"Fresh start servers" are designed to give players a chance to sample MMOs when they were—you guessed it—fresh and new and not overcrowded and overrun by max-level players and all their stuff. Blizzard, for instance, announced earlier this year that World of Warcraft Classic's Wrath of the Lich King expansion would launch with fresh servers, where all players would start with new characters at level 1. Starting in November, players of Amazon's New World will have the same opportunity when Fresh Start Worlds for that game go live.
"We’ve received a lot of requests for Fresh Start Worlds, so we are using the time between the Brimstone Sands release and the opening of these worlds to ensure you have a high quality, fresh start," Amazon said in the announcement.
"All coins, loot, and characters must originate in these servers. That means no powerful or rich Adventurers can transfer into any of the new worlds. A blank canvas complete with a revamped starting experience awaits."
Brimstone Sands, by the way, is an update going live today—October 18—that will add a new ancient Egyptian-themed zone to the game, along with a new expedition, Heartgem abilities, the greatsword weapon, and that "revamped starting experience" mentioned in the announcement, which Amazon said will reduce backtracking, improve quest accessibility, and tie the new player experience more tightly to the central storyline. You can check out the full patch notes here.
Fresh start servers aren't a new concept, but they're more commonly seen in older games: ArcheAge, which launched in North America in 2014, rolled out fresh start servers in September, and Old School RuneScape, from 2013, is opening its own fresh start servers later in October. World of Warcraft is a decade older than either of them, although Wrath of the Lich King isn't quite that age, having debuted in 2008.
New World, on the other hand, is just barely a year old: It launched on September 28, 2021. And it hasn't been what you'd call an overly smooth year, as players have struggled with technical issues, gold scammers, dupers, complaints about the economy, and a general sense that the game was not in a great state. Launching fresh start servers after just a year of operation could be seen as another indicator that things haven't gone exactly according to plan, and in fact some players in the New World subreddit welcomed the move not so they could enjoy the game as it was on day one, but simply because it might help alleviate the problems they anticipate will arise when Brimstone Sands goes live.
"I think this is the right decision ultimately," FineLeg wrote. "It gives them the chance to avoid and fix massive game breaking bugs or glitches from Brimstone that could sully the new servers."
"They're also lowering the huge influx of players that both Brimstone and fresh start servers could create," Otiknayluj replied. "Imagine welcoming returning players with +2000 players queues."
Cyprux, on the other hand, took more of a pessimistic, "why not both?" position. "Launching fresh starts later means that people don't have to choose between brimstone/fresh," they wrote. "Now people can clog the servers for both events."
Eaglered2167, on the other hand, was more upbeat, arguing that while players want fresh start servers right now, the decision to launch them two weeks after the Brimstone Sands update is "the correct way to do it."
"Ensure that the major update bugs have been patched and then release fresh servers to ensure that the experience is the best that it can be," they wrote. "You only get one shot to get back old players and this is it. If you launch everything at once and there are major issues, you have lost your chance.
"Plus, they just dropped the Territory Management Update dev blog which is a major change to how factions currently take advantage of settlements. This will actually help the economy of Fresh Start servers specifically. So they need this in before Fresh Start servers open up."
New World's Fresh Start Worlds are set to roll out on November 2.