The underlying physical laws that govern the universe as we understand it impose some limited order and structure upon the chaos - some things are just universally true. Energy transforms, the universe expands, light is waves, death is inevitable and whenever an MMO is released, launch will be a hot mess. Amazon's New World, just released, is our latest confirmation that some laws can never be broken.
Now that the game is out, the servers are overloaded and the developers are scrambling to put out fires on the fly, it's time to take a look at what we have on our hands - here's what's up in Aeternum and what players can expect once they defeat the game's first and arguably hardest boss: the queue.
What are the servers in New World?
New World launched with 186 servers spread across a number of regions with a ton of main languages supported, allowing all players to find a world in which they'll be comfortable playing. Right now, servers have a... rather odd player cap set at 20,000, which got maxed out by the launch day rush on the most popular servers.
Luckily, Amazon anticipated this sort of typical launch-day invasion, so players right now have a free server transfer - which otherwise will be a paid service - allowing you to set up shop in any server that isn't full and then hop over to the one you intend to actually play in on the long run when the queues let up. Using this complementary transfer seems like a better bet than waiting hours in queue.
While New World is obviously popular, clocking a peak of 700,000 concurrent players on Steam at launch, the server woes are hurting it's image. The painfully long queues and server instability has led to review bombing, sinking the new MMO's rating on Steam to 'mixed' with just 48% positive reviews.
Expecting a functional game after you paid for it is well and good, but it's like these people have never experienced an MMO launch before. These do not ever go well. Some slack is expected to be given with this particular genre.
Amazon stated at launch that they have many servers primed and ready to go but kept offline 'in reserve' specifically to deal with these situations (which leaves us wondering why they haven't been activated) and that the company is looking to expand the list of servers into additional regions after release.
What is the launch day update?
Day one patches are par the course in the industry at this point, but New World stands out with the sheer amount of stuff that went into its own launch day update. With the MMO launching about as well as MMOs are wont to do, this super early update did a lot of weightlifting in the "let's quickly fix everything" department.
The main purpose here was tweaking and fixing bugs, meaning a lot of under the hood and behind the scenes changes. You might not have spotted most of them outright if you played prior to it being applied, but you should definitely have an overall improved experience. Bugs are inevitable this early on in the game's life cycle, despite New World's famously drawn out testing period. Getting into the habit of squashing them as soon as possible is a good move on the developer's part.
There are also some aspects of gameplay that just never will perform the same way under testing conditions as after you've gone live, so the first update the game received also included balance tweaks, particularly concerning damage scaling in PvP.
Damage scaling allows players with a wide range of levels and stats to compete on fairer footing, and the feature has been a common point of contention during testing. Now, the developers have deployed a rebalance that will make PvP more accessible.
This launch day patch also includes streamer mode aimed at the veritable army of content creators that were ready to take on the world of Aeternum and broadcast their adventures to millions of viewers. These days influencers have immense marketing potential, so it makes sense that the game got features making their lives easier.
Can you make fun of Amazon in New World?
Unfortunately not even a magical virtual land of adventure and peril can offer a complete escape from the modern late stage capitalist hellscape we all inhabit, and New World's character naming system has some specifically geared exceptions to prevent players from besmirching the company that created the game and it's founder.
Your character's name cannot include "Amazon" or "Bezos" in any form, so kiss goodbye to your plans of any witty pot shots at the head honcho.
Picking factions in New World
Factions in New World are split between three groups who have all come to Aeternum for different reasons. The militaristic Marauders want to found a free state, the Covenant are basically the inquisition and want to brutally murder anyone they deem a heretic, and the Syndicate is a clandestine cartel seeking ancient knowledge and artefacts. Basing factions on some of the most harmful elements of colonialism sure is a choice.
The most notable immediate effect of which faction you choose comes down to fashion, however each group comes with different perks, and guilds are not cross-faction. The power dynamics between the factions also determine the bonuses you get, so it's worth throwing in with whoever is dominant on your server.
Faction swapping is possible, but has a cooldown of 120 days.
Getting started in New World
Jumping into a brand new MMO is always a daunting prospect with all sorts of complex systems just waiting to be learned. That said, knowing how to pace yourself and build up your character early on will take the edge off the first, say, hundred hours or so - this is an MMO.
Easing into the various game mechanics and opportunities presented by New World is a good bet, but there are a few things it's worthy to learn as soon as possible. The game gives players two weapon slots - make sure to use both, and keep an eye on your inventory weight and item durability.
New World features a fast travel system wherein you can unlock destinations, as well as an Inn Recall feature. This is literally just the Hearthstone from World of Warcraft and lets you instantly teleport back to whichever inn you set it to. Travel is dangerous and time consuming, so this is a good way to save time and avoid tough fights.
Crafting is another system you need to get to learning early on for a leg up. Gathering is an essential resource gathering system which will not only help your profession grow, but help you set up a financial foundation in Aeternum.
Speaking of finances, the first big purchase you need to save up for is a house. Houses act as recall points and offer additional storage and buff opportunities. They're also just really cozy and you get to decorate them to your heart's content.
Stay tuned for more coverage and guides regarding New World!