Surviving Your First Few Days In Neverwinter

So you’ve decided to take the free-to-play plunge and download Cryptic’s new MMORPG Neverwinter. Exploring a new game world is definitely an exciting time, but it can be easy to become lost or overwhelmed in a new game. To help make your initial time in the game a little easier here are a few basics about Neverwinter and some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Following the Trail of Sparkles

neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little Easier

A great feature in Neverwinter is the quest tracking system which provides a wonderous trail of sparkles for you to follow to your objective in the game world. Following the sparkling trail around will usually get you to where you need to go in order to complete your quest, and can be particularly useful while learning your way around Protector’s Enclave, the main city hub in the game.

The sparkle trail is great, but don’t forget to explore around off the beaten path some. There are treasure chests hidden behind stairwells, down alternate corridors, and placed in out-of-the-way locations throughout the world and in dungeons. Even after hours of gameplay I still keep the trail turned on as a matter of convenience, but if you’re not exploring the world outside of that tiny sparkling line, then you are missing out on a lot.

Campfires, Health Pots, and Portable Altars

Unlike games like Guild Wars 2, your character isn’t going to suddenly regain his or her health between fights. Typically a campfire is the best way to regain lost health, but while there are many to be found out in the world, campfires aren’t around every turn in the path.


neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little Easier


To keep your character from dying, you are going to need health potions, and plenty of them. Especially in the first 15 levels of the game before you are able to acquire your first companion, you will be taking quite a bit of damage, and health potions are the primary way to keep yourself alive.

Between fights you can also drop a Portable Altar from your inventory that will heal you up just like a campfire, and will also allow you to use your Invocation skill after level 11, which gives you bonuses and rewards once an hour. Portable Altars drop off of enemies in the world as you kill them and you will likely have a few in your inventory most of the time.

Every time you head out into an adventure zone or into a dungeon be sure to stop by a local General Goods NPC to pick up plenty of health potions and keep yourself alive and questing for hours on end.

Scroll of Identification

neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little EasierIf you’ve played many RPGs in your time, you’ll know what a Scroll of Identification is and how to use it. You double click the scroll, then click on an unidentified item to see its stats.

When you acquire an unidentified item in Neverwinter that your class can not use, and you plan to simply sell that item to a vendor as junk, the item will typically sell for significantly more if it has been identified using a scroll. You should have no shortage of Scrolls of Identification in Neverwinter thanks to regular loot drops when killing enemies, so be sure to identify those unusable items before selling them to a vendor for financial gain.

Astral Diamonds

There is an in-game Gold/Silver/Copper currency system that you will spend and acquire while buying and selling items from general NPCs, but the Astral Diamond currency is actually the money that makes the Neverwinter economy go-round.

You can gain Astral Diamonds through certain quests as rewards, and by using your Invocation ability every hour. There is a daily quest vendor named Rhix in Protector’s Enclave who can provide you with daily quests that will reward you with Astral Diamonds for doing things like queuing up for a Skirmish, Running a Dungeon or Foundry mission, or participating in PvP.

neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little Easier

Astral Diamonds are the currency you need to buy things from the Auction House, and certain NPCs will only deal in Astral Diamonds as well. Also, Astral Diamonds are the currency that can be exchanged directly for Zen, which is the cash shop currency that you purchase with real-world money, and is how players can acquire anything from the cash shop without ever having to spend a penny.

So while you can get many basic supplies with Gold, Astral Diamonds are the actual measure of in-game wealth in Neverwinter.

Try Skirmishes

Skirmishes are fast, fun group content that you can queue up for from the landing screen, and are a great way to score some XP and loot in a fast paced action-filled mission. You’ll have access to a new skirmish in each new zone you enter, and there are NPCs who will give you missions to complete these skirmishes for extra XP and rewards. Skirmishes are also one of the daily Astral Diamonds quests you can obtain from Rhix in Protector’s Enclave.

Especially at early levels, skirmishes are quick content that your group can complete without a terrible amount of coordination or communication, making it a great way to learn how your character fits into a group and the role you will be filling.

Foundry Quests Scale To Your Level

The Foundry in Neverwinter is a collection of player created content which can contain some of the richest story and most imaginative content in any MMORPG. Not only are Foundry missions a great way to play new and interesting content, but the Foundry missions also grant great XP for leveling and there is often a world event running that provides extra XP and rewards for running Foundry content. You can also pick up a daily Astral Diamonds quest to run a Foundry Mission as well.

The missions in the Neverwinter Foundry scale to your character’s level, so don’t be afraid to look through the catalog of available missions and play some that look interesting to you. You will be rewarded well for doing so, and it can be a great gaming experience. 

Gathering Kits

neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little EasierDepending on which class you roll, you will get one of the passive gathering skills that are in Neverwinter. These skills are Thievery, Religion, Arcana, and Dungeoneering. These skills allow you to interact with items placed in the world and receive items from them.

