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New World’s Water Mark scaling changes won’t affect items you craft

"When these changes are implemented, Gear Score scaling will only apply to items sold or traded after that patch"

New World developer Amazon Games recently revealed it would be “completely revamping” the MMORPG’s High Water Mark system to improve how it functions and enhance the endgame experience for players. This rework will introduce an ‘Expertise and Gypsum’ system as a replacement for HWM, which will continue to govern the highest drops you can get per slot, but also determine gear effectiveness and add control over gear progression. Now, following a lot of fan feedback on this, Amazon has confirmed a few points that have prompted some rejoicing in Aeternum. Well, Reddit.

“In early 2022, when we start reducing the effectiveness of gear to your Expertise level, we will exempt the following items,” New World dev Zin_Ramu explains in a forum post, listing “any item you craft, any item you earn from a quest, [and] any item you purchase from the faction shop” as the exemptions.

“When these changes are implemented, gear score scaling will only apply to items sold or traded after that patch,” the dev goes on to explain. “So any items obtained prior to this patch will not be impacted or reduced in any way. When we thought about it more, reducing power for existing players is just unacceptable and something we will not do. We initially thought it being only temporary and giving a new path with to gain back that power with Gypsum would be acceptable, but it is now clear we were wrong.”

Elsewhere, the dev explains that the big changes in this area will offer alternative ways for players to equip gear without having to engage with the Expertise system. Crafting in particular will “gain even more importance in New World” as any item that you cobble together “will be usable at that gear score regardless of Expertise”. You’ll always have the option of faction shop and quest items, too, which the devs are planning to add more of in the future.

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“We acknowledge this change will create a difference between the way the game worked before this change and after,” Zin_Ramu adds. “We recognise that some players who haven’t hit 60 yet and acquired their gear may feel like the game got harder for them. Hopefully this is offset with the addition of Gypsum as a new avenue that previous players didn’t have.”

There are other changes covered in the blog post, too, but the nugget that seems to have the community jumping for joy is the news that the upcoming scaling changes with the new-look Water Mark system won’t apply to the items you’ve crafted, going by the response this subreddit post is getting. There’s no word on exactly when the changes will hit the live game, but Amazon’s given a window of “early 2022”.