New World’s new Q&A struggles to explain why a massively multiplayer online RPG isn’t an MMORPG


Amazon’s New World Aeternum announcement last Friday did not go to plan, unless getting reviewbombed to oblivion by PC players and confusing mainstream gaming journos into thinking your MMORPG is a brand-new single-player ARPG title was the plan. Now, the New World team has apparently scooped its own media embargo tomorrow by releasing the promised PC-player-centric Q&A. Are we having fun yet? Here are the highlights:

Scot Lane says Friday’s announcement was aimed at new players and console players, rather than existing players, hence the pitch of the reveal (which upset PC players so much after Amazon has told them for months to wait for this big reveal). David Verfaillie says the team has wanted to bring New World to console for a long time and that they’re hoping it brings in new players.

Katy Kaszynski explains that base game players will indeed still be able to play on PC without having purchased Rise of the Angry Earth, though not all of the content will be included. Lane later clarifies that most of what’s gated is the same stuff gated in Rise of the Angry Earth (like flails and mounts). Players who don’t upgrade will get to see the new storytelling systems, performance improvements, and some of the lower-level solo trials. Kaszynski later stresses that there is no “non-Aeternum” version of the game. Everyone will be playing Aeternum and on the same servers, just that ROTAE players have access to more stuff than basegame-only players.

PC players who own ROTAE are getting the new Cutlass Keys FFA PvP zone and challenging three-boss 10-person raid, improvements to the cinematics in the story, cross-world arenas with matchmaking, PC optimizations, a gear score mump, and the repeatable solo endgame soul trials; everyone gets the the new tutorial experience.

Players flat-out ask why Amazon is trying to call it an ARPG and not an MMORPG. Lane says, “You can still play Aeternum the way you’ve always played it, but because of all the changes we’ve done to the storytelling, the way we tell the story, because of the way our camera and combat navigation work through the world, we feel like, you know, we’re across so many genres, but this pushes us solidly into the ARPG, which is a little more well known on console.” (Editor’s note: I’m a Scot Lane fangirl, and this is a totally nonsensical answer, and he knows it. New World is a massively multiplayer roleplaying game, regardless of its camera and action combat. We all see what they’re doing here, right? Nobody is fooled? OK. Moving on.)

Verfaillie says that no, Aeternum is not a separate game. “It is the continuation of New World. It is an update to it that brings a ton new,” and players will keep playing their existing toons. Kaszynski follows up: “No, New World is not closing down. Your experience will continue after this update. There is definitely a lot of opportunity for a solo experience that’s coming with this”; she’s referring here to the MSQ, which does not require grouping, and the new solo trials. (Again, as we noted last week, this is all extremely standard fare for MMORPGs. Some people soloed EverQuest, for goodness’ sake.)

Don’t expect much new stuff this summer between now and October, just the return of Summer Medleyfaire; Lane says the devs are hard at work on Aeternum and “want this to be just a super polished experience.” Both PC and console players can look forward to some technical and stress testing.

“Seasons are not going away,” Verfaillie says. “We’re committed to the seasonal model and bringing players a regular cadence of content.” That seasonal model will pick back up after the launch.

How does crossplay work? Well, console and PC players are on the same servers, so you just… play the game. Because it’s an MMORPG and that’s how MMORPGs work. Ahem. Just note that legacy toons can’t move to the fresh start servers that are naturally launching with Aeternum. So console players who want to play with PC friends need to go to the right server, and PC players who want to play with console friends (or PC friends who roll there) won’t be able to transfer their toons to the fresh start servers. You’ll need to roll fresh no matter who you are to play on the fresh start servers, in other words.

There’s no cross-progression between PC and console, however. Players play together, but you can’t swap between the same character on PC and console.

Minimum and recommended specs aren’t changing; Verfaillie says the game “might even play better on the minimum rec specs now.” DirectX 12 functionality arrives with Aeternum on both console and PC.

Finally, in response to player requests for a roadmap, Lane instead posted the slide/graphic of everything coming October 15th. Kaszynski promises the 2025 roadmap after Aeternum launches.

Source: Official site. Cheers, GreaterDivinity.
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