New World was poised to be the next big game in the MMORPG scene. But cut to a few months after launch, and the game is dying. So how did we get here, and how is New World Patch 1.1 partly to blame? The short answer is, the developers have no idea what they are doing. The sheer volume of bugs and exploits in this game has shaken player confidence. Gold duplication is widespread, and PvP is hopelessly broken thanks to invulnerability exploits. The developer finally came out and promised fixes.
And with New World Patch 1.1, we get to see the fruits of that labor. And boy, is the fruit spoiled. The patch came after Amazon finally added a Public Test Realm to the game to deal with the deluge of bugs and duplication exploits. Problem was, they didn’t test the commonly exploited systems on the PTR. And now Amazon is rolling out stealth nerfs and content removals.
So why is this a bad thing? Surely the developers realize that MMO economies live and die by their crafting potential. And in player-driven economies, this is even truer. Players need to be able to gather resources to make items. And even though the in-game economy is completely shattered due to gold duplication, some players stuck it out.
Enter the Void, and Despair
Enter the Into the Void patch, where Amazon promised to deal with the rampant bug abusers and help the game with some desperately needed fixes. But what players got was just more frustration.
But with the patch came a new weapon, the Void Gauntlet. Not only was the Void Gauntlet broken on launch, and not rolling for random traits properly, but it led to a bigger issue for crafters and gatherers. Players who had spent weeks leveling up gathering skills and creating gear with bonuses to this activity got quite the surprise. Post-patch, anyone with this gear has now found it to be completely gone.
Without this gear, players who were already behind the gold dupers find themselves set back even further. I have a serious question: has anyone at Amazon Game Studios played an MMO before? That’s a serious question, because you don’t have to understand loss aversion to know that players will flee from a game that deletes their progress. And they will hate one that does it without warning.
A post on the game’s Subreddit by Redditor Rimbaldo sums up some of the big complaints that players have about the patch, including that players are blindsided by this sudden nerf. Amazon has responded in the most tone-deaf way they can, by saying the gathering gear would come back in the next patch. Many players probably won’t be around for that, so good job, Amazon.
Some players on the Subreddit are even reporting gear being nerfed directly, with one user saying, “Changing perks and turning purples into greens on already acquired gear, either hard grinded or bought. That’s the nail in the coffin”.