You must have the appropriate skill in order to interact with each type of node, but you can gather loot from nodes that you do not posess the skill to interact with by purchasing Gathering Kits from any general goods vendor. Keep a few of each type of gathering kit in your inventory in order to interact with these nodes as you find them, and get the rewards and bonuses they offer.

First Companion

The first 15 levels in Neverwinter will find you adventuring alone in the world unless you group with friends, but once you reach level 16 you will receive a quest to choose your first companion to accompany you and help you in your adventures.

You will be able to choose from a few different types of companions, and there is one that can help you out regardless of your play style. If you’re always in the enemy’s face and taking damage, you can pick up a cleric companion that does a rather nice job of keeping you healed up. If you stand back and cast powerful magics at your enemies, then you can obtain a companion to run in and tank the damage for you. And if you’re just looking for a little more damage, you can choose a companion that will help you slay your foes with impartial aggression.

Don’t Forget To Train Your Companion

When accompanying you on your adventures, your companion will also be gaining XP and begin leveling up. When your companion gains a level they can be sent to train, which can provide them with extra stats, abilities, and slots for upgrades. Be sure that you are sending your companion to train, even if you it’s while you are offline. As your companions reach higher levels the time it takes to train them will become longer, so you may want to wait until you are just roaming around not doing much, or are about to log out to send your higher level companions to train.

neverwinter mmorpg     10 Tips To Make Your First Few Days In Neverwinter A Little Easier

You can also purchase additional companions and simply switch between them while the other is away training. Companion training can be shortened by spending Astral Diamonds.

First Mount

At level 20 you will receive a quest to head to Protector’s Enclave and purchase your first mount. It’s important to note that you will need 5 gold in order to purchase your first mount, so if you’re still short on money, don’t waste a trip to town just yet. As long as you’re not spending your gold as fast as you get it you shouldn’t have to much of a problem having 5 gold before or very soon after hitting level 20.

Hopefully these tips and suggestions will help make your intitial time in Neverwinter a little easier.

Troy spends his days playing, writing, streaming, and making videos about MMOs and PC games. And yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. Follow on Twitter @Noobfridge
  • Dan

    Pointless/useless article.

    • Jon Lacey

      Actually I appreciated the explaination of astral diamonds. The currency merry-go-round was the one thing I wasn’t quite able to drill through. But this article explains it nicely.

      So there.

      • Kevin Hawes

        and I also didn’t know about Foundry scaling!

        So.. his post was more useless than the article could even dream to be.

        • Joshua Williams

          Why would this article dream of being useless? Can articles even dream? Thanks for the info GB!

          • Kevin Hawes

            That’s my point. Dan’s post was just -that- useless.

  • Matthew Riddle

    Nice information, thanks!

  • Stradus Woods

    Laughed a little at the potions playing a thief and only rarely do I ever take damage in big enough chunks that I am forced to use one before the next camp fire.

    • José Astolfo

      thats if you are solo until you get to lvl 23+-

      • Stradus Woods

        Used a lot of potions today on a foundry quest that liked to send 10+ big monsters at you in waves. Found it challenging to solo.

  • Cirdi

    Thank you Troy for the awesome-sauce tips!! :)

    • Troy Blackburn

      You are very welcome!

  • Gunnar Payne

    Mounts are 5 gold, please get your facts straight.

    • Matthew Riddle

      I feel this game, at least what I’ve explored so far, doesn’t need a mount, the zones are pretty small themselves that it doesn’t take more than 30 seconds to a minute to get back to the start of it.

      • Malcolm Swoboda

        I think Lv 1-20ish is the City of Neverwinter, and the zones are smaller. After that, the zones are significantly larger (like GW2 areas, I hear), and mounts are much more useful, though still not absolutely needed.

    • Eric Dennen

      um they said that they were 5 gold. Learn to read

  • Deadalon

    How on earth did Gamebreaker miss this title coming ? Its such a great experience and exactly what is needed atm considering lackluster WOW scenarios and lack of Dungeons and good holy trinity content.

    Just great experience… for free. Just try one character and you will fall in love. I promise

    • Troy Blackburn

      Miss this title coming? We’ve been covering this game for months, including impressions articles from every beta weekend. Neverwinter has its own page in the MMO section as well as on the forums. How on earth did you miss the coverage is the real question.

  • Arawulf

    This was very helpful. I hadn’t read up on this much before diving into open beta. When I wasn’t getting any passive health regen, I was curious about what I was missing. I also had little idea what the companion system was about. Again, thanks :D

  • Angel Florez

    that game is very desapointing, only part of d&d is the name, i reach a lv20 with a cleric and was so vainilla, a big lack of costumization

  • Jesse Smyser

    Actually at level 20 you SHOULD go ahead and do the mount quest, upon completion you get 3 tokens, each good for a 5 hr in game horse rental. This should carry through until you can afford a mount. Also I was able to acquire a mount for a great price off the auction and saved all my gold.

