Early New World fans played it like Rust – here’s why the developers changed it

It sounds like the original building of New World would have had a big appeal to fans of survival games like Rust. In a talk at this year’s Develop: Brighton conference, senior producer Katy Kaszynski discusses the various stages of development of Amazon Games’ MMORPG, and it turns out that players of its earliest alpha build took on a rather irreconcilable survival game – so the developers had to to make some big changes to steer it back in an MMO kind of direction.

For context, New Worlds alpha 1.0 was a rather different beast than the MMO, which tons of gamers have been stuck with since its launch in September. As Kaszynski explains, New World went from “this survival, craft, horror, full-loot PvP game to what we have today” with the first alpha with these children of elements: full-loot PvP, survival and craft mechanics and a fully player-driven economy where players built cities, pretty much anywhere they liked. It was all gathered in a sandbox world without quests – just a bunch of intersecting game systems.

The developers invited a group of players to give it a whirl, and discovered that they were not tackling the game quite as expected. “We hoped people would go out into the world – and we built this beautiful world that is very similar to what we have now. […] where they could build their own structures, where they could go and fight each other and really chase each other down, and that was so cool. And that’s not what happened. “

What happened was a lot of “grief on the beach” that the developers addressed so that new players could participate and enjoy it. Then the players started “grief[ing] at the settlement ”. So, “now we’ll see if we can do opt-in PvP instead of required PvP,” Kaszynski says of the developers’ approach at this point.

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“We started looking at the world and all the buildings they created, and that was them ugly, albeit very useful for their purpose, “explains the developer.” What they were trying to do was […] attack each other’s forts, right? Very similar to what we are doing now with faction control points. “

Entertainingly, it turns out that the players at this stage “build these structures that are meant to protect their forts – and they do a very good job with it. But it breaks the immersion because what they do – very creatively – is to build a wall, a very large wall, around the fort. And then they pull a bear in. And then they build a wall around the bear and the wall. And then they pull the two bears in. And then they build a wall with the two bears, “Kaszynski recalls with amusement.” So there is no way these people can come and attack their fort when they are offline. “

“It was not the game we made,” the producer later explains. She says that the original intake of testers loved it – “this is a hit; it’s a winner”, she remembers their response – but those who joined at the end of the alpha felt more like, ” This is really scary to play, it’s not fun – it’s not fun to play a game where I die on the beach, it’s not fun to play a game where I can literally never get the fort because they have so many resources and I’m just getting started. How do I catch up? “

The developers considered the elements that the original group of play testers enjoyed and also knew what newcomers wanted. “And we saw the value in it because we were trying to create an MMO; we’re trying to create this massive multiplayer online game – and it just would not happen with the first game we created.”

Going back to the drawing board, the developers started introducing more PvE, opt-in PvP, more on-demand and playoff content and some changes to New World’s death system from alpha 2.0, which continued to refine things through New World’s various beta versions until version now launched, which Kaszynski fully discusses during the lecture.

If you dive into the New World, be sure to check out our New World PvP builds guide, New World’s best PvP and PvE weapons guide, and New World server download guide for some handy tips. You can also read about how Town Criers brought player news during the New Worlds open beta, and why the developers did not want New World to be like any other MMORPG, including from the Develop: Brighton conference, at these links.

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