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New World's open beta vs Final Fantasy XIV

  • jannick
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17 Sep 2021 06:45 #1 by jannick
The last time I had a quick look at Amazon's new MMO world, I had a very positive feeling about the new kid on the block for this massively multiplayer game. I was particularly enthusiastic about the craftsmanship. But after spending a lot of time in the open beta, I felt a little like I don't know, right? If anything, then I just want to go back to my beloved Final Fantasy XIV.

This is actually my main problem with the new world. As someone who's already invested in Final Fantasy XIV (another big MMORPG), I've never been bitter about changing ships to New World. I didn't want to give up the incredibly good community of FFXIV and the rich, Mughal universe for Aeternum in the New World.

I get that, and as someone who's already invested in FFXIV, I may have a strong bias. But if New World is to be successful, it has to appeal to players like me who believe they have found an MMO for themselves. It reads, "Hey, you're over there. It's right here, and it's good stuff, and you're missing out!" Sassy indicates the unique features and the new world.

The problem is, those vague new worlds that the game is hinting at are mostly in the PVP camp. Yes, it seems like there are quite a few PVE quests going on in the New World - collecting sacks of wheat for Barry Longlegs for experience and upgrades and so on - but it feels like this is less relevant to the game than participating in PVP wars.

As the new world begins, you can join a faction: essentially pirates, witches, or crusaders. Right from the start, you can do tasks for them to increase their influence in Aeternum. If everyone in your faction is giving their all and doing many of these tasks, you may have the opportunity to declare war on a rival faction. If you win, you can control the tax rate in a given area and make life easier for those buying property there. This approach is somewhat reminiscent of Warlords of Glory's warfare, even if Ubi's faction fighters don't charge real estate prices.

If you're one of those MMO players who enjoys PVP, joining tribes, and organizing group events and other things, then there's definitely something exciting going on here. After all, it's the backbone of World of Warcraft. But as someone who (and I know this is a contradiction in terms) is a pretty lonely MMO player who doesn't really care about PVP, I can't see myself sticking to it once the new world is fully introduced .

I know I do. Who do I think I am, huh? Someone who doesn't like PVP in MMOs ?! That's ridiculous. We have EVE, Guild Wars, Planetside 2, and even World of Warcraft to get people to interact with other people. Hell, EVE only generates storylines through player interaction. Stories of locks being smashed or space bandits stealing billions of dollars worth of cargo all come from the player, not the questline.

But that's not the way I want to play MMOs. Final Fantasy XIV will occasionally ask you to interact with other players, but you can also play it as a single player RPG if you want. I see the MMO aspect almost as a nice bonus, the hustle and bustle of the other players is the same as the calming radio chatter on a long car trip. Hey, some MMOs, like the upcoming Book Of Travels, are totally geared towards a single player experience with very little multiplayer interaction, but that makes it feel more natural and less intrusive.

The New World doesn't really seem invested in a solo MMO experience. I think that's mainly because of the fear of missing out, or FOMO as the kids call it. New World are pushing PVP into your face. You don't have to take part in PVP quests, but I can't help but get the impression that PVP is where the real story takes place. If you wander around the New World, you might see people forming a circle, obviously planning some sort of PVP raid, farming New World coins for sale in-game. The chat is full of people recruiting for their respective armies. When you enter a larger city, you will be shown which faction is in control. These are constant cues, both implicit and explicit, that if you don't participate in PVP, you are not participating in a large part of the game. As you go about other chores and maybe even help your faction by collecting wheat for Barry Longlegs, you can't get rid of the feeling that you're just busy while everyone else is having fun.

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