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News & Features Discussion  » [Dev Journal] Neverwinter: Character Progression in the Spotlight

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59 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13012

 
OP  4/08/13 9:42:05 PM#1

MMORPG.com has teamed up with Cryptic Studios to bring our readers an exclusive developer blog that centers around character progression in Neverwinter. It's a terrific read for beta testers preparing for Beta Weekend 4 and for those looking forward to the open beta on April 30th. Check it out before heading to the comments to discuss.

One of the biggest pieces of feedback we got was that, although a lot of other elements were customizable, D&D veterans wanted to have more say in the powers they got at each level. Previously, powers unlocked or upgraded at certain levels; players got to choose which powers to equip, not which ones to learn.

Read more of our exclusive developer blog, Neverwinter: Character Progression in the Spotlight.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Vannor

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/11/03
Posts: 2981

4/09/13 8:42:52 AM#2

This is a good move.

Will hardly affect the endgame but will make the leveling process more interesting.

  Rohn

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/08
Posts: 3739

4/09/13 8:47:38 AM#3
More choice in character development is a good thing.  We'll see how it works, but sounds like a good change.

Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

4/09/13 8:56:31 AM#4
Sounds good on paper.  I guess we'll have to wait until this next beta weekend to see if it really works out like they describe.  So far character customization has been lacking.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Xiaoki

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2428

4/09/13 9:11:34 AM#5

Should make the low levels a lot better but need more specifics.

  Lord.Bachus

Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8563

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

4/09/13 10:15:23 AM#6

Weakest point in their game...

 

Character progression stops at max level.

 

There are just not enough Encounter skills to choose from, they need to triple teh number of available encounter powers, and then add 3 more hotbuttons to add more spice and skills to the game, 7 activatable power buttons and a classmechanic is just to minimalistic for my and many other players taste... It turns the use of your main encounter skills in clicking them the seccond they become available again almost almost the best choice and so removes thingking and making choices from the combat.

 

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations)
Currently playing : The Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

4/09/13 10:15:42 AM#7
hmm, I didnt really have a problem with the original setup because the classes were fun to play and became rather deep after level 30...will have to see this in game to know if they royally fubar'ed it or not just to "fit in" for players that couldnt get their heads out of the tiny box the genre is in.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  harvest151

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/06
Posts: 225

4/09/13 10:51:49 AM#8
Even with the changes, choice is total shit.  You still wind up using the same powers, you just have to wait and grind levels to unlock it.  Giving me a choice between A & B is not choice when the quality and quantity of the choices is so restrictive. D&D 4e is gonna hurt this game bad.  From a guy who's been playing D&D for 30 years, and every d&d game ever released, this is by far the most restrictive and pidgeonholed setup I've ever seen.  This is a prequel to the cash/zen shop's effect on the game.  Feel free to hate, but after a few months of alpha, and seeing the direction the game is going and the ruleset implemented, there are going to be alot of suprised and angry D&D computer gamers.  Thankfully I saw "Cryptic" on the website and turned and ran my ass off so I didn't get infected with the need to fleece people and release 1/2-ass games.  Neverwinter may be different, but theres no way in hell i'll ever get my hopes up for a cryptic game again.   They will be in bankrupcy before 2013.  Just look at activision.  They couldnt pass this smoking turd of a company off any faster than they did and BOOM - Bankrupt.  One may have had nothing to do with the other, but it seems everything Cryptic touches turns to shit.   I don't need to wait around to see it happen.  I simply know it will.

  Robbgobb

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 420

4/09/13 10:54:53 AM#9
Originally posted by harvest151
Even with the changes, choice is total shit.  You still wind up using the same powers, you just have to wait and grind levels to unlock it.  Giving me a choice between A & B is not choice when the quality and quantity of the choices is so restrictive. D&D 4e is gonna hurt this game bad.  From a guy who's been playing D&D for 30 years, and every d&d game ever released, this is by far the most restrictive and pidgeonholed setup I've ever seen.  This is a prequel to the cash/zen shop's effect on the game.  Feel free to hate, but after a few months of alpha, and seeing the direction the game is going and the ruleset implemented, there are going to be alot of suprised and angry D&D computer gamers.  Thankfully I saw "Cryptic" on the website and turned and ran my ass off so I didn't get infected with the need to fleece people and release 1/2-ass games.  Neverwinter may be different, but theres no way in hell i'll ever get my hopes up for a cryptic game again.   They will be in bankrupcy before 2013.  Just look at activision.  They couldnt pass this smoking turd of a company off any faster than they did and BOOM - Bankrupt.  One may have had nothing to do with the other, but it seems everything Cryptic touches turns to shit.   I don't need to wait around to see it happen.  I simply know it will.

