The New World team is talking about technical challenges and improvements in the latest dev video. Topics covered include latency issues, especially in terms of combat and high player density, how they perform scale testing to optimize the game in response to issues and feedback, bugs and performance issues, and improvements they are working on.
The latest episode of Forged in Aeternum features Creative Director David Verfaillie along with senior engineers and programmers Scott Geiser, Kevin Christensen, and Julien Jegou. The conversation touches upon certain challenges that happen due to how New World is built.
A few things that create performance issues include the server verification of player inputs along with the physics required, contribute to combat latency and rubberbanding. Essentially, attempts to design more realistic combat means that the physics need to represent projectiles and character movements and things like headshots and doing that takes a lot of power.
Another thing is that during combat, there's a lot going on. The team put it in terms of a high volume of projectiles, which includes the roughly 6,000 spells per minute in large-scale combat. That demand puts some strain on server resources. Boss fights are another challenge for resources and performance bottlenecks are possible especially with the number of players active at the same time.
Based on community feedback and data to work on addressing these issues, Amazon is using AI to optimize the game, running a series of tests that focus on a particular scenario (say, player density) and using AI to emulate in-game scenarios so they can better learn how to respond or even pre-allocate more resources).
The team knows that there are bugs to be fixed, and they hear season 3 feedback loud and clear. Because many of the interconnected game systems mean that a bug in one of them means that a number of things just don't work, they need to take a holistic approach to debugging. They go into some of the systems they use in order to find and fix the issues as fast as possible, balancing introducing features as well as continued maintenance and improvements.
Those improvements will continue meaning optimization and analysis, but they’re looking towards improved tools as well. Ultimately they're looking to provide a more stable gaming experience but there are a ton of challenges. expect player feedback and continued simulations and testing to play a role in the team trying to find that balance between adding new features and having to double back to fix bugs, leading to the recent decision to try and concentrate on quality over quantity.