New World‘s 2023 roadmap promised its first expansion, but until now, we had few details on what that meant. Recently the folks at Amazon Games invited members of the press to a special event where the veil was lifted on the expansion. Titled Rise of the Angry Earth, it will launch on October 3rd and carry a pricetag of $29.99 US.
Rise of the Angry Earth will raise the level cap to 65 and introduce a wealth of new content, including a new zone, a new weapon, and mounts. Here’s our quick run-down of everything we can expect!
The Elysian Wilds
First Light is no more. The former starting zone has been overrun by Adiana’s Angry Earth minions and is now known as the Elysian Wilds.
There will undoubtedly be some grousing about the “new” zone being a revamp of an old one, but the developers stressed that it is completely transformed. The geography has been radically altered, and it is stocked with all-new quests and enemy types. This is an entirely new zone in every way that matters.
The Elysian Wilds will feature a new main story questline that will take players to the new level cap of 65. The developers were pretty cagey about details of the story, and not of all it will be included in PTR testing to help keep the surprises under wraps. Brimstone Sands’ story was excellent, and I’ve been hyped for the showdown with Adiana ever since, so this is the part that really excites me.
The Wilds will also include a new dungeon, the Savage Divide. Ruled over by a heretofore unknown group called the Beast Lords, the Savage Divide features all manner of animalistic foes, including gorillas and woolly mammoths.
The dungeon will also include another new heartrune. The Primal Fury rune will allow players to unleash the beast within, temporarily replacing their light and heavy basic attacks with mighty unarmed strikes.
For the housing fans among us, the developers said that Rise of the Angry Earth will bring new houses to the game, but that they might not be where you’d expect. I take this to mean that the Elysian Wilds will not have housing, but that a new neighbourhood may crop up elsewhere.
This is just my own guess, but I’m going to peg Edengrove as the most likely location for new houses. It’s the homeland of the Angry Earth and thus tied to the expansion theme, it’s a mostly empty zone that could use more reasons to visit, and it’s one of the game’s most beautiful zones, so houses there would surely be highly desirable.
It’s also possible that rather than a new neighbourhood we might see the arrival of the never confirmed but long-expected tier five houses.
Yes, they’re finally coming. To the relief of all, mounts will arrive with Rise of the Angry Earth. These will not simply be the passive movement speed buffs you see in most MMOs. As you would expect from New World, the system is going to have a bit more depth and interactivity, probably second only to Guild Wars 2‘s take on the feature.
Mounts will of course provide a constant movement speed boost, but they will also provide additional speed when running on road, encouraging you to plan routes carefully, and they will have a sprint-like burst of speed ability that’s limited by stamina.
There will be a new riding tradeskill associated with mounts, and you will be able to level-up your mounts to improve their capabilities. Interestingly, there’s two different ways to level mounts. There will be races that you can use to earn mount levels, but if you want something more low stress, you can also feed your mount treats to deepen your bond with them and level them that way.
Mounts will feature cosmetic skins (some from micro-transactions, some earned in-game) and be dyeable, and they will also feature gear slots. Some mount gear adds functionality, but there are also slots for purely cosmetic gear items.
There will be three types of mounts initially: horses, dire wolves, and cats. The developers hastened to add that the difference between these types is aesthetic only; they didn’t want people to feel forced to use a certain type because it’s the “meta” choice. Between that, skins, dyes, and gear, it sounds like mounts will have a wealth of visual customization.
You will need to purchase Rise of the Angry Earth to access the mounts feature, but once you do, any character level 25 or higher can access the quest to get their first mount.
If you’re wondering about the lore that established why we don’t have mounts, that will be addressed. The devs offered few details but teased that the arrival of the Beast Lords seen in the Savage Divide is part of why we can now tame steeds within Aeternum.
The mount system seems like a strong win across the board to me, though I do think it would be better if they weren’t totally exclusive to the expansion. I think it would help new players a lot if they could access a limited version of mounts even without the expansion.
As previously leaked, the game’s next weapon is the flail, a one-hand weapon that scales off strength and focus. It is intended to be used in an off-tank or off-healing role, and it has a number of abilities that deal arcane damage, making it the first weapon to do so innately.
Another unique feature of the flail is that players will have the choice to wield it with or without a shield. I asked the developers what the trade-off of using or not using a shield is, and they said it’s mostly about fine-tuning your equip-load, but a few abilities might work a little differently depending on if you have a shield equipped.
The developers were also asked about the next weapon after flail, but there was little to be said on that front. They stopped short of saying they would never add any more weapons, but they did make it clear we shouldn’t expect them any time soon – which is a bit disappointing, especially when there’s still so many NPCs flaunting their pistols in our faces.
They didn’t clarify that you need the expansion to acquire flails, but based on everything else, I would expect that to be the case.
But wait, there’s more
That covers the biggest features of Rise of the Angry Earth, but there’s a lot more coming our way in October. In the second chunk of this column, I’ll discuss the endgame changes, a whole new rarity of gear, crafting plans, and other details revealed during the press briefing.