Winter Is Coming… Eventually: Neverwinter Delayed

By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2012 at 10:00 pm.

The alt text has also been delayed - to 2014, actually. These things take more work than you'd think.

I came here to tell you about something pertaining to Cryptic’s Neverwinter MMO-that-nearly-wasn’t, but then – at the 11th hour – my post got delayed into 2013. The news is, of course, disappointing for many of you, but we’re confident that we can use the extra development time to bring you a more polished, visceral post with double the number of guns and sextuple the number of puns. In the meantime, though, I can discuss the delay of another, entirely unrelated game. Let’s call it Neverminter. And imagine that the N is upside-down.

So Neverminter’s been pushed from late 2012 to “early 2013″ – which is, admittedly, pretty vague. Once upon a time, it was a smaller-scale co-op-focused to-do, but then Smurfect World snatched it up and expanded it out into a full, allegedly action-based MMO. As consolation for the slippage, here’s a trailer full of small skeleton men and large skeleton men that appear to be made up of small skeleton men.

So that looks fairly cinematic. Perhaps Neverminter will spin some solid yarns, at least? Beyond that, unfortunately, I’m not seeing much else here that really makes this one stand out. There will be quests, dungeons, and (presumably) dragons, but even action-centric combat isn’t super rare in MMOs anymore.

That said, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. People pour thousands of hours of their lives into creating these things, and no one goes into a commitment like that saying, “Oh man, guys, I can’t wait to spend my best years making something totally derivative.” But it’s nigh-impossible to start out three or four years ahead of the rest of the pack, so – inevitably – many MMOs emerge fresh from the factory looking decidedly rusty. And that’s a damn shame. So best of luck, Neverw– er, minter. Also, remember that the N is upside-down.

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44 Comments »

  1. eaprivacypolicy says:

    I am more disappointed about the delay of alt-text than the delay of NW-MOO, but hey I can wait until 2014.

  2. LegendaryTeeth says:

    From what I understand from playing STO, the big draw is supposed to be the player created content stuff, like the original NWN.

    • InternetBatman says:

      They won’t get the best player created content if their game is too far removed from actual D&D. People have so many stories from their campaigns that they want to tell, and so many people want to make their own Baldur’s Gate. Since the system helps inform and create those stories, I don’t think an action MMO is going to be a huge draw for DMs.

    • ZephaniahGrey says:

      That WAS the idea, then they scrapped it as I understand it, and decided to try to copy Vindictus…which I didn’t really think was popular enough to copy.

  3. AlwaysRight says:

    Neverminter sounds like a Jeff Minter MMO where every character is a neon 8-bit llama.

  4. Keymonk says:

    Very good choice. Cryptic are known for crapping out their MMOs too fast for them to be any amount of polished, which is a terrible shame, because they have some good ideas. Just lack in execution, and their focus on quick development doesn’t help.

  5. aliksy says:

    Will this involve standing still and trading blows? Will it use an awful, awful implementation of D&D 3.x? (Even a good implementation of 3.x would be pretty bad, unless you like sleepy wizards who gain power exponentially)

    • Choca says:

      Nope it’s fighting while moving and awful implementation of the 4th edition.

      • aliksy says:

        At least I don’t hate 4th edition. As written, that is. I’m sure they’ll find exciting ways to fuck it all up.

        • Tuskin38 says:

          God, I hate 4th Edition. 3.5, now that I love.

          • Harlander says:

            Get your kvetching about 4th edition out of the way, because there’s a whole new edition coming to kvetch about soon

          • Luke says:

            @Harlander: The next edition looks a lot closer to 3.5 than 4 though imo. The character creation is a step back from “You have to select which super-powers to start with” to a more role-playing focused “Tell me who you are and how you know how to do whatever it is that you do”.

            4th mechanics seems like they would be pretty easy to convert to a cRPG, though. With your at-wills recharging every 6 seconds, and your encounter powers cooling down over a couple minutes or so.

          • Dave says:

            Anything after 2nd Ed is heresy!

          • InternetBatman says:

            @Luke The best explanation I heard for Fourth edition’s starting power difference is that your characters are already experienced when they start at level one, where in earlier editions your characters start out pretty much as commoners that found a sword.

            Personally I think that Fourth edition made combat better for pretty much everyone who wasn’t a mage or a cleric, and now they need to work on bringing the rest of the system up to snuff with the combat.

          • Luke says:

            Aye that sounds about right.

            I really do like the combat improvement but I think they went just a little bit too far. At higher levels you really are unstoppable.

            And while the playtest for the next edition only goes up to lvl 5 at this point, so I can’t judge how well it’ll work at those higher levels, I like the amount of flavour the new system seems to be trying to inject at the point of entry.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yep. People may like the earlier editions of D&D, but they are still pretty lackluster game design. Now 4th edition, it managed to fail in a far different way. At least it was efficient, and made a certain sense. But it was Chainmail and D&Dclix rolled in together.

