Neverwinter Screens Go From Blackdagger to Vellosk

Neverwinter Screens Go From Blackdagger to Vellosk

Hold on to your hats, kids, because we've got some new Neverwinter screens to check out!

That's right, Neverwinter screens! In case you haven't been paying attention, Neverwinter is a free-to-play MMO in the works over at Perfect World, which acquired the property from Atari back in late 2011. The new screens show off some of the dangers that will be faced in in the Blackdagger Ruins and Vellosk zones.

I can't say I'm really getting a D&D "vibe" from these screens, especially the one with the guy in a silly pirate hat who looks like a Scooby Doo villain, but my love of the game is admittedly rooted in a different era, when we clattered through a cave dug into a hill somewhere, snuffed a few kobolds and a maybe a bugbear, and called it a day. But even if it turns out to be just another generic Warcraft wanna-be, it's free-to-play so there's no risk, aside from some lost time, in giving it a rip.

And with that ringing endorsement done, I'll leave you with this: Neverwinter is slated to come out early this year, and you can find out more about the game (and decide for yourself whether I'm being insightful or cranky) at nw.perfectworld.com.

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MMOs are essentially a failed genre. They will remain so until some sort of advent allows the industry to properly move completely away from the broken WoW model.

So I have essentially given up on MMOs as a genre, though this does have me intruiged, provided the "User generated content" can actually be a viable thing to incorporate into an MMO. If so I will be all over this. Otherwise... Really enjoying Hawken atm and Kingdoms of Amalur is essentially WoW + Fable - all the tedious and annoying people getting in the way.

Quote shield: Understand when I say this, This post simply represents my opinion on it.

Huh...I thought this thing had DIED.

Glad I was wrong, AND it's F2P?

Doesn't hurt to check it out.

I'm actually getting more of a "Kingdoms of Alamur vibe from those screen shots. Where did those 38 Studios artists end-up again?

viranimus:
MMOs are essentially a failed genre. They will remain so until some sort of advent allows the industry to properly move completely away from the broken WoW model.

So I have essentially given up on MMOs as a genre, though this does have me intruiged, provided the "User generated content" can actually be a viable thing to incorporate into an MMO. If so I will be all over this. Otherwise... Really enjoying Hawken atm and Kingdoms of Amalur is essentially WoW + Fable - all the tedious and annoying people getting in the way.

Quote shield: Understand when I say this, This post simply represents my opinion on it.

Genuine Inquiry: What exactly defines the WoW model as you put it here? We've seen other MMOs move away from the subscription model (albiet some only after a token run of a few months) and Guild Wars has finally decided to to allow XP to be shared amongst all participants. You mean basing it on quests?

What D&D rule-system will the game be using? I couldn't seem to find any information on the website.

Wasn't that Pirate guy already in a Drizzt novel? I can't remember it though.

my future sense is tingling... i bet there will be lockboxes galore and keys that cost $1.25 USD to open them.

I am so sick of all these hundred MMORPG's launching every year. I wish I could play Neverwinter Nights 3, not some crappy WoW clone. Or Knights of the Old Republic 3, instead of the mmo...

...and so it was that the world of Neverwinter was destroyed in 2013...If only the Mayan's had a thing for odd numbers we may have been able to predict this .

DVS BSTrD:
I'm actually getting more of a "Kingdoms of Alamur vibe from those screen shots. Where did those 38 Studios artists end-up again?

viranimus:
MMOs are essentially a failed genre. They will remain so until some sort of advent allows the industry to properly move completely away from the broken WoW model.

So I have essentially given up on MMOs as a genre, though this does have me intruiged, provided the "User generated content" can actually be a viable thing to incorporate into an MMO. If so I will be all over this. Otherwise... Really enjoying Hawken atm and Kingdoms of Amalur is essentially WoW + Fable - all the tedious and annoying people getting in the way.

Quote shield: Understand when I say this, This post simply represents my opinion on it.

Genuine Inquiry: What exactly defines the WoW model as you put it here? We've seen other MMOs move away from the subscription model (albiet some only after a token run of a few months) and Guild Wars has finally decided to to allow XP to be shared amongst all participants. You mean basing it on quests?

By broken WoW model I am pointing to the game play mechanics that WoW refined from other MMOs, and other MMOs have pilfered from WoW. The confusion is understandable and completely my doing. By "model" I was saying the structure/plans other MMOs are seemingly locked into. Where as understandably in a context of MMOs, Model typically refers to the process of monetization. So sorry, completely my error.

