Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Retire At Sixty?

This morning I finally dinged sixty in New World. Only took me eight months. I'd put up a screenshot of the onscreen acknowledgement but unfortunately, even though I took one, I don't have it. Neither do I have any of the other shots I took with this post in mind as I edged my way through the back half of level fifty-nine .

Playing New World by way of Steam by way of GeForce Now causes a few practical problems when it comes to taking screenshots. All three have their own ideas about which keys I ought to be using for a start. 

New World's own settings tell me the screenshot function is bound to F7 but pressing that key seems to do nothing at all. Print Screen works, if I can be bothered to tab out and paste the result into but that seems awfully like having a dog and barking myself so I'm very resistant to doing it.

I thought I'd figured out a good solution when I realized pressing F12 caused the Steam screenshot confirmation to trigger. I could see the little thumbnail pop up at the bottom right of the screen. I happily snapped away as I played, then I logged out, planning on sorting through them this morning.

After breakfast I sat down with Beryl the dog on my lap. She went to sleep and I spent an unsatisfying hour looking through every conceivable folder on my three hard drives, trying to find where those screenshots had gone. I couldn't find them anywhere and for a very good reason: they weren't there. 

After much googling and YouTubing I learned of several possible locations where the screens might have been. It was good information. All of those places did indeed contain screenshots from the game; just not the ones I took yesterday. 

Eventually I stumbled across a comment on a forum that explained what had happened. The F12 key I'd been using is linked to my Steam Profile, something I have never looked at since the day I made the account. 

When you use that key in game, if you want to keep the shot you also have to press Shift-Tab to open the Screenshot Uploader, then upload the file to your Profile. All the shots you take are held in temporary storage for the duration of the session but if you don't upload them they're permanently deleted as soon as you log out.

I expect everyone reading this knew that already. I wish I had! 

It still doesn't explain how I have a whole folder on one of my drives, filled with screenshots of New World , all taken via GeForce Now. I must have known how to do it once, even if I don't know any more.

I kept looking until I found another mention somewhere that suggested using Ctrl-1 to take screenshots that would go to GeForce Now's Gallery. I logged in yet again to test it and it worked! That's where the shots in the post come from. Now all I have to do is remember for next time, which is the main reason I'm putting all the tedious detail in this post.

By the time I'd done all of that, Beryl was fidgeting so it was another hour or so before I was able to get back in and complete the final quest in the Marauder Faction line. I wanted to do that so I could become a Commander and have access to the level fifty-eight gear in the Faction shop.

Happily for me, no-one seems to use GeForce Now on a weekday morning. I must have logged in and out half a dozen times and there wasn't a single person ahead of me in the queue, not even once. Even though I only have a Free account, it effectively gives me instant access during my usual play-hours, while letting my ancient PC run games it struggles to play natively. I think a little bit of fiddliness over screenshots is a small price to pay for that.

I'd had the Level Sixty Faction quest for a a long, long time. I did all the others at or usually below the recommended level but the penultimate one was quite tough so I thought it might be pushing it to try a "Recommended 60" quest in the very low fifties, as I was when I took it.

The quest asked me to find and kill a Marauder officer called Silas, who'd succumbed to Corruption. The location was inside a fort, deep in the Ebonscale jungle and I was imagining a tough battle with a Boss. Even when meant to be soloed, some of New World's named targets can be ferocious.

In the event I did end up dying to Silas the first time and having to go back for a second try but not because he was particularly big or tough. Very much the opposite, in fact.

Oh, he was tough enough to make it a decent fight but the reason I died the first time was that I was already down in health from running past a bunch of guards when I barrelled into him. He was at the top of some steps as I was trying to find my way to the marker on the map and I ran slap into him as he was coming towards me. 

I spotted the blue lozenge, indicating a quest target, next to his nameplate but I  assumed he must be for some ordinary faction-board quest I'd hoovered up somewhere. There were a couple of potential adds but I didn't expect too much trouble so I piled into him, expecting him to go down like any other guard.

He put up a lot more of a fight then expected but I'd still have had him easily enough. If the guards hadn't joined in. If I'd been full health at the start. Yeah, yeah... familiar story, I know.

It was only when I came back a second time and realized my quest marker was in exactly the spot I'd just died that I twigged what was going on. This time I cleared any adds as I came, made sure I was full health before I pulled and everything went much better.

Okay, yes, I did still die to yet another roaming guard but not until after Silas was on the ground and my quest was complete. I could still have gotten away in one piece easily enough even then, only it seemed prudent to let the guard finish me off.  That way, I could revive in Ebonscale, where the hand-in was, saving myself a longish run back. Death portals are never a good look but no-one was there to see and sometimes I'm just that lazy.

