Storm Kings Thunder First Look: Business as Usual

Storm Kings Thunder is live since Tuesday and it has been a comparably quiet launch so far. There are only a few minor issues like missing respecs for the classes that got tweaked. I wandered through Bryn Shander during the first days of the release am going to provide my initial thoughts.

Class balance

It was pretty obvious that this major round of class balance changes wouldn’t go quietly. Player warned in the preview feedback thread that the Hunter Rangers’s Piercing Blades would present a problem and guess what? It does! Rangers are one-shotting people in PVP left and right. We’ll se how the devs will deal with the situation since the guy in charge, Amenar, recently left the company.

The only other issue currently seems to be that the Scourge Warlock class feature Burrowed Time is not working, but we might see more problems from these balancing changes going forward.

Fog and Lag

It's kinda dizzy out here
It’s kinda dizzy out here

In the meantime the game engine still can’t handle heavy load. As you should have expected zerging HEs in Bryn Shander runs about as smoothly as Tiamat. We’ve already touched on the similarities between Storm Kings Thunder and Icewind Dale and this is another one. In Module 3 large-scale HEs were a severe pain as well. People are also not exactly loving the foggy Ice Storm. It’s a cool weather feature, but might be a little bit too annoying.

In the bright side I’m actually surprised by the amount of Relics you can find. In Module 3 I felt there was more competition for Black Ice Nodes. So farming Voninblood is not as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. But I still think keeping your armor sets empowered while not having to complete the campaign, which will happen eventually, should be all kinds of frustrating.

No major issues, no problem?

Without major issues, can the start be considered a success? Not so fast! The launch might be smooth, but it’s also far away from flashy. The devs delivered business as usual and unfortunately it exactly feels like it. You’re just running different dailies, different Heroics now and grinding different stuff. Especially for the seasoned players that actively experienced Module 3 there’s virtually no new component added. None!

This is probably the most “more of the same” module ever. The intro is quick and after that point, the provided stuff doesn’t feel very engaging. I think the story is funny and well done as always, but it’s limited cause it’s obviously not a story-heavy update as Underdark and Maze Engine were.


The launch has been pretty solid, but just adding more dailies and more heroics in new zones is not that thrilling. But I’m hopeful this is not all that Storm Kings Thunder has to offer. What are your first impressions on the Module? Share them in the comments below or in the corresponding thread on our message board!

j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

3 thoughts on “Storm Kings Thunder First Look: Business as Usual

  • Avatar
    August 18, 2016 at 7:16 am
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    There are several issues, no bank slots added, no retrain token (fix coming few days after – another milking ‘mistake’), no epic manticore anywhere. I have unlocked lonelywood today, looks better than bryn but sill nothing really new. Fishing makes me unpatient.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      August 18, 2016 at 10:41 am
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      You can buy bank slots up to a higher cap. They didn’t say they were giving them to you.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    August 18, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    I ran the Lonelywood quests this morning with my husband (I was on my Healer DC /Him as TR DPS) — The quest line was interesting but it’s a bit annoying some of the quests can’t be shared especially since I’d rather play in a group or with a DPS as a support character. Some of the mobs in the big HEs actually were fun. The areas are lovely and I really am enjoying the story much like I did with maze engine/Pre-underdark quests. I feel like there is a reason for us to be there.. not like I did with Icewind Dale in mod 3 which had a poor job of integrating in the Sword coast/Neverwinter Meta story when it first launched in my opinion. As a veteran player I don’t mind grinding a bit. At least I found myself wandering around saying ‘Oh wow that was pretty cool’ Rather than – ‘Why are we killing this stuff again?’ Which was a question I constantly had during Elemental Evil.. I appreciate that this mod seems to reward exploration a bit rather than mindless QER. The woods and other maps are absolutely massive and I didn’t even explore but a teeny bit of it. I still think the dungeon loot from Fangbreaker is a sham and I don’t think I’ll go for the empowered gear stuff but hey, At least it’s not Sharandar 2.0 or more Demon HEs..

    Reply

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