Neverwinter Money Exploit Sees Cryptic Turn Back Time

By John Walker on May 20th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

It seems that Neverwinter’s had a bit of a weekend. The game was offline for five or six hours after very naughty players discovered an exploit that allowed them to make billions of the game’s in-game currency, Astral Diamonds. While that may at first seem problematic, but not too serious, this in-game currency can be used to buy “Zen” from other players, Perfect World’s virtual currency bought with real-world money. This sudden flooding of Astral Diamonds into the game’s economy broken everything. So the publisher is scrambling to fix things. By turning back time.

Buying Zen or AD within the game is done via a window that allows trades with other players – trades where you pick the exchange rate you’re willing to trade at yourself. So it is that the rate is open to fluctuations and adaptation dependent upon the scarcity or abundance of one or the other. A sudden flooding of the market with billions upon billions of new diamonds meant Zen prices crashed. And indeed everything within the game that’s bought with AD – including its most epic gear and mounts – became instantly worthless.

As a result, Perfect World have announced that they will be rolling back game time by seven hours.

Describing the scoundrels as “a very small group of players”, it’s explained that the exploit involved the auction house. What’s not detailed is that the exploit involved a really quite stupid bug in the game that allowed people to buy items for negative amounts. This meant the act of buying these items from the Auction House added Astral Diamonds to your account. By farming this, players were able to fill their planet-sized boots and go hog wild in the game.

In response, Neverwinter was taken offline until the bug was traced, killed, and tested. They then rolled back the very fabric of time itself to seven hours previously, meaning that everything anyone has done in the game since 5:20am PST on 19th May no longer exists. Poof, gone. However, to make this up to players, they’re creating a package of goodies for all current players to be handed out later this week. And they assure that “No one will lose any money they spent on Neverwinter because of this fix.”

One Reddit commenter explains how he took advantage of the exploit to make $7432, and then details what are being reported as really quite light bans. He boasts about how many of his accounts haven’t been caught despite using cheats, and how he’s only receiving a 72 hour ban.

There’s one bit of potentially bad news though. Players who unlocked a Nightmare Lockbox after 5:20am and got some phat loot from within, especially horrid if that loot was the Armored Nightmare mount, will have lost it. Any money/Zen spent opening the box will be restored, but the lucky roll of the million-sided dice will be lost to the ether. Bearing in mind how much money a player could potentially invest in opening such boxes to get that lucky again, or indeed how much they already had, that seems pretty serious. (It’s worth stressing that opening such boxes is absolutely not a necessary part of the game.) Currently there’s no satisfying answer for this:

“We know how much that would sting. We are looking into ways we can make it better, but we don’t have an exact plan yet. Stay tuned and keep checking here for updates.”

The reason it’s seven hours and not more is because that’s when the economy went kaput, rather than when the exploit began. Cryptic vow to trawl the logs to spot players who were taking advantage and spanking them appropriately.

At this point the Auction House remains offline, and clearly things are a bit of a tizz at Neverwinter HQ. It’s a shame to see this happen to a genuinely good game, and one that really isn’t exploitative of players with its minimal in-game purchasing. (There’s not a reason to spend a single penny on the way from levels 1 to 60 and beyond.) The rollback should remove the worst of the damage, but clearly there are going to be some after-effects here.

Enormous thanks to reader Wendy who basically did all the work for us with this story.

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88 Comments »

  1. distantlurker says:

    roll back. roll back. roll back. roll back. roll back. ROLL BACK. ROLL BACK. ROLL BACK. ROLL BACK FACE!

    • Shinikake says:

      Celestial coins were wiped out as well… sigh…

      • shrewdlogarithm says:

        Which could be tricky for some folks – you have 29 hours to hit the ‘daily’ window for a Celestial Coin – anyone who was close to that when they rolled-back could easily lose their ‘chain’ and thus all their coins…

        I guess a GM ticket would get you them back but it’s worth noting that they do ‘disappear’ if you don’t invokate(sp?) every 24hours _+5hours grace.

