New World is the latest major-title MMO. From an early level players choose between one of three factions: Marauders (Green), Syndicate (Purple), and Covenant (Yellow). These factions fight for control over the territories found in New World. There is also an in-depth and rewarding gathering and crafting system, moderately difficult dungeons, highly customizable weapon combinations and play styles, and much more!
While there has always been a heavy focus on PvP in New World the past year of development has been almost strictly dedicated to PvE content and class balance. Flagging for PvP has been made completely optional and no content other than PvP-specific content such as war and sieges is gated to PvE and casual players. Every player in the controlling faction of a territory gains bonuses too that territory, and members of the controlling Company (Guild) receive even further bonuses. The controlling Company sets the taxes for the settlement located within the territory, which opens up additional potential for diplomacy and game politics between Companies and even factions. There is also plenty of open world PvP, PvP missions (repeatable quests), and instanced team fights to participate in.
To call New World a "PvP game" is diminishing to it's other aspects. The team-based PvE content is still fairly lacking in the test content that has been released and experienced to date. Despite this the dungeons feel very well-tuned for pick-up and casual groups; not too difficult but can quickly cause problems without a proper group composition or if anyone is under leveled, under geared, or underperforming. The dungeons are visually pleasing and almost every boss has at least one or two unique and interesting mechanics that can cause your group to devolve if not discussed and handled correctly. For organized and optimized groups of players the PvE content I've experienced currently feels underwhelming and easy. While I'm unsure what we can expect from future PvE updates it seems AGS would be easily capable of producing harder versions of existing dungeons as well as larger dungeons and raids.
The trade skills offer an additional play style to our beloved flower-pickers and blacksmiths. The gathering time of high tier and rare materials can become quite long, especially without a good set of tools and other gathering speed multipliers. This combined with the stat range on crafted gear definitely allows for players to be full-time gatherers and crafters and amass wealth while strengthening their friends, and if they're not careful their foes. The sounds and echoes that come with tinking an ore or thwacking a tree add a lot of life and flavor to gathering that made me enjoy it more than I do in a lot of other games. If you're flagged for PvP this effect is magnified. The sound of felling a tree rings several draw distances away, alerting all nearby players to your presence. Even if you're playing safely and un-flagged this brings the world to life as you casually traverse it leaving only stumps in your wake.
There are currently 11 different weapons, and even more have been leaked in teasers and game file reveals. Each weapon has 2 different mastery trees and players receive a total of 19 mastery points to distribute in one or both trees to create a build for their combat style. A small amount of the masteries are very strong, and a smaller amount of them are currently weak or too situational; the vast majority of these masteries are very well balanced and while metas are bound to arise you should always consider your personal play style and what you expect of your build before taking another player's advice.
In its current state I would not consider New World a sandbox, but there is content for every type of player. And the existing content for each field is extremely polished and highly enjoyable.
So sharpen your spears, nock your arrows, and get ready to fight for the New World!
Special thanks to @Incubizzle#7892 for submitting a review.
Photos courtesy of Amazon Games