Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Low Effort Halloween

 Happy Halloween you rascals!

low effort halloween

Monday, October 30, 2023

Pax Dei Alpha This Year?

pax dei alpha

 It is almost November, but the Pax Dei team is still maintaining that their alpha test is going to happen this year according to this MMORPG.com article.

The Pax Dei team is affirming their plans for alpha this year and has released some stats from the small Friends and Family playtest.

 I also found the numbers from the friends and family test intersting.

Those testers have used over 346,749 building pieces with the top builder having used 25,767.  Since everything in the game is player created, it does make one wonder what 25k pieces added up to. There have been  5,284 deaths by NPC and 1,771 deaths by falling. Dungeons have seen over 180,000 square meters covered, and over 47,200 km explored. Those testers have also killed over 3,500 rabbits.
  The building numbers specifically stand out.  This tells me that building is a big part of the game and not just a secondary pursuit.  Also coming from a game like New World where fall damage is something you laugh off it will be an adjustment to fear falling from great heights again. And the poor, poor rabbits (though not as many as I'd suspected so maybe they are more evasive than your standard MMO rabbit).

 I will continue to watch this one with interest.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Looks Interesting: The Finals beta

 The Finals is a new FPS in a short beta period starting today.  Looking to give it a try later tonight.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Mind Blowing Star Citizen Video

 Anyone that has talked to me about Starfield likely knows I am not a fan.  I'd go as far as to say Starfield is a bug-ridden mess of loading screens.  With my disappointment in Starfield it has had me on the look for other games to scratch the space opera itch.  The two that come to mind are No Man's Sky and Star Citizen.  Itching even harder today is Star Citizen after I watched a mind blowing tech demo video!

 Does this mean I am a Star Citizen fanboy now?  Am I drinking the kool-aid?  Am I upset about a major financial investment I've made in Star Citizen?  No x3.  I am honest when I say Starfield sucks and there is a serious itch I want to scratch for a space exploration game.

 Also the more I've learned about Star Citizen the more I realize the general "Star Citizen is a scam and will never release!" sentiment online is way off base.  First off, there is a valid Star Citizen alpha that is online and playable.  Just watching a few videos I'd argue it has numerous aspects that beat out games like Starfield by a mile.

 I think the sentitment about Star Citizen comes from its ever-growing scale and watching this video I can see where that comes from.  But this video is in their engine.  This is in theory a literal path a player could take without ever hitting a loading screen.  Jump in your ship, fly to a planet, explore, hop back in that ship, zip off to a space station.... and it goes on and on and on.  Consider me impressed, if not mind blown, by where Star Citizen is at.  I shall watch it with much more interest now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

TIL you can harvest the statues in Elysian Wilds!

 Since the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion launched for New World I will admit I've not spent nearly the amount of time in the new zone, Elysian Wilds, as I should have.  Today reminded me of that as I was wrapping up my mount quests and I came across the realization I could "harvest" the stone statues scattered across the zone.  When I learn; you get to learn with me!

Sorry buddy!

 The statues are of various animals our human characters.  Walking up them you can interact and "mine" them with your pickaxe.  The result is Petrified Fragments which are a crafting material in a few recipes.  I will admit I am not exactly sure what these crafts are for, but at a minimum there is seasonal objectives tied to upgrading your spore jelly container which requires the fragments.  As soon as I learn more; I'll share.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Halloween cometh!

 Always love Halloween events in MMORPGs.  Some screenshots from the current New World event.

new world halloween
Turning in rewards at the cauldron

new world halloween
Fighting the big Halloween baddie.  Love the circling crows!

Friday, October 20, 2023

New World: How to use the Twitch Call of the Wilds drop

 This may have been obvious to some folks, but it was not to me.  Earlier in October there was a Twitch drop for "Call of the Wilds" to celebrate the launch of Rise of the Angry Earth.  With this drop came a mount attachment.

 The drop did not come over as a chest that had to be claimed nor do anything show up in player inventory.  That is because the mount attachment is a skin and it may not be obvious to players, like me, that mount attachments have skins!

 To use the Twitch drop skin open your mount equipment screen and then select the attachment slot you want to change.  Right click the item you have there currently and pick change skin.  This works just like changing skins for any other item slot.

new world mount change skin
Right click > Change Skin
new world mount change skin
Call of the Wilds skin appears

End result!

new world mount flag

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Poor progression model for named items in New World

 With the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion for New World many new named items were added to the game that leave the third perk slot open.  The named items can then be upgraded, for a hefty cost, in the gypsum kiln.  This upgrade moves the gear to 700 GS (max) and allows the player to set the last perk.  This is great for players wanting end game 700 GS gear, but comes with a big downside.