Thank you for the laughs. Too funny. Appreciate the comedian.

It is a F2P game and looks like one that I can play 30 minutes or a couple of hours then go do something else. This is one of those that I am glad they are adding choices as that is what was fun about 4th edition when it came out.

  JDogg126

Novice Member

Joined: 8/16/08
Posts: 44

You've ruined your own lands, you'll not ruin mine!

4/09/13 10:58:13 AM#10
Originally posted by DJMantiss

Cryptic is known for making crap and this will stay in-line with people's expectations. A quick and free diversion for folks, nothing more. They don't want to make it anything more as that is not their business model. They crank out a game, add in a ton of nickle and dime cash-shop items and later will add items which are pay-to-win. 

I look forward to playing the game you make and put in front of the world.  I'm sure noone will criticize the design choices you make or disapprove at all on how you choose to monetize your product.

  k44mos

Novice Member

Joined: 11/28/09
Posts: 22

4/09/13 11:01:18 AM#11

@Robb - Cryptic does tend to create pieces of crap.

 I don't know if the same thing will happen with Neverwinter but you can't possibly have your hopes up after you've seen what this company has been doing for the past years.

 And it is incredibly sad as a d&d mmo could actually be what everybody was looking. The background provides enough freedom to engineer wonderful and crazy stuff all together.

 What does Cryptic do? Strips down the originality of most of the d&d universe, takes the names and promotes its game as a d&d game.

 D&D began as a bastion for creativity, freedom, uniquess and psychotic behaviour of disgruntled fantasy fans.

 Where does Cryptic's game stand exactly?

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

4/09/13 11:07:39 AM#12
Originally posted by JDogg126
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

There are just not enough Encounter skills to choose from, they need to triple teh number of available encounter powers, and then add 3 more hotbuttons to add more spice and skills to the game, 7 activatable power buttons and a classmechanic is just to minimalistic for my and many other players taste... It turns the use of your main encounter skills in clicking them the seccond they become available again almost almost the best choice and so removes thingking and making choices from the combat. 

No.  There are already games out there with 8 action bars and a number of abilities and clickable items to make use of them.  This is a game based on D&D 4E rules which simply do not allow for 3 hotbuttons worth of abilities.  That may not be to your taste, but maybe you're just not a Dungeon and Dragons fan/player.  Using 4E and going with the action combat is smart and sets this game apart from every other clone of the mainstream MMO.

He's right, there needs to be more than 3 active encounter powers available at once.  Even offering 6 or 7 would make the combat a little more tactical.  He did hit it right on the head you mostly just spam your encounters when they're off of cooldown.

There is no need to make ludicrous statements about 8 hotbars.  He's not advocating that at all.  The game being based on 4ed has nothing to do with only having 3 active encounters at once.  In any event it's based on 4ed, not a strict interpretation of them.

Character customization is very limited and should be expanded.  It faces pretty stiff competition from it's peers in combat style (Tera, RaiderZ, GW2, TSW, etc) and the customization they offer.  While action oriented combat is somewhat by design minimalistic, this is too restrictive and narrow.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

4/09/13 11:13:59 AM#13
the changes are good but the game does need more powers.. it would be nice if you had multiple paths that had completely differn't powers in them once you hit a certain level... overall not the worst diversity by any means but hardly great.. but wasn't expecting deep character customization in terms of powers from this game anyway.

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  DJMantiss

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 103

4/09/13 11:18:13 AM#14

Action combat with false rooting is bad. The developers keep crying about how they made it this way for "impact", but the skills lack impact already. Try the Great Weapon Fighter and his ridiculous charge-up "at will" ability, all he does is hold the sword longer.... 

