Choose My Adventure: Battling New World tank builds, the wider meta, and personal stubbornness


New World is getting under my skin.

I’ll better explain myself soon, but before I do, I want to point out that this sudden frustration with the game is likely due to personal behaviors and less with the title from a mechanical standpoint. I’d say the split is maybe 70/30 between personality and game. Maybe 80/20. But the past few hours in-game have once more seen me do battle with the yoke of perceived meta demands while I try to work out how to make a tank.

First, I’ll elaborate on just what it was I was trying to do. As the polls from the last column stated, the community suggestion was to give up on the flailglove build I had going on and do a full-scale respec, including getting all-new gear and training up different weapons. And since I want to tank in this game, I decided to focus on the strength stat (along with a little bit of constitution) in terms of point spend, gear purchases, and weapon selection.

I first started off with pairing a blunderbuss weapon with a great axe. This combination, from what I could gather through some cursory advice threads out there in the internet wilds, seemed to be a bit against the grain, but reading the tooltips – especially for the great axe – seemed to suggest that I might have something different going on here. The rotation, as played out in my head, was to use the blunderbuss to draw in enemies, particularly the mortar fire skill, then use the axe to whirl them in close, draw aggro, and cut them down.

Initial field tests of this idea seemed to bear a little bit of fruit, as I ran around the zone I was in to take on wolves and zombie people to both earn mastery points and hone my skills. It seemed like things were going well, although I didn’t really feel like I was doing a lot of damage mitigation at the interim. I still had to hold my axe and block things, otherwise those annoying spear-wielding zombies would stagger me constantly.

After some trial and error, especially against multiple enemies, I kind of started to fall out of love with my initial idea. This was made especially worse when I was mauled by a huge pack of wolves that were constantly cutting me down and making me stumble. The three level spread between my character and them probably didn’t help matters that much here either, but I tend to try and push the envelope when I do these things, and even against slightly lesser foes, the great axe wasn’t really hitting the right tanking notes for me.

The next day, I decided to reassess my thinking and looked over the greatsword skill line, particularly the tank tree. Here there seemed to be more potential than the great axe, particularly since the defiance stance that procs with certain abilities lets me charge up heavy attacks while still being able to block frontal damage. Paired with a passive that re-engaged the stance if I blocked for two seconds (as opposed to waiting for a skill to recharge), I thought I might have found a better and more interesting answer. I swapped out the axe and tried again.

Once more I was met with intense levels of frustration: The frontal block while charging heavy attacks with the greatsword seemed to be extremely small, or smaller than what would be offered with a regular off-hand shield, and none of this really mattered unless I was facing things one on one, which kind of defeats the purpose of hoovering up mobs and keeping them still in my opinion. The pitifully small time I stayed in defiance stance wasn’t doing me any favors.

It was at this point that I started to get furious. I was being reminded of some of the worst parts of “buildcraft” games I’ve played previously such as Guild Wars 2, Destiny 2, and The Secret World – games that would offer up a wealth of options and give me the illusion that I could be creative and unique but ultimately would tell me through constant ass-whuppings that, no, I’m not allowed to craft whatever I want; I have to follow a very certain set of builds or else I’m useless. And when it comes to team-based anything, MMORPGs or otherwise, I hate feeling useless to my group.

But then I also know that I’m injuring myself here. I’m the one ignoring advice. I’m the one thumbing the eye of the meta. I’m the one who’s making these bad decisions and getting upset when the square peg doesn’t fit into the round hole. I’m making this harder on myself.

I get that. Truly, I do. But the more you tell me I’m not allowed to craft a character that I want, the more I stubbornly try to make it happen anyway. Screw your logic, your numbers, your metrics, your meta. Let me craft the playstyle that I want to play. Why would you give me options if most of them are bad options anyway?

But who knows. Maybe I have to find some patience. Or maybe I have to just give up and bend to the will of the game and its players’ demands. Or maybe this game should exit my disk drive forever? Actually, considering my frustration, I think that last option will do nicely. I don’t want to spread gamer negativity if I can help it; there are plenty of other sources for that poison.

So, with that in mind, it’s time to switch gears wholesale and look ahead to our next title. Let’s step forward together, shall we?

What game should I play instead? Choose My Adventure (please)

  • Monster Hunter World. Go. Hunt. Kill beast. (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Sky: Children of the Light. Become a bird kid. (16%, 12 Votes)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online. Tamriel time ahoy. (33%, 24 Votes)
  • Last Epoch. Blow up monsters for loot. (21%, 15 Votes)
  • Absolver. No, seriously. (10%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 73

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Polls close at the usual 1:00 p.m. EDT time on Friday, April 19th. I apologize in advance that I am a stubborn doofus about taking your advice, even if deep down I am appreciative of input in that regard. Honestly, this just feels like a matter of pushing against being told “no” and setting myself up for constant, bitter failure.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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