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Posts Tagged ‘Neverwinter

Neverwinter ala Cryptic sauce

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This new F2P MMO, engineered by Cryptic Studios, is available since a few days in open beta via Perfect World website. I have to admit that i’m not a big fan of their previous products. I really tried to get into their latest “Star Trek Online” mostly because of the IP and some friends played it. However, the game failed to impress me. Naturally, when i first heard that Cryptic was behind this project, i was a bit worried that another great licence would be damaged.

Prior to the OBT release, I played one CBT week-end and leveled a cleric up to level 24. In other words, I had a good time and therefore “pre-ordered” it. Mostly for the early access/mount but also considering the current lack of mmo to play.

On paper, its pretty much a regular medieval fantasy MMO using the “holy trinity” (tank/heal/dps) approach with instanced content, pvp in arenas, mounts, dwarfs and whatnots. The quest are also not very exciting with the usual tasks such as killing “20 ogres”, gather 10 items and so on. So what makes it interresting appart from being “the new shit” ?

Well, first and foremost the gameplay is surprinsingly good. Right away the general feeling is positive. Its fast paced, responsive and fun. You’ll cruise thru content pretty easily and level fairly quickly. Time spent is therefore quite (too much ?) rewarding. This definitely aint feeling like a hardcore Korean MMO.

I noticed a striking resemblance with Lord of the Rings Online. The graphics, UI & fonts looked very familiar if you played Turbine’s game.  I suspect they used an enhanced version of a middleware used by lotro ? I compared both UI, as you can see below its quite similar.



One nice feature is The Foundry. Basically its a tool to create a quest line with specific zones. Cryptic used their experience on a similar tool successfully developped for City of Heroes called the Mission Architect. So its not really new but still manage to create a large amount of user generated content (UGC). One major drawback are exploits. Some players awarded abnormally high rewards for their foundry quest, managing to gain several levels in an hour. This has already been fixed, with some players getting temporary bans.

I discovered a major exploit during the first few days. Basically a “magic” chest with infinite loot. I did it for a few hours in order to cash in on my finding and they fixed after i managed to get a full set of blue armor.  Some items where disappearing as I was looting too quickly (another bug) Check out the following justin TV video.

Trickster Rogues and Control Wizards are definitely the most OP classes at the moment. I can almost three shoot players while some other classes such as the Great Weapon Fighters can struggle. This has to change fast.

You generate too much glory (pvp currency) per PvP match and therefore can get a full set of purple PvP gear in no time with the proper team. You can then sell at the auction house other  PvP items you get since they are only bound when equiped, overflowing the economy with purple items.

Also, the prices on the in-game shop are waayyyy too expensive for what you get. Almost 50 pounds for a cool mount ? Really ?! Well its a good thing not to cap your revenues as a publisher, but taking your players for cash cows as Perfect Worlds does really gives a bad opinion of F2P generally speaking amoung the gaming community. I see many players prefering the old way with a monthly subscription rather than paying insance amount for the best cosmetic items.

So as you can see, major bugs, exploits and lack of balance are the main issues at the moment. I believe open beta should have not coincide with the release of the game. Indeed, players will keep their character when the OBT will be over. Cryptic is working hard to fix major exploit and bugs but I don’t see any improvements in the game balance yet,

Yet I still enjoy the game.. It’s full of new players running around and this is something I always enjoy at release as it gives the illusion of a busy living world. You don’t queue for a long time before finding a party. This will change pretty fast tho.  The hardcore crowd needs more harder loot/goals, getting a full purple set in a fortnight is not good. They are the shepherd of the community and Dev should not casually discard this.


Written by Fallanx

May 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Gaming -, MMORPG, Review

Tagged with ,