January Update - Honing the Craft

The January alpha update is out, with major changes to gathering and crafting, as well as more changes to combat and a new weapon: the Rapier.

Overview

While in Alpha Testing, we have been making changes to the gathering and crafting system—essential parts of surviving in Aeternum. This month’s update reflects the full realization of our vision for gathering and crafting in New World. Below are the highlights of these changes. In this article, we’re going to talk about our priorities, what we’ve changed recently, and what’s changed with the patch.
IF YOU’RE JUST LOOKING FOR DETAILED RELEASE NOTES, YOU CAN FIND THEM HERE.

OUR VISION
We want crafting and gathering to feel like a meaningful part of life in Aeternum from the moment you land on the beach all the way into our end game. We have three key pillars that drive our vision:
GATHERING AND CRAFTING NEEDS TO HAVE TANGIBLE VALUE

Whether you are crafting food and weapons to help in your adventures or you fancy yourself a savvy merchant looking to make your fortune in the player-driven markets of Aeternum, we want the act of gathering and crafting to be fun and valuable for brand-new and veteran players alike.
POSSIBILITIES SHOULD BE AS BROAD AS THEY ARE DEEP

Aeternum is a huge island with materials that range from the mystical to the mundane. We want our players to have many different choices as possible while creating items and consumables and those choices should matter.
PROGRESSION SHOULD FEEL REWARDING, NOT HINDERING

A person who picks up a frying pan for the first time won’t have the knowledge or skills to make a meal worthy of a Governor, unlike the chef who has 20 years' experience under their belt. We want players to have results that demonstrate their commitment and time invested in their skills.


Note: In-game UI is in the process of localization during testing.

PREVIOUS CHANGES
We’ve slowly introduced changes to gathering and crafting since November, all leading up to this January update. With this release, the gathering and crafting system you may have experienced during Preview has been overhauled completely.
  • Crafting station appearance. We want settlements to show their progression as they grow and develop. In November, we added visual improvements to the crafting stations when they are upgraded.

  • Improved inventory organization. Based on player feedback, the inventory and storage screens have improved organization so that you can find your items quicker.

  • Addition of resources and materials. To improve the outcomes of your crafted items, we have increased the amount of items available to use in the crafting system. Items with levels associated with them, such as crafting reagents, are now found in level-appropriate areas, making gathering more predictable.

  • Granular unlocks for the Tracking & Skinning and the Logging trade skills. A previous version of the Tracking and Skinning skill didn’t feel like it had much meaning until players were somewhere around midgame. We wanted to make an update to that so that players had consistent feedback on where they were in that skill in relation to their character level and other crafting and gathering abilities, so we added more differentiation to how creatures are “unlocked” via the Tracking and Skinning skill. Logging, which had a similar challenge, has been changed in the same way—leveling up Logging will now unlock your ability to collect more types of wood.

  • Containers now only hold items that can’t be harvested from the world. Gone are the days of finding corn and carrots in lootable containers. If it is something that can found within the world, it will not be found in containers, so containers will be more reliably valuable.

JANUARY CHANGES
  • Materials and resources now display their rarity. One of the changes that goes hand-in-hand with something we talked about earlier in this post, the addition of new material tiers, is that there are many resources and materials in the world now—some of which are harder to find than others. Item rarity is now displayed on each item’s tooltip, making it easier to tell when you’ve made an extra-valuable find.

  • Categorical ingredients can be used in recipes. In certain recipes, you’ll now see that you can use categorical ingredients rather than specific ones. For example, a cooking recipe may call for “a vegetable” rather than specifically “carrots,” allowing the player to use any ingredient classified as a vegetable, carrot or otherwise—which opens up the options you have as you’re crafting those recipes.

  • There are more recipes than ever before. To go along with all of the new materials and resources, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of recipes you can now craft. From the addition of named weapons and armor pieces to a massive selection of foods, there are now far more choices for players who want to craft items. Along with adding depth to the system overall, this should help crafting find its place in endgame play.

  • You have new ways to make things. Some items you can craft have very specific recipes, while others are flexible with what materials and resources you can use in them. For example, when crafting a steel sword you can choose to use a higher tier or rarity of wood or leather components than the recipe calls for. There are even special resources like animal horns and Fae Iron that can be used in place of other resources if you find them. Using these higher tier or rarity resources will affect the power of the item that is made.

