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Author:  rhoenix [ Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Neverwinter

Others have likely been playing this game for a bit already, but I checked it out last night at CynCat's suggestion. Well, at his casual mention of fighting a Mind Flayer Fleshcrafter as a boss, which of course got me intrigued.

This is a free game from Cryptic Studios (which means if you've played Star Trek Online for any length of time, your friends list will be the same), and so far, though I'm still in the kiddie pool stages of the game, it seems fun. I found it through Steam, though of course you can download it directly from their site.

I chose a Half-Orc greatsword wielder as my first character, focusing entirely on being a blender. For such a class, the game offers visceral abilities that help with such an approach, allowing me tactical options in a fight that accentuate using a greatsword to become a blender.

Leveling is rather painless; there don't seem to be rigid build trees necessary to not suck, given how the skills work out. All of them are useful, and can be made more or less useful based on how you use those skills, and what you have equipped at the time.

For instance - one of the skills the heavy fighter gets is Recovery (I think, I'm writing this from memory at work), which gives you a percentage of damage done as life steal back to your health. By itself, it's useful as an extra heavy strike in a fight, but when you have other Life Steal gear equipped, it also becomes a healing potion when you use it.

Another example is the Leap skill, which doesn't do very much damage compared to other skills, but allows you to dodge all current attacks, and move (with a jump) to a targeted area while striking all nearby enemies. Given the greatsword-wielding fighter's other skills to Slow all nearby enemies with a single strike, and a passive skill that gives you a damage boost every time you hit 3 or more enemies at once... this class appears well-suited to cut apart crowds of enemies, as well as tear apart single targets. Given my week at work, I find it very viscerally fun to play.

There are quite a few different species and classes to play - including 3 types of true elves, two drow elf types, human, half-elf, hobbit, half-orc, tiefling, and (amusingly enough) a Dragonborn. The classes have less variety than the species so far, but appear to be setup well in proper D&D fashion - there's a cleric, mage, warlock, two types of fighters (tank and DPS, basically - guess which one I picked), and thief.

It is a free-to-play game, though they (of course) do the Zen Coin nonsense for the pay shop, just as STO does. So far, I'd give it an 8 out of 10 - not bad at all so far.

Author:  Batman [ Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Just give it time. It'll shrink on you.

Author:  rhoenix [ Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Batman wrote:
Just give it time. It'll shrink on you.

Eh - so far, I'm still intrigued. It doesn't have all the content STO does, but then, STO's been out for a good minute now.

However, it does have minion mission type of stuff, similar to Duty Officers in STO, used for crafting and such. A nice touch, I thought.

Author:  rhoenix [ Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

So - the Neverwinter Gateway.

This is a web-based (and mobile device-compatible) game that runs off of your account in Neverwinter. It allows you to manage Profession jobs from your browser, check inventory, and play a mobile game called Sword Coast Adventures, where you can send up to four Companions as a party to go get experience and items by going through a dungeon.

This is a cool idea, and the first time you run it on a given character (assuming you're high enough level to unlock having Companions available), you'll get a free dog Companion (which is of the Striker subtype).

The downside... is that the max level for Companions is 15, unless you either cough up a huge amount of Astral Diamonds (300k to upgrade to max. level of 20, 500k to upgrade to max. level of 25, and another 750k to upgrade to max. level of 30), or use a randomly given item from Lockboxes (which cost real-world money to buy the keys). So, you won't be doing too many of the more interesting adventures in the Sword Coast Adventures game unless you've done so.

With that said, with four active Companions you can have a full party, and it can earn you Rough Astral Diamonds, as well as Enhancements, Profession crafting items, and of course, money and potions. Not bad for when you're away from your gaming PC.

Author:  rhoenix [ Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

As a random spiteful sidenote, the site is blocked where I work - both over the normal network, and over the free wifi.

Curses, foiled again.

