UPDATE: Looking for a great guide to help you in Neverwinter? Check out the Neverwinter Handbook written by the veterans of KillerGuides. I’ve used this guide before and it’s one of the best guides available covering leveling, crafting and PvP information about the game. This guide will not disappoint!
Neverwinter was announced quite some time ago. Last week, I finally got toplay the Beta. I spent 4 days in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. In the rest of the article, you’ll find my first impressions. I’ve split up the article in different parts that each handle a different topic; that’s because there’s a lot to talk about. It’s an MMO after all, and I wanted to keep it simple for everyone. Let’s get started with the different playable races. There’s 7 playable races that are in the game right now: The Dwarfs, the Humans, the Elves, the Half-Elves, the Thieflings and the Halflings. Thieflings are basically demon-like creatures and Halflings are you regular hobbits; although they do seem to wear shoes in this game. The seventh race are the Drow; they’re a kind of dark elves, but you can only play in this race if you buy the Founder’s Pack, and this Founder’s Pack costs you $200; not exactly cheap. Depending on the race you pick, you also get different bonus attributes. When you finish picking your race and your class, you can customize your character and it can be very specific: Raise your eyebrows, lower your eyebrows, make your mouth bigger, make your head bigger, make it smaller, make yourself look like an idiot; whatever, it’s all available.
Contrary to most MMOs, Neverwinter is more tailored towards action gameplay, kind that reminds me of Terror. There’s no waiting for global cool downs and instead it feels a lot like playing a hack-and-slash game. This is a very nice addition to the game. Although Guild Wars 2 tried to do the same, Neverwinter goes a lot further. When you finally decide to kick some behind, you’ll discover that you have 3 different kinds of skills. The first kind are the At-Will Skills; these are bound to your left and right mouse button. There’s no auto-attack in Neverwinter, so these are basically your standard attacks. Next up you have 3 encounter skills; these skills are stronger, but they also have a longer cool down. An example is the Guardian Fighter’s Charge skill in which he flies forward towards an enemy.
You’ve also got 2 daily skills; these are your stronger skills, but they also have a drawback. You need to have a certain amount of Action Points before you can cast them. Depending on your class, you get action points for dealing damage, healing or tanking. Lastly, you’ve also got one more skill left that’s bound to your TAB button. By pressing the TAB button, a Trickster Rogue can become invisible, a guardian Fighter can mark an enemy, which is very handy for dungeons, and a Devoted Cleric can use it to add extra effects to their existing spells. Of course, as you level, you’ll unlock more skills but there’s a maximum number of skills you can put on your action bar. You’ll have to decide if you need that healing spell more or that offensive spell; it’s up to you.
This might sound a bit strange when we’re talking about an MMO, but this game feels a lot like a single-player experience, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This game features a lot of instances, so basically, these are areas where you play alone. There’s lots of dungeons and all of them are group dungeons. Most of them are actually single-player dungeons that are used to complete quests. In this way, the game feels a lot like Guild Wars 1. On the other hand, there are also lots of persistent worlds, by which I mean areas that keep even if a player logs out, a bit like World of Warcraft. The combination of MMO and single-player content is very positive because you still feel like you’re playing an MMO but you get the difficulty level of a single-player game.
Neverwinter also isn’t the MMO for everyone. If you’re more of a hardcore gamer, I recommend you stick with a game from a company that caters to that audience. With Elder Scrolls Online being delayed to 2014, your best bet this year would be FFXIV. Our sister site is covering it extensively. Head over and check them out as well!