 The named items, such as Woodgrain Breastplate, drop as 2 perk purple items from 626+ all the way up to 700 GS with 3 perks (3rd perk being random if it rolls as legendary).  As a legendary drop it can be really good or not usable depending on the random 3rd perk.  If its a 2 perk purple then chances are it won't be something that replaces other gear.

new world woodgrain breastplate

  So the big downside is that while this gear is great to see in your loot bags its only because of the future promise of what it could be.  There is no real live progression model with these items.  One moment they are junk and the next they are possible 700 GS best in slot.

 Personally I like how artifacts are implemented where there are quests to progress the artifact and unlock its perks.  Players can try the artifact on and work through the quests and thus get a feeling of progression of the item through actual use.  Then a final decision is made if a final upgrade of that artifact is worth the expense.

 I'd love to see that applied to these named items.  Instead of one big dump of resources; let me build it up over time. Maybe start with letting me slot the third perk and then slowly work up the gear score level.  Give me a one time discount to swap out the perk if I find I want something else. 

 With that said; I still really enjoy these named items.  I am charting a path to my upgraded gear and feel, for once, that I have actual control over reaching the destination.  Previously it was mostly random luck as my build was unique that there was never anyone selling pieces I needed on the trading post so I was either waiting for PvP drops or hitting the crafting lottery.  Now I can invest some time in farming up armor like the Woodgrain set and with a little patience and a pile of gold (about 30k per piece + perk mod cost which can be upwards of 50k for adamant) walk away with a 700 GS item.  I'll take that even if it means its a leap to the end vs a climb up a ladder.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Not sure what I expected...

 The Halloween event is live in New World and with it player's are given some candy!  Candy... that... umm... well... I am not sure what I expected here.

new world angry earth candy fish

 It literally turns you into a fish...

new world fish

 Trick I guess? Also still can't swim even as a fish.

Monday, October 16, 2023

New World "health perk" rant

The health perk is dumb for armor in New World.

It is baseline mandatory just like ward and resilient were.  Its only benefit is it works across PvP and PvE equally.  It is also something that could have easily been baked in.

Now the perk mod for crafting, adamant, is so rare it is going for 60,000+ gold on most servers.  It would be one thing if something like the old resilient perk mod or the amulet perk mod for health worked, but no we got a new perk that is impossible to get.

Also this totally takes the fun out of so many armor artifacts that don't come with health... you have to use the free perk slot to slot in health as you are literally at a disadvantage if you don't stack 5x health.  Just pointless to give us flexibility only to have a new mandatory perk.

Additionally we are right back with a bunch of randomly dropped gear that is mostly worthless if it doesn't have the health perk... just like anything without resilient or ward were worthless before.

I can't imagine I'm the only one frustrated by this!?  I don't get why they went this route.


Follow my Reddit thread here.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023

New World PvE Builds S3

new world logo
 Just a note for anyone trying to find updated PvE builds for New World Season 3 (S3).  The old M11 crew has stopped updating their site ( https://pvebuilds.xyz/ ).  Some of the core members have started a new site https://www.newworldbuilds.com/ that has some meta PvE builds for Season 3 and the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion.  Their main focus is mutations so you will find it is meta builds vs general builds.  Not clear if they ever plan to get int PvP builds on the site.

Friday, October 13, 2023

That feeling...

 If you are a New World player you know the feeling when you open a town board and it looks like this!

new world town board

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Day 6: Rise of the Angry Earth (Surprise Michael)

 Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

 Short post today.  I played a ton of 3v3 arenas and outpost rush last night trying to nab Serenity on the PvP reward tracks.  I was unsuccessful but was surprised by Michael.  No, not a person... a shield... named Michael which I am working to unlock the perks for (notice the mini-quests to unlock each part).  While it is a kite shield so loses some defense compared to full tower shields I am actually digging it's self healing.  One of the remaining perks to unlock is Lifestealing as well!

new world artifact Michael

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Day 5: Rise of the Angry Earth (So much to do!)

  Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

  In my fifth day of playing Rise of the Angry Earth and Season 3 in New World I have come to realize I have so much to do!  In fact it's time to put a bullet list together on what I'm working on!

  • Farming for Serenity artifact greatsword - rewarded on the PvP tracks; doing PvP arenas
  • Finishing side quests in Elysian Wilds
  • Working on a DPS PvE build and gear set
    • Spear / Greatsword (hence the Serenty farming)
    • Want to get at least a 675+ GS set for mutations
  •  Level artifacts (you have to complete mini quests to unlock all the perks)
  • Riding leveling
  • Riding races
  • So much more!