  • Trade skill progression has changed. We mentioned earlier that the Logging and Tracking & Skinning skill unlocks had been updated; in this release, all of the trade skills’ progression has been refined to cap out at 200, which will bring consistency across the different crafting and gathering trees.

LOOKING AHEAD
We want crafting to be an interesting and engaging part of the New World experience that remains valuable to players all the way through our end game. Data from the Alpha test as well as the feedback from the testers themselves will be studied closely and tuning will be done to the systems to better realize our vision for crafting within New World. As development continues, we’ll keep you updated on our social channels and website with future updates. [Source]


Patch Notes

Greetings, adventurers!
Welcome to a new month of updates for the New World Alpha! This month brings a lot of changes to our crafting system, aimed at giving it immersive depth and meaningful impact on gameplay. Whether you’re gathering items as you run around the world slaying Corrupted or you’re the merchant-master of Brightwood, these changes will make the world of Aeternum feel more rewarding and user-friendly.

NEW WEAPON: RAPIER
We introduced a new melee weapon that excels at quick piercing attacks. The rapier's attacks scale off of a character's Dexterity score. Adventurers will be able to progress two mastery trees:
  • The Blood weapon mastery tree focuses on applying stacks of the bleed status effect to enemies and then “popping” those stacks for big damage with Flourish and Finish.
  • The Grace weapon mastery tree focuses on evasion, counterattacking, and talented blade work with the rapier.

The Rapier will have 2 crafted weapon perks specific to it in addition to the perks that are broadly applicable to other weapons.

LEGENDARY RAPIER QUEST

You can go on an epic quest for the legendary rapier, Frozen Lament
  • Level 60 adventurers can speak to Ranger Herath in Mountainrise Outpost, Shattered Mountain, to begin this quest. 
  • Recover the components needed to create the Frozen Lament, and then deliver them to Ranger Madaki in Mountainhome.






CRAFTING SYSTEM CHANGES
We’ve made major changes to increase the number of items players can craft and added additional functionality to the crafting system. The main goal for these changes is to keep crafting and gathering relevant through end game, while adding more depth, a new interface, and more interesting choices in the crafting system.


Note: In-game UI is in the process of localization during testing.
CRAFTING MECHANICS
  • Added named items that can be crafted for most trade skills. These items start at tier 2 and go up to tier 5 with the goal of making crafting even more relevant in the end-game.
  • Introduced a variety of rare resources and ingredients that will be required to craft named items. Some of these rare ingredients can also be used in procedural crafting to gain gear score bonuses.
  • Introduced categorical ingredients that allow players to use different types of ingredients rather than a specific one. This will make it easier to craft various items (currently used for Repair Kits, certain cooking recipes, and procedural crafting).
  • Overhauled the procedural crafting system to give players more control and flexibility over custom crafting:
    • Players can now invest different levels of azoth while crafting. The more azoth you invest, the more bonuses you have a chance to add to your resulting craft.
    • Players can now use higher or lower tier materials within the same type (e.g. different tiers of wood when crafting a sword) to increase or decrease the gear score outcome.
    • Procedural crafting can also result in named items if the result is statistically identical to a named item in the game
  • Added new ways to unlock recipes:
    • Artifact recipes will allow players to craft a single item of that recipe.
    • Recipe schematics will allow players to permanently unlock a recipe.
  • All trade skills now cap at 200 to unify gathering, refining, and crafting progression.

NEW GEAR MECHANICS (PART 1)
  • We’ve introduced over 100 new named weapons and 50 new named armor pieces. These items all have unique names, stats, and backstories. We will continue to build out these gear rewards and assign them to game activities and named characters.
  • Updated repair mechanics: Now when an item reaches 0 durability, it will have significantly reduced performance (half gear score, no perks), but it will still be usable and no longer automatically un-equips.
  • Introduced a new Repair Kit item with 4 tiers. Repair Kits will repair any item of a corresponding tier.
  • Added a Repair Kit recipe to many crafting trade skills. This is a great way for crafters to package and sell extra repair parts.

FOOD MECHANIC CHANGES
  • There are now two types of food: buff food and recovery food.
  • Recovery food will provide quick HP recovery that is intended for out-of-combat HP recovery, plus a long term slow HP recovery buff.
  • Buff food will provide a gameplay buff and the long-term slow health recovery, but not the immediate recovery.
  • Added food items that will buff a variety of attribute combinations
  • Buffs from foods now persist through death, so you no longer need to re-apply your food buffs each time you die (other buffs are still purged on death, though).
  • Removed warding foods (this functionality will be replaced with potions in a future update).
  • Crafting and refining bonus foods unlock starting at tier 3 (gathering foods at tier 1).

