The Greatsword is a powerful two-handed weapon like the Great Axe or War Hammer, but uses martial techniques rather than sheer power to vanquish foes. An offensive and defensive stance set it apart in terms of gameplay, while unique visual traits make it feel even more distinct. We joined the Design Team for a deeper look at the Greatsword’s size, stance effects, and heads-up display (HUD), plus some other neat tidbits.
Attacks are central to this blade’s core design. It embodies relentless offense paired with aggressive defense. Even defensive skills tend to have some kind of attacking component. Whether fighting groups of foes with wide sweeping strikes or single targets with a few specialized skills, the Greatsword can adapt to almost any situation. The stances also give players more freedom for versatile tactics regardless of their preferred playstyle.
Its size was a result of desire and practicality. The Design Team wanted a slightly fantastical, larger than life weapon with a weight that was still comparable to the Great Axe or War Hammer. They strove for something large enough to be impressive, but small enough to not obscure character animations when worn on the character’s back.
Here’s a breakdown of how the Greatsword is weaker than, about the same as, and stronger than the following weapons:
- Weaker than: Less pursuit options.
- About the same as: DPS.
- Stronger than: Better buff/debuff application.
- Weaker than: No stuns.
- About the same as: Abilities that cause reactions.
- Stronger than: Faster attacks/DPS.
- Weaker than: Fewer defensive actions. Can’t protect allies as well.
- About the same as: Block stability on par with light shields.
- Stronger than: Higher range.
- Weaker than: Slower attack speed.
- About the same as: Good self buffing.
- Stronger than: Higher range.
- Weaker than: Less crowd control options/spacing tools.
- About the same as: Similar range.
- Stronger than: Sweeping attacks instead of linear ones.
The team wanted to push the unique aspects of the Greatsword further through even Strength and Dexterity damage scaling. This allows players more flexibility when choosing a secondary weapon:
- Strength: 80%
- Dexterity: 80%
- Strength: 100%
- Dexterity 0%
- Strength: 90%
- Dexterity: 65%
- Strength: 65%
- Dexterity: 90%
Opposing forces are a common theme throughout New World. Stances take a similar approach, but are broadly themed around offense and defense. Additional themes include:
- Angelic and Demonic
- Fire and Water
- Barbarian and Knight
- Yin and Yang
- Order and Chaos
Stance differences are primarily depicted through visual effects. This helps the player immediately recognize their active stance based on color. The HUD reinforces stance indicators with small icons, almost like a backup rather than the main expression of the stance. Players typically focus on the action in the center of the screen, so the small icons help bring their attention to the active stance in situations where screen elements might be obscured.
Here are some of the early HUD concepts, including pros and cons for each:
- We already do something similar to this for Sword/Shield. The Shield icon is shown in the corner of the Sword icon.
- Weapon icons are in the corner of the screen, meaning the player must take their eyes off of their character to check.
- Calls attention to an already existing game element.
- Status effect icons can move around as the player receives more of them.
- Players often look at the health bar, which is close to the icon.
- At that time, the spot was used by the in-combat icon.
- Centered on the character and health bar.
- It might get overlooked at the bottom of the screen.
Look forward to the release of the Greatsword alongside Brimstone Sands on October 18. Thanks for your support! We’ll see you in Aeternum.