I’ve been playing New World. I’ve been wanting a new MMO to scratch my itch in just about forever, and this one seems to be doing the trick–at least for now. As with any game, there are things I love a lot, and things I love, well, a little bit less.

Six Things I Love

1. A World to Explore

I enjoy going off and exploring. New World seems to have ample opportunity for this, at least so far. I’m sure eventually I’ll see every nook and cranny, but for now I’m enjoying the journey. There are even town project missions you can do that are exploration based. I haven’t picked one up yet (I’ve been too busy crafting) but I’m looking forward to trying one!

2. A Creepy Atmosphere

Some of my favorite games aren’t horror, but they are creepy. Don’t Starve is probably the perfect example. It’s not a horror game, but it’s creepy. You don’t know what’s going to be around the next corner, or if the thing you find will be useful or harmful.

Most of the stuff in New World is useful, but it still has that “I could get hurt here and I don’t know what’s behind that boulder” feeling that I love. The sound effects in the game really make it–you can hear other players fighting in the distance.

3. Visual Appeal

Hi. My name is Alli, I can be a bit of a graphics snob. I don’t like voxels or anime-style graphics. I can dig pixels. I like things that are super stylized. And I like realistic, if it’s done well. It’s done well here. Combined with the incentives to explore and the game’s atmosphere, it’s definitely a place I want to spend time in.

Stopping to admire the view while hunting for iron

4. Gathering

One of my favorite things to do in MMOs is gather. In New World you could probably spend your entire time gathering. If there’s a tree, you can chop it. If there’s a boulder, you can mine it. If there’s a shrub, you can harvest it. Of course, certain things are rarer and more valuable than others. But I just love the fact that you can gather everything! It gives me even more incentive to explore.

I think I’m going to need a bigger bag.

5. Gathering, Though

This needs a second point because of how awesome it is. If you’re wandering around and someone is chopping down a tree, you can hear it. And you can see it falling. It might even fall over the path you’re walking on. (It would be extra fun if it gave you damage from falling on your head, but I haven’t seen that.)

6. A Good Place to Start

I liked the intro/tutorial. It was detailed enough to give me what I needed to play the game, but brief & entertaining enough that having to repeat it to create a new character doesn’t sound like pure torture.

Something I like about playing new games vs joining an older one years after launch is that older games tend to get bloated with various systems, many of which become useless as new ones are added in subsequent expansions. I’m not feeling any system overload yet–it’s at least spacing out the systems to new players in a way that’s manageable.

Three Things I Don’t

1. Locked Servers

When I initially made my character, I did some googling to find the unofficial RP server. I find people on RP servers to generally be more mature and not have incredibly irritating character names. Of course, the unofficial RP server was full. I joined a different server in the same server…cluster? I’m not sure of the official term. Amazon has a forum post on server transfers, but check out this line:

You cannot move your character to a full world.

So if I’m understanding correctly, I wont be able to transfer my character to the unofficial RP server if it’s still full. (How would a server become not full?) Or if I want to join Belghast but his server’s full, I’m still SOL. I don’t think I need to explain why this is terrible for the game. I think everyone gets it. Belghast’s post Fragmented Community digs into why this happened a bit more.

2. Somewhat Boring Storytelling

The quests aren’t that interesting. There does seem to be some stories and I’m enjoying some of the NPCs but the quests are very much of the “kill 10 rats” variety. Not my favorite. I am someone who cares about story, so this is an issue for me. I know this was originally designed as a PvP game and PvE was added later, so it makes sense that the quests seem like an afterthought. I’m hoping it’s something Amazon will improve on in the future. And don’t get me started on the factions–I need an entire post about why they’re fairly boring (at least early on in the game).

3. Lack of Character Customization

Alright, maybe I’m missing something. In which case, refile this under “confusing character customization.” And don’t interpret this as me saying the characters look bad. They look good.

But after selecting your face, that’s it for facial features. You can’t pick face 5 but change the nose. And there’s no body type selection, so you can’t make yourself fatter or thinner or taller or shorter, you just are. On top of everyone being a human, it makes everyone look kind of the same. Pretty sure, but boring.

Which leads me to my one question: I thought this game was supposed to have pistols! Come on, Amazon: where are my pistols?

Cover Image: Concept art for the game, via the official site.

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