Why PVP Needs an Easier Path to Competitiveness

It’s not hard to feel sorry for PVP these days. The game mode is all but dead and the most recent livestream didn’t reveal any hint that it might change this year. I’m additionally amazed how little the devs and the community seem to understand what PVP is really lacking. I see tons of threads discussing various minor balancing issues. Too much healing, one-rotating builds. This stuff does matter, but is a secondary issue right now. Then Thomas Foss mentioned dueling and maybe an additional map during the stream. Apart from the fact that this is months away because they haven’t even started working on it, nobody is playing PVP on the four maps we have. What makes you think that an additional one or looking into 1v1 and 3v3 will change that? Even queues are not the #1 priority any longer Of course the queues and matchmaking remain a valid point. But even that discussion was so Mod 8 when some guys were actually still interested. Don’t get my wrong, I still think a permanent solo queue for a competitive leaderboard plus a premade one to arrange matches has to happen. But it’s no longer a pressing issue with a constant decline

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GWF, PVP and Guinea Pigs: A Chat With Icydrake of Synergy

In today’s post we introduce something that we hope will become a stable feature on the site. Any online game is all about the community – Any game in fact is all about the community. Without the community there is no game. That’s why Irfaan Khan, who runs a channel at Youtube, would like to showcase some community members by doing interviews. A secondary focus is to get more players to understand the content and make it easier for them to navigate the game by reading through the experience of others. Additionally Irfaan plans to include a video submission with every interview article, a montage or something similar. Youtube plays a big part in a games’ well-being and the stronger the video community, the better it is for the game. Have fun with it! Icydrake of Synergy I chose Icydrake of Synergy (PC – Dragon) as my first interview champion – simply because I have always been a major fanboy, him being one of the strongest PVP GWF’s on the server. He was a very willing participant and wants to help the community out in any way that he can. When and Why did you start playing Neverwinter, what drew you

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What to do With Icewind Dale?

When I recently wrote my piece about the tweaks to the campaign dailies I realized how utterly fucked up the Module 3 content is. There are not enough gameplay relevant systems attached to the areas any longer. Sure players still need to complete the campaign, but it’s a fast one. Even though Icewind Pass and Dwarven Valley are largely abandoned you will probably find enough players that do Demonic Heroics for the daily. And Black Ice is a free farm since nobody needs it any longer. I’d recommend covering the campaign currency with Genies because they are super cheap and the dailies super annoying. And after completion there is little incentive to come back. The campaign store offers no moneymaker, the HEs no rewards, the open world PVP no players. Even the story of the Ten-Towners has moved on to Bryn Shander. IWD has never been a success story The demise of the module is probably fitting because it never has been a success story. Asterdahl recently answered critics and said that Black Ice performed well on their end, but I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t been a fan-favorite. And it’s undoubtedly true that in PVE endgame it never had any

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PVP Solo Queue Event Review

The devs tried a different approach and additionally filled a major request by introducing a test solo queue two weeks ago. How did it fare and what does the community say? We try to find out in this review! PVP is finally being talked about again First and foremost it’s good that the devs try to do things regarding PVP. It looked like the gamemode would eventually shake hands with the Foundry in the Fugue Plane, but apparently there’s hope. It’s baby steps anyway and one week of testing something is certainly better than nothing, although it doesn’t suddenly make PVP great again. The devs additionally announced some follow-up with another solo and possibly duo queue at some point. So there’s more to come. An overall success Most of the community welcomed the solo queue with open arms, because they generally expected more equal matches. One issue of the common PVP queue is the mix of premades and casual folks. Paired with an ELO system that doesn’t shy away from matching anybody in case it can’t find equal competition created the mess we have right now. A solo queue is a logical option to help here and it in case did.

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Scourge Warlock Currently in Sparkling Form

The Scourge Warlock class is still a work in progress after the massive balance changes introduced in Storm Kings thunder. Patch NW.65.20160801C.21 did fix the bug of the daily Burrowed Time not working, but introduced another one affecting the Soul Sparks. Soulbinders can currently unintentionally stack them past 30. A dev confirmed the bug on the forum and posted a detailed explanation as well. With the the proper build, Sparks give Deflect, Healing and damage increase, so this is kind of a big issue. In the midst of the solo queue PVP test it’s bad timing. The game mode doesn’t need yet another game-breaking bug and mechanic that spoils the fun for everyone. Unfortunately the issue will probably not be fixed before the next scheduled maintenance on Thursday. Hence players will have to live with the issue throughout the week.

