Weeks after launch, Amazon Games tent pole release New World is facing a plethora of issues and exploits that could sink the fledgling MMO before it has a chance to fly.
For those not familiar with New World, it is the latest game from Amazon Games, and the only game from the original slate that managed to avoid cancellation. First announced back in 2018, along with Breakaway and Crucible, New World had a lengthy development process that included a series of Alpha and Beta tests designed to iron out all the bugs. While the majority of the players were happy with the experience, and liked the concepts New World brought to the MMO genre, it also faced high-end GPU problems, with some EVGA RTX 3090 cards suffering major issues during this time.
While a relatively contained set of issues, the game was pushed to September 28, 2021, where it did eventually get overall positive critical and player reception, managing a 72 critical consensus on Metacritic, with our writer David Walters summing up his review by saying “Despite the minor gripes, the game is incredible.” While the biggest issues at launch seemed to be queues of players trying to get into the game, the cracks slowly started to show.
As the patches started to roll out addressing minor glitches and issues, the problems with New World started to feel like a game of Whack-a-Mole, with each new patch exposing a new exploit or issue that was ripe for abuse. From issues of invulnerability while dragging the game window around, to gold duping problems, the errors have been stacking up, especially when the games’ economy is quickly becoming a problem for players, and Amazon.
If that were not enough, the chat box in the game is just another example of a game that launched too early, with simply too many bugs at the core of the experience. Players can use HTML to mess with the game, throwing errors, images or even force disconnections when the right word is highlighted.
Amazon Games are apparently aware of the issues and, for the most part, are downplaying how severe and widespread they actually are. There is a lack of transparency from the developers on how the fixes they implement will address the game economy or how any potential patches could cause new problems with the core gameplay people enjoy. In a post on the games official forum, the developers outlined
“We are aware of a possible gold duplication exploit that has been circling and we are temporarily disabling all forms of wealth transfer between players (ie. sending currency, guild treasury, trading post, player to player trading). Any player that has engaged in the use of this exploit will be actioned against.”
But as Amazon Games is working to patch all the holes, new ones keep rearing their ugly heads, with the latest patch allowing a new and more mind-boggling way to break the games’ economy. Players are now reporting on the official forum an exploit that opens up a way to obtain gold by building upgrades to their settlements, that when cancelled before they are finished, results in all the money being deposited in the players bank account. Dumping countless amounts of gold into the game, further causing major inflation and problems for people just looking to enjoy the MMO experience.
“New World is a stunning game, absolutely beautiful. The world they created is second to none. Not only due to graphics but from the feeling of immersion. The art, the sounds, the scale of the world and how you fit into it are simply put, awesome. Unfortunately, this fantastic world is built atop a codebase that is being held together by bubble-gum and prayers.” says KiraTV, a YouTuber that has been covering the situation outlined when asked for comment, “There isn’t enough time to go into detail on the critical, game-breaking bugs that are brought to light daily. Each time Amazon Game Studios fixes one problem, another two appear, often worse than what was fixed. Despite this, people still love the game and that shows the hunger people have for new titles in the MMORPG genre.”
Callum Upton, another YouTuber who has been looking at the matter, had a similar comment, explaining that “New World is a gorgeous game with the best sound design I’ve ever heard. It was the light at the end of the junk MMO filled tunnel. However, with it being built on a game engine intended for more single-player games. It has potential as the game itself is really fun, but they need to fix the sinking foundations before they do anything else.”
Despite Amazon Games working to fix the problems, there seems to be major issues at the core of New World, and with each new bug revealing new cracks in the foundation, it is unclear if they can save the MMO from falling into obscurity. No matter how much players love a game, if the bugs, issues and exploits make for a bad experience, they will eventually walk away. Here is hoping they can tackle the problems, and bring the MMO back from the brink. It is a stunning experience, filled with potential, but if nothing is done, it will fail.
Update November 9: Amazon has since released a blog detailing the issues and how they plan to address them going forward. This post outlines everything from the economy in the game to issues with servers and bugs. Hopfully, this is a turning point for the new MMO, and New World can finally reach its full potential, not marred by issues.