Amazon proposed some changes to how players earn gear in New World–along with how effective it is–that has swiftly angered the playerbase.
As reveled in the game’s latest public test realm build (as well as detailed in an official blog post) from Amazon, New World’s upcoming December patch will bring som big adjustments to the game. This includes changes to endgame content and the game’s current High Watermark system. Watermark will become a new system called Expertise, and one change is causing all the controversy.
As it sits, the High Watermark only affects item drops, it has no effect on the effectiveness of that item. So players with a low Watermark on particular gear slot could still equip and use higher gear score items–like crafted ones–at the maximum effectiveness.
This update would make this an impossibility. Players using gear that has a higher chore that their Expertise level will see those items downgraded to match the Expertise level. So if a player crafter a higher-level set of armor, earned a higher-gear score item from a quest, or bought max-level gear from another player will still need to grind the endgame in order to get the most use out of their gear.
It was a major topic on the New World subreddit, where users wrote about their grievances with this new system.
Players who have spent a lot of time and money crafting the best gear in the game are now being told that it’s essentially worthless. Obviously, this isn’t going to make any of them thrilled to play. This move will also affect the the in-game economy, as the high-level gear sold by other players will plummet.
As of right now, these changes are only available via the game’s PTR and haven’t been introduced to the public servers. Amazon will likely remove this from the upcoming update, as the backlash has been rather swift.
This is just the latest issue among the many that have been plaguing New World. The last few months the game has gone through an entire economy shutdown (twice), time traveling servers, and issues that came up with the Into the Void update.