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[Column] Neverwinter: On Neverwinter

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Neverwinter is receiving a lot of attention these days as the 'new kid on the MMO block'. In today's Tingle's Touchy Subjects, we take a look at Neverwinter as it relates to our past experiences in D&D and much more. It's a terrific read that you will want to discuss in the comments.

So that's why I make a point not to read or watch anything about new games that initially excite me, and that I don't have to report on. Neverwinter happens to be one of those products.  When Cryptic announced the game, I must admit I was stuck between two tracks of thought. Firstly, while I admire what the developer does, I can't say that I have found my "virtual home" within any of their products. Secondly, oh-my-freaking-gawd it shares a similar name as the graphical MUD from 1991.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Tingle's Touchy Subjects: On Neverwinter.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon

    If they had made the game less linear and less instanced it would have been worlds better. An open world game that you can run around in and explore feels much more like a place you can get lost in, but instancing and such a harshly linear design ruins the immersion.  As much as we all hate on WoW, that's one thing they did really right and gaming companies just don't seem to understand how important that is nowadays. But Neverwinter's world is far more closed off and linear than most.

     

    Personally I have high expectations for graphics and combat following games like TERA, so those are issues for me as well with Neverwinter. But if they at least made a seamless, open world it could have improved the game experience so much more, allowing us to truly get attached to the game. It certainly has enough lore to make such a world come alive so it really just feels like Cryptic went the quick and cheap route with this game all around. They could have improved upon a number of things besides just world design and leveling experience. But changing that really would have made a large difference I think.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    And before WoW's open world SWG's.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member

    Its F2P. They inherently don't have the money to run gameworlds/servers the way that wow did. Instancing is the way to go for F2P.

    Just one of many reasons not to play F2P.

    Lag is a problem aswell.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sumo0

    Its F2P. They inherently don't have the money to run gameworlds/servers the way that wow did. Instancing is the way to go for F2P.

    Just one of many reasons not to play F2P.

    Lag is a problem aswell.

    Are you kidding me? It's Perfect World that was funding the game. They have PLENTY of money! They already have a very open world MMO with Perfect World International and it's server runs fine. You're just making excuses now.

    Smile

  • GableGable Vancouver, BCPosts: 39Member

    As for instancing...it's not as hated as you might expect.  The load times are fast, and I like that there's so many instanced environments.  In a game like this (D&D) it helps keep you immersed.  The 'dungeons' feel like adventures tailored just for me, as opposed to having some guy named MRWIZARD7 running around, killing mobs and looting chests and trying to trade with me.

     

    I appreciate the open world of some games, but by no means it it a 'must have'.  To me, an mmo succeeds when it manages to make you, among all the thousands of others in the world around you, feel like the actual hero.

     

    And in this, thanks to instancing and instancing alone, I think they succeed.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    I played the original Neverwinter back in 1991, and then NWN 1&2.  I have to say that although this game isn't very D&Dish it's still fun.  There are just a couple of things I don't really like.  The biggest is the cash shop.  The items in there are like double the price of other games. $30 for a mount? Uh...no. Secondly is the cost of Astral Diamond things.  It takes like a week just to respec, a day to unenchant an item, or like 5 years to get 110% speed (a little exagerrated, but it all costs entirely way too much).  I think they would do better if they lowered the cost of the cash shop items by 50%, except for keys, maybe make them $1, but they're not bad where they are now.  Also make things that cost AD like 75% off what they are now.  Everything, except gold, seems to be way overpriced imho.

     

    Other than that, I'm enjoying myself, but I think of it as you said, there's a DM giving me quests to do in each area.  I love how unique each area is as well.  I got a level 60 cleric that I kinda rushed through (my friends made me do it, so I could healz them), but now I'm working on a GWF and a TR.  Neverdeath Graveyard looks amazing, my favorite zone :)

  • pookirpookir KhersonPosts: 72Member Uncommon
    "...but ultimately it fails to truly recreate that D&D experience I was looking for." word dawg
  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gable

    As for instancing...it's not as hated as you might expect.  The load times are fast, and I like that there's so many instanced environments.  In a game like this (D&D) it helps keep you immersed.  The 'dungeons' feel like adventures tailored just for me, as opposed to having some guy named MRWIZARD7 running around, killing mobs and looting chests and trying to trade with me.

     

    I appreciate the open world of some games, but by no means it it a 'must have'.  To me, an mmo succeeds when it manages to make you, among all the thousands of others in the world around you, feel like the actual hero.

     

    And in this, thanks to instancing and instancing alone, I think they succeed.

    That's weird because to me instancing ruins it. I can't get immersed in a world when I'm hopping from instance to instance all the time. It makes the world feel cut off and more like a lobby. It entirely ruins immersion for me and any sense of the world being alive.