___________

But yes, MMOs are stuck in this structure of you play a (usually) voiceless mook sent out to find great adventure in the same sandbox as about 2-4k other identical mooks doing the same, Moving from town to town performing menial tasks on your way to "fame" as you actually only eek out a meager living by harassing the local wildlife, trying to gain items that will allow you to carve out enough profit to keep you going on your endless quest of training and expenses. Gaining strength by helping lazy, apathetic villagers that always have some reason they cant take care of their own. You spend this "life"in pursuit of stronger weapons and gear that will make you formidable enough to actually try to find the adventure youve been promised for 50+ levels only to realize that the "adventure" is and has always been tedious grinding, time sinks, statistical micromanagement that got you to that point, only now, you have a core of people you are essentially indebted to/familiar with that you just end up either helping others in content youve already done, or rolling another toon in order to have something to do while you wait for the next expansion pack of content that you can now effectively blast through in 2-3 months time and find yourself right back in the same place.

If TOR had not been so determined to mimic WoW in copying that formula and banking on its dialog/cutscene engine being enough, it would have been a step in the right direction. GW2 also made similar valiant attempts to offer that new advent but still fall short of the intended mark. MMOs want to grow, but it is hard for anything to grow when you have a lumbering juggernaut in its death throws hiding you from the sunlight you need for energy. With MMOs there is a world of potential that is honestly being squandered. So until something can break away from that system of failure, MMOs are going to not only remain stagnate but might even begin to wilt away all together as other game types offer similar mechanics like char development, or online community building.

Riobux:
What D&D rule-system will the game be using? I couldn't seem to find any information on the website.

It's meant to be action combat (not turn based) but I believe it adheres closer to the 4th Ed rules overall. However, only 5 character classes at launch I believe.

TheBelgianGuy:
I am so sick of all these hundred MMORPG's launching every year.

I'll take the 'hundreds' as a bit of hyperbole, but the number of MMOs announced and launched have dropped off substantially because the market overall has failed to bring in new customers and the big project have pretty much all flopped.

And besides, the first Neverwinter computer game was a MMO, so this is coming full circle.

Cryptic / Perfect World is behind Neverwinter, so although it will get the F2P model mostly right, there will be complaints about lockboxes that require RMT to buy keys for. Although there is a way around that: don't pay money to open the lockboxes.

This does not look like something I'd be willing to give zero dollars to play.

Riobux:
What D&D rule-system will the game be using? I couldn't seem to find any information on the website.

None of them based on nay sort of gameplay videos (Fighters racking up 1000s of damage in seconds), its very loosely in Forgotten Realms setting wise (Except Uthgardt are apparently giant monster-dudes... and not normal human barbarians).

I think that developers (or publishers?) look at Wow and see:
WoW is making money.
WoW is a MMO.
Therefore MMO's make money.
This of course ignores the fact that World of Warcraft and Blizzard may have been successful for other reasons. For a start Warcraft 3 was very popular, and the expansion was released in 2003. Just over a year later Wow was released, still burning hot with success. Not to mention Blizzards good timing.

On the other hand this Neverwinter RPG doesn't have the same advantage. Neverwinter Nights 2 was released on 2006, and this is coming 7 years later. Too late I think. And it will have to face competition from Blizzard...

Anyone who plays Perfect World games is a chump, plain and simple. Their entire business model is churn&burn - acquire properties, put out the lowest-effort game they can as fast as they can, then plaster a genuinely ludicrously expensive cash shop over the top. When the players eventually realise they've been duped, PWE roll up the game and start the cycle again.

It genuinely enrages me that a company like this is in charge of the Star Trek MMO.

Oh boy, another F2P MMORPG, just what the industry needs.

Also comes with a recognised brand name attached!

This seems to be decision making 101.

Maybe if it was cheaper and didn't look bad I would be tempted to play.

This looks awful... and I'm not even talking about the graphical fidelity yet.

I've got nothing to complain about the pirate, reminds me a lot of some Forgotten Realms books, but... The DESIGN of the characters, all of them, they're so burly, almost like Marcus Fenix lol Reminds me of WoW and The Old Republic, WoW, however was BORN this way, so whatever, it`s not the same thing here...

Huge oversized swords, all male characters eat steroids for breakfast, all female characters have a waist narrower than their head, silly bright colours, stereotypical pirates...

Looks as if they're well on their way to utterly ruining the NWN franchise with this game. I mean, what is this? A bloody JRPG?

With 4E being described as "too much like an MMO" by some of its critics, it will be interesting to see how well the rule set ports into an MMO.

viranimus:
MMOs are essentially a failed genre. They will remain so until some sort of advent allows the industry to properly move completely away from the broken WoW model.

So I have essentially given up on MMOs as a genre, though this does have me intruiged, provided the "User generated content" can actually be a viable thing to incorporate into an MMO. If so I will be all over this. Otherwise... Really enjoying Hawken atm and Kingdoms of Amalur is essentially WoW + Fable - all the tedious and annoying people getting in the way.

Quote shield: Understand when I say this, This post simply represents my opinion on it.

Woot, you saved me the effort of having to write a ragey post about this game, which has nothing at all to do with D&D and is just an excuse to shovel more MMO pap into idiot consumers' hungry mouths.

Thanks buddy!

