What Do We Love About… Neverwinter?
Well we’ve given you enough articles now telling you what we’d change about games, so how about we share the love, put a positive spin and start listing some of the things we love about games. In our new “What Do We Love About…?” feature we’ll highlight some of our favourite features in our favourite games and what it is about them that sets them above the rest. First up we return to the Forgotten Realms in Perfect World Entertainment’s Neverwinter for some good old D&D-esq fun. So where to start?
Dungeons & Dragons/Forgotten Realms
We just outright love the franchise. Now we actually came quite late to the D&D/Forgotten Realms franchise, we never played the original Baldur’s Gate games, or Neverwinter Nights series, we actually only started playing D&D tabletop around 4 years ago and our first setting was The Forgotten Realms. D&D is broken down into lots of different “campaign settings”, essentially the same tabletop rules are used, there’s similar gods, monsters and stuff like that, but the general lore and the world the game is set in is completely different. The Forgotten Realms, created by Ed Greenwood, is such a rich and immersive world we were extremely excited about being able to explore this world for ourselves and actually live in it with our own character. Whilst the setting itself of Neverwinter is a little bit too familiar, with each introduction of new areas or dungeons it is amazing to see the world slowly grow over time. The world design is amazing, the different areas really do successfully capture a specific theme and it’s a fascinating time seeing how the storylines and quests all tie together.
Choice of Classes
Wide choice of customizable classes. Whilst it has taken a while to get that eighth Oathbound Paladin out we feel that Neverwinter really has the bases covered now with the number of classes they have, touching upon what you would want from a fantasy MMORPG as well as the core classes that players of D&D would expect to see in a D&D themed game. None of the classes really feel all that similar to any of their counterparts aside from the Paladin which is more of a warrior-cleric hybrid, but in all honesty we’re fine seeing stuff like that and can only hope for more classes. Added to the fact players can continuously customize which of their known powers they use as their active powers, can choose which powers to put talents in, and then further customize the 8 classes into 16 Paragon Paths; there’s a whole lot of choice.
Lots of strong character appearance options. For an MMORPG we personally feel like this is a feature that is most definitely overlooked by many other titles, even if you’re not a roleplayer most players like to have strong appearance customization options, be it clothing, armor and of course character creation. Neverwinter has a pretty impressive thirteen different races (albeit nearly half of them are some form of Elf or Darkelf/Drow offshoot), but even within each race there’s as many colour pickers, sliders and detail options than you could want. Particularly for the D&D Roleplayer crowd this kind of customization really is a strong pulling factor, no one likes looking the same as everyone else, and so we for one approve of the time that went into the system.
Non-tabbing combat and customizable powers are great. Whilst at times a tab based targeting system is great for grinding and ease of use, it does seriously take the challenge out of combat, both PvE and especially PvP where it’s nigh on impossible to lose an attackers focus without some form of teleport/stealth skill, giving ranged classes a major advantage. The non-tabbing combat in Neverwinter means players have to aim their attacks, both ranged and melee, if they want to be effective and so it means a lot more involvement instead of semi-automated fighting. Combined with the powers system that they have in place where players unlock various At-Will (instant use), Encounter (Long Cooldown) and Daily (Charge Action Points) powers that they must then choose which to have equipped at any one time, taken directly from the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition ruleset, offering much more versatility and individuality in combat.
Creating your own quests is amazing. This is the thing we love the most, and whilst it would be at the top of our list we decided to save the best for last. Whilst it isn’t without its share of issues the overall power and possibilities you can create with the Foundry is simply staggering, creating your own instance based environments, placing each building and item (or combining them, rotating and moving them to create your own items) and creatures; choosing their skill level and when they spawn, placing NPCs and being able to create dialogue and quest options. The Foundry keeps the game fresh, the thousands of players can create content way quicker than the Devs and, in all honesty, with the limited (albeit impressive) tools players have we dare say that some Foundry Quests have been far better than the actual official content. For the Minecraft style builder lovers the Foundry is simply fantastic, we spent more time playing in it when the game released than we ever did playing the game, logging in each day as we created huge environments and tied in a story, or made quick and simple one shots for some quick thrills and easy XP. The Foundry is, quite simply, the one feature we think every MMORPG needs to have.
These are some of the things that we love about Neverwinter, but what do you think? What do you love about this game? Would you add anything else to the list? We await your opinions! Let us know!!!!!