles is freedom. Although the holy trinity of Tank, Healer, and DPS remains in existence to some degree, there are no conventional classes.

From the opening minutes of the game, you have access to all crafting disciplines and may very much play as you want. You may either stick to questing and PvE activities, become an experienced harvester and/or crafter, enter the PvP game – whether in the open world or in instanced activities like War and Outpost Rush – or do a combination of the two.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

From the opening minutes of the game, you have access to all crafting disciplines and may very much play as you want. You may either stick to questing and PvE activities, become an experienced harvester and/or crafter, enter the PvP game – whether in the open world or in instanced activities like War and Outpost Rush – or do a combination of the two.

Each weapon allows you to equip up to three abilities from one of two skill trees, each with its own gameplay flavor. The light staff, for example, combines the skills of a conventional healer who can target-heal friends and lay down a protective dome with others who restore health depending on weapon damage and active buffs.

At any one moment, you may equip two weapons and swap between them on the fly. Their skills have different cooldowns and weapon damage scaling depending on the weapon quality, as well as your character’s and gear’s attributes.

We chose a dexterity/intelligence build and mostly used the rapier and musket throughout our gameplay. The musket let us to burn opponents on fire and load them with lead from distance, while the former allowed us to apply a Bleed effect and then follow up with a beautiful flurry of strikes that caused substantial damage while prolonging that bleed. At least one-third of their health had been lost by the time we had to turn to close-quarters fighting.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

Playing alone as a completely ranged character is possible since stamina allows you to block with any weapon and all characters can dodge attacks with an awkward dodge maneuver. While the fighting in New World is enjoyable and has its moments, it struggles to establish a rhythm the most of the time. It’s not always simple to figure out when to duck in battles with many enemies, since the telegraphs aren’t always clear to read.

The rapier’s abilities and attacks demanded more finesse, depending on forward thrusts rather than slashes and locking us into animations that offered opponents wider opportunities to score blows. We often swung from feeling like battlefield gods to helpless idiots, and the same sensation remained even when we switched weapons. This lack of consistency – which may be remedied with more acquired abilities and time spent getting accustomed to the fighting – is compounded by, in some instances, lackluster sound effects, which made other weapons like the sword or fire staff seem very feeble.

As you use your chosen weapon type, it gains experience points, which you may use to unlock active and passive abilities. It’s a simple system that’s also simple to comprehend, and it seems to have enough personality to support various builds across all weapons. While three abilities may seem sparse in comparison to other MMOs’ extended rotations, each weapon’s light and power assaults feel different from their counterparts, providing much-needed diversity.

Unfortunately, it is something that New World’s adversaries lack. When you first meet a protected opponent, you learn that you must either go around the barrier or use powerful blows to breach its defense. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough of a foundation. Even in the first Expedition (dungeon), Amrine Excavation, which we easily zerged through, you can get away with repeating attacks and abilities up until level 25.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

To fire our gun, we had to either buy bullets from one of the settlement’s trade stations (each with its own economy) or make them ourselves. This is only one path down the crafting and harvesting rabbit hole, which Amazon Games intends to keep relevant until the game’s conclusion. With access to all trade abilities from the start, it’s easy to get sidetracked when out in the open, but due to your restricted carry capacity, you’ll likely specialize on one or two items, which, although never forced upon you, allows you to gain quicker access to higher-tier craftables.

You earn experience by competing with other players for resources, some of which are very scarce, whether you want to gather plants, forge gear, or become Aeternum’s best tree cutter. This results in lengthy wait periods, which you’ll notice while doing missions that need you to hunt certain animals. When making, you may modify your gear’s stats and roll random bonuses that might improve your playstyle. You might even devote your life to designing furniture for gamers’ homes.

Cooking rations, mending your gear, and stocking up on health, mana, and stat boost potions are all excellent things to do before venturing out into the world, particularly if PvP is enabled in any of Aeternum’s towns. This allows you to attack any players who are also marked for PvP and are members of one of the two opposing factions.

It was either a lot of fun or a lot of chaos fighting other people in the open world. The former occurred mainly in 1v1 fights, when talent is likely to show due to some kind of power scaling. You may defeat a higher-level opponent by dodging, blocking, and correctly targeting your strikes. But you don’t always have this luxury, and although tens of people firing and slicing at one other has its allure, the pandemonium may drive some gamers to leave town with PvP disabled.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

During the closed beta of New World, however, instanced PvP proved to be very difficult to access. You may participate to the territorial control game by completing PvP objectives and battling over forts in each area after you’ve pledged allegiance to one of Aeternum’s three factions. When your faction’s influence reaches a certain threshold, you may declare war, which takes the form of a battle between two teams of 50 players vying for possession of three control points.

Because the number of players on the waiting list much exceeded the number of available seats in any given War, only those selected by the businesses (guilds) participating were allowed to participate. Although reasonable considering the beta’s brief duration, being left out and forced to wait for a chance in the next battle is disheartening, particularly when that opportunity never arrives. The PvPvE mode Outpost Rush and the Corrupted Invasions are then restricted until you achieve level 50.

The closed beta for New World has its fair share of problems as well. The primary issue was server stability, which required regular maintenance and had a significant effect on performance. Despite having a machine that was better than the stated system requirements (GTX 1070, 16 GB RAM, and i7-8700K), we had difficulty achieving a steady 60 FPS at 1080p on Very High settings.

These problems were progressively resolved, allowing us to play the game on high settings with little stuttering, and should not be present at launch. The MMORPG, on the other hand, left us with the impression that it doesn’t excel at anything in particular but does a good job at a few things. We didn’t get to see all it has to offer, so this isn’t a definitive judgment; nevertheless, we’d be lying if we claimed it didn’t seem a little lost in its direction.

New World Hands-On Preview - An MMORPG That Puts Freedom Front and Center

The first dungeon seems to have been slapped on in an effort to please PvE-focused gamers, but its lackluster storyline and mediocre questing will certainly fail to hold anyone’s attention. The heart of the game seems to be PvP, territorial management, and crafting, although getting into all of its aspects may prove more difficult than some players would want. If you’re in the proper faction, you may contribute to a settlement’s projects and enjoy the advantages of owning it, but only high-rank members of the controlling corporation seem to be able to decide its direction and choose who fights its Wars.

However, players who don’t want to be pushed into praying to the RNG gods for gear or conquering the current raid tier may find the game’s lax attitude to playstyle to be one of its virtues. New World has a certain freshness to it, as well as the potential to be an MMO that feels and plays differently from its rivals, even if it didn’t blow our minds. When the game releases later this month, on August 31, we’ll see how effectively Amazon Games does this.

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In our latest hands-on preview, we explore a new MMORPG that puts players in charge. We’re taken to a new open world in the game’s demo, and find ourselves in a vast, almost anarchic world. But instead of being a land of deep, static character customization and the traditional MMORPG grind, New World offers a more freeform and open experience that you can simply play for fun. And that’s really the whole point: to experience an MMORPG without the restrictions and obligations.. Read more about mmorpg meaning and let us know what you think.

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Greg Baskerville
Greg Baskerville
Gaming Blogger & Musician. Playing games since the Amiga days in the 1980's, and a handy guitarist.

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