New World PTR Is Currently Testing Endgame Changes And A New Seasonal Event
New quests and tradeskill updates are also being tested on the game's public test realm.
Endgame changes are being tested on New World's public test realm, as developer Amazon Game Studios looks to build "a compelling and diverse endgame" that has largely been missing since the game's launch.
As it currently stands, New World's endgame isn't terribly exciting. Upon hitting max level, players mostly just run around in large groups and clear out endgame elite zones for a chance of obtaining a better piece of gear that will raise what Amazon calls a "High Watermark" for that particular item slot, thus increasing their chances of getting even better gear to drop in the future. Players do this all the way until their Watermark for each piece of gear is level 600, the current max.
Amazon is looking to change that, first by changing the name of the High Watermark system altogether. As detailed in a new blog post, the system will now be referred to as Expertise, and whereas the actual numbers associated with the High Watermark system were invisible to players, Expertise will actually display on each item slot in a player's inventory so players can more easily track their progress.
Amazon is also looking to reward players for engaging in more max-level activities outside of farming elite zones. A new resource, called Gypsum, is being introduced, one that is rewarded from doing a variety of high-level activities such as Outpost Rush, expeditions, corrupted breaches, and more. Different types of Gypsum can be crafted into Gypsum Orbs, which are then in turn used to craft weapons, armor, and trinkets. Doing so will guarantee an increase in Expertise for that particular item slot.
It's a big change, but it remains to be seen how dramatically it will alter the flow of New World's endgame. Part of New World's problem is that there simply isn't that much max level content to engage with, something that is sure to change over time, but for now is causing players to simply do the one or two most-rewarding activities and not bother with the rest. The proposed Expertise system is already proving to be controversial among the playerbase, as players who are using high gear score items without the corresponding Expertise level to match will essentially see those items downgraded in effectiveness. That means players who bought their gear or crafted it will essentially be forced to participate in the endgame gear grind too if they want to get the most out of their items.
Endgame changes aren't all that's in the works. A seasonal winter event called the Winter Convergence Festival is also coming to the game's PTR. Players will be able to gather tokens from repeatable events and quests across the game to earn new weapons, armor, and cosmetics.
Modifications to the game's crafting system are coming as well. Upon reaching max level in a particular trade skill, the leveling circle will display three markers. Continuing to craft and earning crafting XP will reward a container of useful, tradeskill relevant items, including item recipes, once one of these additional markers is reached. This can be done three times per level, upon which the markers are reset and the process repeats itself, giving crafters an infinite progression loop.
There's no word yet on when this new patch will roll out to New World's live servers, but it will likely be within the next few weeks. New World has been a series of ups and downs since its September launch. The game's first week saw massive login queue times, and subsequent weeks have been one game-breaking issue after another. Amazon recently adjusted end game zones to be more challenging and less rewarding, making New World's endgame even more of a grind. The game's last major patch also introduced a number of bugs and issues (like time-traveling servers) that have only recently been resolved.
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