So over 2 weeks ago Neverwinter was released to open beta. I received several emails about it and finally realizing I had a few nights available to play as I wasn’t really raiding in wow.
I downloaded it and began to level a guardian knight. Immediately I realized I loved the real-time action combat. Here was a game where my shield wasn’t equal in importance to a static ring. It wasn’t just a stat buff. I actively used it by hitting my shift key and ‘voila’, I was blocking attacks from mobs or other players. I could also use it to bash opponents as well.
The stark change grabbed me.
While leveling up to 20, I began to talk it up with my guild mates some of whom were really jaded with wow. Sensing burn-out I figured here was a way for them to play something new and relax while waiting for the next patch.
So an officer and friend decided to start a character fresh with me and very quickly he was hooked. So hooked he leveled past my new character so fast that I had to switch to my main or get left behind. Then yesterday, both of us in our 30’s, entered the dungeon Lair of a Mad Dragon. I thought ‘a mid-level dungeon with a dragon boss… really?’ Dragons in D&D are epic foes, terrifying to face, would this be satisfyingly epic at mid-level? The way the dungeons in Neverwinter are structured is as you clear adds and bosses up to the final boss the difficulty scales up. A logical path that rounds out a dungeon and makes it memorable.
Sure enough Lair of the Mad Dragon was no different. As we began to clear the dungeon the bosses grew tougher. More special abilities designed to test the worth of the group.
Then we entered last room, lo and be-hold a Green dragon who proceeded to crush us, as he summoned adds to handle. We had finally been wiped. Instead of being upset or raging, here was a challenge we had finally been hit with, that was fun! As the game is still in Open Beta I can’t quite review it, but I can say if you are looking for a game with balanced PvP maps, crazy dungeons, and plans for raids to be added down the road, Neverwinter has been an awesome change of pace. From the perspective of a near 9 year wow veteran who had become pretty jaded with PvE, I have to say Neverwinter has shown me that dungeons can be as fun as raids.
Give it a try and let me know how you are enjoying Neverwinter!