New World has had some troubles lately. Between the swarm of fishing bots and gold duplication exploits, the player numbers have dwindled to around half of the initial base. Unfortunately, a new Expertise system might continue the trend.
Amazon Games detailed its plans for the December 1.2 patch in a blog post. This includes replacing the High Watermark system, which currently dictates item drops, with Expertise. The new Expertise system will also govern how items are dropped, but it will also change how effective they are when wielded by the player. For example, the blog says that “if your War Hammer Expertise is 520, and you equip a 550 Gear Score War Hammer, the weapon’s effective Gear Score will be reduced to 520.” Essentially, the strength of a weapon is now tied to how efficiently you can use it, rather than a base score. Amazon clarified in a response on the forums that any High Watermarks you’ve already earned will be converted to Expertise when the update arrives.
Regardless, many fans are not happy about the change. As of the time of this writing, several of the top posts on the New World subreddit complain about downscaling, prompting some to claim they’ll never log in again. Other threads are rather aggressive in their complaints. Amazon may yet alter its plans for the MMO, but for now, the news has folks upset.
More patches are of course coming to New World in the future, including ones that will improve quest variety and character customization. The previous big content update, Into the Void, added an enemy faction and a shiny new weapon, the Void Gauntlet.