Open Thread: Neverwinter

My character in Neverwinter, a redhaired Halfling Devoted Cleric with a fauxhawk and full chainmail armor standing in front of some castles.

Cryptic Studios’ Neverwinter is a game that kind of snuck up on me.  I’m not a huge D&D aficionado and don’t follow or know the lore all that well, and I didn’t spend much time in Dungeons & Dragons Online.  But Neverwinter is actually a pretty solid free-to-play experience that I’ve been quite enjoying over the last week or so.

The Facts:

  • It’s technically in “Open Beta” but characters won’t be wiped and they’re accepting real money transactions so nothing will be deleted.  Basically it’s a way to have a “get out of jail free card” but essentially the game has launched.
  • Appears to be PC only.
  • More of an MMO than Dungeons & Dragons Online but instead feels more similar to a game like Diablo 3 than it does to a traditional MMO.
  • Plenty of things to do in this game!  Max level is 60, there is PvP, player made dungeons, questing, skirmishes (5 person adventures), tradeskills (including an offline version), gear treadmills, etc.
  • Speaking of player made dungeons, one of the neatest features of Neverwinter is the Foundry, where players can make awesome scripted dungeons for each other.  So far I’ve played a few and the writing and lore were surprisingly well-developed.  Seems like it will unlock a lot of creativity and replayability in the game.
  • There is a boob slider. =(  On the plus side, at level 15 on my Halfling Devoted Cleric, I haven’t been given a single piece of armor that shows any of my skin.  She is shown above in the top picture sporting her fauxhawk.
  • The game is free! There are some complaints about it being “pay to win” but that doesn’t really bother or affect me and my mostly solo playstyle.  I haven’t felt too compelled to pay yet, and I’m getting a ton of value out of this game for free.  Your mileage may vary here.

I have a 43 minute recording of myself playing and talking quite a bit about the game in case you want to check it out here.

Anyone else playing?  I’m curious to hear some thoughts from our readers.  Discuss below.


About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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13 Responses to Open Thread: Neverwinter

  1. Jules says:

    The game sounds interesting, just one question:
    Why is a boob slider automatically a bad thing?

    • Cuppycake says:

      Good point, it’s not. For some reason it just irks me though, because 90% of the people I see in the game are running around with the boobs on max size which looks unnatural.

      • Nonny says:

        Actually, I like boob sliders because many games, by default, have largish boobs for their female characters. I am about a B cup IRL, and I like to be able to make characters that look like me! (This was one of my “OMG squee!” moments with WoW’s pandaren women — while they are heavy, they are relatively small-chested in proportion. Unlike the female dwarves, which I had played until I went back Horde, who make me wince every time I see them run from the side.)

        So, I can understand where you are coming from, because I have certainly seen the people you’re talking about… I like it, because it gives me more options to create a character that looks more like me. :)

  2. Zaewen says:

    So far I’ve been pretty pleased with Neverwinter. The game-play is nice and the pacing is fantastic for a solo-er like me. I have noticed, though, that grouping/duo-ing during normal game-play can be a hindrance because of loot drops.

    My biggest visual complaint definitely is the armor. As a Tiefling Trickster Rouge, I’ve had several outfits with not very strategically placed cut -outs.They weren’t TERA levels of bad, but neither were they well designed and seemed to just be there for the sake of bare skin. Since getting into the 30′s level range I’ve had a pretty good outfit, it still shows a bit more skin the male version, but at least it’s covering my kidneys now.

    I think that the shirt/pants armor slots (as opposed to the “Armor” armor slot) is their attempt at negotiating the two pulls between “I want to look like I’m wearing real armor” and the “I want to look half-naked in my armor” crowds. Except that I have yet to find (or craft) a shirt that covers my belly. Maybe that’s just me though. *shrug*

    • Doug S. says:

      As a Tiefling Trickster Rouge, I’ve had several outfits with not very strategically placed cut -outs.

      I didn’t know they implemented the Rouge class… ;)

  3. Nonny says:

    Ooh, I didn’t know that it was in open beta! *goes to download now*

  4. Ms. Sunlight says:

    I’ve been playing this one. For a free-to-play game it’s very good. Lots to do, lots of solo questing, well-integrated group finder for PVP, skirmishes and party dungeons. It also looks a lot (in terms of art style, typefaces, designs etc.) a lot like BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights, which I recall very fondly. I definitely love being able access the gateway via my web browser, so I don’t need to start the game to craft or access my mail or whatever.

