Expedition Analytics: Empyrean Forge

26 March 2024

Greetings, Adventurers!

Learn more about the development of the Empyrean Forge through Level Designer Pride St. Clair and improve your experience with tips from 3 of your favorite New World content creators: Grumpyyrose, Sherlock Gnome, and YaBoiWiilly. We also compiled key insights like Mutation stats based on community performance.

Community Stats

Following the release of Cross-World Expeditions with improved Group Finder, our completion rate for this Expedition run through the Group Finder increased from 80% to 95%. We’ve compiled the following stats based on your performance in the Empyrean Forge.

Player Death Heatmap

Boss Breakdown

Completion Rate by Weapon

Sister Expeditions

“Empyrean Forge and Glacial Tarn were developed as sister Expeditions, something we were unable to talk about in our original Empyrean Forge development diary,” Pride said. “The challenge of designing these two in tandem was actively considering both halves. They had to converge in the same space without overshadowing the other’s complexity or intrigue. Within Empyrean Forge, you can see the promenade of the Glacial Tarn’s exterior and the great Ancient pyramid that stands as the centerpiece of both Expeditions because these spaces were developed to fit snugly together.”

“Unlike the industrial fire and natural ice, the expression of the aesthetics were not defined early in the design process. For Empyrean Forge, we were interested in exploring what industry and machinery looked like to the Ancients who once ruled over Aeternum. They were capable of building massive machines of destruction, such as Chardis of Lazarus Instrumentality, and manipulating primordial magic - the building blocks of reality. Though we’d seen their works fallen to rubble and scattered throughout the world, we had yet to see how these creations came to be. This made exploring the Empyrean Forge an exciting opportunity for us.“

“Empyrean Forge marked many firsts for us as a Design Team, including new foundational mechanics like player communication and unique environmental obstacles and interactions that we still build upon today.”


Plan Ahead

“Communication is crucial before launching your Expedition,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Discuss with your team whether you're aiming for speed, a high score, or a safe gold run. Setting expectations early is key to a smooth run. Understanding your team's skill level is also imperative for success. This insight allows for optimal allocation of Constitution, armor ratings, and stat points.”

“Proximity voice chat makes New World stand out amongst most other MMORPGs,“ Grumpyyrose said. ”It’s super helpful to communicate game plans. Talking with your team can also establish good vibes and strengthen patience for one another.“

Gear Recommendations

“Make sure you bring the right consumables like Human Ward Potions, Honing Stones, Attribute Food and Infused Health/ Regen Potions,” Grumpyyrose said. “Adding Rubies to your Armor/Jewelry, and having a Flame Protection Amulet is super helpful due to the amount of fire damage in forge.”

“Maximizing your damage output and survivability with the right gear is crucial,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Have a DPS focused main build paired with a secondary that offers utility. Starting with 50 to 100 Constitution is a solid foundation. Opting for 50 CON medium with either Attuned Leather Pants or the Natures Wrath Artifact can be another viable option. It’ll offer a similar DPS output with 100 CON light builds but with far more survivability.”

“A well-thought-out team composition significantly boosts your chances of success. Typically, you'll want at least 2 Great Axes for versatility in a PUG run, an Enfeeble Spear for applying Rends and Weakens, and a Void Gauntlet for Empower and additional Rends. The right mix can be the difference between striking gold and a premature exit.”


“We designed the Empyrean Forge as though it were a long-decommissioned factory suddenly sprung back to life,” Pride said. “The disrepair from centuries of neglect now served as a hazard for players to contend with. Reanimated machines grinded, churned, and crushed once again, now divorced from their original, forgotten purpose.”

Lava and Pistons

“Lava flooded the ancient chambers, spilling from broken pipes and pumped through broken pistons, blocking the player’s progress throughout the Expedition. The pistons, in particular, were an obvious choice as a gameplay obstacle. They were designed to only harm the player when they slammed down onto their base, which led to some interesting design problems and demanded strict synchronicity between the player clients and the server so no player saw a piston’s incorrect state.“

“Take your time when crossing through the lava and piston sections,” Grumpyyrose said. “Both cause instant death and prevent revives. I have fallen into the lava or timed the pistons wrong one too many times and got smooshed, oopsies!”

