Toll also asked this: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=5426
Taking from my response there:
Resources don't carry forward, as they stay with the old continent. Benefits of moving to a second continent instead of starting a new world include:
1. Any non-magical artifacts such as traps, wood platforms, vitality stones, etc, can be carried between continents.
2. Any crests or other "elite loot" that you find can be carried between continents.
3. There is actually new stuff on the further continents that you can't get access to on the first continent in any world -- new region types, etc.
4. Any unlocks (from the upcoming release, not referring to learned spells) that you accomplished while on the first continent don't have to be redone on the second continent. And progress on to partly-completed unlocks is global to the world, of course.
All that said, we want to also look into other ways to make it so that your great works from the first continent carry forward in a way that is both satisfying and balanced. We have some more pipe to lay before we can fully evaluate how to best do that, but I think that something along the lines of Toll's idea is what is needed.TLDR:
At the moment, each continent is basically bulding on what was in the prior continents, and so if you play new worlds constantly you'll miss out on at least 2/3 of the content. The general flow of content in v1.0 of the game is that the content is spread across the first three continents. Even by the end of the first three continents there will be new things in terms of procedural terrain or potentially even room maps that you haven't seen, but there won't be anything that you can't
have unlocked by that point. It's sort of like playing "New Game +" in a lot of JRPGs, in some ways.