I’ve already talked about Everfrost Gear before Storm Kings Thunder hit live. The topic however continues to amaze me and remains a very valid concern for players. On the official forum threads and posts still pile up from those that despise the Voninblod grind. Others say they are skipping the mod entirely. But is it really as bad as it seems? Three months after my initial post it’s time to revisit the topic!
Everfrost gear can be maintained
One weird aspect of the whole outcry is the fact that maintaining the gear isn’t as hard as you would expect. With the Frostborn set bonus and a purple Trowel you can farm 25,000 to 30,000 Voninblod in one hour. Given that the campaign is already completed, this should at least bring you through the week, right? So why is there such an opposition against farming for one hour per week to sustain BIS status?
Granted, without the goodies from the ZEN market grinding will take a bit longer. I get why people are complaining about it, but welcome to the monetization system of Neverwinter everyone. Voninblod is a pretty classic example of how the game tries to frustrate players so much that they will turn to real-money enhancements. If you don’t like it, there’s a chance you also won’t like other aspects of the game, and with it the game itself. I’m not saying I agree with the system, but it’s actually how the devs have always operated.
Too much grind
I think it has more to do with what I touched on three months ago and what I extensively wrote about in another piece. Players are overwhelmed by the amount of daily tasks and grind. It’s not that Voninblod mechanic is worse than anything else, but for many it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. The issue also doesn’t even start with maintaining the gear, but acquiring it.
Armor Sets have always been kind of easy to get and mostly gated behind token systems. Since Elemental Evil there have been three Armor Sets that all came from Seals or Currency. You had to farm the latest content a bit, but would get there eventually. All of these sets additionally bind to account and can be farmed for alternate characters. Storm Kings Thunder now follows a new, more annoying pattern.
Mod 3 vs. Mod 10
I know it’s getting a bit old, but let’s compare it with Module 3 once again, because it’s basically the same system. In both mods you needed to farm raw gear, only Black Ice Shaping has been replaced with restoration as second step in the process. The boots remain a HE reward, but the other pieces are now gated by RNG and no longer a token system. In Icewind Dale the Armor Set was available for just Black Ice, Mod 3’s Voninblod.
The restoration itself is also more annoying than Black Ice Shaping was. Back then the recipes required like three different resources that dropped from HEs. That’s up to a whopping 25+ for Arms, Head and Feet and 50+ for the Armor. In Icewind Dale you basically only had to farm Black Ice and were good. In Storm Kings Thunder it’s Voninblod, a shitload of Heroic Encounters and Fangbreaker Island. This is what makes the system so grindy before we even talk about keeping our set empowered. This is not like Mod 3, it’s much, much worse.
That’s why players complain. In a world where they already need to farm ADs and RPs daily and help with the guild’s Stronghold, the only truly casual area of the gear progression was replaced with a full independent grind, in which Voninblod empowerment is only the tip of the iceberg.
Too easy to skip
Other factors that we already highlighted on this site also still apply. The truth is that at least endgame toons can completely skip Storm Kings Thunder’s Armor set progression and still be able to run any content. Everfrost gear is not needed for pre-SKT content at all. The Resistance you get from the Underwear and boons seems to be enough to master Fangbreaker Island and probably even Svardborg. It’s uncertain whether the gear will be made more of a necessity in the future. For now though players can and probably are taking a slow approach. For the needed investment the set simply does not offer enough in return.
Maybe for the first time in the game the devs have to realize that the players do not take any grind just because it offers BIS. I don’t want to be absolute here though. Panderus already stated Black Ice Gear was a success on their end, whatever that means. So it could very well mean Everfrost is also performing well. The amount of players skipping the Mod or just the gear is still significant. You always have a few haters whenever a new update huts, but this time there definitely seem to be more of them.
Please get rid of it!
I personally sure hope the opposition is strong enough to either significantly lower both restoration and empowerment costs. Or even better, do not continue with this system for Armor sets. Black Ice Gear only lasted a mod, so here’s hoping Everfrost won’t prevail as well. Players have enough to do with other parts of the progression, nobody is going to get bored without the system.
Do you own the Everfrost gear or are you refusing to grind it? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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