Even though I haven’t necessarily been playing Neverwinter every day recently, I have been in Neverwinter everyday.
They have their hooks into me….and I can’t find it in my heart to be annoyed at that.
Join up, join in. Neverwinter’s nights and days are waiting to entertain you.
Zero Barriers to Entry
It’s been said before but I am going to say it again because it is something that should be repeated often, maybe with a touch of bemusement or reverence. Neverwinter is free. You don’t pay a box cost, you don’t pay for the download or the patcher. You don’t even pay a subscription. Nothing. There is literally no cost barrier to people hopping in and giving Cryptics go at the 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons Neverwinter setting their all.
Want a little sweetener on top of that? OnRPG has put a guild together. Hop into the forums and join us. There are some little barriers left around the place naturally enough. Setting up your own guild needs everyone on the team to be a founder, a zen purchaser or level 15. Professions come in the early teens as does the first dungeon and the invocation system. Still, getting up in levels is remarkably easy.
So the two biggest hurdles to any new game, money to buy it with and people to play it with…. they’re taken care of. That just leaves us with the most irritating of barriers. Time.
Except… Neverwinter will follow you anywhere you want.
Gateway To Gameplay
My now level 15 Control Wizard Maloran is sporting some nice sleeves. I made them myself don’t you know. Only having unlocked the professions system, I haven’t actually spent any play time working on my crafting. Crafting, your character mail, your guild, your armor and stats… they’re all available on http://gateway.playneverwinter.com. So even though I have been busy, even though I haven’t been at my computer to play Neverwinter, I’ve never really disconnected from it. 16 hour timer on a crafting item? Not a problem, I can queue that up on my browser before bed and check it in the morning when I get to work. Do I want to manage the guild, check events and see what we have in the way of people and character classes on the roster? That’s there too.
In one fell and clever swoop Cryptic and Perfect World have both given us an incredibly handy tool and set a hook in our hearts and minds. I don’t have to waste any precious time that I otherwise would playing on Guild management. I can do that whenever I have a few minutes and a browser window. I don’t need to wait around for crafting to resolve itself when I could be out freeze raying things into oblivion. I can set this all up from anywhere I am. I can’t really stress enough how nice it is to log on after a day or two break to find that I not only have made myself some nice gear to add to my armor but also made some coin, xp and astral diamonds with little to no effort.
The Gateway is one way they’ve caught me. The other is most certainly the Foundry.
I am literally writing this on the back of running a foundry mission. Anyone in Neverwinter looking for a quick enjoyable something to do? Hit up the Draconis Pub.
I could tell you it’s fun, which it is. I could tell you of the sweet loot that drops, which I got plenty. I could even mention the fact that there was a bonus for completing a Foundry mission during that particular hour. All of these things are true, but none of them really tell you just how important the foundry is.
A single user who invested the time and energy gave me a story worth playing. I didn’t have to wait for Cryptic to throw together a subplot that deals with a small guild and its drunken Kobold. I didn’t have to wander far across the Protectors Enclave to get into a bar with patrons, stories and dancing wenches. One user, for the joy of it amongst other motivations, created a story to catch my eye and keep me furiously pounding on marauding pirates. Even better, the story isn’t done yet and he’ll be back next week with a new part.
The Foundry is freedom from a lack of content. Not everything you play will be Shakespeare. Heck there’ll probably be a vast wasteland of poorly thought out and even more poorly executed attempts at foundry content. That’s the risk you take with user generated content. Some people are just bad at it. That’s life in a nutshell.
Though for the gems you find, gems who you can tip with your hard won astral diamonds for their good work, you’ll have people who are happy to work on their own time and own dime to bring you even more content.
I can easily see myself having star authors whose tales I will follow. In fact if anyone here reading OnRPG wants to give the Foundry a whirl, drop me a line in the game and I would be more than happy to check out what you’ve put together. Who knows, we may even end up showcasing what you have right here.
There is of course a thing or two that bothers me in Neverwinter. There’s a ton of different currencies which I am still coming to terms with. There is the really annoying, personally to me, way your character leans into any turn. In fact I also hate running because it looks stupid.
Fortunately, any gripes or issues I have with the game really don’t matter for me in the long run. The powers are gorgeous, the classes I’ve really tried are enjoyable and with a few more Foundry adventures as well as the games own story, soon enough I’ll be on a mount and won’t need to worry about that leaning as I turn problem anymore.
If you’re on the fence or even if you’re just hearing about a game other people seem to be playing a bunch and wonder why…. Neverwinter is most certainly something you should check out. Also be sure to catch Hhean’s full review next week to get a second opinion on this momentous title.