Neverwinter Blues: It's Hard To Go Home Again

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor

I've got something of a love/hate thing going with Neverwinter right now. The game officially launched Thursday, June 20, but I still haven't logged in. In fact, I haven't been in the game at all this month, not since early May or so. I've even unfollowed the game's unexciting Twitter account, which consists of 1/4 uptime/downtime notifications and 3/4 retweets of people saying how much they love the game. I need less spam in my life, not more.

So now that it's truly live, what's keeping me from logging in?

I think that MMOs are fueled by a sort of momentum, especially right after launch – or in this case, Neverwinter's open beta “launch.” I played it pretty solid for about two weeks and then, right around when the Astral Diamond exploit and the rollback – which I wasn't affected by – occurred, I stopped. And I haven't been back since. My initial enthusiasm was spent, and after taking a couple of days off, I couldn't work up the interest to go back.

I think there were a few factors at work: the aforementioned rollback disaster and Twitter shenanigans both being minor, at least to me, combined with the “we're in beta, but you can still give us money” attitude and my friends no longer talking much about it (and presumably not playing it as well) all took their toll. Even the Foundry was getting on my nerves; being the precise writer that I am, every spelling error I see in a Foundry quest grates on my brain like nails on a blackboard and breaks my immersion worse than any glowing mark over a quest-giver's head.

I haven't dismissed Neverwinter yet; the icon is still on my desktop, begging, pleading to be double-clicked. I fully intend to get back into it, really I do, after I finish some of the other gaming projects I started (dude, the Witcher was $3.50 on Steam last week!). But right now, even after its “launch,” Neverwinter just isn't a priority for me like it was a couple months ago.

I think that's a hazard every new online game faces, especially a free-to-play one that's extremely easy to get into – and just as easy to drop. You've got one chance to hook your fan base, one moment when their laser-like attention is fixated on you and you alone, and if you botch that... well, they've invested nothing in your game, and there are plenty of other shiny things to grab their attention, so...

Perfect World made plenty of mistakes with its early handling of Neverwinter, no doubt about it. I'm not in the “Screw them, I hate PW, I'm never going back!” camp, but in today's crowded gaming industry, I'm also not sure how much of a second chance I'll give it when I've got other things to make me happy. For the most part, I've moved on.

It's not entirely Perfect World's fault. It's just natural to grow a little bored with a new game after you've been playing it for a while and that “ooh, new game!” sheen has dulled a bit. But giving your players reasons to want to move can be a mortal mistake from which a game might never recover.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (55)

Pathog3n 10 years ago
I'm very surprised no one brought up the completely bland, boring and skill less combat the game offers. I could play this game on a sega genesis controller it has so few abilities you can use at once. It's made for casuals, np with that of course but it's clearly who it's geared for.

asn0304 10 years ago
I totally relate. Something just went off about the game and I just stopped playing(or maybe it was DotA2). Now am playing RIFT and I think you guys should make a review for it.

ExHuman 10 years ago
your post is so melancholic, Jason: almost make cry about fate of poor Cryptic/PWE

Donald 10 years ago
I'm waiting to see how they will implement the newer classes, how gearsets will work(ex: multiple classes wearing same gear)

Just waiting. No reason to play at the moment, epic dungeons are pointless because the only endgame is pvp >>

I do like the game, but Im done until Fury of the Feywild releases.

Arieswar 10 years ago
Hmm.. well being that i am resided in EU region we dont have that much games to go on that actually lets the player get everything without spending real hard cash. haven't seen any other games but would love tips on other games that work in the same faction with a better f2p way. give me some pointers ;)

Meant no disrespect I just have not found any game like Neverwinter and such its not that hard to understand that to me and the rest of EU see this game as a true free to play.

After testing alot of free to plays i haven't found one that has the same system. (In Europe region)
Neverwinter is also a game that allows all players around the world to play on the same server, I love the new super servers or mega servers or whatever they are called its the new way to go i think.

Arieswar 10 years ago
Hate to be the one defending this game but here goes...

Cryptic has made two games, star trek online and Neverwinter they where released with the help of perfect world but the fact stands they have more or less nothing with each other to do at all.

PWI being a big money cow making it near impossible for players to play without paying up hundreds of dollars Cryptic has managed to set a new thing to the free to play model, a actual chance to trade diamonds for zen and sell for refined diamonds on the market.

