New World leaks make it sound more and more like a real MMO sandbox, not a survival game

    
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The weird thing – or clever thing – about Amazon Game Studios’ New World alpha is that seemingly everyone is in it, so nobody can talk about it either, whether press or player. It’s led misinformation and confusion to flourish as only leakers’ voices are heard, Reddit alpha discussion is suppressed, and the official Twitter account offers only superficial glimpses.

Another such leaker is breaking his NDA to deliver info on the game through Italian MMO website MMO.it, but his goal is clearly to combat the idea that the game is a survival game, contrary to the initial impressions and infodumps that have generated so much criticism.

New World is by no means a survival sandbox as many might seem,” the leaker tells MMO.it. “This is in effect an MMORPG based on territorial conquest,” complete with a “criminal mode” that essentially flags you as a criminal for several hours, inviting other players to kill and loot you.

“Alphano,” as the publication calls him, says that the game has much more in common with old-school PvP MMORPG sandboxes like Ultima Online, Shadowbane, and EVE Online, with active and passive skill sets layered with action combat. On the other hand, this leaker claims the “endgame seems mainly aimed at the clash between players, a bit like EVE Online,” rather than high-level PvE content.

One downside to this tester’s interview? He isn’t so sure about a 2019 release. “I do not think the release is so far away, and I think we’ll have more precise news within a year. I think even a release in 2019 itself may be plausible, but maybe I’m too optimistic. Although Amazon has not made much publicity, however, at the moment the number of alpha testers is close to ten thousand … that is not little.”

Obviously, take it all with a grain of salt, but maybe don’t write it off for being just another survival game just yet.

Source: MMO.it
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Armsbend

That’s like…your opinion man.

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~*winky face*~

A persistent online world that allows 10K people to play “together” asynchronously sounds like an MMO to me, regardless of its other mechanics.

People’s reasoning for discarding this game so early all seem super reductive and myopic.

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David Goodman

That kinda smells like a survival game to me though still. “By no means a survival sandbox” … no, it really, by several means, sounds like a survival game. Just because it’s larger in scale and scope doesn’t make it any less true.

What i’m seeing is a survival sandbox game where the world is open enough that you won’t have frequent access to PVP combat

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Denice J. Cook

Every single thing I have seen and heard about this game tells me it’s an online survival/crafting sandbox “make your own content” game, and one where huge guilds are the only landowners besides.

This guy crying that New World is secretly an MMORPG reminds me of game reviewers who call Resident Evil and Silent Hill games “adventure games,” when really adventure games are titles like Broken Sword and The Longest Journey, and Telltale’s games.

The only type of person who would mistakenly call them that was someone completely unfamiliar with the genre they really were from.

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Utakata

Either way though and in the end, it doesn’t sound like a game I would touch with a 100 meter pole and a pigtail. In fact, it sounds utterly dreadful in the way that Revival-that-was sounded dreadful. And I am not sure why Amazon would be sinking their money into this…instead putting it towards something compelling that would appeal to a wider audience in the MMO sphere of things. Read: No gankbox, thnkx!

Anywhoose, my 2 cents and the other pigtail for what that is worth. :)

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Arktouros

Multiple reasons why Amazon is going this route.

The biggest and most important is that New World is primarily being designed to sell their game engine (Lumberyard) and accompanied server system (AWS). Even if they deliver a game that is compelling from a technical standpoint (as in their tech is compelling) then mission accomplished.

Next is that what drives the most amount of views on streaming services like Twitch isn’t people gathering as friends and singing kumbaya. So what may be more compelling to play doesn’t mean it’s necessarily compelling to watch. WOW certainly has a huge presence but other titles vastly under perform by comparison. I’m really eager to see what kind of power moves Amazon is willing to make for their new title since they own Twitch.

Kinda common sense, but players only have so much time to play games. This means the people attracted to those “wider audience” MMOs may take a temporary break to check out another title but when push comes to shove and their original game does an update they go back to it. This is crippling to a new game trying to create it’s own audience in the market and we’ve seen numerous MMOs get decimated when followed by a WOW expansion after their release. So chasing that player base doesn’t really guarantee you any more success than chasing other player bases who don’t have a game.