 

Cryptic is known for making crap and this will stay in-line with people's expectations. A quick and free diversion for folks, nothing more. They don't want to make it anything more as that is not their business model. They crank out a game, add in a ton of nickle and dime cash-shop items and later will add items which are pay-to-win. 

 

I personally don't approve of their model and would rather have a D&D game that actually mirrors the univeres from 4e and the books better. I certainly never recall a novel that read, "As the Orcs charged our hero bravely stood in-place, holding back his sword arm for a mighty swing... After taking several hits to the face he releases his swing and horribly bruises 3 enemies in one mighty blow!"

 

It's not epic, you'll never cleave through enemies and its obvious that the developers are more in the amateur league for character movement, combat and dodging then what we've already seen from games like Guild Wars 2 and the upcoming Wildstar.

 

Not saying GW2 is perfect, but its hard to knock the fluid combat model of GW2 compared to Neverwinter's pause and poke combat.

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

4/09/13 11:30:47 AM#15
I'm just hoping it doesn't take them to long to get more classes out

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  DJMantiss

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 103

4/09/13 11:34:37 AM#16

It can't be too hard, nothing is fluid, the armor/weapons and other skins are few and far between. So making a new class is just a matter of adding 1-2 new weapons a few animations some lack-luster skills and paultry "specs." I would expect the Scourge Warlock and Ranger to be along in a few months.

 

Still what are you really getting?....

  DJMantiss

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 103

4/09/13 11:36:55 AM#17
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by JDogg126
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

There are just not enough Encounter skills to choose from, they need to triple teh number of available encounter powers, and then add 3 more hotbuttons to add more spice and skills to the game, 7 activatable power buttons and a classmechanic is just to minimalistic for my and many other players taste... It turns the use of your main encounter skills in clicking them the seccond they become available again almost almost the best choice and so removes thingking and making choices from the combat. 

No.  There are already games out there with 8 action bars and a number of abilities and clickable items to make use of them.  This is a game based on D&D 4E rules which simply do not allow for 3 hotbuttons worth of abilities.  That may not be to your taste, but maybe you're just not a Dungeon and Dragons fan/player.  Using 4E and going with the action combat is smart and sets this game apart from every other clone of the mainstream MMO.

He's right, there needs to be more than 3 active encounter powers available at once.  Even offering 6 or 7 would make the combat a little more tactical.  He did hit it right on the head you mostly just spam your encounters when they're off of cooldown.

There is no need to make ludicrous statements about 8 hotbars.  He's not advocating that at all.  The game being based on 4ed has nothing to do with only having 3 active encounters at once.  In any event it's based on 4ed, not a strict interpretation of them.

Character customization is very limited and should be expanded.  It faces pretty stiff competition from it's peers in combat style (Tera, RaiderZ, GW2, TSW, etc) and the customization they offer.  While action oriented combat is somewhat by design minimalistic, this is too restrictive and narrow.

 

The funnier part can be trying to land those encounter abilities. Certain bosses fly all over the place, sometimes literally, while you stay rooted during a charge up or doing a long animation. So you can totally waste a critical encounter ability simply because the game allows the MoBs to constantly move while you stay rooted... its genious.

  koboldfodder

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 359

4/09/13 11:41:01 AM#18

This is a Cryptic game.  This is what they do.  This is what they have always done.  This is what they are known for.  Small, action based games with no real lore or intrigue where you do not have to think but just hit a few buttons and go on to the next area.

City of Heroes was an excellent game, but by no means was it a deep game or have any real substance (other than the Invention Origins systems which came later).

Champions Onlins is basically the same way.  A little action game where you make a couple of choices but that is about it.  Again, nothing wrong with that.

 

The problem comes when Cryptic somehow acquires the IPs for two of the most storied, lore friendly franchises of all time.  Star Trek, which has 50 years attached to it and the Forgotten Realms which has massive amounts of written lore.

 

The people who love those two franchises do so because of the rich history that goes along with each universe.

 

But Cryptic does what they always do, make little action based games.  Is there a true fan of Star Trek who can actually play STO and say it is a faithful adaptation to the Star Trek universe?  Hell no.  Is there a true fan of either D&D or the Forgotten Realms who can honestly say that Neverwinter represents the best of the Forgotten Realms?  Of course not.

