We continue our “Tomb of Annihilation” frenzy week with a look at the dungeon addition in Neverwinter’s new module. As stated in the dev blog, the “Tomb of the Nine Gods” (TotNG) requires a higher level of group coordination than any previous dungeon. Not only the bosses will test players, but also an environment full of traps and surprises. The difficulty is set above Fangbreaker Island (FBI) and Spellplague Caverns (MSP). Players require an item level of 12,000 to enter it. The main reward is item level 500 gear that we’ve already previewed and a new “Charm of the Serpent” artifact that features stats for DPS builds and a debuff as strong as the one of the Lantern.
Environment and Puzzles
Overall the dungeon is well crafted and fits the theme of the module. The devs did a great job making it look larger than it actually is. This really creates the feeling that you are crawling deeper and deeper into a tomb. Overall it offers a nice atmosphere, which should make for great runs even long term.
The puzzles throughout require teamwork and communicating over voice-chat certainly helps. Unfortunately failing them just results in having to fight additional trash mobs for the most part. So the incentive to solve them every time might not be really there. On the other hand I’m not sure how you could make the puzzles mandatory without frustrating groups too much. It’s already difficult to figure out the mechanics and they even feel random at times.
Bosses and Difficulty
This issue extends to bosses where it’s not always clear how to deal with certain challenges. The devs definitely could have done a better job of guiding players through here. Users in the official feedback thread especially mentioned that they didn’t know how to deal with the second boss and felt they don’t have to follow any mechanics to beat it. Other than that though, the difficulty is there and for the first runs I’d definitely advise you to pick a premade group that is willing to test and talk stuff over. You can also look up YouTube as channels like northside or Galactic Underwear have uploaded full runs or at least the boss fights.
Figuring out the stuff yourself however is actually fun and will help you consistently beat the content on the long run. As always teams closer to the minimum requirement need a deeper knowledge and awareness of what’s going on while top-end groups are more likely to pull through with sheer DPS. You can’t just ignore everything however, which I think is important. It’s an integral part of making unique and challenging dungeons and I’m glad the devs continued what they’ve started with Fangbreaker Island and reworked Spellplague Caverns. Especially positioning will be super important as you’ll see much more unavoidable damage and effects.
The rewards have been an early complaint and actually got slightly adjusted already. As longer dungeon TotNG doesn’t seem to offer that much more than FBI or MSP. I don’t think it’s the worst thing though. The main incentive is the new item level 500 gear, which should give players enough reason to run it. This means the dungeon does not absolutely have to beat other content in terms of farm profit. Even more so, you don’t want it to immediately render FBI and MSP useless because it’s the best option in all areas.
It’s a bit hard to judge the long-term viability as of now anyway. We’ll get a much better idea in like three months or so.
Overall I think the dungeon is well done. It rewards teamplay and you probably want to approach this one with an experienced team even later into the module. The design definitely continues to trend into the right direction with the “Tomb of the Nine Gods”!
What’s your opinion on the dungeon? Have you run TotNG on preview? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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