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New World is getting ‘Expedition Mutators’ to shake up endgame combat

"We expect higher difficulties to be extremely difficult"

It’s a new year, which means new things are coming to New World. The team at Amazon Games has re-opened the MMORPG’s Public Testing Realm (PTR) to give players a window to playtest a bunch of new features and content before they head to live servers. Among the offerings is a new feature called ‘Expedition Mutators’, which is designed to add some fresh spice and variety to endgame combat.

“Mutators change the familiar by augmenting ‘normal’ and ‘named’ enemies found within Expeditions, changing the way encounters play out and what strategies players should consider before battle,” the devs explain in a blog post. It’s not just combat conditions that’ll get a shake-up, though – rewards will also change, with “new bespoke gear and resources” to nab.

The way this system will work is by rotating through a “unique combination of Expeditions and Mutations each week”, and there’ll be ten difficulty levels per Expedition Mutation. The idea is to work your way up the ladder in pursuit of the maximum difficulty level, with higher difficulties designed to be “extremely difficult” – and therefore laden with the best loot.

Recommended gear score for each Mutated Expedition will be key, the devs advise, as this will directly tie into enemy scaling. By extension, this means it directly relates to your chance of beating the encounter. It’s worth noting, though, that this combat scaling is “individual per player and separate from the base difficulty increases in health and damage”.

The way Mutated Expedition scoring – which is a shared value for members of a group taking one on – will work is based on a combination of factors. These can include things like time taken, how many AI kills your group racked up, takedowns of ‘named’ enemies, how many team wipes your crew suffered (this can reduce a score “by a significant amount” – gulp), and respawns, which only negatively impact scores by a moderate amount. You can earn bonus multipliers for things like running the Mutated Expedition “efficiently” or speedily, taking out all enemies, and keeping spawning and team wipes to a minimum.

To advance through various difficulties, though, you’ll need to hit a “predesignated level of proficiency within the highest achieved level” – so, essentially a certain score bar. Racking up bigger scores means progressing up that ladder, and getting a chance to scoop up better rewards.

The devs have also put some balance changes to existing Expeditions on the PTR, which are designed to make them more enticing. For example, drop rates for ‘named’ enemies have been increased “significantly”, and there are a couple other Expedition-specific changes, too. Elsewhere, a new “mysterious, powerful resource” called Umbral Shards has been added to the testing grounds, which lets you drive up item gear scores from 600 to 625. Plus, there are a handful of other notable changes to other facets of the game on the way. You can check them all out in detail – as well as see how to get stuck into the new Mutated Expeditions – in Amazon’s blog, linked above.