Could Being A Neverwinter Founder Make You Drow-sy?

I spent some time typing experimentally into the headline bar “…Wants You To Founder Its Beta Weekend… Founders Keepers… Beta Found Than Neverwintered” and so on. But none of it made any sense. And that is what I came up with. You know. Because drow. Sorry. My powers are gone. Fortunately, by returning to a nest made of shredded RPGs, held together with mucus and bad dreams, those powers can be regenerated. I’ll retreat there, probably around February 8-10, March 8-10, and March 22-24, which is when Neverwinter‘s beta will take place. With its user-generated content and D&D trappings, it should be a healing sort of environment for discombobulated old nerd-wraiths like me. The more excitable among our kind – and those with wallets full of platinum – will like invest in Founders Packs, which are fashionable pre-order garments of the online-gaming catwalk. Or something.

Trailer can be found in the Underdark below! Giant armoured spider mounts from Menzoberranzan! Look over there! *vanishes*


  1. Craig Stern says:

    Really? They timed their last beta period to overlap exactly with PAX East. Bad timing, that.

  2. JFS says:

    Oh come on. Drow.

    • Werthead says:

      * rolls saving throw to resist posting obligatory COMMUNITY drow-centric video *

      * fails *

    • Kerchenko says:

      But none of it made any sense. And that is what I came up with. You know. Because dro

      That sentence actually makes sense now.

    • Nim says:

      Drow makes sense from a business perspective. Add a Drow (preferably female) to the cover of any magazine and sales jump upwards dramatically.

  3. db1331 says:

    That headline should really have been kept Underdark.

  4. infernalmachine says:

    WTF? I have to buy a $199 pack to play as a Drow? What a gigantic ripoff.

    • Martel says:

      Wow, making that Sim City preorder sound like a steal

    • dE says:

      The cynic in me is chuckling at the prospect. I reckon even a 200$ pricetag wouldn’t stop the flood of Drizzt Do’Urdens in the game. Nothing can.

    • SpakAttack says:

      Holy crap! $200!

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS! Wow, that is one serious leap of faith right there.

    • DiTH says:

      Seriously.The next step to Release Day DLC is these Un-Limited Editions.

      If i email them and ask them to remove from my game 1 playable class,1 mount,1title,1 companion,17 items,1 bag and dont give me coins from the starter edition are they going to pay me 180$ instead? Cause apparently thats what i mentioned above cost according to them.
      Its a sweet deal for them i tell ya.

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    • vexis58 says:

      You don’t, actually. Drow are one of the main playable races in the game. This is just a character background that you can use if you want your drow character to specifically be from Menzoberranzan.

    • neolith says:

      ‘Gigantic’ doesn’t quite cut it – this ripoff is way bigger.

    • RoAE says:

      At first I was like “ripeoff!”
      Then I was like, *wait then there wouldn’t be a flood of 10 year old players with drow character*
      Then I was like, “Yes Tieflings aren’t going to be $200!”
      Then I remembered, Its 4th Ed Tieflings not 3rd Ed and that 4th Ed Tiefs have become the new Drow, “FUCKING GOD DAMMIT!”

      Guess I’ll be playing Half-Elf…..

    • Wisq says:

      Status symbol. The higher the cost, the better, in the eyes of the people who would pay for it.

      • P.Funk says:

        You have no idea (or maybe you do) how many people went on and on about their stupid Collector’s Editions in the TOR forums. It was like “OMG, I paid for this CE, I can’t believe you’re going to let them have something that resembles my special VIP vendor!”.

        Oh and the CE symbol used in their forum signatures, like that would actually convince me to listen to what they say.

    • Arglebargle says:

      I kept thinking this was a parody piece, waiting for the punchline at the end. I guess maybe self parody counts, but not up to the tune of $200….

  5. RedViv says:


  6. Yosharian says:

    Oh man this can’t die fast enough


    Although this game actually has nothing to do with D&D so it doesn’t even work as a bad pun

  7. Jockie says:

    Jim rolled a 1 for pun creation.

