News

Neverwinter MMO begins open beta, characters will transfer over to live launch
Posted: 01.05.2013 15:57 by Simon Priest Comments: 8
Cryptic Studios and Perfect Worlds' MMORPG Neverwinter has finally reached the open beta phase of its development, with Cryptic cautioning fans that it will be treated as such and they want fan feedback.

It's a free-to-play MMO that lets you select between five classes and level them all the way to 60. Also accessible is the Foundry, the game's content creation system.

All characters created during the open beta will be transferred into the fully live version. Naturally the online D&D-inspired game has micro-transactions.

"After four successful beta weekends and many months of internal alpha tests, we are thrilled to be in open beta," said Cryptic Studios executive producer and COO Craig Zinkievich. "On behalf of the entire team at Perfect World and Cryptic Studios, I'd like to thank the Founders, Beta Weekend participants, Alpha testers, fans, and press for their feedback and continued support in making Neverwinter the best game we've ever launched."

The PC crowd is quite hungry for Cryptic's Neverwinter and its led to some lengthy login queues, which the studio says they are addressing with maintenance tweaks. A new CG trailer has been released.

Visit the official Neverwinter website for more on the open beta.

Source: Eurogamer
Related games: Neverwinter (PC)

Comments

By Voqar (SI Core Veteran) on May 01, 2013
Voqar
I played it a while back in a beta weekend event and thought it was ok. Nothing remarkable. I'll probably dink around with it some more since it's F2P and I'm without MMO addiction right now (dinking with TERA again since it's vastly superior to neverwinter with the only non-mediocre part of either game being the combat style and dinking with Aion since I never tried it before but it feels like a weak WoW clone for people into anime, which I'm not).

NW is not a terrible MMO. It's certainly not the best (as some really dumb people said in chat during beta...it's like...c'mon, really, have you ever played any other MMOs...keep it real and reasonable). I suppose it's worth checking out. I've tried to get all my MMO friends to try out SOME game with the action style combat. I tried to get them to try RaiderZ before TERA went F2P. TERA's F2P isn't that obnoxious and since it's the best for action style combat...why screw around with inferior games?

NW Combat is sorta like TERA but it has target assist and it's nearly impossible to miss things without aiming at the moon or something. In some ways you could say NW is just a re-skin of RaiderZ. The combat is about the same - a weak version of TERA combat. TERA does action style the best that I've seen (haven't tried Vindictus yet but probably will since it's highly regarded).

NW has cartoony graphics - opinions vary on that style. I don't mind it but NW's graphics are very WoW-like, maybe with nicer spell effects, and maybe without the quality that blizzard artists inflict that makes even low rez texture art look amazing. NW art is good, just not blizzard good. As much as I like well done cartoon style graphics, so many other decent MMORPGs have come out since WoW that push graphics in different directions or to new heights, so these days I'd prefer something with more oomph.

D&D is the granddaddy of group-based PvE. So of course, this D&D based MMO has tons of solo content, PvP (PvP has nothing to do with D&D), and sparse amounts of group content with the option to do your instanced missions with others (dunno if that content scales or not). Ie, it's a typical MMO trying to appeal to everyone with watered down everything instead of hugging it's D&D core and focusing on what D&D is all about, group-based PvE.

Seriously. Screw people who want to solo exclusively or heavily in MMOs. The glory of MMOs is the grouping. There are tons of solo games out there. Could someone PLEASE make an MMO that's all about grouping instead of a glorified single player game with idiotic public chat? NW could've been that game, and being (loosely, somewhat, marginally, sorta) based on D&D it could've been that game.

The game takes place in a city from a D&D campaign - and that's about where the D&D part ends. The crafting/gathering has nothing to do with D&D. The talents have nothing to do with D&D. PvP has nothing to do with D&D. Heavy solo has nothing to do with D&D. You sometimes have to identify your loot, which is from D&D, and which is just annoying, not adding anything - except a way to direct you to the cash shop (for ID scrolls).

The class designs sort of use names from D&D but the implimentations don't really match any D&D I remember. For ex, I tried the mage-like class and found it to be very lacking in DPS compared to the cleric I tried who was a better mage than the mage and who could heal (and clerics are more typically melee or melee/caster hybrids in D&D, in NW your "autoattack" as a cleric is ranged magic).

Each class has a fixed weapon, kinda like in TERA. So instead of being a "fighter" and being able to use every weapon in existence, you get to use 2h weapons, and that's it. Period. Not D&D at all. Same for all other classes. Just like TERA or RaiderZ.

Things start to look the same since you pretty much just chill in Neverwinter city. You enter missions thru sewers, doors, etc, and there are a limited number of tilesets and layouts that such that you're seeing repetition in environments very quickly.

