Massively OP have reported on a preview news item (possible accidentally released early) on New World, the MMORPG in development by Amazon (yes, Amazon are making games now too). Reading through the outline of features for the game, I have mixed feelings:
- No classes, pure skill-based character development
- “Massive” world with dangerous wild creatures
- Deep crafting
These all sound ok, the game is styled as a ‘sandbox’ game so classless progression is almost a given. I do like classes in MMOs, it’s nice to have that framework to base characters around, but I have played more freeform games as well (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series and Path of Exile).
Having a massive world to explore is great, presuming that they mean ‘open’ world here and not ‘highly instanced’ but large. Travel and exploration could be key gameplay elements in such a game.
I enjoy crafting in MMOs, although it is rarely that absorbing and often lacks internal consistency in terms of effort vs reward. In a sandbox style game I would expect crafting to be that much more important as the player-run economy will be paramount over NPC sold items or dropped loot.
However, then there are the two aspects that are much more negative to my eyes:
- PvP at the “heart of the game”
- Action combat … manual aiming
I guess I’m just a bit tired of action combat games at the moment. ESO’s hybrid style is ok; although even there I often want more abilities available. The constant mouse button mashing to attack gets tiring and boring to be honest – sometimes I want to play something slower and more thoughtful. Manual aiming in particular sounds like a pain, I doubt I’d be playing an archer in this game.
PVP at the heart of the game isn’t that unexpected for a sandbox title, but the description sounds like all the many indie MMOs and survival games currently flooding the genre (e.g. Camelot Unchained, Conan Exiles). The full loot descriptor is particularly unwelcome. As Sekkerhund commented on the linked article:
Seriously, these modern developers need to let go of their UO “glory days” memories and think beyond the Box of Innovation. “Outside” just isn’t going to cut it, anymore.
..and please, for the love of Gygax, stop hopping on the “latest trend” bandwagon.
I kind of regret bashing on developers for trying to do battle with Blizzard and “WoW cloning”, because at least those were enjoyable games and not badly bugged, wallet traps.
This game sounds like it’s going to be yet another PVP-centric gankbox style title – we have plenty of indy games heading in this direction now: some with big names attached from yesteryear. The MMO sub-genre of the industry needs to stop slavishly copying trends, because with the development lead times inherent in these games the games are always out of date and passée by the time they reach beta even. It would be nice to think a studio with this much funding and resources could actually try and push the genre in new directions, rather than hopping on an already full bandwagon. If the recent MOBA genre developments are anything to go by then the market cannot sustain that many successful titles – just being a bit more polished or bigger isn’t a guarantee for success any more.