In most MMORPGs, a higher rarity usually indicates that the item is cooler. But in the New World, this system works differently. Indicates the number of perks the item has. Perks are special additional functions and powers of an item.
There are 5 rarity levels in New World MMORPG:
- Regular [Gray] - 0 perks
- Uncommon [Green] - 1 perk
- Rare [blue] - 2 perks
- Epic [Violet] - 3 perks
- Legendary [Orange] - Named and legendary items have selected perks and permanent equipment points
As you can see, the system is very simple and straightforward. When you look at an item in your inventory, you always know how many traits it has. If it's purple, it has 3 perks, if it's green - only one. Legendary items are not subject to this rule. They can have a different number of perks.
There is one thing you need to keep in mind: Items with the SAME equipment score and the SAME rarity level can vary greatly due to the different perks! They are not equal. You can have 2 epic swords in your inventory, but one of them may have very cool features for your character and the other is absolutely useless for your playstyle.
In one of their articles, the New World developers mentioned that perks are randomly assigned to common items [not legendary]. This fact means that there may be times when you prefer to have a lower rarity item just because it has better perks.
Imagine you are playing as a mage and have found a new epic cane with 3 perks and the same class of equipment. Your current Uncommon Staff has a lower rarity and only one perk, but this perk is much better suited to your character. Of course you will not replace your current staff just because the new one has a higher rarity [= more perks].
So it is a bad idea to equip epic [purple] items just because they have a better rarity. You always have to look not at the color of the item, but at the benefits!
Legendary and named items
Legendary and named items are unique. They have locked equipment points and selected perks, which means they are not randomly assigned to an item. Developers control this process. That's why legendary stuff is usually very cool, and all players dream of finding yellow gear.