Amazon Game Studio is finally on the cusp of releasing its first PC MMO game. New World is a game that has the potential to be a hit title out of the gate. The game brandishes several features that are sought after by a lot of MMO players. Please keep in mind that I based this information on the last Alpha testing and interviews conducted by the developers. Some or most of this information may change before the May release.
- The territory on the map is controlled by Companies (Guilds). In these territories, companies can build cities of various types and specialties. In the Alpha, these free form cities were built in any way the property owner wished. That has changed to where the cities are set up based on templates.
- Buildings have tiers and can be very expensive. Because of this, a company that works together gathering resources and gold will have a leg up on the ‘melting pot’ cities. In the Alpha, player-owned and built crafting stations were the only way to create the top couple of tier items.
- When Companies take over a territory, the Company Leader will be able to set a vulnerability window. This window was 4 hours long. This was the time that an Outpost could be contested and lost, but only if the Company was at war.
- The market is primarily player-driven. The best items in the game at the time had to be crafted by players. There are NPC Outposts around the map that had marketplaces that players could list their items for sale. These markets were localized so you could not get items that were listed in a different Outpost. The outposts also contained the first few tiers of crafting stations to get players started.
- Combat is action-based so timing and location matter. You can wound players’ limbs and affect their ability to perform. In alpha, there was a simple skill tree type leveling system. Each skill had 10 levels and you got more proficient and better abilities as you leveled. This system appears to have gone through a dramatic change to make it more RPG style and more like a Mastery system. See the interview comment below:
“In the past, we’ve had weapons that they’ve had a predefined set of moves and abilities you can do. With this new Weapon Mastery system, players can choose how they want to specialize within a weapon. So, whether they want to focus on, for instance, the sword and shield, players can choose to focus on damage, and there’s a set of abilities and possibilities that players can choose to do that. Or they can focus more on working with their team to tank and support them. So, it allows players to specialize with weapons, and I think that’s something that’s important. We want players to be able to play the way they want. What’s cool about this is you can combine a little bit from both trees and really create your own playstyle.” – David Verfaillie, the Player Experience Lead on New World (mmorpg.com, 2019)
- Weapon types all seemed to have their place in combat and were all valuable in different situations. There was still some balancing that needed to be conducted, but all weapons had their place. ‘Healers’ were in the game in a limited capacity at Alpha, and ‘Casters’ had not been implemented yet but their placeholders and items were in the game so I would expect to see them.
- The Company system was still in its infancy in the Alpha. A Company Leader could name the Company and design its logo based on pre-determined pieces. The Company Roster was capped at 50 people. Bigger groups just formed multiple companies. There was a Role and Title system so that buildings and resources could be locked down on a role basis to prevent new members from having total access.
- PvP this area has also gone through a significant revamp apparently and will need to be tested and verified.
- In Alpha, the PvP system was flag-based. If a player ‘flagged’ they could attack anyone they wanted when they wanted if they weren’t in an NPC outpost. Once flagged you were stuck flagged for 60 minutes and if you logged out you ‘slept’ in the world till your timer was over. Flagged people attacking ‘innocent’ would also take a negative reputation. After a certain amount of negative reputation, you were kill-on-sight by all players and NPC until your reputation lowered.
- If Company declared war on another, there was an 8-hour ‘prep’ window. This gave the defender time to prepare themselves. After that time, it was no holds barred.
- At the end of Alpha, they added in a Lawless area where there was no penalty for PvP and you did not need to flag. This was also where the top 2 tiers of resources were in the game.
- According to a news article, you can turn ‘Off’ PvP for yourself if you are in your private residence. I have literally no idea how this will work yet.
- Players can hide in the tall grass or crawl prone in the night. Nighttime is DARK, and changing your brightness doesn’t help much. When a player was kneeling or prone all identification was removed to others (No names or Company over their head).
- They have added Private Player Housing. This is a new feature that was not available really in Alpha and there is supposed to be an in-depth article coming soon on this topic.
- In-game chat was decent with various channels that could be used. And the in-game voice worked well and had different channels. There was a ‘local’ that got quieter the farther you got from someone and a group voice.
- They have added in 3 factions that players can join and apparently, these will trigger massive PvP and PvE battles between them. This has not really been seen yet and will have to be tested.
- One of my favorite aspects of the game was the politics and diplomacy side of the game. You could have treaties and alliances with other companies. Wars cost gold and research had to be done on the company’s friends and abilities.