Control Room

“Tackling the puzzle before engaging with Ser Ducas can be a much safer approach,” Sherlock Gnome said. “First, go down the stairs carefully to progress the Quest Log. Next, go back up and make your way to the combination puzzle. The tank can then carefully jump off the cliff to stand on the button. Do not aggro Ser Ducas to make the most of this strategy.”

Puzzle Rooms

“We knew we wanted a puzzle with two parts—the cypher and the lock—but nothing like that existed in New World,” Pride said. “We also didn’t want to force players to run back and forth from the solution to the lock, like placing the solution to the puzzle on a wall in one of the hallways. The other outstanding obstacle was implementing randomness to the solution, so players couldn’t memorize it and brute force the encounter on subsequent playthroughs.”

“These puzzles require teamwork, communication, and some memory,” YaBoiWiilly said. “One person must stand on a platform to learn the code. They’ll then share it with their team, who must match the symbols to open the lock.”

The Heel

“We wanted to peel the curtain back on not just the Ancient’s forgotten machinations, but also the other creatures and beings that inhabited the hidden world of magic,” Pride said. “Ifrit and the Heel exist outside of the Ancient and Corrupted archetypes, representing something far older and more essential than those two warring factions. From a design standpoint, we wanted the creatures to feel like they were a part of, if not entirely born of, the energies that power the Forge. Narratively, this is simple. They’re creatures of flame, living amongst the lava of the dilapidated forge. Mechanically, however, we knew we wanted them to reflect the broiling chaos at the heart of the Expedition.”

“The enemies are not only strong, but crafty,” YaBoiWiilly said. “You get thrown into a gauntlet of pistons, lava, and the Heel. Patience is a virtue here, so be precise with your movement.”

“The Heel exists as part of the obstacle course that begins after using the dial puzzle to open the door to the forge and ends upon entering Ifrit’s arena,” Pride said. “The Heel has a much larger awareness range than similar Elementals, allowing it to harass players as they attempt to cross hazardous bridges and avoid being crushed under the Forge’s tempering pistons. In this way, it feels more integrated into the actual level design itself- not just a simple encounter, but one that leads the player through the obstacle course and can complicate their traversal as they progress.”

“A pro tip is to have your healer pull aggro from the entrance, allowing them to heal safely while the rest of the team maneuvers through the obstacles,” Sherlock Gnome said. “This strategy prevents ghosts from targeting your group as you navigate to the platform.”

Mutation-Specific Advice

Normal & M1

“Full Opals with an Amulet of Protection matching the Mutation are recommended,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Flame Protection is advisable for encounters with Ifrit and Marius.”


“Aim for 40% to 63% protection by equipping Tier 5 Gems across all Armor and Jewelry, complemented by a Protection Amulet,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Consider switching to a Flame Protection Amulet for the boss fights.”


“Having 2-3 Gear Sets tailored to your main build allows for full Mutation-specific protection,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Equip gear for Flame and Slash protection during boss encounters to increase your chances of survival. You’ll also want to prepare multiple Gear Sets to optimize your Gem sets for each boss along with the proper team combination. This will make M3s far easier and more consistent, no matter who joins your group.“

“Timing your dodges can be life or death during an M3 so stamina management is massive here,” YaBoiWiilly. “Remember practice makes perfect. Keep trying to get better.”

“If you are struggling with M3s, you should bring a higher CON and more gear with defensive traits such as Enchanted Ward and Elemental Aversion. I always keep Gemstone Dust in my hot bar,” Grumpyyrose said.

“Focus on teamwork and effective communication to vastly improve your performance,” Sherlock Gnome said. “You can even record and review VODs to help identify areas of improvement.”


“For Ifrit, we had a single driving theme in mind from its initial concept - bullet hell,” Pride said. “We wanted a fight that was less about managing aggro or leading the boss to safe spots and more about spatial awareness and player dexterity. Ifrit uses both stationary hazards and timing challenges to force players to prioritize damage and movement in equal measure. We hoped this design would give damage dealers a more involved fight, and be a rewarding experience for players who enjoy more active combat.“

Dodge and Move

“Dodging and movement is the most important part of this fight,” YaBoiWiilly said. “The boss has multiple AOE abilities ranging from Flame Waves, Fire Bombs, and Flamethrowers. Some of the abilities also leave a lasting impression on the battlefield, so position yourself for success.”

