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Video Game / Neverwinter

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Neverwinter is an MMORPG developed by Cryptic Studios using the same engine as their previous title Star Trek Online, and published by Perfect World Entertainment. The game is set in the eponymous city of Neverwinter in the Forgotten Realms universe. Considered by Atari to be the continuation of the Neverwinter Nights series, it is the first game in the series to be based on the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition ruleset. (The first and second NWN games used the 3 and 3.5 editions, respectively.)

According to Cryptic COO Jack Emmert, Neverwinter is less of a traditional MMO and more of a story-driven game, "closer to things like Dragon Age or Oblivion". He was right.

The official website can be visited here.

See also Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2, the single-player games to which NW is a sequel, and The Neverwinter Saga by R.A. Salvatore, part of The Legend of Drizzt series and set in the same time period.


The game was released on Xbox One on March 31st and on PS4 in September 2015.

Neverwinter provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Jhesiyra in the Undermountain campaign. In the game, she's more like a stereotypical Damsel in Distress than her scheming counterpart in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (from which the campaign was adapted).
  • Aerith and Bob: We have names like Zoey, Josef, and Knox... then we also have names like Hawthidon, Erdan, and Shava.
  • After the End: Set 100 years after the NWN games, and after the Spellplague that drastically changed the Forgotten Realms. Also well after the volcano Mount Hotenow erupted, devastating Neverwinter and killing the last descendants of Lord Nasher Alagondar. By this point the titular city has been completely obliterated and rebuilt yet again.
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  • Allegedly Free Game: As you level up, free players face increasingly strict limitations on weapons, armor, enchanting, and all sorts of stuff, to the point that it literally becomes next to impossible to progress your character without paying some amount of money. Downplayed in recent updates. It's still difficult, but not impossible, to access the vast majority of the game's content without paying money, or even having any meaningful interaction with other players.
  • April Fools' Day: 2014 April Fools has the development team state that dragons are becoming a playable race. After finding out that it was a joke, many of the viewers, as based from the comments, stated that the game would have been reeling in both money and players if they had implemented this for real.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Control Wizards.
  • Back Stab: A favourite of Rogues, and all classes (and enemies) benefit from a damage bonus when attacking an enemy from two opposite sides. Averted with dragons, who will use a (very) powerful tail sweep if someone tries attacking their back.
  • Bad Boss: Omin Dran and Jim Darkmagic of Acquisitions Incorporated routinely send their interns to grisly deaths and often pay them in acorns for their troubles. Is it any wonder the ghosts want to unionise?
  • Blade Spam: The Flourish paragon power for both Fighter classes. Stab the enemy once from the front, then Flash Step around them in a ring while stabbing so quickly that only the afterimage is visible.
  • BFS: Barbarians, natch. Their swords are so big they wouldn't be out of place in the hands of Cloud and Nightmare.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: People willing to shell out cash get insanely fast mounts (which are incredibly effective in the control point centered PvP), powerful companions that essentially act as additional places to put rings and enchantments, and additional runs of event dungeons. This is taken further with the Strongholds update, which introduces a VIP system to further reward people who spend cash with boosts such as eliminating the costs for putting stuff on the Auction House and the ability to Invoke anywhere.
  • Camera Screw: A few of the control powers have this effect, whether it is intentional or not. Thankfully, very few enemies have these sorts of powers.
  • Chest Monster: Mimics, as per the source material. They focus solely on the adventurer who "opened" them, with slowing abilities to make them easier prey.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: This game encourages it to the limit. Players can randomly help others who are struggling with area monsters and everyone will still receive their own experience and loot. Heroic Encounters are groups of tougher monsters that everyone can leap into to reap the rewards.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Cult of the Dragon's Mooks have this, in line with the colours of chromatic dragons:
    • Black Dragonclaws appear in large numbers and are fairly easy to kill in comparison to the rest. At least, until they crack out their enlargement scrolls...
    • Green Dragonfangs stay back and attempt to trap you so their companions can outflank you.
    • White Dragonwings will use their spinning move to push you around and send freezing orbs flying off in random directions.
    • Blue Dragonwings use their shields to cancel out your attacks, potentially wasting your power when they put it up at the last second.
    • Red Dragonfangs just rush you with spells trying to score a quick kill.
  • Combat Medic: Devoted Cleric's role. Oathbound Paladins with an Oath of Devotion also specialize in mass healing.
  • Continuity Nod: The developers promise Easter eggs referencing the previous games.
  • Crapsack World: Besides the Protector's Enclave, any other part of Neverwinter and surroundings has it very rough. The town's other districts are overrun by orcs, anarchists, zombies and Eldritch Abominations, and if you go just outside town the few humans, elves and dwarves still standing are barely holding their ground against demons, necromancers, giants, archons and the occasional dragon.
  • Death Is Cheap: Zig-zagged. Unlike many MMOs, Neverwinter does not have an EXP penalty upon death. However, it does have something called the injury system, meaning that your character will be hit with a permanent debuff to cooldowns, movement speed, or total health unless you use an injury kit or sit in a campfire for three minutes. While they aren't particularly difficult to buy later on (repeatable quests and professions give significant amounts of additional cash to the loot on the floor), this is rather punishing for newer and lagging players since they'll have to either shell out their hard earned currency (which newer players want to use on mounts and profession supplies) or stop fighting for a while. It is most certainly averted in Epic Dungeon boss battles, in which fallen allies will not be able to reenter the fight, forcing the rest of the party to fight the boss with one less member. This can be devastating if said fallen ally was one of the party's strongest members or its healer.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you skipped the entire Spellplague quest chain, where you meet Josef and Dorotea Linkletter, you will still encounter them in the Chasm as members of Scar Company. However, they will not recognize you at all, since they never met you. Of course, this may or may not be a plot hole, since you first meet Josef Linkletter in the tutorial, though you never tell him your name then, and you're just one of many shipwreck survivors.
  • Disposable Intern: In the Acquisitions Incorporated campaign, the basement is riddled with their corpses (and their ghosts).
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted. Since the very beginning several Non Player Characters congratulate you on your success at holding off the undead, and by the time you finish the main quest chain the palace guards salute and announce you, and Lord Neverember himself approaches to chat with you instead of his bodyguard shooing you away. Also, low level quests will disappear from your map once you are several levels past them, ensuring your log doesn't get cluttered with menial tasks, and low-level enemies will ignore you unless you attack first.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Fighter can do this with one of their encounter powers. The Oathbound Paladin also has a lunging attack that tosses all enemies but his target.
  • Energy Weapon: Control Wizards can cast a steady Ray of Frost, which slows down and freezes enemies if held down long enough. Devoted Clerics gain damaging and healing beams when activating divine power. Scourge Warlocks get their own variant as well.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: You can specialize in a Profession and gain workers and mercenaries to do work for you as you adventure or go offline. Leadership gives you a regular flow of money by having your mercenaries do various operations around Neverwinter on their own, while crafting professions reward you with high-quality equipment you can sell or use yourself.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Barbarian has a wide range of spinning attacks.
  • Flash Step:
    • The Control Wizard class has a quick short-range teleport that allows them to dodge attacks and maneuver fairly freely in a fight, though the ability isn't really spammable.
    • The Trickster Rogue has the super-speed version of this built into several powers, but executes it so rapidly that it becomes more of a Teleport Spam.
    • The Ranger also uses this as a dodge.
  • Flunky Boss: Most bosses, from single player instance runs to dungeon delves. Some even summon Elite Mooks from their area. Notably averted with most of the Undermountain bosses. (This does not make them any easier to fight.)
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Trickster Rogue. Very high DPS, and capable of take down dungeon bosses alone if done correctly and the rest of the party is distracting the adds, but they also can't take much of a beating without needing healing potions or a cleric quickly. Thankfully, Trickster Rogues come with a stealth mode to evade enemies. A well-equipped Trickster Rogue is also nigh-unbeatable in one on one combat without additional help because of just how damaging they are. Put them against an equally well equipped group who get the drop on him however, and the rogue goes down like a wet noodle.
    • Hunter Rangers as well. They can dish out monstrous damage at melee and range, and are very good at keeping enemies from actually getting melee attacks off, but are just as squishy as the rogue while lacking stealth outside of their daily power Forest Ghost.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • There are achievements for completing an adventure zone's dungeon, skirmish, and story missions. The dungeon and story missions can always be dealt with no matter what level you are, but skirmishes become lost for the rest of the game if you surpass the maximum level.
    • The Call to Arms events let players of any level run the Skirmish in question, with extra better rewards to boot.
  • Horny Vikings: One of the selectable backgrounds allows the player to be a Northland warrior from the Moonshae Isles.
  • Hub Under Attack: During the beginning of the "Elemental Evil" module, the four Elemental Lords all attack Protector's Enclave to attack Archdruid Morningdawn's Tree of Elemental Balance.
