Neverwinter Beta Weekend 1 Impressions: Fast, Fun & Addictive

Monsters Can Kick Your Ass

I’ve played a lot of MMOs over the last 13 years and mobs tend to come in a few varieties with a bag of tricks I’ve seen time and again. But there were a few in Neverwinter that challenged me like never before. The mage mob that teleported after every attack. The treasure chest that attacked me. The summoner who could call forth minions faster than I could kill them. All really fun, challenging encounters. Can’t wait to see what more awaits.

Companions Are Dodgy

Around level 16 you are granted an NPC companion. You get to choose from a tank, a cleric, an AE-focused mage, and a single-target focused wolf. Being a squishy rogue that needed to be behind mobs to do my best work, I opted for the tank. Unfortunately, he didn’t do much. Almost all mob encounters in the game are groups of mobs and Mr. Tankypants (you get to name them whatever you want) only managed to distract one at a time. I already had an ability that dropped a decoy that drew the attention of all mobs in melee range, so I’m not sure what my companion was doing for me that was so special.

On top of that, he kept getting stuck in doors and around obstacles, so here’s to hoping they improve pet pathing before launch. I also wish there was an option to swap out for one of the other base companions if you discover, like I did, you chose the wrong one. You can always buy new companions in the game (you have slots for 3), but that could take some time.

That being said, I like the idea of the companion. You can equip them with gear and enhancements. You can level them up and change their appearance. I just hope they become a little more useful in the future since the solo game is explicitly designed for you to have one at your side at all times.

There’s Always Something To Do

One of my favorite things about Neverwinter is that there was never a lack of things to do. When you first log in, you are presented with a welcome screen that lists quests to pursue, dungeons to queue for, zone wide events to participate in, top-rated player missions to try, and other events that take place throughout the day at specific times in the game. And though I had a few different quest lines to pursue, it didn’t feel like there were 20 different quests to run down, just 2-3 that chained together.

Also, there is an NPC in the marketplace that will list upgraded gear you should pursue and tells you how to attain it. That’s an idea every MMO should steal, uh borrow.

That, in a nutshell, was my weekend experience. And, before you ask, here’s a list of the things I wasn’t able to experience yet: crafting, PvP, raiding, end game content. With the exception of PvP, none of those were in the beta yet.

Two more beta weekends are coming in March. Hopefully I can get further with rogue, as well as try the two classes that weren’t in this round of beta: the Control Wizard and the Great Weapon Fighter.

Anything you want to me to look into during the next beta weekend? Let me know in the comments.

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2 Comments on Neverwinter Beta Weekend 1 Impressions: Fast, Fun & Addictive


On February 14, 2013 at 10:59 am

For next beta, you should look into D&D rulebooks and player guides before you start reviewing a game that is based upon it. Just my 5 cents.

Ron Whitaker

On February 15, 2013 at 6:37 am

@Aedan: As an avid D&D player, I can tell you that knowing anything about the rulebooks and guides is completely optional when it comes to understanding and playing Neverwinter. I played the entire beta weekend, and the only thing I noticed was that Encounter powers really aren’t ‘encounter’ powers anymore. Instead, they sit on a cooldown of 10-15 seconds.

Dailies become available when you amass enough ‘action points’ to use one. These are not like ‘action points’ in 4E, they’re just an arbitrary measure that you gain from attacking, dodging, etc.