New World Expedition Impression
New World’s combat feels much more like that of a single-player action RPG than traditional MMOs, and the event gave further indications of how player skill is going to be a big driver for success.
In a recent virtual press event, RPGamer was able to check out one of the Expedition dungeons in Amazon Games’ upcoming MMORPG New World. The Amrine Excavation is one of the first of these dungeons in the game, available to characters level 25 and above, and acts as an introduction to the Expeditions system. Expeditions can be tackled by parties of three-to-five players, though are balanced around five-player parties of the appropriate level.
The Amrine Excavation is a dig site near a temple with players sent to investigate the disappearance of a famous archaeologist named Simon Grey and the rest of his team. As an introductory experience, the Amrine Excavation is a fairly standard dungeon as players move between chambers defeating the enemies within, include a small puzzle involving players standing on switches and tackling the enemies those switches unleash to be able to progress. There are some bits of lore scattered around, though it was difficult to judge how well it stacks up with the story surrounding it.
The combat system allows players to draw singular enemies away and pick them off, to try and divide their attention across the party, or to keep them all grouped together. As previously detailed, New World’s combat is very fast and feels much more like that of a single-player action RPG than traditional MMOs, and the event gave further indications of how player skill is going to be a big driver for success. Attacks need to be aimed correctly — particularly when using ranged weapons — and players will need to block or dodge to avoid being knocked out. It felt like getting down the timing and feel for combat requires more than the limited time the press event was able to provide, and players should have had plenty before tackling it in the main game.
Our individual party’s trip through the Expedition proved unsuccessful, largely due to circumstances of the event resulting in a lower number of members, a lack of in-game experience, and a less-than-ideally balanced party. Selecting effective loadouts and being able to utilise them effectively with other party members is likely to be crucial for the game. Revival is thankfully something that can be done by any other party member, and there are also spawn points available, though enemies will reset health if the party is wiped out. Amazon Games did provide footage of a more experienced team taking on the Expedition, which showcased the effectiveness of a party working well together.
New World doesn’t feature dedicated character classes, so character builds and weapon options afford some flexibility, though as weapon types heavily use specific attributes to determine their damage, it’s certainly not a case of players being able to effectively cover the whole range on offer. It feels like players are encouraged to focus on a couple of particular weapon types, with two options that can be set and switched between on the fly and players gaining mastery in each weapon type as they use it. Each weapon type has two skill trees, each specialising in a particular area, and players can mix and match these skill as they wish, with up to three skills assigned to the hotkey buttons.
Loot is plentiful, from both enemy drops and a number of treasure chests. The game’s optimisation has undergone some major improvements since the previous press event looking at the large-scale PvP battles. The visual effects and designs are largely effective, particularly the lighting, though there were only a small number of different enemies during the Expedition, and with the dark ruin theme, there wasn’t too much to showcase in terms of interesting architecture.
After a few earlier delays, New World is currently scheduled to release for PC on August 31, 2021. Both the Armine Excavation and the end-game level 60 Garden of Genesis Expeditions are available in the game’s ongoing alpha version. A closed beta test is planned to start on July 20, 2021, and will be open to all of those who pre-ordered the game.