Thursday, March 30, 2023

New World Season Pass

Complete the pass in 2-3 hours?

new world logo
 I came across a video by Lemoni that explains how to complete the New World Season 1 pass. According to Lemoni, the pass can be completed in just two to three hours, which is significantly less than the "50 hours to complete" quoted by the developers in a recent video on seasons. Watching Lemoni's video has left me wondering where the developers got their estimate of 50 hours from, and why the pass is structured in this way.

 Video embedded below:

 To speedrun the Season Pass, the key is to pre-stage objectives and have items ready to turn in, which many regular players likely already have. Once the player has prepared, they can use a 2x season experience potion and turn in all the pre-staged objectives to receive double the experience. This way, players can maximize their returns within the short time the potion is active and quickly complete the pass. While it may not be possible for every player to complete the pass in just a few hours, this method demonstrates how players can make progress much faster than the estimated 50 hours. 

 I'm not against maximizing return in a video game, but I think this shows a poor design to the season pass where experience is rewarded lump sum and the potions apply to those lump sums.  This is counter to pretty much every "battle pass" I've come across. Just using the Battlefield 2042 Season 4 pass as a comparison; any experience boost only applies to passive experience gained for actions taken.  Any mission completed that rewards experience is not affected by the pass.  Also you can't save up to "turn in" a mission later on; it just completes when you reach the criteria.

 The main two issues with the New World season pass as I see it: passive experience is negligible and there is too much tied to the moment something is turned in (aka lump sum).

 Passive experience is what is gained by just playing the game.  Kill a wolf; get season experience.  Complete an arena match; get season experience.  For some reason New World decided passive experience was going to be so small that it would be impossible to use just passive experience to complete the pass (even though they try to say it's possible in their video).  Yet, in the "card" system player's can get a lump sum reward for things as simple (and dumb) as eating 10 stacks of food.  Not even eating 10 stacks of food over normal play where you have to let the food buff expire; you can just ram down 10 in 10 clicks and be done!  Yet going on an open world adventure and fighting through hordes of enemies will barely be noticeable on the progress bar.

 Since passive experience from just playing the game is not the way then what is the way?  That is the lump sum card system where players get a literal bingo card of objectives to complete (like the eat 10 food).  However, the bingo card spots don't autocomplete.  Player's get to choose what part of the bingo card are completed after fulfilling the requirement. This is why Lemoni's method works: you just keep saving up completed items to cash in during the boost.

 There are also lump sum reward challenges for the season; quite a few as Lemoni notes in his video you can get ready ahead of time since they are all turn-in related actions and thus you can cash in with the double experience.  It is so bizarre that lump sum rewards get doubled by the boost potion.  Unaware players are going to be punished for not knowing and those that do know are going to progress faster than the developer planned 50 hours.  No doubt speed runners will then complain about a lack of content for the season.

 The sensible way for this to have worked is that players get passive experience for almost all of their activities and the boost potion doubles passive experience gain for a short period.  Lump sum rewards should be static and unaffected by the boost.  This would mean players get more rewards for just playing the game instead of putting together a shopping list / completing a task list and lumping it all together for one giant boost.

 Also while I have not played the pass on PTR myself just watching the videos I am not a fan of the bingo card system.   The game didn't need another system to define objectives; it needs to drive players to existing structures such as town boards.  The season story quest line and challenges are fine, but the addition of the bingo card as the proposed main way to progress is overly complex compared to just rewarding us for playing the game.

 Season 1 is still delayed from the original planned 3/28 launch so we still have some time to wait.  What are your thoughts?

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