  No screenshot dump today but I do have a show and tell for the class!  Look at that KD ratio on the arena leaderboard!

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Monday 10/9/2023 Post

 This one... sucked.  Young team to blame? Maybe.  My view: bad coaching, bad execution, and no lucky breaks for the Packers.  Raiders on the other hand were gift wrapped this one.

packers lose to raiders

Day 4: Rise of the Angry Earth (MSQ, PvP Arenas, and Outpost Rush)

 Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

 For my fourth day in Rise of the Angry Earth I finished off the main story quest (MSQ) and did some PvP arenas and a round of outpost rush (OPR).  I had fun.  Lots of fun!

 I pushed through the MSQ for the new zone, Elysian Wilds, and wrapped it up.  The story was click-through material (something, something, Medusa... mammoths...) and other than some amazing visuals it was forgettable.  I respect the effort the team put into the story, but as I've said before about all the MSQ reworks I am not a big fan of the new story-line with King Arthur and now apparently Greek stuff.  I really miss the original concept of discovery-era "new world" and a bunch of mystery about Aeternum.

 Part of the MSQ was a series of single player trials which were like dungeon boss fights.  Unfortunately they were stupid simple to beat and I was not challenged in any aspect.  This can be said about most of the new zone as well; there is zero sense of danger.  I was able to complete the MSQ and solo trials with my 625 gear.  I have NOT upgraded a single piece of gear.  I get that AGS wants the game to be approachable but this is too easy and gave zero incentive to progress my character which left me feeling like I accomplished nothing (remember, I was already level 65 before starting this just from other activities).

 To celebrate finishing off the MSQ I jumped into some PvP content.  First I did some 3v3 arenas and went on a stellar 7-0 run!  The mode scales gear score up to 670 so my prior 625 gear has been more than sufficient.  Other than a couple opponents I honestly feel my build is as strong as it was prior to the expansion.  I feel no pressure to upgrade my gear.

 This was reaffirmed by playing my first post-expansion OPR and I finished in the top 10 with a good  number of kills and high damage.  We lost the match 900 to 1000 so it was a long match.  Like 3v3 arenas, OPR scales players up to 670 gear score.  At this stage of the expansion this seems sufficient for a good experience even in my 625 gear.  I won multiple 1v1s and got into (and out of!) multiple clump fights.

 I am sure as time goes on more and more players will be 700 GS and my 625 up-scaled to 670 gear will start to show its age, but I think that is still a bit off into the future so like I said yesterday, "I'm taking it easy!".  No rush here and will enjoy a more planned out upgrade path for my "Wheelchair mage" build.

 Day 4 screenshots!

new world
Yadda... yadda.. click... click

new world
I think this means I did something important

new world
I win the main story!

new world
I don't know what this does in the new Savage Divide expedition but I just had to click it!


Monday, October 09, 2023

Day 3: Rise of the Angry Earth (Taking it easy)

Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

 Rise of the Angry Earth is approaching its first full week in New World, but I'm only on my third day of my adventure in the Elysian Wilds thanks to a full-day internet outage, offsite work meetups, and then getting sick.  With real life intruding, and my pre-expansion burn out, I've taken a step back and realized there is no need to rush.  It is better to take it easy at this point.

 The first major reason for taking it is easy is that I missed out on some of the gravy train of early "not exactly as intended" features of the expansion.  The main was the story-mode expeditions dropping loot up to 700 GS.  A few players I know were able to spam these expeditions and are 680+ gear score already and since story-mode is a nerfed regular mode there was literally no challenge involved.  Now regular (aka story-mode) expeditions only drop up to 670 GS.  As they say in MMORPGs: "abuse early, abuse often".

 I am not too upset about missing out as I am getting plenty of 670+ GS drops from other methods and I also have a couple artifacts now which are always 700 GS.  I have no problem taking it slow and being deliberate about my gear upgrades.  Also I am finding with my prior 625 gear set that I am capable of holding my own.  I am winning PvP arenas and PvP fights and just tanked a story-mode expedition with it.

 Speaking of tanking an expedition I got the chance to try the new Savage Divide expedition via it's story-mode.  It is a beast-themed expedition with apes, mammoths, and some other beasts.  AGS made it so the story-mode was very low barrier to entry and my group had no issue clearing the expedition; even after locking out one of our DPS on the last boss.  A little disappointing that it was this easy but I can see how in mutations this will be a much harder expedition.

new world savage divide
Look who greeted us on the other side of the door!

