Prior to Neverwinter launching in 2013, I purchased a Founder’s pack for about $40-60 thinking this could be my new regular MMORPG. At the time, Neverwinter sounded promising and is exactly what I wanted to see added to the genre. The allure of action combat that’s a breath of fresh air from the usual tab targeting was enticing. In addition to that, I absolutely loved the idea of The Foundry. Players especially those who are table top dungeon masters can now re-create their worlds, campaigns and quests virtually. For whatever reason, I left the game after a month. My main character being level 36 didn’t get to see what end game was like.
Four years on, I jumped back into Neverwinter and started a brand new character. This time, I wanted to soak it all in again and find out if I’ve missed anything. I also want to give it a genuine second shot. There must be something I’m just not getting here. My Oathbound Paladin is currently level 25. Here’s some observations from my second adventure.
Combat Is Still Attractive
The first thing that really grabbed me was the combat system, just like it did the first time. Combat in Neverwinter feels good. Holding down your LMB executes combos and you’re free to throw in your Encounter or class skills in between to suit the situation. Based on what your class archetype is, you also fill in certain roles like Heals, Tank and of course DPS. On the landscape it doesn’t matter too much because mobs drop like flies. And that’s where the combat stands out from the usual AAA MMORPGs I play. Instead of mobs having a high health pool and you spamming your keys over and over till they die, Neverwinter gives you that Diablo style combat of hack and slash albeit in full 3D rather than isometric. And what that does is it gives me the illusion that I am making a significant difference on the landscape. The loot dropping all over the place is another nod to Diablo, although most of it is trash – I only pick up gear I can use on top of pots and ID scrolls.
Daunting Amount Of Content To Catch Up On
The other thing that strikes me as a reborn new player is just how much there is to do and look forward to. I’m only level 25, and while PvE is pretty linear so far, there’s a lot going on in between that’s there to break monotony. PvP opens early, Campaigns set in at level 10, there’s other player’s Foundry quests to do and of course, Dungeons and Skirmishes. Opening my Campaign tab under the quest log shows me just how much stuff is waiting for me at level cap. There’s at least five or more level 70 campaigns to do, in addition to new dungeons and other end-game content.
Astral Diamonds Are Forever
Let’s talk about currency for a second. One play I met on my new adventure gave me some insight into what matters most in Neverwinter. For the most part, nothing’s changed. Astral Diamonds are still the most important currency. And, it’s also a cause for many of the negativity surrounding the P2W argument. See, you can only earn a certain amount of AD a day. These come through daily quests such as Dungeons, Skirmishes, Foundry quests and PvP. Because there’s a ceiling to how much you can get a day, new players aren’t going to catch up to veterans – unless they pay. Call it what you want, but it is there to be monetized. Cash for convenience. What I really didn’t understand is why gold is absolutely useless. Besides AD, you do get gold, silver and copper as basic currency. These are usually used for purchasing necessary basics like dungeon kits and injury kits. Unfortunately, it isn’t used for much else. Maybe I’m just at a point where I have not seen the late game and what else it does, but I’ll keep looking.
So there’s where I’m currently at. I think I’m in the fourth zone, beating up pirates to save Neverwinter and I enjoy being Sgt. Knox’s lackey. I’m also enjoying the story somewhat. It’s not the greatest for an MMO, nor are most parts of it well written. It’s just there and it keeps the quest hub crawl from map to map cohesive, and I can certainly appreciate that. Thus, I will be continuing my adventure to the level cap of 70, and will report my findings as I go along. Stay tuned.