The first time I saw New World—an MMO about exploring and conquering a magical island—it seemed fairly survival game-ey, but since then it's shifted toward more typical MMO conventions. You won't die of thirst or hunger, for example, although you will want to eat.
In a new blog post today, Amazon Game Studios goes over New World's items, including the function of food and drink. The system hasn't changed since I last saw the MMO, but I always find the way RPGs handle food interesting, so the details bear repeating.
A good meal in New World will heal you and give you passive health recovery that will continuously nourish you both in and out of combat, as well as increase your Constitution, adding to your base health. Really good food can also "increase your defense against certain enemies, enhance your stamina recovery, or even temporarily hone a crafting skill," as a few examples.
Magic tinctures will help when you need some hit points in a pinch, but having passive healing in combat is a buff that I can't imagine you'd want to leave town without. I like that, at least from the sound of it, eating won't just be something you can ignore.
The post also goes over potions and tinctures (potions give you lasting effects, while tinctures give you immediate effects like instant healing or curing a condition), weapon coatings (damage bonuses against specific enemy types), and the equipment you'll craft or come across. It wouldn't be a modern MMO without Legendary items, and they're represented—most will be found by "engaging with the most dangerous and challenging foes Aeternum has to offer."
My last hands-on preview left me feeling like there's potential in New World, although I still wonder if it does enough to stand out. The food looks nice, as do the swords, but as each new blog post appears I remain unsure of what the hook is.
Granted, it may just be that it's enough to release a $40 MMO that runs well and features the sort of action RPG combat that's popular these days. We'll see if that's the case in a couple months, or if I'm missing something that gives New World more of an edge. (And hopefully it has more of an edge than Amazon's other new game, Crucible.)
New World will release on August 25.