Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

D&D MMO Neverwinter plays like a good action-RPG

4:00 PM on 02.07.2013 // Joshua Derocher

Impressions of the Neverwinter beta

There are a lot of massively-multiplayer online games on the market today, many of which are still very similar to World of Warcraft. While the graphics, setting, and characters may change, the core gameplay often feels the same. Hotkeys and a screen full of action bars have become the normal way to play MMOs, but there are a few games like TERA that have tried to break away and bring more action into the mix. TERA did a pretty good job with the action, but the setting and quest design was too generic and most people found it to be lackluster.

Cryptic is stepping into the "action-MMO" space with Neverwinter, which is somewhat of a follow-up to the classic Neverwinter Nights series. Based on the popular Forgotten Realms setting from Dungeons & Dragons and the Fourth Edition ruleset, this has the potential to be an interesting free-to-play title. I had the chance to jump into an early beta event with the developers and run a quick raid, and from what I have seen so far, this one might be able to deliver some good times.

Neverwinter  (PC)
Developer: Cryptic Studios
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Releases: Early 2013

The biggest thing that makes Neverwinter stand out from other MMOs is its tiny abilities bar on the bottom of the screen. It works a lot like the abilities system from a typical action-RPG game and it's easily usable with keys like Q, E, and R. You'll only have to reach up to 1 and 2 to use your daily powers, which won't be too often. A total of eleven abilities can be hot-keyed, and that includes the mouse buttons.

The abilities you decide to map can be swapped out at just about any time, not unlike, say, Diablo III. The combat is almost identical to a hack-n-slash role-playing game. Imagine if Diablo III and EverQuest had a baby: combat works by clicking a lot while pointing at monsters and dodging out of the way of their attacks. It isn't anything new, but it's a nice point of differentiation for an MMO. It's very responsive and I noticed only minimal impact from lag -- even in this early beta version.

The foundry system of player-created content from Cryptic's other games like Star Trek Online will be making its way into Neverwinter. Players will be able to make their own quests and they are easily accessed from a bulletin board in-game. Any user-created content can be rated so you don't have to worry about wading through piles of garbage to find anything worthwhile. It won't cost anything to access the Foundry, but it will have to be unlocked in the game somehow. Cryptic will have more details on this later.

At launch, there will be five classes that are based on Fourth Edition D&D class archetypes: Trickster Rogue, Great Weapon Fighter, Guardian Fighter, Control Wizard, and Devoted Cleric. There are plans to add more classes after release, and there's no word yet on if any of these will cost money to unlock. The developers did say that they don't want to lock content out from anyone, but things like unique races might be offered to premium players.

I'm sure some of you are wondering what makes this different from Dungeons & Dragons Online. Well, it plays a lot differently for one thing. DDO is a classically-structured MMO that is strongly based on the 3.5 edition of D&D's rules, which is a long way of saying that it's slower paced and a lot like EverQuest and World of Warcraft.

Neverwinter is based on new rules for D&D and it's built as an action game. Plus it's based on the more well-known Forgotten Realms as opposed to the Eberron setting and is being designed as a free-to-play game from the ground up. I like DDO, but I can see some people switching over to Neverwinter because it has more engaging combat. Of course, they are both free, so no one really has to choose one over the other. 

I've enjoyed what I've played so far and am looking forward to diving into the beta over the coming weeks. The MMO space needs some diversity in what's available, and while Neverwinter doesn't stray too far from the familiar questing formula, it does offer entertaining combat, and having fun -- if still familiar -- gameplay is sometimes all it takes to make a good game.

Photo Gallery: (20 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Joshua Derocher, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Josh_Derocher Tips
Josh is a PC gamer. He can usually be found flying around in EVE Online. He's been known to enjoy playing role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, and Planescape Torment. He starte... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -