Welcome to the Dungeons and Dragons universe, a world that is entirely based on your roll of the dice… and your “evil” best friend that controls all the mishaps that may happen to you and your imaginary level five Paladin. It is a fair world…until he totally decided to make up a monster that you swear wasn’t in the version you were playing, which then led to you picking up your notebook and pen, and your family sized bag of Cheetos Puffs, and walking out the door in anger because he only reads the rules that apply to him and his character. What else can you do? It’s only you two playing and he always insists on being DM. If only there was a way that you could play D and D, and not have to deal with cheating friends or other people… oh and did I mention there is lots of fire and real demons and real undead things and giant beholders that want to totally rip your face off just because you have one?! YEAH, I WISH THERE WAS A GAME LIKE THAT! WITH THE FIRE AND STUFF!
You don’t need 8 points in luck for this, because Neverwinter and its 9th module since release in 2013, is available now. It’s very cleverly titled the Maze Engine. Brought to you by the people at Perfect World and Cryptic Studios, the Maze Engine dives back into the very dungeons they somewhat left behind in their past expansions, expanding much of the story and background of that tasty stuff we love to engorge ourselves on. Behind the fancy new shaders and new dungeons much of the Maze Engine’s premise is revisiting past heroes. Ones that seemingly disappeared after making their presence known in the original builds of the game.
We find them exactly where we left them, fighting the demons and monsters that were trying to pour out into the Underdark. Like your clever Dungeon Master of your Thursday night group, only less plump off Mountain Dew and Doritos, our hero’s greatest enemies play out every step of the way to unleash horrific outcomes. Fear not though, for you have the aid of the greatest champions that Neverwinter has to offer. They’re returning from limbo to battle the monsters back and reseal the numerous portals that ripped open. From the resilient Ranger Drizzt to Cleric Celeste, these champions stories were intertwined with one another. Not as a means to add to their many heroic deeds, but on a more personal note between each other. How would one react to seeing the other alive and well? Or how well would they work as a team to stop an attack happening in the works? What about on a level less about morality, and more about their relationship with others? These interactions will take place alongside your character as you fight the forces of evil that never seem to end.
There are also many surprises in store as you weave your ways through traps, awesome boss fight mechanics, and hordes of undead and demons. This includes a very frightening Beholder who has been brought back from the grave only to try to devour your soul once again. Yes, indeed, good old Castle Never, has been reworked and updated to feature some of the greatest points that the Maze Engine’s new graphic updates has to offer. The seminal castle is a showcase for many of the new cosmetic features of the expansion. Be sure to stop and marvel at the void of portals that will pop up throughout your walks down the hallowed halls. These beautiful rips in space are such a fascinating addition, uniquely adding a feature of depth to the actual portal itself. When you turn the camera you may notice that the background of the portal shifts with the room around you, as if the environment in which those hordes of angry bloodthirsty creatures are pouring from actually exists, taking a large form of depth from behind the vortex. Lighting and shaders have been polished. An upgrade made keenly aware when going up against the Undying, ocular being himself, the beholder known as Tal’Gath. Though his eye may seem a little glazed over, he can still very much see you and he will still very much turn you into a large blackened stain on the castle flooring should you let him.
Finally, a large addition to the module is the all-new mount system. This system will turn all mounts from cosmetic pieces of getting from place to place to another item of stats agonize over. Yes, your pretty sparkle pony will now shoot beams of tiny shields to protect you from arrows and spells, or could help you shoot rays of death at your unknowing enemies. Not literally though…don’t expect actual rays of death to conjure from your unicorns horn and vaporize the undead in front of you. All in all they only help you kill better with bonuses to your stats.
The Maze Engine module is available now on PC and can be accessed by characters level 60 and higher, with content scaling through the 70s. A release for Xbox One is scheduled to follow in the coming weeks. Keep a look out for giveaways, for we have been given a few special Purple Owlbear mounts, and get a head start with those extra bonuses! You’d be smart to follow us all over the social media-verse, like Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.