For those who have wanted to eschew the current compass in New World for the more standard mini-map found in most MMOs, New World's Scot Lane has confirmed the game will allow for third party options to do just that. The game director also explained the reasoning behind the compass currently in-game and why it seems a third-party could produce a mini-map when the developers would need to take longer to do so.
In the post, the New World game director addresses the mini-map conversation that has been going on in the community for a while now. Lane talks about why a mini-map wasn't implemented in the first place, with the team instead opting for the current compass-based navigation system in play right now in New World.
Right now creating a mini-map is not a high priority for us as we have other items we feel are more pressing. The high level reasoning is that we have concerns with it meshing with New World’s action combat style and world design, that it could break immersion, may limit the drive for exploration, and there are technical limitations. We feel the compass fulfills the needs, fits the setting, promotes exploration, and supports combat.
Lane states that right now combat's situation awareness is one of the key factors as to why a mini-map won't necessarily work. Instead of focusing on the play area, the team is worried that eyes will instead be fixated on the mini-map. The team is also worried that the inclusion of a mini-map could ruin the immersion they are trying to create in the MMO.
"Another concern is that players may play the mini-map (or at least stare at it) as opposed to the game world which could have a negative effect on immersion. Once implemented, the desire for more efficiency will likely drive to adding gameplay elements like nodes (active and in-active), local wildlife, and players. Then gameplay could become more about efficiency and less about getting lost in Aeternum. At that point, we are playing a 2D game as opposed to this beautiful interactive world we’ve created.
Aeternum is built with landmarks, roads and vistas to drive exploration, not to mention key elements might be off the beaten path. If we had a mini-map, it could change open world behavior and potentially remove the natural exploration that happens now in the game."
However, Lane does concede that some players would prefer the mini-map, and as such the team at Amazon has stated that they will not be stopping players from using a third-party addon, such as the Overwolf minimap. Lane also confirmed in the forums thread that no players have been banned for using the addon. The team doesn't rule out building a mini-map of their own in the future as well, especially if that is the way the MMO goes down the road. But for right now it's "not a high priority" for the dev team.
New World has had both an invigorating effect on the MMO industry when it first launched in September, though bugs and exploits have doused some fo the excitement that was created when it first ran out of the gate. You can check out our full review of New World in case you missed it yesterday.