Last night I fell down an unexpected rabbit hole. For a few weeks I have known that my good friend PizzaMaid has been dabbling in Neverwinter, but I did not actually know that we were apparently all playing on the same server until last night. When I got upstairs to nom my noms and check into the world, I saw that she was streaming neverwinter. Joining her were my friends and fellow Pom’s Wolfy, Jaedia and Starspun all logging in to run a dungeon in game. We had some confusion earlier in the week as to which server we were all on, and I thought I remembered the name Dragon at some point. Apparently yes we are all in fact on Dragon which allows us to do interesting things together.
I had my own renaissance of Neverwinter back in January as I installed and booted up the game on a whim. For years I had been getting press releases about the game to my blogging/podcasting email and I guess over time it built up a desire to log in and see how things were going. What I found when I got there was an extremely fun and also insanely intricate game… that I struggled to grasp. I already thought there was a wide chasm of features and functionalities that I did not quite understand… but I was apparently only on the rim of said chasm. Last night we full well opened the maelstrom and hopped right in.
One of the activities were partook of was forming a guild, so as of last night the Owlbear Preservation Society lives in Neverwinter with the aforementioned members as the inaugural group. This unlocked the ability to start messing around with our Stromhold which is essentially the equivalent of the Guild Hall in Guild Wars 2. Now I had been carrying around items that assisted in the function of a guild hall for ages, likely since the game originally launched. The problem is I never actually had a guild to spend them on… so I spent the first few minutes of my time in our stronghold trying to figure out what to do with them.
It turns out you feed them to the mimic friend that we are all taking a screenshot with, and he then applies them to the various costs associated with building things back to their grand status. I thought Guild Wars 2 had a pretty deep rabbit hole when it came to a guild hall… but this one might be deeper. The problem is at this moment we have only barely scratched the surface and unlike Guild Wars 2… there are no really easy gains that can be applied and instead everything seems to be pretty slow to acquire. Right now we are being directed to build a lumberyard, which seems to be capable of producing at least some of the materials we need to start crafting things.
Everything that is flagged with a green icon has a placard in front of it allowing us to build it. I am guessing everything marked with a grey X is something that will eventually unlock… once we have built up a certain number of things in our Stromhold. This is a really deep well we have fallen into and I am not entirely certain we will really make much headway. The collection of items seems to be through “daily quests” of a sort that reset every 9 hours in the Stronghold. I will not be playing actively enough to do these on cool down, however considering most of the activities are pretty chill I am likely to do a set of them each time I log in.
The biggest problem we have currently is the fact that there are only five of us and this seems to be a design feature that is intended to be sped through by mass amounts of players doing these and funding the building coffers. I have no clue how wide this madness will spread, but I somehow doubt we will have a mass influx of players like we have had when a new game launches. I might be wrong, but I am guessing this is going to be a pretty low key grind that takes place over several months.
As far as the rest of my play session, I managed to ding 41 and now that we have our stronghold… I can see that the level cap is 70. The Stronghold itself is populated with tons of heroic encounters designed for a balanced group of players to go out and tackle which is fairly slick. We downed a few of them and failed one major event largely because we didn’t really know what the purpose was until it was a bit too late. It was a really fun night of nonsense and it has sparked my desire to poke my head into Neverwinter more often now that I am actually part of a guild.