One of the best things about massively multiplayer online role-playing games is that everyone can play in their own way, using their personal experience to create a story of their own. Currently at Amazon New worldmy character’s story is about finding a stable source of salt so that you can make delicious sausages with creamed corn.
This is my character in all her sexy kohl-eyed glory, a product of New worldrelatively basic character creation system. There are two body types, male and female, each with around twenty pre-created faces to choose from. There are no changes to facial features or sliders to manipulate weight or height. The main (mane?) source of variety in character creation comes from the 40 different hairstyles and 30 varieties of facial hair, all shared between the two body types. I chose wavy purple locks, a long gray beard and the oldest face available. I named him Michael Fahey, because Jeff Bezos was unavailable.
New world takes place on Aeternum, a mysterious island where the rules of life and death do not apply. Stories and rumors of the Eternal Isle have been circulating for centuries, and at the start of the game you find yourself shipwrecked in this legendary land. As the New world The website describes it, “Castaway, without supplies or allies, you will have to fight your way through a dangerous world.”
“No supplies or allies” is a bit of a stretch. On the one hand, it’s hard to sell the idea of being alone in a strange new land when there are thousands of players running around willy-nilly, create four-digit prime time connection queues. Maybe that will change once the launch week crowds die down, but I haven’t been to the Isle of Aeternum for a minute without another player passing by.
As for “no supplies”, that’s bullshit. There are supplies everywhere. Almost all trees and bushes can be harvested for wood. The stone is in sufficient quantity. Every stream is teeming with fish. Every two hundred yards there is an enemy colony filled with crops like corn, strawberries, carrots, and squash. And while these settlements are mostly populated by wild, undead-looking creatures that attack you on sight, they also have pets like cows and pigs ready for slaughter. Aeternum Island is like 75% “supplies”.
This is one of the reasons why I mainly focus on New world for a few days has been harvesting and crafting. Every nook and cranny of this world is filled with things to mine, chop wood, harvest, or just rip out of the ground. As I race through the game’s beautiful forests and lush fields, I’m beset by prompts to gather everything from hemp to animal hides. Turkeys and rabbits are everywhere, dying with a single blow from my magic ice gauntlet or the blow of my sword. Skinning their corpses yields meat and leather.
Every body of water I encounter beckons me to fish, and I almost can’t help but oblige that prompt. Whatever urgent quest I might complete across the land, there’s nothing that can’t be put aside to catch a trout, a salmon, or a treasure chest with my fishing rod.
From a survival standpoint, the Isle of Aeternum is the best place one can hope to get shipwrecked. There is so much to collect and create using New worldextensive crafting system. The only issue for me is that, like many MMOs with heavy crafting content, the more complex the recipe, the harder it is to find the right ingredients.
Take cooking, my current obsession. Crafting items like basic land rations, which help heal my character’s health and mana on my adventures, is simple. All it takes is hunted meat or harvested vegetables. As my cooking skills grow, the recipes start to call for more exotic elements. Many advanced recipes require salt. You cannot just buy salt from a vendor; you have to go out and find it. In my specific case, I ended up having to google “How to get salt in the New World”. Fortunately, I found a guide detailing the few places where the essentials of food preparation and storage could be found.
I have never been so happy to find salt. Of course, I had to run slowly through the wilderness for 10 minutes to pick it up from random supply boxes deep in an enemy camp. Yes, there were only about four pinches of salt per box. And yes, I was nearly murdered by a horde of withered undead because of my own enthusiasm. But damn it, I finally made sausage with creamed corn.
In addition to crafting, I’ve also spent the last two days building reputation with my chosen faction. Each player in New world aligns itself with one of three: the militaristic marauders, the faith-based Covenant, and the secret intelligence organization known as The Syndicate. I chose The Syndicate because its color is purple, and I have a weakness for purple.
The struggle between these three factions is at the heart of New worldThe player versus player combat system, in which PvP-focused players fight for control of different regions on the island of Aeternum. The faction organization (or guild) that controls an area can set tax rates and start projects that players can donate resources to in order to unlock perks, like higher-tier crafting stations in settlements, etc
My main contribution to the Syndicate’s dominance over the Windsward region of my server is by providing items that I’ve gathered for the cause. I haven’t switched to PvP yet and rushed to defend Fort Windsward from Marauder or Covenant attacks, but I enjoy watching how the battle progresses through the in-game chat. Most Competitive Players from my faction seem to be having a hell of a time. Good for them.
Although I don’t fight with other players, I make good use of my sword, shield, and ice gauntlet. New worldThe combat, while relatively basic, is quite enjoyable. With my sword and shield, I block, parry, and dodge attacks from undead and wild animals. With my Ice Gauntlet, one of the magic weapons in the game, I fire from afar, causing localized blizzards and summoning an icy wind to push back my enemies.
The combat is action-based, which means that instead of hitting hotkeys while my character faces the enemy, I have to actively block, dodge, and strike. My goal must be true. It’s a bit more skill-based than most MMORPG combat, which I appreciate. The more control I have, the more badass I feel.
My last two days in the game were mostly spent fighting, foraging, forestry, and eating food. There was also a lot of walking, as the game has no mounts and a very limited fast travel system. You can tell the game has no mounts because as soon as you enter a general chat area there are a dozen people complaining that they don’t have any mounts at some point. As someone who has lost the ability to walk in real life, I don’t mind walking so much in the forest, but I can see how a 10-15 minute walk to a distant quest objective might chafe some people. . Wrong Way.
I just reached level 21, and New world tells me that I need to complete the game’s first raid dungeon, the Amrine Excavation, in order to advance the story. While I don’t find myself very invested in the plot, which involves some sort of flaws and one maleficent something or another, I’m looking forward to seeing how group play works out. Maybe my purple-haired adventurer will find friends in this harsh “no supplies or allies” environment. Maybe they’ll want sausages with creamed corn.