      • Entalyan says:

        They weren’t actually wiped btw, they just expired for most people. I just prayed when the servers were brought down, and I still have mine.

      • stampy says:

        I’ve got something worse than celestial coins… I didn’t know about the exploits, and on sunday morning, I decided to buy some zen for character slots etc. I didn’t have a chance to log in and spend it, and in fact never tried to log in until after the servers went down.

        Well, guess what, they rolled back my $50 worth of zen. They did not, however, decide to roll my $50 back to me. I am on my second support ticket… I get that they are busy, and would be fine with waiting a few days, but getting back a “sorry, we are not refunding zen” after I bought zen FROM THEM for money and they decided to keep my cash and not give me anything — yeah, don’t trust this company.

  2. JD Ogre says:

    It’s beta. Except for the dipwad bragging about how many of his accounts have gotten away with it, shouldn’t everyone be HAPPY such an exploit was found and fixed?

    • Vorphalack says:

      I’d be more inclined to feel disappointed with the prevalence of micro transactions in games allowing this to happen at all. The old days were simpler times, where we payed once, had fun, and didn’t have to worry about the economy.

    • distantlurker says:

      Yeah but Zen is their universal real cash system across all their games though isn’t it? As such it’s a not a beta system and arguably, based on actual cash it’s the most important and sensitive.

      Couldn’t someone have transferred them over to STO, swapped them in the market for Dilithium, run it through a few such trades across multiple accounts and games, wait a while and put it back into zen; all nice and laundered, sell it on to the gold sellers?

      Doesn’t seem difficult to do, feels extraordinarily difficult to track.

      I think the real “WTF?!” here is why on Earth is purchased currency in a beta anyway?!

      • darkChozo says:

        Zen doesn’t transfer across games, probably to prevent issues like this from corrupting other game markets.

      • Sarkhan Lol says:

        Because it’s not exactly a beta. They’re taking money, they’re banning people permanently for exploiting, there’s no wipe planned, meaning that the economy is probably fucked forever, and the big REPORT A BUG icon is gone. It’s in a beta state, definitely, the game clearly isn’t finished and they know it, we’re still missing a character class and a race even, but it’s out, it’s released, just under this ‘but not really’ aegis.

        Mind you, calling it open beta is a stroke of genius. I understand why they chose to do so, but as a side effect it’s total immunity from criticism no matter what crops up. MMOs should stay in ‘open beta’ for at least a year after they’re available in stores.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Yeah, whenever you’re taking people’s money you had better be careful with whatever might affect that. If people lost anything they paid for.. well.. if they don’t make amends quickly they deserve to fail.

    • darkChozo says:

      It’s an open beta for a F2P game with microtransactions enabled and a promise of no more character wipes. There’s really not much differentiating it from a fully-released game at this point, so it shouldn’t be surprising that people treat it as such. Besides, imagine having to replay several hours of questing (or even worse, losing a rare lucky drop that you might have to play another hundred hours to see again) based on the developer’s error. Even if it means that they’re squashing exploits, it’s not exactly a good feeling to have your time wasted.

    • Kinch says:

      It’s an open beta, which means public release for many F2P MMOs.

      From what I’ve read on Reddit and Massively, the exploits have been known since closed beta and rashly ignored by Cryptic.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        is this really true?

        • tyren says:

          Since this same bug also existed in Star Trek Online, was exploited there, AND THEN PATCHED THERE, quite some time ago, I’m inclined to think it is true. People probably tested to see if Cryptic was dumb enough to make the same mistake twice.

          Turns out they are. Or, more generously, they copied STO’s auction house code years ago, before that bug was found and fixed, and their communication between development teams is piss-poor.

    • Iceman346 says:

      It is not beta:
      - There will be no more character wipes
      - They are actively taking your money and allowing you to spend it on ingame items.

      Thats release. They are just calling it beta so that fanboys can cry “It’s beta!” when shit like this happens.

