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!
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 as mechanic, but at least you kind of work your way towards the point where you can confront Drufi and master Fangbreaker Island.
Talking about the boss mechanics something still seems to be off with the Turtle Slam. The groups that are able to comfortably beat the dungeon don’t have to care about it and all others need to live with some randomness. At least it seems that way. It’s especially annoying since all other attacks are easy to avoid or handle, but the slam a severe pain. Additionally companions can die while chasing the explosive runes, which makes the fight a complete mess. Not too sure what is intended and what’s not, but it still doesn’t feel too polished.
For the end boss, Drufi is too easy. The only thing you really have to care about is keeping some Permafrost alive and that’s it. I like the fight because there is a lot going on, but not enough of that matters. In my groups I often feel the tank and other players are generally not smart about drawing the fight away from the Shards. But even then we mostly don’t run into too much trouble.
How silly is defending Ewan at the wall please? There’s literally no mechanic attached to that other than waiting. If holding off mobs would actually matter in some way it wouldn’t be so bad. But in the current form the encounter is obsolete.
And then you can’t possibly discuss Fangbreaker Island without thinking how bad the loot is. In terms of daily RAD and Salvage you are much better off running older content and it doesn’t help that the new Armor set is not desirable for everyone. Sea of Moving Ice allows upgrading the pieces to “vivified” which makes it best-in-slot even without empowerment. The amount of grind to get four pieces of gear to vivified state however might still scare off most of the players. All things considered it’s not great, but as much a problem of the general reward structure of the game as with the dungeon itself.
The pattern of earlier content continues with Fangbreaker Island. Cryptic is great at telling stories, which shouldn’t go unnoticed in a D&D game. The game design itself still lacks though and we’re not there in terms of overall challenge and boss mechanics.
How do you experience the dungeon? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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