  • AlomarAlomar Middle Earth, NJPosts: 448Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Leiloni

    That's weird because to me instancing ruins it. I can't get immersed in a world when I'm hopping from instance to instance all the time. It makes the world feel cut off and more like a lobby. It entirely ruins immersion for me and any sense of the world being alive.

    100% how I felt, game itself wasn't too bad but so heavily instanced I just couldn't stick around too long. Was a swing and miss on achieving the same adventure-like D&D atmosphere because of that same reason imo.

    Dozens of MMO's, RTS's, FPS's, etc.

  • ComafComaf Chicago, ILPosts: 1,154Member Common
    Originally posted by pookir
    "...but ultimately it fails to truly recreate that D&D experience I was looking for." word dawg

    A human GM ran dungeons and dragons for players around a table, couches, etc.  This means that in combat, every event was against a human mind, including human craftiness, ingenuity, and so forth.  This is what makes pvp challenging and for many, fun.  Pixel pve in an instanced linear game is not dungeons and dragons.

     

    Again, we are hanging a familiar name on something to sell it.  They should call Neverwinter a title that is "inspired" by Dungeons and Dragons...and that's about it.

     

    Just being fair.

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  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon
    While I quite enjoy the gameplay of Neverwinter, it's the Perfect World monetization that is a big turn-off. It's the 6 forms of currency. It's needing 40 coins, convderted to 10 seals, converted to 1 item I've outlevelled by the time I can get it. It's the auction house where anything worth having is 100, 000's of astral diamonds, and I average 3000 a day. It's the undeletable lockboxes that need keys you can only get with real money sitting in my limited inventory. It's many of the worst facets of F2P that are putting me off this game.

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  • sigrethsigreth Ridgecrest, CAPosts: 21Member

    The reason the game is instance is mostly due to the Foundry, which is awesome, and the immersion factor. Having 5k "heroes" running around makes you feel less heroic. As for not feeling D&Dish, have you taken a look at D&D 4.0. The game was build off of that system. Additionally, there is no such thing as creating the D&D feel in an MMO. D&D is a group of people playing around a table with a DM giving out fairly liner quests. 5 to 12 people verse 5k or more. Not really possible to get that "D&D feel". However, I believe that Cryptic did an awesome job catching the spirit of D&D 4.0.

     

    Just a couple of words on the resources issue and whether or not Cryptic has the money to host open world servers. First, Cryptic does not host the servers, Perfect World International does. Second, even being funded by PWI does not mean Cryptic has no budget. It is plain ignorance to think that Cryptic has unlimited cash to make the perfect game for each person. Neverwinter is F2P, until it brings in a profit, Cryptic is fairly limited on funds and what they can do. Honestly Id rather have the Foundry expanded then another open world like WoW. Why turn Neverwinter into a WoW clone when it already has a nitch with NWN 1&2?

    - Sigreth

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    What does an open world have to do with WoW? And how does instancing add to immersion? It kills it for me. Having other players running around in an open world is part of what helps to bring it alive for me.
  • sigrethsigreth Ridgecrest, CAPosts: 21Member
    Open worlds have everything to do with WoW as it was the first largely popular MMO with an open world (meaning very little instancing). I agree that an open world works to keep the player immersed in the world. However, Neverwinter is not a traditional MMO and shouldn't be. The instancing helps keep the zone population down so that you do not have 3 to 4 hundred people in one area. Even in WoW they cull players into groups of "phase" so that people do not lag out. But really the instancing helps make the player feel as if they are 1 of few instead of 1 of many. This is simply my opinion, I don't expect everyone to feel the same way.

    - Sigreth

  • SamMarquezSamMarquez Las Vegas, NVPosts: 5Member
    It's boring. It's everything I'm tired of in MMOs, and nothing new. Tried it. Over it.
  • CelestianCelestian DFW, TXPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    Action combat, totally nothing like D&D.  Although they clearly made no effort to make it D&D to begin with it's still not a terrible game. For that check out DD0.

    I'm still hoping they make a NWN3 that is an improvement on the engine for NWN1 and 2. I much prefer the extensive building you can do there than the really limited version they have in this game.

     

  • SchroesCatSchroesCat OffenbachPosts: 44Member

    I loved NWN 1 and thought NWN 2 was a cool idea. But it failed for many reasons.

    Cryptics interpretation of NWN is a thing I am going to pass on. Not even going to download it if it is for free. From what I hear it is just another dumbed-down time-sink without soul or challenge.

    Like so many of the MMOs out there.

    *yawn* Such a promising and nice genre. So much yawning around. I am too old and have way to little time to even try every boring "Yes- I-can-make-an-MMO-too"  spawn that sees the light of the world these days.

  • Originally posted by sigreth
    Open worlds have everything to do with WoW as it was the first largely popular MMO with an open world (meaning very little instancing). I agree that an open world works to keep the player immersed in the world. However, Neverwinter is not a traditional MMO and shouldn't be. The instancing helps keep the zone population down so that you do not have 3 to 4 hundred people in one area. Even in WoW they cull players into groups of "phase" so that people do not lag out. But really the instancing helps make the player feel as if they are 1 of few instead of 1 of many. This is simply my opinion, I don't expect everyone to feel the same way.