 Jumping out of expeditions I also got to try the new influence race for territory control.  This was a ton of fun with hundreds of players fighting over a single control point in Monarch's Bluff.  Most amazing was my performance was really good.  I think my graphics upgrade to a Radeon 7800XT is mostly responsible, but still hats off to the team at AGS for making a massive open world PvP fight with hundreds of players something playable.  Rewards were great as well; lots of gear drops, faction tokens, and PvP experience/salt.

new world open world pvp
Open world PvP fight during an influence race

 While I had fun in this race I do have a few areas of feedback

  • Tents need to be disabled during influence races or at a minimum block them around the control points.  You can place tents within spitting distance of the new control points which means any "victory" with pushing players out of the control point is short lived as they re-spawn literally in the middle of the fight.
  • The races are popular right now but how long will that last? Will players come back over and over?  The root content is fighting other players vs engaging with the new objectives.  What I've seen so far is one objective becomes the main hub of the fight and the rest are relegated to watching the paint dry unfortunately.
  • Players not playing now and farming the hundreds/thousands of players being killed are missing out - the bulk of rewards are oddly tied to number of players that show up and get killed vs the reward at the end of the race.  In the future if you just get a few kills per race because it's not as popular it will be a lot less beneficial as it is today.
  • It's a bit irritating to go and pick up loot bags in the mass of zergs.  Lots of loot bags were missed because you can't go out and collect them.

Anyways; back to playing it easy :)  Enjoy some other screenshots from my adventures!


new world medusa
After defeating Medusa in the soul trial

new world
The expansion visuals continue to stun

new world minotaur
This Minotaur guy is my favorite (though I don't pay any attention to his quest text)

new world jumping puzzle
Jumping puzzle?

new world
A big chain.

Sunday, October 08, 2023

Charts! New World continues to rise (in more way than one!)

 Click-bait title aside - just a quick drop in here on a Sunday to capture New World's peak player numbers over the first weekend of it's expansion: Rise of the Angry Earth.  We've seen a 22,000+ peak concurrent player increase!

new world peak concurrent players oct 23
Over 77,000!

 Also on the rise is player cap per server; now up to and testing 3,000 players per server!  AGS confirmed it is for testing so we'll see if it becomes a long term solution to the feast and famine player spikes New World continues to see.

new world 3000 players
3,00 players per server in testing!

Saturday, October 07, 2023

Day 2: Rise of the Angry Earth (Level 65, Featherweight, and more!)

Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

 After taking a day offline due to a Spectrum outage I returned to New World's expansion: Rise of the Angry Earth.  We marked a few accomplishments.

 Ding! Level 65!  I missed the screenshot to capture the moment which is not surprising as it flew past.  I don't really understand why they added the levels if they were going to be so easy to achieve.  I don't want a big long grind, but this was just pointless number inflation and now I'm right back where I was at level 60 with a map full of quest icons that are mostly meaningless as the XP gained from completing them goes into a blackhole.  I'd recommend AGS look at the mastery system from Guild Wars 2 as a way to make general XP worthwhile after max level.

 Next I snagged my first artifact: Featherweight!  This dropped for me on the first kill of the named open world boss that drops it.  I feel sorry for folks farming this for hours on end, but hey sometimes you just get lucky.

 For those following along this means I am now in the Elysian Wilds zone playing through the expansion's storyline.  It is moving along quickly and I am not hitting some of the slowdowns that other players faced with the crush of players on launch day.  Quests that can only be completed one player at a time were open to me with no waiting lines.  In general I am enjoying the zone (screenshots below), but the story is click through material (i.e. boring).  One part I do like is the Angry Earth chick talking to me; the audio is great and really feels like it is inside my head!

 Check out some of my screenshots from Day 2!

new world elysian wilds
Into the Elysian Wilds we go!
new world elysian wilds
A cool hideout in old First Light; the story could of done more with this location.

new world elysian wilds
A tower off in the distance I need to check out still.

new world elysian wilds
Still burning stuff with the flamethrower!

Friday, October 06, 2023

There are four people on my ship in Starfield and I'm too afraid to ask why

starfield too afraid to ask
 My internet (Spectrum) was out all day yesterday so I had to... gasp... play offline video games to pass my time.  I decided to jump back into Starfield.  I was in the middle of a quest which I tidied up by killing everyone on the "Scow" ship.  Upon returning to my ship there were four people on it; three of whom I have no idea why they are there.  They've also been there a while.