This being said its the best true free to play model i have seen out there.

The game is in need of improvements indeed the fact that gauntlegrym bugged right at the launch and haven't really worked since is a downfall and that the total amount of coins i got from 2 hours hard work and the half hour dungeon on t2 gave me 7 coins kinda pissed me and my guild mates off.

Content wise they give you 60 levels of quite fun material and the ability to make your own maps in the foundry after level 15 that you can then play and level your alts up. I play the game every day but the fact that our guild has 365 members currently playing and we have a big community helps alot aswell if it where not for immortal legion (The guild) i might not have played this for a very long time because of the constant new balancing problems.

At the moment. T2 dungeons was upped from level 62 mobs to 65 making it nearly impossible to get it done in the promised 45 minutes and the T1 went from 60 to 62 im not sure why they did this since without the T2 gear you cannot do T2 dungeons making a huge gap between the under geared and the geared people.


I think the game can be good and is good and i play it everyday hopefully the bugs and the balancing issues will be solved with time.

I play beholder server btw look me up anytime ;)


View 3 replies
some random scottish guy 10 years ago
Why are you defending PW, are you serious have you even ever played any of there other titles.

Jason im sorry but stop talking crap no one on here seriously buys that bs. We are getting all to familiar with the Scams these company's commit.

The game is good enough, the way the company handled patches, bug fixes, exploits is an utter joke. Ive been on private servers who handle things better than PW.

Who in the right mind is going to defend such a crappy company who consistently lets there player base down on every single game they publish.

How can you say its not PW fault without giving a reasonable answer as to why its not other than stating its natural to get bored of new MMOs after playing for a while.

SWG - the mass did not get bored
WoW - the mass did not get bored
EVE - the mass did not get bored
Runescape - the mass did not get bored

people do not get bored of games they love due to as you claim natural behavior and those games listed above are just some MMOS that had longevity.

Im sorry Jason but ill say again your talking utter crap, and I think you know it.

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Denny 10 years ago
I loved this game, the combat is some of the best EVER; tight and reactive. However...

The classes didn't feel different enough
Rogues 1 shot everything in pve at lower mid and higher levels
The PVE isn't that challenging
2 character slots is horrid

Deathisnear24 10 years ago
It's also really bad with how shitty Great Weapon Fighter and Guardian fighter are. Most groups consist of 2 thieves, 2 wizards and 1 cleric. The tanking is pointless because you can't hold aggro and GWF's damage is just awful. Quality game design right there!

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bait 10 years ago
i quit the day before the ad crash. i also gave away all my stuff.
neverwinter's gameplay was great but the moment you get to 60, it's grind for gear and loot. and i wouldn't stand for any of that.

Pamela Anderson 10 years ago
game is easy, lvling is easy, quests are easy and stoopid, dungeons are easy ... so why i should stay?
where is challenge here? Ok if u have 10yrs ofc u will find challenge here.....

they are making more and more games for kids (6-10years IQ intelligence) and they are asking themselves where is money?

money is in our hands, hands of true old farts, gamers and gamblers, but we dont give our money to craps like most today new mmorpg. We need challenge, competition more hardness and IQ involved then u will find more stabile and constant player base.

If u made a toy suitable for kids, they will leave immediatelly when new toy released (what is normal child reaction), so why u are asking yourself?
but if u made toy for "older" generations that toy isnt more a toy it became HOBY..... REMEMBER THAT

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GamingMaster 10 years ago
well Neverwinter was going to be my best mmorpg but cryptic failed with this one ...

classes are unbalanced ( Great weapon fighter and Guardian fighter underpowered) some dungeons are impossible to complete for f2p players ...

If I would rate neverwinter I would give it a 3/10 ..

stopped playing it 2 weeks after open beta ..

NobleNerd 10 years ago
The game was fun for almost a month, about what I thought it would be. It is NOT D&D though and that is where it failed for me. Also the whole charge you to death and never fixing issues just doesn't sit well with me.

Kendah 10 years ago
Ok then haters, you don't like the game and feel disappointed..too bad for you cause many others still love it and still playing and enjoying it. Have fun getting disappointed.

Every game has something to feel bad about. No game is perfect, but that does not mean its a bad game. I myself has few things I don't like about NW.

Beside the game is still new, you should either stop whining and forget about NW or just wait few months to come back online & check it out again.

