Amazon MMO New World Makes Big Changes to Open-World Player Killing

Amazon New is flying under the radar for many video game fans. The MMO went through a closed alpha starting in 2018 that ran into 2019, but NDAs have largely kept impressions quiet. What New World has been known for is its open-world, survival gameplay and intense freeform PvP action. Yet it seems that Amazon Game Studios is reconsidering a core promise of the New World experience, just months before the MMO launches in full.

Up until now, New World has featured full open-world PvP, allowing players to attack others anywhere outside of the rare outpost. Killing a criminal, someone who’d flagged themselves for player killing, would make them fully lootable. Killing a non-criminal would still drop all of the player’s inventory, but would allow them to keep their equipment. Since New World‘s economy is resource-dependent and resources are often scarce, raids and the like grew common. This was Amazon’s intended design. However, also common was griefing.

Today Amazon announced that it would be removing open-world player killing from New World. This is to remove griefing from the game, which Amazon says was rampant and toxic throughout its testing. Amazon tried to come up with solutions to stop griefing while keeping open-world player killing, but nothing worked out. Higher-level players or groups would kill lower-level or solo players despite there being no benefit. Feedback showed this wasn’t conducive to a healthy, growing MMO community.

PvP remains in New World, but it will only be through structured systems. New World features a territorial control system allowing guilds to declare wars on others, leading to open windows of 50 vs. 50 PvP. In other words, PvP will still be very accessible. Players will just have to join or form an aggressive guild and then they’ll have plenty of it. While other players war, new players and those who want to focus on crafting or resource gathering will be free to do so.

This major change reinvents what New World is and the ideas it was originally built on. It can’t be understated. New World was pitched as a survival MMO with massive open-world PvP. Many, if not most, of the game’s most fervent players liked that aspect of the game and wanted more of it. It’s likely also fair to say that this style of gameplay could make the MMO niche, driving away a larger audience. With launch on the horizon, Amazon Game Studios is likely hoping not just for a better game, but for a bigger and more dedicated audience, too.

New World releases May 26 on PC.

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