Neverwinter’s next module is going to be a bit different than the norm. The Heart of Fire is created in collaboration with Penny Arcade's Acquisitions Incorporated D&D campaign. It has stories and voice over from Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins plus Amy Falcone, it’s a more lighthearted journey through famous locales across the Forgotten Realms. We had a chance to play the campaign’s opening mission at PAX West.
The story is as follows:
A job faire goes horribly awry in the Blacklake District when Walnut Dankgrass (Amy Falcone) asks adventurers to eliminate the competition who are potentially luring eager prospects away. Aiding the Druid leads to even greater opportunity: an intern trial at the newly-constructed Acq. Inc. headquarters in the heart of Protector’s Enclave. One exhilarating orientation later, adventurers are set loose on the Sword Coast with a mission from Omin Dran (Jerry Holkins) himself, “Find some giant red rubies!” With the occasional “assistance” from Jim Darkmagic (Mike Krahulik), players begin an expedition throughout the Sword Coast that grows more ridiculous with every request: infiltrate a Beholder convention, battle sky pirates in the Acquisitions Inc. airship and rescue royalty culminating in a marvelous new Skirmish. Additionally, the Professions system is receiving an overhaul which will allow players to own and manage their personalized workshop in Protector’s Enclave.
The orientation is what we played at the convention, and it really does shine from the voices of Jerry and Mike reprising their roles from the D&D campaign. You’re hired as an unpaid intern to go through the HQ, which happens to be completely dilapidated, and filled with the ghosts of former interns. The voiceover is hilarious, the setting is like a broken down medieval “It’s a Small World” from Epcot. It was a short, but effective way of introducing a pretty funny new campaign in Neverwinter. Our characters were level 40 too, and Cryptic said that they want this one to be available to all levels of players, not just the top-end folks.
There will also be an overhaul for the Professions system, but there wasn’t much to show there, as well as a new Skirmish themed after the Acquisitions Inc. campaign. We didn’t get to play much of the new content, but it’s clear that the Cryptic guys are having a ball with the whole thing. As we get closer to its launch later this year, we’ll be sure to report back more details.