     

  • GrymGrym Huntsville, ALPosts: 227Member
    People hate instanced content because they want an "open world"..... up until their group/guild is in the middle of tackling that boss mob and some clown trains the entire freakin' dungeon into the room.

    (My son speaking to his Japanese Grandmother) " Sorry Obaba, I don't speak Japanese, I only speak human."

  • Everyquest? Asheron's Call? Dark Ages of Camelot?  UO?  You could get terribly lost in these worlds and end up doing all sorts of things because you weren't led from quest to quest with breadcrumbs.  You needed to keep a pen and paper next to your computer and write down quest details.  You needed help from anyone and everyone to complete anything meaningful and the randomness of drops was nearly painful.  But the difficulty of these old MMOs built very, very strong communities. You knew the who's who of guilds, an individual character/player's reputation (because it took so long to level just one character), etc.  

    What I am missing big time in Neverwinter is the immersion.  First of all, and most basic, my character is too far away from me and I can't see his armor or movements as well as other MMOs where I can just move the camera where I want it.  This is really annoying. I feel detached and I think every mage/fighter/cleric is exactly the same as the next.  There's no "wow" factor.  I have no attachment to my characters.  Even in World of Warcraft I still remember fondly my druid and the storyline for my class.  And Guildwars even has decent class story lines.  NW is completely missing a story.  I feel no crisis, no urgency, no continuity.  

    To date, Star Wars Knights of the Republic is the best, most immersive story, with the full dialogue and animation.  I like my Jedi. And the companion system makes me feel like I earned something. The class stories made me feel like my character was a hero in saving the galaxy and the NPCs respected her as powerful.  The endless "choose your own adventure" style of making choices, and faction/alignment considerations to enrich the gameplay really grabbed me.

    How can you have D&D without at least basic Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic alignments built into a system?

    The only D&Dish MMO to date for me was Dungeons & Dragons Online. At least it felt D&Dish. 

    I purhcased a founder's pack for NW and it is mildly entertaining, but the long-term hook is just missing.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,189Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Senadina
    While I quite enjoy the gameplay of Neverwinter, it's the Perfect World monetization that is a big turn-off. It's the 6 forms of currency. It's needing 40 coins, convderted to 10 seals, converted to 1 item I've outlevelled by the time I can get it. It's the auction house where anything worth having is 100, 000's of astral diamonds, and I average 3000 a day. It's the undeletable lockboxes that need keys you can only get with real money sitting in my limited inventory. It's many of the worst facets of F2P that are putting me off this game.

    Well it is a PW game.  PW is one of the worst companies when it comes to f2p costs.  If you enjoy the game they really milk your wallet.

    Here is a nice article on the costs associated with the game and the item shop:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Neverwinter/comments/1dry0g/neverwinters_f2p_model_what_you_need_to_know/

    Every time I read that article I shudder.  Good luck trying to pvp in this game with the huge difference runes make.  The worst thing about PW, once they get you hooked into upgrading equipment, they up the max level so you have to do it all again.  Of course Frogster is good at that too.  

    What a misnomer calling this game free-to-play.  It is pay-to-win all the way.  

    I am not saying it is not a fun game, I have been entertained, but this is one of those games you play to end game and then quit, there is just no reason to continue playing and sinking a lot of cash into it.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    You guys are reading it wrong.

    It's not a mmo to play as your main mmo, but its a fun free thing to do 1 night a week.

    Planetside 2 is my main mmo, which Is near the polar opposite.

    But I enjoy my Thursday nights in Neverwinter just running dungeons for fun.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I don't understand p2w, how can a pve game be p2w?
  • gunmanvladgunmanvlad BucharestPosts: 250Member Uncommon

    For me, D&D is about story and dangerous mission, exploring where other people would not dare go. And that is why instances are perfect for NWO in my view, it allows for a perfect experience.Like people have said, if it would have been open-world, the same classic WoW factor of people camping spawn sites would happen. Yeah, VEEEERRRRYYYYY immersive.

     

    As for quests, I can't deny they are very run-of-the-mill *kill X* *gather Y*, and I would highly appreciate some more imagination in there (TSW-style). However, they link them together perfectly, the flow fits, the lore fits, so I can't complain too much.

     

    The Foundry is still in its incipient form, few people have truely put in the time and effort. I think NWO is the type of game where you play for a few weeks, take a break a few months (F2P ftw), the come back to check the added content (stories) and new Foundry missions.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon
    This game would be perfect if it wasn't for mounts costing $40 or companions costing $35.  I would gladly fork over ~$15-20 for a companion or mount, and I'm sure alot of people are like me.  They'd make more money if they sold things for less...
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