To Drow or Not to Drow

For many people, the first image Dungeons and Dragons brings to mind is Drizzt. Love him or hate him, the drow has become a very popular D&D race, and there are many players and many guilds who have been planning on playing drow main characters when Neverwinter launches in early 2013. Up until now, it had been believed that the drow race itself would be available to everyone. The Founder’s Packs caused a bit of a stir when the $200 declared an exclusive drow race, but this was soon explained to be simply a background, that the race itself would be available to everyone free of charge.

This is still true. However, it was recently discovered on the official forums that there will be a delay of at least 60 days before anyone other than the purchasers of the $200 Hero of the North Founder’s Pack will be able to play one. Hit the jump for details on the raging debate currently storming the forum, as well as why I chose the word discovered rather than announced.

It’s been known for a while that the drow would be included among the list of playable races in Neverwinter. They are so popular it’s hard to imagine anyone creating a Dungeons and Dragons based game excluding them. You can see them listed right here on the races page. Yesterday, however, poster noctournous93 noticed that the extended FAQ had been updated, and in it was the note that there would be a delay in the availability of the drow race. Not because of technical concerns, but because they want to provide an exclusivity to the purchasers of the Hero of the North Founder’s Pack.

Technically Cryptic hasn’t gone back on their word, as the drow will be freely available to everyone, eventually. All you have to do is wait “at least 60 days” and then you will be able to play a drow. There are many posters however, who feel that they’ve been given a bait and switch, that this has been an underhanded and sneaky move, and that it should have been announced before any money had traded hands. And that it definitely should have been publicly announced since Cryptic was aware that many people would be upset by this decision. ambisinisterr, community moderator, said:

They had a change in their marketing plan and didn’t put up a news post which would do nothing but tick people off.

But if they know it’s going to tick people off, shouldn’t they definitely make a news post to directly confront the problem? Fans are going to discover every bit of news and information they can, that’s just the way it works. Is it better for people to rage because they won’t be getting the race they want, or because they feel that the company has lied to or misled them? Right now people are doing both, and from the glances I’ve given the debates, it seems right now like it’s going to be driving people away from the game. How many remains to be seen, but even if it’s just a small number, community goodwill has taken a direct hit.

I hadn’t been planning on making a drow myself so I am largely unaffected, but I do feel that it was poorly done to put this information in the extended FAQ on the forums and not actually declaring it openly when there was so much uproar after the Founder Pack drow debate. Will I still be playing the game? Sure. Do I still recommend it? Sure. But I do understand the feelings of those who are upset by this decision.

What about you, my lovely readers? Will anyone be deciding against playing or waiting the 2 months for the drow? Do you feel that Cryptic has misled you by only making this known now? Or are you among those who feel that the game needs to make money somehow, and monetizing the drow is a smart thing to do given its popularity?

About Pherephassa 213 Articles
Pherephassa has been creeping around the etherspace long enough to have remorted so often that not even she can recall her original form. She loves sandboxes, challenges, chain mail bikinis and dungeons so large they take weeks, months or even years to fully explore. Currently seeking an MMO home, she can often be found on the side of the road, begging game designers for death penalties and slow leveling curves.

1 Comment

  1. I’m pretty displeased with the fact that they held off the drow race for a bunch of cash shoppers that couldn’t give 2 hoots for how much they spend on a game. I personally have gone down such road with PWE’s ‘Forsaken World,’ and believe me… They don’t need the money from the founder’s pack whatsoever. If anything, they should have given the items and accessibility to their CBTers instead of charging for it. The only reason I’m playing a PWE game now is because I’ve been a NWN and D&D fan since my childhood. It’s a pity the Neverwinter MMO had to fall into PWE’s twistedness. It’s going to be nothing but people complaining about bugs/glitches and PW’s response of – “Here’s another shiney new orb! Spend moar!” It’s pathetic.

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