A New World PTR (public test realm) is due to be introduced later today. The PTR servers will give players a chance to stress-test new features in the game before they go live, but spaces are limited, so the dreaded New World queues may return.
How will the New World PTR work?
After a raft of bugs like the New World gold dupe glitch and the infamous hatchet bug, a New World PTR was perhaps simply a matter of time. Per an official announcement on the New World forums, the PTR will initially only be available in two areas: there'll be a single server in Central Europe and another in US East. Accessing these servers will grant you entry to an in-progress version of New World in which experimental new features are being implemented. You'll sometimes have the chance to instantly level your character to test out new gear and items, although you won't be able to carry over your character from the main game, unfortunately.
Amazon Game Studios says it's looking for players specifically to test features like its new Void Gauntlet weapon, which is a hybrid DPS and support item with two skill trees available. You'll also be testing new enemy types, quests, main storyline missions, and faction quests, as well as a trading post update. Naturally, as each New World update and patch is introduced, the PTR will expand to accommodate those features as well, so you'll get to test new stuff each time.
How to join the New World PTR
If you want to join the New World PTR, I've got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that you don't need to sign up for anything. When the PTR update goes live, you'll simply see a new app that will let you into the servers in your Steam library (you can hide this if you don't want to see it). The bad news, though, is that access is being granted on a first-come-first-serve basis. This could well mean a return to the dreaded New World queues we saw at launch time, although it's worth noting that a lot of players probably won't want to bother with beta-testing new stuff.
There are some limitations to the way the New World PTR will work. AGS says its "main focus" when it comes to the PTR is improving quality, so while design feedback is appreciated, it's not the purpose of the server. In addition, customer service won't generally be available given the "temporary and potentially unstable" way the PTR works (progress and worlds are wiped clean after each PTR period), although general policies and the Code of Conduct will still apply. It's worth reading the full announcement if you want to know how the PTR ticks in detail.
What else is happening in New World?
Amazon says that if upcoming fixes it's planning to implement "pass validation", then there will be a New World update later this week. We'll find out more about whether an update is coming sometime before 3pm Eastern time, when Amazon plans to confirm its decision. It's possible that this update will contain some of the changes Amazon has been testing regarding combat responsiveness. Mechanics like weapon swapping, dodge canceling, and attack input windows are all being looked at in detail, so we may well see the first fruits of those labors in the upcoming update. Stay tuned for more on that.
We'll have to wait and see what's on the cards for New World. Until then, you can grab the game on Steam right now. It'll set you back $39.99, but you won't have to pay any kind of subscription fee after that initial investment. You might have heard New World is a bit of a buggy mess, but Amazon Game Studios says it's bug-hunting all the time; a recent update squashed a bunch of critical bugs, so you can expect more to be exterminated in future patches. Stay tuned for more on this hugely successful MMO.
Are you planning to sign up for the New World PTR? Let us know in the comments below!