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Neverwinter Nights

What special in-game events are happening this Halloween?

Oct 30 // Joe Parlock
Destiny is running its Festival of the Lost event until November 9 that includes new quests, consumables, gear, and a Thriller emote that is the best thing the game has ever done. Unfortunately some of the stuff you get during the event will expire once it’s over, with mainly only Legendary items surviving past that. Warframe is doing things a little different, and is instead having a Day of the Dead celebration. Various themed skins for your Tenno’s capes, weapons and spaceships will be available, and I have to admit some of it is absolutely adorable. On top of that, a new type of glaive called the Cerata, and some special Halloween tactical alerts will be available. The event will last until November 4. Guild Wars 2’s event has already begun. The Shadow of the Mad King includes areas such as The Mad King’s Realm and the Mad King’s Clock Tower jumping puzzle. There’s also Halloween celebrations including mini-games and attractions going down in Lion’s Arch. As usual, there’s also some Halloween loot up for grabs, such as a neat Pumpkin staff and wearable bat wings. Team Fortress 2 has two Halloween events running at the moment. First is the Invasion update: while not strictly a Halloween event, it is a spooky-themed thing running at the end of October, which means it totally counts to me. New extraterrestrial-themed maps and enemies created by members of the TF2 community are running until November 5. The other Team Fortress 2 event is the official seventh annual Scream Fortress, which this year has also been created by the community. There are four new maps, some Harry Potter inspired taunts, new items available in the new Gargoyle Case, and the return of every other of the game’s previous Halloween updates. This one’s pretty huge. Wildstar’s not using its recent transition to free-to-play as an excuse to avoid Halloween, as it is currently running the Shade’s Eve event. There’s a new expedition known as Quiet Downs for players to embark on, new decorations for your house, and a lot of the main cities in the game have been given a spooky makeover. Shade’s Eve is running until November 2, so you haven’t got long to grab the loot you want from it. Daybreak, developers of Planetside 2, DC Universe Online, H1Z1, EverQuest, and Landmark have gone all out this year. New weapons, quests, items and more are on offer for all of their games, and as there are just too many to list individually, Daybreak have been really kind and given us a quick breakdown of what's going on. You can find that here, or on any other of the games' sites. Overkill somehow managed to find the time after making everybody angry to make an admittedly pretty awesome event for Payday 2. Running from October 29 to November 12, each day is introducing something new. At the moment we have two new heists: Honey, I Shrunk the Heisters!, which sees your team shrunken down while fighting off teeny-tiny police and slightly bigger spiders, and The Safehouse Nightmare which includes the Necrocloaker and, terrifyingly, the Headless Titandozer. These maps are currently only meant to stick around during the event, but if they prove popular Overkill have said they’re open to the idea of keeping them in the rotation. Perfect World's Neverwinter is bringing back its annual Masquerade of Liars event. It'll begin October 29 and run until November 4 on both PC and Xbox One. Masquerade includes two new daily quests, a kind of adorable scarecrow companion, new consumables and some costume pieces for you. Most importantly, you can now have a Unicorn mask and bring frightening horse-themed terror to the lands of Neverwinter and beyond, impaling all of those who challenge thy mighty horn. Finally, World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm are both running the Hallow’s End event. In World of Warcraft, the event will have three new quests including the seasonal boss the Headless Horseman. The same Horseman will be terrorising the cities of Azeroth, providing locations such as Razor Hill, Goldshire and Silvermoon City with events to help fix the damage he’s caused. There will be plenty of rewards such as mounts and costumes, and there are 11 new achievements for the major completionists. In Heroes of the Storm, there is a week-long 50% bonus XP event lasting until November 3. You’ll also be able to earn a Jack-O’-Lantern portrait by winning 25 games before November 17. And of course, there’s a new Headless Horseman-themed mount, a new skin for Falstad, and a load of bundles are on sale during the event. This list doesn’t even include the various sales either upcoming or ongoing on various digital distribution sites like PSN, Green Man Gaming, and Steam if none of these games quite take your fancy.
Halloween photo
I refuse to use the word 'spoopy'
Halloween, one of the best days of the year, is almost upon us! With the sweets and pumpkins also comes a landslide of in-game events for almost every game released ever. Here’s a quick run down of some of the things you can find in your favourite games over the next couple of weeks.

