Saturday, July 24, 2021

IN THE EVENT YOU Play ” NEW WORLD “? Beta Impressions From The Frontier

Amazon Games’ upcoming MMORPG New World is in the spotlight as a lengthy closed beta session shows off the action ahead of an August 31st release. New World has changed its vision multiple times over the course of development, and now the question on everyone’s mind is – where is this going to land on release? What kind of player is it for? What kind of MMORPG is it? And perhaps the most important question, is it worth your time at all? Over the course of the beta (and a demo session that took me into an endgame slice with a fully-geared character), I’ve seen some areas with huge potential that are currently underserved in the MMORPG space – and some others that could be intense detriments for the title. Let’s talk about New World!It successfully lands a powerful frontier survival vibe If you’re familiar with survival games that have you punching wood to get a house going, New World delivers on this front initially by giving the player myriad survival pursuits. Hunting turkey on the borders of your established safe zones to raise your cooking skill and create rations is far more engaging than it has any right to be. Hunting down elusive saltpeter deposits in mines and crafting your own shells for your old-timey rifles feels fun. Being able to skill up in everything to your liking is a classic system à la Runescape, and its nice to know you can work up every single crafting and gathering skill if you wish, right down to doing some fishing. Banging together your first batch of gathering tools is actually freaking awesome. Digging up carrots and potatoes feels meaningful. Coming back to your town in the middle of the wilderness to trade feed and talk with your fellow explorers has all the allure of bustling about Disney’s Frontiertown, and I’ve rarely had so much investment into crafting and trading systems in MMOs. I can see potential problems with these aspects later down the line, i.e. do I really want to spend my time in the endgame gathering resources just so I can play the game, but for now, there’s plenty of magic in creating my own food, ammunition, and supplies before I trek out into the wild. It feels gritty, it feels raw, and it feels fresh. Faction PVP can be a lot of fun Territory control and faction-based opt-in PVP not only bring back a bit of realm-vs-realm feel from the glory days of Dark Age of Camelot, but they inject something that many online experiences have moved away from in the last decade – social interaction. That means yes, you are going to see a player named PoopyPants (Yes, this was a real player I saw) cutting down trees and screaming outside of town about the price of silver ore, and your chat feed is going to be inundated with comments that make the infamous Barrens chat look downright erudite. However, it also successfully adds shared social stakes to the experience, even if you choose not to interact at the verbal level with any other players. By funneling players into three different factions, you have an investment in your tribe regardless of how deep you want to take it. If you still just want to solo and bring back a load of furs to trade in town, you can – but the real fun is to be had by grouping up, interacting with others, and eventually taking over some territory as your chosen faction. At the solo, guild, and greater level, having game flow dictated by players instead of the “theme park” experience is a bold choice and more than a bit refreshing. The issue here is how interesting and meaningful are these faction wars going to be in the endgame? While I don’t have the answer to that yet, the prospect of really engaging with other players in a meaningful way in a MMORPG gives me a powerful nostalgia bump and some serious differentiation from many other genre offerings today. On the flip side, if you’re not really interested in territory wars or PvP, other existing MMORPGs might be a better choice. The combat is New World’s biggest weakness In almost every MMORPG, you’re going to be doing a ton of combat. It’s probably the biggest portion of the entire gameplay experience. With limited skill options, awkward animations, and very little excitement, New World’s combat is decidedly dull. Now, there’s something to be said about popping an opposing faction member from a great distance before you engage in a 3v3 skirmish that gets real greasy, but that’s more about the player-to-player interaction than the combat, which can often feel wooden and wonky. While I enjoy systems that attempt to break the genre out of the tab-targeting standard that’s been grandfathered into MMOs for ages, it misses the mark here.  I found it hard to determine if the other aspects of the game that seem enjoyable can carry this particular aspect either, as combat is the core of almost every other pursuit. Even if you’re just spelunking for saltpeter, you’re going to have to fight a ton of various zombie-like creatures, wolves, or bears, and it simply does not feel good. This problem is exacerbated in group experiences, both PvP and PvE, but more pronounced in the latter. Chewing into spongey opponents as a pack with the glaring lack of feedback from weaponry is almost comical, and your options in combat feel extremely limited and lacking. Everything can feel the same Enemies, locations, and activities can become a big bowl of mush without breaking it up with some PvP pursuits. You’ll see many of the same rickety little fishing villages, decrepit farms, and crumbling ruins as you traverse the giant world. Killing some undead buccaneers at level 5 feels the same as it does at level 15, and you’re going to be doing a ton of daily-quest/fetch style activities in order to grind out your faction reputation, like wandering around the aforementioned locations for boxes and killing X undead baddies. It feels intensely repetitive even after only twenty hours of gameplay, so I’m concerned about how that will translate to the endgame – will I still, as an elite member of the Syndicate, still be wandering farms killing undead and picking taters? I mean, I do like picking taters... Travel is rough When you’re just starting, it’s fine that you’re walking everywhere because you don’t have far to go. However, this takes a turn at around level 12, where you’ll find the autorun button and some movies on your favorite streaming platform to be your best friends. The world is large, and traveling it all on foot is a huge pain. Without mounts, and the fact that fast travel is limited by resources, moving around the map is an absolute bore and a chore. I realize there are other meaningful concerns that probably flow into this decision, like the implications of having everyone zoom around in a game that’s attempting to create stakes with territory control and PvP, but this becomes harder and harder to ignore the more you play and get quests on opposite ends of your map. Forging ahead Based on the beta, New World is going to be an interesting but potentially niche addition to the current crop of MMORPGs. However, it seems to really serve players that want to play with small groups of friends for faction skirmishes and that are interested in greater territory control wars with big guild politics and all that. If you’re not interested in that kind of greater pursuit with plenty of social interaction and PvP, the PvE elements by themselves do not seem compelling enough to keep things rolling.  While I love the feeling of crafting my own stuff, slowly increasing the areas that I’m strong enough to explore, and fastidiously upping all my gathering and crafting skills, I can see those charms fading rapidly as the activities become somewhat rote. The dynamics involved in faction wars and territory control seem to be the peppy antidote for the never-ending rock farm in various undead shacks and homesteads. As with other games that lean into this kind of emergent gameplay (RIP Shadowbane), some of New World will be what players shape it into.
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    EXID Dive Deep Into '90s Nostalgia, Discuss Future Plans at KCON 2018 NY