Magichead:
Anyone who plays Perfect World games is a chump, plain and simple. Their entire business model is churn&burn - acquire properties, put out the lowest-effort game they can as fast as they can, then plaster a genuinely ludicrously expensive cash shop over the top. When the players eventually realise they've been duped, PWE roll up the game and start the cycle again.

It genuinely enrages me that a company like this is in charge of the Star Trek MMO.

This, this, and more this.
If you see "Perfect World" or PWE attached to a game, big red alarms should start going off and you should run the other way, very very fast. Do not stop. Do not look back. And for the love of all that is holy, do not feed it from your wallet, for that way lies regret and sorrow.

Rest in peace, Neverwinter. A sadder fate I would not wish on my worst enemies.

delroland:
With 4E being described as "too much like an MMO" by some of its critics, it will be interesting to see how well the rule set ports into an MMO.

On a gamey-to-realistic scale, 4E may be hugging the left side, but it's not an MMO. If anything, it more resembles tabletop miniature wargames, tactical JRPGs, turn-based strategy games... Few MMO on the market come even to that level of detail. The only example I can think of is Atlantica Online, where each player controls a party of 9 characters, and the combat is similar to Heroes of Might & Magic. It's a bit more fiddly and interesting than your typical "tap F1 to F9 until enemy HP bar depletes"-system, but it still doesn't permit anything as intricate as early-2000s Infinity Engine combat.

And neither will Neverwinter. I doubt it'll have anything but brand recognition in common with Neverwinter Nights.

Okay some basic information. I am an Alpha tester for this game so I can't give any direct specifics due to the NDA which is even tighter than beta:

The game began life as a co-op game that was bought out and turned into an MMO by Cryptic/Perfect World entertainment.

It is based off of 4E rules, 4E being VERY differant from previous versions of D&D. For example there is no spell memorization, or anything of that sort. Rather characters are given abillities defined as "at will", "encounter", or "daily" depending on how often they can use them. A mage in 4E for example who knows magic missle can spam it every time he can attack (like a weapon) since it's an "at will" power. More powerful abillities are defined as being things you can only use so many times per each "step" in an adventure deemed an encounter, or daily which given the lack of down time for memorization means infrequently, or once before a rest period (or perhaps even just once in an adventure).

On their forums it's been mentioned that in game terms this amounts to a situation where your at will abillities are ones you can spam, encounter abillities have a cooldown much like abillities like you'd expect from a wow-type game, and he daily powers work on their own system which I don't know if it's been revealed yet.

As far as Cryptic/Perfect World's business model goes, I have mixed opinions. To be honest the one big selling point on them is that they let you trade in-game currency, for real-money currency, meaning that if you play long enough everything in the cash shop can in theory be obtained without spending a dime. That said however the point is still to make things a lot easier by spending money, and that's understandable as these games do need to support themselves. I prefer a subscription system, but apparently the FTP model is dominating, and at least this way of doing things has the doors open to an extent. I find the expectation that people have that a large scale game project, requiring servers to be maintained and administrated, and involving occasional content additions, an be provided in it's entirety entirely free of charge kind of silly. It would be nice if that could happen, and while I seriously slam the games industry for being greedy, I also think it's equally dumb to have people complaining about video games of any sort not being
entirely free. Obviously, any game you play is going to have some way of trying to get you to pay money into it. I play both CO, and STO (lifetimer to both) incidently.

At any rate, this said, I won't put up any more until later in the process, including even an opinion as to whether it's a good game, or liable to be successful (I'm actually a pretty good judge of that) or not so far. This should answer a few of the most basic questions though.

The big point to consider here though is that as 4E is nothing like 3E/3.5E, never mind the golden age of 2E, or the editions that came before it, you can't compare this at all to other D&D computer games. If you expect this to be like NWN / NWN2 except online and persistant (perhaps like an updated version of the game, with someone's personal module developed to the point of being a full game world), you are going to be disappointed, the mechanics it's based on alone are pretty bloody differant.

Also they kind of blew up most of Forgotten Realms as of 4E, to a greater extent than they did with "The Time Of Troubles" or "The Threat From The Sea" that heralded 2E and 3E changes respectively. Numerous gods were revealed to simply be aspects of other gods and re-absorbed, many more were killed, the entire nature of the cosmology has changed, Tieflings for example are defined as being a playable race and coming from some ancient empire that had fallen and was always allegedly there, as opposed to being truely "planetouched" which no longer really exists.... and tons of other stuff. If your familiar with 4E at all and how the new cosmology and such works, it's a LOT simpler, but at the same time kind of an insult to The Realms, and Realmslore that came before since they pretty much took a eraser to the thing when Abeir merged into Toril. Probably some businessman's idea on how to make it more approchable to new gamers or whatever.

Let's just say that if you know 4E FR... it's probably not the world many people who played previous editions of the game remember. Speaking of the lore/world before you ever get into the MMO. It's also why you'll notice things like "Tiefling" being a race on the main website, since they are now defined as being a "core" race rather than the
rare result of infernal breeding.

 

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