Neverwinter photo

Neverwinter's Underdark expansion launches on November 17

A questline written by R.A. Salvatore
Oct 30
// Joe Parlock
Jeeze, it doesn’t seem five minutes since Perfect World released Strongholds, the last expansion to their pretty great MMO Neverwinter. Now they’re already preparing to release the next major expansion for the ga...
Neverwinter photo

Neverwinter: Elemental Evil expansion is coming to Xbox One next month

Slowly catching up to the PC version
Aug 07
// Joe Parlock
It was only a month ago when Rise of Tiamat, the fifth expansion for the free-to-play MMO Neverwinter, was released on Xbox One. At the time, I noted that while it was a decent update, it still meant the Xbox One version of t...

Neverwinter: Strongholds might get me back into the game

Jul 31 // Joe Parlock
Building your Stronghold [embed]296961:59747:0[/embed] With the goal of providing “interesting and meaningful experiences to guilds”, the process of creating and upgrading your guild’s stronghold is at the heart of the expansion. All buildable structures and upgrades are ultimately decided by the leaders of the guild, but those goals are worked towards by every member through the “Coffers” system. Coffers are the total resources available to a guild to help build up their stronghold, and they’re separated into three categories: materials, which are found in the lands surrounding your stronghold such as lumber; treasures, which are earned by playing through the campaign zones of the wider game such as the Dread Ring campaign; and stockpiles, the normal loot, gold, and astral diamonds players earn throughout the game. Finding these resources ensures creating a good stronghold for your guild isn’t just a case of the leaders fiddling with the UI; every member of the guild would have a role to play, be it collecting resources or planning out where structures will go.  Once there are enough resources to build a new structure in the stronghold, or to upgrade an already existing one, the guild leaders can then start the work of upgrading, while also setting the next goal for the guild to work towards. However, the amount of upgrades you can apply to a structure depends on the overall level of the guild’s keep. While structures have a maximum level of 10, the keep can grow up to level 20. However, structures can’t out-level the keep, so sometimes an effort must be made to upgrade the keep rather than simply rushing for all the new and shiny buildings. As players donate these hard-earned resources to their guild’s coffers, they are awarded guild marks with which they can buy new gear and items for themselves at the marketplace. It’s a way of incentivising altruism among the guild, and is one of the few times in the game players can make decisions for themselves that aren’t directly linked to the decisions of their wider guild. Another way the guild must coordinate in building their stronghold is in the new added boons. Boons are passive bonuses granted to players, and in Strongholds, structures can be built to grant the entire guild specific types of boons. There are currently four categories: offense, defense, utility, and Player vs. Player (PvP). The catch is not every type of boon would available for a guild at the same time, as there are only a limited number of boon structures that can be made. This requires decisions to be made about how players within the guild will be buffed. An example given would be a raiding guild may put more emphasis into PvP or offensive boons to increase their power. The boons in each category would be optional for each individual player, however what type of boon is available is up to the guild. It’s a neat mechanic, as now other players who you’d regularly play with have an active impact on how your character works, and how these buffs influence your character may well change in the future. Should the guild decide to change an offensive boon structure to a defensive one, the boons you previously had would no longer apply. It’s interesting, however I could also see it causing some conflict within guilds. The area given to a guild to build its stronghold on is the biggest zone Neverwinter has ever seen: it is three times bigger than the biggest previous one. The zone is split into multiple, smaller themed areas, each with their own enemies and quests. For example, there may be faetouched areas, or there may be areas that are more desolate, and different enemies may be encountered in each one. It’s nice to see some variance in the zone, as Neverwinter does have a problem of each zone being its own themed thing that gets boring sometimes: the snowy zone, the desert zone, or the city zone and nothing but that. Some areas will be sealed off and hidden until the stronghold has been built up and expanded on, but what’s interesting is that the future of the zone isn’t entirely known even to Perfect World yet. The strongholds system is planned to be expanded upon over the course of at least the next two expansions: Strongholds and a currently unannounced expansion after that. According to them, being “done” with building a stronghold simply isn’t possible, as new structures and boons will be made available in future updates.  