The game is a lot of fun and unique, hell I quit GW2 for this game. The most fun part is that this game reminds me a lot of GW1...a game I have played for 5 years.

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Captain obvious 10 years ago
Lol ! I uninstalled the game 5 days after launch: its not worth the time/money that PW wants

Tatsu Ayers 10 years ago
For me this game just fills me with mixed feelings. On the one hand there are several promises that were made and then never delivered, but all MMOs do that to some extent. It is just the brazen nature of it that is grating with PWI. Everything from sudden re-wordings of premium founder packs to half burried dev posts on the forums acting as errata for promises made via descriptive text for digital download sales. That was the start.

The Zen store prices were insane to start with. As of recently they reduced them to somewhat laughably crazy, but at first you had to be nuts to even consider a Zen store purchase. What they had to offer was nice, but just WAAAY insanely priced. Like "What are you even thinking!?!" priced at first.

As the weeks went on it was becoming clear that something was seriously wrong with the in-game economy and the exploits started really taking off. I mean it was kind of sad to watch at that point because it was a rapid rapid decline. It was painful to watch them deal with the whole thing too. It was many obvious things and a few not so obvious things that tainted me off on this title.

I have to be totally honest when I say that I like Cryptics games when they are handled right, but the union of PWI is not beneficial to their image. They just do not get Western gamers it seems. Every one of these missteps seems to stem from a fundamental lack of understanding for what the market here is craving. F2P is great and all, but you have to really model your shop choices and position yourself well. You have to ingratiate the player to get them to put up with you nickle-and-dime them on things that they want and not ream them for things they REALLY want.

They just don't seem to get that and it is hurting them a lot. You cannot force players to like what you want them to. It doesn't work that way. You will turn your game into a treacle-fest that trickles funds...

Arnold 10 years ago
shitty game

waste of time

Kimwer 10 years ago
I absolutely love this game, but yeah, it has its share of problems. Biggest one for me is that it is way, way too linear. You'll always be traveling through the same locations, doing the same quests on different characters. I guess it's fair to say that this game doesn't have factions, or separte race starter locations, but still, giving a player more choice in question would only enrich the experience. Skills are too linear too. For a game that lets you hotkey only 7 skills, there's just not a big enough choice for them. So, most of the time, 2 people with the same class end up with the exact same loadout and end up playing exactly the same. And my last gripe with the game is it's story, the main one to be exact. I, personally don't give a crap about it, but when I do, it's so generic. No climaxes, nothing big happens, it's very passive, and I know that it's kind of early to say this, but they should at least make it mildly interesting so people start giving a crap. But in the end, this game is still incredibly fun. I haven't had this much fun playing an MMORPG in a long time.

Guyshowz 10 years ago
i could agree more with this i played it alot at first but lost interest after some time i also think i have a short attention span and its really hard to keep me enticed not like back in the late 2000's when i was paying my monthly fee to wow

sethsamson 10 years ago
same here ... also ... with fire fall i got my desktop icon but prrrr ... i think that is what happens with game which are in open beta and don't put anything new .. story content etc ... u just get bored ... with nothing to do ... with unbalanced classes ..only one paragon path .... with cutout in the middle story line etc etc

while the game i love to going back i Path of Exile ... where u could say u doing the same thing ... but ... not quite .. and i love idea of acts ... ass in tv series ... such game could have multi pile of acts seasons ... and never get boring for me ...

SixthSith6 10 years ago
Thanks for all the sincere reviews everyone. I was waiting so long for this game, but after hearing so many (disappointing) details - I am glad that I won't be wasting my time until it improves standard.

Bic Boi 10 years ago
I, too, suffered from many of the blues that you did Mr. Winter. Once the rollback/diamond exploit happened I stopped and took a break to think about what I was doing playing the game. It hit me pretty quickly that there was a lot wrong with it, diamond exploit aside. So many bugs, so much unbalance (which is shameful since I rarely enjoy PVP in most games but enjoyed it here, conceptually anyways) and just the whole feel of everything being..I wanna say overpriced? The economy just didn't sit well with me.

The incompetent handling of the game's development was the largest part of my decision to walk away though, with all its downtime, updates that broke things and the feeling that they had 2 guys coding the entire thing (let's be honest it feels like that). I just threw in the towel. Too much wrong with it and certainly not worth my money or really, my time.

