Wednesday, February 22, 2023

New World Devs Can't Win

 The New World team brought a new event to life yesterday.  Players can hunt down a pair of invading Roman-themed cyclops in Legacy of Crassus.  Of course community feedback seems mostly to be negative.  Feedback centers around rewards not being great and the content being too easy.  The developers can't win.

 If we take a step back earlier this year the New World team provided their road map for the first half of the year.  The community feedback was: "this isn't enough!".  Legacy of Crassus was NOT on that road map so one would have thought the community would have praised getting more content delivered.  Of course that is not the case as we are seeing with the event being live now; there is a high bar expectation.

 What is that high bar expectation?  The content needs to be challenging and have good rewards.  Those are two areas that seem to come up a lot with New World content; especially when it is open world content like this event where there is no control around how many players may show up or what they will show up with.

 Let's talk "challenging" first.  As mentioned this is an open world event.  It features a set of bosses and their friends spawning in a single spot. This inevitably leads to the same behavior as the seasonal events: a zerg of players shows up and beats it down.  With enough players there is little challenge; just stay out of the big hitters and you won't die and you'll get your reward.  However, if not enough players are there the content gets much more challenging.  

 I can agree with the community here: the event is too easy.  We had some promising events with Halloween and Winter in 2022 where the world bosses, while not super challenging, did come with some unique mechanics and required you to be awake at the keyboard.  Legacy of Crassus does not match those events.

 With that said if the content was too hard players won't do it.  Open world content that is concentrated in this manner is hard to get right.  The New World developers need top change these events to be less centralized and more spread out and they have to figure out a way that the content scales in difficulty with the player count involved (which may mean instancing some of it or blocking more and more players from piling on).

 Moving onto "good rewards".  This is tough.  If this event gave out "best in slot" rewards there would be an uproar.  If the event gives up rewards of junk (anything that isn't a legendary and even legendary if the perks suck) then the perception is it's not rewarding.  If the event gives up "good rewards" (anything legendary with good perks), while being too easy of an event, then players that got "good rewards" from harder processes such as crafting or mutations feel slighted.  

 My personal view is I think they got the rewards right with the event for it's difficulty level.  Players can get guaranteed legendary rewards each day and if they do it each day they will get each of the unique rewards.  It also rewards gypsum and umbral shards; always useful for any level 60 player.  Also the chance at the new craft mod (not sure what it is; didn't get it yet and haven't looked it up).  After that daily reward players get a crate which like most crates in New World rewards garbage players will just salvage (for example; I got a green Great Axe today). 

 The guaranteed daily rewards are great (see screenshot below of my first day's rewards).  Are they best in slot legendary?  No, because the community would complain if they were.  They look pretty good though and worst case you salvage them for the salvage materials.  Salvaging legendary items is nothing new in this game.

 So the New World developers can't win with adding new content outside of the roadmap because it has to be "challenging" with "good rewards"; two things that are hard to get right in this game.  Of coures I am finishing this post right as the developers dropped their next update and an updated road map.  Maybe they can win?  Watch below and you decide.

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