    • aepervius says:

      It is launched in anything but in name. See if teher was a wipe when they launche, yes that would be beta. But there won’t be a wipe, there won’t be a reset of zen, and there won’t be more feature, and it is open to the whole public, so de facto, it is as if they had already launched. I would wager that staying in “beta” allows them to have people defend the dev for obvious and obnoxious bug “hey but it is beta”. Wasn’t it google which stayed for some program 10 years in “beta” ?

    • DatonKallandor says:

      The expolit (and several more that remain unfixed) were known and reported in closed Beta. Cryptic released anyway, without fixing it.

      And it’s not “beta”. It’s “Soft launch”, aka “Launch but we get to use the ‘it’s a Beta’ excuse”

    • stampy says:

      They can write pre-alpha under the title if they want, but the game is very much released.

  3. Utsunomiya says:

    >There’s not a reason to spend a single penny on the way from levels 1 to 60 and beyond.
    Ha. Ha. Ha-ha.

    • Wombats says:

      Ha?

      I’m at 25 and haven’t spent any real money. Quite enjoying it. People at 60 say the same thing.

      • stampy says:

        Well, don’t venture too far… scrolls to teleport back to town are worth about one US dollar.

        • stampy says:

          Oh… and careful with those skill choices. $6 a respec, and all that.

          • shrewdlogarithm says:

            The walk (even without a mount) back to town is never more than about 2-3 mins so scrolls are unnecessary…

            Reskilling is expensive (it’s ZEN for spells and AD for feats) but there’s actually not a lot of scope and it doesn’t really matter who you choose when it comes just to levelling upto 60 so feel free to experiment, take a bit of everything etc.

            You can tinker with your char later when it might matter a BIT more but I’ve found that skill – as in paying attention and using your brain – are far, far more important than the way you spend your points.

          • darkChozo says:

            Aren’t teleport scrolls in the AD shop for relatively cheap? Besides, I wouldn’t exactly call them vital to gameplay, the zones are small enough that teleporting is more of a convenience than anything else.

            Respecs costing money is stupid and annoying, but I wouldn’t call it vital. They give you way more skill points then you actually need, so it’s not like you’re fucked if you don’t follow a guide from the beginning.

            I’m at level 35 on my main and have spent $20, and absolutely none of it was necessary to progress (half was on character slots because I like gameplay diversity too much, the other half was on gambling keys because I have no fiscal responsibility). I’ve heard that there’s some issues at very-end-game, and there’s a lot of stuff that’s designed to get you to spend money, but very little of it is at all necessary to progress through the core game.

        • sweetjer says:

          haha, so you came to this thread solely to spread disinformation, eh? Teleport scrolls are actually worth about 12 cents. That’s right. 12 cents. And they’re not necessary at all. You have the money for a 50% movement boost mount by the time it unlocks for you. Here’s the math for those following along: 100 zen = 1 USD. 350 Astral Diamonds (before the crash average) = 1 Zen. Therefore 1 USD = 35,000 AD (100 x 350). Scrolls are 4,000 AD. And remember, not necessary at all.

      • Utsunomiya says:

        Wait until you get to the “spend-10-bucks-to-get-a-single-lesser-enchant-and-you-need-dozens-of-those” phase.

  4. Wendelius says:

    I hope Cryptic is right and that this wiped out 99% of the exploit (which had obviously been around longer, but maybe not as widely known and used). The rest, they can probably clean up manually. In the grand scheme of things, I lost a few hours of gameplay and some lucky blue loot.

    However, taking a longer view, it’s good to see the game cleaned up without having to go nuclear. Here is hoping the post rollback impact on the in game economy isn’t too great.

    Wendelius

    • bluebomberman says:

      It’s unclear whether the rollback will solve the issue.

      It’s entirely possible the economy’s permanently broken. (DC Universe Online’s US servers have auction house prices in the millions, dating back from an exploit before it even went to F2P. I’m sure you can find other examples.)

