Blog Commentary: State Of The Game

After I read the blog entry about “The State Of The Game” I wanted to do some commentary about it. For the beloved reader: Sorry. As always my remarks got a bit lengthy, but to be honest it was also a very lengthy statement from our beloved Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer.

This past year has brought a ton of updates that we are proud of and we learned a lotExecutive Producer Rob Overmeyer

I definitely think you learned a lot *caugh* Module 6 *caugh*, but to be proud? I am not so sure but let’s continue.

It’s been a crazy ride since launch and through the past year, …Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

It was a hell of a ride Rob.

… but we are looking good …Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

You mean personally looking good? I can’t tell how handsome you are because I’ve never met you, but if you mean the state of the game I have to say: Please, in all respect, wear glasses (or contact lenses, whatever suits your look most). Because between the start of 2015 and now the playerbase has constantly decreased, you can look this up in the steam chart.

At January 2015 we had an average of 3,680 player logged into the game and in January 2016 we have an average of 2,386 players. Of course some aren’t logging in via Steam because of your own launcher, but Steam is also the biggest platform on PC and a loss of 35% of the playerbase within one year and over a thousand players is kinda relevant.

But maybe you mean the Xbox…

Oh, maybe they are not really happy, but maybe they spend more money?

=> Perfect Worlds Financial Reports

Okay, it is only Perfect Worlds numbers so maybe it doesn’t affect you that much, that their net income is going down and they probably going private again,… right?

=> Massive Layoffs At Cryptic

Ouch.

… and are preparing for another great year with some big updates. No really, they are pretty big!Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

*Fill in inappropriate penis/anal joke*

It’s been a while since we had a chance to look at Neverwinter and talk about the state of the game.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

*Pssst* Rob, there is this thing, you and your company spend money on. It is called forum. And people are constantly writing about the game and its state. It also has a bug forum. How about grab a tea and sit down for a small forum talking round? The Neverwinter forums are like a pub. A lot of nice people, some pretty drunk lamenting crushed dreams and some shady people sitting in the background. But it has this warm and cozy atmosphere and it is open for everyone, also for you.

2015 was an amazing year for Neverwinter.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

I am still impressed how you can keep up this delusion.

We brought a massive amount of content with three huge expansions and continued smaller updates for PC from the team.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

You deleted 11 dungeons from the game which is approximately 64% of our endgame content. Not only did the dungeons go mia, but with them also a lot of cool looking items which could be used as transmutes. We got a Stronghold which added an Heroic Encounter every 2 hours and mandatory daily quests that automatically lock your progression because of the way how they work. We also got a decent story quest with Underdark that lasts for about 2 hours, Demogorgon as new heroic trial and two new skirmishes. In my opinion you deleted more content in 2015 than you introduced. But to be fair. We got also some quality of life updates. It is the good will that counts. Or not?

Oh look, a wild Coalgate appeared.

In addition to that, our team did something we’ve never done before: we brought one of our games to consoles with our Neverwinter Xbox One launch. It was the busiest year that our team has ever had, …Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

I think that is really hard work to do and it deserve an applause to the team of developers to make that possible to transfer a PC game to Xbox while still maintain the PC game and make updates for it. Especially if they got no additional manpower to do so (and actually lost people).

… but there was a strong level of determination coming from our entire team to make history for Cryptic Studios.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

No offense but I think a lot of their determination is rooted in their need for the job and the money they earn from it. No one wants to be unemployed.

The first half of 2015 was focused on our Xbox One launch and the release of Elemental Evil. We were bringing game changing updates including a level cap increase, new class and brand-new storyline that followed tabletop content coming from Wizards of the Coast.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

It is less about the thing that Module 6 openly fucked the game (we talked about it no reason to kick a dead horse). But honestly:

… about the storyline of the tabletop game? I mean for the people that like the D&D universe I can partially understand it. I played D&D myself and a lot of other pen&paper RPGs, but computer games are a totally different medium and isn’t it quite redundant to bring a similar storyline to PC when it can be played on a better medium?

Sorry to say it, but with a decent ruleset and GM the PC game can’t compete. Every character generation has more depth in it and in addition you can write your very own backstory, hand it out to the GM and he weaves it into the main storyline of his campaign. He can simply talk directly to a player with several mechanics of the game and the option to modify ANYTHING that it suits the player.

Add that this game doesn’t have that D&D RPG and story-focused audience anyway.

The Neverwinter team, and Cryptic as a whole, has a pretty exciting history when it comes to tackling big things that seem impossible at times.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer
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March came quickly and we launched Neverwinter on Xbox One. It was an amazing time for the team as we saw the Xbox community play and enjoy the game we had been working on for so long. We planned the launch, and the updates that would follow, with the goal of presenting a good game experience along with a great Tyranny of Dragons storyline. To be honest we didn’t know how Neverwinter would do on console.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

Rob. In all seriousness. You can’t make a plan and execute it without any information! This is what a marketing department is for. Investigate if there is a market, an audience for such a game.

Neverwinter was our studios first game on console. Though there were a few other MMOs on console, we had faith that Neverwinter could find its voice in this amazing space. It turns out that a good D&D game works on just about any platform. Our Xbox One launch blew away all of our expectations and we were excited to follow the launch with more great adventures.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

I think that the game has the D&D on his name (which is a noticeable brand even for “non-geeks”), that it is free-2-play (the lowest entry barrier ever) and the only other competition was The Elder Scrolls Online, which received bad press in the past and costs around 40-60 Dollar, was the reason. Okay there are also some other MMO type games but pretty much all of them got their bad press in the past. That means you essentially never had to split the market. Failing at the start was a non-factor (and you know that so stop pretending you didn’t).

