New World interview covers sandbox design, hosting tech, combat, death, and more

    
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New World, Amazon’s in-development MMO, has been something of a mystery until the last few weeks, but information is now coming out faster and faster. This week, GamerHubTV posted an interview from Gamescom 2018 with Patrick Gilmore, Studio Head at Amazon Games, regarding New World’s Gamescom demo.

In response to the interviewer’s suggestion that New World “feels like an evolution of Rust,” Gilmore says that although the devs were inspired by survival-crafting games of that ilk, they “really focused on going beyond that to incorporate more traditional MMO elements,” with a focus on creating a sandbox where players can “chart their own course through the world.”

Gilmore also discusses some of the technological aspects of the game, such as its scaling tech that will allow the devs to host a single game simulation “across multiple instances in the Amazon cloud,” letting the game scale based on the number of players. The interviewer describes New World’s combat as something of a cross between Rust and Dark Souls, and Gilmore notes that the development team is aiming to create a non-tab-targeted combat system that rewards player skill.

Gilmore also confirms that death in New World will be something of a big deal; although players will get to keep anything they have equipped upon death, items in their inventory will be fair game to looters. To hear everything Gilmore had to say about New World, you can check out the full interview below.

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Nim

Dear Diary,

Today MassivelyOP covered a PVP game and as per usual the carebears came out of the woodwork to piss in the cornflakes of everyone who actually enjoys games with real challenge. They won’t play the game, because they can’t play the game, because they are awful. But they’ll still shitpost in the comments section because they’ve made it their mission in life to destroy all things PVP, because of their aforementioned impotence in the actual game.

evilized
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evilized

the argument that a game will fail because it is a pvp game needs to die. it’s a bad argument that has been around since the early 2000’s and it is simply not true. like someone else mentioned in the comments, more often than not, the reason pvp-based games close down is because they are badly run, badly designed and poorly optimized. there is a very large group of pvp players sitting around waiting for something worthwhile to play, but there is nothing right now. not one good pvp mmo worth playing, which is sad. there are a couple on the horizon that we might see by 2020 but that’s still a bit of a wait.

until then i would recommend giving these new studios the benefit of the doubt and actually looking at the game before passing judgment. the industry is right on schedule after the AAA crash and burn a few years ago. indy companies (and well funded upstarts, like Verant/Origin/Mythic/Turbine were in the very beginning) will turn the industry around over the next couple of years with some new and real innovation. if you want to see the industry get back on its feet you all need to have a better attitude moving forward.

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draugris

Well first of all i think some would have to define “fail” i think this term means something different for everybody.

The problems for pvp games imo come mainly from horrible game design plus tech. They are either p2w af or in other way unfair, especially towards newer players over time which means that no new blood is coming in and the game is bleeding out or the tech is so horrible fps wise or with skill delay that it is more dependant on lag that on something else if you win or loose.

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rafael12104

GANKBOX

Gankboxes are sandboxes that place such an emphasis on unrestricted free-for-all PvP that ganking comes to dominate the entire game, to the detriment of the rest of the world design.

And that’s as defined by our own MOP crew.

So… unless things change, that sums it up for New World.

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Kevin McCaughey

It’s not going to get better no matter how many times Amazon tells it. It’s a r***-your-face simulator with full loot.

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Danny Smith

The more i see the more this feels like another meme game where people screech about being ‘hardcore’ but never actually seem to have fun and act surprised when it sunsets because it wasn’t fun.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

A game is fun (or not) because it is good (or bad), not because it is “hardcore”, or “casual” or “full loot gankbox” or “PVE carebearland”. How many clone themepark PVE games out there barely making a living? Or recently, struggling PVE sandboxes? (SOTA, judging by the current number of players and recent layoffs)

What PVP games with full/partial loot do is that the loss mechanism acts as a catalyst: if the player does not enjoy the game loop while gathering the assets and they suddenly lose them, they are abruptly forced into the realization that they did not have fun in the first place and drop the game immediately.

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Robert Mann

SOTA has a slew of problems not in the slightest related to being a PVE… well, more or less themepark. In that way I think your comment applies, and in some respects it applies across the board. But there is a truth that any game with the ability to gank will turn into a litterbox. After all, there’s no point to being somebody’s target constantly, so people either leave or try to gank. IMO, yuck to that!

