Now that we’ve had a few weeks to get into Neverwinter since it’s Open Beta launch, it’s time to take a bit of a deeper look at the game than just some of our first impressions pieces. I haven’t hit max level just yet, but I am in the upper 50’s, so I’m getting very close. In that time I have logged several hours in the game and have accrued a list of some of some of my favorite, and not-so-favorite, aspects of the game.
We’ll start and end with some good things. Overall I think the game is a solid free-to-play option that has already provided me hours of entertainment. There are tons of articles here on GAMEBREAKER that I wrote that covers all the things I like and enjoy about the game. Feel free to head over to the Neverwinter MMO page to check out all of those rather than me simply rehashing everything I’ve already written numerous times here.
I’ll just summarize those here by saying that I enjoy Neverwinter a great deal, and nothing you are about to read has changed my mind that this is a super fun MMO that my friends and I have a great time playing together.
As I stated earlier, no game, especially no MMO, is perfect. And no MMO has launched without bugs and server connection isssues, so those aren’t the kinds of things we’re going to discuss. What we will talk about here are things that are specific to Neverwinter that aren’t particularly to my liking. Be warned, this article will be full of opinion. If you disagree, that’s fine. To each his own.
Let’s begin with something simple.
Can’t Log Out To The Character Select Screen
Yes, it’s a little nitpicky, but having to re-log in to your account every time you want to switch characters is a little annoying. A simple option in the game menu would solve this.
Companions In 5-Mans
Whatever healing or DPS boost companions provide in 5-man content is not worth the on-screen clutter they cause while running around aimlessly before falling over dead because they don’t know how to move out of bad stuff. I hope the Neverwinter developers reconsider having companions in 5-man content, although I suppose that would remove an obvious money maker in the cash shop.
Cash Shop Is Overpriced
The haters can keep screaming pay to win if they wish, but something we can all agree on is that many of the items in the Neverwinter cash shop are overpriced, and some of them obscenely so.
Take mounts for example. 4000 Zen. That’s $40.00 for those who will use cash to buy the top tier cash shop mounts. At a mere $25 dollars World of Warcraft receives a lot of flak for its cash shop mount pricing. So what the heck is with mounts that cost forty freaking dollars?!?
Ten dollars for 24 slot bags or enchantment fusing wards, you could just go on and on about the real money cost of the items in the cash shop. There can always be changes to the pricing policy, but at the end of the day, if people are buying, the prices will continue to be outrageous.
Doing Multiple Runs For Dailies
Just last week I was singing the praises of the daily quest system in Neverwinter, and now here I am putting it on my “bad” list. So what gives?
I think the overall system is still sound. Pick up quest, do things you would be doing anyway, get rewards. The problem I have is that the higher level you become, the more times you have to do, say… a dungeon run, to complete your daily quests.
The biggest problem with that right now is that the game is still buggy. Folks are having connection issues, and loading into a dungeon or skirmish seems to cause disconnects quite a bit. Oh, and once you’re in a group and in a dungeon, there’s no way to auto queue for a replacement at the moment. So even if you get halfway through and your Rouge suddenly has to go eat dinner, you either have to find someone the old fashioned way, which is a pain seeing as how you’re in the middle of a dungeon, or what happens most often is that your group slowly disbands one by one until you’re left starting over in the LFR. So what should be a relatively quick activity is already more time consuming, then you add in the fact that you have to do it three times. By the time you finish you’ve spent hours doing this one daily quest.
Now I already know someone is going to chime in and tell me how awesome they are, and how their groups are perfect, and they get all there dailies done in some impossibly short amount of time. The fact is that what started out as a simple and fun way to earn extra rewards just for playing is turning into something to be avoided for me.
Again, I like the idea of the dailies, but the multiple runs to complete just one makes them more like the dailies we all loathe so much than I care for them to be.
So there are some of the things that kinda rub me the wrong way right now. On to the good part. Here’s the things that just absolutely send me into a Twinkie tossing, Mountain Dew spitting, nerd rage fit.
My Companion Is A Moron
My cleric companion is literally worse than any League of Legends random I’ve ever had the misfortune of teaming with. Yes, you can call it bad AI, and I would give my left big toe to have the devs do something to fix it, but I’m convinced that my cleric does stupid shit on purpose just to see how far she can push me.
A giant boss deep in some troll cave solo instance who does giant AoE damage or devastating cleaves? My cleric companion will go out of her way to walk up beside my Guardian Fighter and catch as many attacks as she can with her face. It doesn’t matter if there is an entire giant cavern full of spots for her to safely stand in. If there’s a big baddy with big red circles on the ground, you can count on her to stand right in the middle of it.
Quest Tracking In Groups
Is this a bug that only me and my friends encounter? Why is it that if we’re in a party, only the party leader can change quests that are being tracked. And I don’t mean shared group quests. I’m talking about being in a party that is queued up and waiting for a dungeon, and even though we are in different zones, if I’m not the party leader I can’t choose which one of my own quests to track as the primary so that my super casual MMO player sparkly trail of awesome can show me where to go?
Need Rolling On Non-Class Gear
Yes, this is a community problem, and it could sort itself out in time, but the developers really need to block classes who just flat out can’t use a piece of armor from being able to roll Need on it. It’s becoming a real problem, and although you sometimes get a nice-guy who gives the gear to the appropriate class and apologizes, more often than not the pleas for that awesome blue piece of gear that you and only you in the party can wear falls on deaf ears.
I’ve actually seen this happen to others way more than it’s actually happened to me, and I often find myself in a party where everyone has taken sides after such an incident, and it’s just not conducive to a fun group adventure.
Sure, if you let only classes who can use the gear roll need on it you create and opportunity for that system to be abused, but that’s still better than watching that uber new piece of gear drop for your Control Wizard leave in the hands of a Great Weapon Fighter.
Difficulty = More Adds
This is the big one for me right now. Not only is it extremely frustrating, but it’s also making so many boss fights boring and repetitive.
Sure, there are some interesting fight mechanics spread throughout the bosses of Neverwinter, but the vast majority of showdowns with the big bads consist of the exact same formula. Boss does big AoE/Cone/Cleave attack, adds spawn, boss does more AoE/Cone/Cleave attacks, more adds spawn. And that cycle continues over and over until the boss is dead. So basically the devs answer to making fights more difficult right now is simply spawn adds until you can barely tell what’s happening on the screen, then have them all do AoE damage as they chase the Cleric around the room.
This game can be so much better than that. The combat system is fun and the settings of the dungeons are gorgeous and do a great job of setting the mood. So why does every boss fight have to be essentially the same thing with a different skin on the boss?
I can’t tell you that I’ve seen every fight in the game yet, but I’ve seen enough in my 58 levels to know that the developers are going to have to get more creative with boss fights. If they don’t change things up and introduce new and fun fights with unique mechanics, the end game is going to get very boring very quickly.
I Still Enjoy Neverwinter
Even after listing the things that I don’t like about Neverwinter, I still really like the game and have enjoyed my time playing. As I said before, no game is perfect, and it’s OK if there are things about your game that you aren’t exactly crazy about. Especially this early in a game’s life. There is hope that some of the things I’ve listed here can be addressed by Cryptic. And who knows, maybe there are already solutions in the works for some of my complaints.
Or maybe I’m just a big complainer who hates games….nah.
So how about you? Even if you love Neverwinter there are bound to be some things about the game you don’t like. Feel free to share in the comments below, and you can also tell us why you still enjoy the game, even if it isn’t perfect.