Xijit
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Xijit

I think this probably nails it right on the head … Amazon owns Twitch & this is a pure twitch game.

Even that other title they had in the works was a Twitch title: “MOBA with Esports” … But then BR / Survival Sandbox dethroned the MOBA & that title got cut like a snitch in prison.

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Utakata

Speculating the wider audience doesn’t really count though. And much of your points likely could be met if they did something like FF XIV instead than this drivel, IMO.

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Blazing Coconut

Drivel is in the eye of the beholder.

Being dismissive of a gameplay style you don’t like is kind of stupid. Just don’t play it if you don’t like the genre and stick with the things you like. I never get people who seem to be upset, offended, or outraged that a company would design a game that doesn’t cater to their personal needs. MOBAs would never have been made if devs listened to everyone who said, “oh, that’s just another RTS, why don’t you do [insert other thing that’s been done a lot]”

Most games are derivative. Taking survival sandbox and adding MMO elements sounds like it could be different enough to get a following and an audience. Maybe it’s the next niche game market, maybe not. But, making another FFXIV could be equally as dreadful as we’ve seen with some recent misses. Personally, not a fan of FFXIV, but I can see why people like it and, good for them! I’m glad it exists.

I’m kind of thankful that there are developers that still want to develop games in this space that are innovative and different. We’ve kind of seen the trying to out WoW, WoW approach has never really worked well. So good luck to them!

So yeah, it could be a gankbox, but it could be a gankbox that changes the PvP MMO into something lots of people really enjoy. Who knows?

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Utakata

To be clear, I am keeping an open mind on this. As I am quite willing to accept I could be proven wrong. And that’s a good thing. It’s just what I am seeing so far is souring my taste buds.

Also keep in mind, it is my opinion…doesn’t mean you have to accept it or agree with it. :)

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Blazing Coconut

I get it. I just don’t get the derisive tone to a concept you don’t like. I mean, it’s not your thing, that’s okay. It’s probably not mine either, but who knows.

I’m trying hard not to form an opinion until I actually see some things. If it is a MMO-Sandbox-Survival… then I hope it’s as interesting to the market as PubG, League, and other genre defining games were.

If not… well, I don’t have to play it :)

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Utakata

Good for you then!

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NecroFox4

I don’t think you’ll have your mind changed. I’ll just say that I agree with your position, and I will NOT be playing NW, unless they happen to have a change of heart akin to Bossa and Worlds Adrift……

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Arktouros

While certainly they could design a technically compelling game with a PvE focus that doesn’t really showcase the technology as those kinds of games already exist. By taking a game model that traditionally only has 32-64 players (survival games like RUST, ARK, etc) and blowing that game model up to 1000’s of players it shows the scalability of not only their game engine but also server services. This is crucial in a day and age when developers are talking about things like “games-as-a-service” and making everything into an online title.

Also a game like FFXIV, which to be clear failed so miserably at launch they had to actually relaunch the game, while certainly has turned itself around still doesn’t have anywhere near a remotely compelling twitch viewership. That really goes for most PvE oriented titles outside of WOW.

So really, no, my points really can’t be met by making another boring, “appeal to everyone and no one” experience that everyone abandons 60 days after launch.

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Utakata

The assumption here is that they would make something boring otherwise. I believe I said compelling. /shrug

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Arktouros

Yes you did say compelling because it’s very easy to say compelling but entirely different to break down what a compelling game entails. In fact one could argue that games like WOW have broken the formula for what makes for a compelling game which is why they remain so popular so many years after their initial releases. Even if Amazon did manage to make a compelling game, it would have to be so compelling of a game that when a new game expansion came along for one of their past games they would actually choose to continue playing Amazon’s game over their old one. So essentially your advice is to just make a game more compelling than WOW. That’s all they gotta do. Easy. I mean I don’t know why anyone hasn’t just done that before?

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Utakata

I’m not entertaining moving around goal posts here to suit your particular narrative. Instead, let’s just say we disagree and move on instead. Thnkx.

