Friday, November 04, 2022

New World Brimstone Sands Impressions (Part 1: Quests)

  I wanted to start sharing my thoughts on the Brimstone Sands release for New World.  This was a huge release that brought the new Brimstone Sands zone, a new expedition, major updates to the early game leveling progression, and multiple other changes to the game.  I will be breaking up my impressions into multiple parts over the next few days.  I wanted to start off by sharing my impressions on the quests in the new zone.

 Before the release I was nervous I may find myself uninterested in doing the quests in the new zone.  Since my character is max level I have no need for experience.  I have not done many quests in the game because I am holding out hope that at some point they add an aptitude system for experience gained after max level.  So I set off and did the zone unlock quest which I thought was a neat way for players to progress into the zone instead of being able to just charge in.

 My concern about not wanting to do the quests was put to rest when I got a look at the quest rewards.  Yes, they still grant experience that goes to waste, but all of the quests in Brimstone Sands are LOADED with other rewards.  There are numerous legendary weapon rewards, and not just mediocre weapons, but actual weapons I have and will use.  On top of that quests also grant gypsum orbs, umbral shards, and numerous end game crafting materials.  Bottom line: I felt rewarded for doing the quests and a little bummed I've finished the majority of them!

Legendary weapon as a quest reward!?

 The quests also lead players to the new heartgem runes which are like ultimate abilities you can use.  I'll have more thoughts on heartgem runes in a future post, but using quests to introduce new features is the right way to go.  Quests also introduce players to the glyph system unique to the Brimstone Sands zone.  While I have not gotten all of the glyphs it was fun being sent around the zone to unlock glyphs which in turn let you unlock more aspects of the zone (for example you can open new doors once you have learned the glyphs for them).

 Also the glyph quests were used to help me learn about different mechanics in the zone. For example a quest had me try and unlock a glyph in a pool of acid so that I would learn how to use acid tinctures to avoid death while standing in the acid pool (note: I may not have paid attention to this detail so paid for it in repair costs to my gear after multiple failed attempts...).

 The quests themselves are also greatly improved compared to the "kill 10 rats" or "loot 10 crates" quests of the original zones.  One of the most memorable quests features a jumping puzzle and some uniquely placed goats that I am sure I will fondly remember years from now (not really, fuck the goats).  There was also a lengthy puzzle quest involving portals that I had to just cheat and look up online.  And my favorite was the quest line that lead to an instanced solo boss encounter with a fight that was actually challenging as a solo player.  I really hope they add more of these instanced solo boss fights.

 My comments are also just touching on the quests in the new end game Brimstone Sands update.  There is also plenty of freshness to the quests in the revamped new player leveling experience from 1-25.  I have not done much of it but the quests I have done have the same level of polish and uniqueness as the ones in Brimstone Sands.

 The new approach to quests and how the Brimstone Sands zone was set up with things like glyphs really gives me hope for the future. If the developers keep looking at ways for us to progress horizontally and not just vertically this is a winner for me.  I really enjoy this approach to MMOs and it was immediately familiar to me as a long time Guild Wars 2 player.  I had so much to do on day one and still have so much more to now progress and while I am taking it bit by bit I don't feel in any regard I am behind other players as far as power level. 

 Part 1: Quests = 10/10!

 What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment.

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