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New World is an impressive MMO, but can it deliver long-term?

Amazon’s long-awaited MMORPG New World was finally released earlier this week after several delays. Being Amazon’s first attempt to break into the tough MMO genre, there’s obviously a lot of buzz surrounding the game and people have already taken to social media to express how they feel about it.

I’m a big fan of MMOs, having spent many hours on older titles like Neverwinter and Elder Scrolls Online, so New World has been on my radar for a long time. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game, so I was pretty nervous on launch day when the game faced insanely long queue times due to overloaded servers.

Fortunately, Amazon knows a server guy, and New World added a bunch of extra servers shortly after it realized the issue. With new servers unlocked and queue times a thing of the past, I was finally able to get in and give this game a try. Here’s what I thought.

New World’s gameplay is simple and complex at the same time

One of the biggest things I noticed when I first started out in New World is that combat is very different from other MMOs I’ve played in the past. After a brief intro that showed me the controls, I started out the game on a beach with a very Rust-like feeling. I have clothes on and a sword and shield to protect myself.

Upon heading to the obviously marked quest-giver on my map, I’m tasked with taking out a few zombies at a nearby shipwreck and given my first real taste of New World’s combat. Other MMOs tend to be all about timing your abilities and cooldowns to maximize your damage output, but New World is a bit different.

There are no classes in this game and weapons have a very limited amount of abilities that you can use. Instead, New World seems to be more about methodical combat, with block and dodge timing being super important. The combat has a very Dark Souls feel, which is very interesting for an MMO.

Along my journey, I’ve found a few different types of weapons that I can try out. Again, there are no classes in New World, so there are no restrictions on what kind of weapons my character can use. As you continue to use a certain type of weapon, your skill with that weapon will increase, unlocking new active abilities and passive buffs. I don’t see any reason why one single character couldn’t become skilled with every different type of weapon in the game.

Speaking of weapons, there are all different kinds. It contains massive melee weapons like warhammers and great axes, ranged weaponry like bows and muskets, and even some unique magical weapons like the ice gauntlet and fire staff.

Finding the correct combination of two weapons is crucial to your success in combat in New World, which is something I found out the hard way after trying to take out the game’s first boss, a massive wild boar, with the first sword I washed up with.

There’s a deep and complex gathering and crafting system

Image: Alex Gatewood / KnowTechie

After spending roughly the first hour of the game completing a couple of introduction quests and learning the ropes of New World’s combat, I was directed to the first city in an area called First Light. Here, the game introduced me to its robust crafting system, which seemingly plays a major role in gameplay.

As you adventure around the world of Aeturnum, as it’s called, nearly everything you run into is harvestable. From stone and iron nodes to briar patches and trees, you can gather most things and use them for crafting weapons, clothes, and magical items like potions.

As you collect and craft more and more things your skills in those certain areas level up, unlocking more powerful gear and more exotic materials. From what I can tell so far, crafting is essential in New World and, unlike other MMOs I’ve tried, there seems to be a lot of depth in the system that will hopefully keep crafting from becoming ultimately monotonous and boring.

I was also introduced to factions upon first entering the city of First Light. There are three factions in New World that basically fight for territory as a server progresses. The three factions are the Marauders, the Syndicate, and the Covenant, and they all have their own values and goals. I went with the Syndicate because I like their colors.

And there’s fishing! A lot of the plants and materials that I’ve been harvesting have been giving me fishing bait, either for freshwater or saltwater fishing. After a small introduction to fishing in New World, I don’t want to talk about how much time I spent standing on a random river bed casting some lines.

Hopefully New World’s content stays fresh and up to date

new world player fighting a boar
Image: Alex Gatewood / KnowTechie

So far, I’ve only spent 8-10 hours in New World, so I haven’t really experienced a ton of what the game has to offer yet. I feel like I’ve barely begun my journey in the first city of First Light, and there are tons of other areas that I still need to explore.

That being said, I’ve been watching a lot of streamers who have fast-tracked the game (CourageJD and DrLupo are in different factions on the same server and they’ve started a massive feud) and I have to say I’m a bit skeptical about the content. So far, the New World end game seems very tailored to PvP, with open-world battles and massive 50v50 castle sieges.

Don’t get me wrong, all of that sounds pretty exciting. But as someone who personally prefers the PvE aspect of the MMOs I’ve played in the past, I’m a little concerned that too much PvP focus will get a little stale or even frustrating for me eventually.

That’s not to say there’s no PvE content in the late game, however. I’ve seen some exciting group battles against massive enemies in various corruption portals around Aeturnum, and there are world bosses and dungeons around that definitely present some exciting, challenging PvE action. Hopefully, Amazon continues to develop the PvE content in New World instead of focusing solely on PvP.

I’ll definitely be spending some more time in New World

a large city in new world
Image: Alex Gatewood / KnowTechie

As I said earlier, I’ve been waiting for this game to come out for a long time, and I have been pleasantly impressed with how much I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve never gotten the chance to get in on the ground floor of a new MMO, so I look forward to seeing how New World develops in the future.

That being said, it takes a lot for a game to grip me these days, and it’ll be a tough task for Amazon, who’s fairly new at this video game development thing, to continue to deliver a game that people enjoy spending time on. All I know now is I’m rooting for them and I look forward to an exciting and unique experience in New World.

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