Friday, June 6, 2014

Change of Opinion?

     I'd sort of decided I didn't like Neverwinter. The controls feel weird compared to what I'm used to and I don't like the character models as well as I want to. The lack of ability to 'interact' with my character for screenshots as easily as I do in other MMOs makes it a bit harder for me to get attached to them. But I'd seen a few blog posts on it and in a bit of WoW doldrums I'd been poking around a considerable amount in every other MMO I'm currently poking around in, so I thought... maybe at level 10 you haven't given Neverwinter a very fair shake. So in I went.
     Maybe it was partly the combat in Wildstar, maybe it's just practice but the combat doesn't feel quite as annoying as before, though I do still keep trying to run with the mouse and getting yelled at for not having a target. It's just that drastically distant from the other MMOs I play control wise. I got invocation. That's pretty neat. I leveled a bit more and got a companion! I started opening up features of the game.
     Daily Foundry quests and Daily Dungeons. A cute little puppy companion. Forgotten Realms, which is my favorite D&D setting. And Drazek. He was my very first MMO character and I do like having him again in Neverwinter. I'm enjoying this a bit. The professions feel sort of hard to understand but you can work on them in a browser without even going into the game?! There's a silly little rolling dice game on the side to level your companions?! Okay maybe I do like it a little.
     I tried one foundry quest last night, and atmospheric creepy story one. It was not bad, but not great. I'd have liked a little more of the story somehow... not sure how they'd have done it though. Didn't leave constructive feedback for that reason, just gave them a good rating. Did another today for my daily foundry.

     Wow. I loved it. Maybe part of it was because I know Forgotten Realms so the lore is familiar. I knew what the 'end boss' would be before I got there... but I didn't anticipate how they had set up the final battle. It was awesome. I won't spoiler it here, but  this was part of it.
     The hard to see guy up there 'tanking' is Drazek's Man-at-Arms companion, Randon. The dog in the earlier pictures is his Damaran Shepherd, Kerith. I left a five star rating and a tip for that Foundry quest... and then when I finally talked myself into logging off...clicked on Foundry to see what the editor looked like. I don't understand it at all, but I want to learn. I'd love to translate some of the favorite campaigns I've DMed into it as best I can.
     I've tried the daily dungeon as well. The dungeon was interesting but if I had thought there was a lack of communication in WoW dungeons, I had my eyes opened. Nobody talked. Everybody needed on everything they could. I joined in after the first roll. Combat was more roflstomp than complex but I suspect that changes at higher levels. I wasn't overly impressed or displeased by the dungeons. It's a means to a shiny reward end.
I do have a slightly more favorable review of the game this time.
Things I like: 
Companions. (Though it does seem like I would possible need to shell out real currency for anything better than white quality. :/ Still the system is fun.)
Foundry: OMG I love this idea. I may not do daily dungeons every day or every time I log in, but I do foresee doing the daily Foundry quest fairly often. And providing I can figure out the editor... I'd try writing at least one myself.
Story: (with caveats) At this level the story is very very linear. It's interesting and enjoyable, though unless I wait a bit I'm not sure about replayability.
Invocation: My God loves me and gives me presents. Nice.
Things I'm less impressed with: 
Screenshotting: It's a favorite hobby of mine and Neverwinter definitely lacks versatility in that respect.
Vendors: Holy cow there are so many vendors, one for pretty much everything and right now it's so confusing trying to figure out where to go for what.
No paladins: Seriously? Definitely a core D&D class. Definitely my favorite and just not an option. I won't complain about class variety, they covered the gamut decently well and I didn't expect 20 options or anything. But the fact that I can't be a paladin still rankles. (Even if hunter ranger, my second choice, is amazing and fun)
Overall: For me this -is- a fun game. I love Forgotten Realms and I am definitely finding it inspiring when it comes to maybe helping me break out of my DMing slump as well. There isn't an open world so much as a map you can travel here and there on. The controls feel strange, but overall in a way that works for it. It's like D&D translated as best they could to an MMO. And I am glad to have Drazek back.
The closest to a candid screenshot I can manage.

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