Events play a major role in how this game is being run. I can’t find the quote right now, but a while back a former producer stated they are using events to make players log in. They also help to bring player back to the game. Not on the scale a new mod is able to, but it’s still a valuable source of reacquiring players. Especially since the retention rate of Neverwinter is rumored to be not as good as it should be.
Devs love events
Just look at the latest Jubilee event. Devs were throwing free items, vouchers and discounts at an absurd rate at players. Add a double refinement week and most players should have been able to get progression worth several months. It seems like the devs are trying to make events an even more vital point of the economy and progression system. This might be a coincidence, but the change at CEO could also mean a new strategical approach.
It’s no coincidence however that gameplay and economic shortcomings are being balanced using events. Most items in the ZEN store are heavily overpriced? Here are coupons! Mark of Potencys are the major bottleneck in enchantment progression? Time-limited discount! The RP grind is tedious? Double weekends! Additionally events grant Companions, Mounts and Artifacts, stuff that you normally have to grind out for weeks. All of this can be had, but you have to log in and play the game during events.
More rewards than ever before
Like I said events have introduced a whole new tier of relevance lately. It’s not only that you can get gimmicks and unique rewards easily. The last two major events with the Siege and the Jubilee were a must (and the upcoming Summer Festival could be as well). The first leapfrogged guilds, the latter players. For progression it makes a ton of difference whether you were able to participate or not. While Portobello couldn’t match the rewards, it at least introduced a public figure of the D&D franchise.
Events are business
It doesn’t look that the event-centric design is changing anytime soon. It is part of how this game is run. Normal content is grindy and rewards are gated behind repetition. Players that complain are advised to look into events to help out. MinMax recently shared his suggestions how to make normal gameplay more rewarding. But I think there’s a chance that’s not what the devs want, because once lost they have fewer options to get players back.
Events are even part of the monetizing strategy. While the game is not strictly pay-2-win, it’s pay-2-accelerate approach is fueled by some grueling mechanics. Math shows free-2-play can’t make it to a competitive level in reasonable time in some areas. Events extend the design by a login-2-accelerate strategy. Additionally players that come back for events might stay a little longer. And that’s exactly what the devs are trying to accomplish.
Players can profit
Unfortunately it means that players can’t hope for help from the devs on their everyday grind. But they also don’t need to be mere bystanders. Players can capitalize on events if they plan accordingly. There are several aspects of the system that work in favor of players and I’m going to cover those in an upcoming post.
What’s your take on the purpose of events? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on out message board.