New Of the world The January update is coming, along with new late-game features like Expedition Mutators, combat rebalancing, a new late-game currency in Umbral Shards, and more. Earlier this week Amazon hosts a developer roundtable to talk about the upcoming update this month, as well as touch on some of the things players can expect to see in the upcoming updates after January. Last week, we had the opportunity to submit a Some emailed questions to Amazon about the January update, as well as asking about the future of MMOs, especially for players who may have left the shores of Aeternum, waiting for a reason to return.
MMORPG.com: In late 2021, the team talked a lot about mutants and how they will help players looking to “enhance” their end-game experience. How do you envision mutants that will change the way players enjoy late-game content and fear that because it’s not really the “new content” that players still want?
Mike Willette, World Experience Team Leader, Amazon Game Studios: We treat Mutators as a meta-game machine. It’s an additive system that encourages players to experience content in a new way. We’re continuing to build out more Expedition content, and this is another class of games that encourages different playstyles, devices, and teamwork as the challenges change from week to week.
MMORPG.com: One thing I appreciate that mutants do is change strategy and encounter themselves on an expedition – how does the team plan to keep these mutants fresh, not something that players will find the best way to minimize when they return? Can you give us an example of how an expedition can be boosted one week and then completely different the next time around a rotation challenge?
MW: At launch, a single Expedition gains a weekly Mutant. Mutations are randomized from a range of different mutations, promotions, and curses. Over time, we will continue to release more mutations that will add more variety and challenge to the players. Below is a list of current launch mutants for reference.
- Elemental Mutations infuse enemies in Expeditions with a specific type of elemental damage, increasing their resistance to that type of damage, converting a large portion of their damage to that type, and giving them the ability element-based powerful abilities.
- Hellfire: Hellfire infuses enemies with fire, allowing them to incinerate players who oppose them.
- Eternity: Eternity imparts to nullified enemies, granting them the ability to damage the player or buff their disabled allies.
- Leveling up mutants give Expedition creatures powerful new abilities.
- Savage: Savage AI applies healing reduction and deals damage rays around itself.
- Indomitable: Indomitable creatures that survive damage with the ability to steal life and can summon a phalanx, blocking all player projectiles.
- The mutant curse applies dangerous effects to the player, forcing them to work together to overcome the curse’s power. At the highest difficulties, Curses becomes Empowered, creating additional tactical challenges.
- Desiccated: Desiccated players will sometimes burn elemental energy. Once the curse is empowered, the player will need to cleanse themselves by getting close to the burning player.
- Censorship: Censored players will see their abilities work against them. After a party player has used certain activated abilities, an explosive silence will appear on all players. When the curse is empowered, the player loses the ability to regenerate his natural energy and must enter a silent zone to regenerate his energy.
MMORPG.com: Will there be a leaderboard with shared scores on each server so teams and companies can compete?
MW: The leaderboard is something we’re looking at, but we don’t have anything to share at the moment.
MMORPG.com: The Umbral Shard is a new resource for late game players to keep an eye on, however, it looks like it will be fairly easy to obtain on some levels. How important is it to make sure it ties into the other important late game activity – Expertise – as a way to gain Pieces?
MW: We want to make sure that players’ time pays off. Some roads are faster than others and that is based on the investment of time and difficulty. It is important to ensure that the Expert and Umbral systems have a synergistic relationship. We want players to have more control over how and what they are upgrading. So if you have a weapon that you really like, we want to give you the power to upgrade and keep using it. When a player gains an Expertise of up to 600 in a slot, they unlock the ability to upgrade their GS and Expertise through the Umbral system.
MMORPG.com: Since late December, the roundtable has made it clear that the team will slow down when it comes to fixing bugs and reacting to issues in the game, especially since so many fixes have introduced new ways of disrupting the experience. However, when it comes to content, will this slow down or affect content release? What can players expect this year in New World beyond the January content update?
MW: We will have several intermittent releases where we focus specifically on bugs, balances, and bots. We’ll also keep releases more focused on content and features. For example, our February release specifically focuses on polish and bugs. Our March release will target new features with some bug fixes included.
MMORPG.com: Fast travel has been a sore point for many since the betas, with Azoth’s costs extremely high and there’s no alternative to traveling the world other than simply running. The January update cuts some costs, but if it still feels unbalanced and unforgiving, is the team willing to rethink the system – even start approaching the idea of mounts?
MW: We’ve moderated Fast Travel and added 6 more Spirit Shrine locations besides Expeditions and Arenas. The team always looks at system feedback and works to identify any areas of imbalance or friction. Mount is a topic that is still being discussed but there is nothing we can share at this time.
MMORPG.com: January’s update is already on PTR – how is the response to the Mutator add-ons, and how has PTR supported New World since its launch last year?
MW: Feedback is great. We’ve tested scoring, difficulty calculations, and specific mutant effects when applied to named enemies. PTR is a great way to get early feedback from a wider audience about upcoming features. We can’t process all feedback at once, but can adjust our plans based on customer feedback.
MMORPG.com: The Winter gathering event there have been some great additions (I especially like the meteors hitting the Aeternum – they are a sight). In your opinion, how has the event turned out, and should players begin to expect more and more of these types of seasonal events as 2022 unfolds in more depth?
MW: I think the Winter event is great! It is an opportunity to showcase more of the world’s stories and experiences, seen through the prism of Aeternum and the gallery of its inhabitants and forged magic. Expect to see more in the future.
MMORPG.com: New World players challenged the developers to their own high-level dungeon play – where the developers put them to the challenge. For many, it is seen as a way to reach the player base and entertain. How did the team react when you first heard the calls to stream the late-game expedition, and is this something you think the team will do more of in the future?
MW: We think it’s a great call. Of course we’re not professional streamers and maybe a little nervous about that, but it was fun. You can hope more in the futureand you can see more of our development teams playing.
MMORPG.com: Looking forward to 2022, is there a roadmap you can share to reassure players who still feel there’s not much on the horizon to get through Expedition Mutators, especially those who may have already left the game. and are looking for a good reason to return?
MW: We listen to the players on this front and want to give them as much accuracy as possible. We are constantly building content on a large scale. I can’t announce anything right now, but we plan to share more about our roadmap. Keep stable.
https://www.mmorpg.com/interviews/new-world-interview-talking-januarys-update-and-the-future-with-amazons-mike-willette-2000124156 New World Interview: Talking about January and Future Updates with Amazon’s Mike Willette