  5. Echo says:

    The EXACT same bug existed in Star Trek Online. And that was a long time ago. This bug has been there since the start of the closed beta. Several people tried reporting it and had their reports “vanish”.

    The Perfect World QA and communication with players seems to be generally awful.

    • aliksy says:

      Agreed. I thought the game was a very solid ‘meh.’ Maybe it’d be more fun if you started with your class’ special thing, and the majority of the content was more exciting than “kill x of y” and “collect N of Z”.

      edit: Reply fail. This was in reply to someone saying they didn’t think the game was very good. Don’t know how it got here.

    • HermitUK says:

      Funnily enough LotRO had exactly the same issue in beta with its auction house; you could make bids on items below their minimum bid price (even bid nothing), at which point the AH, rather than telling you it was an illegal bid, would take the money and you’d instantly win the auction for no discernible reason. Luckily that one got caught before the game went live.

  6. WarderDragon says:

    Well, I disagree that this is a genuinely good game – it was one of the worst MMOs I’ve tried to date. That having been said, still sucks for those who enjoy the game. It always, always frustrates me that people are so willing to ruin things for everyone else to gain a fleeting advantage in a game.

  7. Ginger Yellow says:

    So the publisher is scrambling to fix things. By turning back time.

    Is that the sound of a roulette wheel?

  8. Lunarpac says:

    If I could turn back time
    If I could find a way,
    I’d take back those words that hurt you
    And you’d stay
    If I could reach the stars
    I’d give them all to you
    Then you’d love me, love me, like you used to do
    If I could turn back time

  9. Asurmen says:

    Thanks for Chering this with us.

  10. Berzee says:

    This is good — in my experience this sort of rollback is the best way to handle game-economy-breaking bugs and it’s what Turbine always did when critical problems would pop up in Asheron’s Call. I find it’s a nice blend of “dang, we messed up, we’ll try to fix it” and “players should know better”.

    (I don’t remember what they did to try and make it up to people, though I think maybe pack dolls originated because of that? Or perhaps, at least, golden gromnie pack dolls. But I’m not convinced that memory serves me ;)

  11. DrScuttles says:

    If only our trusted leaders could do this for the recession. Instead they seem to keep using the same save slot all the time, and that’s just bad form.

  12. sinister agent says:

    It’s just a pity this can’t be done in real life, huh?

  13. darkChozo says:

    I really don’t see why they committed to no character wipes at this point. Between this and a couple other exploits, the game could really use a soft wipe (everyone keeps levels and any spent Zen is restored but items, AD, etc are reset to a level-adjusted default). It would also keep the accusations that this is a launch by another name to a minimum.

    Tangentially, I’m also curious how they’re going to handle class rebalances and additions (like new Paragon paths) in the future, given that respeccing costs money. Seems like there’ll be hell to pay if you’ll be forced to pay $6 to get access to fancy new powers, or if they nerf your build such that it becomes completely unviable.

    • shrewdlogarithm says:

      You can’t ask people for real money on the threat of deleting what they’re spending it on.

      “Beta” is meaningless here – when they started taking money, they released the game properly – simples.

      • darkChozo says:

        A soft reset sidesteps the issue of stealing money from your customers – they keep their Zen, they lose whatever they bought with it but can always rebuy (Nightmare Lockboxes would make this awkward but I’m sure that they could figure out something. Probably let people keep things that they bought with real money, refund anything that they sold/used).

        I’m well aware of the beta/soft release issue, but it just seems like they’re shooting themselves in the foot by ruling out any further wipes. Three beta weekends isn’t enough for any inevitable exploits to surface, and it’s not like people are going to be pissed if they’re upfront with the fact that there’s going to be wipes.

    • Triplanetary says:

      Tangentially, I’m also curious how they’re going to handle class rebalances and additions (like new Paragon paths) in the future, given that respeccing costs money

      Star Trek Online, also a Cryptic game y’know, handed out free respec tokens to all players when they rebalanced the skill system. So there’s that.

