Map Design Vol. 2 – “The River District”

This series focuses on the environmental design of Neverwinter within the adventure zones or smaller instances. Today we will take a deeper look at the “River District”, the newest adventure map to be released on the live servers. Tonight’s theme is “Destruction and Nostalgia” The River District follows a theme of lost glory. You can see the houses are big and seem to have inhabited wealthy citizens. There even was a park directly nearby right next to the river and pavilions spread across the map. But the golden days are gone. The River District got hit hard by various catastrophes with the most recent one being the invasion by the Cloaked Ascendancy. The map reflects the story line well as it uses the very old Protector’s Enclave textures for walls and even some models (houses and wells). Conveniently, reusing the old art assets fits perfectly into this module. If you see this as “let’s create a thematic module where we can reuse old assets without backlash” or not is up to you. A love for Details Additionally the devs have done some detailed work to show the actual destructive forces that have hit the River District. There are crooked wells in Gyrion’s region

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State of the Game Developer Stream Summary

Yesterday Community Managers Julia, Andy and Lead Designer Thomas Foss gathered on the Perfect World Twitch channel to talk the state of the game and answer user questions. We have summarized their most important statements and provided some additional comment. Have fun with it! On the State of the Game Foss said that they are trying to actively get more D&D spirit back into the game. The Treasure Maps, exploration and choices in the new campaign are what they want to continue. The concept of replayability introduced in Underdark has also been picked up again lately. Foss mentioned the Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish as example how they envision more content to be structured. No run should be like the previous and next one. In terms of modules they will continue to do one big module (like Storm Kings Thunder) and then one smaller “b” module (like Sea of Moving Ice). In those “b” modules they work down a list of quality of life issues and tackle them one by one. Module 11b will be dealing with Guilds and Strongholds and include a new guild event and Masterwork updates. Foss added that they also want to make it easier for small guilds to get

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Fangbreaker Island: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Neverwinter’s latest dungeon Fangbreaker Island (guide) has been live for a few months on PC and console players can test their resilience against Drufi as well since a few weeks. So I’d like to look at how the dungeon has fared so far. Are players having fun? Is the dungeon worth running? Let’s dig in! The good Let’s start with the positives. What separates the dungeon from earlier content are the unique mechanics. I still don’t think we’re quite there yet in terms of challenge, but this one is a decent step into the right direction. Especially the fact that you can no longer just DPS your way through mechanics is an infinite improvement. I also think it’s nice the devs introduced content that cannot reliably be completed by anyone. It’s not only the requirenments alone, you also need a competent group and a proper setup. This is a nice contrast to the other content that you merely farm to complete your daily routine. The dungeon additionally is nicely integrated in the storlyine of Storm Kings Thunder. Too much group content feels oddly unattached to modules and doesn’t conclude in beating the big baddie at the end. I’m not saying I like Everfrost Resistance

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Double Campaign Currency Event Review

Today we want to temporarily move on from the mess that the Dungeon Key Change created an talk about something else instead. With Storm Kings Thunder the devs extended their fold of Double Weekend events on the PCversion by including campaign currencies. So far players were able to boost their progress in Sharandar as well as Dread Ring and a Tyranny event is currently. Is it a good addition or just stealing spots from better ones? We weight in with our review! First paid completion, then double weekend When I saw the new events popping up in the calendar, I though it makes sense. With more and more campaigns added, it’s getting more and more difficult for new players to catch up. The amount of content for fresh 70s is amazing, but can turn frustrating when you need months to bring a char through all campaigns. After introducing paid options to speed up things with the ZEN tokens, this basically adds a free-2-play boost. It makes sense that they introduce double weekends for campaigns for which paid completions do already exist. We should expect this pattern to continue. First there will be a ZEN token, then after some time a double weekend will be

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Maze Engine Module Review

Depending on the platform you’re playing on Storm Kings Thunder is a few weeks old or will be introduced shortly. Either way it’s about time to close the chapter on Module 9: Maze Engine. We are going through the introduced systems and content and see how it lines up compared to other modules. Campaign: B I’ve already reviewed the campaign in-depth. So there’s little gain to do it again. Click here for the full article. Updated Queue System: A- There’s really not much not to like about the new queue system. Finally players are able to queue into Tiamat and Demogorgon with a full team. To force players into pugs was a failure right from the start. The emergence of private item level restricted channels can probably solely be credited to Mod 5. Thanks to the queue those channels are stronger than ever, but it was the right move because that’s what players were doing anyway. You could say the new queue contributes to separating the playerbase further though. Also a few minor issues with the queue contribute to a minor downgrade of a perfect rating. New Leveling Dungeons: C Contrary to that, it’s hard to find the positives in the new leveling