“This battle becomes significantly easier with Flame and Slash Protection,” Sherlock Gnome said. “Be vigilant of bombs dropping from the sky — they're deadly. The tank should position their back to the Flame Waves. This will allow the DPS player to more effectively anticipate and dodge.”

“With the Flame Waves you can go prone to avoid them," YaBoiWiilly said. "But be careful! Bombs can still drop on your head."

Favorite Tactic

“As a ranged player it’s natural to stay far away,” Grumpyyrose said. “However after the first phase, I get closer and use my melee weapon for the remainder of the fight. During the final 2 stages, Ifrit shoots flames and rotates. Follow the rotation up close to stay safe and maximize damage.“

Commander Marius

“Commander Marius still retains some of this chaotic energy, forcing players to contend with a lava filled floor or pancaking lava boulders that fall from the ceiling,” Pride said. “Still, his mobility and lethality put the tank back in the driver’s seat, asking them to find safe spots away from hazards while also making sure Marius doesn’t turn his attention to the squishier members of the party.”


“Keep Marius on one side of the entrance door for more predictability since he’ll always go back to the same place,” Sherlock Gnome said. “For ranged strategies, designate the healer or a DPS to stand farthest from Marius. This will dictate his spin direction. For melee strategies, position the healer behind the tank to ensure Marius spins toward the tank instead of the DPS. Look out for red dots over your head. These indicate accumulated Flame Stacks and can one shot your team when exploded. Dodge his slam attacks to avoid fatal damage.”

“You'll have to avoid mini volcanoes, Commander Marius spinning around the room, falling boulders, and rising lava,” YaBoiWiilly said. “Melee will have a tough time, so run range if you can. It can seem like a lot is happening, but pay close attention. There are indicators for when the lava boulders land and which direction they will go, as well as ample visual and audio ques that telegraph his other abilities.”

Favorite Strategy

“Ranged players rejoice yayyy,” Grumpyyrose said. “I stick to the platforms during this whole fight and attack from a distance. Be aware of where the tank is and rotate to other platforms as necessary. Phase 2 and 3 (I like to call these the flaming meatball stages) is when the platforms get more dangerous. Be aware of where the last meatball has landed and rotate as needed. If you play the inner corners of the platform, you’ll find safe pockets to avoid the falling meatballs.”

Enjoy the Journey

“Make friends, join groups, and experiment with different builds and tactics for another layer of enjoyment,” Sherlock Gnome said. “New World is designed for shared adventures with Company members, existing friends, and new acquaintances you meet along the way. Who will you take on yours?”


Conquer the Empyrean Forge for a chance to receive the following loot drops:

  • Minor Heartrune of Fire Storm

  • Empty Hearth Amulet

  • Red Hot Slag Ring

  • Charcoal Earring

  • Fire of Life - Life Staff

  • Snowmelt - Ice Gauntlet

  • Brightdark - Void Gauntlet

  • Volcanic Staff - Fire Staff

  • Firepoker - Spear

  • Knightslayer - Rapier

  • Firefight - War Hammer

  • Blast Shield - Kite Shield

  • Trickshot - Hatchet

  • Old Longbow - Bow

  • Shredder - Blunderbuss

  • Flamespout - Musket

  • Commanding Strike - Great Axe

  • Enduring Will - Longsword

  • Strikeback - Greatsword

  • Rending Flail - Flail

  • Dragonsteel - Heavy Chestwear

  • Insulating Helm - Heavy Headwear

  • Darkshroud Leggings - Heavy Legwear

  • Counterbalancing Boots - Heavy Footwear

  • Scaled Gauntlets - Heavy Gloves


Defeat Commander Marius in an M3 Mutation for a chance at the following items:

  • Fire Lord's Cuirass - Heavy Chestwear

  • Fire Lord's Great Horned Helm - Heavy Headwear

  • Fire Lord's Cuisses - Heavy Legwear

  • Fire Lord's Greaves- Heavy Footwear

  • Fire Lord's Vambraces - Heavy Gloves

Make sure to follow each content creator for more guides, tips, and other original New World content:

We hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Empyrean Forge. Let us know what you’d like to see in future analytics articles. Thanks for your support and we’ll see you in Aeternum!