It’s a Shame You Only Get Six Quests out of the Acquisitions Incorporated Campaign

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As endgame player I usually look at updates and changes from an economic or almost academic standpoint. Where can you profit, what’s the next big thing? How is new gear going to alter current builds? I’m very interested in traditional MMO gameplay elements, which is also why I’m not a great story or lore guy. But I do indeed enjoy good content as distraction from doing other stuff. It’s not what matters most, but I also do not merely see a campaign as obstacle that’s between me and a new set of boons or gear.

Especially not if quests are well done. This has been the case in the Underdark and Maze Engine modules specifically. I also like some of the stuff during the Cloaked Ascendancy days. Hilariously these are all modules that do not directly tie into any official story lines. It almost feels like the devs and their partners produce better content if you let them off the hook.

Only a Handful of Quests?

The Acquisitions Incorporated story is another great example. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I did enjoy the quests on preview a lot. Which is also why I’m a little disappointed that you only get slightly more than a handful quests out of the campaign. It’s not super short, certainly not compared to other story lines in Neverwinter. But since the game teamed up with what you could very well label “stars” of the D&D universe, I was hoping for a little more than the usual. The “Dwarven King” quest hub by R.A. Salvatore for example has nine quests and overall did feel a little more extensive. Same with the Maze Engine campaign.

It’s a shame because the opportunity to work with the Penny Arcade folks might not arise again, much less in the near future. So for those hoping that there might be more in store for Acquisitions Incorporated and Neverwinter: Not likely. At least not based on how that game has operated in the past.

Will New Players Stay?

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The length of the content might also be an issue in regard of acquiring new players. Thomas Foss stressed how branching out is a blatant approach to lure some of the Penny Arcade fanbase into the game. But you’re kinda asking yourself: Are 2-4 hours of playtime cutting it for them? Remember, we are talking about a classic D&D crowd that probably comes for the story first and wants to be no part of boring grind activity. Sure, the quests are cleverly spread out both by the Weekly Haul progression system and the fact that you only get new story every ten levels. But it still doesn’t feel like you’re getting weeks of original content out of Acquisitions Incorporated. If you’re unlucky the waiting time might even turn off potential customers.

Overall you surely hope that you will be able retain some fans of Omin Dran and company. In the end you can view Acquisitions Incorporated as celebrities advertising the game. For that purpose, the campaign is absolutely sufficient. Considering all the hype though, Cryptic at PAX and all, it should have been just a little bit more. That said however, the disappointment stems from the fact that I like the content. So in a way the devs dug their own grave by delivering an enjoyable story line, which you can’t really blame them for.

Dang Those Limited Resources

Dang those limited resources, once more. It’s always a lot of could have and would have with this game. The Mod 15 story is certainly a minor issue, but still had me caught in one of those “oh that’s it?” situations. An additional encouraging aspect of my playthrough on preview by the way: Since the brain behind the great Maze Engine quests, Sean McCann, has long left Cryptic Studios we were a little concerned back then whether the game would take a hit. Turns out this isn’t the case, at least for now, which is unconditionally great.


Have you already played through the campaign? Were you also hoping for more or is story just fine? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

11 thoughts on “It’s a Shame You Only Get Six Quests out of the Acquisitions Incorporated Campaign

    • October 17, 2018 at 11:49 am
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      The word use of “celebrities” isn’t “a little too far.” They ARE celebrities in DnD/WotC. Just because you play Neverwinter and have no idea what it’s based off of, doesn’t mean their title should be decreased. Maybe you should open your mind and expand your horizons. Cause Neverwinter is not even a fraction of the surface of what’s in DnD

      Reply
      • October 17, 2018 at 12:47 pm
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        Lol someone says that a description is a little too far and immediately gets called narrow minded. Well I suppose this is the internet the home of ad hominem attacks.

