Is New World a PvP game?
Yes, PvP plays a heavy part in New World gameplay, but it's completely optional and you can play the game without ever having to fight another player. Here is a brief summary of how PvP works.
New World has three factions that you can choose from. After you join a chosen faction, you will gain certain benefits from captured territories on the island, such as decreased tax rate for crafting, new town projects you can complete to improve crafting stations, or start wars with another faction for control over territory. PvP is completely optional, and for Player-versus-Environment it doesn't matter which faction you choose - you can always turn the conflict with other players off.
— a ruthless military company combined with warriors of passing skill. They believe in a world where anyone with power can prosper and profit;
— an organization of scientists and alchemists bound by the search for logical reasons for the existence of corruption and find forbidden knowledge to usher in a new age of enlightenment and prosperity;
— religious fanatics that believe the land of Aeternum must be cleansed from the corruption, and heretics and defilers must accept the holy natures for justice can be done;
After joining a faction you will become part of the community and will be able to join Companies - a guild system that is tied to your selected faction. Companies will help you to find players for PvE and PvP battles in your area. After joining one faction, you will only be able to change it after 120 days.
Factions also have a drastic role on PvP and territory aspects of the game. Being a member of a faction gives you an opportunity to conquer territories and towns in a large-scale PvP. As soon as a Company declares war on the controlled territory, you will be able to compete in sieging of a fortress to fight for the territory and its benefits. Leader of the winning Company will gain control over the territory and the town residing in it. They will be able to set a tax rate for the services provided inside town such as crafting, trading and housing as well as lesser tax for faction members.