Sunday, October 3, 2021

Yes, Of Course I Know How To Use A Hammer. You Hold It At The Long End, Right?


Just a very quick post on New World. Yes, really. Very quick. I promise. I was out most of the day, visiting my mother. When I got back I did my Guild Wars 2 dailies, then a couple of hours in New World. After that I had to eat and now it's getting late. I'd really like to get back in and do just a little more before the day ends, so yes, this is going to be quick.

Did you see the news about those pesky afkers? Their running into walls days are numbered! To be honest, I've seen almost as many people doing it in GW2 recently as I have on Zuvendis, where there's rarely any significant queue, at least in my playtime.

Why would people fake-afk in a game like GW2, where there are no queues at all? You might well ask, although, if you did, it would tell me you don't play World vs World. There haven't been queues to get into any other part of the game in living memory but WvW frequently has them, particularly at the weekends and especially in Eternal Battlegrounds

The maps only have a capacity of around a couple of hundred players or so it's believed. If you get three full squads running around, one for each team, and a smattering of roamers, the shutters come down and newcomers have to wait for someone to leave before they can get in. 

Last week there was a WvW event to tie in with the Alliances week-long beta test that ended up lasting all of two hours and whenever there's one of those we get inundated with PvE players, trying to farm pips for their various Legendary weapon requirements. Or something. I don't pay much attention to it so I'm not entirely clear what they think they're doing.

I do know that they all want to be on maps that have the Outnumbered buff because that gives them bonuses on top of the bonuses but most of them have no clue there are any other maps apart from Eternal Battlegrounds, so they all try to get in there anyway. Afkers aren't always the brightest, it would seem.


When ANet introduced the pip system there was an absolute explosion of this kind of behavior. You couldn't move in Citadel (the totally safe area) for people afking hour after hour. 

At that time there was no afk timer to speak of. There still isn't in the PvE maps. I can log my elementalist in after breakfast to do her dailies, tab out while she's loading in, get involved in something else, forget I was going to play her and leave her standing on the bearskin rug in Krennek's Lodge for several hours before I remember and when I tab back she'll still be there.

In response to the complaints from people who wanted to go fight people, not just sit at spawn for days on end, counting their pips, ANet eventually instituted a fairly short afk timer in WvW only. That was when people began running head-first into walls. Mostly they don't now because no-one really plays WvW except the hardcore masochists who haven't decamped to other games but on weekends and when there are bonuses you do see the occasional wall-runner.

Usually I log out of games when I go afk for more than a few minutes. It just seems tidy, not to mention polite. I was curious how long the timer was in New World, though, what with all the talk about shortening it or adding checks or whatever it is they're planning, so this evening I left my character standing around in town while I went to have something to eat. 

I still don't know exactly how long it takes before the game kicks you out but I can say it's not as long as it takes me to eat two baked potatos and a bowl of wholemeal pasta. And make a coffee. And read a few pages of On The Road Reluctantly by Dyan Sheldon (A surprisingly depressing read for a travel book by a children's author.)

In the couple of hours I did get to play today I made a whole bunch of random stuff at every crafting station in Monarchs Bluffs. I love the way the recipes pull straight from your storage but only the storage in that town. It's quite brilliant.

Mostly, nothing much of note happened except a lot of numbers went up, which as many people have noted is key to New World's astonishing success. People love making numbers go up. 


The one unusual thing was what happened when I smelted a whole load of iron and hit Smelting skill 20. I got an achievement for that, which didn't surprise me. You get achievements for turning round suddenly in New World. Not literally. Don't go trying it. You'll crick your neck.

What did surprise me was that I also got a title. Titles are much rarer. I only have the same four or five as everyone else, the ones you get for playing the game in the first place and for joining a faction. 

Only now I also have one for being extra super handy with a two handed warhammer. Which is nice. Or would be, if I'd ever used one. My character not only has no skill whatsoever in that weapon, she has never even equipped one. I do own a couple but they're in the bank along with all the other weapons I haven't tried yet.

I have no clue what triggered the achievement unless it's somehow incorrectly linked to the smelting one. I'm fairly sure, although not one hundred per cent, that it appeared at the same time. I was doing all kinds of things around then, though, and there was a bit of lag so who can say for sure?