    Combat is fun and fast. The PVP is fun too but not in any way balanced. There definitely needs to be some tweaking done with regards to the classes. Still the two I’ve tried so far (Devoted Cleric and Trickster Rogue) are fun to play and versatile.

    The armour isn’t awful. Trickster rogue does have some cutouts but none of it is out-and-out porno armour, at least none I’ve seen, and there’s plenty of variety. (Why in the name of all good sense would a close-quarters dagger fighter bare their midriff?)

    You also get a free companion / pet fairly early on. Mine’s a dog called Lovejoy! You can buy all sorts of pets and companions with real money or Astral Diamonds and none I’ve seen so far have been creepy – they’re mostly animals or monsters, with the human ones being armoured professionals rather than anything sleazy. I’m yearning for a honey badger (which I will call Tinker) but that costs real cash.

  5. I just tried it out. This style of game just isn’t for me (click baddie until dead, repeat), but there is some stuff to like there.

    My problem with the “boob slider” is that too often, it starts at “big” and goes on up to “backache.” That’s the case here, although you can combine it with the “chest depth” slider to get a slightly better range.

    As a dwarven rogue (did anyone NOT play a rogue here?) the outfits don’t seem to have weird cutouts so much as necklines that delve deeper than the mines of Moria.

  6. Deviija says:

    I’m playing and tinkering with it off and on. It isn’t anything too special, but it isn’t anything too poor either. I find it is a nice time waster. Go out, venture on a mission to kill some mobs, do a dungeon with other people, rinse and repeat. I’m playing a Tiefling Rogue as my main on the Mindflayer server. Aeven@deviija if any are interested in adding. :)

    As others have mentioned the boob slider, I will say that I do not care for it. I’m very pro-customization choices! And I certainly have no problem if you want your character to have bazoombas the size of small moons. That’s your game, your choice. But what I do have issue with is how customization *design* is set up so that the slider isn’t really a scale of breast size that encompasses the broad size spectrum; it starts from pretty sizeable and goes to extra large. That’s the issue.

    Another is that clothing/armor on a model also tends to emphasize and contour the body with it’s art texture designs. So even a modest chest can look HUGE with certain clothing/armor (and I’m speaking in general gaming terms, not specifically of this game — and I do remember devs talking about how clothing/outfits/shading in DA2 made chests look more ample). If I could make a lady with A cup, I would. That’s just where my choice and my interest in customization lie. It’d be nice if I had more opportunities for it in games, without it somehow sizing the entire body/chest/mesh proportions of the model along with it.

  7. Gygaxis says:

    I’ve played this quite a bit actually with friends. There have been some pretty major bugs towards endgame stuff, exempting the magic money out of thin air AH bug that caused a 7hr roll back, PVE has been extremely exploitable, several 4pc tier sets are game breaking levels of broken (tank could 1 shot anything in the game with 1, wizard could as well.)

    I’m enjoying the combat mechanics though the boss fights are pretty narrow in breadth. Everything so far (I’ve cleared every t2 epic haven’t done castle never, the current final dungeon, yet.) is just here’s a boss and a billion adds. The only differences are do I need to kill the adds or do I throw them off a cliff. The queue systems have major issues so if you want to do group play, find friends because the in game queue will just put you with a 5 dps group when 2x healers is preferred for any end game dungeon. There is also no replacement queue for people if they leave after the first boss, so if someone leaves your group before the end of a dungeon the team is just down a person forever. This for me is unfortunately because it turns the 1hr+ dungeons into pretty big social commitments that you aren’t gonna have to just leave in the middle.

    Hoping that the 20 player raid/pvp content ends up being functional and major issues like non functioning talents (which are a $6 cashshop/several hour farming token) major dps balance differences, and any rogue after first on a target do significantly decreased damage. So, it’s fun but we’ll see if it has staying power.

    • Gygaxis says:

      Also, as a female tiefling control wizard, my armor has been super revealing much of the game, and every max level armor set is really revealing.

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