Design Decisions Vol. 1 – “River District Dig Sites”

Way too often do we not recognise or acknowledge all the small details in a piece of content. This series tries to examine design decisions the devs made, followed by an evaluation in how they impact the game. We will also look at how much work a certain feature required to implement and if that work was justified. Maybe we can even find better answers to design problems? Today we take a deeper look at the dig sites in the River District. Campaign/Map Integration The main idea behind dig sites is bringing back the exploration into Neverwinter that has been missing for so long. It is a core DnD concept to go somewhere, descend into a vault, fight enemies and loot the place. And it works. Kinda. The concept is great but the actual integration could have been much better. I want to praise the creativity behind the idea but at the same time the missed opportunities make me sad. Randomness of spawns This is a straight forward and most welcome feature. Even though the basic concept stays the same there is at least some kind of changing elements. While randomness of mob types and even maps is an easy way to keep content

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Bag of Tricks Vol. 51: Incriminating Document Locations in the River District

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bag of Tricks! On some days you will find useful tricks, gimmicks and ideas here that can make life in Neverwinter Online easier. Some of the stuff should be well known, but since even veterans learn something new every now and then, chance is you can, too. You may have stumbled upon on of the found quests in the River District called “Reclamation Specialists”. Certain “adventurer” mobs drop the quest granting Incriminating Documents and players need to find five more in order to complete the thing. Turns out those adventurers are hard to find, but our JayAgeDee luckily put effort in and mapped some spawn locations.   Go far so good. Unfortunately however while these are location where you can find adventurer mobs, they don’t spawn consistently. At any time there seems to be a certain number of groups active, but the locations cycle. The map also might not be 100% accurate. So if you’ve found more, let us know so we can add them! In any case we hope this will prove useful for those that plan to complete the quest! Bag of Tricks Vol. 46: The Value of Potions and Buffs Bag of Tricks Vol. 47: How Much Elk

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What Can Players Expect From the Revamped Spellplague Caverns?

The first players have unlocked Spellplague Caverns this week and more will gradually be able to run the revamped dungeon. So it’s time to look what players can expect with and in latest tier of group content. We collected a few thoughts and comments from those that have been testing Spellplague Caverns on the preview already and compiled the most interesting tidbits. But first, let’s actually look at a run from Youtuber “northside”. It’s fun! Most players we asked about the new dungeon responded that it’s a fun encounter. Some even say it’s the best design to date. Not much reminds you of the old Spellplague days, which were largely about punting adds into the acid. New foes have taken over over the caverns, so it thematically makes sense that the gameplay experience differs. The old hidden/optional boss however is indeed back! If you like secrets, this will please you! The regular bosses feature new unique mechanics that can’t be offset by sheer DPS. Players generally seem to like this approach and that you need to be smart about the boss fights. You don’t go anywhere if you don’t understand the mechanics, but have a pretty easy life if you

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Map Design Vol. 2 – “The River District”

This series focuses on the environmental design of Neverwinter within the adventure zones or smaller instances. Today we will take a deeper look at the “River District”, the newest adventure map to be released on the live servers. Tonight’s theme is “Destruction and Nostalgia” The River District follows a theme of lost glory. You can see the houses are big and seem to have inhabited wealthy citizens. There even was a park directly nearby right next to the river and pavilions spread across the map. But the golden days are gone. The River District got hit hard by various catastrophes with the most recent one being the invasion by the Cloaked Ascendancy. The map reflects the story line well as it uses the very old Protector’s Enclave textures for walls and even some models (houses and wells). Conveniently, reusing the old art assets fits perfectly into this module. If you see this as “let’s create a thematic module where we can reuse old assets without backlash” or not is up to you. A love for Details Additionally the devs have done some detailed work to show the actual destructive forces that have hit the River District. There are crooked wells in Gyrion’s region

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Bag of Tricks Vol. 49: Illusionist’s Gambit Bronze Fleece Farm

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bag of Tricks! On some days you will find useful tricks, gimmicks and ideas here that can make life in Neverwinter Online easier. Some of the stuff should be well known, but since even veterans learn something new every now and then, chance is you can, too. The players that aim for the new Mirage Weapon Set have to farm the Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish quite a bit. You need 35 Fleece to get enough of the resource for both your Main and Off-Hand. It’s not a terribly unreasonable grind however as you are guaranteed to get one Fleece per run. And it turns out you don’t even need a gold completion for it. While Gold rewards players with more Seals, Abandoned Treasures and a higher chance at more quality companion gear, you are indeed getting a Fleece every run. Players have figured it out and have started requesting Bronze multi-runs. We’re not sure this is intended, but quickly beating the first waves and then quit using the group vote does seem to be the quickest way to farm Fleece right now. Bag of Tricks Vol. 44: Damage Resistance Debuffs by Michela123 Bag of Tricks Vol. 45: Discarding Found

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Module 11 Artifact Weapons Restoration Guide

