Is New World The Right Game For You?

New World uses MMORPG conventions from the past to provide a unique experience that is different to others that offer a more linear, unified experience. New World requires players to find their own path through player vs. opponent territory control and extensive crafting and gathering. They also have the option of standard questing and monster hunting. New World shines in crafting and gathering, offering a satisfying and rewarding way to create your own gear and assist others who are skilled in other craft areas.

Do you want to be able to do everything? You can. With New World’s skill system, you only need one character that can learn to do anything and everything, given enough time and resources. It’s a wonderful feeling to put the final touches on your first craft. A player-driven economy is also a delight. Simply by unloading your bags at your homestead, you can fuel the engine even further. While the traditional monster mashing and questing are beyond mundane here, the other aspects of the game – crafting, gathering, progression of all kinds, and social focus – make the game feel compelling and exceptional today, even if these concepts were popular years ago on the MMO scene.

How do you define New World? It’s a low-fantasy MMORPG that’s skill-based. I don’t mean that you need to You don’t have to be an expert at it. Runescape is probably the go-to title to describe the crafting mechanisms that run behind New World. Instead of relying on traditional level-ups, players become skilled by actually doing. If you hit a rock, it will improve your ability to hit rocks and allow you to mine more rocks. Chopping trees, harvesting plants, fishing; whatever you want to do, every pursuit is worth becoming great at. Of course, with your packs full of raw materials, it’s time to turn them into processed goods. I was somewhat skeptical that the hooks here would last, but 80 hours into a crafting and gathering focus, I’m still stopping to harvest everything in sight. New World taps into the “numbers go up” dopamine hit as few games can. In fact, there’s no need to do much fighting in New World if this is your focus – you gain excellent experience from honing your craft, and the majority of my experience points have come from becoming skilled in my crafting efforts. Skinning your first few wolves may not get you invested, but once you have some powerful gathering tools (that you made yourself, rolling incredible modifiers on) and taking on bears for huge swathes of leather and fur, you’ll start to see just how enchanting crafting can be. 

Each of these systems can be connected to each other and allow players to explore a wide range of crafting options. A flint pickaxe isn’t exciting. Starmetal pickaxes can be handcrafted using a variety of modifiers. They are quick and easy to use, making resource management a pleasant experience. Making excellent gear for yourself and your friends, whether that’s a mighty pouch to hold more as you wander the world or a magnanimous musket, feels great. New World has a lot to offer in crafting and gathering. The systems make it easy for you to have meaningful experiences and maximize your time as you move up through the zones and levels. New World is a MMORPG that allows you to live off the land while forging your way to greatness. This idea is commonly explored in survival games.

Let’s talk about another game. Dark Age of Camelot is probably the gold standard in the MMORPG world for coordinated territorial player-vs-player “realm vs. realm” pursuits. Still, many gamers today probably weren’t around when it was a big deal. New World has three factions. These fight for territories and result in instances of 50v50 battles to take over towns. My first experience in war was quite intense. However, small-scale skirmishes which occur during the game’s minute-to–minute gameplay is still my favorite part of PVP. To participate in PVP, you must flag a player. This ensures that all PVP is consented to and opt-in. Taking on a small group of players while you’re out harvesting 1000 linen can be more exciting than you think, with musket balls and hatchets flying everywhere as you try to take out a player and make a strategic retreat to a treeline. PVP may turn into a numbers-game zergfest out in open space, however, if it gets too heated you can quickly take your PVP flag down in town and get on with your daily business. After all, those trees aren’t going to chop themselves down. Like many other New World experiences, these are better shared with friends. Whether or not you decide to shack up with a big company, you’re going to play a part in the territory war on your server. Though, like crafting and gathering, your level of engagement with this aspect of the game is up to you.