With the hand-in came the achievement and the title, Marauder Commander. It also raises the cap on faction tokens to 75k, which is a relief. The previous cap was 49k and I've been flat against the ceiling for weeks. maybe months. I've been buying salvage utilities hand-over-fist just to save wasting all the credits I've been earning from all the faction missions I've been taking to level up.

Ironically, now I have barely enough to buy even one piece of Commander-grade armor. I hadn't really looked at the cost requirements until today. Each piece costs tens of thousands of tokens, which sounds like a lot but really isn't that bad. You get thousands of the things for even the simplest missions. I'll be glad to have something to spend them on.

Weapons are the most expensive at 50k a pop but luckily I don't need to worry about those. As soon as I dinged sixty I was able to equip the hatchet and sword I got from the Winter Convergence event back in January. I've had them in my bags just waiting for the moment ever since.

I hadn't really thought much further than Level 60 and Commander rank but looking ahead now I can see there's a good deal more enjoyable, manageable progression before I get to the boring grind everyone complains about.  

For a start, I need to decide what mix of armor I want. I did try to sort it out back in the thirties but upgrades then kept coming so thick and fast I gave up and just wore whatever dropped. If I'm going to buy a full set of Faction gear I probably ought to take time to do some research. 

I'm going to have that time, too, because as well as tokens there's a stiff gold cost to consider. Coin comes more easily in New World now than it once did but I don't have so much I can just blow through my savings without a care. I need to earn before I can spend.

It's a good feeling, though, hitting sixty. I was slightly concerned it might signal the end of my active involvement with the game for a while but it very much looks like it's going to mean the opposite. I'm not much of a one for post-cap gear grinds in any game but I do relish getting a capped character into what I consider to be a "finished" state.

New World still strikes me as a very good option for a casual, solo player who considers mmorpgs as marathons rather than sprints. Or, better yet, as invigorating country hikes, which, come to think of it, pretty much describes New World's gameplay, at least as I've experienced it so far. 

I'm glad to say it looks like the end of this journey still lies some way up the trail.


  1. New World is a very good game if you want to just log in and potter about - gather some stuff, do a little crafting, run a mission or two. All of these things are quite soloable but optionally can be done with friends for the sheer pleasure of gaming with friends. It's a terrible game if approached with the mindset of "must max out on the power curve and then do the organised group content because that's the real endgame". The optimal way of maxing out the power curve (elite chest runs to get your Gear Score up to 600 in every slot) is neither fun nor is it over quickly, and the organised group content at level cap is limited - depending on your server and company situation you may or may not realistically ever see the inside of a war or invasion, and there's only so much Outpost Rush you can do.

    As an inveterate potterer, I suspect you will indeed have a lot of life left in New World for you. I can see why people who've come with a "WoW raider" or "lord of PvP" mindset are less satisfied... then again, there are other games that cater to them.

    1. I think Amazon either need to rework the post-cap completely or else lean into the parts of the game that work and remarket it. The whole pivot from PvP survival to PvE mmorpg has worked a lot better in the levelling game than the endgame. Then again, you could say that about many, maybe most, mmorpgs before their first expansion, so it's hardly an insoluble problem.

      The parts of the game that work, work beautifully. Design-wise, that is. Technically not always so much, although that definitely does seem to have improved. If Amazon have the patience to stick with it, there's no reason New World can't have a long and successful life.

      Perhaps the game NW might most usefully model itself on could be Black Desert. That also has a very loose, undirected feel for much of the content, oriented around a spine of possible core activities. Engagement was driven for a long time by addition of new territories and classes, which would seem to me to be a better fit for Aeternum than a gear grind. Of course BDO also has a horrific grind of its own, plus a vast economic game that NW seems already to have backed away from with the unifying of the vaults and markets.

      Anyway, I guess we'll see over time. I hope Amazon stick with it.

  2. Having played NW since start,taking a few breaks now and then,This is my current gameplay.
    Logging in..buying a gypsom orb at the factionrep..using it to upgrade 1 piece of gear(1-3 points)..doing the 3 dailybonusmissions from my faction..gathering while doing the missions..getting 3 bags of stuff for another gypsom orb(3 diamond gypsum)..doing some refining..logging off..times my 3 characters :-)
    Checking my calenmdar..waiting on may 25th and next EQ TLP launch .
    So going from a game launched last year to a game from 1999 (with some never modifications).

    1. Very similar to my patterns in several mmorpgs these days, then. In both GW2 and EQII I pretty much login in, do some dailies, set some missions, open some rewards, stash the contents then log out. It's not lack of interest so much as lack of time - walking, minding and playing with the puppy takes up a good deal of the time I was previously using for playing games. That won't go on forever, though, so hopefully I'll be able to do something a bit more substantial soon.

      Also, New World does feel oddly like old school EQ at times...


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide