Thursday, April 11, 2024

Eye on Aeternum or Eye on clues? Hippos!?

 The New World team recently started a new video series called: Eye On Aeternum.  With the first one (see video below) the team gave a heads up to keep an eye out (ha!) for clues to future changes coming to New World (similar to how they hid a controller in the background of a video before they announced controller support).

 So of course the community has been eyes wide open and recently we came across.... a hippo!?

An image from a New World developer update showing a hippo in the background
Not so subtle hippo clue!

 For anyone not up to speed on the history of the hippo conversation: when mounts were announced there was a community question about whether hippos would be a possible future mount type.  That idea was shot down but in being shut down the idea -- the possibility -- of hippos was born.

 Personally my interest in hippos comes from the book series River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey. The book series is based on a "what if" scenario:

Years ago, in an America that never was, the United States government introduced herds of hippos to the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This plan failed to take into account some key facts about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.

 The book idea is based on a real historical proposal to do what happens in the book: bring hippos to the "new world".  The book expands the idea where hippos become reliable companions/mounts.  There is also the real example of the "cocaine hippos" in Columbia as well.  So while hippos seem far fetched there is some historical context to play with when we consider Aeternum is an island that has visitors from many time periods.  Hippos are also cool.

 There is already a statement from the devs that the plush hippo was just forgotten on set but I'm not buying it.  The same as I wasn't buying that the controller was "just there" in it's original video.  What realistically could we get out of this in the game? My guess would be a pet system and a mini-hippo as a pet; or just a hippo pet as a housting decoration like we have dogs/rabbits/etc today.  My dream though is a hippo mount!

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