gem recently hit 60 in New World recently! Not the most exciting screenshot, but I’m glad to see the 60 next to her name. As soon as Jonathan gains a couple more levels, we’ll have four of us at max level. I thought I’d share a few other random screenshots too.
Looking out over the ravine.
I thought it was pretty here.
I love the lighting.
gem still hasn’t bought a house but said she’d like this to be her home.
See this bathtub? gem wanted to know why they’d put the bathtub upstairs when there isn’t plumbing and you’d have to carry water to the tub. It’s a good question given that the house is mostly empty anyways and there’s plenty of room downstairs.
Last month I descended into the Depths, the third expedition in New World, with three other members of my company. We had a 60 healer, a 51 tank, a 45 caster, and me – a 60 melee. It’s a level 45 expedition, so we figured we’d be good with just four people.
Before venturing inside, gem and I decided to put on a little concert.
Musical instruments had been introduced since the last time Collin and Jonathan had played, so we wanted to show them the new feature.
Here are three of us using our Azoth staves to proceed. Most of the expedition was easy enough, so we weren’t too worried about only being four people.
Here we are before challenging Thorpe. We did wipe on this boss, proving that things weren’t too easy.
But we also defeated him and completed the expedition. It was getting a couple friends back into the game, and I’m excited to try Dynasty Shipyard next!
New World introduced a new holiday event recently – Rabbit’s Revenge. Corruption has been spreading to rabbits apparently, and Corrupted Rabbits are spawning all over! They’re larger than normal rabbits and have corruption visual effects, but they die in one hit. They drop up to 3 diamond gypsum per day, 5 Defiled Rabbit’s Foot (luck consumable) per day, and 1 Defiled Storage Chest of the Hare total per player. That chest is the main thing – it’s a very rare drop and adds 1050 storage. Some people got it right away, but it seems like most people had to defeat hundreds of Corrupted Rabbits. Of course, it took some people thousands.
I did finally get my chest! Each Corrupted Rabbit skinned gives 1 game meat, so you can use that to estimate how many you killed. I had 957 game meat. During that time, I got 19 Defiled Rabbit’s Foot, 31 Rabbit’s Foot, and 37 Sumptuous Rabbit. But now I get more storage space plus that cool, corrupted chest visual for my house! I placed it on my balcony with the rabbit from the Winter Convergence on top!
I hit 60 in New World in early January and spent some time experiencing the endgame.
One thing I wanted to do was jump into Outpost Rush, the instanced PVP mode. I found that I died really quickly and couldn’t really kill anyone. OPR uses a scoreboard, and you have to score enough points to get a reward at the end. At first, I was struggling to get enough points. Sometimes I could meet that minimum score, but it was a struggle. Later I bought a bunch of a gear at a higher gear score, and that helped in OPR tremendously. You can also defeat PVE enemies, which contributes to your score. The best way to guarantee rewards if you’re not great at PVP is to defeat some PVE enemies until you get enough points. Now I’ll team fight at the start of the match, and if the match is looking good, I don’t need to focus on PVE. If I’m doing terribly, I’ll go get my points from PVE and then go back to PVP once I guarantee a reward.
Enjoy the video above of the summoned bear who is supposed to help defend us. His butt was too big and he clogged up the doorway!
I was also super excited to try an invasion. Invasions are PVE instanced content in which players defend an outpost from waves of corrupted enemies. It was pretty fun, including the 8 minutes or so we spent crawling in a line around the outpost before it began!
This video shows some my usual obsidian and topaz gypsum routes.
I should take a moment to discuss the gear score and expertise system. In short, gear score is the number that represents the relative power of a particular item. Expertise is max level progression for gear. Max level gear will drop around your expertise, and you need to raise your expertise to get better gear. It’s complicated, so I’ve marked off the section so you can skip it.
This is a summary and simplification. Gear score is per item and is like ilvl in WoW. Expertise is per slot or weapon type. When you get a drop or random reward, the max gear score it can be is slightly over your current expertise in that slot, but if you do get a drop above your current expertise, your expertise is set to that gear score. So if your helm is gear score 510 and your helm slot’s expertise is 500, helms will drop around gear score 500. Traded or bought items don’t increase your expertise, so you have to grind it out. If you want to get gear score 600 helms to drop, there’s no “jumping”. You’ll have to incrementally increase that expertise. There was a recent patch that made it so purchased gear would become the average of their gear score and your expertise, but anything bought before that patch would be the listed gear score. That’s why I bought a bunch of gear before the patch. It might not raise my expertise, but at least I’d have some decent gear.