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Arktouros

That isn’t moving around a goalpost but instead challenging your own goalpost that you setup as unreasonable and not something actually feasible. Instead of saying we disagree, lets say you’ve been given a plausible series of answers to your question on why Amazon is making the decisions it is making and you’re choosing to reject them. I guess ignorance is bliss.

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Utakata

Some would call that gas lighting as opposes to “challenging” though. But either way, I stand by what I say. As I am under no obligation to answer beyond that. So deal?

rafterman74
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rafterman74

Dude, I’ve been in the alpha since the beginning, and it’s absolutely a survival game. Just because it has additional features that other survival games don’t have doesn’t mean the game isn’t pure survival at it’s core.

And let’s be clear, that’s not a bad thing. What is bad is trying to pretend it’s an MMO when it’s clearly not. The first time I played it I was shocked because I was expecting an MMO. It’s like when you order a Coke and they mistakenly bring you a Tea. Tea isn’t bad, but when you are expecting a Coke and you take that first sip it throws you.

This guy can try and combat the idea all day long and it doesn’t change facts. The only people who think this is an MMO are the types of people who think Rend or Conan Exiles is an MMO, and any negative backlash about how this game has been advertised and marketed is well deserved.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Misrepresenting a game’s core philosophy is always a bad thing. People will buy it, thinking MMO, and end up in PvP gankbox hell. They will not be pleased. You don’t find your audience by lying to your audience.

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Reht

Yeah, i have been in it too and it definitely a survival game with some added features, but at the end of the day, it’s still built around being a survival game.

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Arktouros

The game deserves all the outrage and hate it’s going to get over the misinformation, exaggeration and outright lies by virtue of them trying to keep an NDA going in 2018. I’ve seen huge detailed analysis and break downs in private discords of this game and it’s mechanics. I’ve watched hours of unlisted youtube footage. Just silly as you end up with people’s opinions on game mechanics that are heavily changing without showing them the change.

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Cosmic Cleric

Amazon has not made much publicity, however, at the moment the number of alpha testers is close to ten thousand … that is not little.

It’s either going to be the most bug-free game ever released, or the most demoed ever released.

laelgon
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laelgon

I guess the question then becomes, what are they doing differently than Darkfall, Darkfall: UW, Darkfall:RoA, Darkfall:ND, Mortal Online, Life is Feudal, Albion, and every other open-PvP sandbox MMO? It just seems like we’ve walked this road so many times. New sandbox MMO is announced. People get hyped. Turns out to be gankbox. Population nose-dives after a couple months. New sandbox MMO is announced.

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Arktouros

Hopefully the answer is, “Trying to make a good game.” because the major flaw all of those games have is they were/are all bad games.

PvP games people generally dismiss as “the easy option” but this shows a lack of experience with PvP titles. In a PvP focused title everything has to be on point. The combat has to be good because that’s mostly what your players are focused on. Any karma/murderer/penalty systems have to have bite but not actively detract from PvP in a game focused on PvP. Loss (IE: Gear loss, base loss, etc) has to be balanced in such a way that it’s not crippling. There’s a ton of factors that go into all those and anything being off can drive players away. As more players go that reduces the over all game content (people need other people in order to fight) which snowballs into those massive population losses.

Of course every developer thinks they’re the ones with the solution to fix things so you end up with the next game to give it a try.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I really didn’t have you pegged as an optimist, Ark. I think one thing we observers have learned as we’ve watched the train wrecks one after another is that developers seem impervious to learning from the mistakes of the team just ahead of them in the wrecking queue.

You’ve perfectly described the devolving cycle that just about every PvP focused game has experienced of late. The only thing you left out is the attempt to lure in PvE players to create a “target-rich environment” for the real players. This always fails, because people don’t really want to be content for other people. Especially PvE players. So the first big exodus is always the poorly informed or misinformed PvE players who had no idea that the cool crafting system they really want to play is just there to make them a convenient target for PvPers.

laelgon
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laelgon

Ding ding ding! You’ve nailed it. I’ll admit I’m one of the more PvE focused players who gets suckered in every time. I’m not opposed to PvP, but I’m much more interested in crafting and building a town in a big open world. I usually give up a month or two in when it becomes apparent that it’s easier to be someone who ganks crafters than an actual crafter.

