Friday, November 26, 2021

Home, At Last

When I decided to take a tour of the housing options across Aeternum, back at the begining of October, I'd already spent some time raising my standing in Everfall, the town where I originally planned on living. Once I'd seen the rest of the options I decided on a change of location. Mourningdale was the place for me. I never thought it would be six weeks before I'd be ready to move in.

At the time I was level 26 with five and a half thousand coin in the bank (Or in my pockets. There is no banking system in New World.) This morning, just about to ding fifty-three, I finally reached my goal, Admired in Mourningdale, Standing 20. The Mourningdale Residents Association had passed me fit to buy a Tier 3 house in their fine city but did I still want to live there?

It's been a long haul. First I had to level up far enough to be allowed to take quests and missions in Mourningdale. That took a couple of weeks and even when I was deemed ready the options were few.

All I could find were a couple of side-quests and the bare minimum of town board tasks, the basic upkeep ones that give minimal reward. No-one was upgrading Mourningdale because no-one lives there. Or goes there. Or knows it exists.

Because no-one was upgrading the town, crafting to earn Standing wasn't an option. The crafting stations weren't high enough to make the items I needed to level up my Armorsmithing, for which I had a long and very rewarding questline. I had to go to Brightwood or Everfall to do that, meaning all the hundreds of gloves I made went towards raising my Standing in those towns. I'm 24 in Everfall now.

Even when I could get quests in Mourningdale, I often couldn't do them. At the minimum level for the territory I was only barely able to do the easiest, ones where I had to find a single item in one chest or kill a handful of mobs I could pick off, carefully, one at a time.  

The near-total lack of town projects meant all I could really do were faction missions and at first I didn't even have the reputation to get those. When I did, they were frequently in places I couldn't fight my way into without ending up back in Mourningdale with a repair bill. One quest that I picked up weeks ago I was only able to finish last night and another remains in my book still. Padre Nuñez - I will have my revenge!

Over the weeks I spent much more time out of Mourningdale than in it. Almost everywhere else was more fun to be. I got to the point where I could live pretty much anywhere I chose. The only towns that wouldn't be happy to have me move in were First Light, Cutlass Keys and Reekwater. I can even live in Ebonscale Reach now and I might, too.

Still, I did spend enough time in Mourningdale to get to know it pretty well. After a while I began to have some doubts. On a fine day with the winter sun shining, Mourningdale has an almost ethereal beauty. It was like that the day I first saw it and after the dank swamps and stifling tropical shores of the south it felt clean, clear, fresh and fine. It seemed like there was nowhere I'd rather settle down.

Spend a few days there, though, and you'll come to know Mourningdale's true nature. It's bleak. It's cold. It rains all the fricken' time!

Before I got to Mourningdale I  wondered if New World even had weather. I'm not sure I've seen so much as a shower in the southern territories. Once you get into the mountains, though, it's either snowing or raining every day. 

In Mourningdale it's never snow. Snow would be a treat. In Mourningdale there are storms, one after another. Curtains of rain sweep across the harsh landscape, gales bow the trees. At night, even with the moon, it's hard to see anything. Travelling through Mourningdale can be a wet, cold, miserable experience.

There were times when I wondered if I wanted to live in Mourningdale at all. It wasn't just the weather, grim though it often felt. What would my prospects be, stuck up there in the far north with the wild, empty sea to the east, uninhabited Edengrove to the west and nothing but swamp and pirates to the south?  

The saving grace, looking to the future, is the road that heads yet deeper into the north. When New World expands and more of Aeternum opens up, that's one possible route we'll take. Expansion in that direction could turn Mourningdale into a gold rush town, some day.

That's what I told myself as I dug around in my bags for the money. With the first-time buyer's discount, the Tier 3 house I wanted cost me 7,500 coin. I could afford it. I'd saved up more than twenty thousand over the long wait.