Author:  rhoenix [ Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Hotfoot, CynCat and I discussed this last night, but I thought I'd post it here for others who aren't nightowls.

Astral Diamonds are THE currency in this game, much as Dilithium is in STO. You can get endgame stuff and other useful things without spending Zen (e.g. real world money), but you have to cough up an exhorbant amount of Astral Diamonds to get them.

As a for-instance, you can upgrade your starting mount (which gives a movement bonus of +50%) to rank II, to get a movement bonus of +80% instead, but it costs 400,000 Astral Diamonds for the privilege. You can then upgrade it to rank 3 to get a +110% movement speed bonus (making it the equivalent to a purple mount you'd get from a Lockbox), but that costs an additional 1.4 million Astral Diamonds.

The mount is but one example - there are upgrades for your Companions (so that they can reach higher levels than 15), there are bags for additional inventory space, and many other things. However, the bottleneck is, of course, Astral Diamonds.

You can of course play the web-based Sword Coast Adventures, sending your Companions out to get stuff for you in order to get some unrefined Astral Diamonds as well as additional loot, but the fastest way is through the Leadership profession. Grinding away on Leadership gives you many opportunities not just for Astral Diamonds, but they can give you resources for Professions as well, making tasks faster to complete, or with better quality results.

TL;DR: Grind the Leadership skill. Do it. Do it now.

Author:  rhoenix [ Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

A quick note about Sword Coast Adventures, the associated web game with Neverwinter.

After a given companion makes a dice roll for an encounter, and sends up one matching symbol, you can reroll the rest of the dice as long as you have at least one other matching symbol. You can only reroll once per turn, but it's a nice way to work around the RNG.

Another tip I have is to be familiar with the additional dice a given companion has. Not the standard beige/grey Dragonbone dice, but the additional colored dice the companion gets from leveling up in their class. If you have a better chance at getting a symbol you need from the special die (usually because multiple faces have the right symbol), consider dropping a regular Dragonbone die before dropping a special die, especially for symbols like the spiral, star, or key.

EDIT: One more tip - you can level a given Companion on the party select screen for any mission, as long as that Companion is in your character's Active list. Unfortunately, you cannot level any Companion that is not on your characters Active list, and there is no way I've found to change a Companion from Idle to Active, or vice-versa, from the web interface. However, this means you can level at least your Active Companions just through the Sword Coast Adventures web game, which is a nice touch.

Author:  rhoenix [ Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

So. Now that I have at least one character who's hit level 60, I can report that the game changes at this point. Instead of doing a chain of quests in the same zone, (the exact one varies; there are like 6) you take part in various Campaigns, progressing in which will give you access to epic-quality level 60 purple gear, as well as stat bonuses for progressing in the various Campaigns.

Dread Ring, Sharendar, and Tyranny of Dragons are the first three Campaigns you can play, after which one can go through icewind Dale, as well as a PvP campaign. Tyranny of Dragons is the latest Campaign to be added, and presumably a new one will be added with the next major update they have.

You'll have at least four Profession Task slots to use at this point, five if you've managed to get one of the available Professions to at least rank 10, six if you get one of them to 20, seven if you get three of them to 20, eight if you manage to complete a task with a combined speed bonus of +100% (personnel and items used), and nine if you can manage to complete a single task with a rank 3 bonus result (possible with high-end stuff). This is important because you can make very good gear to use (or sell on the Auctionhouse) with Profession Tasks, as well as rack up the all-important Astral Diamonds for your own selfish use.

Now, the task is saving up Astral Diamonds to do various things, such as buy good stuff (like additional Companions, such as Ioun Stones) off the Auctionhouse, upgrade Companions and Mounts (for several hundred thousand Astral Diamonds per rank upgrade, of which both Mounts and Companions have a total of four ranks; white, green, blue, and purple), and several other things to do. Even buy more Dungeon Lair Keys, so you can loot more than one Dungeon reward chest per day.

