Almost one year after launch and with the player count ever dwindling. The survival of New World hangs in the balance. With every well-received patch, there appears to be a thorn in the games side waiting just around the corner.
Over the past 10-11 months I’ve dipped in and out of New World. As a casual game, it can be pretty enjoyable at times. Something to pass the time whilst I take a break from the more intense games. But many suggest that it doesn’t have enough to keep players interested enough in the long term.
With the latest Summer Medleyfaire Event I’ve returned and it seems like many others have too. Once again I’m having a pleasant time doing to odd quest. Farming for materials and upgrades and all the usual stuff.
The event has breathed a bit of fun into the game with new musical instruments being added and music pieces to unlock and learn. All the while dipping your toes in the sea shores and lakes as you fish for rewards and tokens to unlock items. It’s a pretty wholesome event and I’ve enjoyed seeing people milling about playing songs in crowded settlement centres.
There were a number of quests to do that involved unlocking the instruments. But that only really kept you busy for an hour or so. After that, it’s all about fishing and hunting down the bugs to provide bait to let you fish. It’s nothing major, but as I said, it’s kind of fun and wholesome. It’s a chilled way to play and I’ve been enjoying doing a bit more fishing.
Every silver lining brings a load of clouds
With the new event has come a return of players. That being said, the peaks are only hitting around the 25k mark and already dropping off. There just doesn’t seem to be big enough changes or additions to keep people around for long.
Many of the servers were recently merged, meaning that the server you were on before which was likely almost empty. Is now nicely populated. It’s fantastic to see the servers bustling with activity again. However, the merges have brought around another issue. Some regions have got seriously reduced server numbers meaning many were merged into just one or two. Which means returning players are hitting long queue times. Perhaps merging so many was a little short-sighted.
This patch didn’t just bring the Summer event though, there were balances, tweaks, and bug fixes, and next week there will be a new Expedition. Along with that, there was meant to be a new group finder implemented to help find people to go to dungeons with. But that has now been indefinitely delayed… Furthermore, the new expedition has run into some bugs and has also been delayed. And that seems to be a bit of a theme for the game.
For every good thing that comes along, something else goes wrong or doesn’t quite pan out.
What does 2022 hold
We know that a new area is coming called Brimstone Sands sometime during autumn, possibly winter. With that, there will be a new expedition, new events, and a new weapon. But will it really be enough to keep the population healthy? Are 20k players enough? Surely they’re not satisfied with that number. However, I don’t see how it’s really going to change that much.
The problem you have is that you’re competing with other massive MMORPGs who all have years and years worth of content, DLCs, updates, etc… It’s almost an impossible task to catch up or muscle in on that territory.
When New World was first released and we quickly saw it had issues. I thought to myself “give it a year, it will probably be in a much better place then”. To some extent it is, but we’re closing in on a year and the game seems to be hanging on.
There’s a weird balance to the player base
For me, I certainly feel ok dipping in and out of the game. Checking out new content and having a casual grind every now and then. But that’s not the case for most people. Especially when you have the larger groups who are warring for territory. With the PVP side of the game, you have a constant battle for zones. Obviously, the biggest groups will want to keep on top of that and dominate their servers.
However, the PVP side of the game is a large part of the end game. Which limits what the casual players are really going to be able to impact or take part in. I’m a company leader and I’m never going to be able to lead them to war. Not that that was ever my plan. The point is, is that casual players are almost kept out of a lot of the end game. I’d love to see more attention on some PVE focused content aside from dungeons.
I do like New World like I said, I enjoy just playing it casually. I’m still hopeful that the game will grow a bit more and keep a steady player count. However, it remains to be seen if that will happen and it largely will rely on Amazon continuing to support the game. We know that have the money to, but do they want to commit to such a big game that’s only pulling in 20-30 thousand players?