The New World team updated with information on the December PTR testing update, as well as giving us a peek at both the now confirmed winter holiday events, and some significant changes to The High Water Mark system and endgame.
The PTR update does confirm the Winter Convergence Event, with snowfall and the aurora borealis in the site, as well as other festive winter decor and items. When you collect winter tokens from repeatable events, you’ll be able to use them in the holiday shop for rare and cosmetic items. Confirmed winter events and activities include decorating settlements, scavenger hunt to recover presents and other collections, and a new quest series from the winter Wanderer yeti for the festival and side story quests.
However, the most controversial change may just be to the High Water Mark system and efforts to “have a compelling and diverse end game“. Amazon has renamed High Water Mark to Expertise. And they added a new resource called Gypsum that can be acquired daily through activities. Different types of Gypsum come from different activities, and when you craft Gypsum orbs, you can craft them into casts of any weapon, trinket, or armor type. When you open it it will guarantee an expertise boost and gear of the type you made.
Expertise will affect the drops you get per slot but starting in early 2022 it will help determine the effectiveness of your gear. Amazon’s thinking is that progression will be rewarding and meaningful and won’t just be a system where you can buy better gear off the trading post to bypass anything. Although this might result in reduction in power in a straightforward way. They believe this should be temporary because progression overall will continue and you’ll make up for the difference.