After appearing in the New World alpha, the in-game storefront stirred understandable worry within the community, but Rich Lawrence, studio director, has addressed the concern.
In an open letter released onto Twitter, Lawrence announced that “all store items at launch will be exclusively cosmetic in nature.”
This doesn’t mean that the storefront will remain this way, however, with Lawrence noting future plans to test “quality of life items” in the store. Fast travel and rested XP are both on the table as the proposed quality of life items which could both dramatically alter what players are able to achieve.
Despite this, in the letter, Lawrence writes that “our plan is not, and never will be, to create a feeling that store items are necessary to enjoy the game,” which is a good sentiment, but it feels already hollow with extra XP potentially gated behind the storefront.
On the table, but not yet finalized, is also a “battle pass” style program which could include some of the store’s items within it. This will be tested during the development of the game to “ensure it provides strong value without disrupting the gameplay for those not participating.”
Despite their hopes, these store life items sound obscenely powerful, with paying players being able to progress through the game much faster than those without, so it’ll be up to Amazon Games to balance it properly if that’s even possible.
Please read this letter regarding the storefront testing we are currently doing in Alpha. pic.twitter.com/IucMciGWC1
— New World (@playnewworld) May 15, 2021
New World is set to release on August 31st on Steam and Amazon so long as this storefront doesn’t cause yet another delay.