It’s been a while since I made a post. I could have talked about my short stint in Age of Wushu (wonderful game; needs better account security measures), or how awesome the Guild Wars 2 Living Story has been (still loving this game like you wouldn’t believe), or how amazing the TV show, Revenge, is. Instead I’m going to talk about my newest–and most surprising–addiction: Neverwinter.
Neverwinter is a new free-to-play MMO from Cryptic and Perfect World. It uses the D&D 4th Edition ruleset; it’s set in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter (obviously); and it even has my non-MMO-playing friends playing it.
Combat is aim-based. Sort of. It’s more of a soft-lock targeting. You only have to be facing the general direction of the target. But it’s not tab-targeting, and if you turn in a different direction, you’ll attack a new target without having to tab off the first one. There’s also dodging and a limited hot bar, so you can spend more time watching the fights than your cooldown timers.
Crafting is done by “hiring resources.” Instead of you, the adventurer, standing at a crafting table and turning out chainmail, you’ll hire someone to do it for you. Crafting works on a timed system, anywhere from 5 seconds to hours. It can even be done through an Internet gateway, so you can keep up with it even when you’re not logged into the game.
There’s an auction house, mounts, five-man dungeons, NPC companions, instanced PvP, and the usual assortment of “kill 10 rats” style filler quests. But the game also has instanced quests that are reminiscent of D&D adventures. Inside you’ll find traps, treasures, lore, rooms full of monsters, secret doorways. Everything you expect from a D&D dungeon crawl.
And that brings us to the real heart of the game: the Foundry. The Foundry allows players to generate their own quests and campaigns. The system is easy to figure out with a simple tutorial, but it allows for some powerful storytelling. This is where the game will flourish. This is what will keep me coming back. As people get more familiar with the tools, the quests and campaigns in the Foundry will rival anything you’ve seen from the greatest single-player RPGs you’ve ever played. Even now, just a few weeks into release, there are already some terrific quests out there.
Unless you hate fantasy settings, hate D&D, or hate action combat, you should definitely give Neverwinter a try. It’s completely free; there are a ton of people playing; and the Foundry can keep you busy for ages.