Better Companions become more important now, as though you can still only have one Companion out helping you at a time, you get the Active bonuses of all the Companions you have as available (as in, not idling away in your inventory). Higher ranking Companions give better Active bonuses, as well as do better and more interesting things while out in combat with you.

Ioun Stone Companions, for instance, don't attack enemies or heal you or anything else while out, except spin happily around your character's head. What they do, however, is add every single bonus they have to your character. Your Ioun Stone has a huge Power bonus through the Runestones and Rings it has equipped? You have the exact same bonus, plus some, while it's out - plus their active bonus, which could be anything from having a chance to Slow enemies to giving you added Stamina Regeneration to giving you an XP bonus. This leads to very interesting possibilities, as you might imagine. You can get one off the Auctionhouse, and other places if you look. Alternatively, you can get an epic-level Companion just for logging into your character and praying for 360 days.

In short, the number of things to do only gets more interesting once you hit max level in this game. I have to say I recommend giving this game a try - it's obviously still being added onto, so you'll only have more stuff to do as time goes on.

Author:  rhoenix [ Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

So, early warning for people with level 60 characters. The Tyranny of Dragons campaign is available to start once you hit level 60, just like Dread Ring and Sharandar. However, the daily solo dungeon quest for Tyranny is more difficult than the solo dungeon quests for Dread Ring or Sharandar, and this is because of the Dragon Cultist enemy parties.

Some quick advice: the Dragon Cultist enemies in that solo dungeon are all fairly powerful, but just like in the Neverdeath area, you need to take down the Ranger first. If you don't, her abilities will root you to the spot to get blenderized by all her friends while she continues to shoot arrows at your face.

The daily quests for Sharandar, Dread Ring, and Tyranny of Dragons are all rather enjoyable so far, and the campaign tree for each has a rather nice progression to it, as well as having some very, very nice rewards available - including even better level 60 epic gear than you had access to previously. Tyranny of Dragons also has some rewards of a sort you can't get the like of elsewhere - the Dragon's Horde utility Enchantment (which makes it more likely for you to pick up Enchantment/Artifact Refinement items as drops from enemies) being but one.

Icewind Dale is the campaign that requires that you've reached the third reward tiers for both Sharandar and Dread Ring, and also has its own associated profession. I'm still on tier 1 of both, so it'll take me a while to get there.

Lastly, regarding Professions, after actually mapping this out on a spreadsheet - yes, you can spend all your time at this point just upgrading your Profession crafters but with only 5 slots available, it would take me 55 days to get a single purple-quality crafter, assuming I log in every day and do this. It appears easier to simply do the regular quests, and then rank up that profession skill to 20 so you can get the sixth slot. The seventh, eighth, and ninth take more effort to unlock, which will of course require more time.

Author:  rhoenix [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

During the Professions global event (watch for it, it only lasts 30 minutes at a time), you have a chance of getting Profession items from skill nodes, such as for Dungeoneering, Nature, etc. Kind of a cool way to possibly get extra Profession stuff without having to cough up Astral Diamonds, or worse, Zen.

Author:  rhoenix [ Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

The Tyranny of Dragons campaign is a pain in the ass compared to Sharandar and Dread Ring.

I say this with some annoyance, despite the things I like about it. Sharandar and Dread Ring are quite obviously the first campaigns you should try, and simultaneously at that.

You can also work on the Tyranny of Dragons campaign at the same time, but it will require more time and a little more to do than with quests for Dread Ring or Sharandar. Your quests for the Tyranny of Dragons campaign will, from what I'm seeing so far, eventually take you all over the map to fight every one of the dragons, and perform various shenanigans against the dragon cultists - and they're each rather fun. Each of the markers for the Campaign require you to do them three times each to progress to the next stage. I've only now moved on from Neverdeath to the next area (whose name escapes me at the moment), though I can of course still go back and do campaign quests in Neverdeath for loot, I now have two areas to do quests in for special currency related to the campaign.

