When Neverwinter’s “Tomb of Annihilation” was announced during the “Stream of Annihilation“, Lead Designer Thomas Foss was quick to point out that the Jungles of Chult are going to be dangerous, the content more challenging. This comment always stuck out to me because putting an emphasis on this aspect very early seemed to indicate its importance to the module. Neverwinter as game indeed more caters to the casual crowd and endgamers are always thirsty for that next tier anyway. In my opinion the devs gradually did a better job with dungeon design, but Chult also upped the challenge in solo content.
Challenge vs. Annoyance
When you enter Soshenstar River you indeed experience more difficulty overall. Mobs hit harder, have insane aggro ranges and throw different types of control powers at players. Adventurer’s need to be careful not to pull to many mobs at once in areas that are densely populated. This is fun for a while, but over time something strange happens: It gets annoying. First you try to figure out the new powers and how to properly deal with them. Later however when the exploratory aspect wears off and you only want to get over your dailies, things start getting a little frustrating.
Aggro, Ambush and Overpulling
This has nothing to do with generally bringing an underpowered toon to the jungle. Mobs surely hit hard, but if you dodge red and focus a little bit more on healing and control, you are going to do good. The issue starts with the stuff that you can’t really avoid. Several threads on the message platforms complain about the aggro range of raptors and their ambush ability. With an epic mount you are able to sneak by them most of the time, but there are paths where you have to fight them everytime. Otherwise you get de-mounted, proned and possibly even killed before you can react.
Then there are problems of overpulling in the Batiri and Yuan-Ti areas for different reasons. In the Batiri village you sometimes pull additional mobs just because of the placement density. Yuan-Ti’s in the meantime can send toons into the next mob with a control power.
Is that really challenge?
Now who am I to complain? We wanted a challenge and there is one! While challenge can admittedly be annoying though, annoyance is not always challenging. And I believe this is a case of the latter. As I’ve pointed out, not all stuff can be completely avoided even by acting smart. I get that it’s part of the whole jungle being dangerous and getting chased by dinos all day theme, but long-term it’s just another area where you have to do dailies. In that context nobody likes doing more stuff than necessary. Challenge becomes an obstacle that you are no longer eager to overcome, but frustrates because it shouldn’t add to already annoying tasks.
This begs the question whether all of the stuff is really necessary. The mobs are already challenging if players choose to engage in a fight and most might even have to avoid the Allosaur and Tyrannosaur altogether. So I personally don’t think you’d lose too much atmosphere in the end and would definitely appreciate it if at least the Compys and Velociraptors would be a little less tenacious.
What’s your take on the challenging vs. annoying factors in the Soshenstar River? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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