  8. misterT0AST says:

    Is the voice trying to be funny without telling any jokes?

  9. Ulkjen says:

    Drow? Really? Pay THAT much for another reskin of human? Ugh. Can we get some non Human + skin races? Sometime? Someone? Please? Getting sick and tired of ‘Human’, ‘short Human’, ‘Human with pointy ears’, ‘green Human’, etc.

    Dont care if the races are generic. But i liked the argonians from morrowind / daggerfall. Or hell, the charr in gw2 are done amazingly well. Etc! More non ‘human + skin color / ears / beard’ please. (Note, i love my dorfs. Bout the only ‘human’ race i like.)

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      Right, because lizard-man and lion-man are totally fresh and interesting character concepts.

      • aliksy says:

        As opposed to…? Animated objects? Shapeshifter-that-takes-shapes-that-aren’t-humanoid? Collection of swirling lights/bugs/something?

        I did play a mud once where the shapeshifter race would turn into painful things and use their bodies to attack, but that was all text.

      • RedViv says:

        Lion-*bovine*-folk, thank you very much.

      • Ulkjen says:

        Sure, they arent fresh character concepts (Argonians / Khajiit). But honestly, how many games out there are pretty much 9 different *skins* for the human body? In TESO, they are even squishing in the snouts of the argonians so they have flat faces like a human. In essence, every single race is ‘Human’ with slight variations -of the skin-. I would like to see more model variety TYVM! I like playing big beastly beasties. Something thats *Not* human.

        I have a few exceptions to this personal rule. I love dwarves in almost any game. I also like Karok from Vindictus quite a bit too. But karok just appeals to my ‘YOU BE SMASHIES’ side :3. But so far? Thats the extent that i enjoy of ‘human’ models.

        There are games out there with considerably unique races in the fact you can play them. Any game that lets me play something decidedly non human is a +. Doesnt matter what it is. Another game out there thats neat? Istaria. Playable dragons. In an MMO. You arent the rider or some other bull like that. You *are* the dragon. There are even questlines to getting older. Its dated! Sure. But seriously, no reason that almost every MMO that comes along forces you to play 9 variations of human + some difference in body size or color.

        • Brun says:

          The problem with doing this is gear. If you have 9 physically different races you have to model every piece of gear in the game to scale and look correct on each race. Adding non-humanoid races to the mix adds more work because it’s no longer simply a scaling/positioning issue. Art asset generation is usually one of the most expensive parts of development in MMOs (in terms of time, and therefore labor hours). This is why the overwhelming majority of races in MMORPGs are humanoid.

          • aliksy says:

            Meh. Fuck gear. I’d rather have fewer pieces that are more interesting/distinct than 500 slightly different weapons that will be thrown out after 2 levels.

          • Arglebargle says:

            While this is absolutely the case, just going so far as to add a few variations would really spice up the characters. A couple of different head types (that used the same headgear) and a doglegged skeleton and you could have something like Argonians and Kajits with a minimum of extra work. But we can see that they dumped that in the move from Morrowind to Oblivion.

            Anyway, Neverwinter has the issue of following pedestrian D&D convention. Not really much other than funny looking humanoids.

          • Premium User Badge

            gritz says:

            Arglebargle: “Anyway, Neverwinter has the issue of following pedestrian D&D convention. Not really much other than funny looking humanoids.”

            There’s all sorts of cool D&D races they could have gone with. Thri-Kreen, the multi-armed giant bug people. Shardminds, sentient crystals that have willed themselves into their forms. Genasi, who are humanoid but manifest fantastic elemental properties like fiery hair or skin made of stone. Wilden, plant people with capes of leaves who change colors with the season. Kenku, giant intelligent ravens. Dragonborn, Tieflings, Revenants, Pixies, Satyrs, Changelings, Wildens, Warforged. Bullywugs, Minotaurs, Kobolds, Bladelings…

            There are tons of crazy non-whitebread player races in the current edition of D&D. I expect approximately zero of them to end up as playable races in this game.