While there is a storyline planned out for Strongholds and the expansion after that, the specifics of what sort of boons and structures will be included in them are apparently down to player feedback and community suggestions. New Player vs. Environment Content Building up a guild’s stronghold isn’t the only new addition to Neverwinter. Alongside it comes a new range of player vs. environment content, much like in the previous expansions before it. However, a lot of this will still directly help your stronghold grow. Firstly, the act of actually acquiring your guild’s new keep will be part of a quest line that changes as the stronghold grows. At first, your guild and a travelling band of Orcs will both arrive at the same time, causing there to be multiple skirmishes and missions available. Finding guards, protecting farms, and driving off Orcs to ensure that your keep is safe in the early days. As the keep levels up, new enemies will start to appear in the zone. For example, the second phase of the zone involves mercenaries appearing to try and steal the keep from you, giving you multiple quests involving dealing with them. The zone’s campaign appears to play out in much the same way as previous campaign zones such as the Dread Ring have, however there is also the added dimension of it being dependent on your keep’s level. Of course, there will also be a series of daily quests available from your stronghold’s steward too, and they will also help guide players to the next of their campaign quests. Greed of the Dragonflight That’s all pretty standard expansion stuff: more of what Neverwinter players will be used to. What’s particularly interesting is the major new boss fight that occurs in the Strongholds zone. Dubbed Greed of the Dragonflight, the boss is designed to be played by guilds of 40 or more players who must coordinate and plan out how to take down four powerful dragons simultaneously across the map. If one dragon is killed, the other three will flee shortly afterwards, requiring guilds to figure out which players are best suited to take on each dragon, and make sure all four of them die at the same time. Doing so will net the guild huge rewards, some of the most powerful items in the game, according to Perfect World. However, failure to nab all for dragons doesn’t mean nothing was gained. Due to some guilds not having enough players to take down all four dragons, there is a sliding scale of what rewards are given. The more dragons the guild can kill, the better the loot given. What I saw of this event reminded me of my favourite bit of Neverwinter: the timed boss events. Instances are great, questing is fun, but seeing the alert to head to an area of the map to slay as big-as-hell lizard was always really cool to me. It’s involving, it’s hectic, and it looks as though adding in the extra element of needing to size up who takes on which dragon will make it all the more satisfying when the guild succeeds. The difference between normal timed events and Greed of the Dragonflight is that it isn’t only a timed event. Due to a large amount of player requests, Perfect World is allowing guilds to trigger the event manually whenever they like, and so it could become a pretty big part of guild social life somewhere down the line. A New PvP mode inspired by MOBAs Player vs. Player in Neverwinter has been the centre of Perfect World’s attention for a while now: originally offering a fairly basic 5v5 arena mode, an open-world PvP was later added in Icewind Dale, and of course Strongholds will be adding even more for those who like stomping other players. The PvP added to Strongholds is a 20v20 Guild vs. Guild mode, which when I first heard about it reminded me a lot of Guild Wars 2’s World vs. World feature. However, it appears as though the new mode is being more inspired by the likes of Dota and League of Legends. This isn’t a compulsory feature, guilds must queue up to enter the mode. Once in the game, guilds will find their strongholds and surrounding lands “glued together”, with a river separating the two. The MOBA inspiration comes on the emphasis of controlling the various lanes between the two strongholds, while pushing forward and sieging the enemy guild. Perfect World has also catered to smaller guilds that might not have 20 players online at a time. When in queueing, if a guild has enough players to spare, they will be transferred temporarily to the other guild and fight for them instead. It’s a nice way of evening the playing field, but it will also be interesting to see where their alliances lie once the match is underway. It’s worth noting I didn’t get to actually see any PvP in action, due to the problems setting up a game with 40 players just to show me it would’ve caused. As such, all of this is only how it was described to me by Overmyer. Final Thoughts As previously mentioned, I’ve got a fair amount of experience with Neverwinter, however the lack of something to keep me interested once I’d finished the story quests meant I dropped out of the game soon after. Guilds have always been something in MMOs I’ve had an interest in, but never found the right match – I always ended up in quiet, inactive guilds where nothing ever happened. Strongholds looks like it wants to solve both of my problems, while giving me more of the solo content that got me into the game at first. I’m somewhat concerned that finding decent guilds might still be tricky, but maybe the new toys guilds can play with will convince people to give running guilds a go. PvP has never been a big interest of mine. I got into Rift’s quite a bit, but still eventually found myself going back to questing. Neverwinter in particular has been quite notorious for equipment you can buy in the store being perceived to be more powerful than stuff you can earn in-game, which always put me off PvP. However, if it’s true that the rewards from Greed of the Dragonflight are some of the strongest in the game, it could go a way to fix that problem. Overall, I’m excited. I’m definitely going to be going back into it just to see how all of these new mechanics change how people interact within guilds, if at all. Plus Dragonflight is a condensed version of everything I like about Neverwinter, which is great. Neverwinter: Strongholds will be released on August 11 as the next free expansion on PC. Neverwinter is free-to-play on both Xbox One and PC.
Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
An in-depth look at all the new stuff
On August 11, Perfect World will be releasing the latest expansion to their Dungeons & Dragons-based MMO Neverwinter, Strongholds. With its action-based combat, fantastic locations, and relatively simple mechanics, N...

Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
Neverwinter: Strongholds

Neverwinter: Strongholds coming August 11 - Come see the trailer

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! L-L-L-LIVE!
Jul 24
// Joe Parlock
I’m excited for the newest Neverwinter expansion, Strongholds. Guilds have never really been all that important in Neverwinter, with most players blasting through the solo content and then going into the admittedly pay...
Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
Neverwinter: Strongholds

Neverwinter: Strongholds is whipping guilds into shape

With just a hint of Draenor
Jun 12
// Joe Parlock
Dang, Cryptic and Perfect World sure are pumping out the expansions for Their pretty awesome MMO Neverwinter pretty fast. Hot on the heels of Elemental Evil and the Xbox One release of the game, Cryptic has announced their s...
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Neverwinter Xbox One Closed Beta starts in February, sign up now!

Is Neverwinter about living in Los Angeles?
Jan 15
// Mike Cosimano
If you've got an Xbox One and have been hankering to play the Dungeons and Dragons MMO Neverwinter on a console, you might want to go ahead and register for the Xbox One closed beta. Registration begins today and the beta wil...
Neverwinter MMO photo
Neverwinter MMO

Neverwinter MMO beta weekend begins Friday

For the lucky chosen ones
Feb 06
// Patrick Hancock
This weekend, beginning February 8, the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO will be opening its doors to select beta testers and will run until the February 10. You can sign up for a chance to get in on the official website, o...

PAX: Perfect World's RaiderZ and Neverwinter MMO

Apr 09 // Caitlin Cooke
[embed]225482:43309[/embed] After RaiderZ we moved on to Neverwinter, another free-to-play MMO that takes place in Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting approximately 100 years after the events in Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. A cataclysmic event called the Spell Plague has hit Neverwinter, destroying the weave of magic in its wake. Your hero answers a call to resurrect the Jewel of the North to its former glory, and therein begins the quest. Being a huge fan of Neverwinter Nights, my main concerns were focused on how the game actually fits into the world of D&D – ie, were they just copying the setting and races and pasting them into a basic MMO? The short answer is no. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Cryptic Studios has weekly talks with Wizards of the Coast to ensure that their lore and timeline fit into the world of the Forgotten Realms. In fact, WoTC has borrowed some artwork created for Neverwinter and released it officially as cannon. The game will also contain lore books, which will encompass history and characters from the Forgotten Realms. The gameplay in Neverwinter seems pretty basic on the outside with no tap-targeting and powers that function on a cool-down system, however there are a few unique characteristics that caught my eye. One of these items includes a meter shaped like a D20 that you can charge to unleash a powerful spell upon enemies. There’s also an integrated in-game calendar that shows off special events, dungeons, queues, and community affairs. As of now they’re looking to have basic classes with specialization options, including Control Wizard, Trickster Rogue, and Guardian Fighter. Race options have not been officially announced however I did glance a peek at a Tiefling! RaiderZ and Neverwinter are slated to go into closed beta shortly, and will be released later this year.

This weekend I got a sneak peak at two MMORPGs that Perfect World is currently publishing – RaiderZ (MAIET Entertainment) and Neverwinter (Cryptic Studios). We started off with some RaiderZ (pronounced Raiders), a free-...


Neverwinter co-op RPG becomes Neverwinter MMO

Oct 06
// Patrick Hancock
If you have a fabulous memory you may recall that way back in 2009, there was a rumor floating around that Cryptic Studios might be handling a Neverwinter Nights MMO. You may also remember that there was a cooperative RP...

BioWare got hacked

Jun 24
// Jim Sterling
You really don't need much more than the headline, do you? Yep, BioWare is the latest publisher that's had to email its users and let them know that "unauthorized access" has been gained. The good news is that the hackers got...

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