New World, New Ula(lu)

Amazon’s New World launched at a time that was uniquely appropriate to take a break from WoW. And so the Boars have reconvened as the company Crag Boar Rebellion Corruption on the New World server Parima.

Myself and Reticule, under the flag of the Bunnies (oppressive controllers of the town that has become our base).

What does this mean for Ula? Well, “unbranded latchkey slacker” that I am, I did not pre-purchase the game and therefore did not participate in launch and did not secure the name Ula. On one hand, it’s not surprising that basic names were taken early, given that names are unique to the entire game rather than to each server, as is tradition. On the other hand, the volume of nonsensical or poorly-formatted character names running around makes me suspect that some players didn’t realize they were naming their character during setup. Why would you intentionally name your one allowed guy deeeeezblllz485$2?

Some naming gems right here.

Ultimately I didn’t spend much time considering an alternative name and just went with . . . Ulalu. Yes, it’s a bit of a cop out, but here we are. I also recognize that some may find this difficult to pronounce, because it could be read as either ulaLU or uLAlu, but that’s OK. (The former is correct.) Like many others, I was not aware that names could contain multiple words (bad UX), so I did not attempt Real Ula, or Ula Aldanetti, or Ula the Unready, etc. So, yep.

As for the game itself, I think most everyone agrees that the environments are beautiful and the game design generally is good, or pretty good, or nearly good. As a casual player I’m still enjoying running around exploring, gathering, and practicing spell rotations on various trash mobs. Many others have blogged extensively on game dynamics and needed improvements, so I won’t try to address those in detail here.

Encumbered by an overweight inventory bag.

That said, the ways in which New World deviates from the WoW model are taking some getting used to. First, as I’m sure you’re aware, there are no classes. Everyone is free to build their one allotted character (per server group) as they see fit and specialize in the weapon types of their choosing. That unrestrained freedom drove me immediately to Google “New World suggested builds.” From those I’ve chosen fire mage, with fire staff and ice gauntlet as my weapons of choice.


Players are also free to choose their own personalized crafting routes. However, many craft recipes rely on ingredients crafted from so many other crafting paths that I’m always feeling pressure to level up crafts I’m not interested in. We can purchase mats in an action-house-like trading post, but money is tight early in the game. Trading between players is also a bit tedious, and although guilds – “companies” – are easy to form, there is no equivalent of a guild bank or even a mailbox, making it difficult for members to share mats amongst themselves.

There are many, many crafting stations, this one being a generic “workshop.” (Yes, I realize you can’t use a shield effectively with a staff and that has been remedied.)

I’m also having mechanical issues. I am not (normally) a keystroke/hotkey combat player. I run through rotations in WoW largely by clicking, only reaching for a hotkey when I’m panicky and desperate. New World forces you into a keystroke playstyle by locking your mouse to a center reticule that’s used to target things by hover. (I’m told this stems from the mythical FPS games.) You have the option of switching between two weapons during combat, and executing one of three abilities on a given weapon during a fight. The two weapons are default-bound to nums 1 and 2, and the three abilities are bound to Q, R, and F, respectively. I fumble this a bit.

Gathering is easier than combat; just step close and hit E.

My first challenge is related to Tab being default bound to Inventory. It’s right there next to Q. I’ve spent about 20% of my fights switching into inventory mode (with Ulalu obediently turning around to face the camera) while taking serious damage, then trying to keyboard smash my way back into active combat and save myself. My second challenge is that I find it very difficult at times to aim properly. This may be because I’ve become accustomed to WoW’s easy click or tab-to-target mechanism. But I think it’s also by design because mobs really jump around. They’re able to avoid a fair number of my casts, leaving me low on mana and vulnerable. I’ve taken to dodging summersaulting backward in hopes of getting off another short cast before taking more damage.

Hitting Q instead of Tab with the Fire Staff = success (unless the mob jumps around).

Phwew. I’m starting to understand why so many New World blog posts are quite dense. There’s a lot to discuss, and I’m a brief poster. I still haven’t talked about the complicated territorial economy, nor questing/dungeons, travel, housing, invasions, Amazon Prime perks, mapping system/compass, nor even the player death mechanic, which I’ve become pretty familiar with. But I’ll leave it here for now and plan for the occasional future update as the Boars continue to play on. In the meantime, follow TAGN for more about the Boars and this new New World experience.