RyuKaiser 10 years ago
I'm in the same boat as you. I do enjoy the game, but the company keeps slapping me in the face with certain issues. Soft launch happened 2 months ago, now they say "Oh wait, you can't have Drow, that wasn't RELEASE, we're doing release now"! With all the massive bugs, the rampant exploiting, and the idea that they want to turn all items Bind on Pick Up instead of Bind on Equip, killing any sort of desire for end-gamers to keep playing... and, well, you get the idea.

The only reason I'm hanging on at all to this rotting turd is because I'm in a guild that plays it, and seems to think it's a great game. Even though all the boss fights are just mob zergs, and the game keeps breaking every time they update it.

reticle2020 10 years ago
This is the 3rd MMO i have tried from Cryptic and the it's the third MMO that they have made, that has completely let me down. I don't know what it is about Cryptic but they have a tendency to hype the shit out of their games and then completely miss the mark.

This game is just jumping from one instance to the next, there is no open world to explore or little secrets to discover, it's the theme park to end all theme parks. At least in most MMO's they break up the monotony by making each race a different starting zone or class has a different story, this game just pushes you down the exact same path every time you play it. Might as well be a single player game.

I'm just really sick of half assed games. Really in the end everyone has just jumped on this MMO band wagon to try and make a quick buck, where's the substance and originality in games these days. The gems are few and far between it seems. It's kind of sad, I really want to love MMO's but I'm starting to hate them, even dread their release. Sorry bout the rant :P

View 1 reply
Darkfire30 10 years ago
Get a grip and quit the whinning act its a great game has many players perhaps return after the expansion launches

View 2 replies
Thedevilr 10 years ago
I feel the same,i have lvl up my rogue 60 and stuffed him but now i don t really know wat to do with it ...i have create others hero but i stop .... wait a new maj making the new class ...

Allacore666 10 years ago
I still enjoy the game.

ArcticUrsa 10 years ago
I was and always have been a fanboy of the newerwinter games, I try to get everyone to try them so we can all play together and while my attention for the games is on and off, this game was a huge disappointment to me...

First off, enough of this tps "action" combat in mmos. The last like 5 or 6 big name games have all been third person shooter style action mmos and none of them bring anything new to the table. Sure, neverwinter has the Dungeons and Dragon's name, but they've completely cut out anything that even closely resembled role playing. They're all about your character having a few core skills and not much customization. Heck, this game actually took the time to let you know that you shouldn't even bother with the other 4 stats away from your class' core. By taking the big general classes, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue Wizard, and dividing them up into subclasses for the player at creation instead of as a class tree, I feel there is no sense of progression.
"Hey guys, I'm an epic wizard that woke up on a beach next to this other wizard and we've both forgotten everything but the same 20 skills." Its like we're joining the game late to the party and our characters have this huge untold story. It also bugged me that they went with a moba style setup, or, for a better comparison, Forge. Your hotkeys are laid out for you and that's it, you don't get any more, or less.

Combat wise the game feels identical to gw2, especially if you get that mod that gives you a tps style aiming system. The animations and combat movement blend in pretty much the same way and you have about the same loadouts the weapons in gw2 give you. Now I'm not a big fan of WoW style skills where you have 500 skills circling your screen and just mash buttons, either, but it felt like in Neverwinter I wasn't leveling up so much as unlocking features of my class.

A lot of people like this game, which, to each his own, but I was waiting on this giant sequel to Neverwinter Nights that was promised to us years ago and this is what it turned into.

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zakena 10 years ago
to be honest i enjoyed this game but as you say stopped playing when the rollback was done.
right now its on my desktop rotting with the rest of the other PW games.

right now im playing a non-grinding fantasy mmo Arcane saga .
their updates are good and 24/7 GM online that chats players monitors servers is just awesome .
so far not a pay 2 win . its the most eligible F2p out there ^^.

View 1 reply
Ryan Medina 10 years ago
I'm with you man. I got my character leveled fast, and then I had an epiphany. This is one of the only f2p games that has really good gameplay, but it's hounded by the limitations of having to do a micro-transaction (I.e. larger bags, banks slots, character slots, etc.).

Brindevie 10 years ago
Mounted !!!!

Well, I feel the same, I've got the launch icon on my desktop and still doesn't play it at all...

View 1 reply

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