All the flap about World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight has made it easier than ever to forget there's a whole New World out there, but there is, and it's temporarily free. You can jump into the frontier of Amazon Games vaguely piratical MMO without paying a penny this weekend, where you're free to lark about until December 19th. Has the recent early game overhaul alleviated the opening grind? Perhaps!
When New World came out last year hardly anyone hailed it as original or even especially interesting, but sometimes you don't need to reinvent the grind wheel. It's a chonking big MMO with pretty vistas and combat where you actually have to attack and block rather than spam abilities, traits attractive enough for it to briefly become the most popular game on Steam and for its servers to fall over.
Ed recently spoke to the devs about the Brimstone Sands expansion, which adds an endgame area and streamlines some early ones. Ed wasn't convinced, but nor was he unconvinced: "from the brief bits I've played and heard, it sounds like it could succeed, but there are still major question marks over whether that early game has really changed significantly or not".
Alice did bemoan that possibly still-present early game grind in her New World review, while also saying she didn't "exactly hate it". Personally I'd advise running away before you start saying similar things about a game that can also feel like a second job.
If not, you can hop into the free weekend via Steam. New World is also currently 50% off, which means you can bag it for £17.50/$20/€20. You can also pay twice as much for the new Azoth edition, if you really want to.