New World: Singularity

An interesting thing about New World after a few weeks of play is how suddenly empty the low level towns are. At first I wondered if this was due to the increased server capacity – perhaps they have implemented layer phasing – but I don’t think that’s right. My second thought was the game was shedding players, but that seems unlikely too – the active players per server seem to be holding pretty steady.

Eventually I came to the conclusion it’s due to the single-character-per-server rule. The impact of that rule is everyone levels out of earlier zones more-or-less as a bunch, and there are no alts backfilling the starter zones.

Even storage, normally a scrum of people, is empty

I assume the hordes that were in the starter towns are all now gathered in the 40+ zones, with no reason to return to lowbie-land other than PVP – which the lagging levellers can’t participate in so it does nothing to change the day-to-day emptiness.

Most MMOs that hook people are given extra longevity by alt-levelling, filling out rosters and creating specialist characters. Allowing one character to ‘do-it-all’ is great, but many would prefer to have different characters for different roles – especially those that invest more RPG into their game. I like having a Rogue, a Hunter, a Paladin, all with different personalities, trades, and looks. One character doing everything is less appealing, despite the obvious time and utility advantages.

It makes me wonder if the restriction is a strategic error by Amazon. The flow of new players will dry up which will really stymie the shared experience of the starter zones. It will be interesting to see if they have any plans to somehow bring those earlier zones back into play.

2 thoughts on “New World: Singularity”

  1. It’s possible that it’s a mistake. But note that FFXIV is much the same with one character doing everything.

    As well, The Old Republic leaned heavily into the alt strategy, with 8 class stories. Yet all the evidence shows that most people only played one story and then quit a month or two after launch.

    I am skeptical of the alt strategy. The more invested players may like to make alts, but I think the majority of the audience prefers to spend their time on one character.

    1. Great point re: FFXIV – my (faulty) memory was you could have alts, but I see it has the one-per-server rule too. FFXIV didn’t seem to be empty in the starter zones, so perhaps it is just time in NW – eventually people will be done levelling, and start spreading back out. Or Amazon will release a patch that bring flocks of new players, or reinvigorates the earlier zones with updated quests and goals.

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