The latest patch for New World, a survival-oriented game that has been in Early Access since October last year, includes the option to add third-party map mods. This is notable because it’s one of the first games allowing such mods and it could be an indicator developers are warming up to them after previously forbidding them outright.
We reported yesterday on accusations made by the New World community that Amazon was banning gamers for using minimap modifications, which Amazon flatly rejected. However, the studio promised additional information on the subject, which was delivered late yesterday night. The team acknowledges that some players desire a minimap, but others don’t want to be penalized for not utilizing one if one was available. Fortunately for the latter group, Amazon has no plans to install one anytime soon.
“Right now, producing a mini-map isn’t a high priority for us since we have other priorities.” We have worries about it meshing with New Environment’s action combat style and world design, that it may break immersion, restrict the motivation for exploration, and that there are technological constraints. We believe the compass meets the requirements, is appropriate for the scenario, encourages exploration, and aids battle.
“To go into some details, situational awareness is a crucial aspect of our fighting, and the inclusion of a minimap might jeopardize that in a few ways. First, we’re afraid that players’ gazes will be drawn to mini-maps rather than the play area. Second, the presence of fighters (AI or players) on the mini-map may alter the game’s dynamics.
“Another problem is that players may choose to focus on the mini-map (or at least gaze at it) rather than the game environment, which might reduce immersion. The goal for greater efficiency will very certainly lead to the addition of gaming components such as nodes (active and inactive), local animals, and players once established. Then, rather than becoming lost in Aeternum, games may become more about efficiency. We’re playing a 2D game instead of the gorgeous interactive universe we’ve developed at that moment.”
However, the team isn’t taking action against people who use third-party minimap mods as long as all of the information displayed in the map comes from the Overwolf API and not from outside sources – in other words, it can’t show you every node or human in the game, only the ones your unlocks allow you to see. “We may alter our minds in the future and opt to include a mini-map or change our mind about enabling Overwolf,” Amazon warns.
Amazon did announce it would miss its weekly patch, which you presumably expected when it didn’t happen on Wednesday and the team instead put out the new public test servers. The “larger upgrade” will be released next week instead. As we reported yesterday, the PTR patch notes – and subsequent datamining – have already revealed a slew of useful changes, including the Albion Online-style feature of quicker walking on highways. The team also said that it is currently working on transfer concerns.