There was never any doubt which house I was going to pick. The house itself is the main reason I've stuck with Mourningdale despite the obvious drawbacks. I've taken a good look around dozens of houses in all of the towns and there's not one that I like better, not even the Tier 4 mansions I've seen.

My house stands right beside the North gate. It's three storeys high with a long front porch facing onto the street. The back of the house overlooks the river and on the second floor there's a balcony that hangs above the water.

From the balcony, there's a fine view of the foothills, the beginning of the mountains that rise up behind Mourningdale to the North. If you turn and look the other way you can see the whole town as it sprawls along the river. If it's not raining it makes a perfect place to lean on the rail and think about life.

What if it is raining, though? A balcony's not much use in the wet. Ah, no, but a huge picture window over the street, enclosed and cosy in a room with a blazing log fire - that's perfect. And that's just what my house has.

What's more, unlike some of the other houses I inspected, you can actually stand in the enclosed window and look out. Others have some sort of invisible wall that holds you back but not mine. Once I get an armchair in there it's going to be delightful on a winter's evening. Or it will be if Amazon ever add "sitting in chairs". They will. Every mmorpg does, eventually. 

Once I'd handed over my money, I finally got to play around with the decoration system. At first sight it seems okay. No hooks, which is good. I didn't have the furniture to hand to test placement options beyond hanging a fishing net and some crossed oars on the wall outside, over the porch but it looked fine. Better than some.. 

My next job is going to be running round the whole map, retrieving the various bits and pieces of furniture I've left in storage. There's a whole Furnishing craft that I haven't touched yet. The only items I have, I got as drops. I rarely spot them when they appear, just find them lurking at the bottom of my bag when I grub around in there, looking for things I can salvage or store to make me less encumbered.

As I've wandered around various players' homes, ghostly and unseen in the weirdly creepy implementation the game uses for visiting, I've observed how some folks have made their houses into comfortable, convincing homes, while others have just piled anything and everything in a heap on the floor. I do not intend to be one of those people, the pilers. I have some decorating to do . And probably a lot of trees to chop.

This morning's was a very significant session in another way, too. Dinging 53, as I did minutes after buying my house, meant I could finally start to wear the Marauder faction armor I've been able to buy since I was in the mid-40s. 

The rate at which you gain reputation with your faction as compared to when the game expects you to do it seems way off. I already maxed out Tier IV, Destroyer a level ago, long before I could equip most of the gear it brings. I now have the quest for the final tier, Commander, but even if I could kill the boss the quest sends me to fight (I don't know how tough she is. I haven't tried her yet.) there wouldn't be much point. That set of armor is flagged for Level 60s.

The important thing is that now I have a new set of goals. In a sandpark game like New World, goals are crucial. Without a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and achieve in the immediate future, not some notional moment far off in time, the whole thing can start to feel formless and unsatisfying.  

I want to learn how to make furniture so I can decorate my house. Pretty straightforward and highly achievable. Plus I want to mess around in some lower-level areas for a while as a relief from constantly knocking my head against mobs two or three levels above me. I think I've earned myself a few sessions of goofing around. 

And when I've had enough of kicking back, there's a faction quest waiting for me and level 60 beyond that. Still got a ways to go, me and this game, before we need to take a break, I think.


  1. Sitting in chairs (and lying on beds) is already a feature in the game. If you place a chair in your house, and there's enough room in front of it, you can interact with the chair to sit down. That "enough room in front of it" is key though, it's at least enough space to be able to stand between the chair and the table, and means that all of my chairs look as if they're way too far away from the table or desk I've paired them with.
    Not sure if there's an armchair you can make - all of mine so far are stools or dining chairs.

    1. Even as I typed that I wondered if it was already in game. I haven't even tried sitting in a chair in an Inn, let alone in my house (Which doesn't as yet have any furniture.) I can say, though, that I have never seen anyone sitting on a chair in New World, although I've seen plenty of people sleeping in the streets, which seems to be some kind of bizarre visual meme.

      I'm going to log in now and see what funiture I can find to try it out.


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