Diaries From New World: The Suck Extends

The endless trash.

New World is one of the more infuriating games that I’ve subjected myself to for MMO Fallout, and it’s one of those games that constantly seems to be on a treadmill of two steps forward, one step back. Now I haven’t played the game since the winter update, so I logged back in to check out a few things before the Easter update and report my findings. My findings? The game still sucks but maybe less?

The biggest change I noticed on logging in is that Amazon altered the Azoth system since I last played the game. Now if you don’t know, Azoth is a currency in New World used for fast travel. On the older system Azoth was ridiculously slow to obtain and cost an exorbitant amount to travel depending on your weight, the distance, and whether or not your faction controlled the destination town. This week I noticed I was getting Azoth at a much more reliable rate, and travel costs were 6-12 Azoth no matter the distance. This is a positive update, because travel in New World sucked.

Developers are in a constant struggle between two concepts; wanting to support their vision and having people actually play the effing game. And when your poorly received vision is causing people to quit, occasionally you have to admit that vision was a stupid idea and needed to be fixed. Amazon obviously wanted to push this whole idea of forcing people to engage in the overworld by demanding they tediously trudge back and forth across the landscape, making strategic decisions on when and where to use their fast travel. And then players said “aight, I’mma head out then” and went to play other games. Which doesn’t help anyone.

Another utterly ridiculous concept I’d like to point out is that New World has become devoid of content in certain regions on certain servers and this is another big problem Amazon needs to address before the community bleeds itself even more. Amazon put players in charge of making quests available via town project boards, and unfortunately most towns in the game are unprofitable meaning no money to put into upgrades, meaning no project quests, meaning complete leveling zones are devoid of content.

Anyone with half a brain can see how demoralizing and frustrating it is for a player to enter a new town and see nothing going on. Amazon’s vision for towns with regional markets and leveling resource stations has pretty much resulted in a map where one or two towns prosper and everyone else languishes in a never-ending spiral of not having the funding to attract people to make the town popular enough to fund upgrades to attract people. In a game with a persistently healthy population this might have worked out. New World is not such a game. It’s a ridiculously arbitrary limit put on the market in order to push an idea that wasn’t fun and didn’t work out.

And I can’t express how annoying it is that I regularly see pop-ups detailing what town had another resource station downgraded. Nothing says fun like seeing my dead server persistently failing.

Now that fast travel in New World is effectively free, I think the next thing to go should be town-based crafting station levels and market boards. I’m sure some people actually like the concept, but it’s an utterly idiotic design made even more stupid with recent updates. When the goal was to get people traveling across the world to access crafting stations and markets, people simply quit the game in frustration. Now you can see where the best offers are from any town’s market board and all regional markets do is add ten seconds to fast travel to that town and sell or buy the product. It is such a nonsensical waste of time, and all it accomplishes is momentarily inconveniencing someone for no tangible purpose.

Town project boards should also have tasks available at all times, regardless of whether or not there is a project active in that category, so towns can still generate funding and players don’t have empty content in certain areas. In my perfect world where crafting stations are universal, towns would vote on projects with project boards retaining the same purpose. Towns would still generate income from taxes and thus give clans a reason to fight for control over them due to the potential for money as well as voting power on the overall game board. Market and crafting taxes would still be town-specific, giving incentives for players to trade from certain spots even though they can buy anything from any town.

New World could be good. It could be great even. But Amazon needs to concede that a lot of its ideas for implementing tedium for the sake of world building are not working out. Also stop introducing five thousand new bugs every time an Amazon employee merely looks at the server database, that’d be great.

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