Amazon’s New World MMO – Character Progression & Weapon Mastery
New World is an MMO in a state not too dissimilar to something in the Twilight Zone. In 2018 I previewed an early build and I was fairly optimistic, the same for a preview I wrote last year. Since then the news was released that the game would be limiting PVP came as a big surprise - I've never been one for PVP, but my hands-on time with New World actually made me enjoy it. It was also a concern that PVE in New World was, frankly, non-existent.
Over time Amazon has been publishing posts trying to explain and flesh out aspects of the game. From the multiple types of mass battles (invasions, breaches and the general world war) to fighting against AI enemies in arena-style battles. Simply put, there's been a hell of a lot of talk about fighting. Not a great deal has been spoken about when it comes to progression.
Progression in the story to progression in player housing and settlements, there's a lot to learn. What Amazon has talked about recently is the progression of your character and why some of the decisions and freedom have been made the way they have, starting with the soft-cap on attributes:
When you first arrive in Aeternum, your Character will have 5 points in each of the core attributes and you cannot drop below that 5-point minimum. Each time your Character levels up, you are granted an Attribute Point to spend on whichever Attribute you choose. Gains from Attributes are soft-capped at 60 points.
Attributes can be gained above the 60 point mark through the use of specific equipment, though it's said that the returns will be diminishing. Respeccing your character will also be free, early in the game, though will cost "a small amount " of the in-game coin as you progress. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a temporarily increasing fee the more you use it, with a cooldown of sorts reducing the price over time to prevent short-term frequent usage.
The five attributes are fairly self-explanatory and, looking at the image above, you can read a basic outline of what the five of them are used for. Otherwise, the earlier link does go into more detail of the five attributes.
Beyond attributes your character will have a wealth of trade skills made available to them and, unlike MMO's like World of Warcraft that only have you take on a few professions at a time, you will have unlimited access in New World. As you will see in the next image, the skills are based around three different areas:
Crafting Skills: Weaponsmithing, Armoring, Engineering, Jewelcrafting, Arcana, Cooking and Furnishing
Refining Skills: Smelter, Woodworking, Leatherworking, Weaving and Stonecutting
Gathering Skills: Logging, Mining, Harvesting and Tracking & Skinning
Each of these will be used to collect resources that can eventually be crafted into a wide variety of items. From weapons, armour and food that have a direct benefit to you and others to being able to create items for your fort or personal home. All of this will allow you to both specialise, should you want to, or diversify as the time requires, giving a lot more freedom than traditional MMO's would often allow.
Finally, the piece talks about weapon mastery. Not an unusual feature in games, weapon mastery here simply means the gaining of experience through the use of a weapon and mastering it. As you gain levels with a particular type of level you unlock the ability to place points in one of two skill trees, with each weapon type having their own unique trees. Naturally, you will have to be decisive and specialise to get the most out of any particular tree.
Not much more is said on weapon master, with Amazon finishing off by saying:
We will dive deeper into Weapon Mastery in the future. However you choose to fight, you’ll need to forge and discover powerful weapons to fit your combat style. Whether battling in wars with other players or holding back waves of The Corrupted, your combat skills will mean the difference between life and death.
We do know that New World, having been delayed earlier this year, is scheduled to release on the 25th of August. The news out of the game is fairly slow, particularly as it closes in on release, so I'm certainly intrigued to see how it's progressed over time and if Amazon has found a good balance for the game.