  • Aiden Thorne

    For those of us with a large understanding of the Forgotten Realms setting, will we be happy with the way everything is done? I don’t want to play another shoddy mesh of D&D and MMO like D&D Online again.

    • Malcolm Swoboda

      You’ll probably only be truly happy with how some of the Foundry quests work. Otherwise, nah, it’s cheezy and superficial. It gets the 4.0 D&D setting mostly right though, from what I hear.

  • Shane

    A useful trick for getting around a zone faster is when you use the blue gem at the top right of the screen that has your instance number on it, if you switch instances it loads back in at the last entrance you used to get into that zone. so if you came in at the area you got your quests from its very easy to teleport back there!

    • Troy Blackburn

      Also be aware that there is a cooldown timer for changing map instances. Good tip tho.

  • sparkymahoney

    If you want a real successor to NWN check out Divinity Original Sin!

    • Max

      That is a successor to Divine Divinity.

  • Dean Ragan

    One small correction regarding gathering kits: Each character will have an innate gathering skill where they can access those nodes without need for a kit. So, you can sell the ones you don’t need or, if you have an alt, you can send the kits to them and send back the kits your alt doesn’t need.

    • Troy Blackburn

      I’m confused as to how that is a “correction” when you you’re just re-writing what is in the section about gathering kits.

  • JPK

    I was pretty lost these past couple of days, and this put a lot of my questions to rest. Thanks.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Anyone want to write a detail description of the powers and feats of each character. That would be a good second level article I think.

  • Adam B.

    Overall good article but there are some conflicting ideas and wrong facts. Starting with the last part about the mount, you will not soon have enough money to afford one after you hit 20, but that’s ok because you do get tokens to basically rent a horse that will leave your inventory after 4-5hrs of use. I’m at 25 and still don’t have enough gold and the only thing I’ve spent my money on is the additional kits, like this article suggests. Which leads me to my next point.
    Because I buy so many kits (try to keep at most 10 of each not including dungeoneering) it does give me access to more stuff to loot, which causes me to run out of Identify scrolls. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just want people to be aware you may end up like me going to the AH to spend Astrals to buy more Scrolls of Identification because there is no vendor that sells them like the Kits, at least none that i’ve come across yet.
    I also want to praise this article for reminding me to do my hourly prayers so I can get my Astrals, totally forgot about that ><.

    • Malcolm Swoboda

      I’ve been buying occasional Kits but I’m Lv 15 and already have 2.5 gold. It’s not super hard, but it’s on the edge of difficult, yeah.

    • Troy Blackburn

      The having enough gold for a mount soon after reaching level 20 isn’t really a wrong fact. Your mileage may very depending on if you are spending your gold. I’d say buying 10 kits at a time at early level is a little excessive.

    • Alexander Azarov

      You can buy ID scrolls from the Wondrous Bazaar, using Astral Diamonds. Took me a while to figure that out, too!

    • Jason Hudson

      You can buy mounts for a few thousand AD’s from the auction house.

    • Ronnie

      The lady next to Rhix in the bazaar sells the id scrolls.

  • ray gilfillan

    great article, just what i needed to help me understand some things, will be sending a few of my friends this way as it helps explain a lot, thank you author.

  • chris evans

    the only problem I see with what is stated above is yes you can get astral diamonds from Invoking the Gods, but you can only receive astral diamonds 1/24 hour period. you can Invoke the God’s 1/hr for random stuff. thanks for the info:)

  • Ronnie

    First off you dont have to be level 15 to get your first companion. You simply log onto another toon that is higher level, and purchase the companion. Go to the postal courrier and mail the companion to yourself. Re-log with your newbie toon and go to the mail box and simply click on it and bind it to you. I have had a companion with all my starting toons as soon as I arrived at the Enclave.

    • Cpt. Obvious

      Surviving Your FIRST Few Days In Neverwinter

    • Reverus

      Oh, so I have only been playing for 24 hours. How do I log onto a higher level “toon” if I have never played Neverwinter before? haha… I guess YOU could email me one! Otherwise I guess I will have to wait till 15th level. (which is in about 30 minutes) Nice tip though… btw

  • lost gamer girl

    my sparkly trail went away, what do I do?

    • lost gamer girl

      never mind, I had accidentally hit the “z” key, I’m soooooooooo smart -.-j

  • Reverus

    Great article! I should have read this yesterday when I started! Here’s my question: When I hit “enter” and type a sentence, who can hear it? I heard a bunch of people talking in ridiculous acronym code (which I decoded luckily) they were trying to get a party together for the Cloaked Tower (?) and I was trying to say that I would go… but I don’t know if they heard me. Could I private message them? Thanks!