The New World team is talking balance as they prepare to head into Season 4. Topics include the meta, recent patch feedback, and whether there will be any buffs or if it’s mostly just nerfs ahead.
This latest Forged in Aeternum is a Balance of Power episode, with Creative Director David Verfaillie. The team has been open about their desire to increase the variety of viable build options and changes to make combat more interesting but also less stagnant. They've also recently expressed a philosophy going forward of quality updates over quantity, especially when it comes to big changes and features.
The recent 3.0.3 patch gets a special mention right off the top, with Verfaillie acknowledging they may have done a little too much, too fast. “The changes around Shrinking Heals. You know, this has been a very contentious change. And I think just to be frank, I think we might have been a little heavy handed here,” he says. To contrast, he brings up their previous too slow approach , where the meta would get stale and feedback would consistently come in asking when balance might be addressed. So, they’re aiming to take a more incremental approach to balance changes.
Another change from that update was to the Blunderbuss weapon, nerfing it a bit to reduce its survivability and damage. With the Blunderbuss still strong, they’re not planning any change in season 4 just yet, but they’re keeping an eye on it. Finally, 3.0.3 also cut the range of Splash of Light, which they also contend may have been too harsh, but have no plans to revert.The intent was to place the range on par with other healing abilities. A healing role to be powerful enough to do the job but also invite risk.
They will be working on this, including healing counters, keeping an eye on survivability, and also figuring out more options for solo players or teams that find themselves without a healer.
In Season 4, there will be changes to address some of these issues, and the devs have longer-term plans to make healing more active and engaging to play, and increase options.
As for those buffs instead of nerfs? Well, They're going to try and work from the other end, boosting the underpowered weapons and working to increase viability instead of just always nerfing the strong stuff.
Watch the full video for the breakdown on what we can expect and changes to perks, weapons, and more.