Amazon's New World Open Beta, I Had My Happy Ending

The New World Open Beta Testing (OBT) has come to a conclusion and it didn’t disappoint. Master Henry still has a shit spawn rate and not enough health for the number of players trying to kill him. He needs to scale. Abandoning the wait to complete this mission blocks you from what I found to be a fun quest series. New in the mix were audio bugs, the magnitude of which were very disorienting in multi combatant fights. You immediately realize how much we use audio cues during engagements. Other than that, I didn’t experience any issues.

Even with a couple of bugs I encountered, things went very well. It was definitely gaming-time well spent.

Doing It Again

Even rolling across the same levels as the Closed Beta Testing (CBT), I was excited to play and enjoyed myself. The adventuring went faster this time as there was no fumbling around with different weapons to create a preferred playstyle. I also refrained from trying to level up various trade professions since I’d sampled them all during the CBT.

Additionally, I know now that when you have to loot a certain number of items, it’s a count represented by exactly that many caches. Therefore, you can’t enter the zone and collect them willy-nilly. You must be methodical, tracking which areas you’ve checked or it can be a nightmare of retracing all your steps to get the last one.

Beware of quest objects where you must loot a certain number of caches. Be methodical or finding them all can be annoying.

I wasn’t a fan of only an exact number of caches being available when I experienced it during the CBT. However, knowing how it works now it’s fine. It can be much harder to account for everything a night. Yes, unlike most MMOs, New World does a night cycle that is DARK. Understanding how it worked the second time around removed the frustration I felt during my previous romp.

Battle Cleric

The role I’ve decided to build in New World is the Battle Cleric based around the War Hammer (WH) and Life Staff (LS). I use the LS to pull, fight ranged enemies, and its primary purpose, healing. I’ll be pumping all of my attribute points into Focus which buffs the LS. My DPS, which is secondary, will obtain stats from my armor. The WH is more crowd control than damage output. It applies stuns and debuffs so that I can beat down mobs that come into melee range. It also doesn’t require a lot of fancy footwork which isn’t my thing, especially in an active targeting game. 

If I know the targets are going to move into melee distance after the pull, the LS has a targeted skill that heals over time + weapon damage. If multiple are going to come, I’ll also put down another ground HOT and fight inside the healing circle.

For open-world PVE and PVP sieges, I wear heavy armor. I lose a fast-moving dodge in doing so but my build is designed to engage toe to toe. For open-world group PVP and dungeons, I’d wear light armor for the improved dodge. I do wish for more variety or control over the gear appearance. I always look like some mix-matched hobo even though I’m in nice greens. 

A transmog system would be a nice addition, even if it’s in the cache shop. I’d rather that than more odious methods of them generating revenue to sustain the game. Or for the cosmetic cash shop items, including an appearance system ala GW2 would work. I saw things I really liked the look of but they weren’t appropriate for my level or class.

Crafting

The jury is still out on which profession I’ll start with. You need to cook for yourself to some degree for the various stacking buffs, and the meat is easily obtained via skinning. I’ve never been one to enjoy crafting armor or weapons. It seems so mundane to me. The exception of course was when World of Warcraft introduced Bind on Pickup crafted items that were pretty mandatory for raiding. 

It’s hard to know where to start when you can do all of the professions. I want to be strategic enough to earn gold so that I can own multiple houses and try the largest the game has to offer.

I’m thinking of doing jewel crafting for the usefulness and revenue, with carpentry and fishing for the enjoyment and RP factor. Fishing in New World is the best I’ve seen of any MMO and there are so many scenic places to fish. I also enjoy the mini-game of trying to land in the fishing Hot Spots when you come across them.

Housing

I enjoy player housing. It adds to the immersiveness. The crafting is so EQ2-like, I’d hoped the player housing was as flexible. As of today, it’s not. More freedom in stacking items at will would go a long way to allowing players to create unique items out of standard elements which is what made EQ2’s housing customization so powerful. You were only limited by your imagination and time. For now, it can be used for bonuses and extra storage. OBT also added group ownership/access to the housing.

I suspect small groups can use the new group housing mechanic to share items ala a guild bank in case that feature isn’t added. We can’t mail each other times and it’s not always convenient to exchange in person.

My Happy Ending

As my Sunday evening of available game time came to a close, I realized that I had enough money to purchase the smallest house in Windsward. I had JUST enough gold. However, when I went to purchase it, I didn’t have enough reputation. I was 2K short. UGH. I raced to the Town Projects Board to see what tasks I could perform on the city’s behalf. Luckily, I had resources in my storage that completed two quests outright and another two where I needed to run around to collect a bit more and process the ore and food, which I did.

I purchased a little one-room house that’s available in every city for 2.5K gold. I raced back out into the nearby countryside to harvest materials to craft furnishings and decorations such as wood, reeds, stone, iron, etc. In the final 30 minutes, I had available, I used up all of my materials to craft a few items for the house and was pleased with the outcome. 

