While we continue to wrap our heads around the fact that New World not only emerged from its self-imposed exile but also announced a May 2020 release date, Amazon is talking up the game and trying to stress how it will set itself apart from the rest of the field.
Eurogamer pressed the studio about the inherent problems of setting a game during colonial America, to which Amazon said that New World isn’t in America at all, but rather a fictional magical island in the middle of the Atlantic with no natives and no slaves. Just a lot of bad hoojoo and the promise of immortality. It’s a topic that’s come up more than once this year during the game’s development.
“The colonialism stuff: there’s no way to tell that story in a good way,” said Game Director Scott Lane. “We are not that. This is not in America. We don’t have any history from America on the island. There’s nothing there that would tie us to America.”
Lane also said that players will have an option whether or not to participate in territory struggles and open-world PvP which will be a major part of the game world. “If you don’t care about this stuff as a player, you can have a huge, massive experience without any of it,” he promised. In fact, it sounds as if the game’s moved from a predominantly PvP-centric experience to one based on flags and toggles. In an interview with MOP just one year ago, the studio told us New World was a “game at its heart, because combat is a focus and very skill based in moment to moment game play, which is particularly compelling with other players as your opponents,” with “areas” for PvP-only, but no flags were mentioned at the time.
New World is still attempting to buck traditional MMO design by allowing skill to be a major factor in fights. This means that lower levels can still kill higher ones, provided that they are good enough in action combat. Without classes, New World will be dependent on armor choices and weapon skill lines to set players apart from each other.
Incidentally, players (including some of our writers!) who registered for the game back on Amazon several years ago when it was announced have been getting this email that seems to suggest that we’ll be getting the game for free (which itself may indicate that the base game will be free for everyone).