It’s comparable to shooters. The competition on PC is incredible high while on console, especially the new consoles, there is almost no variety. The shitty shooter Star Wars Battlefront has currently about 6,000 Player on PC. On XBox One the game has about 18,000 and on PS4 about 34,000 players. Shows how desperate people are to play some games on their gaming consoles. And to be honest, bringing Neverwinter to the PS4 would be another smart move because it has even more players than the Xbox.

We had tuned a lot of the numbers to support this new foundation, but that tuning wasn’t made with the entire picture in mind. As a result, it showed when we launched. Progression and difficulty were greatly impacted. The fast-paced and fun game everyone had come to know and enjoy started to slow down and lose what made it different than other MMOs. This was a big misstep for us and Neverwinter.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

Maybe it is because I am not a native speaker. But tuning numbers sounds like something a person would do to do illegal stuff like evading taxes. But honestly, how can you tune numbers in the game while you are in dire need of playtester and feedback and get only a fraction of the community to play on the PTS? I mean I can’t blame the community. The preview is utter shit. At first we don’t get rewarded in any way if we do the testing and on the other side we are limited in our possibilities. There is no way on the server to get said items to test them properly, they must almost always be acquired via playing the game… on a server where my characters can be wiped and no one is actively playing. You should re-think the whole concept of the PTS and lower the barriers.

We learned a lot through this time. We have been able to make adjustments to how we plan, develop and release our updates all geared to keeping Neverwinter fun, fast, and a great place to adventure.Executive Producer Rob Overmeyer

I hope you did. I am still not quite sure. I personally like the Maze Engine Campaign and it’s focus on the story line, but it could be more fleshed out and the daily quest could be more related to the different chapters of the story.

See you in game!
Rob Overmeyer
Executive ProducerExecutive Producer Rob Overmeyer

5 thoughts on “Blog Commentary: State Of The Game

  • Avatar
    April 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm
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    i disliked that post so much hatred was too much for me

    Reply
  • Avatar
    April 7, 2016 at 12:38 am
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    Where do you find hatred in it?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      April 10, 2016 at 8:07 am
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      Same here, I like that somebody spent the time to make a comment on this and I appreciate some of those memes in there. However, it is far too much of the “you devs suck and neverwinter is trash” (while they are still playing the game btw)- circlejerk. Maybe I am too touchy, but after 3 years this kind of complain comes out of my ears already. The state of the game post was probably pretty hard censored and I doubt they can official state “hey we fucked up”, that is just how it works. I personally was amazed by it, because there was mentioning of class balance and rework of existing content, things we have not had in Neverwinter. I don’t want to go all “whole new world” on it, but I want that quality over quantity that was talked about there. Also If I look at the forums and somebody would tell me my job is to read that crap and try to fish the 3-5% of valuable feedback out of there, I’d rather cut myself. I have no clue what kind of pubs you go to, but even as veteran visitor of some backstreet irish pubs I cannot see the comparison to NWO forums.
      Lastly, including that “TheAssistMan” video in there is a shame for humanity and if I’d facilitated that popularity I couldn’t look into the mirror the next morning.
      Nice effort, but all I can say is I can’t support this statement.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    April 11, 2016 at 1:13 am
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    Was exactly what i think of the year 2015, and people are happy, but wait people are not happy, steam charts shows -500 to -1000 player peaks this past week despite of portobello campaign and lowest player count has dropped to a thousand. I know people use arc or the plain gameclient to login,
    but steam is the biggest portal atm for PC and its numbers should be taken seriously. Besides NWO has only a few thousand players.
    PWE fked up simple as that and if you think things have gotten any better heres a list after maze got live

    -dread ench bugged
    -shadowclad bugged
    -mount powers bugged
    -mount sigil powers bugged or broken
    -some class feats still bugged (some since beta)
    -some class powers still bugged (some since beta)
    -some class powers still bugged (some since beta)
    -vague tooltips (since beta)
    -adding more vague tooltips
    -most paragon trees non-viable
    -most old armor enchs non-viable
    -most old weapon enchs non-viable
    -ingame drops/tasks bugged (Ex. Frozen treasures vouchers and DF lockboxes)
    -various crash and gfx issues (some since beta)
    -lvl 70 domination is dead unless you only count 3-4k toons
    -SH siege is dead
    -GG is dead
    -PUGing dungeons is dead
    -LFG dungeons is dead
    -no end/non-end game, unless you count farming AD to get better comps and raising IL as one
    -guality of dungeos is bad, “no delving” epic dungeons are getting shorter, because NWO also has console players.
    -more reworks for EE because they couldn get it right a year ago.
    -more boons
    -more powercreep (most of it affects only those who pay or have millions of AD)
    -rework OP, is broken since release ( year ago)
    -rework DC, because OP is broken since release
    -rework GF, because OP is broken since release
    -rework LM set because it was broken since release (year ago)
    -above reworks may or may not come as planned, depends on gathered data
    -a filler portobello campaign (better to farm AD and help your guild on SH upgrades)
    -to get better than 2.5K IL farm AD or pay up
    -no use/content for over 2.5K char, unless farming achievements and pets and other stuff you really dont need.
    -etc.

    Not bad wouldnt you say.

    And to those waiting for the quality/more content part

    -overall gaming is improved gradually via mods and will be ready Jan 2017

    and because they keep implementing these reworks/fixes over bugged/broken content i predict the same ammount of bugs or more and as unbalanced gameplay when we hit Jan 2017.

    Too few developers to patch things up when they are broken. But blame PWE for laying of people to make this game work cheaper and with less quality.

    Still enjoying the gaming (farming, doing dailys and SH until Jan 2017).

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 31, 2016 at 4:31 am
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    He’s absolutely right! Not Overmeyer!!! But MinMax FortyTwo

    Reply

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