Presumably it's a bug. I ought to bug report it, I suppose. There is a feedback option in game although I couldn't find a specific bug-reporting tool when I wanted to report the annoying notification window that appears when you leave an area with an event going on before the event ends. 

That one stays until you log out. Even dying won't shift it. I did feed that back but I'd be more motivated to send in bug reports if there was an actual reporting tool. I can't imagine whoever reads the feedback is going to do much about it, if indeed any human ever sees it at all.

Not being one to turn down a free title, my novice hatcheteer and semi-trained sword-and-boarder is out there right now, running around claiming to be a "War Hammer Expert". If anyone asks I'll tell them I was a great Squig Herder in my day.

The other big excitement came when I opened one of the many level-based chests that come from questing and out popped my first ever Rare quality piece of gear. The chest was flagged "Level 23" and I'm only level 20 but I thought I might as well see if there was anything good inside. I've had several nice greens out of these things but never a blue, until now.

Curiously, the item was level 19, making me wonder whether the algorithm is one of those points-based ones, meaning the higher quality stole points from the level and forced it down. EverQuest II has a system that works just like that.

Then again, there's plenty about New World gear I don't yet understand. There's a Gear Score that's supposed to allow for easy comparisons but as often as not I find myself preferring the lower gear score piece I'm wearing to the supposed upgrade because of the specifics of the stat bonuses or the perks. 

I'm not really sure what the point of an automated comparison mechanic is when you have a design ethic that's so nuanced and situational. The blue piece I got is much higher level, much better quality and not surprisingly has a much higher Gear Score than the piece I'm wearing in that slot, but it's Light armor and I'm wearing Heavy, so it's a huge downgrade as protection and the bonuses strongly favor a ranged character, whereas I'm playing a melee.

I put it into storage with all the rest. I'd say one of my characters will end up wearing it some day but of course I can only roll one other character. There are only two character slots.

At least I still have plenty of room to hoard stuff. That's another thing New World gets right. For all the good things about the game I think it's a bit rich of me to complain about a few bugs here and there. So I'll shut up now. 

I said I'd make it quick!


  1. That piece might look pretty fancy though...have you tried it on? And while we're at it, is there a wardrobe system in the game as far as you can tell?

    1. I'm pretty sure it would look great but as far as I can tell there is no wardrobe feature as such. There are Costumes you can buy in the cash shop - cosmetics are supposed to be the main way they plan on monetizing the game - so I'm wondering if they'll want to allow in-game competition with that, at least at the beginning.

      Or it could just be that there is an appearance system and I haven't yet figured out how to use it! That's not at all unlikely. I haven't even figured out if there's a way to see what your character would look like wearing stuff, like a Dressing Room option. You'd think there would be but I haven't found it yet. Most gear is BOE so I don't want to try on stuff I won't wear just to see what it's like in case I want to sell it on the TP. Of course, selling stuff on the TP is another thing i haven't quite figured out yet - when I tried the other day it seemed like it was going to cost me more to sell stuff than I'd get back!

  2. There are only 2 character slots (per data center, so you could have 2 in EU and 2 in NA East) AND you can only have 1 character per server set for some reason.

    I am completely baffled as to what the point of the server sets are. For instance my server is data center NA East, Server Set Arkadia Sigma (which appears to include 7 servers in total).

    1. Per the text when I was creating a character server sets seem to be pre-determined server merge groups. I'd guess names are unique across server sets.

    2. I'm all but certain it's this. They did a big test in beta of precisely that - server merges. Unlike most previous big launches, this one was designed with the expectation that far more capacity would be required at the beginning than later. Most developers seem to imagine there will be continual growth, which hasn't really happened anywhere since Wrath of the Lich King.

      It's ironic that, given their planning for shrinkage, New World's actual post-luanch problem has been lack of capacity. Just goes to show no matter how well you think you've planned things, something is always going to be completely different from whatever you imagined.

    3. Names are unique across all servers, which is why everyone was so upset about the staggered launch time, though. Or so I was told; I'm not sure that anyone I know has actually tested that.


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