New World's upcoming major content drop, the Brimstone Sands update, has hit the public test realm, giving players the chance to check it out before it launches on the live servers next month.
Amazon Games typically launches its major updates a few weeks ahead of time on the PTR to give it a thorough testing, and given the size and scope of this major update there is a lot to test. The Brimstone Sands update brings with it the eponymous zone in Aeternum, as well as a new expedition, and notably a revamped leveling experience from 1-25.
Brimstone Sands is touted as three times larger than any other zone in New World, so there is a lot to test and explore, as players descend on the PTR ahead of the October launch. Last month we had a chance to preview the zone, with Amazon describing it as a desert full of the ruins and legacy of an ancient Egyptian civilization. Marc Antony and a dying Cleopatra arrived in Aeternum some time ago, coupled with a vast Roman legion at his back, who are seeking the restoration of the Roman Empire, as well as redemption for the famed 19th Legion.
The new expedition is meant for endgame players, taking groups into the ancient ruins of Brimstone Sands to face off against the Anubian Guards to discover the mysteries of the new zone.
Arguably, though, the biggest feature coming to Amazon's MMO is the inclusion of a more streamlined, much revamped new player experience. The new player experience is set up to streamline the leveling from the first moments you reach Aeternum through level 25. This is to address much of the criticism that New World has faced since day one that the leveling grind is too much of a slog, quests themselves were boring and repetitive, and much more.
According to the PTR notes, quests now "flow through zones" in a more "optimized" manner, while NPCs themselves move around the map, eliminating much of the back and forth that slows down those early levels. The Yonas quests, the main quest line of New World, has also been updated, now going through the more centrally located Everfall.
The new player experience revamps stops at level 25, though Amazon themselves have stated that if it works and feedback is solid, they will start to apply this towards the rest of the leveling experience. We think this is a great start, but still have some concerns when it comes to hitting a massive leveling wall once past the initial revamped leveling portion.
Finally, the PTR brings with it a new weapon: the Greatsword. this two handed weapon can be used to deal out damage, or be part of an aggressive tank build. The new weapon scales with Dexterity and Strength evenly, letting players pair it with other martial weapons more naturally.