I don't want to say that my time in New Worlds was totally negative, because that is definitely not the case. Mechanically, the game is very sound, and there is something pretty addictive about the overall loop for xp and gold, even though it's not actually all that engaging on a moment-to-moment basis. The onboarding process for most new players is smooth, and more experienced players are happy to help show the ropes. The guilds are varied and there is a lot of room for self-expression as a player (but don't express yourself too much...) There are some genuinely good people who make for some very strong roleplay.
But I had to leave the game once I saw the culture of negativity and harassment that can feel stifling and pervasive. The most egregious incident that comes to mind involved a transgender player starting a trans character. This person preferred she/her pronouns, and asked a staff member/player (that's a whole other issue) to refer to her as such. This staff member, in response, led a sustained campaign of bullying against the player, recruiting her friends to use Darci (the game's depository for gossip) to leave some very hateful messages for all the game's players to see. When this player was clearly in a crisis due to this harassment, the response was to amp up the hateful rhetoric, with players gleefully calling her "it" and misgendering her as harshly as possible. Some will argue that the harassed player brought it onto herself with a certain level of aggression in response to her treatment, but frankly we should be holding the staff member (the "new player staff," at that! the audacity of it all) and old players to a higher standard than someone who just started.
More recently, an in-game relationship came to an end, and for weeks afterwards the rumor mill circulated the nastiest claims about the woman, who from my understanding didn't do anything to warrant such harassment. It took Darci crashing to bring an end to that, but not before that player stopped coming around. This is a cycle that has repeated itself several times in the year that I played this game. Staff are perfectly willing to jump and dictate roleplay when it comes to major world events, or just booting someone out of a guildmaster position because they happen to not agree with how the guild is being run. But they are mysteriously absent whenever situations like these pop up, pointing to random help files and "keep it IC" as if we don't all know the score.
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