Tomorrow Neverwinter’s latest mid-module update is finally going live on PC and last, but not least, we are going over the PVP changes that will come as part of “Swords of Chult”. PVP has been in a miserable state for quite a while. Bugs, balancing issues and the complete lack of a competitive system have led to dwindling interest within the community. In a serious case of better late than never the devs finally tackled the issue and introduce some improvements in 12B. Will it be enough to save the game mode? Let’s find out!
With PVP being an ever-controversial topic, we compiled some community thoughts behind the scenes to get a broader perspective. Opinions from Tolkienbuff, Lancer, Theguiido, Sylux and Tony influenced this article and we want to thank them for their time and comprehensive analysis.
Getting More Players Into PVP
First of all let’s start with a change most of the community agrees on. Tenacity will get removed from gear and becomes an environmental variable. So entering PVP with PVE gear will no longer come with a distinct disadvantage. It’s a great change because at this point you need much more population on the Domination maps. And players not having to grind PVP gear is a decent approach to achieve this. Granted, builds still matter, but since loadouts this isn’t as much of an issue as well.
Tenacity Becomes an Environmental Variable
But the devs also made sure PVP players are somewhat competitive in PVE as well. All PVP sets now grant a reasonable item level in PVE and boost to a higher one in players versus player content. A brand-new “Strategist” set for example is 450 in PVE and 510 in PVP. While that’s still considerably lower than the current “best-in-slot”, it makes transitioning between the game modes incredibly easier.
Permanent Solo Queue
Last but not least everybody’s darling, the solo queue, becomes a permanent option for PVP. Although not everyone is sold on the idea, it has been a favorite and the devs decided to proceed with it. It’s going to be interesting to see whether this will also become the standard environment for future tournaments.
All these improvements will probably lead to an influx in players that is hopefully sustainable. It’s at least a great start to build on.
CC Diminishing Returns
It gets much more controversial with the other big change. Control power on certain builds were so powerful that experienced players could permanently lock their opponent down. Hence diminishing returns are added to all control abilities in Swords of Chult. This effect can stack up to four times with each stack further reducing the duration of control effects by 25%, eventually rendering them ineffective. As you might expect it’s a massive shift in balancing and build viability that generates lots of different sentiments.
We quite literally received the full spectrum of opinions on this topic. Some were just annoyed by perma CC builds like Rangers or Oppressor CWs and breathe a sigh of relief. Others think it’s too much of a nerf and effectively renders all builds that center around control useless. It certainly seems that PVP is back to killed or get killed although the full extent of the change will not show until a few weeks into the update. Nonetheless multiple players have raised concerns that this further reduces the viable range of feat paths and decreases diversity in an already under diversified class system.
Is the Power Creep the Real Culprit?
Tolkienbuff for example rightfully mentioned that there have been little changes to the control effects since mod 1. He feels like the power creep is the actual problem and that the fix only treats a symptom. It’s undoubtedly true that you can stack way too much Recovery and other cooldown reductions, which leads to the situation we have today. So looking deeper a rework of Recovery or stats in PVP in general might have made more sense and would have preserved a lot of build options and skill. Control abilities, as annoying as they might be, need an accurate timing to be most effective. There are lots of reasons why they should be an integral part of PVP.
Nonetheless the devs decided it is better to move on without most of the CC in the game mode for now. Especially in group fights those stacks build up so rapidly that everyone is immune in a matter of seconds. And then it’s just who dishes out the most damage. On the other hand it’s safe to assume that matches will become a bit more dynamic because CC contributed to a lot of stalls. That and the fact that healing depression is further enhanced from 50% to 75% will let kill numbers rise. It’s certainly interesting how the community will deal with the changes and what type of feedback the system gets in the coming weeks.
While the CC diminishing returns don’t feel like a definite solution, the update should at least bring more players into PVP again. And that’s the big thing to look forward to if you’re a fan of the game mode. The new armor sets, Tenacity as environmental stat and solo queues should fill the battlefields with new excitement, and warm bodies. We’ll see if it lasts, but it’s at least a start for a game mode that was close to heading the Foundry’s way.
What’s your take on the PVP changes? Do you like them or won’t they be enough to revitalize the game mode? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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