#1 Edited by TheHT (11242 posts) -

Neverwinter, a free-to-play action-MMO from Cryptic (City of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Trek Online), will be entering open beta on April 30th. Characters apparently won't be wiped, so it's more or less a launch.

It's not a large scale world MMO like WoW or Lineage II, it's like Champions Online or The Old Republic with large zones you load in and out of. From the beta a lot of the quests seem your standard fare, with you killing a bunch of monsters and the like, but one of the game's big focuses is user-generated quests so that's potentially interesting. There was at least one interesting questline dealing with the spellplague, but I won't spoil what happens. The rest of the quests frankly were uninteresting in the early goings (I got to around level 30 out of 60 total).

Combat is reminiscent of Guild Wars. It plays like an action game, but you can't move and attack. Loot and gold pops out of enemies and you run over gold to pick it up all Diablo-like. You've got 2 at-will abilities mapped to your left and right mouse buttons that are your bread and butter attacks, 3 cooldown abilities mapped to Q, E, and R, and 2 supers on 1 and 2 that you need to build up a meter to use. The mouse controls your aim and it can't be played like a typical MMO. Skills are swapped in and out of these ability slots, but there's not a huge selection of skills.

There are 5 classes (a fast-attacking teleporting rogue, a block-anything guardian fighter, a crowd control wizard, an AoE melee great weapon fighter, and a cleric than varies between healing and attacking (but word is the healing is rubbish, everyone just uses health pots)). Classes have different tab abilities (rogue can stealth, great weapons fighter enters a berserker-like state) and different shift abilities (guardian fighter blocks, GWF sprints, the rest dodge in their own way).

Beyond that it's obviously the DnD universe, races include half-orc, human, halfling, tiefling, wood elf, half-elf, dwarf, and upcoming is the drow, and will take place in and around the city of Neverwinter. Oh, and there's PvP, if you're into that sort of thing. No raids, only 5-player dungeons and skirmishes.

Here's TotalBiscuits "WTF is" video from an early beta weekend showing off the trickster rogue, leveling, and a dungeon run, and embedded below is the great weapon fighter trailer, which should give you a quick sense of how the game plays:

It's pretty fun and free-to-play, but doesn't seem to be on many people's radar, so there you go. Give it a shot if you'd like.

#2 Edited by Itwastuesday (963 posts) -

I hate free-to-play games, I hate playing thinly-disguised business models. However, I am a huge nerd, so I will at least check this out like I did MWO, just because of the source material, before I start feeling like someone's trying to rip me off and I stop playing.

Also, I wish they had based the rule-set at least somewhat off of D&D. What the hell is the point of making a game with the D&D license if there's no D&D gameplay? D&D is not the only IP you can get both dungeons and dragons from.

bah

#3 Edited by Reisz (1493 posts) -

@itwastuesday said:

I hate free-to-play games, I hate playing thinly-disguised business models. However, I am a huge nerd, so I will at least check this out like I did MWO, just because of the source material, before I start feeling like someone's trying to rip me off and I stop playing.

Also, I wish they had based the rule-set at least somewhat off of D&D. What the hell is the point of making a game with the D&D license if there's no D&D gameplay? D&D is not the only IP you can get both dungeons and dragons from.

bah

The more knowledgeable people while I was playing the Closed Beta mentioned it was based on a modified 4th edition ruleset. I don't actually know what that means as the only real experience I have with D&D is listening to my brother and his friends play it in the 80's. For what it's worth though it's the only MMO-esque game that I have played in recent years that left me with any sort of impression at all. It looks alright, it feels alright and the user built quest lines are at least reminiscent of the stuff that came out of the editor in the old Neverwinter PC games. I didn't get a money grubbing feeling from it but I only hit like level 10 so take that as you will. If you like that world it's definitely worth checking out for the low-low price of free.

#4 Edited by Itwastuesday (963 posts) -

@reisz said:

@itwastuesday said:

I hate free-to-play games, I hate playing thinly-disguised business models. However, I am a huge nerd, so I will at least check this out like I did MWO, just because of the source material, before I start feeling like someone's trying to rip me off and I stop playing.

Also, I wish they had based the rule-set at least somewhat off of D&D. What the hell is the point of making a game with the D&D license if there's no D&D gameplay? D&D is not the only IP you can get both dungeons and dragons from.

bah

The more knowledgeable people while I was playing the Closed Beta mentioned it was based on a modified 4th edition ruleset. I don't actually know what that means as the only real experience I have with D&D is listening to my brother and his friends play it in the 80's. For what it's worth though it's the only MMO-esque game that I have played in recent years that left me with any sort of impression at all. It looks alright, it feels alright and the user built quest lines are at least reminiscent of the stuff that came out of the editor in the old Neverwinter PC games. I didn't get a money grubbing feeling from it but I only hit like level 10 so take that as you will. If you like that world it's definitely worth checking out for the low-low price of free.

Hearing that it's based on a modified 4E rule-set is pretty surprising, seeing as how there was a dude doing whirlwind and knocking mobs about with crazy high damage numbers. Then again, the 4E rule-set was obviously influenced by some *cough* popular cooperative online RPG's *cough*. I'll end up at least checking it out no matter what, because, hey, free!

#5 Posted by jakob187 (21670 posts) -

1. Towards @itwastuesday, I hate free-to-play games where people abuse the model (see Hi-Rez Studios). Meanwhile, people like Riot, Turbine, and Cryptic handle F2P very well. Your hatred seems relatively unjustified in the grand scheme of things, but your opinion is your opinion in the end.

2. 4th Edition can suck my sack.

3. My buddy played in the closed beta for this. As I sat and watched him, I continually thought to myself "why the fuck is this cleric hitting so goddamn hard at level 1 if this is based on D&D?" That immediately turned me off, particularly as someone who played the FUCK out of Dungeons & Dragons Online and felt that was a solid representation of the tabletop's systems, ruleset, and overall numbers. This feels like "WoW in a D&D-based world." Then again, given that the tabletop community in my hometown basically views 4th Edition as being "the WoW of tabletop - less role-play, more rolling dice and combat", it makes sense....I guess?

4. The one thing that I find interesting is the ability to build and create your own dungeons within an MMO. THAT is quite interesting shit. I could delve into that stuff for weeks upon weeks.

#6 Posted by project343 (2823 posts) -

Played it during the last beta weekend. They've really got to work on their optimization, but I didn't hate what I played. I just wish the world and narrative was more compelling. I really enjoyed their dungeon design (traps, hidden treasure, etc.), but slogging through that narrative stuff was not fun.

Also, there are no classes that interest me. I love colourful magic classes that have the power to heal, but both 'control' magic and the cleric stuff is so aesthetically boring to me.

#7 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

I got beta access due to having Star Trek lifetime subscription (lol), but the download speed for the client was about 4kb per ever so I didn't bother. They should work on that.

#8 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

I might end up checking this out. Don't care about DnD at all but I loved CoH and CoV and have been kind of yearning to play another fantasy MMO (I refuse to get back into WoW) so this is good to hear.

#9 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

I have had the chance to be in multiple betas.... but they are always on weekends when I am always at work. So hopefully I will finally get to play the game later this month. Though I am also leery of WoW edition of D&D rules.