Thursday, February 23, 2023

New World Devs CAN Win

 Yesterday the New World developers couldn't win.  To which the developers said "hold my beer" and dropped an updated 2023 roadmap, a brand new developer update, and the long awaited PTR update.  Apparently the New World development team can win so shut up and sit down community.

 Watching the developer update here are some thoughts.

 Seasons aka battle passes were announced.  This will be bundled content with a theme.  We've known since the game launched that this was coming and it is finally here.  The seasons will have goals which will help returning players know what to do when they come back.  I like the approach and agree with the structure.

 There will be a free track on the season passes and a premium ($20) track.  Premium was noted as having "more stuff" than the free track but nothing will be unique the premium.  This is fine with me and prefer this approach.  Tracks will be advanced by "just playing the game" with some challenge activity cards that you can flex around to complete what you want.

 A new expedition is coming featuring the Varangian knights.  My only concern here is that the Varangians are a new enemy type and so I assume means current +ward / +bane gear will be ineffective.  Does this mean new ward and bane types?  If so that is irritating.  I don't necessarily mind having to balance multiple sets of gear for different content but I also wasn't wanting to go start up yet another one for one piece of content; especially without gear set management... which leads to!

 Gear set storage in March.  IN MARCH. YES!  This is honestly the biggest piece for me and I have high hopes for this as it was one of my main negativity drivers when playing.  I have too many gear sets and got tired of managing via a spreadsheet (and anyone that knows me knows I love my spreadsheets -- seriously I do -- so this is saying a lot!)

 The main story quest (MSQ) is being updated for Brightwood and Weaver's Fen.  Fine, but irrelevant to the majority of the playerbase. 

 Events were mentioned. The spring event is coming and looks to be on par with the winter/summer/fall events and fills in the fourth "seasonal" events (not to be confused with seasons aka battle passes).  Also sounds like we are getting more smaller events like the current Legacy of Crassus.  I love events and I don't care if you don't.  Combine events with the seasons and it should give players a set of changing content to always be working on while still have the regular non-seasonal content available.

 Balance changes were discussed and they want to "shake up PvP" and what was discussed is all coming in Season 1.  This was an absolutely stacked section; rapid firing through the changes so apologies on scattered thoughts here.

  • Musket changes:  it will take longer to set up and zero your shot.  It will be less accurate vs the pinpoint accuracy it is today.  This was compared to the skill needed to draw and release a bow to shoot an arrow.  I am not sure this enough; if it is still able to hit at max visual range it is still a problem.  There has to be drop off on the shot if a comparison to bow makes any sense.  This does very little for PvE to make musket viable.
  • Light armor changes: light armor will get less bonus from shirking fort and other defensive perks.  I am wait and see on this.  Light dodge roll + damage increase is the main reason light is so strong so not sure this does much.  It is also a change just to light with, as far as I can tell, no changes for Medium or Heavy.  Just changing light was NOT what I expected.  I expected actual changes to at least heavy to make it make more sense to use.
  • Hatchet: defy death gonna need defy death to survive this whacking.
  • Greatsword: they are reducing the "stickiness" of Greatsword so it doesn't hit as easily.  Meh.  I felt like Greatsword is how all melee weapons should work.  I had hoped maybe they'd say "hey we want to bring all weapons up to Greatsword" but I am not surprised the change is just to nerf greatsword.
  • Ranged PvE: more powerful +bane weapons.  Removing elemental affixes so mutations don't, for example, have Fire damage reduction.  Fine but I don't want ranged DPS to be the meta of expeditions.
  • Fire Staff: they feel it is under powered.  Tweaking to make it stronger.  I still struggle with this because I regularly face top tier Fire Staff players who dominate as it is... I dread thinking about them getting a buff. 
  • Crafting balance changes: 
    • 2x changed to 3x XP for first time crafts; love it.
    • Arcana - motes give more XP; love it.
    • Cooking - XP leveling structure reworked so you get rewarded for crafting a variety instead of a single meal type.  Not sure what the point of this was.  It will feel better, but players will just find the new most efficient
    • Low level gear crafting - will no longer overshoot the level
    • Quality of life improvements to crafting.  The biggest takeaway was that certain materials will say WHERE to get them so you don't need to use a website to find out where something drops or is purchased.  Love that change.
    • Changes to how materials are used and what they mean to a crafting attempt.  Better materials = more XP for leveling.  This is a good change but not sure if these changes mean anything to end game crafting.

 Also tucked into the balance section was a mention that world drops of ammunition types will scale up so you should no longer get just iron ammo; you can now get all the way up to orichalcum ammo in end game zones.  This was loooooong overdue and so glad to see the change being made.  I may even consider playing a ranged ammo weapon again!

 Cross-server OPR is still coming but also more OPR changes were announced.  Scoring changes to focus on objectives, ranged damage reduction on the forts, restrict sniping baroness, and updated siege.  All great changes.  Keep in mind that full details were light in the video. 

 A new arena map was announced.  Fine, but don't really care.

 The the territory influence game is getting updated under the title of "Influence System v2".  "Less grindy and more fun" was the quote that caught me.  I hope they can deliver on this and the plan mentioned with scheduling windows for the influence push should help concentrate action.  Open world PvP is the best PvP this game has to offer and this change should bring some of it to the forefront.  I still believe they have to change the quests that go along with it for it to be any good so we'll see what the "capture a tower" aspect looks like that they mentioned.

 The "super deep" (their words, not mine) roadmap was updated at the end of the video (embedded in the beginning of the post).

 Summer will be season 2.  Transmog is the king of this season and I can't wait.  I miss "Fashion Wars 2".  Season 2 will also include a PvE raid called a "seasonal trial" that is waves and then a boss.  This is separate from the "hardest PvE content" promised with the giant sandworm raid that is also coming in Season 2.  Cross-server OPR is in season 2.

 Fall will be season 3 and will have a full expansion!  Mounts!  New weapon!  "Influence System v 2".  Big deal. Big fucking deal.  Cannot wait!

 Winter is season 4 will feature mutators of the seasonal trial from season 2 and a new expedition.  A little far out for me to get too deep into the list here.

 Over all and in summary:


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