Sunday, September 12, 2021

New World Open Beta Impressions

Amazon's New World had an open beta this past weekend, so I gave it a whirl. A couple of people in my guild are really excited about it, so we'll probably try to play on the same server when it comes out.

New World's best comparison is probably Elder Scrolls Online, though with worse questing, but better combat. It's a "classless" game. Characters can use every weapon and equip any type of armor. You do have stats which you can apply points to, and different weapons scale off different stats (or combinations of stats). For example, 2H Axes scale off Strength, Bows off Dexterity, Fire Staff off Intelligence, and Life Staff off Focus.

Respecs are free before level 20, so you can play around and experiment easily. Each weapon has two talent trees, and level up separately as you use them. Each weapon tree has 3 active abilities on medium-term (20-30s) cooldowns and you can have 2 weapons equipped and switch between them. Each weapon has a left-click quick attack, hold left-click heavy attack, and right-click block. Shift causes you to dodge.

So combat is basically weave quick and heavy attacks while dodging or blocking and occasionally using your active abilities. Combat overall is pretty decent. It's not as good as TERA, but it's better than most of these types of games.

The trinity roles do exist in this game, though perhaps muted compared to other games. Healing appears to be straightforward: use a Life Staff. Tanking seems more complicated. Certain weapons vastly increase threat if you use a certain type of gem. So I guess if you want to PvE tank, you use this gem on your weapons. Healing is actually somewhat decent as your abilities "lock on" to the player you are pointing at.

Harvesting and crafting also plays a big part in the game. You can harvest and craft everything on one character, but each type of harvesting and crafting levels up separately.

Character creation is okay. The characters aren't very good looking though. The armor is interesting, and different than the normal fantasy games. But mixing and matching armor types always ends up looking weird to me.

All in all, I'm not really sure what to think of New World. It's certainly not a bad game, and is probably worth checking out if you are interested. At the same time, nothing really grabbed me. I did not feel compelled to keep playing.

Though, truthfully, it might just be because it's a classless game. I always feel like I'm flailing around in these types of games, and don't really have a vision of what I want my character to be. I prefer games with a strong, inspiring class identity and clear separation from the other classes.

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