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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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Summer Festival Event Review

In our first post of the Summer Festival review we dealt with the Sahha game yesterday. Today we’re going to switch to the event as a whole and look how it compares to the other big annuals. Fun and Picturesque Let’s start with the stuff that didn’t change. The Summer Festival event location and it’s challenges are always fun. The map itself is well designed and I’m looking forward to visit it each year. In earlier reviews I recommended leaving the area open even after the festivities, but right now I think it might take away from that anticipation. Although the mini events are technically part of the reward structure, I think they should be seen as fun-first activities. It doesn’t really make sense to farm them. The rewards however are nicely set up. You have login rewards and a true grind mechanic in picking flowers. The stuff you can get for Petals is not really worth gunning for, but I like the general structure here. Players should be able to invest more time for more rewards. Sahha Ticket-Balls The newly introduced mechanic this year was the Sahha Ticket-Ball. Compared to the Jubilee and Winter Festival it is slightly less attractive in my eyes. The

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Summer Festival Sahha Game Review

This week we’re starting off at Neverwinter Uncensored with our review of the Summer Festival. In this first of two parts I’d like to talk about the Sahha game, which was one of the premier additions this year. Although it features fun elements, Sahha never quite developed into a fan-favorite. So let’s find out why. Great Idea, Bad Implementation I really like the idea of Sahha. It’s a mixture of soccer/football and volleyball and more importantly, a competitive sports game. It actually reminded me a bit of the Rocket League car soccer. It’s wild and to some degree unpredictable, which makes it really interesting. Add that the physics were mostly realistic. The general elements are quite easy to learn and intuitive, yet experience and skill can separate you from the pack. Unfortunately the implementation lacked on multiple levels. My major issue was the out-of-bounds mechanic that stopped the play every few seconds. Players needed to set themselves up again, standing around and waiting for the kick-off. It was just stupid and took away a lot of dynamic. When leading it actually was a legitimate option to just punt the ball out of bounds every time. That staling tactic would eat up significant time

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Celebration of Lliira Event Review

NWO:Unblogged continues an event-heavy week with a review of the Celebration of Lliira. We already featured two event-related Bag of Tricks and I’ll be following up with a general take on events in the next days. So stay tuned! I have been very critical in my last review of the event. One year ago the devs took away a guaranteed reward from the Celebration of Lliira, which I though was a major mistake. Events need an incentive to participate, but also a login reward. By erasing the Favors from the dailies, this was no longer the case. Good to see the devs listened and reverted that decision, enabling players to get at least the Mask. The more desirable Starry Panther still needs some effort, but that’s ok. No major updates Otherwise the event came back without major updates, which of course made it a bit more unattractive for seasoned players. The reason why you shouldn’t be too mad about it is that we just had an insanely good event in the Jubilee and will have an insanely good event in the Summer event. Sandwiched in that way Lliira was only a filler this year, and hence didn’t need to offer a whole lot itself.

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Protector’s Jubilee Event Review

The third Jubilee of Neverwinter ran for a full week and Lord Neverember sure upped his party game! I already shared my thoughts and some hints how to effectively farm the anniversary in this post. Today we’ll continue with a full review of all facets. Gifts, Sales, Discounts, Vouchers My. Goodness. Lord Neverember felt more generous than ever! There was no way you couldn’t benefit in some shape or form from all the goodies the Protector threw at adventurers. A free item every day, two massive 50% ZEN shop sales to sandwhich the event and tons of vouchers and discounts as drops. The ZEN shop sale leaked on preview a few weeks ago and was highly anticipated. No wonder the admin messages of lockbox drops went crazy throughout the event. VIP, Mounts, Packs… this was the best time for players to get what they need. A huge issue was the backlog though. Players that got informed of the sale in the official news post probably weren’t able to exchange their AD in time. I personally would prefer an announcement of such huge sales a month prior. This way everyone is properly informed. You dodge situations where unaware players spend ZEN right before the sale or only those that monitor

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