New World is taking its 24-7 alpha offline for implementation of ‘major new features’

    
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It sounds as if New World is entering a new phase of development, as Amazon Game Studios announced the current version of the alpha, which has been live around the clock since the first invites went out in September, will come to an end on June 3rd.

“Thousands of you accepted the call to join us on the journey of making New World, and we’re grateful for your time, passion, and thoughtful feedback,” the team writes. “We’ve used that feedback to change and add features to the game, steadily improving gameplay. We’ve also used your input to design major new features that we are excited to share with you. Since these features are large in scope and create changes to the world that could be disruptive, we will end this phase of Alpha testing and plan to bring the game out of 24/7 live service on June 3, 2019.”

It sounds as if signups will remain open and that the studio will be sending out additional requests for tester feedback “periodically,” though we note it’s a bit peculiar for a studio to put up a 24-7 alpha for nine months and then take it back offline barring some sort of seriously massive rework. Worth keeping an eye on this one to see what happens next.

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Jack Kerras

I just couldn’t get into this.

Community-only building feels bad to me, for whatever reason; I’d much rather have a game that’s not on a massive server network (IE one where I could spin up my own world and play with just friends or a group of folks, etc.), but the whole idea of just… only being able to build and interact in places you swear allegiance to, or something?

I dunno. It felt like kind of a chore to me right out of the gate. I like being able to do things on my own, even if lone wolves are most often dead wolves sooner or later.

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2Ton Gamer

The game is beautiful and fun, but the PvP only fixation has me skeptical that it will really be something I play. I enjoy PvP, but not as the sole reason for playing.

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BalsBigBrother

If I can I might take another look at it when it comes back to see what has changed. However every time I have looked in on this one so far I have been somewhat disappointed.

I have a feeling this one just isn’t for me regardless of what they do as the game play loop isn’t fun for me so far and I don’t really see the core changing.

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Arktouros

I’m still somewhat unconvinced by this title. Hopefully the big changes make it more compelling as a game.

A PvP focused title that cripples PvP is just frustrating for everyone.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Well, this is a problem developers make for themselves. They need PvE content because PvP only content doesn’t draw enough players. But when they have PvE content it attracts PvE players who don’t want to be fodder for PvP, so the devs put in systems to make PvE players believe they have some protection from PvP players, who generally are clever enough to get around anything created, convincing PvE players that the devs just aren’t doing enough, making the PvE contingent unhappy at the same time that the PvP contingent is unhappy because there are too many restrictions on PvP.

New World is making all the same mistakes a dozen other low- to high-rent MMOs are making, creating a robust game very few players will play for very long.

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Arktouros

That is one explanation that PvE players really adore because it paints them in a flattering manner in which the mean ol’ PvP game industry is trying to attract them with their crafting and protections and lure them in but the PvE players are just too clever to fall for it.

The reality of the situation is far more pragmatic as usual. The reason why games need some measure of protection systems is that you have to allow players the chance to recover. Like if you let people camp other people at spawns and continuously push them back down into the dirt so they reach a point they feel like they can’t make any progress. Those systems deter wanton murder in order give players a chance to dust themselves off, gear themselves back out, and get back to it. You see this in “successful” PvP titles like EVE where you can retreat back to low-sec or high-sec to recover.

However if you get that balance wrong and doing PvP in a PvP game is so punishing that it’s not worth doing ever then you’ve designed a really bad PvP game. A lot of PvE players roll their eyes and say developers copped out and went the “easy route” with a PvP game but PvP games are incredibly complex in order to get right. There’s a lot of things to balance/consider and a topic like designing a system that simultaneously encourages the PvP encounters you want vs discouraging the PvP encounters you don’t is a pretty hard thing to do.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

As always, I appreciate your perspective, Ark. You’re quite correct that the various justice systems developers use to control PvP is rarely perceived as being for the benefit of the PvP players, particularly when such systems are usually reviled as being for the benefit of “carebear” PvEers. It’s usually framed as “now our game is spoiled” and “why can’t PvEers just go play some other game?” So you can see how the PvP community supports this perception.

My own opinion about this has been formed by a certain AAA developer describing their PvE as providing “a target rich environment.” I don’t know how else to interpret that except that PvEers are intended to be content for PvPers and that the PvE will be good enough to attact PvE targets. I also have little patience for developers who use euphemisms for PvP so they don’t actually have to use the term “PvP,” which probably markets poorly. One has to parse through all the “challenging” “survival” “sandbox” descriptors to reach the core of the game. Why not just say, “Yes, it’s PvP and we’re looking to provide challenging content for PvP players”? Instead it’s this coy dance where somebody finally asks on the forums, “Is this game PvP?” and gets an answer like “Yes, this is OW FFA PvP.” Which, you know, is key information.

Hence, the conclusions I draw.

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Rottenrotny

Cautiously enthusiastic for this one.

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Venomlicious

The game is fun and is a true sandbox with some really great features. The focus is PvP and I know a lot of people were asking for some good PvE content to go along with it. They can add stuff like hunting parties for rare creatures on long spawn timers, Some open world cave dungeons that go in line with the lore, maybe even add sailing with fishing for whales and great white sharks that take a team to be able to land the catch. The good thing is Amazon has endless resources and likes to cater to everyone so we might get something special with this game.

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micedicetwice

How do you know it’s “fun and a true sandbox” if it’s not even close to beta, let alone release and there is no actual content yet?