Unlike some MMOs, the chairs and beds have distinct animations. Done at the last minute, it was sparse but let me try out the system before the clock expired on my time in Aeternum. I spent my final moments relaxing on my porch watching others racing around the city.

The Future

I’m excited about the official release! I’m crossing my eyes, fingers, and toes that there are no further delays. As things stand today, this is the next MMO I’ll be playing long enough to hit max level, do all the dungeons, and then enjoy crafting as my end game. I can even see rolling a pure DPS class so that I’d have two characters as I had in GW2. 

From where I sit, NW has the early staying power of GW2. Only an onerous Cash Shop, dearth of new content, or severely broken mechanics can defeat the successful base game. Here’s hoping Amazon Games realizes the potential they have in their hands for long-term success versus short-term monetary returns.

Bring on New World, my gaming soul is ready!


Casual Citizen Season 2 EP3

Season 2 Episod3 of my ongoing series on Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games is available on all support platforms. This episode’s topics include Looting, I’ve Seen the Light, The Genesis of Space Whales, Limited Fast Travel, and my NightBus Fan Fiction, Pod City The Fallen, Bird Cage.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/DDkSq7LDcek

Audio-Only

  • https://soundcloud.com/lauren-michele-12/casual-citizen-season-2-episode-3
  • https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/casual-star-citizen/id1583299515
  • https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/4b5e53b8-d75a-446b-b16f-d066566b0b1a/CASUAL-STAR-CITIZEN


Casual Citizen Season 2 Episode 2

Welcome to another episode of Casual Citizen. My experimentation with pseudo-A.I. voices has ended. The compromise I’ve reached to keep show production reasonable is that I will voice the game commentary sections and use an A.I. voice for the fiction which tends to be the longest portion. The vast majority of authors don’t narrate their fiction anyway so… boo!

Show Topics

  • The More The Merrier
  • True MMO Style Persistence
  • Pyro – Size Matters
  • Other Worlds
  • Pod City, Shifting Sands Part 2 of 2

Show Forma Options:


Other Worlds: New World Closed Beta

Other Worlds is a section I will occasionally include about my adventures in other virtual worlds. Feel free to fast forward if you only care about Star Citizen. If I write enough about different games, I might break it out into its own show.

I’m positive you can guess the name of the Other World rolling into this episode since it dominated the MMO category on Twitch during its Closed Beta. I pre-ordered it when it was first announced. Sight unseen, I knew I’d try it because I play every triple-A MMO for the North American audience. Yes, it’s New World by Amazon Games. It’s here, and it’s glorious!

The quiet solo adventurer in me is in heaven. The end-game crafter, at my core, doesn’t know if she’s coming or going. Every profession adds value, and you can do them all if you dare. You can solo. You can group. You can PVP, or you can mind your damn business, safe from the machinations of others.

At least from what we see in the Beta, Amazon was right to adjust the PVP ruleset to hit a wider audience. No matter how much they RAWR, hardcore PVP will always be a smaller audience than the PVE playstyle in MMOs.

The active, heavily contested back and forth open-world PVP in New World shows that you can have plenty of PVP without forcing players it on players who don’t want to partake

More importantly, when all of the combatants are “here for it,” the combat is more competitive versus clobbering a player who doesn’t PVP and was simply out minding their business. They shouldn’t be forced into keeping escorts or playing in a party to avoid how someone else chooses to play a game. In New World, Everyone gets to enjoy their style of gaming.

If you haven’t been following, what makes the PVP flagging work better in New World than other attempts I’ve seen is that flagging is only allowed in a city. You must make a conscious choice before leaving town. You can’t decide to punk out because you see a big group up ahead. You can’t grow false balls when you spy another player off on their own unprepared for your assault. If they’re flagged, they should be conscious of their surroundings and expecting to be attacked. If they’re not flagged you can’t do anything about it. They’re 100% safe from being attacked by another player.

I’m giddy about the fact that cooking is essential and not just for end-game consumables! I cook in every MMO that has it, even if it’s not valued. Harvesting crops, hunting for meat, and preparing meals makes me feel like my character is indeed a denizen of that world. And there’s fishing with a mechanic I enjoyed. It’s not cast and forget until you get a nibble like in WOW. It’s not silly let’s play keypress matching like in ArcheAge. It’s controlling the tension on the fishing line while reeling in your catch similar to real fishing. It was a lot of fun. I got into the habit of ending my gaming sessions with fishing to relax and unwind.

The zones are simply gorgeous. Even without players, they feel alive. Many pockets of content to explore. For me, there’s no joy in gaming more incredible than a beautifully rendered world with good mechanics, questing, and significant freedom of choice. There’s so much more I could say but this is a Star Citizen show. Suffice it to say, it felt good playing an MMO on the cusp of being a released game.