Three years ago the back then big Neverwinter YouTuber “The Assist Man” probably delivered the most well-known rant about the state of the game. Titled “The Sad Truth About Neverwinter” the video has garnered over 200,000 views over time. With that it’s probably one of the most viewed videos about the game ever, at least since its release. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely go back and watch it. It’s a historic document about the state of the game back then. Plus the stuff we’ll discuss in this article is partially based on it.
Does Neverwinter Still Suck?
The message three years ago was pretty darn clear. “The Assist Man” had no plans of playing the game again unless some things would change. And he did actually quit, so it’s not like he just delivered a rant and then didn’t walk the walk. However, times change and two weeks ago a second video by him appeared that re-evaluates the game today based on the flaws he pointed out back in the day. I normally don’t dedicate a full article on other people’s content, but since we’re talking about the video of recent memory and he touches on some interesting points, why not?
I’m not going to deliver a full summary by the way. So once again, please go watch the video in case you’re interested in the full take.
All right, so let’s go! I think what makes this an interesting piece of content is the unique situation “The Assist Man” is coming from. He’s a retired hardcore player that recently came back and largely experiences the game from a new player’s perspective again. When we as community call for changes, we often don’t realize how long the process can take. Fixes and improvements sometimes take so long that we can hardly appreciate when they happen, only breathe a sigh of relief and immediately go into “but there’s so much else broken right now” mode. So in a way somebody who has been completely away is better able to see the big picture.
Refining System, Leveling Changes a Huge Plus
One example of that are the leveling changes. I think we’ve mentioned and applauded them around here, but it was more in the sense of “ok cool, long overdue”. The way Assist Man raves really makes you appreciate the feature much more. It’s not quite the same with the refining system. I think we properly gave credit there. But it’s still nice to see how people enjoy the feature now vs. then.
On the other hand I feel like he’s falling victim to a “new players fallacy” in terms of content. He’s saying himself that there should be more dungeons and he probably enjoys the current content a lot more because there’s a lot of catching up to do. But he then fails to realize that the core of the issue hasn’t changed. For endgame players, from mod to mod, there’s not enough content and never will be. It’s not what the game is all about and can do with the amount of resources they have. I additionally giggled when he brought up the “there’s no longer broken stuff like TR double-dipping” when it probably was the #1 balancing issue of going into Mod 14 on PC. So that’s your improvement and learning curve… Of course consoles now will never have to deal with it.
YouTube and Community Management
He however brought up a very valid point about the state of the subreddit, official forum, and generally community management. His assessment of Julia’s work might be harsh (she’s not actually doing “nothing”), but it shows how the perception continues to work against her. If you’re labeled Community Manager, you are expected to be a much more active part of the community. We know it’s her job description that only gives her so much time for streams and such, but whatever the reason, it’s not good enough. It’s not what the dedicated players of this game deserve. More than that, if you’re so nontransparent about your tasks on a daily basis, how is anyone supposed to understand what exactly you are doing?
Anyway, not much to add about the rest of the things in that segment. We all know the subreddit and official forum in their current form aren’t an asset or resource for the game (apart from very few exceptions like the preview section whenever a new mod rolls around). But it’s not like there’s any genuine interest to do something against the extremist opinions that spread from those sources and are largely controlled by a small minority.
Great That Players Are Coming Back
But hey, let’s end this one on a good note, shall we? Because “The Assist Man” is probably only one of many examples that illustrate how the game currently succeeds in building up its playerbase again. And don’t forget that it’s particularly hard for so-called “hardcores” to return to their old games. Because they have probably build up stocks in other titles in the meantime, which makes going through another grind and catching up much more difficult. We’ve already talked about the positive impact of the last mod(s) on PC and fully expect Ravenloft to have a similar effect on consoles. Neverwinter is currently trending in the right direction.
The game unquestionably still has a lot of potential. And although it’s not chancing to the better as fast as we would like to, the video the “The Assist Man” shows that there indeed has been improvement throughout the years that shouldn’t be discounted.
What’s your take about the video? Do you share that Neverwinter is better than three years ago? Or is it still suffering from the same flaws? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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