 

They went 4th edition because it's easy to do.  Cryptic does easy things.  They do not spend time on developing complex gaming systems or games with true depth.

 

How could anyone actually think this game would turn out to be anything other than an instanced based, lobby-level grind, F2P money grab?  Especially when every game is a precedent.  PWE buying them made them even more of what they are.

 

 

  Xiaoki

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2428

4/09/13 11:41:07 AM#19


Originally posted by Torvaldr

Originally posted by JDogg126

Originally posted by Lord.Bachus There are just not enough Encounter skills to choose from, they need to triple teh number of available encounter powers, and then add 3 more hotbuttons to add more spice and skills to the game, 7 activatable power buttons and a classmechanic is just to minimalistic for my and many other players taste... It turns the use of your main encounter skills in clicking them the seccond they become available again almost almost the best choice and so removes thingking and making choices from the combat. 
No.  There are already games out there with 8 action bars and a number of abilities and clickable items to make use of them.  This is a game based on D&D 4E rules which simply do not allow for 3 hotbuttons worth of abilities.  That may not be to your taste, but maybe you're just not a Dungeon and Dragons fan/player.  Using 4E and going with the action combat is smart and sets this game apart from every other clone of the mainstream MMO.
He's right, there needs to be more than 3 active encounter powers available at once.  Even offering 6 or 7 would make the combat a little more tactical.  He did hit it right on the head you mostly just spam your encounters when they're off of cooldown.

There is no need to make ludicrous statements about 8 hotbars.  He's not advocating that at all.  The game being based on 4ed has nothing to do with only having 3 active encounters at once.  In any event it's based on 4ed, not a strict interpretation of them.

Character customization is very limited and should be expanded.  It faces pretty stiff competition from it's peers in combat style (Tera, RaiderZ, GW2, TSW, etc) and the customization they offer.  While action oriented combat is somewhat by design minimalistic, this is too restrictive and narrow.



3 or 6 or 10 slots for abilities wouldnt make a difference.

The abilities themselves are too situational or bad for a real time action based combat game.

Less situational abilities with 20 second cooldowns would make the combat a lot better.


For the most part Tera got around the problem by comboing abilities together but you still had the problem of too many abilities and too many abilities being very situational.


But, the encompassing problem here is that D&D 4th Edition tried to shoehorn MMO combat into a Pen and Paper system now Cryptic is trying to shoehorn that into an action game.

  red_cruiser

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/07
Posts: 442

4/09/13 12:22:49 PM#20
Originally posted by koboldfodder

This is a Cryptic game.  This is what they do.  This is what they have always done.  This is what they are known for.  Small, action based games with no real lore or intrigue where you do not have to think but just hit a few buttons and go on to the next area.

City of Heroes was an excellent game, but by no means was it a deep game or have any real substance (other than the Invention Origins systems which came later).

Champions Onlins is basically the same way.  A little action game where you make a couple of choices but that is about it.  Again, nothing wrong with that.

 

The problem comes when Cryptic somehow acquires the IPs for two of the most storied, lore friendly franchises of all time.  Star Trek, which has 50 years attached to it and the Forgotten Realms which has massive amounts of written lore.

 

The people who love those two franchises do so because of the rich history that goes along with each universe.

 

But Cryptic does what they always do, make little action based games.  Is there a true fan of Star Trek who can actually play STO and say it is a faithful adaptation to the Star Trek universe?  Hell no.  Is there a true fan of either D&D or the Forgotten Realms who can honestly say that Neverwinter represents the best of the Forgotten Realms?  Of course not.

 

They went 4th edition because it's easy to do.  Cryptic does easy things.  They do not spend time on developing complex gaming systems or games with true depth.

 

How could anyone actually think this game would turn out to be anything other than an instanced based, lobby-level grind, F2P money grab?  Especially when every game is a precedent.  PWE buying them made them even more of what they are.

 

 

This is, unfortunately, 100% accurate.  People will play Neverwinter, most people will have fun doing so, but it will ultimately be a forgettable junk-food experience.

The sad part of it is that Champions Online has actually matured to the point where it could be more than a F2P cash grab.  They had put a lot of effort into turning some of the systems around.

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