New World is rolling out new layered instancing tech Amazon is calling ‘shards’


You might think this is just another post about murdering bunnies in New World, but you’re only partly correct. New World is in fact kicking off Rabbit’s Revenge today, meaning that through June 18th players will be running around murdering corrupted bunbuns in order to snag gear skins and a new flail. But as it turns out, the event is not at all the most exciting thing happening in New World today, as last night Amazon announced a “new technology” that it’s calling “shards.”

Now, the word “shard” already has a meaning here in MMO land; for the last 27 years, MMOs have been using the term interchangeably with servers. What Amazon is doing here in New World sounds more like a layered or phased instancing common to MMOs like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.

“Shards are duplicated segments of the game world designed to better manage player populations. Each region or zone within the game has population limits. By seamlessly duplicating these segments into new instances, we can accommodate more players in the same space without affecting game performance or the user experience. You won’t encounter loading screens when moving in and out of Sharded areas and will typically be unaware that a Shard is present.”

Amazon says it’s implementing this new system for starting areas and busy settlements, chiefly in Windsward and Monarch’s Bluffs, as it trials the tech before expanding it into other parts of the game; obviously, this will mean a huge reduction in annoying queues when the game is seeing an influx of new players – which clearly Amazon is preparing for ahead of its big announcement at Summer Game Fest. It’s also released a priority list for how players are shunted into these instanced layers and how things like camps, chat, and PvP will work within and without them.

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