*** UPDATE *** The initial version of this article used wrong numbers for the ZEN value calculation. Thanks to Putzboy for pointing it out in the comments!
Since a couple days PC players can buy the “Founder” pack for Neverwinter’s upcoming expansion “Heart of Fire” for a head start price of 7,500. Regular readers did know it was coming, but… uhm… let’s say our conclusions about Module 15 back then were “slightly” wrong. Anyway, like I did with the packs for Omu und Ravenloft, I’m going to look at the value players get in ZEN, gameplay, and novelties before coming to an overall conclusion whether or not the pack is worth buying. Let’s roll!
The general structure of the Founder’s Pack hasn’t changed. The first part of the pack is instantly available and contains a brand-new “Tutor” companion, “Patrician” fashion, refining points, Coalescent Wards, VIP, and a title. It’s a solid package containing many things that adventurer’s need on their daily journey. The pack is a one-time claim, but everything is unbound. So players can freely sell the items or move them across their account. Then, with the release of Module 15, buyers can grab a second pack from the Claims Agent in the Protector’s Enclave. It contains campaign currency for the upcoming Acquisitions Incorporated campaign, a 20x Enchanted Keys bundle, new exclusive account-unlocked hair styles, and a Profession Pack for the new Workshop system.
Value in ZEN
Let’s first look at the value in ZEN. Is the pack a bargain because its contents would cost more if bought individually? Please note that AD prices are as of the time of this writing on PC. So things can differ later and depending on the platform you play on. There also was some guesswork involved.
- Tutor:300,000 600
- Fashion: 25,000 (50)
- 5x Coalescent Ward: 5,000
- 3x Blood Ruby:20,000 (50)
- 100% Off VIP (30 days): 1,000
- 20x Enchanted Keys: 2,250
- Profession Pack: 500
Overall this adds up to9,450, more than the price tag of the pack. Considering that you usually buy most stuff on the ZEN Market with some sort of discount, you might get a small value out of the pack. Reselling most stuff should get you your investment back while still retaining the head start currency, the title, and the hair styles. This makes it a ok buy at 7,500. Please note that once the pack sells for its full prize of10,000 after Mod 15 launch, you can still get it at a 25% discount using the Limited Time: 25% Off Any Pack from invoking.
Value in Gameplay
Of course not everyone wants to buy the pack only to resell it (although as seen above it might even be profitable). So what is the actual ingame use of the items? For the Keys, Coals, and Refining Points that’s kinda obvious as they are universally serviceable. It should be noted however that the devs reduced the number of Blood Rubies compared to earlier packs from 20 to 3. Seems unnecessary although the pack doesn’t lose too much value because of that. What’s hurting the pack though is the lack of a mount and the viability of the companion. Other packs featured an unique mount and a pet that enhanced campaign progression. The Tutor doesn’t do that and since it does not outperform any of the existing choices in the active or passive slot, I can’t see it being used by too many players.
Armor Penetration is something you want to reliably cap and getting a boost at the start of a fight from the Active Bonus is not tons of help. The Tutor enhances group damage by 1% with one of its attacks, but compared to other choices that’s not convincing either. Unknown factors for now are the Profession Pack and Magical Items. But even assuming those are decent the actual gameplay value is not as good as the one from the corresponding Ravenloft and Omu packs.
Value in Novelties and Head Start
Which brings us to the novelties and head start currency. I’m just going to assume that the amount will match what you got in other packs. So it’s probably going to save you a week of grinding. I don’t think it’s super important to be honest. The campaign is easy to complete so it’s not like you’re saving yourself a lot of trouble. It’s simply about getting to the new item level 600 sets and the K-Team Challenge faster. Multiple Consult Packs stack and five should complete the progression path of the campaign on day one. So if you’d like to fast-forward, here’s your chance!
Other than that, the value depends on how high you’re on the fashion, titles, and those hair styles. I’ve seen couple people being genuinely excited about the possibility of getting additional looks. It’s not what I’m personally looking for in the game, but I agree that this is something that should be done more. Hence I think it’s a great idea. By the way: It does seem like the devs plan to do more of these premium appearance changes in the future. So stay tuned for additional info in the next weeks!
Although this is the weakest of the “Founder’s Packs” the game has seen so far, I think it could be worth buying in case you’re high on the hair styles, Profession Pack and campaign currency. You get most of your ZEN value back although it’s clearly not as much of a bargain. I’m also disappointed in the gameplay value. The companion is of little use and the amount of Blood Rubies was reduced for no apparent reason. If you’re going for it, make sure you absolutely don’t pay the full 10,000.
What’s your take on the Consult Expedition Pack? Will you buy it or do you feel like your money is better invested elsewhere? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!
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