To survive and thrive in New World, you will need to overcome many challenges, learning new skills and abilities as you adventure forward. Characters progress across three major categories: Core Attributes, Trade Skills, and Weapon Mastery. While you are free to master as many or as few weapons and Trade Skills as you like, your Core Attributes ultimately govern a large part of how powerful you are relative to the various hostile creatures and other players in Aeternum.
When you first arrive in Aeternum, your Character will have 5 points in each of the core attributes and you cannot drop below that 5-point minimum. Each time your Character levels up, you are granted Attribute Points to spend on whichever Attribute(s) you choose. Gains from Attributes are soft-capped at 195 points. You can go beyond the soft cap with the help of armor, weapons, and trinkets, but there are diminishing returns starting at 100 points. If you feel you’ve placed a point in error or you want to switch up your total point allocation, you can redistribute (respec) your attributes for a small fee. The cost to respec increases as you increase in level, however, so keep that in mind!
Strength governs your power with some melee weapons. Heavy melee weapons, such as the War Hammer, scale their damage exclusively on Strength, while lighter melee weapons like the Sword scale their damage primarily on Strength, but also slightly on Dexterity.
Dexterity governs your effectiveness with ranged weapons as well as some melee weapons. Bows and Muskets both grow in power as your character’s Dexterity increases.
Intelligence governs your power with magical weapons, including any magical Perks your weapons might have. Both purely magical weapons like the Fire Staff and physical weapons with a Magical Perk (such as the Ignited perk) grow in power based on your Intelligence Attribute.
Focus governs your Mana recovery rate and is also the attribute that governs the effectiveness of the Life Staff. Higher Focus not only means that you can cast more spells more regularly but your ability to use the Life Staff is increased.
Constitution governs your overall Health pool. The higher your Constitution, the more damage you can sustain before succumbing to your injuries.
Trade Skills make up a variety of non-combat skills that you can master. There are 5 Gathering Skills, 5 Refining Skills, and 7 Crafting Skills.
The 5 Gathering Skills are Mining, Skinning, Logging, Fishing, and Harvesting. Leveling up a Gathering Skill unlocks the ability to gather different, higher-level resources as well as track items related to that skill. Miners gather Stone and Ore, Skinners gather Animal Hides, Loggers gather Wood, Fishers pull fish from the waterways, and Harvesters gather Fibers and some food items, Fruits, and Vegetables. As your skill at gathering increases, you also gain the ability to detect nearby valuable resources and find special resources that can modify items when crafting.
The 5 Refining Skills are Smelting, Stonecutting, Woodworking, Tanning, and Weaving. Leveling up a Refining Skill unlocks the ability to refine higher-level resources into higher-level crafting materials. Smelters refine Ore into Ingots, Stonecutters refine Stone into Blocks and cut Gemstones, Woodworkers refine Wood into Lumber, Tanners refine Rawhide into Leather, and Weavers refine Fibers into Cloth. As your Refining Skill increases, it makes you more resource-efficient: higher-level refiners have a chance to gain extra refined resources while they refine.
The 7 Crafting Skills are Weaponsmithing, Armoring, Jewelcrafting, Engineering, Arcana, Cooking, and Furnishing.
Weaponsmiths craft melee weapons.
Armorers craft soft and hard armors.
Jewelcrafters craft trinkets.
Engineers craft ranged weapons and ammunition.
Arcanists craft potions, tinctures, and magical weapons.
Cooks craft meals and non-magical drinks.
Furnishers craft furniture, storage, and trophies for houses.
Leveling a crafting skill unlocks more recipes and more powerful versions of them, along with some other things we go over in more detail in our Crafting article.
Using a weapon in combat against creatures results in gaining XP for that weapon’s Mastery when those creatures are defeated. Every weapon in the game can be mastered. Each Weapon Mastery has 2 Skill Trees, and each Skill Tree has a selection of active abilities, passive modifiers, and bonuses that are exclusive to that weapon. Leveling your Weapon Mastery grants a point that can be spent to unlock one of these abilities, passives, or bonuses. However, it is not possible to unlock everything between both Mastery Trees, so you’ll have to choose wisely. If you want to try out a different build for a weapon, you can respec its Mastery Trees in exchange for some Azoth. We will dive deeper into Weapon Mastery in the future. However you choose to fight, you’ll need to forge and discover powerful weapons to fit your combat style. Whether battling in wars with other players or holding back waves of The Corrupted, your combat skills will mean the difference between life and death.
You will arrive to Aeternum battered and weak, but by venturing into this daunting and supernatural land you will find your power and forge your destiny. You will learn by doing, harden through combat, and become as dangerous as the forces you will face. How will you choose to grow in power and knowledge as you adventure in Aeternum?
*May 11, 2021: We made minor updates to this article to reflect changes during development.