From how progress is looking right now, I'll have completed Sharandar and Dread Ring and still be working on Tyranny of Dragons by the time I move onto the Icewind Dale campaign. This... will take time.

On the other hand, Icewind Dale apparently has its own related profession (Black Ice Shaping), which can apparently create companions and artifacts, so I'll likely be there a while.

Author:  Steve [ Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

I've been playing NW myself lately. Is there a LibArc guild?

Author:  rhoenix [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Steve wrote:
I've been playing NW myself lately. Is there a LibArc guild?

Not yet - besides you, only myself, Hotfoot, and CynCat have been playing thus far, that I know of. From what I can recall, we'd need a minimum of 5 to make a guild, right?

Author:  Steve [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

I think White Haven has also played it? That would make five.

Author:  rhoenix [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Steve wrote:
I think White Haven has also played it? That would make five.

Touche - sorry for forgetting about you, White Haven, that does indeed make five to start.

From the Neverwinter Wiki:

In Protector's Enclave, go to the Guild Registry on your map and talk to the Guild Registrar. In order to start a guild in Neverwinter, you need a full party of players not already in a guild that are on the same map. Any member of the party can talk to the guild contact and start the guild with all party members. The player who spoke to the contract will be given the maximum guild rank, and the others with be given the lowest rank. Checklist for starting a guild:

Full Party – 5 players of level 15 or more
All Members of the Party are on the same instance of Protector's Enclave
All Members of the Party are above level 15, or have founder status, or have transferred Zen into the game (Zen bought from the AD exchange with Diamonds do not count towards this)

So, we just need to all be on at the same time to start the guild, apparently.

Author:  rhoenix [ Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

As a quick Campaign aside, the Sharandar campaign looks to be the fastest to complete. Dread Ring will take longer, simply by virtue of not all the rare resources you need to progress will drop from daily quests there each day.

(For me, this is actually fine, as Sharandar offers critical strike oriented epic gear for my character as high-end rewards, so I can work on getting those while finishing Dread Ring. Dread Ring's epic gear set offers life steal instead of critical strike, which is nice, but not quite what I need.)

The 6 day Celestial daily coin reward (the one for Campaign resources) will help to soften that resource requirement, as long as you get the option for Dread Ring.

Author:  rhoenix [ Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

It's time for another It's News To Me:

To start the Icewind Dale campaign, you need to have completed up through Tier 3 of the bonus tier tree for Sharandar or Dread Ring, and your character has to have a gear score of 10,500+.

The Tyranny of Dragons campaign has some slots that require passage through there first, so I'm getting the stronger and stronger impression that Tyranny of Dragons is meant to be a long-term Campaign, with daily quests you can access even before you turn 60. To start them, you need to finish all the Harper Windle's quests in the Neverdeath graveyard area, up to and including having to run a letter back to the Harper at the Protector's Enclave. Those quests are a bit challenging for what should be a level 30ish character at the time, but you can certainly do them.

To continue through at each section, you have to have finished a quest chain in a given zone - first of course is Neverdeath graveyard.

Speaking of which, I got a Black Ice Enchantment today while doing a daily mission to kill the dragon in Rothe Valley. It's also offered as a reward for completing the Emerald Valley part of the Tyranny of Dragons campaign now, which is rather awesome. I liked the Draconic enchantments, but the Black Ice enchantments offer Power and Crit both for an Offense slot, and the Recovery bonus is certainly not unwelcome.

Author:  rhoenix [ Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

A few things regarding Professions in Neverwinter.

First of all, from everything I've been seeing, Weaponsmithing is completely worthless, as the weapons you can make never keep pace with your level, and the very best, only-if-you're very-lucky top-tier weapons you can make are all weaker than even the basic level 60 epic items.

