The F2Peer Review: Neverwinter
We are getting our regular community players to check out Neverwinter from for the newest F2Peer Review, a Dungeons & Dragons inspired action combat MMO RPG revolving around the events and location of Neverwinter from the Forgotten Realms D&D campaign setting. Taking its direction from other themepark style RPGs the game is a story driven MMO with crafting, PVP and intriguing dungeon delves and a fantastic Foundry system for players to create their own quests. Here’s what our players thought:
I’ve played worse games than Neverwinter, and the game differently has its pros and cons. I’m the guy that likes a challenge and unfortunately the game doesn’t really provide one, presumed through design the PVE content is pretty easy for anyone with an ounce of MMORPG experience all the action combat does make things more form versus a tab-based targeting system. As ever I like to focus on PVP and so found myself doing pretty well as a Trickster Rogue, unfortunately once the system in place for increasing players levels so that in a battleground everyone is the same level with the same strength/hit points etc. the game doesn’t actually balance players GS [Gear Score] which completely makes level balancing pointless as it only takes a few of the high-level players with higher level gear to dominate a match; due to this I found myself not get involved in PVP as much as I would like.
The game is enjoyable as the main quest/campaign content can be done solo and from the very beginning with the introduction and early quests you find yourself at the beginning of your own epic journey and taken through the game at an easy pace, rarely hitting the point where you are in dire need of a group to help you overcome a challenge. Perhaps this was due to my class choice (Guardian Fighter) but I felt quite powerful and enemies were rarely able to take you down.
As much as I love playing solo, generally due to my more casual/unsociable playing hours that it’s hard to find a group of friends that I can stay around the same level as, I really appreciated the Call to Arms Skirmishes where I could queue for the event and be thrown into a pickup group of other players to beat the zone challenge. I generally hate PUGs as it’s usually halfway through the dungeon, an hour in, where you realise you have a complete asshat in your group; at least with the Call to Arms the events are fairly short so if you have an incompetent party member and even if you fail is not wasted too much time.
Achievements galore :D I’m a sucker for them and it seem like regardless of what content you were trying to complete, what features you are exploring, there were achievements encouraging you to keep going on giving you something else to work for. Whilst a lot of the achievements were simply bragging rights to show how far you have progressed in the game e.g. Quest and Dungeon “Achievements”, which pretty much anyone can get, there were also a lot of them for exploration where you would have to find stuff in the game youtself. Then there were Foundry achievements for playing player made Foundry quest content, writing reviews for them, tipping them with currency, etc. which is pretty cool for encouraging and rewarding authors. You actually can get Achievements for creating Foundry content as well, though I’m not mega creative so I think it would be pretty difficult to get those achievements, much to my disappointment and frustration!
Neverwinter? Yeh it’s pretty much a kids game, ideal if you like to mindlessly head from one waypoint to the next, mashing buttons without much thought and unlocking the boring storyline that I’m pretty sure we’ve seen time and time again. Progression is completely linear and shallow, again ideal for those players that love racing through the content to hit the level cap regardless of how boring the journey was to get there. But hey, you get two character slots so once you have gone and completed the boring content in a week (and it only takes that long because you’re constantly lagging through the game) you get to do it all again with a different class. Once you’ve done that you then get to pay five dollars to unlock two more character slots with a maximum of 50 slots available. Seriously? There’s like 8 classes with 2 specializations each and you’re not allowed to share an account with other people… so why would anyone want or need 50 characters? I couldn’t stomach levelling one character let alone 50.
As well as being a MMORPG role player I’m a pretty avid tabletop role player as well and play a weekly D&D game in… you guessed it… the Forgotten Realms! Combined with the fact that I’ve also played Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, as well as played Neverwinter Nights and NWN2, you could say I’m a bit of an FR [Forgotten Realms] fangirl. So whilst I was excited with the prospect of returning to Faerûn, the name of the game alone filled me with disappointment as there’s so many better locations in the world than Neverwinter which, whilst fun, is completely overdone. From a role-playing perspective the game had potential (Star Trek Online [also by Perfect World Entertainment] had a pretty awesome RP community) and the Foundry system is awesome.
As I run an RP Community myself and used to creating events and RP quests for players, and so the Foundry was perfect for giving me more tools to create that kind of content for other players, Guild members and role players in general. My major gripe was the limited number of players that could enter a Foundry at any one time, restricted RP greatly where we could use it for guild headquarters, guild events and that kind of thing; it’s a system ideal for RPers but designed to the limitations that casual non-RPers would want it for.
I’d obviously heard of Neverwinter will haven’t played it until you guys mentioned it, so my play through was as a general noob to the game, but after a quick scout on Reddit to see how I might maximise my levelling potential to check out more content I was good to go. In all honesty I probably even need to spend the time doing that because the content is pretty simple (though still enjoyable) and levelling was a breeze taking just over a weekend to cap my Oathbound Paladin who could throw out some sick heals and deals damage as well as taking the hits pretty well. Levelling up as a Control Wizard I formally more of a challenge due to being a cloth armour class, but it was still pretty simple though as the quest content is the same when starting out it was probably just because I was so familiar with what I needed to do and where I needed to go. Instead I focused on levelling through PVP and completing Foundry Quests, which added a different element to the levelling experience altogether.
The game is a another MMORPG is suffering from the theme park treatment, content is very much on rails, guiding players constantly from one quest to the next (and this is literal, there is a sparkling path that players can follow to lead them directly to their next quest objective so that they don’t need to bother exploring...). I thought the world design was impressive, again a shame that the paths avoid a lot of areas, with players take the time to explore an area with more detail and time than there are some cool little places to be discovered.
Neverwinter doesn’t offer much in the way of new or unique features, aside from the Foundry (though that was debuted in Star Trek Online, albeit vastly improved for Neverwinter), and everything from gameplay, mechanics and dungeons seems the same or similar to most other themepark MMORPGs these days. The Foundry is the game’s major saving grace and I probably spent more time creating my own quests for players than I did playing the game quests.
Well there you have it, our players have pitched in with their thoughts about Neverwinter, but what about you? Have you played the game, and if so what did you think, or if not why not? What do you think about what our players have had to say? Give us your feedback in the comments below!