  • Husky Russkie: Karzov, the leader of the Sons of Alagondar (this game takes place in 4e after all) in the Blacklake District has a cheesy Russian accent, is huge and hits like a freight train.
  • Interface Screw: Every area in the game has a map. Except the Twisted Fane, at the bottom of the Chasm. It's all black...
  • Level Editor: The Foundry, which debuted in Neverwinter's sister game Star Trek Online, allows players to build their own in-game quests. This was removed from both games in early 2019.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Barbarian. High DPS and quick, easy methods to gain more health. Their drawback, compared to the Trickster Rogue, is that enemies will more likely target them.
  • Limit Break: The "Dailies"
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Fighter's signature move - blocking the most powerful blows, or even magic, with his shield. The Paladin's is slightly less effective, but it also protects and heals all allies in the vicinity.
  • Man in the Machine: Trobriand. His constructs, too.
  • One-Hit Kill: Several to be found.
    • The Heralds of Tiamat have attacks that can crit for north of 500,000 damage.
    • Do not try to fight the Deep Crow while it's at full health.
    • Falling off the edge of a dungeon (or jumping off the Pirate's Skyhold) rarely ends well.
  • Rivals Team Up: Icewind Dale is a PvP zone where players are split in two factions and often competing for Black Ice veins. This still doesn't prevent them from putting up a truce to deal with bosses or Heroic encounters.
  • Roar Before Beating: All of the dragon bosses utilize this as an attack. The Fighter and the Barbarian can also invoke this trope with a few of their own attacks.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • The design of the Temple of the Spider dungeon allows savvy players to skip large portions of it by jumping off specific ledges to get to the lower floors faster, thus skipping multiple hordes and saving time, gold, and potions. Of course, fall damage still applies, but it's easily negated with a potion or two. Unfortunately, the addition of doors that could only be opened by killing everything nearby and group gather points in 2020 negated many of these shortcuts, with the exception of a small corner shortcut just before the second boss.
    • The Cloak Tower dungeon features a shortcut in the library section, where players can use a leaning bookshelf to jump to the end of the short maze instead of navigating through it.
  • Series Continuity Error: The orcs in the Tower District are described (and describe themselves) as being members of the Many-Arrows Tribe. In the tabletop and novels, there is no "Many-Arrows Tribe"; rather, Many-Arrows is an orc kingdom made up of dozens of different orc tribes. Further, it's named for it's founder, Obould Many-Arrows, who was king of the Broken Arrow Tribe.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • Clerics draw a sizeable amount of aggro from enemies by healing other players. As such, in high enemy areas, such as a boss battle, most of the enemies target the cleric after a minute or two of healing if the tank isn't doing a very good job at building threat.
    • Paladins can use this to their advantage, since their damage output is usually too low to draw aggro efficiently but they have several healing abilities at their disposal, and have enormous HP and Defense scores.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skippable Boss: During the Elemental Evil quest chain, only the first of the four Prophets (Gar Shatterkeel) has to be beaten to advance the plot. The other three are part of optional quests which become unnecessary to complete once you retrieve their zone's seed.
  • Squishy Wizard: Control Wizards. Gods help the poor Wizard who attracts a massive following in a dungeon.
  • Stone Wall:
    • Fighters. They are the resident tank with a shield which has its own, quickly regenerating health pool to block incoming damage when raised. Vanguard Fighters also have abilities to draw aggro from every enemy in the area.
    • Paladins are a slightly less resilient but more versatile version, whose resilience comes not from blocking damage but from being able to heal it almost instantly.
  • Take That!: In the Tower District, you can find a dead orc named "Drall", with an axe in his back and a note beside him from the zone boss Vanci Bloodscar, saying that she doesn't care if Drall left his 'horde' to be with her, she's not interested in his advances and if he tries again, she'll put an axe in his back.
  • Teleport Spam: Many of the Trickster Rogue's powers have this effect, with the Rogue jumping rapidly between targets or blinking in and out between attacks and leaving afterimages behind. Heck, the Rogue in the intro cinematic even does it (and eats an Offhand Backhand for her trouble at one point).
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Chartilifax of the Lair of the Mad Dragon dungeon. The previous dungeons can easily be done through brute force, whereas Chartilifax reminds the players why teamwork and strategy are necessary.
    • The Warden Bosses in Undermountain's Uprising mini-campaign can be a nasty surprise for players who've been swimming through the expedition dungeons with ease. Surlok the Dragon Knight is a veritable Lightning Bruiser who crits upwards of 150,000 damage and calls down a dragon to join him mid-fight, while the Neothelid summons illusions that will murder you very quickly if not dealt with.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Harbinger at the end of the tutorial.
  • Zerg Rush: The preferred tactic for dealing with Heroic Encounters in the absence of explicit organization. In Icewind Pass there's a near-permanent "zerg" of players who run around the HE route.