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New World Quietly Made Its Endgame Harder And Players Are Pissed

An undocumented difficulty tweak in the latest update to Amazon’s MMO has players review bombing the game

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A screenshot of a character using the new Void Gauntlet in Amazon MMO New World.
The new Void Gauntlet, completely overshadowed by this difficulty nonsense.
Screenshot: Amazon Games

Last week’s “Into The Void” update for Amazon MMO New World introduced a new weapon for players to wield, new enemies to conquer, and balance changes aimed at making life a little more enjoyable for explorers of Aeternum Island. Unfortunately, the update also included an undocumented boost in power to elite endgame enemies, making them much harder to kill. Players are unhappy, and they’re taking out their frustration with negative Steam reviews.

Traditionally, when an MMO developer wants to give its players more of a challenge, it will introduce new areas with more difficult enemies to defeat. With last week’s “Into The Void” update for New World, Amazon Games took a decidedly different approach, massively buffing existing high-level enemies. Suddenly, level 60 players who had a handle on fighting late-game enemies are finding themselves struggling. Fights are taking longer than they did before. The developers have fundamentally changed an important part of the endgame experience.


Making matters worse, these late-game balance changes were not explicitly advertised as part of the “Into The Void” update, leaving it to players to find out on their own by getting murdered by AI enemies they could previously handle with relative ease. Plus the difficulty changes were implemented without addressing an issue with low drop rates in elite treasure chests, so players have to fight harder for the same rewards they were fighting for pre-update.

The update went live on Wednesday, November 18. On November 20, Amazon Studios posted a developer blog formally acknowledging and addressing the difficulty increase. According to the developers, the idea was to keep the game challenging in the face of newly introduced gear and equipment.

Recently changes were made to the Elite POIs in the endgame zones and it is clear to us that proper context wasn’t delivered on why those changes were made. Our goal is to have a variety of areas that players can go to for crafting materials and gear. But with new gear and equipment, we want players to be challenged.


The post ends with the developers assuring players that issues surrounding endgame activities and reward balance are being looked into and that issues with elite chest item drop rates are being investigated. The devs are also examining the role of expeditions, which are five-man dungeons that require crafted items called tuning orbs in order to play, severely limiting the frequency at which players can explore them for high-end gear.

Faced with waiting for changes slated for “the coming months,” New World players are angry, and they’re taking their frustration out on the game via Steam reviews. As ScreenRant reports, a concentrated effort is underway to knock New World from its “Mostly Positive” perch on Valve’s store. Current reviews are listed as “Mixed,” with more than 40 percent of reviews posted in the last 30 days negative, with several thousand more negative reviews posted over the past four days since the update was released.

A Steam chart showing a large amount of negative reviews for Amazon's New World since the last update went live.
That’s not good.
Screenshot: Steam / Kotaku

Between economy woes, cheating, and exploits, Amazon’s historical fantasy MMO has been plagued with problems since it launched back in September. Hopefully, enough of the playerbase hangs on long enough for Amazon Games to get its shit together.