The New World cash shop has been something of a lightning rod the last few weeks in the MMO community after news that Amazon was testing an in-game cash shop during the latest alpha. However, it was the idea of adding boosters to the shop that drew criticism from across the playerbase.
The team previously addressed the controversy via a statement on Twitter, with the team also stating they would be looking at a potential "battle pass" system, though stating that items at launch in the shop would only be cosmetic. Today, Scot Lane from the New World team took to the game's blog to detail more about the cash shop philosophy, as well as give players some insight into what they could see when the game launches in August.
Scot notes in the post that the team does not have any plans of "selling anything other than cosmetic items until 2022 at the earliest," directly addressing the controversy around the idea that the team could be selling boosters like experience or craft skill boosts from the get go. However, that does obviously leave the door open for these types of items in the future.
Lane breaks down the different pillars they are approaching their shop (reminiscent of his style of breaking down gameplay mechanics in similar blogs) detailing that they are looking to firstly "empower expressive personalization" with their cosmetic offerrings,. Lane talks about these items being something along the lines of emotes, dye packs, cosmetic armor and weapon skins and more. Lane stresses that the shop won't be the only way to get this level of "personalization" as there is a "wealth of visually diverse" armor and weapons players could pick up in their journey.
"While the in-game store will provide additional opportunities for customization and feature unique cosmetic items, there is a wealth of visually diverse in-game loot for players to discover and earn across Aeternum, at the same level of aesthetic quality with items found in the store. Our goal is not to make the cosmetics offered in-store better, but different than existing gear. We understand players work hard to get their gear and have no intention of diminishing the value of their favorite pieces. Often the store items are additive for role players and players who like to change their appearance frequently."
Lane also stresses in the blog that the team has no plans to provide any items that give an advantage over other players in PvE or PvP situations, specifically addressing the "pay to win" comments that have circulated since the cash shop became known to players during the alpha testing.
"The in-game store content will not give players an advantage in PvE or PvP gameplay. Our goal is to not provide anything that players find to be “pay to win” for in-game store offers. No items in the store will give players instant lifts to their overall gear score, experience points, or impact territory control. No item in the store is a gate to experiencing game mechanics. Players should never feel they have to spend additional money to experience New World once they’ve purchased the game, as the price you pay at launch lets you play the entire released game."
Lane also talks about how the cash shop is meant to "embrace veterans and welcome new arrivals" alike, talking about future plans to potentially add items that "influence mechanics" citing rested XP which would be earned through gameplay and bought in the store. However, Lane goes on to say that this would allow for players to "catch up at a pace most comfortable to them" while also not, in Lane's estimation, create a "'pay to win' environment." New World's game director cites the fact that the more players experiencing endgame, the healthier the game will be overall, seemingly as the driving force for even considering these items overall. Lane mentions that when these would be introduced into the game store would be a combination of factors, from what players are feeling, feed back as well as data they monitor regarding how new players progress in New World.
You can catch the whole article on the New World blog. Currently the MMO from Amazon is in the last legs of its alpha as it speeds towards its beta on July 20th. New World will release on PC on August 31st.