Friday, 3 May 2013

D&D Neverwinter first impressions

Truthfully when I first saw images and videos I got some bad opinions about the game. I know it's wrong to judge something by the appearance, but watching those combat movies, very arcade like to me, made me a feel a bit unease with the game.

Anyways, and partly due to some friends convincing me to try it out, I decided to give it a look.

First thing, character creation. There are 7 races at the moment and 4 classes. Races are Human, Elf, Dwarf, Half-Orc, Half-Elf, Tiefling and Halfling. Classes, we have Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Wizard (typical for a D&D game). Character customization is a quite big array of options. Long ago are the times where, like in World of Warcraft, we had a couple of differences faces and hair and be done with it. Here you can customize quite a lot of features on your character. Then you customize your stats and re-roll them until you feel you like them. I guess for minmax player this can be an important step.

That being done, we are then taken to the game tutorial. The combat proves to be what I thought. Action type oriented more to arcade. But somehow the videos, in my opinion hurt more what I first thought of the game then actually helped. Seeing the game on videos somehow made me have a wrong idea about the combat. Playing it actually feels fun and interesting. Also, the game doesn't use the typical combat bar with over 9000 skills or spells, like again World of Warcraft or even SWTOR. You have left and right click (in my case left click is main hand sword attack, and right click attack with off hand which is shield). Then Q, E, R have 3 most used skills. Key 1 is related to the daily skill (actually it's not daily but somehow it's called that way), which is sort of a strong ability usable only after certain time. Then there is for me, keys 3 and 4 which are potions related. Although, I still have locked keys. I assume this is all customizable also.

So far, all the activities I did in game were quest related, but this is somewhat expected since it works like a introduction to the game. From what I've seen there several different activities to do in the game. This springs to my mind Star Trek Online. Since I play(ed) STO for a while now, I remember some features of it. The first, and for me one of the most important aspect, is the ability to get in-game currency for the shop in trade with games currency, Astral Diamonds. Like with STO dilithium, you get Astral Diamonds (or Rough Astral Diamonds) while doing quests, or other activities in game. You get them as reward and then refine them (you can only refine 24000 units a day). Then you log into the Astral Diamond Exchange and trade your diamonds for Zen currency.

Basically this gives the player a certain liberty of playing the game without worrying too much on putting real money on it. Of course this requires some time before reaping some "profit", but it's a very welcome system, in my opinion.
There are dungeons and skirmish activities (I think the skirmish is similar to LOTRO skirmish system, fight against wave of enemies). There's also PVP, of course. And there is the Foundry, which is the user created content much like the one we can find again on STO. 
Afterall the game is from Perfect World and Cryptic Studio, it's expected they use these ideas on their games. And I like it. Isn't it better when leveling to be able to do different sort of activities, instead of the usual run of the mill quest grind?
Also there is always a sort of event running at each hour. For example, during certain times of day there's an event that whenever a player runs a dungeon will receive an extra loot box, or another event when you do a Foundry quest you get more experience out of it. This works to incite players to do difference things during their playtime.

Graphically the game is quite satisfying. It doesn't boost the quality level of either GW2 or even TSW (which I really like the graphics) but it's quite good nevertheless. But usually graphics come second, when you are enjoying something.

As it's well known the game is Free to Play, and as with STO, at least at first sight the game really seems free. Of course there will be things that will need some investment, but with the system I mentioned before about Astral Diamond Exchange, players can get what they need with ingame currency if that's their option.

For first impressions the game seems quite good. I would encourage those that have interest over it to give it a try. At least I was sceptic at first but after what I saw today, I end up enjoying it.

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