  14. kevmscotland says:

    What would really help is if these companies didn’t have the real world money options functioning in what is a beta.

    Sure, have the system running so people can test items etc, but don’t have any real value to anything yet as its for testing purposes only.

    Surely everything will be wiped at the end of beta anyway no?

    • shrewdlogarithm says:

      They’ve said no – and it’s not a beta, it’s a “soft release” at best.

      They’re covering their arse and, as it transpires, it really did need covering in a BIG way

      TO their credit they’ve not played the “but it’s a beta” card yet – but they will.

  15. Bartack says:

    I would care if the game was good, but it isn’t, so I don’t.

    • shrewdlogarithm says:

      and yet you feel the need to tell us – not why you don’t like it, just that you don’t.

      We don’t actually care what you think – if you’d like to advance an argument then there are places and times for that – perhaps not here tho

      Web 2.0 has convinced people their opinions matter – they don’t – sorry to be the one to tell you ;)

  16. Darkwings says:

    Even ignoring the game economy for a moment,
    being in beta doesn’t justify anyone for writing trash code that is commonly used in books as an example of how you don’t handle stuff with databases and accounts, along with other validity checks to avoid times and dates such as 02-31-2013 or 25:00.

    Even if indirectly, they’re handling real money in that way.
    It’s disheartening.

  17. Beelzebud says:

    I have a few friends that have been trying to get me to try this. I tried it out for one evening, but all I saw was the same MMORPG cookie cutter design that all of them have these days. After seeing this, I now see absolutely no reason to try to find something redeeming about it.

    • Darkwings says:

      To be honest the only new thing about the game is the melee combat system but I’m not sure if it’s original or if it’s just the new trend being used in new mmorpg.

      If you look at Wildstar gameplay, it seems pretty much indentical.

    • Time4Pizza says:

      No worries, there is nothing new to find. They took every other MMO design, gave it some new graphics and a minimal amount of voice acting, slapped a D&D label on it, and called it a day.

      Wildstar may not be innovative in terms of combat, I don’t know. But at least with WildStar you can see they took their time to develop original classes, a completely unique gameworld, and other little features that differentiate it. And that is what it is all about: DIFFERENTIATION. You can’t put lipstick on a pig everyone else has seen ten times before and call it something new.

      Will WildStar be the cure? Who knows? We can say that Neverwinter is not the ground-breaking game MMO lovers have been looking for – just as SWTOR wasn’t, just as Guild Wars 2 wasn’t. So we keep looking for the “WoW-Killer”, knowing that we have not seen it yet, but hoping it is almost here after eight years.

      (and for all you people who love Neverwinter and are enjoying it, Great! I’m happy for you. 90% of all other MMO players will continue to look for something that blows them away like that first trip through the Dead Mines did all those years ago. When a new MMO can create that kind of magic, it will be deserving of the praise we so often see for these sub-par replicas)

      • Brun says:

        If you want to look at the future of MMOs, I suggest taking a long, hard look at EVE. The sandbox is the future. Right now its only problem is accessibility. Someone will come along and find a way to make that formula accessible, and that will probably be the next big MMO.

        Put another way, EVE is right now what Everquest was in 2003. Now we’re just waiting for its equivalent of WoW.

        • darkChozo says:

          I’m not sure if sandbox MMO is the future of MMO so much as it’s another niche within the market. From the perspective of a mostly-outside observer, sandbox vs. theme park MMOs seem to scratch rather different itches. Theme park MMO is about exploration, playing through and experience, and for a few, managing resources to solve puzzles (ie. raids). Sandbox MMO is more about carving out a place for yourself and PvP interaction. Both have the sense of a progressing character and social interaction.

          In metaphorical terms, it’s less like comparing Infiniminer and Minecraft and more like comparing Minecratft and Terraria. Both good, both similar in some ways but offer distinctly different things and appeal to different people.

