New World’s open beta didn’t convince me to give up on Final Fantasy XIV
The last time I had a brief hands-on moment with Amazon’s upcoming New World MMO, I walked out of Aeternum feeling pretty positive about this newcomer to the massively multiplayer block. Crafting, in particular, got me pretty excited. But after spending a good chunk of time in its open beta, I feel a little, I don’t know, bleh? If anything, I just wanted to go back to my beloved Final Fantasy XIV.
And that’s really my main problem with New World. As someone who has invested in Final Fantasy XIV – another huge MMORPG – I never felt the need to get off ship for New World. I don’t want to let down the insanely kind community of FFXIV and the rich, filled universe of Moogle for New World’s Aeternum.
I understand that as a person who has already invested in FFXIV, I may have a strong prejudice. But still, if New World is to be successful, surely it has to attract players like me who believe they have already found the MMO for them? It must be okay, “Hey, you over there. It’s here, it’s the Good product, and you’re missing out! ”while making a flirtatious gesture towards its unique features and New World elements.
Problem is, those vague New World things the game gestures toward are largely in the PVP camp. Yes, it looks like New World has a good number of PVE quests – collecting sacks of wheat for Barry Longlegs to gain EXP and level up, etc. war.
At the start of New World, you can join a faction: pirates, witches, or crusaders, basically. Right off the bat, you can do quests for them to increase their influence on Aeternum. If everyone in your faction goes out of their way and performs a lot of tasks, you might have the option of declaring war on an opposing faction. Win and you can control the tax rates of a certain territory and make the life of those who bought a property there more pleasant. It seems to work a lot like the For Honor War in this way, although Ubi’s faction fighter doesn’t imply real estate prices.
There is definitely something exciting here if you are the type of MMO player who enjoys PVP and joining a clan and hosting group events and stuff. He’s a mainstay of World Of Warcraft, after all. But as someone who is (and I realize there is a contradiction in that) a rather lonely MMO player who doesn’t really care about PVP, I don’t see myself sticking with New World. when it is fully launched.
I know I know. Who do I think I am, eh? Anyone who doesn’t like PVP in MMOs ?! Absurd. We have EVE, Guild Wars, Planetside 2, and even World Of Warcraft pushing people to interact with others. Heck, EVE generates its scenarios only through player interaction. These tales of shattered citadels or billion-dollar space cargoes stolen by space bandits all come from players, not a questline.
But that’s not how I like to play my MMOs. Final Fantasy XIV sometimes pushes you to interact with others, but you can play it as a single-player RPG if you want to. I almost see the MMO side as a nice bonus, where the hustle and bustle of other players plays the same role as the heartwarming radio chatter on a long drive. Hey, some MMOs like the upcoming Book Of Travels fully lean into the solitary experience, where multiplayer interactions are minimal, but feel more natural and less intrusive as a result.
New World certainly doesn’t seem to be really invested in the solitary MMO experience. I think it’s mainly due to the fear of missing something, or FOMO, as kids call it. New World puts PVP in your face. While you don’t need to participate in the PVP quests, I couldn’t help but think that the PVP is where the real stories lie. Walk around New World and you might see people huddling in a circle, clearly planning a PVP raid of some sort. The chat is full of people recruiting for their respective armies. Enter a big city and it will tell you which faction is in control. These are all constant reminders, implicit and explicit, that there’s a big, big part of the game that you don’t get involved in if you aren’t involved in PVP. And while you complete your other quests, maybe even helping your faction by collecting wheat for Barry Longlegs, you can’t help but feel like you’re busy while everyone else is having fun.
I would compare my time in the open beta of New World to this guy who heals half a pint of moonlight in the corner of the tavern, while the warriors slam mugs and giggle as they tell stories of bravery on the spot. battle. “Do you remember when Gemma found out about this swordsman ?! Gemma you are so crazy hahaha. Weeyyyyy, Gemma! To blow! To blow! To blow!”
I can’t judge the early New World quests too harshly. After all, there may be times when Aeternum’s story picks up and makes you forget about PVP altogether later on. But still, those first few hours I spent with the game didn’t introduce me to characters bursting with personality or intrigue. This is something that FFXIV does so well, I think. Whatever menial task you might do at the start, these characters are interesting, funny, or provide a more in-depth commentary on the state of Eorzea. Here, the dialogue is rather minimal.
If you like PVP, great! If you’re a lone PVE demon like me, then New World might not be for you. Maybe it’s just me, though. Maybe I just need to get involved in PVP next time and maybe I will appreciate it. The point is, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in Final Fantasy XIV.