          • Ulkjen says:

            Oh yes, i know about the modeling costs and all that. I know there are costs to doing it. Doesnt change the fact that I am getting sick of seeing human, elf, elf, elf, elf, gnome, dwarf, green human. I am happy with how GW2 did it. Very pleased. So i play that game. I like mah big n beefy tauren for wow. I like my choice to not be human, or one of the 4 skins of human+pointy ears. Or the short human with a giant noggin.

            Again, Istaria is a great game to look at. Dated and a very small dev team, but i like my choices. You can be a flippin -fairy- in that game. Thats like, maybe a foot tall and floats around in the air. Or you could be a typical human race. Or a lizard thing, or a cat thing, or a dragon. Lots of choice. I like it. I like my choice. I would like to see, like say, Tengu in this. Not sure if Tengu was restricted to pathfinder or what. I know Gnoll isnt!

        • RedViv says:

          Greater diversity in looks of playable races would be appreciated, and we don’t even need to go that far – for sake of the modelling team, for once.
          To me, Skyrim shifting back to the exotic way that Elves were supposed to have in that universe, as well as the Gaelic aliens in Dragon Age II, were among the most welcome changes in art lately. The Forgotten Realms kind was getting really dreadfully boring, always just Generic Human With Pointy Ears, in various shades. Heck, most artists don’t even include any kind of varying facial features. It’s just off.

      • Lemming says:

        Except that they are, because when was the last time you ever got to play one?

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          From 1990’s Wizardry games to modern Elder Scrolls games… Pretty ubiquitous archetype.

    • frightlever says:

      How about a race based on Ronal the Barbarian? Entirely invisible except for the codpiece. Codpieces could be the new hats. Best wash them first though.

  10. elevown says:

    Im realy interested in this game- mainly because it actualy has creation tools- tho we dont know how powerful they will be- might be realy limited like the CoH one was..

    Even tho i’d love early access to the foundry and it has other cool stuff there is no way id pay $200 for a game in advance that I dont know that much about.

    The $60 guardian pack – which also comes with mount, pet, some gear and crystals etc seems like a much better and safer deal.. Shame no foundry access tho.

    Does anyone know if everyone will get foundry (creation tools) acess once the game lauches or will you have to buy access to it?

    • Dequixotic says:

      Foundry tools are automatically unlocked once you get a character to level 15.

  11. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Did I read that right, 750,000 Astral Diamonds? Assuming the standard D&D conversion rates, that comes out to 7.5 billion gold pieces.

    I’m sure that will be well balanced.

    • elevown says:

      What conversion are you talking about? Presumably these astral diamonds are their In game microtransaction shop currency.

      I very much doubt you can buy gold with them- it will be like 50,000 diamonds for a 1hr xp boost scroll or whatever.

      So im sure its still alot you get to spend in their shop, unless they have messed up none of it will be things that unblanace the game- just convenience things and skins, mounts etc.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        It’s a D&D joke. He’s talking about the AD&D conversion rate between Gold Peices (which is just one of three or four types of currencies) and diamonds, which are worth 100,000 gold peices.

  12. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan.

    I don’t care too much about this game. It could be good, but it’s too early too tell. But I do like saying Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan.

  13. derella says:

    Just to be clear… This isn’t really a pre-order, since the client for Neverwinter is 100% free. It’s buying a bunch of items from their cash shop, before the game launches.

    From what I’ve read, the Drow race(also in the game, apparently) is not the same as the Menzoberranzan Renegade race(which is what comes with this pack). Basically, it’s a Drizztier version of the Drow. Or something.

  14. Tei says:

    I am sure that under all the cheesy theres a nice game here to play.

  15. welverin says:

    What I’d like to know is why those alleged drow are so pale? Did their skin get bleached, does someone just not know what black looks like?