  6. Prosper0_cz says:

    That’s just awfully cold to their fans, isn’t it?

  7. Vagrant says:

    I am going to bookmark this article, come back in December 31st 2014 , and be sorely disappointed if the alt text is unchanged. (due to extra delays. I should probably wait until early 2015 for the PC port & having to ship the alt-text over the pacific)

    Or in a more likely scenario, forget all about this by the time I get home from work.

  8. spectone says:

    I wonder how good the graphics for the lock boxes look in this?

  9. InternetBatman says:

    I hate Neverwinter as a setting, and they keep on reminding me why. Who names a village Grimhollow? Is it a thriving town? It must be thriving to have so many corpses, but what is its economy based on, sadness? Who wants to explore Grimhollow? Bioware made Trademeet sound more interesting and that was only for a few sidequests. Blech. Now I have to get the taste of that trailer out of my mouth.

    Here’s hoping Hasbro gives the license to a talented studio now that they took it back from Atari.

    • Emeraude says:

      Who names a village Grimhollow?

      To be fair, a quick look at actual, existing, village names would give you much weirder examples.

      • Arglebargle says:

        I spent part of a vacation once in the town of Maggotty. No lie.

  10. The Greatness says:

    I still can’t handle the lack of the word ‘Nights’ at the end of this game.

    • Skabooga says:

      I was hoping they’d go back to the full title: ‘Always Summer Days, Neverwinter Nights’.

  11. Josh Wanamaker says:

    Methinks this will be the last title Cryptic produces…unfortunately.

    • Unrein says:

      Why? They seem to be doing fine in the F2P MMO business even if this somehow manages to be a 100% flop.

  12. Vexing Vision says:

    I had a chance to play it on the booth yesterday for a bit. It plays like a perfect mix between Vindictus – which I enjoyed a lot for a few weeks and then never touched again – and DDO – which I enjoyed many many years and are returning to every few months with scary regularity.

    What seems to be missing, and is my major concern, is a lot of freedom in creating and skilling your avatars – but I’ll definitely be in there for a few weeks of really fun rush. The teleport ability of the pre-generated drow rogue character they let you play is hilarious fun.

  13. .backslash says:

    So, that would be Иeverminter, then? Nope, never heard of it.

    Anyway, I’m cautiously optimistic about NW, the combat seems fun and I’m really excited to see the forgotten realms again, even in their silly 4e state.

  14. Arglebargle says:

    While Cryptic being involved made me throw salt at the previous incarnation of this title, the old build seemed like something that could possibly be — innovative. This new one sounds like a something to waste a week or two on.

    I guess maybe it’s just Cryptic being hoisted on their own petard.

  15. Atrak says:

    Perfect World.. definitely not interested.

  16. Laythe_AD says:

    Perfect World ownership does not bode well. And frankly, I don’t want this. I just want a Neverwinter Nights sequel that builds stable modules that don’t crash at every little thing, has a usable control interface, and doesn’t just obliterate the massive community the first game created. Or well, rebuilds it, I suppose.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Neverwinter Nights 2 might have been a mess when it came out (waited to buy it), but it’s not now. And there are some really, really impressive modules, so I doubt the community was “destroyed.”

      • paddymaxson says:

        It’s still a monstrously poorly optimised game with ugly character models and limited choices available for character design. Some of these problems are solved by mods. The game’s biggest weakness was the terrible performance, NWN1 played on crap PCs at the time, NWN2 played poorly on good PCs at the time, that really hurt the community as highly detailed scenes would run like turds on good PCs. I might try it out on my current box which is a £1300 self built, overclocked monster, I bet it still doesn’t run at a constant 60 FPS on the campaign.

        I loved NWN. I cut my teeth as someoen with interest in content creation, and as someone with interest in online worlds (For me, a NWN PW was my first “mmo”). NWN2 was buggy, the tools were fiddly and unintuitive and the game ran really badly and suffered from sngle player lag (using the WASD to move made caused me horrendous rubber banding even in single player). It’s better now, but it’s still quite bad.

        Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll never see another game in the mold of NWN1.

  17. paddymaxson says:

    I’m worried about this sucking.

    When it was first announced (as a co-op MMO) they talked a lot about their creation tools (The idea was a hub city where you entered dungeons that were user created, using a much updated version of the Star trek Online tools). Now it seems like all they talk about is the action based combat. The creation kit pretty much never gets mentioned, and that was the bit I was interested in because well…it had the Neverwinter name on….and a toolkit, that’s kind of what “Neverwinter” means to PC gaming in my eyes. (Note: I know this isn’t actually afiliated with Neverwinter Nights, but I was hoping it would give some of the same feeling after a somewhat dissapointing NWN2).

    Edit: the only good news is that it’ll be F2P, and they’ve stated it won’t be Pay to win. so at least I can TRY it and see if it appeals to be without feeling like i’ve wasted my money.

  18. Zyrxil says:

    But wait, it’s “Neverwinter”, so actually, Winter is eventually…Not coming.