Once the PvE players leave, the sociopaths have no one to gank to get their kicks, so they leave. And then you just have the handful of real PvP players left battling it out, at which point you might as well have just made a deathmatch mode and ditched all the sandbox elements.

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Arktouros

Once the PvE players leave, the sociopaths have no one to gank to get their kicks, so they leave.

This is a widely held misconception.

There was only one period of time in MMO history where PvE players had to play with PK types and that was about the first year of Ultima Online. The second EverQuest came along it was no longer a thing ever again. Most PvE focused players will never step foot in a game where they can even possibly be killed by another player.

The truth is PvP players love killing people and it doesn’t matter if you’re PvE, PvP or PvX. However many games are designed poorly and have bad balance in their systems that frustrate players and so they quit. PvP players don’t like badly designed games anymore than PvE players even if what they’re focused on being designed badly is different. Since players are the content in a PvP focused title that has a snowball effect and that’s why you see the population drop. It has absolutely nothing to do with “prey” or “kicks” or “suckers” or any of that nonsense.

laelgon
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laelgon

I think we’re saying the same thing. A game that enables a small number of jerks to harass and drive off other players, is poorly designed. Getting killed once in a while isn’t a big deal, or at least shouldn’t be if the game is made well.

The problem is that most of these games, in my experience, are designed in such a way that they enable the gankers/griefers/assholes to continually bother other players, while being able to easily escape themselves. These are the people who’ve played for 3 months and then go stomp on day 1 players. When your options are either continue being forced to participate in unfair fights or log off, eventually people choose to log off. That specific brand of loser is only going to harm a game’s population, and it’s frankly baffling to see game after game come out that caters to that type of person.

Not every fight is going to be fair, but it would be nice to see a company tackle the problem in such a way that most of the time players are on somewhat even footing.

CCP seems to have finally realized this with EVE. Apparently the wardec system was so poorly designed it was being used by a relative handful of people to drive off enough players that they’re scrapping the whole thing for the time being.

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Arktouros

That is not at all what I mean by designed poorly.

There are many systems in these games that if they aren’t balanced right create a miserable experience for all involved. Take for example a murderer system that punishes you for murdering players. On the one hand it doesn’t help the noob getting crushed by your 3 month veteran so they’re still mad that they could be killed at all. On the other hand the 3 month veteran is frustrated because now they have to deal with some overly harsh system for doing what the game allowed them to do. It’s a badly designed system because it appeals to no one.

I’ve covered multiple times why game after game tries to cater to these players, it’s because the games that cater to other players have a high failure rate. There’s already existing games in those spaces and people can’t simultaneously really play multiple games. There’s only so much time, and consistently people go back to their original games (WOW, FF, etc) when push comes to shove. However PvP players don’t really have a game to go back to. Most are poorly designed games that don’t cater very well to them or are imbalanced in various ways.

Getting the balance right is a lot of work and anything off can really throw a game. EVE is a great example of a game that gets a lot of the PvP balance formula right but even then it’s dogshit combat system prevents it from bigger success story.

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Arktouros

Well right off the bat I am 100% a cynic and don’t think Amazon is going to pull it off anymore than I think Crowfall or Camelot Unchained will pull it off. A good PvP formula is incredibly difficult to get right and most developers are either too easily swayed by the player base (who is full of terrible ideas) or resolute in their certainty that their own terrible idea is the best idea ever conceived.

I don’t think developers really try to lure in PvE players nor do I think they’re incapable of learning from the mistakes of others as much I think it’s two combined factors.

First, is that most developers attribute the success/failure of other games to the wrong things. Like a lot of companies copied WOW for numerous years but failed to understand what made WOW so compelling to play and ended up as another 60 day game failure. Similarly when they see failure of PVP titles they attribute those failures to the wrong reasons and when they launch then end up as 60 day game failures as well because they failed to understand what makes for a good PvP game.

