New World's War Mode is Sure to Please Those Craving End-Game Content

New World, Amazon's MMO that plays like an Action-RPG, won't be out for quite a while yet. The developers recently pushed the release date into 2021, taking feedback from the alpha to add more content to the game. So, while the game is multiple months out from release, players jumping into the beta of the magic-filled alternate Age of Exploration will be able to try out a practically feature-complete experience.

Because of this reason, I got to try out one of the unique modes in New World. While playing through the MMO, at level 10 you'll be able to choose one of three factions that are vying for territory in the mysterious land Aeternum. It's the Age of Exploration, after all, and spreading your faction's influence in classic colonialist fashion appears to be a big part of the PvP aspect. The factions are always vying for more territory, and the biggest way they gain that is by declaring War on opposing faction's forts.


Declaring War in the full-game will involve attackers completing a bunch of smaller objectives before they can storm the fort, so New World won't be constantly factions declaring War on one another. For the preview, however, we got a taste of the battle itself, which is a 50 versus 50 mash-up of chaos and flaming meteors. It was pretty fun!

Two things about War quickly became clear as the battle went on. First, I will forever continue to struggle with keyboard and mouse controls as I fumbled around trying to press the right keys for my skills. Second, Wars are definitely meant to be end-game content built for large groups to work together. Wars aren't available to players until they reach level 50 (with the level cap being 60), meaning that anyone participating in a War will have had hours to get used to New World's battle system and mechanics. 

Regardless of being in a less-than-ideal environment for the mode, playing as the Defenders and trying to build our defenses before the Attackers broke through gave a good idea at how complex and strategy-oriented this mode is. It's just as important to repair gates and refill ammo on siege weapons as it is to run out into the fray and smash people with a warhammer, and that means that everyone can contribute even if they're not the strongest fighter.


But in order to do that, there needs to be a lot of communication. Since this was a drop-in server for one match, most of us didn't have that advantage knowing what was going on to properly coordinate defenses to survive the full half-hour. Regardless, even this look at the mode shows there is a lot to look forward to from it. While the developers are looking to add even more mid- and end-game content, War looks to be sizable and rewarding raid-like content on its own.

My other big takeaway from playing New World was trying out the unique battle system the MMO has going for it. Players don't have classes they're forced to stick to, and instead the game allows you to equip any weapon at any time. You can take three weapons into battle, equip three skills from each one, and switch between them at any time. It makes for some fun gameplay that makes it feel more like an Action RPG… as the developers intended. The way it's set up also makes it easy to set up controller support in the future, which my fumbling hands and aching wrist will surely be grateful for. Without the long rotations of most MMOs, mapping everything to a controller will be far easier than most (who have found their own elegant solutions).


Getting to try out the battle system and the War mode has me pretty optimistic for New World on a gameplay standpoint. I didn't get to learn much about the story beyond its opening cutscene, which is a shame. I only really got deep into MMOs like Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV due to their focus on plot and lore, so the deciding factor for me leans more on what we'll be seeing in the upcoming months. This is especially important as during a time where people are really starting to analyze the effects of colonialism on societies, New World taking place during the Age of Exploration has to prove to many that it can face those issues with tact, even in an alternate universe.

But I can at least confirm it'll be fun to play, and nor MMO player is in it for an engaging plot. We'll see how New World ends up shaping up in 2021.