Reviews: Neverwinter

Good game, awkward pacing

Unfortunately, as the game gets more and more modules added to it, it loses the whole Dungeons&Dragons and original feel. Some of it is left however with the main story quests, which have you face familiar foes and visit iconic locations, albeit the removal of most zones' final dungeons make each quest chain their own Aborted Arc. The endgame, though, is a mess.

All players who reach level 70 are pooled together and given access to pretty much the same stuff, making match-making hard on everyone, and generally unbalancing Player-versus-player gameplay. Hourly and weekly events help keep the game dynamic, and help dampen the grinding feeling, but free market is limited by most items being bound to characters and the player market having a huge (10%!) tax on all sold items, making it a cheap money sink but making players struggle against the huge Cash Gate that is improving gear to the point they're eligible for high-ranking dungeons.

The character customization is a huge part of the game. All classes can be specialized or generalized depending on picking one of two Paragon Paths, which change the fighting mechanics drastically and unlock different powers and feats, and going for one of three Feat paths, which usually are differentiated for offense, defense and support. Being able to bring a pet into combat also helps reducing the difficulty of solo play for those who pick a class specialized solely in support, and the Boons gained from campaign can be further cherry-picked to specialize further or fill in the areas the player is lacking.

With Strongholds, guilds have become a bigger part of gameplay,by giving players a base of operations and a long-term common goal to work together on, also acting as an effective sink which still rewards contributing players with collectables which can be traded for high-end gear and temporary buffs, while also adding content both on the PvE side (Dragons can be hunted as a group to gain building materials and personal rewards) and PvP (Sieges resembling the MOBA style are being implemented, with a tutorial already giving access to the map and explaining the mechanics)

All in all, Neverwinter tries to appeal mostly to the old playerbase and RPG aficionado, with the possibility to make unique characters and plenty of prizes to go after, although it is not as newbie-friendly or immersive as it used to.
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