  18. defunct says:

    Just disappointed that people that have made money with these exploits will be soon allowed back into the game to further corrupt the system. This exploit has been around since launch. Some people will be very well off because they exploited the system and nothing was done to them. Sadder still that this was a known exploit and it was allowed to happen.

  19. Time4Pizza says:

    Can we start writing the “Why Neverwinter Failed” article now, or do we have to wait the perfunctory month or two?

    • Brun says:

      Define “failed.”

      If “failed” means “failed to beat World of Warcraft”, then every MMORPG released since 2004 – and all that will be released in the future – were and will be failures.

      If “failed” means “had to go free-to-play after starting as a subscription MMO” then that doesn’t apply to Neverwinter as it has always been F2P.

      If “failed” means “plodding along happily with ~500k active players who enjoy the game and generating enough profits to support continued development” then I suggest you re-evaluate your definition of “failure.”

      • Time4Pizza says:

        Please scroll up. In my other reply I believe I defined failure. As I said, for you small fraction of MMO players who enjoy this game that is great. More power to you. Have fun with your Astral Diamonds.

        For the other 90% of us we have been waiting EIGHT YEARS. Eight years for a game we can play and say “THIS, THIS is BETTER than WoW!” No genre should have to wait eight years to have its next ground breaking game. Yet we have…

        And yes, maybe Neverwinter is bearing the brunt of our frustration after this long wait. But after disappointment after disappointment after disappointment I for one am sick of seeing these damn clones! Give me something new, something fresh. Surprise me one time. Make me feel like I’m immersed in a new world, with new things to discover, and new game mechanics to master.

        Until then I’ll slap FAILURE on every damn new MMO that gets released. Opinion, away!

        • Brun says:

          Recreating that initial high from the early days of WoW is basically an impossible proposition. The people who were there have already had those experiences, thus the feeling is never as strong when the circumstances are recreated.

          Another part of that is that WoW has sort of ruined other MMOs for veteran players. If you get even moderately involved in the game, you gain a basic understanding of how the systems behind the game work. Information gets data-mined instantly – any illusion of mystery is quickly dispelled. This has now become true of more than just WoW but of pretty much every major MMO – communities take what they learned in WoW and apply it to new MMOs. You’re *never* going to stop that kind of information from being gathered at ever-increasing rates. Maintaining that illusion is critical to making the world itself convincing – to making people believe it’s actually a world that you can go out and explore and not just a clockwork imitation whose every gear and spring is a known quantity. WoW’s popularity means that a lot of people have gotten very good at seeing through those illusions.

          I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to be waiting a *long* time for something that’s going to blow you away on the level of WoW. Personally I believe there won’t ever be anything like it again – some things may come close but ultimately the experience afforded by WoW was totally unique.

          • Time4Pizza says:

            You might be right Brun, you might be right. I’ll give you that. Maybe there is no recreating what WoW did. Personally though, I don’t believe that. Imagine a day where games are in 3D like the holodeck on Star Trek. You going to say that it would not be possible with technology like that to best WoW?

            That example is a stretch, but the point is technology and game making are getting expotentially better. That’s what mankind does, makes it bigger, better, stronger. I do not think MMOs defy our ability to push the envelope. The game developers simply haven’t done it yet.

          • Brun says:

            I think procedural worldgen may be promising but it will be a while before that is doable at the scales necessary for an MMO – for an exploration-heavy sci-fi MMO in the style of Noctis, you’d need BILLIONS of persistent star systems with tens of billions of persistent planets. In that example the “illusion” I spoke of is maintained by the sheer size of the playable world – it’s so large that even with an enormous fanbase it would probably never be fully mapped. But even then you’ll start to see through the disguise – procedural generation is still limited by finite parameters, which means there will be a finite number potential combinations.

          • nitehawk says:

            EVE’s world was generated procedurally, there are about 6200 systems. At any one time there are as many as 50k player online. Since most players live in the core systems, that leaves vast amounts of territory virtually uninhabited. Arguments on whether there are too many systems or too few depend on where the person lives.

