The latest patch notes for New World have been released and they promise to make some major changes to the game. The season 1 patch notes are currently live on the Public Test Realm (PTR) and they are pretty significant. In this article, we will discuss the most impactful changes in the latest patch notes.

## Grit & Greatsword

The Grit passive has undergone some significant changes in the PTR. Previously, it required 300 strength to activate, but it now requires 300 constitution. However, 300 strength now grants bonus damage to heavy attacks. These changes are likely to benefit PvP players by giving them more survivability and build variety. It also reduces the impact of burst damage and encourages group or zerg fights.

On the other hand, the Greatsword, which is already the highest damage weapon in the game, has received some nerfs in its skills, homing, and attack speed. However, it still deals heavy attack damage of up to 7,000 when hitting light armor players. The Season 1 patch notes ignore this heavy attack damage, and as a result, Greatsword users can now benefit from both Grit and bonus damage from strength, making them even more powerful. While moving Grit to the constitution is a good idea, the Greatsword needs further adjustments to balance it out, especially to its heavy attack damage.

## Musket

The musket has also undergone significant changes in the PTR. Its traps and precision have been adjusted, and traps will now only enter cooldown if the attack goes through without being interrupted before the toss. The musket’s precision will suffer when moving and aiming quickly, making it harder to hit long-range targets in rapid succession. However, a new passive called Steady Hand will improve the precision of any musket shot when aiming down sight for 2 seconds. This passive will kick in after 1 second and reset on a shot while in Shooter Stance.

These changes have been demanded by players for the past year, but they have made muskets less viable as a weapon, especially in the upcoming War meta. While it may still be somewhat viable as a close-range ranged weapon in OPR because of the traps and pinpoint accuracy within 15 meters, it is now less effective in the War meta.

## Critical Hits

The way critical damage works in the game has also changed. Previously, critical damage was multiplied by other damage modifiers, such as headshot or crit mods. Now, critical damage is added to other damage modifiers instead. This means that critical damage will be lower than before when multiple damage modifiers are involved. For example, if you have a 1.4 critical hit multiplier and a 1.2 headshot modifier, your total damage modifier used to be 1.4 * 1.2 = 1.68, but now it is 1 + 0.4 + 0.2 = 1.6.

Additionally, your chance of landing a critical hit will now only increase by the weapon’s base critical hit chance for each non-critical hit that is triggered. For example, if you had a 5% critical hit chance and your weapon had a base critical hit chance of 3%, your first hit would have a 5% chance of being a critical hit, but for every non-critical hit after that, your chance would increase by only 3%. This means that it will take longer to reach higher levels of critical hit chances with this change.

These changes were made to make the game more fair and fun and to provide an extra layer of balancing for the game's developers. It remains to be seen how these changes will affect the meta overall, especially for the Void Gauntlet, which heavily relies on critical hits to lower its skill cooldowns.

## Fortify & Rend

AGS changed Fortify and Rend to directly scale the player’s Armor Rating. They also removed the maximum cap of Fortify and Rend which is now unlimited. This was made to actually reflect the weight they have.

In the old system, the amount of damage you take is calculated based on your base mitigation, additional damage absorption, and some other factors. But in the new system, the Fortify skill now scales your total armor instead.

Here's an example to help explain:

Let's say you’re a light armor player with an armor rating of 900. You have 50% Fortify while being attacked for 1000 damage.

First, we need to calculate our Armor Mitigation through this formula

Armor Resistance = 1 - (1 / 1 + (Armor / (Attacker’s Weapon Gear Score ^ 1.2)))

Armor Mitigation = 1 - Armor Resistance

Our Armor being 900 and our attacker’s gearscore being 625 would result in having 42% Armor Mitigation:

1 - (1 - (1 ÷ (1 + 1 + (900 ÷ (625 ^ 1.2))))) = 0.42 Armor Mitigation (or 42%)

Currently, on the live servers, Fortify would decrease a percentage of the incoming damage, so:

1000 Damage * (1 - 0.42 Armor Mitigation) * (1 - 0.5 Fortify) = 290 Damage Taken

But on the PTR, Fortify scales up your total armor instead of decreasing damage. So instead of 900 Armor you would have 1350. This would result in you having 38.5% Armor and receiving 615 damage, much more than before.

Something that AGS overlooked through all of this is the Invigorated Punishment perk. If a healer uses Orb of Protection on you and gives you 10% fortify, it would be the same as if you had gotten 1% in the old system. This would mean that Invigorated Punishment deals you more damage because of the buff given by the Orb.

With the change on Fortify, Shirking Fortification was also retouched. Instead of granting 3.9% fortify when dodging through an enemy attack, it was changed to directly scale the player’s armor rating. This means that the perk will be more effective for players with higher armor and less effective the lower you go.

Some changes have also been made to Equip Load passives. The 10% bonus to outgoing Crowd Control on medium armor, and 20% to heavy armor were replaced with -10% and -20% CC duration to medium and heavy armor respectively. This is essentially giving medium players 1 and heavy players 2 Freedom perks for free.

Combined with the changes on Grit, this will surely change Bruisers into a more support-centric class rather than the damage-dealing role that it is now. I could see one of the Greataxe/Warhammer spots per group switching into a Greatsword/Warhammer or Greatsword/Greataxe instead.

## OPR

Last but not least, one of the most anticipated changes of the past year. For Outpost Rush, the amount of individual score players get while capturing or contesting points has been increased.

This means that chad players attacking or defending on top of points will now get more points than virgin bow players shooting from outside of the walls, making risk-taking more rewarding.

## Closing Thoughts

Season 1 will completely shake the meta that has barely changed ever since the game’s launch.

While most of the changes are amazing and I can barely wait for them to come to the live servers, others raise concerns about balancing. The changes to Grit and Greatsword are still going to be a topic of discussion until Season 2 unless they get further worked on before the lie update. The nerf to musket has significantly affected its viability as a weapon in the upcoming War meta, but it should still see usage in OPR and maybe even in Arena. The changes to critical hits have added an extra layer of balancing to the game while Fortify and Rend bring different equip loads more in tune with what they are supposed to be.

Overall, I am loving what I see and I think this will freshen the game a lot for those 3 months before Season 2.