Monday, January 24, 2022

Like Rabbits?

The entirely unanticipated addition of Chimeraland to my gaming schedule put a serious crimp in the plans I had to finish up the Winter Convergence event in New World before the thaw arrived. Prior to that, Amazon's decision to extend the event until the twenty-fifth of January had released whatever slight pressure I might have felt to get on and actually do the work but yesterday I realized, if I didn't knuckle down and get on with, it pretty soon it was going to be too late. 

Even then, I knew I had more than enough time left to jog along the roads and tracks of Aeternum, picking up lost presents along the way as I visited every town to collect my daily allotment of gifts and enhance my standing with the Yeti community. The event was already paced to feel relaxed and unstressful even before the deadline shifted.

Of course, that's assuming you didn't plan on being greedy. I guess if you saw the whole thing as an opportunity to fill every slot with endgame-ready gearyou might have felt more of a sense of urgency, but all I wanted was a bunny. (Did anyone else get a Suicidal Tendencies flashback just then?)

Come on! Who could say no?

The bunny in question, a clockwork automoton wearing a brightly-colored sweater, with a key sticking out his back, costs ten Premium Winter Tokens. You get a few PWTs from the questline but mostly you have to "craft" them by converting Winter Tokens at an exchange rate of twenty-five to one. That's quite a few to collect.

Having the tokens isn't enough, of course. You also have to have the reputation. By the time I finally pulled myself free of the Chimeraland gravity well to log back into New World for the first time in a couple of weeks, there were only a few days left for me to boost my rep by the three and half thousand points I still needed.

It sounds like a lot but it turned out to be pretty straightforward. I logged in for three of my free, one-hour-capped GEForce Now sessions but I didn't use the full sixty minutes in any of them. A couple of times I ran across pristine, untouched Gleamite strikes, which helped a lot. I hadn't noticed before that each Gleamite nodes gives a random amount of reputation, sometimes as much as thirty-five points. It adds up fast.

What with those, the five points for every lost present and the hundred or hundred and fifty from every town's present pile and winter village's gift sack, my reputation fairly flew along. I also stashed away a goodly number of tokens as I went, enough that when the time came last night to buy my bunny, I had more than enough.

So much more, in fact, that the question became what to do with the surplus. I had thought I'd spend it on the rest of the furniture for my house but when I came to look at the options I realised I didn't really want any of it. 

It's not that the items on offer aren't attractive or well-designed. They're almost tasteful. It's that I just don't like frozen (or fiery, for that matter) furniture. Never have. I know it looks impressive but I can't help but imagine how intensely uncomfortable it would be to use.

There is a hat that goes with the outfit but you'd have to be a "jongleur" at a new age "fayre" to think it was a good idea to wear it.

I would have taken appearance clothing if there'd been any but I could only see one piece and it looked remarkably similar to something I already had. Amazon gave away a whole load of Winter Convergence freebies as as a kind of login daily through the cash shop, all of which they very generously put back up for a few days at the end of the event. I'd already scooped up all of those, including a full set of visible gear, so I didn't feel it was worth spending another ten premium tokens on a coat that didn't look much different to the one I was wearing.

I did wonder about the much cheaper, lower-level gear. Some of the designs looked good. I particularly liked the antler helmet. New World has a dreadful "appearance" system, though. In theory you can swap out the looks of items you like and copy them onto gear with stats you need but items have to be flagged to allow it and almost no low-level items are. I think the developers assume no-one would want to make higher level gear look like lower level gear, which is literally what I do in every game that permits it.

Having vetoed that idea, I had a look at the level 60 stuff. The obvious choice would have been to buy as much as I could afford. My character is a few percent shy of fifty-five now, so it would be a good investment. I only had enough for two or three pieces, though, which seemed a bit half-assed. 

Then I noticed the patterns. There seemed to be one for every level 60 item on sale. The tool tip irritatingly refused to tell me what ingredients were required to craft the gear but google soon sorted that out for me. 

It seems they all use some Tier V mats and a lot of much more common ones. I've no idea how hard the rarer mats are to get but I noticed I already had a few, so it can't be impossible.

Even if it was going to be hard to get the mats, the patterns only cost a single winter token each. Raising all the necessary crafting skills and running down the materials to make a full set of gear would certainly give me something to focus on when I get to sixty. It seemed crazy not to pick them all up, so I did.

That still left me with a couple of hundred tokens. Working on a very long-standing principle, I figured the one thing I always want to be as good as possible would be my weapons, so I converted the lot, which gave me just enough Premium tokens to buy a level 60 hatchet and a sword.

