I was checking out the Neverwinter site to see if I might like the new game. I figured since I really liked the Neverwinter Nights series quite a bit, maybe this game would take it to the next level. After reading the website for a while, I figured I’d share my findings with the DDO community. For the purpose of this post I’m going to focus on characters. I believe the character one plays is important to the enjoyment of the game. A lot of the abilities players get helps determine how the game actually plays, mechanics-wise. The videos I saw posted on their website seem to tell a lot about how this game will be played. Videos can be found here: http://nw.perfectworld.com/media/videos.
Here’s what I’ve gathered concerning the characters in Neverwinter and how they play. Each character, whether it’s a “Control Wizard”, Fighter (“Guradian” or “Great Weapon”), or “Trickster Rogue” is basically the same with some slight alterations. These four are the only ones I watched videos for but I don’t see how other classes will differ significantly.
Each character gets:
-A basic attack
-An alternate attack
-An encounter ability
-An area effect attack
-A defensive ability
To compare two classes I’ll use the “Control Wizard” and “Trickster Rogue”:
-Basic attack: Wizard gets Magic Missle while Rogue gets Sly Fourish – the difference is that the wizard attack has a bit of range.
-Alternate attack: Wizard gets Ray of Frost while Rogue gets Deft Strike – again, range is the biggest difference – the ray of frost may slow down/freeze enemies if used long enough (not sure about that).
-Encounter Ability: Wizard gets Chill Strike which is an icicle that stuns an enemy while Rogue gets Dazing Strike which stuns an enemy.
-Area Effect: Wizard gets Ice Storm while the Rogue gets Blood Bath – the graphics look different.
-Defensive Play: Wizard gets a short teleport while Rogue gets a tumble – no noticeable difference in how this actually works (graphics again).
The two fighters I watched (Guardian and Great Weapon) both looked to have about the same type of stuff with the Great Weapon fighter having no defensive maneuver that I saw in the video. The Guardian’s defensive play was “Guarding”, which is blocking with the shield. The funny thing is, it looked like the thing was on a timer. I suppose holding a shield up in Neverwinter counts as magic or something. I could be wrong about this but it struck me as odd that blocking with a shield would have a timer.
I then took a look at a developer’s blog concerning character customization. It can be found here: http://nw.perfectworld.com/news/?p=806891.
The developer states, “In our last Dev Blog on character customization, we highlighted the nearly unlimited options available to customize your character’s appearance, race, class, gender, core stats, and background. But, this is just the beginning of your customization choices in Neverwinter”
“In addition, equipping the right armor greatly improves your chances of survival or even walking away unscathed. With multiple armor slots, you have many ways to protect yourself from harm during battle. The most important slots are Head, Armor, Arms, and Feet to protect you from absolute fatal blows from foes. Other slots are necessary to enhance your effectiveness such as Neck, Waist, Shirt (under Armor), and Trousers.”
The first statement concerning appearance and such doesn’t sound like there’s much in the line of character development on that front. The blog, which the second statement I quoted is based off, just says you can use different equipment. This doesn’t sound like much character customization to me, but maybe we’ll see more – who knows? Since the character classes all look relatively static in powers & how they’re handled, I doubt there will be much.
The last thing I’ll touch up on is a quote I found interesting in the “About” section of the website found here: http://nw.perfectworld.com/about
“New D&D, Beloved D&D
Neverwinter is a true Dungeons & Dragons experience, brought to life with the dynamic Cryptic game engine. In the classic D&D setting of the Forgotten Realms, players will explore and defend one of the most beloved cities from Dungeons & Dragons, as it rises from the ashes of destruction.”
Haha, nice try. Keep telling people the same thing and maybe they’ll believe it. This statement reminds me of 1984 chocolate propaganda. The only thing in this I do believe is it will use the “dynamic cryptic game engine”.
Anyhow, I personally am no longer excited about Neverwinter. It looks stagnant from the start as far as I’m concerned. I’ll still try it out and play for a while in the hopes I’m wrong. Those of you who are all about “balancing” characters are going to be happy. They all seem to be about the same but with different appearances. I always wonder about people who over-rev on “balance”. Once you get perfect balance, nobody can differentiate.
I read a little about the foundry as well but won’t go too much into it. I figure if the game is fun to play I’ll worry about content later, but if it’s not (which I now expect) then it won’t matter. I would, however, like to implore the developers of DDO to find a way to expand content faster because, quite frankly, the other games I’ve seen simply don’t add up. Neverwinter doesn’t look too promising. I hope Skyrim doesn’t blow it. This is all my opinion of course, but it just doesn’t look good to me. I hope it turns out better than how I currently feel about it, and perhaps some or many of you reading this actually think Neverwinter looks cool.