        Reply
      • October 17, 2018 at 2:13 pm
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        Bit harsh ThatOneForceUser, I have played DnD many years ago (in the 1980’s going back to 2nd edition rules, showing my age), I have played the original Neverwinter Nights on pc many years ago, I am a big fan of the genre.
        If you really want to look at Neverwinter from your perspective, then yes, Neverwinter is nothing like the table top pen and paper game because of the lack of classes and races that are available. The available realms and story line possibilities too

        Also many of the actual story lines in the on line game do not fit at all with the lore in the rule books, the on line game is a derivative of the core rules to suit a mass market of casual players. It can never be the same as the table top version.

        As Anton points out below, just because my view point is different to your, does not mean it is not a valid view point.

        I like healthy debate/banter 🙂

        Reply
      • October 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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        If you name is not Gary, R.A., or Ed I am not sure if you qualify as a DnD celebrity. I have been a DM on and off for 25 years, I am active on more DnD forums that I want to think about right now, and I have no clue who or what AI is outside of their appearances in this game.

        AI’s appearance in the Day of the Dungeon Master was amusing the first time through, but by the third or fourth run through they had grown stale and annoying. I hope that Mod 15 is not a repeat of that.

        Reply
    • NWO_Unblogged
      October 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm
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      The term makes perfect sense, because the campaign and story is designed to lure fans of Acq Inc. The “core” players have other stuff to look forward to.

      Reply
  • October 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm
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    I very much like The Maze Engine and other quests when you get to the story bits, but I still haven’t finished the campaign because the Interlude quests are so damn boring. In fact, by the time I finish an interlude and get back to the story, I’ve forgotten where the story was going. … Another example of good content ruined with gating.

    I find it hard to believe many Aquisitions fans will stick around once the story quests are done. I doubt the rest of the game will appeal to them anyway. … overall it’s more of an ‘interpretation of D&D’ than anything that resembles D&D.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2018 at 2:32 am
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    On the assumption that Heart of Fire will be level 70 gated AI worshippers will have more to worry about than interludes. Unless card carrying AI cultists get a free level 70 character they have to grind their way there first. Admittedly Cryptic now seems to actively promote forms of formerly frowned upon power levelling but it is still a major commitment just for a couple of hours of unique content. As I am clearly not a cultist, however, I may possibly underestimate their fanatical devotion to their icons.

    Reply
    • NWO_Unblogged
      October 18, 2018 at 3:06 am
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      The campaign starts at level 15 and continues every ten levels. You have two progression gates: Levels for new players and the Weekly Haul for the endgame population, basically. Of course low-levels could run into the Weekly Haul limitations as well, but for them it’s more comparable to Tyranny of Dragons, which also accompanies players while leveling up.

      Reply
  • October 18, 2018 at 3:52 am
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    Take it back then. Level 15 is essentially zero commitment. I think there is something more important here about the direction of the game than whether you like AI or not. This makes more sense from the perspective of attracting casual gamers than the supposedly biddable AI cultists or the economy changes which I think will intentionally hit casual gamers harder.

    Barovia makes a new level 70 character playable in everything but the latest dungeons. There has also been steady reduction in the time commitment of getting to level 70. Where this is going kind of depends on what sort of additional XP is given out for the Mod 15 quests. The higher the XP gain for pre level 70 characters the more it raises questions about the future of the old 0-60 quest line. Starting an alt on a double XP weekend with a few Tomes of Experience saved up in the shared account bank most of the old 0-60 would be skipped as it offers nothing. Bags in blacklake and the graveyard followed by Elemental Evil for the weapons and the now fairly easy boons with other pre 70 boon granting lines mopped up after the vistani gear goes on at level 70. Most of the pre 60 quest zones are of decreasing relevance as they only provide XP which is increasingly easy to get from running other content.

    If level 15 starts for new Mods becomes the norm how long will it be before new players can also get to level 70 without going to Vellosk let alone the Whispering Caverns.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2018 at 5:29 am
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    I see we are getting 6 days of double XP to celebrate the launch of the new module and that it has moved from its previous pre-launch slot to actually coincide with launch; Nov 6-12. I wonder if there will also be a sale on XP scrolls in November so new players can get quadruple XP. You would be past level 15 in one session.

    Reply

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