Rambling Thoughts – New World and SWG

In my first impressions post about New World, I drew a comparison to Star Wars Galaxies. To some extent I have wondered why exactly I did this and if it’s really warranted. Admittedly, I’m hardly an expert on either title, though I’m rather more familiar with SWG than New World.

The first and most striking similarity to me was the emphasis on players as the source of many goods. It’s not all crafted goods, but unless you have a decent quest reward or a lucky drop, you’ll probably be buying something from other players. The largest market is probably for consumable goods such as potions, food, and ammunition. I can’t speak to the end-game economy of New World, but at least in SWG most of the top end gear, food, and consumables were crafted and/or modified.

The other feature that really stood out to me was the PvP flagging system. While many games have something similar to this, the way it was presented reminded me a lot of the old overt/covert system from SWG that effectively allows you to “opt out” of PvP to some extent. New World felt very similar to this. You pretty much have to declare an affiliation, but had to flag up if you wanted to participate.

Things seem to diverge a good bit beyond that, though. Gathering is a much more manual whack-a-node style in New World when compared to the harvester empire of SWG. I’m sure there are already some optimized routes for New World that make it basically the same thing, going point to point to pick up the stuff. There didn’t seem to be as much of the variety or randomness in New World, just hoping to get a lucky drop as you go along. None of that running around every week or two trying to find a good spot for the new good resource that has enough space left to drop a harvester. None of the deciding if I should go farm this insect meat or that wooly fur. Insofar as I could tell, in New World iron ore is iron ore.

I did really like the early stages of gathering though. It had a very “wilderness explorer” sort of feel to it that was more satisfying than driving around a mostly empty map spamming the survey tool. The ability to set up a camp was also a cute throwback to SWG that I haven’t seen a lot of in other games.

The refining and crafting was a little more complicated though, and bore some similarity to SWG. Some items had optional slots for better or more guided results. These typically took some sort of uncommon or rare drop from the gatherers or quest rewards, though some of them may have been crafted. Honestly I did far more gathering than crafting.

Perhaps the largest difference between the two is social in nature. SWG had a lot of player professions that were only social or supportive in nature. Entertainer, Image Designer, Doctor, and Politician. All things that were import to how the game ran and functioned. Providing essential services in a way that was largely a social activity, or perhaps an AFK money farm, depending on how you approached it. It brought the community together in cantinas, medical facilities, and player cities regularly and with purpose. I saw nothing of that sort in New World. No wounds or fatigue that needed dealing with. No long-term buffs that were essential. I suppose it could have been there somewhere and I just didn’t see it.

I never really thought of SWG as a PvP game. It was there, and in hindsight a very important part of the game, but one that I largely stayed out of and didn’t see much of. New World, on the other hand, has a lot more invested in it. This is neither a good thing or a bad thing, but a reflection of where modern gaming trends seem to be. The result is that which faction “owns” a given region is actually quite important compared to the balance of power in SWG. The fees associated with pretty much any economic/crafting activity are tied to this and the design and game balance seemed to push players in that direction.

Balance is one of the other large differences I noted. SWG had a very noticeable restriction on what skills you could possess. It was difficult to be an omni-crafter due to the level of specialization required. This meant you had to choose to do something things instead of others. New World didn’t seem to have any obvious skill limits or caps. Sure, the amount of time you invest on a given skill is going to limit you, but as time goes on Live, that will eventually lead to omni-crafters capable of producing any and everything they need for themselves. I feel that lack of reliance on others cheapens the player driven economy. It depends a lot on how server populations play out thought. Too much reliance on others in a low-population setting can be frustrating because it becomes impossible to get certain goods.

Having said all that, it’s hard to be certain what is and isn’t going to change. The post-beta delay suggests that they wanted to change some things that aren’t just small minor adjustments. Normally I’d say I’m coming around to the idea of spending more time with it on release, but we’ll see. There’s a lot going on the rest of the month and I may have changed my mind by the time it gets here.

Y’all take care. Don’t forget to tip your local Doctor and/or Entertainer.

Hey, it’s Blaugust time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

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