The New World MMO beta has been up for a few days, and its been an interesting ride so far! While graphically the MMO is beautiful, and there are a number of cool little features, the game just doesn’t click for me and for several others that I know. This isn’t a rip on the game – I quite enjoy it, actually! – but there are a number of flaws that Amazon might want to consider looking into before pushing the launch button…
Crafting and Faction Gear
Let’s start with a big one – crafting. New World has a ton of crafting skills, and places a strong emphasis on their importance. This is understandable – the game revolves around a player economy, with few vendors around to provide materials or services. In fact, the only ones I’ve seen are the faction vendors – players pick between one of three factions early on and you do quests to earn “tokens” and reputation, the first of which can be spent on a variety of items.
However, the presence of this vendor goes completely against what the game is trying to be – a player run market. Sure, players supply most of the gathering materials – outside a few runes from the faction vendor, some specific mob drops that are bind on pick up, etc – but the problem is that the vendor doesn’t just give runes and materials, it provides gear. Really, really, good gear. So good, it makes crafting seem worthless.
Amazon might have to consider removing this vendor or altering what it can provide. Maybe they sell schematics that you can turn into good gear or items, using the diverse and in-depth crafting systems in place to do so? Either way, these vendors provide a huge problem for “player run economy,” at least until late-game items enter the picture.
Gathering, Crafting, and Storage
We’re not done talking about crafting yet! Its one of the biggest parts of the game, and as such it has a lot tied to it. This includes, obviously, gathering. You have a variety of gathering skills in New World, including mining, logging, harvesting, etc. These all can be leveled to access better materials – though some, like iron, are always useful – and then refined into crafting components. You do this through other skills like smelting, wood cutting, stone cutting, weaving, and even cooking. All of this requires a ton of gathering – a TON of it. So much so that your meager storage gets overwhelmed instantly.
And this is a problem, especially for mid-to-late game crafting. Someone did the math and it would require between 800 and 1200 iron bars to make enough Asmodeum – the highest level metal – for Tier 5 gear. That, plus all the other materials and items you need, more than overwhelms your storage weight for whatever town you’re in.
My friends and I constantly ran into storage issues, even after using our territory levels to boost it – and we always needed more and more materials to craft. This meant we ran out of space, again. And we’re only on Starmetal – not even close to Tier 5 items like Asmodeum.
Amazon needs to consider either replacing the current storage system with a slot-based one, like in other popular MMOS, or allowing players to spend their in-game gold to increase the storage size. We have bags, too! These boost our character’s weight capacity, why not a similar item for the storage system? Either way, this system HAS to change in order to make end-game gathering and refining not an inventory management chore.
Companies and Uselessness
Another complaint is that the Company system, basically the New World equivalent to the Guild system in other MMOs, feels utterly useless. Well, unless you’re part of the lucky few that manage to take an entire settlement and zone – which is a mechanic in the game. That’s right, first come, first serve, and they get all the benefits. There are only 14 territories in the game at the moment, and on my server at least half are owned by one Company. That’s right, one.
So, if you’re not a company that owns one of these territories, what is the benefit of the company system? So far? Nothing. You can pay money into it, have a place for you and your friends to chat, but that’s it. No building, no storage space – as far as I know – no nothing. It seems pretty useless, in all honesty. This system needs to be refined and changed, and the Company should have more to do. Company businesses, housing, compounds, anything! Just, give smaller Companies that aren’t the first one to buy one of the 14 territories something to do, please.
Drop Rates and Frustration
Finally, my last big issue are the drop rates of certain resources in the game. Well, actually, the drops in general. Most enemies don’t drop anything. You can skin beasts, which is used in your skinning and tracking skill, for leather and meat, but for the most part, that’s it. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and a more rare resource will drop from a mob or a resource node – iron vein, tree, etc – but not always. From humanoid enemies, you hardly get anything outside the rare gear drop, which is almost always worse than anything you can get from the faction vendor. Sometimes, at random, you’ll get a pitifully small amount of gold, too.
But, outside of that? Nothing. Now, I’m not saying we should get epic items or legendary loot all the time, but at a certain point it gets frustrating. You need specific items to refine rarer materials, like iron into steel, and these items are randomly given from chests you can loot once in a while. It would be much, much, better to have enemies have a chance to drop these items, too, and to just do away with most of the gear drops – make those super rare, and often exceptional in quality. This way the player economy is the driving engine for loot – crafting takes over and becomes the most important aspect, which it is supposed to be, anyway.
Additionally, some important gathering resources like fae iron, voidmetal, whisperwood, and others are far, far too hard to get. Even with over 130 mining and luck-improving food items, I rarely got any of these items. And when I did, it was far too late – I was well over the level for fae iron when I started to get it, and the gear was actually useless because, well, faction gear is too good. This means that the entire fae-iron crafting segment of my skill was useless to me.
As for voidmetal? I’ve never even seen it so far. My friend got some out of a chest, once, but it was only two bars. Practically worthless.
Now, I’m not saying that New World is a bad game, and I get that its still in Beta with a month+ before it hits full release, but it has some serious flaws in game design. The faction gear is too good, too early, the gathering has terrible drop rates, the refining skills require items that are too annoying to get unless you have great luck – and you need these items to refine – and the higher level crafting is going to require so much materials the storage system, as is, makes the process needlessly annoying.
Pretty graphics and a noble attempt to make the player-driven economy vital to an MMO in ways that it isn’t in most others aside, Amazon has a long way to go before this game is ready. And I haven’t even tried the PVP (player-versus-player) aspect yet. I hear that’s pretty terrible, too.
New World is owned by Amazon, all screenshots are taken from game and used in this review. I don’t own New World, or any content of New World. All opinions are my own.