    • empty_other says:

      My first thought as well.
      Other games have “gray elves”, but i thought Forgotten Realms elves was pitch black.

  16. Neurotic says:

    Well, I put down my 30 Euros today for the basic jobbie, and well-satisfied I am too. Ye can never have too much D&D in the house.

  17. Lemming says:

    Since when do the Drow have massive fucking ears like that?

  18. ScatheZombie says:

    According to their website, there is this $200 pack (worth $549) and a $60 pack (worth $149).

    But, going over the differences between the packs I noticed what you get with the $200 version over the $60 version is …

    1 exclusive playable race
    Founder’s Armor Aura (unique armor vfx)
    VIP Game Access (priority login)
    VIP Moonstone Mask Tavern Access (whatever that ends up meaning)
    12 additional inventory slots
    2 extra character slots
    1 extra stat item (per character)
    Foundry Access
    and … 625,000 more Astral Diamonds

    And somehow the above is worth a whopping $400 in estimated value?
    That tells me two things:
    1) Everything is behind a pay wall. I mean, one of the major features of the game is user-generated content but The Foundry is only available in the $200 pack – not the $60 one. That means, for the majority of users a key feature is behind a pay wall.
    2) It’s expensive as all hell. I’m sure most of the difference is in the additional 650,000 Astral Diamonds, but god damn is that a lot of monetary difference for very little actual content. Astral Diamonds aside (because I have no idea what the conversion rate is) I see maybe $50 worth of stuff there – not $400. Plus, you don’t give people hundreds of thousands of your in-game store currency if you don’t expect them to spend it; *all* of it.

    Think this is a firm pass until I see more of their monetization scheme – but so far it sounds really cash-grabby to me.

    Addendum: I also noticed that the free Drow race is literally just the elf model with dark skin while the $200 pay wall Drow is actually an entirely different model that looks a lot more like how most people envision Drow to be. Food for thought.

    • derella says:

      I did some digging around on their forums, and found out that Foundry access is granted at level 15 normally… But this pack lets you access it at level 1.

      Also, the free drow race and the Menzo-Renegade one are the same — the latter is a “racial background” that is added to the base-drow, which grants faerie fire, a unique costume, and a tattoo.

      • P.Funk says:

        So either everything in this pack is a stupid ripoff, or its an overpowered price walled pack of injustice.

        Lets hope we can do both and hate it in a way that warps space and time!

  19. Shooop says:


    Is there a game under all this nonsense?

  20. Syt says:

    If the business model is anything like in Star Trek Online or Champions Online (also developed by Cryptic and made F2P when Perfect World took over) there’ll be F2P (but gimped in races, classes, etc. – which you can buy with in-game currency that you pay for with real world money), and there’ll be a “premium” subscription that gives full access.

    In addition, they’ll probably have a store with vanity items, temporary buffs, additional races/classes etc. Pre-order/special stuff will sooner or later appear there.

    Interesting that they add the Forge right away – it’s about the only thing that kept me peeking back into STO now and then, as the official content there was very slow to be released (if ever). I’m smelling that they may have few plans for creating “official” content and want to rely on crowd sourcing that aspect. Which can be fine, but which can backfire.

  21. Narzhul says:

    Guy sounds like a generic late-night commercial guy.

    If there’s any MMO I hope will die, it’s this one. Not even TES:O pisses me off like this game.

    • paddymaxson says:

      I’m secretly hoping it’s not shit. I’m actually OK with f2p MMOs so long as they don’;t utterly try to fuck me, I would have gotten a founder’s pack, but not at £35. I don’t spend that much on new full price releases, why the fuck would I put it down as a preorder?

  22. paddymaxson says:

    I’m super confused as to who the hell is going to pay $60 for a free to play game they’ve never tried let alone $200, isn’t this “founder’s pack” culture going a bit far? I could understand if they had an open beta then offered a cut price “founder’s pack” but $200 gets you into the beta, what if you get into the beta and the game sucks? I’m sure most rational people are also thinking this.