Today we are going to look over some of the new mechanics in the River District that are going to come with Neverwinter’s latest module “The Cloaked Ascendancy”. After finishing the introductory quest line one of the first things players get to know are reclaimed resources and dig sites. Under the once wealthy River District tons of valuable goods are hidden that only wait be dug up. With the intervention of Gyrion and his Cloaked Ascendancy though, claiming the resources has gotten a tad more complicated.
There are three different resources to reclaim: Weapons, Riches and Magic. All of them drop from mobs as well as from the vaults beneath the district. Players can access these vaults from so called “dig sites” all around the map. Since Gyrion and his companions are an ongoing threat, each site is secured by a guard post. And here’s where the players step in. Their task is to maintain the posts and repel attacks from opposing minions. The areas have to be secured and then upgraded using the reclaimed resources. Only then players are able to access the dig sites and loot the vaults.
Are you digging dig sites?
This creates a dynamic map on which the players have to constantly look where to upgrade and defend guard posts and loot dig sites. I really like the concept, but am skeptical that it can develop into a strategic match against the engine. On preview I was comfortably able to set up multiple guard posts and dig sites without them being overrun immediately. So it’s not like you actually need to bring multiple friends and cooperate to gain control over a map. In the end it’s a solo campaign that you can complete all by yourself if you like. Nonetheless it might be the most interesting setup for a grind so far.
Once inside the vaults it’s business as usual. They are just super with a few mobs to slay. The end chest can contain a variety of campaign resources and players also get one Treasure Map per run. The maps work slightly different than in Sea of Moving Ice. They are no longer unique and those from the same location stack. So given enough inventory space, you can pile them up and loot the same treasure as often as you have the corresponding map. This is a significant convenience upgrade to Storm Kings Thunder, but the treasures also only seem to drop campaign related stuff and some resources. It doesn’t look like they have the same moneymaking abilities like the maps in Sea of Moving Ice.
Overall the dig sites and treasure maps are an innovative way to make the everyday grind a little bit more interesting. It at least gives the River District an unique setting and feel. I personally would have loved if the whole thing required more teamwork and presented a challenge, but it’s easy to envision how that can lead to a bunch of frustration for those that just want to get their dailies in.
What’s your take on these new mechanics? Share you thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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