 This is part of my complaints about Starfield.  Many things seem to happen or not happen and then suddenly there is a bunch of people hanging out on your ship with storylines you don't ever remember interacting with.  One would think you'd have more control over your own ship.

 On top of this is the pure irony that these folks are just sitting on the ship for whatever amount of time for some sort of trigger to do whatever is next in their chain of events.  I was jailed, had my ship impounded, and once free there they were... just hanging out.  Look at these fools.

starfield ship interior
I know why Sarah Morgan is here, but why are you looking at me random guy?  And why is there a "settler" standing by the hatch?

starfield ship interior
That's OK buddy; you just go ahead and use my bed.

 Anyways; the internet is back up so back to online gaming!

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Day 1: Rise of the Angry Earth

Read about all of my Rise of the Angry Earth experiences here.

 Day 1 for New World's first expansion was 10/3 but for me my first steps were on 10/4 and really today 10/5 for the full plunge.  So what did I do with my first day?

 First I started out by salvaging stuff that was clogging up my inventory and town storage in key towns.  I have a long, long way to go on salvaging all my 625 and below gear, but I got through salvaging all the perk mods, umbral shards, and other items that were deprecated.  I am now over 1,000 dark matter, made 10,000+ gold, and have thousands of attribute perk mods.


attribute mods new world
Look at all them attribute perk mods!

 Next I hit the trading post and started posting my horde of items I bought to flip.  I am NOT sharing my secrets but lets just say it is going well and I am closing in on 200,000+ gold!  The one dud I will share is golden scarabs and I'm glad I didn't overinvest here.  They are NOT going up in price; they are cratering! 

 A few other progress notes:

  • Refining skills are all over 205
  • Gathering skills are over 205
  • Level is 64 (just from doing mount quests and a ton of refining)
  • 50% done with the new faction tier

 I also made my way through the mount questline up to unlocking my wolf mount.  I am taking a break there and headed towards the new Edengrove settlement to start the quest line to enter the new Elysian Wilds zone.  Note: I tried to go directly to the Elysian Wilds and failed to read the prompt that you will be killed by the spores if you don't do the questline.

 I ended with this screenshot outside of Edengrove.  Check back in for more fun in the following days!

new edengrove
New Edengrove!

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Charts! Successful launch for Rise of the Angry Earth

 Rise of the Angry Earth launched yesterday and minus some server queues it seems like it is a resounding success.  Some charts to go with it!

 First we have active players on Steam DB showing a peak concurrent player count of 55,000+ players.  This is short of what we saw with Brimstone Sands, but still a solid uptick in players.

steam db new world

 Secondly we have the Steam's Top Sellers with New World and Rise of the Angry Earth at spot 2 and 3 respectively with only Counter Strike 2 ahead of it at 1.  This is a good sign of both returning players and new players picking the game up.

steam top 10 sellers

 Both of these tell a good story for New World and it's first expansion.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Launch day! Rise of the Angry Earth

 Today is the day!  New World's first expansion, Rise of the Angry Earth, launches at 12 noon eastern!  Downtime starts at 9 AM.  I won't be able to join the fun today so will see everyone online later this week.

new world

Monday, October 02, 2023

Final Prep: Rise of the Angry Earth

new world rise of the angry earth

 New World's first expansion, Rise of the Angry Earth, launches tomorrow 10/3 at 12 noon ET!  There will be lengthy downtime ahead of the launch and players will need to re-download the entire game.  This leaves today as our final prep day before the expansion!

 For anyone interested in my larger plans; I documented that here: New World Rise of the Angry Earth Preperation Checklist .  This post will be more about; did I get it my prep done and are there any final adjustments to make?

 The big answer is: no.  No, I did not get my prep done.  Real life is busy and I ended up camping and fishing this weekend with friends so I'll be rolling into the expansion with little in the way of raw materials and completed quests.

 So what adjustments am I making because of this?  None.  I am going to just enjoy the game and play at my own pace as I have always done.  My original prep list was all about getting stuff done fast to be on the cutting edge and I should have known that wasn't going to happen.  That is not my style.  

 I am still a completionist so getting all my crafting and refining skills to 250 will be a goal.  Getting faction levels and to 65 will be a goal.  Getting my mount and getting that leveled up will be a goal.  I will just take it all at my own pace.

 And my pace is going to be behind the curve because I won't be available for the launch due to work.  I will maybe get to log in late on 10/3 but won't have time until 10/4 and realistically 10/5 is when I'll get a good chunk of play time.  I am hoping this means I miss out on launch day headaches but get in on some of the launch-related shenanigans.

 What are your plans for launch?