Vitae Aeternum: New World’s dungeon finder is a welcome addition


A few weeks ago, New World finally launched its cross-world expedition group finder, otherwise known as a dungeon finder. While it was arguably overdue, I’ve found it a tremendously positive addition to the game, as I do in every MMO to add such a system.

After barely touching dungeons in my New World career, I’ve now been running them extensively, and I’m now ready to share my experiences with the group finder tool and New World dungeons in general.

Queue times can vary a lot depending on your role, your region, when you’re playing, and what you’re queuing for, but I’ve found the average queue time seems to be in the 10- to 20-minute range, which compares favourably to the other MMOs I’ve played.

Mutated dungeons are the most popular. You can usually get groups for them pretty fast, especially playing at peak hours. I’ve even had instant an instant queue as a DPS once or twice.

Story mode dungeons are less popular, with the ones below level 60 suffering the most. You can expect a pretty long queue for a leveling dungeon, and you’re definitely going to end up in a group full of people wildly out-leveling the content even when it does pop.

That said, story-mode is so easy that even doing it on-level would still be a faceroll. I’ve seen max level story modes “tanked” by mages in light armour without issue. And for better or for worse, dungeons have never been a meaningful part of New World‘s leveling game. There’s only a handful of them below level 60 to begin with.

Some gamers will undoubtedly be grumpy about story mode dungeons being as easy as they are, but I think it’s good that there’s a gentle on-ramp to dungeons, and a way for people to see the content regardless of skill. Mutations are still there for those who want a challenge.

The rewards for story-modes do tend to be a bit underwhelming, but they might have a place for people who are just starting to gear up, and I have found one other use for them: They’re a decent way to level up weapon skills. They’re so easy no one’s going to care how low your weapon skill is, and they give decent mastery XP. It’s probably not the absolute fastest way to level weapons, but it’s certainly more fun than grinding mobs or spamming that Thorpe event in Great Cleave.

But mutated dungeons are definitely where the best rewards and the majority of players are. One minor frustration is that there currently isn’t much support for queuing specifically for certain difficulty levels. M3 is currently not available to queue for at all (which may be for the best, depending on whom you ask), and queueing for random mutations doesn’t allow you to specify a difficulty. You can queue for the M1 version of a dungeon individually, but queueing for it at M2 seems to also put you in the queue for M1.

This does not serve anyone particularly well. Some people don’t want to waste their time on less rewarding M1s, and the “carry bonus” of a pittance of gold for running a mutation below your highest available difficulty doesn’t do much to alleviate that. Meanwhile, others don’t want to be forced into higher difficulties than they’re comfortable with.

I’m in the latter camp. I did one M2, and we got gold, but it felt like a slog, and I didn’t enjoy it much. For me, M1 feels like the ideal MMORPG dungeon difficulty. It’s hard enough that you have to make an effort, but not hard enough to feel stressful.

Another thing that could use work is the backfill system to replace people who drop out mid-run. It’s good at finding people, but it drops them at the start of the dungeon, regardless of how far along the group is. That can mean a long walk for them and a lot of waiting for everyone else.

On the plus side, I do appreciate that we’re given the option to opt out of joining as a backfill when we queue. I’m fine with joining an in-progress run most of the time, but when I run a dungeon for the first time, I like to experience it from the start.

I expect that hiccups like the backfill and difficulty issues will be fixed in time, and despite minor flaws like this, the expedition group finder is a huge boon for the game. It’s been great to finally explore New World‘s dungeon content in depth.

Dungeons are probably the area where New World feels most like conventional themepark MMORPGs. You’ve got your trash pulls, your boss fights, and your Fire That Must Not Be Stood In. You’ve got your modern holy trinity of tank, healer, and DPS. Playing as a DPS especially is little different in New World than anywhere else; the interactivity of blocking and dodging isn’t there when the tank is holding aggro. Healing, at least, has its quirks, and the more I do it, the more I prefer New World healing to that of most other MMOs.

But even if it’s not innovative, it can still be fun. The bosses are well-designed, being neither overly complex nor excessively simple. The art design and music are absolutely stunning.

Finally exploring dungeons in depth has also allowed me to at last begin collecting heartrunes, which are still available only from dungeon bosses (a bad decision, in my view). Having long-resented the absurdity of my mage character pulling a giant cannon out of her butt every 30 seconds, I am quite grateful to no longer be limited to the Cannon Blast heartrune, which is the only one you can get solo.

Since heartrunes are generally more utility-focused rather than huge DPS boosts, there’s a lot of flexibility in picking one based on personal preference or character fantasy. It’s the sort of horizontal progression I love – and this game could use more of it.

My favourite so far is Dark Ascent, a visually spectacular AoE attack paired with a massive self-heal. It’s yet another moment when New World feels like a descendant of The Secret World, as Dark Ascent is effectively “Ophanim of the Dreamers at home.” I’m also using Grasping Vines in my healing build, mostly to further the druid fantasy.

I’ll always be a solo player first, but I appreciate the option to run group content on the side, and now that I can find groups easily, I plan to continue doing so. Like mounts, the expedition group finder is another major step to making New World feel like a complete and well-rounded MMORPG, rather than the promising but unfinished game it was at launch.

New World’s Aeternum is a land of many secrets. In MassivelyOP’s Vitae Aeternum, our writers delve those secrets to provide you with in-depth coverage of all things New World through launch and beyond.
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