Gypsum is a system to raise your expertise without just grinding drops (although it still involves grinding). Different types of activities give different types of gypsum. When you get enough gypsum of a particular type (the amount depends on the type), you can craft them into a gypsum orb. The ones I focus on are ruby gypsum from Outpost Rush (2 per orb), topaz from level 55+ enemies while under the effects of an attunement potion (10 per orb), and obsidian from 60+ named enemies (3 per orb). Once you craft an orb, you can use the orb to craft a gypsum cast for a particular armor slot or weapon type, and it gives you a box with a random item of that type that will raise your expertise.
What’s confusing is the timers. Once per day you can craft the topaz attunement potion. There is a 20 hour cooldown on that, and the potion’s buff lasts an hour. Gypsum themselves have an 18 hour CD (or was it 20?) on dropping. Then you craft the gypsum into a gypsum orb – there was a 22 hour CD per gypsum type, but this has been removed. And then you use the gypsum orb on a gypsum cast to raise the expertise of that slot or weapon type, again with a 22 hour CD.
Consider topaz gypsum.
You collect materials for the attunement potion, either farmed yourself or from the trading post.
You craft the attunement potion. There’s a 20 hour CD, tracked by the UI luckily.
You head off to where you will be farming and use the potion. You now have the buff for 1 hour.
Now you hope you collect the 10 topaz gypsum you need from 55+ enemies. You can collect a total of 10 that day and then would have to wait 18 hours from the first drop to get more. But again, for topaz, you don’t have all day – you have as long as you have the attunement buff. Note that if you have multiple potions, you could use another, but you’d have to stockpile them since they have a CD on crafting and are bound on pickup.
Have your 10 topaz gypsum? Great, now you craft them into gypsum orb.
Now if I want to raise my helm expertise, I craft the helm cast to get a box with a new helm that is guaranteed to raise my expertise.
It’s interesting because it lets you control what slot to increase and lets you play in multiple ways. But it can certainly seem complicated at first!
Back from that tangent? Anyways, grinding gypsum was a lot of what I did at level 60. Ruby was easy enough to understand and earn, especially once I bought better gear. When I first went after obsidian from level 60+ named enemies, I asked someone near me who appeared to be working on the same thing if I was in the right place. He explained some things to me and asked if I knew how topaz worked. I said that I thought I did, but I hadn’t farmed mats for the potion yet because I was new to max level and focusing on one thing at a time. He gave me all the mats for my first topaz attunement potion so I could start working on that too! Shout out to Benemyjosh for the help!
Next up, more expeditions when the rest of my group is ready!
Happy Lost Ark launch day! Lost Ark is a MMO action RPG originally developed and published by Smilegate in South Korea. Today, it was launched in the West by Amazon Games. I didn’t contribute directly to the game, but I did playtest and give minor, ancillary support
The game is free-to-play and opens fully on the 11th, but people who bought or were gifted the Founder’s Pack get “head start” access starting this morning.
I’ve played a few different classes in tests and decided to go with the deadeye first, an advanced class of the gunner. Full disclosure, it might remind me of Dante from Devil May Cry! This video shows a little gameplay, but it was only about 5 minutes into the game and I was hitting buttons haphazardly. I’m looking forward to playing more!
The Winter Convergence event was active for most of December and January in New World. It was a total blast! The event includes three main activities – a quest series involving helping the Winter Wanderer and fighting the Winter Warrior, collecting presents found on the ground or floating in the air, and looting Trees of Light in cities as well as completing town project board missions to upgrade them. There are free armor appearances for everyone, weapons and armor you can buy from the event, armor appearances you can earn, and armor appearances you can purchase with real money.
In the screenshot above, I’m wearing some Winter Convergence clothes and standing with gem outside one of the four Winter Villages, which is where you pick up and turn in quests as well as spend the event currency.
Here you can see how some of the cities are decorated!
The Winter Village had this little rabbit with a winding key on its back. The flavor text on one you can purchase points out that it’s a real rabbit wearing a sweater with a winding key to make it look like a wind-up toy. I especially love this considering our company name is Automaton House and a wind-up toy is also known as an automaton toy.