Just acquiring the first of those also gave me an achievement. Luckily it was for "getting" a level 60 weapon, rather than, as you'd expect, for equipping one. It's going to be a while before I can do that.

With all of that out of the way, I ported back to my Mourningdale house and settled my mechanical bunny down in his new home on the front porch. He looks great there and crucially he doesn't look too specifically Christmassy. Neither do the two potted poinsettias although the wreath over the doorway may have to come down when spring arrives.

So will the mistletoe over my character's bed. I'm not sure who she thinks is going to take advantage of it (Or her.) there but what she gets up to after I log out is her own business. The other two poinsettias on either side of the fireplace can stay.

All in all I'm very satisfied both with New World's first major holiday event and with what I managed to achieve in it. I thought it was well-judged and appropriately generous for the season. 

Who sleeps with their boots on? Not to mention the sword...

Amazon have another of their regular "How do you like the game so far?" surveys up. I filled it out last night. Most of my answers were along the lines of "I like it just fine as it is. Don't go messing about with anything." I saved my powder for the final section, where they ask what changes you'd like to see. I told them I want a proper appearance system, one not based on the cash shop and I want more character slots, especially multiple slots on the same server.

If they can give me those I'd be more likely to play more often. Unfortunately, I suspect the game will be heading off in another, less casual direction, if only because what happens in every new mmorpg after the intial rush of attention fades is that the players who stick around are those who take everything the most seriously. I imagine New World will have to go through a phase of courting the hardcore before it gets back to flirting with the flighty. 

I'm going to really miss the snow, when it goes.

There is that promise of more and better solo content to consider but I have a horrible feeling it might mean solo content with heft, never really what I'm looking for. Still, Winter Convergence has been a good experience, all things considered. When the survey asked what I'd like from future New World holidays I answered "More of them".

Can't really hope for a better feedback than that after the first one.


  1. I saw somebody who had all the holiday decor, including the frozen and toy rabbits, out in front of their house. Some day I will save up enough for a house of my own.

    I did the survey as well, and my main regret was forgetting to mention that I want to be able to create an alt on the same server.

    1. Something I didn't realise until I bought my own house is that even when you're on the street and not interacting with it, you always see your own decorations, not those of the highest scorer, as you do with every other house. At least I think that's bhow it works, because I sure as heck am not the highest scorer for the plot I own!

  2. I cannot see "Suicidal Tendencies" without hearing "my best interests, my best interest, what do you know about my best interests!". Now that's going to be stuck in my head all day...

    1. I'm not crazy about anything else of theirs I've heard but "Institutionalized" is sheer genius.

  3. AS far as I can tell, both from looking and the text description, the "toy rabbit" isn't supposed to actually be an automaton, it's a live rabbit dressed in a sweater with a key attached to the back to make it look like an automaton. Which is something I find bizarre and slightly creepy, but would appeal to the sort of people who dress their pugs up as bumblebees and fill Instagram with snaps of their "bee-dogs".

    Also - while the event gear is level 60 gear, it's only gear score 520 items and you can buy items up to the 600 GS cap from the trading post (and get items up to 589 for a pittance) so nobody should feel pressured to have been grinding winter tokens to get this gear.
    I'm definitely with you on the need for a better appearance system. What they have feels like a minimum viable product, something that was "good enough" while their design focus was elsewhere. They could do a better system, and monetise it to boot as cosmetics are serious business for a lot of people, so there's no reason NOT to put some effort in a wardrobe 2.0
    I'm not so sure about having multiple characters per server. I mean, it'd be nice, and I like alts as much as the next guy, but I can see how access to mule alts would mess with the inventory management game, and there's also the faction thing to consider. Would all of your characters on the server be locked to the same faction (so if one does a faction switch, they all do)?

    1. On the last, yes, that would work. Or, even better and always my preferred take, you don't ever get to change factions at all. I am always in favor of immutable choices at character select in that regard: pick a faction, stick with it. If you want to play a different faction, start over another server.

      On the gear, I thought it looked a bit low. It's not a huge upgrade over some of the pink mid-high 40s gear I'm wearing. I was pretty sure the regular 60 faction gear would be easily as good, although I didn't check. Interesting to know there's stuff a lot better on the TP. I haven't browsed there for months.

      The rabbit is interesting. I think you're right about it being a real rabbit although I had interpreted the text description differently. I read "The rabbit isn't really a "toy"" to mean "The rabbit is a serious piece of magitech, not merely a children's toy" but it could indeed mean "The rabit is a real rabbit". It certainly moves like a real rabbit... but then, a magical automoton would be convincingly "real", wouldn't it?


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