New World: The Sad Truth about the Upcoming Watermark System Update

New World: The Sad Truth about the Upcoming Watermark System Update

If you have just given New World a shot, you are probably unaware of what the term “watermark” means. After all, it’s always complicated to understand MMOs, given how they tend to develop a language that’s unknown to newcomers.

So, while the concept of a watermark may seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple to comprehend.

The high watermark mechanism alludes to the Gear Score of items you have equipped in a specific slot. When you reach Level 60 in New World, this system comes into action and dictates the stats of gear drops you get in higher-level areas.

After touching level 60 in this MMO, every slot will be set to 500 Gear Score by default. So, as a part of your end-game progression, you will have to rely on lifting the watermark to obtain better equipment. 

What does this mean? 

Let’s say you loot a bow of 520 Gear Score, so now the New World system will “watermark” your account with this new stat. As a result, this data will become a baseline for every bow in the game, and you will be eligible to obtain bow drops with a Gear Score of 521 and higher.

Note: Watermark is a gear-specific mechanic. Therefore, you will have to raise it individually for every weapon like Swords, Hatchets, Fire Staves, etc.

Getting Items with a High Gear Score in New World

To obtain equipment of high Gear Score, players can:

  • Fight and defeat level 60+ mobs in Elite locations
  • Loot Elite Supply Chests
  • Complete Expeditions
  • Finish Corrupted Breaches
  • Take part in Outpost Rush
  • Utilize Luck increasing items

Farming elite mob is the quickest way of getting better items and increasing your watermark in New World. To do so, Siren Strand, Caminus, Imperial Palace, and Malevolence are some areas you can visit.

New World: The Sad Truth about the Upcoming Watermark System Update
New World | Source: New World

If you ask me, I’d suggest you head to Myrkgard since it houses a plethora of Corrupted Breaches, world bosses, and T5 Elite chests that can drop some top weapons and armor.

Is New World replacing the watermark system?

Amazon Games Studios confirmed that the upcoming December 1.2 Patch would replace the High Watermark System with Expertise. This new mechanic will command item drops just like HWM but will also influence their effectiveness when wielded by a player. 

The studio elaborated on this with an example, 

If your War Hammer Expertise is 520, and you equip a 550 Gear Score War Hammer, the weapon’s effective Gear Score will be reduced to 520.

Amazon Game Studios

All in all, your weapon’s strength will be directly related to how effectively you can wield it, instead of a base score now. 

Thinking about what will happen to the watermark you have earned so far? Well, AGS divulged that the earned watermarks would be converted to Expertise when the update is out.

This literally is one step forward and two steps back for AGS, by the looks of it. While I’m sure they had the purest of intentions in mind, this move is going to bring nothing except negativity to the game. 

New World: The Sad Truth about the Upcoming Watermark System Update
New World

After all, the new system just wrecked those all-nighters enthusiasts pulled to progress further in the game by disincentivizing crafting! 

So, just like you can imagine, the studio is on the receiving end of some much-deserved backlash.

Enthusiasts have taken to the New World subreddit and created multiple posts complaining about downscaling. Some have even said that they would never be returning to the game.

Will Amazon give in to the counterblast and reverse this awful decision for the satisfaction of users? Only time will tell.

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About New World

New World is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Amazon Games set to be released on August 31, 2021. The game was previously scheduled to release in May 2020 but was delayed to its current date.

Set in the mid-1600s, players colonize a fictional land known as Aeternum Island, modeled after North and South Americas in the Atlantic Ocean. The game will be using a buy-to-play business model, meaning there will be no monthly subscription fee.