Just look how cute and pettable it is!
Here we are with the Winter Wanderer! He’s a friendly yeti!
Here’s a pile of gifts that you can find along with the northern lights behind me! The collected presents can be turned in at Winter Villages for currency to purchase items. I bought a pet rabbit with the winding key for my house, a gift-giving emote, a back appearance, multiple max level weapons, a full set of max level armor, and a ton of furniture.
You can also find floating gifts that can be shot down. These are worth a lot more than the gifts on the ground.
Speaking of gifts, here’s the /gift emote in action!
The coolest part of the event is gleamite! In the video above, you can watch us as we hear a gleamite meteor. It’s hard to tell where it is, so I spin the camera around looking for it. At this point, I had heard them previously but never managed to see one. It shoots across the sky as a meteorite, then shatters into pieces that fall to Earth. If there are trees around, the trees will be flattened. The video shows a few gleamite meteorites: the first in the recording is the first one I saw (unfortunately it didn’t flatten trees), the second is one I caught very clearly as it went across the sky, the third flattened trees, and the final one was during the last couple hours of the event!
If you didn’t watch the video, here’s one streaking across the sky.
And here’s a meteorite just before it explodes, but I really recommend watching the video!
This is a gleamite chunk on the ground.
Restless Shore settlement even decorates the pirate ship!
This is a Tree of Light in one of the cities. gem is standing in front of the tree.
Here gem is checking my new rabbit friend before I fully redecorated for Winter Convergence. (Because I spent the duration of the event farming the currency to buy the rest of the furniture, it wasn’t decorated until the end.)
Aw, she’s petting the rabbit!
This is my house decorated for the Winter Convergence Festival! I have ice themed furniture and ice sculptures of a stag, boar, and rabbit. You can also see my pets – two dogs and a rabbit! You’ll notice the rabbit changes spots; I couldn’t get the petting animation to work with his original location when I started recording.
Lastly, this video shows the final quest in the Winter Convergence quest series. The quest tasks you with killing two yeti enemies for items used to summon the final yeti, the Winter Warrior. The recording includes picking up the quest and then jumps to us going after the final yeti. We weren’t max level yet, and getting through max level areas was really tough. I included a bit in the recording of us “leapfrogging” camps. A camp is a respawn point, but you have to be bound to it, can only be bound to one at a time, have to unbind before making a new one, and can only respawn if you’re close to it. If you unbind from your previous camp and die trying to make the new one, you’re out of luck. The only way for us to run through the high level zones was for one person to hold aggro while the other put down a camp, ensuring that the person who had aggro could respawn if killed.
This took hours. The final yeti could kill us in one hit. We died many times. We lost our camp and accidentally respawned far away, forcing us to do the whole trek again. We survived fights against the yeti thanks to others being there only to realize we didn’t do enough damage for the kill to count. Eventually we asked if we could group with someone, explaining the issue. MissDemeanor invited us to her group and saved the day! I told her I would sing tales of her greatness, so I had to at least mention her here! She’s also talked with me after this and helped me out more.
I loved snowy areas, fighting yetis, the friendly Winter Wanderer, the ice furniture, and especially the gleamite meteors. I can’t overstate how exciting it is to see it in game when you’re not expecting it! The event was also great because if you didn’t care about collecting things, you didn’t really need to do any grinding. As for me, I did a ton of grinding and had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to future events!
Turkulon, Feathered Avenger of Death is upon us! This level 66 giant turkey boss has started spawning in the last couple days.
According to reddit, it seems that it has a 2-3 hour respawn timer and can spawn in multiple locations. But I also heard that multiple can be up near each other. So is one always up? Is it rare? I’m not sure, but I wanted to be sure to kill one.
gem and I were running corruption breaches when someone in global asked for help with Turkulon. We immediately ran to a fast travel point, teleported near him, and ran over there.
Turkulon lays eggs that explode and leave a patch of fire behind!
When we pulled, there were four of us, but by the end, there were nine of us total – levels 60×4, 49, 47, 44, 39, and 28.
Remember to watch out for the giant lasers; turkeys are known to shoot lasers!
Down after about 12.5 minutes!
