New World Impressions – The First 10 Levels

Preparing coverage for an MMORPG is difficult as the games aren’t technically supposed to have an end.

They’re designed for you to keep playing, exploring, grinding, gathering as you prepare for the next major update and so this is how I’ve approached my coverage of New World.

I’ve got several pieces planned, with the first focusing on the game’s first ten levels, but as time goes on I’ll look at both the mid and end game, so you should hopefully have a well-rounded picture.

The good news is the first ten levels and the content built around them is strong, engaging, and intriguing enough to make it stand out from the other blockbusters out there.

Not to mention its absolutely stunning graphics and lovingly composed soundtrack, of course.

Sure, it borrows from all of them in varying different ways. It also doesn’t have the massive intellectual property attached to it to draw mass market appeal, but I’m already extremely confident this is one of the freshest, most interesting MMORPGs to release in years.

It’s also one that has the legs and the backing to stick around for the long haul.

For starters, the game’s combat takes a deviation from the World of Warcraft’s and Final Fantasy’s, with a dynamic dodge, block, and strike system that feels closer to a Dark Souls.

It actually works really well in an MMO format and you will need to pay attention, even to early mobs as they can swarm and catch you out. I often find with other MMOs that I can kind of go on auto-pilot as I smash through my abilities but not so much here.

There’s also a much bigger emphasis on crafting as New World sort of leans closer to a survival style game, like a Rust or Fallout 76. You gather grass reeds from bushes and flint from stones, and once you reach a campfire can craft all sorts of things like arrows, health potions, and even skinning knives to create rations.

These items are obviously useful to you on your adventures, when you need to heal or create equipment, but they can also be used for the ongoing ‘war effort’ as you create supplies to build up a town’s stocks and supplies. Territory and warfare seems to be a huge part of the game, but for the most part, you don’t need to really worry about all that. At least at this stage.

What you will need to figure out in the early going is where your allegiances lie. Are you with the Syndicates, a secretive organisation who have access to forbidden knowledge. The Marauders, who are you typical, ruthless military force, or the faction I went with, the Covenant, who strive the rid the land of heretics and defilers.

The map is made up of various sections and each of these are coloured and controlled by a respective faction, which will obviously vary from realm to realm and is determined by a massive 50v50 PVP warfare, which I’ve obviously yet to experience. That said, I was starting to get a real flavour of it in the global chat. And wow, my realm is competitive.

There was actually a lot of back and forth playful banter going on, with many citing the Marauders have the numbers but the Syndicate own more territory and are playing smarter. Meanwhile the Covenant, who had previously been dominant, have regressed somewhat, and now only own one territory.

This could be because you can switch allegiance every 120 days if you’re not happy with your chosen faction or you want to go where all the power is. This makes the game extremely interesting in the long term as, in theory, you can keep a continuous flow of PVP going on to upset any balance of power.

One thing I did catch people saying is they don’t feel like there’s enough benefits for underdogs. So, right now, my faction feel a bit powerless and frustrated because they don’t have the numbers, capacity, or benefits to try and challenge the Marauders or Covenant.

Anyway, back to what I have played, and the flow between missions, introducing you to new mechanics, taking you through to safe havens is pretty well done. I did find myself veering into Level 25 areas at around Level 7 due to how close the borders were, which did stunt my progress a little bit, but all told, everything connects quite nicely.

Aside from typical fetch and kill quests, you’ll also get to gather supplies and explore mysterious areas on the map to earn optional XP. New World offers a similar Fast Travel system to The Elder Scrolls Online where you can find teleports scattered around the map to get around quicker.

You can build campfires outside of named areas using your materials to rest, heal up, craft materials and also use it as a respawn point if you die, which is a really nice touch to make sure you don’t have to spawn too far from your objective if you die.

And if you’re lucky enough, you can be revived by a passing stranger. All this to say, one of the biggest problems with MMOs – the journey to your body – doesn’t have to be such a slog or drag now, with New World making the entire experience a lot easier.

One of the other big changes in New World are the territory points you’ll get to spend. These are earned by completing quests within an area, killing enemies, and generally helping people out. You’ll level up your affiliation with an area and be able to boost certain attributes, such as XP earned, the speed at which you gather materials, and how many territory points you’ll earn.

You’ll also individually level up the weapons you use, able to customize the kind of abilities you’ll get with them, and your overall proficiency. The more you use a bow, the better you’ll be come. Same for Swords, Axes, and Poles.

So far, I’m really impressed with New World. It already seems to have attracted a large fanbase and for good reason. And the best news for the game is that it’s easily scaleable for consoles, where it will almost certainly grow bigger still.

With no forced subscription service, all the good bits from the best MMOs out there, and its absolutely gorgeous aesthetic, New World has me hooked. I’m already looking forward to diving back in to crack on with my quest to 60. I’m looking forward to see how the game develops on its mechanics, how significant the war effort is, and indeed, if the game can keep up the good momentum it builds early.

For now, all that remains to say, I’m impressed and incredibly optimistic. Look out for more New World coverage in the weeks ahead…

Are you playing? What do you think of the game so far?

New World kindly provided by Amazon Game Studios

Played on PC

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