New World - Any questions about Amazon's MMO?

PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
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Dec 9, 2019
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Last week I visited Amazon Game Studios' Irvine office and played several hours of New World, its MMO releasing in May. You can read about it here: https://www.pcgamer.com/new-world-hands-on-classic-mmo-questing-with-50v50-territory-wars/

I didn't include absolutely everything from my experience or interviews in that preview, so if there's anything you're curious about that isn't answered there, feel free to ask here. I may not know all the answers, but I'll do my best.
 
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Feb 19, 2020
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Is the level of the character going to be persistent or do the game worlds reset and start over from scratch regularly? If persistent, then will a new player be at a massive disadvantage (as in most MMOs) or still be able to hold their own with a more limited skillset and loadout (as in say, PlanetSide2)?
In other words, what role does character progression play in the game?
 
Feb 19, 2020
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I read your article on New World, so here's my first post!
Can you tell us about the character selection process?
Is character creation customizable or do we choose between a set of pre-made characters?
Are the characters all vaguely Euro?

In a PCG article from a few days ago, it talks about the enemy factions, "The Lost are the wandering bodies of dead sailors and pirates who have washed up on the island, the Angry Earth are the protectors of the island trying to fight back against intruders, and the Ancients are a technologically advanced civilisation that met its downfall in a mysterious way. "

But what about the player factions? What are the benefits to each faction? Why would I choose one over another, aside from maybe my friends play it?
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
ST
 

PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
16
101
50
Is the level of the character going to be persistent or do the game worlds reset and start over from scratch regularly? If persistent, then will a new player be at a massive disadvantage (as in most MMOs) or still be able to hold their own with a more limited skillset and loadout (as in say, PlanetSide2)?
In other words, what role does character progression play in the game?
Yes, it's persistent. No resetting is planned that I know of, and a new level 1 player will not be able to do the things a level 60 player can. However, a level 60 player can't just walk up to you and kill you. If you want to participate in open world PvP, you have to turn on your PvP flag, and you can't do that until you've leveled a bit. As it is now, turning on your PvP flag will mean you get an experience gain bonus, and if you get killed by another player, you don't lose anything except some durability on your gear. The big 50v50 wars are separated from the regular open world, and things even out a little there -- if you're a level 20 character at war and you're facing a level 60 character, they will have a big advantage, but there are 50 players on each side so you're probably just one person trying to hit them. In that context, you could make a difference by getting a few shots in, and when you die you'll respawn and can return to the fight.

Theoretically, since there's a player skill component to the combat, a level 1 character could kill a level 60 character in 1v1 combat. I think that would be extremely unlikely, unless the higher level character had only a sliver of health at the start of the fight. As you level up, you can increase classic RPG stats like strength, agility, and constitution (I don't think they call it that, but it's the same thing). So a level 60 player who, say, focused on strength, is going to hit very hard compared to a player who is just starting out.

There are also weapon mastery trees. The more you use a type of weapon, the more experience you gain in that weapon type. As you gain experience, you can unlock active and passive skills in that tree. With the current balancing, it didn't seem like it would take ages to fully unlock a tree. Active abilities are stuff like, say, a special sword move where you spin around to hit multiple enemies, or an archery attack that rains down arrows over a small area (good for those 50v50 battles).

I spent an afternoon playing with a new character, and nearly made it to level 10. Of course leveling slows down the higher you get, but it didn't seem sluggish. Maybe 10 hours to get to level 20? That's the level at which you can buy your first house (you can own another at level 40, and a third at level 60).

So to answer your question more briefly -- no, it's not like PlanetSide. While a more skilled player can beat a higher level player, they are at a real disadvantage because their stats are lower, they have fewer weapon mastery skills unlocked, and their gear probably isn't as good. However, it doesn't seem like you'll have to dedicate your life to the game to level up. I went from level 0 to 10 in an afternoon. At launch, the level cap will be 60.
 
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PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
16
101
50
I read your article on New World, so here's my first post!
Can you tell us about the character selection process?
Is character creation customizable or do we choose between a set of pre-made characters?
Are the characters all vaguely Euro?

In a PCG article from a few days ago, it talks about the enemy factions, "The Lost are the wandering bodies of dead sailors and pirates who have washed up on the island, the Angry Earth are the protectors of the island trying to fight back against intruders, and the Ancients are a technologically advanced civilisation that met its downfall in a mysterious way. "

But what about the player factions? What are the benefits to each faction? Why would I choose one over another, aside from maybe my friends play it?
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
ST
Character appearances are customizable when you start. I made a balding guy with big red mutton chops. There isn't a huge selection of options: body type, face, skin color, hair style/color, etc. I wanted a bit more from it, but then I just love customizing character appearances. One reason they probably don't let you mess with stuff like character height is that the combat is dependent on hitboxes.

There are three player factions, and you join one after leveling up a bit (I think around level 10). There's the faction that likes brute force, the one that like secrecy, the one that likes magic, in short. I don't know everything that joining one does (presumably some faction-specific bonuses?), but I do know how it affects player interactions:

A) Players in different factions can group up, do PvE stuff, share experience, etc, so it doesn't affect that.
B) If you turn on your open world PvP flag, it's players from other factions you'll be fighting.
C) Players in the same company must be in the same faction.
D) Can you change your faction? I asked, and the answer was sort of "yes... but." They don't want players rapidly switching factions (you could grief in PvP that way), so there'll be some kind of restriction to when and how often you can change. Presumably there will be some way to do it, though, so that if you make a friend in another faction and want to join their company, you don't have to start a new character.
 

PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
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Dec 9, 2019
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I guess my only real question is... did you have FUN? If so, what made it fun for you?
I had fun, sure, though with lots of caveats -- limited amount of time to play, just kind of running around figuring things out and killing stuff, not enough time to make an overall judgement about the game.

One nice thing is that, even if you aren't grouped with someone, you both get 100% experience from kills you share. So I just wandered around with another player killing stuff, and emoting now and then, and it was nice to have that nonverbal connection where we both benefited from hanging out.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Great answers, Tyler, thank you. I really appreciate the insights, and it looks like the sort of game I'd like to play. My wife tends to prefer support roles, and seems there is some of that in managing the fort and building things. She doesn't mind battles on occasion, just not front lines. Thanks again.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Ewwwww, I'll go for the opposite of balding guy with mutton chops. Hoping for a wild-haired gal. :D

Definitely going to try the different factions assuming I can have more than one character. Sneaky like ninja monkey sounds my style already.
If you can't join a faction until level 10, I assume you can't join a company either, or live in a fort. So pre-10 is all PVE, which is good, gives me time to learn the ropes.

I am curious though if PvP takes place outside of the forts, if there will be hordes of people camping the "zone lines" just waiting for me to stick my toe over the line. I guess that's why we join companies.
ST
 
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PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
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Dec 9, 2019
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Ewwwww, I'll go for the opposite of balding guy with mutton chops. Hoping for a wild-haired gal.

Definitely going to try the different factions assuming I can have more than one character. Sneaky like ninja monkey sounds my style already.
If you can't join a faction until level 10, I assume you can't join a company either, or live in a fort. So pre-10 is all PVE, which is good, gives me time to learn the ropes.

I am curious though if PvP takes place outside of the forts, if there will be hordes of people camping the "zone lines" just waiting for me to stick my toe over the line. I guess that's why we join companies.
ST
Couple things to clear up here:

You don't exactly 'live in a fort.' Each territory (except a couple special ones) contains a settlement and a fort. You can wander around inside the fort, no big deal, though you can't make changes to it (eg, add or remove a turret from a tower) unless you are a member of the company which commands it and have permission to. A territory's settlement is where you'll find player housing, crafting stations, and some NPCs.

Whichever company controls the fort in a territory also controls that territory's tax rate, and can set up public projects, such as building better crafting stations for the settlement. So if you like hanging out in a certain territory, you want it to be run by a company that's not over-taxing and is improving the settlement -- even if that company is of a different faction. At level 20, you can buy a house in any settlement (if you can afford it).

If a company wants to attack another company's fort, they'll declare war and the battle will be scheduled for a time chosen by the defending company (not chosen per-battle, as far as I understand it they choose a company-wide time window for any fort defense). The two companies will recruit their 50-player armies (you don't have to be a company member to participate) and at the scheduled time there'll be a battle. Amazon didn't like use of the word "instance," but essentially, the battle takes place in an instance as most understand it. Other players can't wander into the middle of it while it's happening. Anyway, the attackers attempt to capture respawn points outside of the fort and then to break down the doors and capture the fort's central capture point. The defenders obviously try to stop them. There's a time limit, though the exact length wasn't set in stone. Whoever wins either takes or keeps the fort, and then everyone's sent back to the regular open world where the consequences of that play out. Eg, if a new company takes over, they now control the territory's tax rate and improvement projects, and the fort/settlement might lose a few levels of advancement that they have to build back up.

Another thing that can happen: Corruption in a territory can build up, which eventually leads to corrupted creatures attacking a fort. So you can participate in that, as well, where it's a big PvE battle to defend a fort.

If you turn on your PvP flag, members of other factions can attack you out in the open world. You don't have to turn it on, though, so whatever level you're at you can be safe if you just want to do PvE stuff.

I assume you're right that you can't join a company until you join a faction -- wouldn't make sense otherwise. But again, I got to level 10 in an afternoon. Getting there is maybe 4 or 5 hours of completing the introductory quests, basically. Variables could obviously change there.

[Edit] One thing I forgot to mention with regard to character customization is that it is possible to dye all of your gear. You also create a sort of coat of arms when you make a character.
 
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PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
16
101
50
Great answers, Tyler, thank you. I really appreciate the insights, and it looks like the sort of game I'd like to play. My wife tends to prefer support roles, and seems there is some of that in managing the fort and building things. She doesn't mind battles on occasion, just not front lines. Thanks again.
Regarding forts and building, there are only so many forts in the world to capture, and a company that controls one can customize it and upgrade it, but they don't really get to 'build' it, per se. There is 'building' in the sense that you can gather materials and craft things (armor, weapons, etc). At level 20, you can buy a house, and you can decorate it. House decorations can actually give you buffs out in the world (I think the example given was that a bearskin rug might give you a buff when fighting bears).

Management-wise, if you're part of a company that controls a fort (and so territory), you could be involved in setting goals for improvement projects and getting support with resource gathering.

Companies can have up to 50 members and there are only so many territories, so for the average player, I'd expect most time to be spent exploring, fighting monsters solo or in a group, and gathering materials and working on crafting skills. For players who really want to be involved in the company/territory capture system, they'd spend much more time coordinating other players and participating in these fort defense battles (whether against another company, or against monsters, who can also try to invade forts).
 

PCG Tyler

Executive Editor
Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
16
101
50
I will be sneaky, but I might keep the bald-headed, mutton-chopped guy named Ford Pinto.
 

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