ELITE ENEMY SYSTEM
We’re continuing to build on the system to make elite and champion enemies more challenging and change up their gameplay. All named enemies above level 15 now utilize the Elite Enemy System. Each Elite enemy will have 1-3 affixes applied, which change their attacks and characteristics, depending on their difficulty and level.
DYNAMIC MESH SCALING
We've scaled up the visual model of various enemy families and enemies within those families to offer more visual diversity to enemies. Larger enemies will also have larger hitboxes.

AI COMBAT UPDATES (PART 1)
  • Adjusted the enemy AI of Drowned Sailors, Withered, Regurgitators, Corrupted Swordsman and Corrupted Spearman to also use the combat system updates introduced in the December update. We will continue to roll out these updates to all enemies.
    • Differentiated enemy light attacks and heavy attacks. Heavy attacks have Grit, longer tells, and cause staggers and significant damage; light attacks do low damage, have quicker cast times, and don’t cause a stagger.
    • Adjusted how enemies select their attacks, adding cooldowns to heavy attacks to mimic the cooldown timers on player’s abilities.
  • Increased the difficulty of AI when players fight enemies well above their level.
    • Enemies get more armor and damage the higher their level is versus the player. Armor buffs begin at 3 levels over the player and damage buffs begin at 5 levels.
    • Enemies 6 levels higher (or more) than the player will outright kill the player instead of placing players in death’s door.
    • Enemies 6 levels higher (or more) than the player have an increased perception range of +10 meters.
    • Enemies 10 levels higher (or more) than the player do not get staggered by the player.

COMBAT SYSTEM UPDATES
  • Reduced the number of weapons a player can equip from 3 to 2. Note: Your second weapon slot still unlocks at level 5, as before.
  • Players can now move during ranged attack animations.
  • Adjusted ranged attack cancels to ensure they offer as much flexibility as the melee attack updates in the December update.
  • Updated Grit breaking to make it more apparent to players.
    • Having Grit broken now triggers a visual reaction.
    • Added a new Grit-break sound effect to better highlight when a player’s Grit is broken.
  • Updated combat networking in a continuing effort to improve how combat functions:
    • Adjusted hit detection logic to add a brief delay before attack hits are confirmed to better detect hits versus blocks/dodges.

BALANCE
WAR HAMMER
  • Removed Grit from heavy attack startup.

BOW
  • Rain of Arrows: Significantly reduced the amount of time the attacker is locked into attack animation.

LIFE STAFF
  • Reduced the startup frames on light attacks.

FIRE STAFF
  • Reduced the startup frames on light attacks.

QUESTING & PROGRESSION
SETTLEMENT UPDATES
  • Visual variety has been added to specific settlements. Now all settlements have a unique layout.
  • Crafting stations now visually upgrade with each new tier, making it easier for players to visually distinguish the level of each settlement's various stations.







QUEST IMPROVEMENTS
  • The starting experience through to the acquisition of Corruption’s Bane has had many tweaks and alterations for progression flow.
  • All existing quests have had their dialogue updated to improve NPC characterization and enhance quest directives.
  • Many zones have restructured their quests for narrative flow and replaced generic looting with new interactable objects.

GROUP PLAY
We've updated how group XP functions to make it easier to play in a group:
  • As long as a group (as a whole) does 15% damage to a creature, everyone in the group gets XP and a chance at loot.
  • Group members will have to satisfy requirements to get credit; performing actions such as damage, heal, block in the last 2 minutes, and being within a certain distance of the killed creature. Note: Ranged characters fear not—we picked a distance well outside the range of normal attacks.
  • Adjusted the amount of XP that is granted when an enemy is killed by a group. Previously everyone got full XP, now the amount will be adjusted based on the number of groups and number of players within those groups. This change was made with the idea that monsters are easier to defeat while playing with a group.
FACTION & TERRITORY
  • Adjusted certain values in preparation for an upcoming larger feature that will reward both company members and everyone in the faction that owns a territory with some cool new benefits
    • Reduced tax savings for company members in a territory they own to 30%
    • Reduced housing price savings for company members in a territory they own to 20%
    • Reduced gathering bonus for company members in a territory they own to 10%
SCREENSHOTS






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About the Author:
Takyn originally founded NewWorldFans in 2019.
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