Tobold's Blog
Monday, July 26, 2021
Do I need a new world?

Once upon a time, this was a MMORPG blog. I spent thousands of hours of my life in World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs, and thousands more reading and writing about them. Until I got bored with the genre, feeling that it had stagnated, and not lived up to the promises of its early days to deliver us attractive virtual worlds in which we would lead virtual lives. And it wasn’t just me. MMORPGs stpped being “a thing”, investors stopped financing them, developers stopped developing them. These days, releases of triple A MMORPGs are few and far between. And the next one is New World from Amazon, developer and publisher of great games like … uh, help me out here, uh, actually nothing that wasn’t cancelled. They sure have money, but can they make and run a MMORPG? They might actually have an advantage in the running department, with their Amazon Web Services being considered as a leading cloud computing services. But what about the game?

So I tried to understand what New World is, by reading reviews and watching gameplay videos from the beta. Overall I think it is safe to say that it isn’t a revolution. It is a mix of features we have seen before, and in some aspects New World is certainly playing it safe by not deviating too much from the old, stagnant formula of games from a decade ago. With technology having evolved, combat is possibly a bit faster than earlier generations; too bad that “Dark Souls-like combat” is not a feature that attracts me at all. In fact, I might not buy New World at all because of the combat system. The other feature that is definitively a turn-off for me is PvP, although that has been scaled down from the initial concept.

The features that attract me to New World are an extensive crafting system, and a player economy in which the same goods can have different prices in different regions. That is unusual for a fantasy MMORPG, usually only Sci-Fi games offer the possibility to buy low, transport, and sell high elsewhere. But what I couldn’t find out is in how far that is actually a possibility, or whether the PvP system prevents you from living the life of a trader. I already heard that playing a pure crafter isn’t really possible. One of the banes of the genre is interlocking game mechanics, where you are basically forced to do a bit of everything, and concentrating on a single aspect of the game is heavily discouraged. It stems from a vision of MMORPGs as games, not worlds.

New World also appears to have some tried and failed bad ideas implemented, like not locking the loot of a killed monster to the player having killed it. There are “collect 10 foozle pelts” quests in the game, where a large number of players can end up hunting a limited number of foozle spawns, and players can steal the foozle pelt from another player’s kill.

So, up to now I am far from convinced that New World is a game that I would want to buy. I’ll have to see whether my Amazon Prime subscription gives me a cheaper way in, and how the game evolves after release. But riasght now this still doesn’t look like the game that would bring me back to the MMORPG genre.

What's new in the crafting system? A very quick loot at the online resources shows a pretty standard system of "learn recipe, collect required materials, press a button", i.e. exactly what all other MMOs do.....
Yeah, probably nothing new. I just got the impression that crafting was relatively important, but not sure how true that is in actual gameplay.
Have you tried our new Lord and Savior FF14? Did you know that the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial, and includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn AND the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime? Sign up, and enjoy Eorzea today!

Memes and sarcasm aside I've think I've finally given up the MMO genre. Shadowlands has shown me I'm no longer and Wow's target demographic so I'm done there.

I have 0 interest in New World or Ashes of Creation.

And while I am currently playing FF14 and I do like the experience it is in no way revolutionary or a major leap forward for the genre. It's essentially a single player Final Fantasy game with multiplayer elements. And on top of that it is hard to reccomend as it takes around 40 hours to get into the more interesting bits of the story and even once you get there it's a VERY JRPG style story and thus not everyone will like it. But as my time for gaming goes down as I age a game like FF14 might be the only "MMORPG" that is for me.
@Bigeye: That is actually one of those questions where my correct answer is “yes and no”. :) Yes, I did try FF14. Unfortunately I did so at the worst possible moment, which was the original launch, when the game was so horrible that they had to cancel and remake it. So, no I haven’t seen the *current* and for all I know much improved version of FF14.

The thing is, I am not much interested in what was standard MMORPG gameplay a decade ago. I haven’t even played WoW since Legion, and am completely uninformed about the latest two expansions. I would be more interested in a massively multiplayer version of Valheim than in WoW or one of its clones.
What I heard about trading between players, is that it is non-existent.
They disabled trading, so that RMT is kept low (in stead of spending effort to keep RMT low, they simply gut the game)
Not sure why you feel the need for a negative and mildly sarcastic post about a game you clearly have little intention of playing and which self-evidently would be quite unsuitable for your tastes and preferences if you did. Unsuprisingly, since you have only read some commentary about the game and not tried it yourself (it was available last year in a free Preview in much the same form as it is now), many of your assumptions are inaccurate.

It seems pointless to correct those errors since, as you make plain, mmorpgs that follow established patterns no longer interest you, regardless of their quality. Why not just leave such games to those who do appreciate them and concentrate only on discussing the mmorpgs that do interest you, in the unlikely event anyone makes one.
@Bhagpuss: Not sure why you feel the need for a negative and mildly sarcastic comment about a blog post which self-evidently is quite unsuitable for your tastes and preferences. Why not just leave such blog posts to those who do appreciate them and concentrate only on discussing the blog posts that do interest you, in the unlikely event anyone makes one?
I think we can all agree that the MMORPG dream (you create your lady elf or whatever persona, and she lives a life independent of you in a magical fantasy world) has died. It's a shame, but nobody is building that any more. We should look for another genre, still to be born.
New world has an interesting twitch overlay if nothing else. Not sure if it's original, but there's a minigame for viewers in that you can click on various crafting resources that pop up on screen and eventually you are credited with making a bow or club or shield, etc. Unfortunately, it stops after 5 items. It made watching more interesting for sure.

I agree that there's nothing groundbreaking about the game. They took bits from several other MMOs and just combined them a little differently.
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