Do you know how hard it is for me to say Neverwinter… and not follow it up with Nights? Like that is hands down the hardest thing about playing the Cryptic made MMO… is just stopping with the first word. Like part of me feels like it would have simply felt better to call it Neverwinter Nights Online, but I am guessing that Bioware probably still has the licensing rights to “Neverwinter Nights”. Regardless of this personal struggle I find myself suddenly unable to stop playing this game. I am not really sure what is going on there but I am having a lot of fun and the content just seems to be flowing smoothly in a way it never did the few other times I tried to play it. Everquest II had this concept of the golden path where a sparkly line of particle effects would attempt to lead you from objective to objective. The problem is it never really worked right and was prone to completely abandon you if the effects clipped through the terrain, or simply route you in a truly bizarre manner. As a result I think when I first saw that Neverwinter had a similar construct… I largely tried to ignore it after all of the bad experience attempting to make it work in EQ2. The main difference is that here it actually works remarkably well, and while it might not be the most optimal path for questing purposes… it does end up giving you a nice path to follow that eventually ends in you getting all of the objectives you need to knock out those quests.
I had so many quests that were either partially completed or not even started scattered throughout a bunch of zones. I am guessing I mostly ran around and killed stuff without really focusing on completing anything. The problem with returning to a game after a significant amount of content has been added is you are never quite certain if something was in the game when you last played… or if you had just been completely oblivious to it. One of these for me is the introduction of the Sword Coast Chronicles tab which shows your general progress through the game, or at least what you should be working on content wise at a given level. The only problem with this is that I am progressing way faster level wise than the content would in theory suggest. I’ve been working on Neverdeath Cemetery still within the confines of Neverwinter proper. If I had to guess I am now entering the second half of the content in that zone and should begin to start ticking off some of the boxes needed for the completion rewards. So far the thing that is making this game stand out for me is just how interesting the locations are and how relatively densely packed they are with interesting vistas. The one gotcha here is that the zones are not really as open as they might seem at first glance but instead in truth are more corridors to move through in a similar fashion to the zone design in something like Destiny 2. So long as you treat the zone as a conduit to do the quests it feels really good… when you start trying to break out off the beaten path and just traverse the zone without a purpose however it begins to feel frustrating and confining.
Another thing I remember about this game is that it seemed really scarce with loot drops and at some point they went in completely the opposite direction. I am getting more than enough gear from just running about to stay constantly upgraded and in the short time I have played I have gotten three different mounts as world drops and two companions. There are entire subsections of this game that I have no clue what is even going on… like I vaguely remember there being some sort of web based component to this game. I keep getting crafters and such from quests but I have no clue how to access it. I attempted to do a little research yesterday but was constantly confronted with several year old information, so I am guessing the game just does not have much of a informational community presence. Reading back through my original reviews of the game… I seem to have thought it was an enjoyable experience each time I have attempted to play it. The problem is I never really stick to it for one reason or another. It already feels like I have gained way more traction in the game than any of my other efforts given that I logged in at level 16 Monday and now am just shy of level 30. There are still a lot of ways that I feel like I don’t really know what the hell is going on, but I am slowly getting acclimatized to the game and feeling like I at least know my way round a bit. The Dungeons I have run have been a mess… but the sort of mess where one person who is grossly overpowered just speed burns through the content and we sorta follow along haplessly looting shit. At some point I want to check out the user created content that I know at some point went into the game. I know my friend Tipa was super into that for awhile, so I am interested to see what playing that is like. All in all I am still having a lot of fun, and probably just as shocked as you are to be seeing more Neverwinter posts.