However, Weaponsmithing has one use - the blue and purple rank weaponsmith personnel are very cheap on the Auctionhouse in terms of Astral Diamonds. This means you can buy four blue, or two purple, and go do the first Deep Gathering mission in Weaponsmithing, assigning them all to the task. Once finished, because those assets combined to a total of +100%, you'll unlock another Profession task slot. After that, you can sell them back on the Auctionhouse, since I honestly don't see a use for Weaponsmithing for any class that could actually make use of it. (credit to Hotfoot for this idea)

So, that aside. The fastest way to rank up Leadership that I've seen also gets you cool stuff. Send three basic assets off to do the mission Explore Local Area, which takes 2 hours, gives 40 Leadership XP, and a basic map. The mission Chart Region consumes 3 Basic Maps to give you one green Map, takes 2 hours, and gives 80 Leadership XP. (There are subsequent missions you can take to combine the green maps to a blue, and finally use the blue, but they're honestly not worth the time invested given the rewards. The culmination of all of them gives you a Large Chest of Goods, which is good, but there are easier (and better) ways of getting it, even within the Leadership skill.)

Lastly, a campaign tip if you're playing Dread Ring. Don't make my mistake - upgrade the Gauntlet quality as soon as you possibly can, even to the expense of ranking up in the quest tree (as each rank up requires a significant amount of Thayan Scrolls, of which you get 5 daily for quests, and 30 once a week - not counting the possible Celestial rewards, of course). The rewards you'll get daily as a result once you get 3rd rank (or 4th especially) will be well worth it. At the 4th rank, you get a chance to get an artifact, or a random piece of tier 2 purple epic gear for your class per use.

Author:  rhoenix [ Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

This will likely be overlooked, since DA:I was just released, but the new module for Neverwinter will be released today.

Author:  rhoenix [ Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Several updates apparently have been put out:

- level cap of 70
- new character class (Paladin)
- New quest: Elemental Evil (gives enough XP to move characters from 60 to 70, and features Minsc & Boo, from Balder's Gate 2)

Author:  LadyTevar [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

BOO! They have brought back BOO!

Author:  Batman [ Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

You gotta be fucking kidding me.

Author:  rhoenix [ Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Leveling past 60, even in the Elemental Evil questline, does take a while. Moreover, successive stages of the quest require that you be be at a minimum level to even see them - for instance, the third leg of the Elemental Evil questline (the fire part) won't even come up as an available quest until you're level 64, as it's a level 65 zone.

Note that there is a bug with this questline - if you do some of the Vigilance quests (the blue ones) for a given area of Elemental Evil while in a party, and then try to complete the rest solo, your Vigilance quest tracker will not update. This hit me on my Great Weapon Fighter, who is currently waiting until it's fixed.

Long story short, get involved with the Heroic Quests (the 5+ people ones, anyway), and don't be afraid to re-do some Vigilance quests for extra loot and XP if you need to.

If you already have Artifact equipment or an Artifact weapon, you can still use them. However, if you want one and don't yet have one, you have to be level 70 (the new max level) to equip them now.

Sharandar, Dread Ring, and Icewind Dale are max-level areas, which means you need to be level 70, and have comparable gear - if you walk in to one of those places with what used to be max level gear, the enemies there will kick your ass and take your wallet while laughing epithets. Just do the Elemental Evil questline, which should get you to 70.

Just be careful - if you started out solo'ing quests, keep solo'ing all the way to the end. If you played in a party for the first few, then continue playing in a party for the rest. Not doing one of those things evidently reproduces the Vigilance questline counter bug.

Author:  Batman [ Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

I don't give a flying fuck about the rest of the game, what do I have to do to meet Minsc and Boo again?

Author:  rhoenix [ Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neverwinter

Batman wrote:
I don't give a flying fuck about the rest of the game, what do I have to do to meet Minsc and Boo again?

Get to about level 60, and start the Elemental Evil questline in the Protector's Enclave. The quest is given by the druid near the huge tree in the center.

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