As to calling it a sandbox, I’ll quote somebody else:
I don’t regard SotA as very sandbox at all. There’s certainly a vague whiff of sandbox in the air, which people will point to, but it’s not very strong when you examine it in detail.

“But you can place a house, that’s not instanced… and decorate it!” some will say. Yes, but the houses are placed on predefined lots, in towns, not just anywhere you like in the wilderness, as you can in true sandbox games.

“But you can level up anything and not be locked into a class!” others will say. Sure, but there are plenty of games which, even with classes, still let you wear and wield what you like and level those items up. ESO, anyone?

“But there’s a big map to explore!” comes another cry. And indeed, there’s a big overland map. You leave it and enter instances, some of them quite small, to do anything. It’s not a big seamless world, synonymous with sandbox.

Same story, different day/game. “Sandbox!” people cry, when the amount of sand is at best enough to be irritating in your shoes and gritty on your teeth in the wind, but not nearly enough to do anything really interesting with.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Yes but that kind of deviates from my point – I should not have used SOTA as the example because it derails the convo.

I only disagree with you on the following two:

But there is a truth that any game with the ability to gank will turn into a litterbox.

The truth is that most open-world full loot games currently live are litterboxes. But this has nothing to do with ganking; it has everything to do with them being bad games overall and with the devs of these games using the “sandbox pvp” tag as an excuse to not provide well-designed systems that make up a good game. Which is exactly what you say at the end of your comment and I agree with: “… the amount of sand is at best enough to be irritating in your shoes and gritty on your teeth in the wind, but not nearly enough to do anything really interesting with.”

See for example EVE vs Albion: two full loot games that allow ganking. EVE has been successful for 15 years, while Albion managed to lose 90% of its population in its first year. But this has nothing to do with it being a ganking litterbox (I would argue that the ganker vs gatherer loop in Albion is actually more fun and “meaty”), but there were a million other reasons (bugs, boring combat, bad performance, bad community management, erratic last-minute world layout changes, bait-and-switch tactics etc).

After all, there’s no point to being somebody’s target constantly, so people either leave or try to gank.

To continue the previous example: If you ask an average gatherer in Albion, they will tell you that they can make lots of money in game if they take all safety measures (I know because I was one :P). Otherwise, the ganker takes the spoils. And that’s exactly what this particular game loop is about for both sides. None of them feels like a victim. It’s just a game style that does not fit everyone. It is also the job of the devs to balance the two “professions” (gankers and gatherers) so that both can profit reasonably, otherwise the game loop breaks down.

To give another example from PVE, there are many PVE games out there that are clone themeparks and are quickly falling into obscurity. This does not really have to do with the themepark formula being bad or with PVE being bad. The big four prove that the formula can be successful if the game is good (and I had as much fun playing good themeparks as I had playing EVE or Albion). The multitudes of other failed themeparks only prove that (1) a bad game is bad, no matter how it is tagged (2) the themepark market is saturated.

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Robert Mann

Actually, it has more to do with human nature than anything else. You may be correct that a game with the ability to gank and enough reason not to would not be so bad… but that’s taking on some things that rely upon actual accountability for actions toward the real world most likely.

You see, the moment ganking is possible, people have one of several reactions. Unless they are opposed to being a ganker, the easiest and most profitable use of time is ganking, so they gank. What results is a game with far too many gankers, and not enough of anything else. Thus it fails.

Eve, on the otherhand, has a large area that is relatively PvE. Sure, people can suicide run in it, but… that’s just not a good investment on their part, and they would run out of ships and funds quickly if they kept at it. So with relative safety, Eve has managed to stand outside the normal for these games. Question that results: “Why are PvP focused games not learning from that?”

Where it doesn’t change the status quo outside that area, it does provide a place where those who don’t want to leave that area are more happy. Still not a perfect solution, but…

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Thomas Zervogiannis

You may be correct that a game with the ability to gank and enough reason not to would not be so bad…

Actually I would argue exactly the opposite and I am confused why I gave that impression :P. I believe that it is better to either:

(1) make ganking a prominent feature of the game, and supply both sides with enough tools to profit and thrive (it is possible, I have seen it in action)

(2) or remove the potential of ganking completely, because if you do not balance it properly, and you do not give enough motivation for profit on both sides, it will only attract griefers.

