The Neverwinter Playstation release is right around the corner and many new players are probably asking themselves whether it’s worth to give the game a look. It’s completely free, so the risks are low. Some players however like to know what they can expect down the road and for those we are going to answer a few essential questions in the coming weeks.
How Pay-2-Win is the Game?
When it comes to free-2-play games players always want to know what areas are truly free and which ones gated behind a paywall. The monetization strategy Neverwinter uses can be described as pay-2-accelerate. Players can earn and achieve everything in the game without spending a single penny. To get there faster, or more convenient, you have to pay. Cosmetic changes and services like respecs and bag space come with a price tag as well.
An easy example is leveling. The progression to the maximum level of 70 is already pretty fast. It takes only a few days. But impatient players have the choice to buy boosts to speed up the process. While this is a pure convenience upgrade, is gets more complicated in other cases. Some stuff is purposely set up to be so annoying that players are pretty much lured into buying certain goods. Additionally some mandatory items for the progression drop ingame at such a low rate that the only reasonable place to obtain them becomes the cash shop.
Time vs. Money
The game can be complete free-2-play, but the alternative to paying is spending a significant amount of your free time. Randomness and repetition gate most rewards. The more runs, the more chances at rewards. The best items drop from lockboxes anyway and real-money keys are needed to open them in bunches. Players can obtain them from free-2-play currency as well, but in limited numbers and with a considerable grind.
It’s casual friendly
Free-2-play players might not be able to get anywhere in reasonable time, but the game doesn’t require it either. PVE is very casual friendly and you do not need to become best-in-slot to comfortably run it. Very little content even requires tons of skill, group composition is far more important. Knowing your class is a must of course, but higher item levels only speed up content and don’t serve as true barrier.
Big players can be exclusive though and to get to elite groups a certain item level threshold developed on PC and Xbox. It’s also another story for PVP. Gear matters more than skill and for casual players PVP can become very frustrating if you’re consistently outmatched. The game features matchmaking, but it’s highly dependent on a sufficient number of players in the queue and history shows it’s not working well enough.
The game is pretty free-2-play in terms of PVE. But to max out in reasonable time, get into elite groups or to be anywhere near competitive in PVP, players most likely need to buy into the progression.
We hope that cleared up the always controversial pay-2-win discussion surrounding any free-2-play title. In future posts we are going to deal with more topics, so stay tuned. In the meantime make sure to share questions and remarks below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.