Get hyped guys, because Storm Kings Thunder (SKT) is right around the corner on consoles! In the good tradition of our site, we want to make sure you are properly prepared for your travel to the north. So pack some warm socks and read our Primer!
On Thursday we started slowly by looking at a few minor fixes and system changes. Today we accelerate and are going to preview the new campaign and the hardest dungeon to date, Fangbreaker Island. A full list of the probably patch notes is available here. Be aware that these are the PC notes, there might be changes for the console version.
Like many stuff in SKT the campaign is build on Module 3 templates. You progress by doing dailies and earn reputation within the Ten-Towns community. The reputation unlocks campaign tasks while other campaign currency is used to complete them. The campaign is set up to last at least 50 days, making it slightly longer than previous ones. The fact that quests are spread out on three large zones and having to fight strong mobs further contribute to the grind factor. As mentioned this is very similar to Icewind Dale, where dailies are the most painful to date.
Despite the daily key for Fangbreaker Island there is no repeatable quest in the campaign. Overflow currency can be spent in the campaign shop though. Not less than eleven tasks either add new items to the story or reduce the price of existing ones. You always have to weigh buying items now or spend currency on the campaign and pay less later. The rest of the tasks unlock the zones, boons and the dungeon.
A key addition of the module is a new piercing damage called “Everfrost”. It hits for an additional 50% of the pre-mitigated damage, making the new content a challenge to casual players. Endgame geared toons shouldn’t run into too much trouble on the new maps though. Throughout the campaign several items and boons can be acquired that specifically mitigate Everfrost. Other than that no defensive layer or stat despite the Guardian Shield is able to help. That’s why a moderate hit of common damage can still produce a substantial amount of Everfrost damage on top of it.
Just like the campaign the boons are pretty standard and already included in our Character Simulator. Next to your usual small rating and Hit Point additions, it’s a minor source of Everfrost Resistance.
The new dungeon is the last unlock in the campaign, but the true limiting requirement is 28% Everfrost Resistance. Unless you spend real-money currency like ZEN or Trade Bars, you will most likely hit this mark a few weeks after unlocking the dungeon. As always, the dungeon can hardly reliably be completed at the advertised item level of 3,100. Most groups on PC run the dungeon at 3,500+ and with a very specific setup. It requires potent buffing, healing, tanking and damage and groups can’t have any weak spots. This is the first dungeon that truly can’t be run by everyone.
As tough as the dungeon is, the rewards don’t reflect that. You can get the new BIS armor set and additional campaign currency, but in terms of salvage and AD, other dungeons offer a greater time vs. reward value. On PC the first players able to complete FBI made a decent amount of ADs by selling Everfrost Armor Kits. This could be an opportunity on consoles as well especially in week two when players will be starting to unlock the dungeon but realize they lack sufficient Resistance. We will outline the easiest and free-2-play ways to get to 28% Resistance in our upcoming piece about Storm Kings Thunder gear by the way.
The presented encounters are fun. DPS adds to the convenience of runs, but is no guarantee of completion since players still need to learn and pay attention to boss mechanics. For guides and strategies please refer to this blog post and the included links and videos.
That’s it for today! Next time we are going to deal with gear progression before we conclude our Primer with the class balance changes. In case you have any questions or remarks, make sure to post them in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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