            Generating millions of systems would mean the average population is close to zero, which mean the likelyhood of encountering another player is fleeting. While some people might prefer this, what would be the point of an MMO if you never encounter other players?

          • Brun says:

            I’ve never played EVE but I take it there’s a reason that most people don’t venture beyond the core systems – I’ve heard it has to do with people not wanting to get ganked (sticking to high-sec space). Obviously that’s part of that accessibility barrier I was talking about – the penalty for death is steep enough that it actively discourages people from venturing out into the world. To me this seems to be a failure of game mechanics as much as a potential problem with the idea – there’s no point in producing an expansive gameworld if you don’t provide meaningful incentive for people to get out there and explore it.

            That said, I think that having so many uninhabited systems would be a *good* thing in an exploration-heavy space MMO. It wouldn’t really feel right to go out and explore supposedly uncharted space only to find tons of other players already there. Ideally that space would be dotted with outposts that nearby players would visit, providing the social MMO side of things. There’s no point in being able to explore unless you can share your discoveries with people.

  20. Time4Pizza says:

    And as a loyal reader I am making a request RPS. You and Kotaku have emerged as the two big boys of the block giving gamer’s a voice. Here is what I would like to see, and I doubt I’m alone…

    Please write an article about the stagnation of the MMO genre. How for eight year we have waited for this mythic creature called the “WoW-Killer”. How everytime a new title comes out we hope and pray it is finally him, like the messiah reborn, only to realize it is not our savior.

    Who is going to end this madness? What game developer is going to STEP UP and dethrone the eight year old dinosaur with a stranglehold on this market?! Doesn’t like it should be so hard when you put it that way, so why can’t anyone do it? If WoW was boxer, he’d be 45 years old with wrinkles on his face and a bum knee. Why can’t anyone take the belt from him?

    It needs to be said, and not just in these comment boxes. It needs to be said that the game developers in this genre ARE NOT CUTTING IT. Enough with these games that claim 1 or 2 or 3% of this 20 million plus player market. Give us a new champ, someone who can grab 10 million players.

    Eight years. Where are the devs, where is the team and the company that is going to end this dearth of quality MMOs? I’m not the only one waiting I don’t think. Flame away haters, I know you won’t like what I just said, but it is truth and you know it.

    • Brun says:

      I would think the reason is pretty obvious. WoW created that 20 million player market. The modern MMO market is a product of World of Warcraft – that’s why it’s proved so impossible to dethrone.

      And you’re crazy if you think there will be another 10M+ MMO. The cat is out of the bag now, there are (and will continue to be) too many options that will only further fragment the MMO playerbase. This is exactly why WoW is losing subscribers in China – there are more quality MMO options there now than there were even just a few years ago, and it’s pulling people away and keeping new subs from jumping on board.

      • nitehawk says:

        It is also a big self-fulfilling prophecy. Publishers think that in order to steal WoW’s userbase, they must make a WoW clone. I fail to see why someone would jump ship for a clone. Some developers decide they want to be different and go for the niche of non-WoW MMOs, but even ones that managed to gain a loyal playerbase do not last long when the publisher realizes it will never pull in WoW style cash.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Two points.

      If WOW was your first MMO then it will feel novel and fresh. Every MMO thereafter will feel WOW-like. If you’re expecting to feel that initial novelty again you’re likely to be waiting a long time.

      More or less every subsequent MMO thinks of itself as a potential WOW killer. Nobody designs a game to be second. Unfortunately, nearly every single one suffers the accusation of being more or less “WOW-like” or “not-WOW” and thereafter, for many, feels slightly hollow and somehow lacking in comparison.

      • Time4Pizza says:

        I understand what you are guys are saying, but I’m not that jaded. True, nothing is going to be another WoW, but that doesn’t mean we can’t experience something new and exciting. Something that when you play it for the first time you have to just sit back in your chair and think, “That is so awesome that they thought of that.”