This is probably the right time to talk about another element of the game that’s also rarer in today’s MMORPG scene. Social aspects. Yes, you’re going to have to talk to other players to form dungeon groups. There is an international chat that allows you to talk about anything. Big companies, or guilds, are likely to be full of drama. I was in a World of Warcraft guild that saw lives ravaged by divorces and deceit – all fueled and looped into in-game activities. When you open your game up to social experiences, not everyone is going to talk about the fish they’re catching or the weather, and you also might be thrust into various scenarios with lots of screaming, posturing, and inane blather. Of course, you can turn to chat off in-game and not hop on Discord to participate in other activities, so some of this is opt-in, but overall it is an aspect of the game that feels refreshing.

Obviously, no one wants to hear someone’s horrible hate on other players, but actual player-to-player communication has been overly sterilized in MMORPGs and online gaming in general. Well, now’s your chance to be a little chatter bug again, and it feels pretty damn good. Do you have something to share? It’s possible to show it in chat, or even sell it. To get a dungeon started, make friends with another tank. Maybe if you see that person later in the world in a PVP scenario, head in full view of a primed sniper shot, you’ll stay your hand and slink off in the bushes unnoticed instead. It was me. After all, he was a good tank, even if he is in that nasty guild that we’re fighting every day.  In an online gaming world where many communication tools have been systemically removed to prevent harassment and promote safety, it almost feels like a radical act promoting and encouraging open dialogue between players – and it feels kind of nice to have a social interaction inside a game world again. The report system that is simple to use for problem players can be used to address them.

The weakest element in the New World is most likely traditional player vs. environmental, killing bears, ghosts, and other creatures. Although traditional dungeons or public quest portal battles can offer some variety, they are not as exciting as taking down boring foes. However, the experience offered by MMOs is far superior to standard enemy fights. Enemies are rather uninteresting, and you’ll be battling the same skeletons and zombies for many of your days. Although it’s cool to see a huge crocodile for the first time, you soon realize that this giant creature is a mere vessel for leather supplies. 

I’ll be as clear as I can here. If you want to play a game with good questing and monster battling, this isn’t the game. Almost every quest is uninspired fetch or “kill ten rats” fare. While the other elements of the game make this entirely forgivable for me, it’s essential to know that you will probably not have a satisfying traditional PVE experience here.

Although there are some criticisms of New World’s lack of enemies and their generic nature, New World boasts beautiful scenery that blends well with the experience of exploring this potentially dangerous country. Surprisingly, one element that stands out is each territory’s environmental design. It can be difficult to design areas with a look and feel that are grounded in real life, such as flora or fauna. However, New World does it well. There are zones that range from prosperous, pastoral areas, to haunted hills and sunken swamps. It is easy to tell where you are in a territory by its aesthetics after a while. Beautiful landscapes are created by the night/day cycles, creating stunning moments beneath the stars. 

And, if for some reason, you’re stepping into a player-centric MMORPG for a story, you’re not going to get anything interesting there either. New World, which has player economies and open-world PVP and territories battles, tells its stories in the player’s moment. It’s the legendary fish you catch and show off to your guildmates. It’s the 8-hour battle for a fort that creates a permanent rivalry between two companies and the way the server has to live with that constant conflict. And sometimes, it’s just a quaint moment in the woods where you slaughter a turkey to cook it up later. The story is being told in every action you take and participate in, but it’s not a traditional narrative that adds up to anything worth engaging with. While Lore is real, many times it’s attached to notebooks or ledgers which aren’t really useful or enjoyable to read.

New World combines features and mechanics that were present in MMOs years ago and makes them feel fresh today. While it’s a bit of a Frankenstein monster in terms of the various directions a player can go, the almost unfettered freedom is unbelievably welcoming in a world where MMO experiences have become more and more linear. New World is for you if crafting and gathering are your passions. New World is for you if you are a group player or have many friends and love drama as well as server conflict. New World may not be for you if you are looking for a thrilling story and interesting quests. If you are an old-school MMO player who has bemoaned the genre’s direction in the last 15 years, New World is a must-play. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s starmetal to mine, and I’m almost ready to craft a new bag.