The third Jubilee of Neverwinter ran for a full week and Lord Neverember sure upped his party game! I already shared my thoughts and some hints how to effectively farm the anniversary in this post. Today we’ll continue with a full review of all facets.
Gifts, Sales, Discounts, Vouchers
My. Goodness. Lord Neverember felt more generous than ever! There was no way you couldn’t benefit in some shape or form from all the goodies the Protector threw at adventurers. A free item every day, two massive 50% ZEN shop sales to sandwhich the event and tons of vouchers and discounts as drops.
The ZEN shop sale leaked on preview a few weeks ago and was highly anticipated. No wonder the admin messages of lockbox drops went crazy throughout the event. VIP, Mounts, Packs… this was the best time for players to get what they need. A huge issue was the backlog though. Players that got informed of the sale in the official news post probably weren’t able to exchange their AD in time. I personally would prefer an announcement of such huge sales a month prior. This way everyone is properly informed. You dodge situations where unaware players spend ZEN right before the sale or only those that monitor the preview get a head start.
It didn’t stop with the bis 24 hour sales however. Grinding the event could get players up to 50% for selected ZEN categories as well. Or discounts for Trade Bars, Seals, Guild Marks and the Wondrous Bazaar. With VIP the discounts in the Bazaar stacked up to a ridiculous 65%. This meant premium players could instantly flip goods for profit during the Jubilee. But also non VIPs profited as the market plummeted down to 12k per GMoP and 40k per SMoP, much less than they’d normally pay. The same is true for items bought with Guild Mark and Trade Bar discounts. Seal discounts weren’t as great mainly due to the capacity limits, but added to the list of nice gimmicks.
The rich get richer
As great as all of the benefits were, players could only profit if they already had currency. A 50% ZEN sale does nothing for a player without ZEN and the Wondrous Bazaar discounts required ADs. And the more currency, the more you could profit. The impact will be felt for weeks, because high rollers bought dozens of stacks of Marks and will sell them gradually.
Although this can’t be fully prevented, I would have liked the event boxes to feature a slightly different loot table. As structured, the vouchers and discounts were basically the best drops. Insignias and RP are nice complementary loot, especially during a double RP week, but it’s not leapfrogging players like the vouchers were able to. The one reward players could use, the Coalescent Ward, has an atrocious drop chance of 1/1000.
A new gift mechanic
Speaking of rewards: I also didn’t particularly like the gift. Harder to acquire and to use than the Bounty it featured inferior rewards. You needed it to get your Figurines, but other than that there was nothing to gun for. Campaign currency and RP are again nice complementary loot, but it’s not like you would farm them over doing Tiamat in case you need Favors to complete the Tyranny campaign for example.
I’m additionally torn about the new gifting mechanic. The need to spread your Hospitality to enhance drop chances and the quality of vouchers and discounts in the Bountys is clever. It makes gifting more valuable than leeching, at least until you reach the last reward tier. Doing the exchange with a partner is also less stressful, because it’s easier to monitor. The cooldown of the gifts is just pathetic though. Not sure this is necessary to prevent certain exploits we had in the past, but man that sucked.
Because of the reward tiers the best way to farm was doing it with one character. That’s why, in contrast to the Winter Festival, the Jubilee gifting mechanic doesn’t benefit big accounts. In times where alt play is not really viable the devs could have done a better job to be inclusive.
The Figurines downside
Which brings us the Figurines issue. In former editions you would get enough Figurines through the dailies to get the Garden Key on characters. This year it was another story with only seven to eight guaranteed and the rest dropping from gifts. At approximately 10% drop chance it meant farming 50 Bountys per Figurine on average. That could add up. Say you want the key and transmutes for your class and you’re looking at 1,000 Bountys already. Another 500 for the Entertainer.
That’s a lot for one character, let alone multiple. I keep reiterating when reviewing events that there has to be some guaranteed reward. The Garden Key actually has been a pretty fitting example. It’s a convenience upgrade handed out to anyone participating in the event. Players that farm the Jubilee already get sufficient goods, but this one should serve as a login reward. Sure you can still get some transmutes or stuff from the Renown store, but it’s not the same. Players with limited time will look at what they can get and quickly turn the corner. With the Garden Key intact as reward, they might at least login and do the dailies.
Let’s be honest: Running around the foreign merchant all day was as dull as it gets. But it’s not worse than any other grinding mechanic and as new element actually quite refreshing. Not sure I’m gonna say the same thing next year though. Doing Protective Orders with your guildies or alliance added some social element that I quite enjoyed. I did however think that just running in the Whispering Caverns was a tad more effective after all.
Players of course quickly realized you only needed to accompany the merchant and stay in its yellow circle to get loot. This led to all kinds of semi or full botting behavior. You could experience the /follow command, camping the arrival zone 24/7 and even certain third-party assist functions. Some of the stuff was so obvious that you realize folks still have no fear of getting reported and banned.
A few other minor issues
This however didn’t spoil an otherwise great event week. There were some other minor issues like vouchers for ZEN categories that have long been moved to the Trade Bar Store or misleading tooltips, but Neverwinter players should be able to laugh off those trademarked oopses by now.
In my opinion the devs could have done a little bit more for the ordinary Joe. The randomness and general lack of Figurines was annoying and the event offered too little beyond the discounts and sales. But those were indeed big and the AD-making potential can’t be overstated.
After the Siege of Neverwinter the Jubilee is the second event in short succession that received a major upgrade and I like what I’m seeing lately.
Did you enjoy the Jubilee as well? Make sure to share your impressions in the comments below or on our forum.