A good analysis from Violet. New World's two chief strengths, for me, are its visuals and game play 'flow'. The visuals speak for themselves. The game looks amazing. The flow manifests itself in a few different ways: + A seamless world with a well integrated map (By comparison, SOTA's flow is broken into zones and a separate, old school Ultima overland map) + A largely zoneless experience. Its easy to follow quests across the map wherever they are, never feeling bound to a zone (by comparison, SOTA is confining in its zone experience). +Engaging exploration-driven crafting system, one that easily leads non-crafting types to use it out of necessity. (by comparison, SOTA's crafting feels like a more hardcore, more esoteric option.) + Gameplay is not broken or paused due to story very much. One engages books and letters throughout the word for story, much more than NPCs. These can be read at any time later instead of during midst of a quest (by comparison, SOTA's earlier game play hinges on NPC text interaction much more heavily). + PVP is dynamic and integrated at a territory level. It has geographic meaning and is integrated with the quest system (By comparison, SOTA PVP is just dueling oriented). + Its this feeling of fantastic gameplay 'flow' for me -- across its entire world -- that makes the game for New World 'fun', at least until Level 60 so far. (By comparison, SOTA feels like more of a D&D modular experience, one module per scene). I'd agree with the OP that New World did not copy SOTA at all. SOTA has strengths of its own that are different (housing, skill system, story choices, etc.). If I was Catnip, for SOTA's future I'd be considering how to keep those while sewing together the many disparate scenes into one world, and coming up with a next generation overland map for it. SOTA has features to be a New World competitor if it was a seamless world (not a mini-scene game linked by a 1980s old school Ultima map). Fix that, and the door to more flow is opened as New World demonstrates.