Why Picking a Class in New World Isn’t as Easy as Other Games
If I could give any Class advice based on my experience playing the New World Beta so far is that no one has it all figured out yet. New World is a classless style concept. The game allows a player to choose two out of eleven weapons which give two hundred and twenty different combinations without equipping the same weapon. However, that is only if you don’t add the three armor types and ignore any variations in skill points spread between each weapon’s two trees. If we throw in the different consumables and housing buffs, that is a lot of “class” variation. With all of that in mind, my intention here is to give some general insights into the possibilities you can have when playing a character in this massively customize-able game.
First, we need to look at armor in New World. Armor is based individually on the gear you can equip, but also on the Equipment Load, or essentially the weight of your total equipped items. You can mix and match your armor but the Equip Load itself has three stages, Light, Normal, Heavy, and Encumbered. A light load will give you 20% bonus damage and will give you a quick roll dodge that covers a decent distance. Normal load gives you a quick hop dodge and gives you 10% damage and a 10% increase to crowd control debuff timers that you apply. A heavy load you have a slow sidestep as a dodge which isn’t very effective, but your block stability is increased by 15%, and your crowd control debuffs you apply last 20% longer. Having too much weight will encumber you which gives you the disadvantage of no sprint or dodge and you lose more stamina while blocking. This doesn’t matter if you have light, medium, or heavy armor equipped.
The “Holy Trinity” is a common MMORPG label that describes group synergy as having three main necessities. Those three are the Tank, the Healer, and the DPS. The Tank is typically a character that has heavy armor which allows them to take less damage. They usually have a threat ability that keeps enemies from attacking group members, and more or less are supposed to control how the battle is fought. The Healer typically uses abilities to manage the health pools of the group during encounters. Finally, the DPS is the Damage Per Second characters that go as all out as they can to kill things faster to reduce the damage taken by the tank and the resource used by the healer. With these three factors, let’s break down New World’s “classes”.
The first I will talk about is the Healer. In New World, a main healer and support healer will really depend on the Focus stat and whether you have the Life Staff as your primary or secondary use weapon. For a main healer, Focus will be the primary stat that affects Life staff effectiveness, mana regeneration, and skill cooldown. I keep hearing people suggest Intelligence as a secondary stat, but I have not confirmed any bonus to using intelligence over others unless you want to use a weapon that uses it as a primary or secondary attribute. If you want to have a life staff in your secondary slot, you would likely have Focus as your secondary stat. Choosing a weapon to go with Life staff is no easy task, I would suggest going with what feels comfortable based on your preferred gameplay. I have seen ranged healers that like to use abilities from their secondary weapons to the detriment of the enemy. I have seen those who never swap weapons from life staff. However, I have seen some healers who prefer to go heavy armor and sit in with the tank while also benefitting from the same heals they provide.
A Tank class depends mainly on threat. A strong secondary feature most Tanks like to have is the heartiness of higher damage mitigation. The sword weapon allows you to also equip a shield which adds Armor and another set of item stats. The Sword Defender tree is loaded with damage reduction passive skills that will increase your survivability and increased ability to block. New World’s threat system at this time is based on a number generated by a player’s skills against an enemy. There are specific passive skills within New World that add extra threat which a tank will look at to round out their build. However, for snap aggro, these skills for the Sword skills Shield Bash and Defiant Stance, the Spear’s Vault Kick, Great Axe’s Reap, the Hatchet’s Berserk, and the Hammer’s Shockwave. With a certain Gem, these abilities give a taunt duration that can get a target or targets to focus on you. There are also Crafting consumables that can be made to give damage absorption based on specific damage types. And Potions to increase your health if you have a healer that is a tad slow or waiting on cooldowns. The last and most important thing I can say about a tank is to use the 180 degree block. Block and Heals now generate threat. So, if you don’t block attacks, your target will go after your healers and DPS. A Heavy Equipment Load will give you a 15% bonus to block stability and any crowd control debuffs like stun and I assume taunts that you apply will last 20% longer.
Damage Dealers will find that New World offers a wide variety of choices. Although typically someone will likely choose two weapons that share an attribute, someone who isn’t trying to min/max might find the fights more exciting from combining different skills in other than normal circumstances. I find it best to think of weapons by their primary and secondary stats. for Primary stats, Strength has Sword, Great Axe, War Hammer, and Hatchet. The Spear is the only Secondary Strength weapon. Primary Dex weapons include the Spear, Bow, Rapier, and Musket. The Secondary Dexterity weapons are the Sword and the Hatchet. Primary Intelligence weapons are Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet. If you don’t want to go duo magic, your secondary intelligence weapons are the Rapier and the Musket. One up close and personal weapon and a non-magic ranged weapon.
All of this information is but the tip of the iceberg when fleshing out your character in New World. Anyone can level up every weapon per character given enough time. With enough currency, you can even change your attributes on the fly. Someone might be tanking one day and main healing the very next dungeon. I personally like that the idea of class is arbitrary in New World and until we get more detailed information after launch it is likely that any meta telling you exactly what build you should play is going to be less about a real choice than it is someone else’s preference at the time. I hope I have given you enough basic information to allow you your own choice at launch. All of this is based on my experience in the pre-launch non-NDA beta so keep an eye on Amazon Studio’s New World Patches for updates and changes.