Which is why I consider the example between EVE and Albion as a good example. I consider Albion’s “ganker vs gatherer loop” better: both sides have specialized tools, explicitly made for the roles. There is a good balance of gankers and gatherers currently in game, and both sides can make good profit. EVE also has ganking mechanisms, but especially in high sec they are mainly used for griefing and do not really make sense (against miners at least; against traders there is profit and that’s another thing). I consider this bad. Yet, EVE is a successful game and Albion failed, for a zillion other reasons that are well documented.

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Robert Mann

Just fyi, the part that made me think that was:

But this has nothing to do with ganking; it has everything to do with them being bad games overall and with the devs of these games using the “sandbox pvp” tag as an excuse to not provide well-designed systems that make up a good game.

Where you might have meant it differently, I look at it from a perspective that wants more risk for gankers as well, and see that as very much exactly what I am talking about on that end. I’m guessing that’s just a perspective thing, but thought you might find it interesting where we saw the different meaning!

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Vorender

I’ve got a feeling the player feedback is going to make New World much different than the devs currently think its going to be when it’s released…IF they listen, that is.

As it stands now, player retention will be abysmal.

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rafael12104

Agree. Hope they took note of poor Wildstars history and eventual demise.

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Denice J. Cook

So if you have 6 items in your bags, and you get ganked by a 6-man team, which is the way open PvP games are (not to mention that those 6 teammates are as many levels above you as they can possibly be), do you drop all 6 things out of your bags from that one fight?

Is this game launching as free to play? If not, it will wind up that way very soon after it launches.

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Kevin McCaughey

It’s totally DOA as far as I’m concerned.

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socontrariwise

Massive scaling for the hundreds or thousands who want to play another FFA PvP game?

Ps: Very calming to read they are a single player slaughter game company.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Helix_Games

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maydrock .

So gatherers are loot pinatas once again. Risk vs reward, my ass.

SSDD

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Natalyia

There isn’t any “risk” in that model for gankers. People who go out with only the goal of killing other players, and whose reward is just that have no risk, because there won’t be anything in their inventory they care about. If they lose some of the stuff they looted from sheep, well, no big deal for the wolves.

Admittedly, going from “full loot” to “stuff you gathered” moves it from “hell no, go burn in a fire” to “That’s not going to go well” in my books, so progress? Might be worth roaming about to see the terrain, it looks lovely. And who knows, maybe they’ll actually make it a large-scale success. Nobody has yet, but who knows?

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Robert Mann

It moves it a tiny bit that way, maybe, based on the idea that maybe they are seeing the loss of hype that is occurring.

I still think there are solutions to such things, but not without the GAME handling the issue, instead of saying “Well get together a group and go kill those PvP focused players!” No, there should be dangers and risks to being the PvP attackers beyond other players, especially since the majority of the people with an interest in the PvP are going to be the problem.

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Natalyia

The thing most games do is focus on combat. That’s the means-to-the-end of PK gameplay. And it’s generally polished, balanced, and constantly tuned by a substantial portion of the development team to ensure it continues to meet their goals for combat performance. That it’s used by gankers to accomplish their goals isn’t /why/ that’s given so much time and attention, but it does mean they have a very large toolbox to achieve their goals.

Once there’s a game that puts equal and ongoing effort into whatever systems and mechanics they’re intending to control bad actors (however they’re defined) and support players co-operating rather than just killing each other, then, maybe, you can get an open world PvP MMO to “work”.

Haven’t seen one yet, and don’t really expect to. It would be expensive, and mostly the driving force seems to be “Open world PvP is player created content, so we don’t have to make as much (or any) content ourselves.” EVE is about as successful a free-for-all PvP “Open World” game as I can point to, and I suspect it’s not a big enough success to satisfy Amazon.

Time will tell.

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Robert Mann

Yep, that’s what I meant by the game doing it… :)