The Module 11 Artifact Weapons were a welcomed addition to the game. Not as great as Relic ones, they use the old marks in the upgrade process and come with a variety of set bonuses. Players widely see them as alt and lowbie friendly alternative to Storm Kings Thunder, because nothing is gated behind endgame content. There’s still some grind attached to the restoration process though, so let’s go through the needed mats and see how you can get them. In case you want a preview of the set bonuses and the classes they might fit best, browse here. Material List After buying the weapons from the campaign store, the full material list for both the Main and the Off-Hand reads as follows: 5500 Abandoned Treasures 105 Arcane Magical Writings 85 Arcane Focus Abandoned Treasures Let’s start with the easy stuff. Treasures come from virtually everywhere. The Treasure Hunt, Heroic Encounters, the “Secure the District” campaign task, demiplane instances and Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish. By just running the campaign you should be able to amass more than enough Treasures over time to restore your weapons of choice. If you have to, running gold completions of the skirmish probably is the best way to farm them.

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Devs add Interaction Delay to Prevent Dig Site Double Looting

With the last patch the devs have fixed (*** UPDATE *** Maybe not, some report it’s still working truly fixed now) a minor glitch that allowed players to loot Dig Sites twice in certain situations. You might have noticed that the end chests and shrines within Dig Sites now have a short interaction timer. That’s because sometimes after quickly picking up the loot, the reward node would still be active and could be looted again. Comparably small issue and impact The glitch never gained much popularity, because quite frankly it wasn’t a severe issue. Dig Sites as you might know return mostly Reclaimed Resources that players have plenty anyway. Looting the sites was more necessary to complete your daily Mercentile Missions. Players could however get a slight advantage in terms of Ascended Artifact Weapons, the Dig Sites drop one of the needed resources. The glitch didn’t however occur consistently. Sometimes you would get a chance at another loot, but most of the the the node would deactivate properly after the first interaction. So the damage done is low to nonexistent. Nonetheless it needed fixing and the devs delivered just that last Thursday. Treasure Chests still affected Where the trick still

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Evidence of Evil is the Bottleneck in the River District Campaign

A few days have passed in the new Module so it’s time to look at the new campaign progression and bottlenecks a bit. I’ve already covered a lot in my preview, but this post will go a little bit more in-depth in terms of numbers. The most obvious thing players complain about is the lack of the main progression currency Evidence of Evil. The daily quest grants 25 and you can get a few more through Heroic Encounters, Dig Sites and Found Quests. Unless you really invest an enormous amount of time though, you should most likely end your days with 27 to 29. The weekly quests adds 20 to an average of ~220 per week. In case you want to know when the weekly task unlocks and how it works, here’s an excellent thread that covers the details. Not all tasks make sense You’re currently looking at a six weeks completion for the full campaign, seven to eight with a weapon set. I have downgraded my estimation from 8-9 weeks on preview because as of right now, the last two tasks that reduce prices in the campaign store do not make sense. They cost more than you are likely about to

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River District Treasure Map Locations and Guide

The hunt is on again fellas, because the Cloaked Ascendancy features new Treasure Chests to track down! Compared to the Sea of Moving Ice the mechanic is slightly different, so let’s quickly go through the most important things in this post. As we’ve already mentioned in our preview, the maps can be found within Dig Sites. Each site has one map, meaning you can only loot nine maps per hour. While this means the mechanic is not uncapped like in SoMI, it has other advantages. The maps are no longer unique and you can stack them in your inventory. There are 18 different locations and maps, meaning you’ll need a bit of inventory space in case you do not want to go on the hunt right away. But this at least opens the possibility of farming locations multiple times and speeding up the whole process. If you got unlucky in SoMI, you had to travel across the whole map to open two chests. This should no longer happen in the River District. Less rewards than Sea of Moving Ice Also Treasure Maps are no longer an actual grind. The rewards offer additional campaign currency, even stuff for the boons sometimes. But it’s

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Module 11 Launches With Loadouts, Lags and Progression Irritations

Yesterday Module 11: The Cloaked Ascendancy launched with much fanfare! There was a great trailer, a nearly three-hour live stream with quite a few surprise appearances and, of course, the new content after an extended maintenance that got delayed multiple time. In today’s post we are looking back at the action yesterday. What went right, what went wrong and what are the most glaring issues so far? Delays and Lags The first rule of release days is: Don’t hope for everything to go right. The initially six hour maintenance from 6 AM to 12 PM Pacific got delayed until 3 PM. Players could fortunately kill some time on the official Perfect World live stream that was co-hosted by our new Community Manager Nitocris83. The stream received mixed reaction and was a little wild a times, but great getting to know some faces behind the usernames. Garlaanx by the way did a great video summarizing all gameplay relevant statements and we recommend to watch it! The most obvious issue after the maintenance was finally over was the insane lag in the new River District. Like, you could literally barely move. The most logical cause were overcrowded instances with an unusual high player

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