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Saturday, January 29, 2022

New World Interview: Talking Challenges And Future WIth Game Director Scot Lane

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With the New Year approaching, Amazon new world Prepare for the future. Since its launch in late September, the Amazon Game Studios team has had a difficult experience, as every major MMO update or patch seems to introduce new issues that need to be fixed.

From exploits of gold that saw the in-game economy come to a halt twice, to exploits of no exposure that threatened the main core of MMO, PvP, new world Feel ready at a crossroads. The number of players dwindled, with people moving to other games or simply leaving new world Given the myriad of issues, it makes one wonder what the future really holds for the new game. Each game has its challenges, particularly a live service game and one from the range Amazon launched, so while many of the current issues may be enough to keep them at bay for now, how the team responds will go a long way toward how the MMO will perform in the future.

We were able to chat with Game Director Scot Lane via an email interview to talk about some of the challenges the studio has faced, as well as what’s next.

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MMORPG: Since its launch two months ago, new world An instant hit with over 900,000 concurrent players. How did it feel in the studio, after all the years of work and all the delays, to see this kind of response to the launch?

Scott Lane, Game Director: The reception at New World was surprising and modest. The team has worked hard to create something that makes the players happy and it’s really good to see people enjoying Aeternum. However, we look forward to the coming years and have big plans for a new world.

The flip side of that, unfortunately, since the player base launch has been somewhat hoarded. While this is somewhat understandable, many in the community are concerned about the huge number of players dropping out. How does the AGS plan to deal with this going forward and are you at all worried about the number of smaller players two months after launch?

Line: For MMO games, it’s common for numbers to drop after a launch increase. On top of that, right after launch, players were playing incredibly long sessions. Over time, players settled into their normal playing times, which had a noticeable effect on player synchronization. This is why we don’t focus as much on player synchronization as a measure of success. Two months later we are still seeing high levels of participation from players. However, we always want more players enjoying the new world, and we plan to merge servers soon to bring more players together. The launch increase was so great that we more than doubled the number of worlds. On top of that, we know we have to do a better job of fixing the bugs and we will continue to listen to our players to help inform our roadmap.

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Although the MMO appeared to be a commercial success, it decisively had its critics. How has AGS drawn feedback from both the community and critics alike to help make the New World better in the long run?

Line: We listen to all feedback, good or bad. Honestly, we pay special attention to important feedback, because we use it to make things better. While it is not always easy to listen to, it is useful for setting priorities and it is inspiring that the community cares enough to provide criticism.

What was the most challenging part about overcoming the problems that seemed to plague them new world From the beginning? How is this reconciled with ensuring employee health and well-being is taken into account, especially since it is easy for fans to anticipate around-the-clock responses in a game that is always online?

Line: The entire launch was a challenge. While we’re thrilled with the number of players that turned up, we didn’t run the tests nearly that big. This revealed some issues that we wanted to address quickly and in a hurry we made some mistakes. The team is so excited to see all the players that the drive for quick response is so strong – we want to correct issues so the players can focus on the fun! For us, the biggest challenge is getting ourselves organized and being more methodical in our testing and validation of versions. The team works incredibly hard and we try to distribute the workload to help lighten the burden on overworked people. Our team is so dedicated that they want to work around the clock to help solve problems but that’s not sustainable, so we’re also working on spreading the workload and making sure the team doesn’t get overwhelmed.

MMORPG: Something seems to break with every major patch, whether it’s another bug, a duplication bug causing the market to shut down, or issues that make certain aspects unplayable for players. How does the team handle this to ensure that patches come out moving forward and don’t cause more problems?

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Line: This has been difficult. Our general approach is to look for systemic reform, determine how long it will take, and then address it. In some cases, we’ve been able to do this, while in others, we’ve had to put in temporary, short-term loopholes while we work on a permanent solution. The big lesson for us is that even though we’ve had an initial event for over a year, we’ve had the preview event, public testing – when you go live and at scale for a longer period of time, new issues will arise.

A natural follow-up to this: What do you say to players who feel the MMO should be delayed repeatedly In order to solve this bug?

Line: This is tough and we’ve been talking about it a lot lately internally. The thing is, we didn’t know about the exploit and scam issues until after we launched, so the delay probably wouldn’t help.

On the content side of things, one of the main criticisms was the lack of meaningful content and storytelling, as well as the variety of tasks. How will addressing these concerns play out in the studio’s upcoming plans as New World advances into the new year?

Line: We’ve come a long way in the last year and I think our players see that. Going forward, we plan to continue improving our storytelling and adding more content focusing on the mid- and end-game. Players will start seeing new mission types in upcoming releases, and this is something we plan to invest in for the foreseeable future. We also have some goodies in store for our PvP players and we’ll be excited to share more as we get closer.

How was the response to the Into the Void update, and how often do you plan to release these major additions to the MMO? Can you give players an insight into what they can expect in future updates?

Line: We’re not ready to share our roadmap yet, but I can tell that just last night I ended up in a random group with someone playing Void Gauntlet and it was great to see. Overall, you filled the void (pun intended) in pairing our gun because it’s a great Life Staff partner. I can say that we think more weapons will add more variety to the gameplay and players can expect to see more in the future.

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Server Transfer: This was initially announced as a way for players to join their friends who might have been stranded thanks to server queues. However, they left many dead servers in their wake. The only thing that surprised me was that the transfers seemed to encourage players to migrate to already healthy population servers with friends who are already there instead of moving to lower pop worlds where an increase in players can help activate economies and PvP. Why was that, and was that intentional or just a misreading of the merges view?

Line: Our goal with server transitions is not to revitalize low-density population worlds, but rather to give players an agency to choose which world they want to play in. By contrast, global mergers are for the former. However, when server transfers were introduced, we again encouraged players to leave overcrowded servers to avoid queues, which they did, instead of targeting servers with medium to low population density.

Are there any plans to allow PvP of the same faction to help weed out companies that don’t care about settling anymore, or even worse, use loopholes to maintain control of settlements as in the case of Running Reports with Camelot Server?

Line: We are looking at exploits. As for bad leaders, we don’t have hard plans yet, but I’m aware of the problem. I’d like to do something where people who live in a town (same faction or different faction) have mechanisms for dealing with bad leaders – like a way to overthrow tyrants. Nothing concrete yet, but something that would add fun and be a perfect way to give PvE players a little more influence over their settlement.

From now on, what does the roadmap look like new world? Is there a short term and long term vision that you can share with fans, especially those who are wondering where to go from here?

Line: We’re not ready to share the long-term vision yet, but in the short-term I can share a few things. Winter is a festive time and we’re working on ways to show what it’s like to be at Aeternum by introducing the Winter Convergence event. We’ve learned a lot from players about endgame balancing and gear hunts so players can expect improvements! We’re also listening to the players and planning some major initiatives to improve bugs and game balance. Looking to the future, we have big plans and are working on finding the right way to share it with the players.

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