I'm thoroughly sick of F2P in MMOs, even when it's not brutally obnoxious (hi SWTOR). F2P attracts the worst players - and that's saying something for MMOs that already suffer horrible for immaturity and brattiness. F2P players are worse because they have NO financial investment and NO reason to be even remotely civil.

I also value two more important things. Immersion and accomplishment.

Immersion is shattered both by the morons who play F2P and by the fact that you WILL encounter hooks for cash in the game. I would so much rather do B2P and rarely see cash hooks, or pay a sub for a worthy game (problem being that so few games are worthy of 15/mo).

F2P too often equates to pay 2 win, which destroys sense of accomplishment. This is another reason sub-based is better. Everyone who's subbing is on even footing - you all have the same potential. Maybe your potential is limited by play time, but IMO, that's better than having people buy their way thru games with cash.

When you can buy tons of cool stuff that you should be earning by playing, the model is horribly broken.

For NW, you can prepay before the game even releases (crazy concept for a game that's "free" - you can pay up to $200 in advance, which is more than 1 year worth of 15/mo subbing). It's most definitely logical for players to whine about sub-based games, applaud F2P trash, and then turn around and pay $200 for a free game. Logic is so neato.

Anyways, these founders paks get you all kinds of really neat stuff, even races nobody else gets. So you're basically paying to win. You're paying to get stuff that would normally be EARNED. That's just lame.

I have a good job, I have plenty of money, but I don't play games to buy my way thru them. I don't see how that's enjoyable to anybody. All of the best MMOs, the ones people play for years and years, involve EARNING your crap - that's what keeps people around.

I challenge anyone who pays $200 for a NW founder pack. Let us know how long you actually play NW and whether you even get 1 year worth out of it. I don't think the game has enough content or potential enjoyment to hook anybody for more than a couple months, even with foundry (way for players to make yet more repetitive content). NW is another typical new MMO where you can level to cap in a week or two, exhaust endgame in a month or so, then what? Plus, if you pay $200 you're given so much crap that you have that much less stuff to try to earn - even less reason to play!

NW does have this foundry concept, which is an amazing idea - it lets players create content. There's an in-game browser so you can find content you wanna do. You can rate content (which is good and bad because you're forced to rate after you do it and that leads to all kinds of utterly moronic commentary and crappy rating).

The problem is, the graphics, tilesets, and tools authors get to work with seem to be very limited and generic. No matter how creative player content authoers might be, it's all going to look and feel the same with such limited resources. We'll see. Either way, once your character is maxed out, it's maxed out. Foundry authoers won't be able to create tiered loot systems and progression which is what really keeps MMOs going for years.

It'll be interesting to see if open beta is plagued with gold spammers. Didn't see them in closed but since characters persist thru launch now, I'll be they're out in droves, just like with RaiderZ (another PW title). Aion has the same problem even with not letting players use chat til 20th level. In RaiderZ I had to disable almost all public chat, especially in towns, because multiple gold spammers trying to out spam each other literally flooded your chat box with nonstop gold spam. NW could be the same, sadly.

PS - Since I stopped following the game after playing beta weeks ago, there could be some things about the game that've changed. The fact that I stopped caring about the game after trying it shows how little I think about it, since most good MMOs hook me so bad in beta that I follow them obsessively til they release.

NW to me is like RaiderZ. It was marginally entertaining for a very short length of time.
By Voqar (SI Core Veteran) on May 02, 2013
Voqar
Forgot to mention, and edit doesn't work for squat since it turns all your text into one big blob...

In NW you get a companion. Like it or not. Kinda like in SWTOR but in SWTOR your companions had more flavor, had stories, had quests, had personality. In NW your companion is just this drone bot that follows you around. You can pick tanky/dps/heal type companions, you can have multiples, etc. But they're pretty bland and IMO, utterly pointless. They add nothing.

And again, where do companions fit in with D&D? Your companions are SUPPOSED to be other players, not lifeless bots. In D&D you might hire henchmen but they weren't your full time life slaves.

This is yet another element that I don't think fits. Companions were iffy in SWTOR. They didn't need to be done again, and definitely didn't need to be done with a much weaker approach.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on May 02, 2013
djole381
Wow, thanks for the extensive analisys Voqar.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 02, 2013
FoolWolf
Thanks for the intense input Voqar! :) Always nice to get some player feedback from games!
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 03, 2013
herodotus
Thank you Voqar. Splendid run-down, as all here that are done by members who gain access to betas. I was never a fan of "NWN" series after "Balders Gate II" as I'd moved off RPG's and into FPS's again by then. Can't see anything here to entice me back either.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 08, 2013
FoolWolf
@Hero - Project Eternity! :)