Second, most developers fail to understand the intensely polarizing the topic of PvP is in games. Like it isn’t 10% anti PvP, 10% pro PvP and then 80% in the middle. It’s more like 40% anti PvP, 30% pro PvP, with a 30% in the middle kinda thing. So when they design systems with a balance such as allowing PvP but including harsh penalties they think they’re aiming for that 80% but really what they’re doing is pissing off 40% by allowing PvP and pissing off 30% by adding penalties to PvP.

Also PvP players are 1000% happy with killing other PvP players as much as they are PvE players. In fact I’d argue most of us PK types prefer it if PvE players would stick to their lane and series of games and avoid PvP focused games as they always bitch, moan, and whine to make them less PvP focused which makes for an over all worse experience for those of us who enjoy PvP. That’s not to imply PvP players are any different, and we bitch, moan and whine to make PvE games more PvP focused only to again state that PvE players are generally more hassle than any value they add to the PvP environment.

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Anxelesaxe

None of those games were made with any sort of budget behind them, or skilled labor. Darkfall was a lot of fun, but became unplayable because aventurine was a horrible company. Shadowbane was the most fun I have had in any MMO, it was also the biggest, worst looking disaster of a game I have seen get a wide release.

Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and Asheron’s Call are three games not really mentioned in these comparisons but they should be what Amazon is aiming for gameplay-wise.

If Amazon can take the old MMORPG design philosophy of having a truly open world where you can do whatever you want, add their scalable server tech and pretty/well performing graphics engine, and apply some updates to gameplay, they will have a successful game.

Most of the MMO playerbase active today started on WoW. They have no idea what a real, well-done sandbox game is. This is sad to me, because the sense of community in these games is so much deeper than any theme park game could ever hope for. Community is the staying power for a good sandbox. Community is your gameplay, your fun, your misery. It’s everything, and it doesnt exist in most modern MMOs.

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Bannex

Amazon getting into video games for some reason really disturbs me.

Xijit
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Xijit

Amazon’s goal in life is to do everything, really shitty.

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styopa

“…really shitty.”

Not sure why you say that?
They’ve literally revolutionized retail shopping.
They’ve been instrumental in cloud-delivered services.
They’re employing legions of otherwise-nearly-unemployable millennial drones.
They’re doing ok at video streaming (pretty comfortably in the 2nd tier of such providers).
They’ve practically redefined online service.
They’ve enabled thousands, if not tens of thousands, of little local retail shops to sell globally at almost no cost.

You can hate on Jeff Bezos for being ungodly rich (which might smell like naked envy to some people…), you can even condemn Amazon for being a market-darling when it has a profit margin of <1% (then again, if everyone working there gets a cashable paycheck, why do we care if they are accumulating cash in the bank?). But to say they do what they do 'really shitty'? Not really justified.

Xijit
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Xijit

Oops, my bad … Is “Super Shitty” better?

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Cosmic Cleric

Oops, my bad … Is “Super Shitty” better?

No.

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Mr.McSleaz

“You can hate on Jeff Bezos for being ungodly rich”

Actually, I hate on Jeff Bezos because he’s Openly a CIA Shill who installed a CIA Officer as editor of the Washington Post, proving the WaPo is nothing but a Government controlled propaganda rag with Bezos as it’s front man doing the CIA bidding. He also helps them collect & store data on everybody who uses amazons services.
I bet you have Alexa in your home.

Xijit
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Xijit

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styopa

What a sad little person.

If people are stupid enough to install a voice activated recording device in their homes, exactly whose fault is that, again? Bezos?

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Armsbend

I have 3 in my home. It’s a good speaker that I can play music on, have it tell stories to my kids and play night sounds while I sleep.

I guess I’m stupid because Bezos is recording me having sex (or not), being racist and thinking about shopping.

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Utakata

You forgot they house themselves in bubble buildings. One step above Bucky domes! o.O

“You can hate on Jeff Bezos for being ungodly rich…”

Trump doesn’t like him. I’ll least give him that! <3