Just one more day to go until the start of beta weekend 3, is anyone excited? I’m a horrible slacker this time, after our live stream dungeon run with Cryptic dev Zeke, I got into the Foundry author’s beta test and … yeah, as you can probably expect, I blew off everything to play around with with the Foundry all day. It’s loads of fun! After many screwups (many of which resulted in my immediate death as I loaded in to test it), I did manage to put something together – so if you’re playing in the beta weekend and want to experience an absolutely horrible hack and slash corridor run, feel free to look up Running the Gauntlet! It’ll get better before game launch, but probably not by tomorrow.
This is the third and final beta weekend that’s been announced, but hopefully there will be more! Or, preferably, hopefully come PAX this weekend they’ll announce an imminent launch. Hit the jump for the beta details, a summary of what I’ve done so far, and probably a bunch of mad raving as I’ve just woken up and not even had breakfast yet (But I have logged in to Neverwinter already – I am such a crazy).
First the details! Neverwinter Beta Weekend 3 looks to be the biggest, baddest beta weekend yet. Everybody with a key from anywhere gets in! Servers go online Friday, March 22, 2013 at 12:00 P.M. PDT (Pacific), and shut down Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 11:59 P.M. PDT (Pacific). There’s a bunch of new stuff to play around with this time:
There is also a “Break the Server” event: anyone logging in between 1-2pm PDT on March 23 will receive an exclusive pirate hat at launch! How cool is that?
We had an absolutely amazing time with Cryptic developer Zeke on Tuesday, and I’ll summarize some of the things we learned while speaking with him, but it really is best to head over to the LoreHound Twitch page (I linked it above) and check it out. The run starts around 25 minutes in, so if you’re just interested in what Zeke had to say, you can skip the milling around waiting to get started rambling period.
But we learned some pretty cool things! We talked about the difficulty and challenge level of Neverwinter, and learned that the game is solo friendly all the way up to max level. Difficulty starts to increase around level 30, but if you want, there is plenty of stuff to do on your own. And Cryptic hasn’t forgotten the people looking for more challenging fare! He admitted that players are always going to be better than the devs when it comes to playing the game, and that their high end epic end game dungeons will be tough enough that the devs won’t likely be able to complete them. Now that I can’t wait to see – I love a brutal challenge. He did comment that it’s tough to hold fast to that and not back down on challenge, but I definitely hope they stick to their guns and keep things tough.
Other things we learned: PvP is a viable way to level, although it’s likely to be slower than pve. That holds true with gear as well – you do have a chance to obtain gear drops when you kill other players, and you can trade in tokens earned from pvp for gear, but it is not as fast as going out to pve. The bulk of their focus and effort was placed on end game pvp maps – since that is where players will spend the bulk of their time, Cryptic wanted to make sure those maps were well designed and fun. There is also no core PvP stat – while PvPers will probably be building their characters a little bit differently, and the gear is statted a little bit differently, pve and pvp gear can be switched in and out if you want because there is no stat that is unique to pvp.
Cryptic plans to support the game post launch – Zeke informed us that the core team wont change once the game goes live, and they believe passionately in continuing to support games. They have in fact already started working on future content releases, so we can look forward to quite a lot of things to do in Neverwinter beyond what’s in at launch! Add that to the Foundry, and there’s definitely a lot to look forward to!
As you can see from the livestream, I took a look at the Great Weapon Fighter – and while I’m much more a cleric kind of girl, it was pretty fun. It definitely feels differently than the rogue does – as I’ve said before, the rogue is a finely controlled scalpel to the
GWF’s heavy artillery. While the GWF does have several abilities that zip it across the battlefield, it is definitely a heavy fighter – I ended up just aiming in the general direction I wanted to go, hitting my attacks and hoping I had compensated for my enemy’s movement because once I started swinging I was not changing course. Which captures the feel of swinging a huge and heavy sword that’s as tall as I am quite well, so far as I’m concerned!
If you want to see the differences, I put up a quickie GWF video yesterday. And here’s the
Trickster Rogue Montage:
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.
P, your Gauntlet Foundry quest was a blast. Short, sweet, and great practice. I need to do it again, and you should design some more. :)
I’m in a quandary. It’s going to be a tough decision deciding what character class to concentrate on at launch. I think of the three classes I’ve tried, I’m having the most fun with the Trickster Rogue. The special abilities are as fun to use as they are to watch. The problem is, my heart is really with the Control Wizard, even if I do hate the silly looking default stance of the outstretched arm. Hopefully Cryptic will give us options on default stances at launch, like they do with STO. In the meantime I may revisit the Control Wizard tomorrow. A Pirate hat???? I want a pointy Gandalf hat! lol
Hey P, after playing it extensively in the wee hours of the morning, I see my criticism of the character postures wasn’t entirely correct, though I still think Cyrptic should allow you to choose from a wide range of default posture choices like they do in STO. Also, after revisiting the control wizard I can see now that I was doing some things wrong when I first tried it. Still though, I do think the Rogue is maybe a better character class at start because the early Rogue can handle multiple attackers better than the early Wizard can. Hopefully though this will change as my Wizard levels up.
OK P, I’m finished with my NW ‘test drive’ and for the most part am very pleased with the game. The combat is definitely its strong point, its fast paced and a lot of fun. Also, the game does seem very casual player friendly. I didn’t see too much in the way of complex ‘builds’ like you find in Guild Wars 2 and (especially) The Secret World. My only real complaints are purely cosmetic. Of the three character classes I created, the only one I was happy with in the way of appearance was my Rogue. In fact I tried creating a Wizard three different times from scratch and was never really happy with any of them. Also, the clothes (apart from the casual finery you can buy with Zen) were pretty dreadful. Even at level 13 I still thought my Wizard looked like a tramp. I mean, I want silken flowing sorceress gowns. ;) Hopefully either better clothes are available at higher levels, or were just left out of the beta. Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to launch and have decided to make the Control Wizard my starting character, and I suppose I’ll just have to keep redoing her until I find a look I’m happy with. ;)