Monday, October 24, 2022

New World October Dev Update

 New World has posted their October Team Update.  The video is embedded below and read on for my summary and thoughts.

A summary of the update 

  • BDLG and Redbyrd visit!
  • Current roadmap is complete except leaderboards which are still a work in progress
  • December Winter Convergence Festival will be back
  • New expedition in December that is "pretty fricking cool" that is a combo of Amrine and Starstone (both lower level expeditions) for end game expeditions mutations
  • Updated road map in December
  • The sandworm in Brimstone will be a raid
  • Territory control changes coming in the next few months; changes to influence and how war is declared.  Bigger plans as well but not ready to talk about yet.
  • A springtime event is being worked on for next spring (which means all seasons have an event)
  • Cross-server Outpost Rush is coming!  This is their first step in cross-server content so they will look to learn lessons here and expand to other instanced content.
  • Gear sets and management system; taking slowly to make sure they get it right and expect long test period on the PTR
  • Two new expeditions featuring Varangian Knights
  • Group finder improvements
  • Transmog system is being worked on
  • Fresh Start Servers on track; slow roll out of worlds with multiple phases so you can plan when you want to jump in
  • Return to Aeternum community event (watch the video; its complicated but sounds fun)
  • Redbyrd and BDLG asked questions to the combat developers
    • Devs confirmed there is too much "escapability" in PvP so are looking to nerf the worst offenders such as the recent changes to rapier.
    • Musket was called out by Redbyrd (good for PvP but weak in PvE).  Changes for it are being tested with fall off damage for longer range and less stamina damage when blocking shots.
    • Firestaff flamethrower pain point; more mana consumption for using it vs the infinite flamethrower it is now
    • Armor balance; specifically blocking and light DPS meta was discussed.  Looking at stamina damage while blocking (reducing it mostly) and how blocking works in group situations.  Goal is to improve blocking viability.
    • BDLG asked what the ideal meta is for the combat devs.  Answer: more melee oriented than it is now; dev agreed it is too ranged dominant currently.
    • BDLG asked about PvP arenas. Answer: dev not happy about where arenas are at and talked about the recent update to split group and solo queues and gear score scaling.
    • Redbyrd asked about group finder for PvP game modes.  Unfortunately no immediate plans.  Bummer.
  • Territory control had a features section in the video
    • Talked about changes in recent patch
    • Distributing gold to all faction members from taxes is not being considered
    • War fatigue system in testing on PTR and focus to address shell companies and ensure more players can get into wars vs just the cool kids club as it is currently
    • Influence system change to drive players to certain zones during certain windows to drive open world PvP
      • BDLG questioned how they will combat zergs in this scenario.  Hoping long timing windows and having multiple hot spots will help spread out players.
    • Practice wars are something they want to do, but not on roadmap yet
  • Crafting section
    • Continuing to work out the pacing of gathering, refining, and crafting gear so that they line up (i.e. if you are a level where iron is common, then you are refining iron, and then are crafting with iron and thus keeping them all in pace).
    • Talked about crafting better gear; they want to give players more agency and control (i.e. more predictable outcomes).  Goal is to just taking smaller steps such as timeless shards and golden scarabs to get better outcomes from crafting so you feel rewarded for doing something out in the world and getting a reward like the scarab.
    • Talked up trade skills and how satisfying it is to chop a tree down in New World (which I agree) and how future trade skills need to bring something to the world (like music and how it brought relevant buffs)
    • BDLG asked about how you can't tell what recipes you have unlocked and those that may be out there to unlock.  No plans currently.
    • Depth of crafting
  • There was a section on Brimstone Sands questions
    • Can we fight the sandworm?  Already noted at the start of the video that it will be a raid.
    • Brimstone set new standards for content and world building for the team and thats the standard going forward
    • Brimstone is a large zone but is on the larger side of zones they expect to have.  More likely to see zones closer to Reekwater or Ebonscale Reach.

 First, I was stoked to see Redbyrd and BDLG from Studio Loot helping to host the update.  They have hosted the New World to Go podcast since long before launch and as far as I know are the only New World focused podcast that is still going post launch.  They are also all around good dudes and run a great site over at  Their presence gives me confidence that Amazon Game Studios gets how important community is in these games.

 The best part of BDLG and Redbyrd's presence, even though I am sure they were kept on a short leash, was that they spoke for the community and did it well.  You could feel the passion and love for this game as they talked with the developers.  I almost lost it when BDLG said "BOWPR" out loud (for anyone not hip to the lingo; bow is a very strong weapon in the OPR (outpost rush) game mode and it's to the point there is so many bows we just call the entire mode BOWPR). These two are the perfect ambassadors for the game.

 Next it was good to hear gear sets are still being worked on and that a transmog system was also under work.  These are key systems for a game that has as much variety of gear available and asks players to change gear as often as this game does.

 The comments on combat were all refreshing to hear.  They acknowledged range is a problem and that melee is getting the short end of the stick.  The discussion around blocking in PvP was well received (by me at least) and it will be good to get another avenue of play into PvP that isn't just damage or healing.

 I will save my thoughts on territory control for a future post.  In short; I still don't think they are headed in the right direction.  They need to stop making it a cools kid club activity.

 No major updates for crafting this go around which feels like it is in a good place.

 It was good to hear Brimstone Sands is the standard going forward (as far as quality of content, not zone size).  I am still working through the zone and it's quests and having a blast doing so.  I will share more thoughts later this week.

 Over all another solid update this month and very cool to see the community be such a key part of this one as we crossed over the one year mark for the game.  I get more excited every time this dev team puts out an update.

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