This past June at E3, I was privy to the wonderful treat that is Perfect World's upcoming Neverwinter MMO, a vast free-to-play title with exquisite artwork and adrenaline-pumping combat animations that has since left me reconsidering my general disinterest in the genre of MMO. Based in the Neverwinter canon universe and heartily supported by the official Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game made an appearance at this year's PAX Prime to show off a very important new feature that encapsulates the soul of the D&D universe itself while providing countless hours of additional entertainment.
Called "The Foundry" this new feature is an in-game editor that allows users to easily create, test, and publish original events and missions within Neverwinter. While its use evokes comparisons to GECK and the Steam Workshop, The Foundry actually operates and can be tested while you're playing. And while it's currently (and disappointingly) limited to mission building, there stands a solid chance that armor, weapons, and other items will be included in the future. The Foundry will also keep users informed through its interface of popular new content, and even award achievements (for instance, a gold frame on your profile if you've creative five popular mods).
Having given it a look and used various Bethesda modding tools before, I can say The Foundry is better organized and easier to use for a novice. Their particular use of drop down menu trees and visual item placement makes level building extremely easy. The customization options for costumes and characters and maps also ensure that each creation can maintain a high level of individuality. I was also impressed with how ridiculously easy it was to input dialogue and mission specifications. With The Foundry there will literally be no reason why you can't create your own content.
I'm very excited about this, it'll add a lot of longevity and fresh material to a game in a genre marked for its endless (and boring) grinding. And given that Dungeons & Dragons is ultimately about creating your own adventure, I think this is a perfect addition to the game's features. I can't wait to see where they go with this next.