    CJ EntertainmentCJ Entertainment

    From an urgent viral hit in 2014 to a member’s health battle having to have her sit out of several album releases, EXID’s road to K-pop stardom has been atypical however the cheers from the KCON crowd would make one think otherwise. Earning a few of the biggest roars at KCON 2018 NY, the lady group performed their ’90s-inspired new single “Lady,” plus a couple of other singles, to greet their U.S. fans on the East Coast.

    day 2 concert of KCON 2018

    Backstage at the ultimate, because the news hit a record-breaking 53 just, 000 K-pop fans had attended the festival officially, EXID spoke to Fuse viewed their finest memories from the ’90s back, looked forward to what’s coming next and much more.

    FUSE: Your latest single “Lady” is actually inspired by the ’90s. You guys are ’90s babies, growing up for the reason that right time. Do you remember any songs which were really really popular in Korea through the ’90s time or from your own childhood?
    Jeonghwa: I was very young, born in 1995, so by enough time I could actually pay attention to music and remember it had been already the ’00s so most likely the other members which are better off answering this question. [Laughs]
    Hani: JYP [Park Jin Young], I liked JYP songs really.
    Hyelin: I’d have school festivals and my pal and I’d actually cover groups like S.E.Fin and s.K.L. and I believe that helped my dream to become singer actually.
    LE: I recall songs from Biggie- who’s from NY! Where we have been!- and Tupac, yes, needless to say. Songs like “California Love,” I recall listening to a whole large amount of old hip-hop music and songs. We feel like trends repeat themselves and we’re so happy that they are in a position to sing songs that people heard whenever we were younger.

    Do you see any trends from your own childhoods returning?
    Hyelin:
    I recall “fanny packs.” In Korea, it had been called by them a sack, but it’s called a fanny pack. Yeah, but it’s returning, we call it a member of family side, you understand, a side bag because it’s cooler. But also for me, I recall that it is specifically something my father wore in those days, however now it’s a thing that people wear.
    Hani: Bucket hats are back style. And like the way the rim bypass and round just, trends around bypass and, you know? Also to add on compared to that, with regards to pants even, then there have been pants with really wide legs back, but it’s needs to come back. And again fashion once, it comes and goes.

    No more skinny jeans for me personally. Thank you for anyone memories, but seeking to the near future forward, what else does EXID have to arrive 2018?
    Jeonghwa:
    Solji’s health has been recovering perfectly so when we’re watching her health progress, we’re seeking to keep coming back as all five. I’d like an organization comeback and the group wants the fans to keep to anticipate us another as all five. We do hope that the fans continue steadily to await us really.

    “We feel just like the world is merely beginning to come around and show love for K-pop”

    – Jeonghwa

    year for K-pop

    2018 feels as though an extremely special. EXID’s music is reaching so much more people than ever before, I think. Can you feel that it is a special year too?
    Hyelin:
    To begin with, we didn’t have just as much time and energy to go abroad, however when we do see our group mentioned in the media we consider it and we’re always touched to see what’s being said about us and that we’re being discussed overseas. Whenever a chance is got by us to go abroad, you can find fans at the airport and the ones are the occasions when we recognize that we’re being loved overseas. Anytime we overseas see our fans, we get so much energy therefore much support. We’re always very thankful.
    Jeonghwa: Not only we, but all of the Korean teams try so hard to attain their dreams and it’s really just right given that we feel just like the world is merely needs to come around and show love because of this genre of music.
    Hani: And we feel so proud that it could you need to be because we’re section of this genre, you understand? We note that K-pop culture keeps growing at this time actually, getting to be accepted in this global world, and it’s really really surprising. Which means this sense is felt by us of pride to participate this growing genre.

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