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Opinion: New World's Map Should Set The Standard For Future Craftng Material Gathering In Other MMOs

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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One of the key takeaways I've had since I first played New World back in 2020 was how much I appreciated the information being given to me by the in-game map. While many maps are stylized for the world they are set in,  not many convey real, actionable information about the world around them other than simply landmarks and quest icons. New World, however, has taken this and injected some real useful map data: resource locations.

It's a concept I hope other MMOs take too, especially those that are heavy on the resource gathering. New World's map is color coded, and at first glance it doesn't look all that special. It's stylized like all the others, evoking the kind of artistic flair we associate with late exploration-era maps and atlas', and if you didn't know better you'd assume the coloring of the map was to showcase the types of terrain in a given area. 

And to a degree, that's not wrong, per se. However, if you navigate the map closer, you'll realize it's a guide to discover the different resources that make up much of New World's gameplay. These resources aren't simply necessary to build up your individual crafting ability, but also go a long ways towards upgrade the settlement around you and their defenses. It plays a major role in building New World's PvP specacle, and nearly every player who jumps into Aeternum will, at some point, need to go hunting for iron, herbs and more.

The nice thing too is this key to resource hunting doesn't just tell you exactly where the materials you're looking for are, but rather the general area to look. It's up to you to go explore and discover them yourself. It makes the hunt more enjoyable too knowing, generally, where to look. For me at least, I don't like spending real time having to scour the landscape for a scrap of copper or tin in other MMOs - having a guide to work with helps tremendously. 

Eventually too, as you level up your individual resource gathering skills, you'll start to see your compass populate with locations of materials as well, aiding you further. The amount of information New World can potentially throw at the player can be overwhelming, but I do appreciate that it's there - especially when hunting down that last coney for my settlement, or trying to find a silver deposit to complete a set of jewelry I was crafting.

New World's map does its job, and then some. It provides a ton of information not normally found in a map in an MMO, making it one of the most useful tools when I played in the last beta. My hope is as we see more MMOs come out in the future, they take a look at this map and figure out how their in-game atlas can provide more than just current positioning or the placement of a landmark, but also tell the player more about the world around them, like maps in the real world often do.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore