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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

New World 2022 roadmap revealed

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Amazon Game Studios has released a developer roundtable video alongside a 2022 roadmap for its colonial fantasy MMO, New World.

New World’s Heart of Madness update coming later this month will bring the Strength/Intelligence-scaling Blunderbuss weapon, as well as the Tempest Heart expedition, 3v3 PvP arenas, and expanded PvP rewards.

The video mostly covers the Heart of Madness update, with a special focus on the expedition’s focus on the character Isabella, previously encountered in the Dynasty Shipyard Expedition. The video was lighter on detail regarding the PvP changes, and we will have to see how those pan out in the game itself.

Summer will see another new expedition, the pirate-themed Barnacles and Black Powder, alongside the introduction of an LFG tool for Expeditions and an as-of-yet undisclosed Summer event.

The biggest additions are coming in Autumn, around New World’s one-year anniversary. The world map will be expanded with the Brimstone Sands region, and players will have access to another new weapon with its own moveset and ability trees: the Greatsword. The Autumn update will also add another new Expedition, the Ennead, as well as leaderboards and two events: Nightvale Hallow and Turkulon 2022.

These all seem like welcome additions to New World, but they don’t strike me as likely to address the underlying issues identified by PC Gamer’s resident New World expert, Fraser Brown, in his review and 2022 state of the game piece like declining server populations and instability in the in-game economy.

Some popular posts on the game’s subreddit continue to call for more server mergers to maximize the game’s contracted player base. Additionally, the focus on PvE Expeditions in the 2022 updates does not seem to be playing into New World’s strengths in its PvP or the player-driven economy that, while flawed, remains a unique draw. Following an impressive launch (the biggest in terms of concurrent players for a game on Steam in 2021) and equally massive decline in player count, New World may still be struggling to find the rhythm that some long-running mid-tier MMOs like Guild Wars 2 or Star Wars: the Old Republic have managed to hit.

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