And I got a legendary-quality cooking ingredient, Monstrous Turkey Leg!
This was super fun, and I’m glad gem and I got to it in time. There’s still something fun and unexpected about this type of thing in New World. Check out the video above of our kill. Now I want to eat turkey!
We met Ragnar Volarus in New World! gem noticed him first and got very excited. It took me a few seconds to even process what was happening!
Ragnar is the name of a major character in the Red Rising book series, an excellent science-fiction adventure that explores class, racism, politics, and warfare by examining a solar system-spanning society with genetically-engineered “tiers” of humans, soldier-against-soldier combat, ship-to-ship combat, and iron rains (troops dropping to the surface from orbit).
I never even took a good screenshot of his character! This was the best that I took.
Recently gem and I decided to spend the evening running corruption breaches. It’s a good source of XP, especially if you can find a lot in one place. Plus, it allowed us to watch Death Note at the same time!
We were a little surprised to find that we were approaching 100 corruption breaches that night, so we ran a few more to hit that nice goal! And to be honest, I didn’t open those 100 chests for a couple days!
On Wednesday, Automaton House ran New World’s second expedition, Starstone Barrows beneath the Shattered Obelisk. This one had some really neat mechanics, forcing players to avoid deadly beams and using shields to protect the group. We also struggled on the last boss at first until we figured out the strategy.
Here’s our kill video! There’s nothing particularly crazy happening in it, but it might be fun to look back on in the future.
And here’s a video showing the struggles to get a good screenshot.
Saturday night we ventured into the Amrine Excavation to investigate the archaeologist Simon Grey and his team! gem tanked, Collin healed, and Duncan, Jonathan, and I DPS’d. We had a pretty good spread because I was melee, Jonathan was a caster, and Duncan was non-magical ranged.
The expedition itself was really fun and a good introduction to how they work I think. I think we learned a lot about group dynamics – how to properly pull, keep aggro, stay healed, kite, etc. Our first run had a few more boo-boos, but we got in the swing of things. We ran it a few times before moving on to corruption breaches for the night. I’m really looking forward to the next expedition!
The screenshot at the top shows, from left to right, NlL (Collin), Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and Radwin (Jonathan)!
gem and I closed our first corruption breach yesterday, and it was super exciting! I had done a couple by running into groups that were doing it, but I had never been there from the beginning and really contributed significantly. I was 25 and gem was about 19, so we had to do a lot of kiting and eating. I had a blast! It was especially satisfying to use ranged attacks to intercept enemies that were chasing gem!
Here’s gem closing the breach! Now we just need to do about a million more for achievements!
New World launched yesterday! It’s so exciting and relieving to see the game finally live, and I’m thrilled to be keeping my progression.
Here’s a screenshot of my crew! From left to right, there’s Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and NlL (Collin). I progressed with Duncan for a while, and then when Collin got on we found him fishing, of course, so we joined him. We didn’t get to play with gem too much, but we met up with her too!
Duncan and I tried talking to someone we ran into named buffpants, but buffpants was having none of it. But when we met Charizard – yes, Charizard – Duncan proclaimed, “THE Charizard?!” After typing for 10 seconds, Charizard himself responded with a “lul.”
Here’s a good screenshot of Jonald and me doing some fishing!
By the end of the night I reached level 10 and had a blast!
Lost Ark has officially been announced for localization in the West! I won’t say too much about it other than that it’s a free-to-play MMO-ARPG, and I’m very excited for it. You can check out a press release at amazongames.com.
New World had a preview week back in August, and I’ve been meaning to share this gem (pun intended) of a clip that features a nude rock thief stealing gem’s rocks. (That’s less confusing when you know that ‘gem’ is the name of someone who prefers it lowercase.)
Unfortunately, I only recorded her microphone and not mine because, well, I make mistakes. But somehow I think it makes it more hilarious.
In this clip, you can see me go through some of the introduction area. You can see a bit of the combat mechanics and skills as well as a gorgeous look at the island.
I recently joined Amazon Games as a technical writer on the Automation, Tools, and Insights team. We have an upcoming MMO called New World that I’ve been following for a couple years. I don’t want to talk about it too much to play it safe regarding public information, but here’s a recent PC Gamer story on it from March: Everything we know about New World, Amazon’s upcoming MMO.
I’m excited to join the team and to see more of New World!