Neverwinter went into wide-open beta on April 30. How is it? It’s still a bit early to tell, but here are some initial impressions and random thoughts.
1. It’s not really a beta.
So let’s get this straight. On April 30th, Neverwinter was made available for everyone to play, there will be no character wipes, and there’s no end date for this “beta”. That doesn’t sound much like a beta. That sounds like a release.
For whatever reason, Perfect World (The publisher.) and Cryptic (The developer.) is calling this a beta, but it’s not really. Wink. Wink.
2. Nice character creator, but weird looking characters.
Cryptic games always have nice character creators and Neverwinter’s is pretty nice, too, with lots of options. Unfortunately, the base characters are weird looking. If you look close, the proportions are wrong – legs are too long, necks too short, arms sorta gangly, and heads are a shade too small. Maybe you can fix all this in the character editor, but the default character builds look a bit odd.
3. There’s a ton of stuff to do.
There’s an amazing amount of different things to do. There are quests, instanced skirmishes and dungeons, and PvP. When you get tired of that, you can craft or do quests to get additional loot. There are so many options to entertain yourself at the early levels, you can easily out-level your quest line.
4. Animations are awesome.
The combat animations in Neverwinter are some of the most visually cool animations in any MMO.
5. It’s pay to win and time to win.
There are two things that might hurt this game in the long run. One, you can buy yourself all the great gear you need. Two, the more time you spend in the game the better your rewards, literally – the game gives you rewards for just spending time in the game.
Pay-to-win tends to hurt PvP, since people can just gear up if they have the dollars to spend. Watch out for the 1%.
Time-to-win tends to hurt the game in the long run, since casuals and people who come in months after launch can never catch up to those who can spend hours in the game.