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Devs Shake Things up With PVP Solo Queue, New Double Weekends

Yesterday the devs revealed what our frequent readers know for some weeks: There will be a solo test queue! Of course it instantly created multiple threads on official platforms and a controversial discussion. Solo queue is a must for a competitive environment If you follow my stuff you might know I have been a supporter of the solo queue ever since the introduction of the Leaderboard. In a solo player format that the Leaderboard is, only solo players should be able to participate. It really boils down to that simply fact. Premades or generally team sizes do only mess with the ranking. I’m not saying the solo queue should be exclusive, but for a competitive environment of single players it’s absolutely vital. That’s why I think it’s great that the devs have finally listened and filled a major demand. I’m very happy it’s happening, but let’s not celebrate the solo queue as savior of PVP yet. The game format has more issues that aren’t solved by simply letting player queue solo. Most namely population. To make ELO work better, the server simply needs more PVP participants. So here’s hoping that the solo queue will bring back a player here and there.

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Cryptic Still Can’t Quite get a Grip on Animation Cancels

Last week a topic on the official forums popped up that deals with an ongoing issue in Neverwinter: Animation cancels. As often the problem is rather simply, yet the impact huge. As part of the Neverwinter action based combat system each class can instantly trigger their tactical power. DPS classes can dodge or sprint, the Guardian Fighter raise its shield and the Paladin cast Sanctuary. It’s necessary to avoid or mitigate damage in the fast-paced combat. Tactical Powers cancel everything else This nonetheless also means the tactical powers have to cancel all other powers. If Rogues need to dodge, they can’t wait for Duelist’s Flurry to end. A GF might find themselves in a red zone while casting Into the Fray and needs to raise the shield immediately. So cancelling powers is an absolute intended behavior of the game engine. It gets complicated however if a power consists of more than one component that trigger independently. Crescendo is a pretty classic example. A stun is applied at the start of the daily and damage is dealt at the end. In the video you see a Guardian Fighter canceling Crescendo after the stun is applied to get released from the animation. Otherwise the

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Neverwinter Playstation Release FAQ: The Action Combat and PVP

The Neverwinter Playstation release is right around the corner and many new players are probably asking themselves whether it’s worth to give the game a look. It’s completely free, so the risks are low. Some players however like to know what they can expect down the road and for those we are going to answer a few essential questions in the coming weeks. After talking PVE in our last FAQ for the Playstation crowd, we are going to switch the focus to PVP and the Action Combat in this one. The action combat is fun! Neverwinter’s combat system separates themselves from traditional MMOs with fewer powers and more action. There’s no auto-attack, auto-aim or tab targeting, although some skills can only be fired if you aim at a valid target. It makes choosing and using powers more skill-based and contributes to a fast-paced combat experience. There is honestly not much to dislike here. Great PVP potential, but… The combat system in theory should contribute to a great PVP experience. But sadly the game makes little out of its potential. Fights should be action-packed, fast and interesting, instead it’s painfully slow and frustrating. Nowadays builds feature such a high survivability that only very few can

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How About Some More Crowd Control Viability?

Crowd Control is a sensitive topic for each MMO in both PVP and PVE. Too much of it turns battlegrounds into frustrating fights in which you are chained to death and it weakens the role of healers and tanks in dungeons. Too little however invalidates a fun mechanic and certain builds, classes and powers. Large parts of the original game up to Module 2 represent the first side of the imbalance. Control Wizards owned because of their great synergy of CC and DPS up to a point where full CW teams laughed at the Dracolich multiple times per hour. Over time the devs upped the Control Resistance and damage of stronger mobs to enforce the original trifecta of Tank, Heal and DPS and of course Tenacity would deal with the problem in PVP. With the raise of the level cap in Elemental Evil crowd control or DPS could no longer replace a tank in PVE because squishies couldn’t survive the initial hit to cast anything. Or any hit for that matter. And even if, mobs were hardly stunned long enough to offer an advantage for the group. That and the ongoing powercreep slowly moved the game towards buff/debuff, DPS and one tank

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Fixing The Neverwinter Campaigns: The Curse Of Icewind Dale

The devs are keen on keeping the old content viable and they tweaked old Neverwinter campaigns more than once in the past, but playing my lowbie I realized there are still some annoying inconsistencies that need to be addressed. So let’s look at each of the campaigns and discuss which areas could need a minor improvement. Neverwinter’s third campaign “The Curse of Icewind Dale” is one big mess. Modifying it not only means restructuring a large part of the rewards and tasks, but also dealing with one of the major fails this game has to offer: Open World PVP. Theoretically a nice concept, it perfectly lines up with the devs ongoing fight in finding something the PVP community can really thrive in. Gauntlgrym is already history as guild vs. guild battle, NCL, if it is ever coming back anyway, suffers from the flaws of Domination and you can decide yourself whether Strongholds has really had an impact. Vacant open world areas do not only present a wasted opportunity and effort, it also comes with minor issues like not being able to complete the PVP campaign any longer. The first thing you notice in the campaign is that Caer-Konig Reputation becomes useless as a currency after

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