        No nothing will recreate that first MMO feeling. But something can create a whole new blown away feeling. A feeling that you are playing a game like nothing you’ve ever played before. If you think that is never going to happen than you think we will be playing the same kinds of games 100 years from now. That is just silly. There will be new and amazing games. There will be games that blow us away with the effort and creativity put into them. My question is, what’s taking so long?

        • Deano2099 says:

          Would a game that did things that differently even be an MMO though? I’m all for innovation, but has there been an amazing and revolutionary FPS in the past 7 years? Or RTS? Or Beat ‘em Up? If you only consider a game like WoW, that completely throws the genre up in the air, then pretty much every genre is stagnating…

  21. Rumpel says:

    again with the “this game is REALLY f2p” bs john…

    1) you can buy ressurection scrolls with minimal cooldown and chain them indefinitly to become literally unkillable. those scrolls ressurect not only yourself, but all your team members. and yes, they’re usable while engaging a boss. and its about 1 dollar per scroll.

    2) enchantment scam works similiar to runescape. combine several lower tiers to make one enchantment of the next tier. the higher the tier, the bigger the chance to fail and destroy your enchantments. the kicker: buy on-use warding stones to guarantee the success of your upgrade!

    considering one makes you unkillable and the other makes you immensely powerful, this is one of the worst cases of p2w i have seen in quite some time. just because you didnt look hard enough doesnt mean its not there.

    • darkChozo says:

      It’s the awkward issue of what counts as P2W in a PvE environment (well, the enchantments affect PvP from what I’ve heard, which is rather bullshit). P2W matters in PvP because it means that you’ll beat other players on the basis of something other than your skill. In PvE, it’s a bit more fuzzy; does it affect you if someone beat a boss because they paid for the privilege? Hard to say.

      I think the line that most people would agree on is that the game shouldn’t be impossible without paying (ex. the boss shouldn’t have an attack that is guaranteed to kill you, necessitating a rez scroll), and from what I’ve heard, Neverwinter passes that test. Whether the fact that people can pay to skip content bothers you or not is up to personal preference, it’s hard to say anything definitive on that.

  22. Bashmet says:

    Waited around for several hours yesterday for the servers to come back up but got bored and tried Tera. Loved it. Tera login server has been down all day today… Welp, back to Neverwinter!

  23. SeismicRend says:

    I have no interest in putting money towards Neverwinter because they don’t communicate with the player base on where the game is going. I’ve bought founder’s packs for Warframe and Path of Exile because the devs reach out and keep their fans informed. I love how Kickstarter developers maintain blogs and newsletters to keep their supporters engaged with their development ideas. With Neverwinter, the publisher serves as the community manager resulting in nothing but empty words or advertisements. I can understand a publisher consolidating some tasks for all their titles under one roof but community management should not be one of them.

    • shrewdlogarithm says:

      As far as the day-to-day running of the game is concerned, I’d say Cryptic were amongst the best there is at keeping people posted.

      They’ve posted updates to Facebook/Twitter/forums for every maintenence, server crashes and during the ‘economic meltdown’ even through it was the early hours of a Sunday Morning for them!?

      I’m guessing the lack of talk about developing the game comes down to it being more a commercial decision than anything else – they will release new races/classes/features when they need the money/when income tails off, rather than at other times.

      I heard rumour that the ranger will appear later this week (only Founders got it upto now?) – I guess so they can sell some extra char slots…

      Problem they have is that the game is pretty much the same every time you level so there’s a limited amount of times you’ll want to do it.

    • shrewdlogarithm says:

      By way of an update, the AH and Zen Exchange remain inaccessible which is a bit of a pain, but they’ve announced the freebie for everything who existed at the time of the apocalypse…

      Our Caterday Survivors Pack contains XP boosters, health, teleports and a cape, signifying that we survived a time-lapse around the catapocalypse.

      Meanwhile, people are still selling cheap cats – so – erm…

      Do I buy one? I hate cats but THE STATS!

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