Neverwinter ‘Launch Date’, Despite Being Two Months Old

As people should be aware by now, I’m in charge of things. I mean, I write The Rules, after all. And come next update, you can be sure they’ll feature an entry about whether your F2P game is launched or not. Neverwinter, which I’ve played to what I’d consider near-completion, has just announced its launch date. No. Its launch date was the 30th April, when it launched, feature complete, and started accepting money for in-game purchases. 20th June is not its launch date, no matter how fast and loose they play with “beta” – it’s its first major update.

This first major update will include lots of new level 60 content for the kerbillions of players who are already at level 60 because the game has been out for two months. This is both PvE and PvP content, and called Gauntlgrym. It sounds like it’s lifting some ideas from Mythic’s RvR stuff, with multi-phase battles including resource gathering states, etc. It all sounds incredibly complicated – you can see the details in the trailer below.

They’ve also announced what they’re calling their “first content expansion”, which is of course actually their second content expansion, Fury Of The Feywild. Which they’re also calling a Module, for which they have a mysterious and currently pointless website. What we currently know is that it features the Fomorian Giants trying to take over an Elven city called Sharandar. It should be out in the Summer.

“Gauntlgrym”. “Sharandar”. “Fomorian Giants”. What have I become?

Here’s the Gauntlgrym trailer:


  1. Stitched says:

    Since you are playing a Trickster Rogue, did you see how badly they nerfed them this update? Holy crap !!! Reducing one of the top tier Daily feats to 60% base damage? Mein gott *monocle falls out*

    • The Random One says:

      I like how your post implies your monocle popped out from merely remembering how badly they were nerfed.

    • Phendron says:

      Rogues were absurd, nothing to see here.

      • Machinations says:

        Yeah, after their absurd balancing aka nerfing rogue into utter uselessness, I am done with that trash.
        Besides, it was always junk food..I knew I would get bored eventually, and no way was I going to give the, money. F2P is anything but and a terrible business model. The more f2p games that fail, the better.

  2. mipearson says:

    So, all those times a MMORPG publisher would release something and we’d all while “Oh, this is nothing more than a paid beta!”

    Welp. Neverwinter were honest about it. More of this, please.

  3. Funso Banjo says:

    You people, please tell me something:

    Does this use D&D rules as the other Neverwinter titles did? Does it use the same spells, feats, etc?

    • Stitched says:

      Nein! Uses a bastardization of 4e rules – hence your At-Will, Encounter, and Daily Powers. No 3.0-3.5 Powers/Feats here.

      • Pofruin says:

        You know what. Once Forth ed came out there where swarms of old school fans claiming that its “made for MMO”.

        Now they made MMO and ruleset looks like pale and oversimplyfied version of it.

        • Screwie says:

          Yeah as a 4e fan myself, it’s equal parts confusing disappointing.

          I guess now I know how Champions PnP players felt when Cryptic released Champions Online.

      • Zelos says:

        That’s not right either.

        What it uses is something entirely else from D&D, but has a D&D flavored coating on it. They used the names of characters classes, races, locations, abilities, major characters, etc, but they aren’t actually faithful to anything else.

        The stat system isn’t even close to the same, despite pretending to be.

        • jrodman says:

          I was pretty baffled by the effects of Charisma.

          • Jonfon says:

            It’s a Cryptic MMO. Bafflement of the mechanics is par for the course.

            I’ve still no idea what all the skills do in STO or what my best set-up is. I just putter along regardless.

          • jrodman says:

            Well, there may be that.. but I meant that Charisma offered my wizard:

            * Combat advantage percentages (If i flank an enemy, I do more damage for my charisma. Uhhhh maybe I inspire my collaborator?)
            * Critical chance percentages (OK this makes no sense.)

          • Screwie says:

            Wow that’s bad, I had no idea.

            The designers either corrupted the 4e rogue’s conditional CHA bonuses (which are primarily defensive or utility anyway) and then applied it to every class, or they just pulled it out of their bums.

  4. Jockie says:

    To celebrate this, they’re giving all press accounts a free bag of ‘goodies’ for ‘their continued support’. Including the Menoberranzan Renegade Drow and Heavy Worg (a mount) – and actually rather a lot more. Which is a bit mucky.

    • frightlever says:

      Meh. Reviewers get games for free. Here the press are getting paid content from a F2P game, for free and that allows them to evaluate it for their readers who may or may not go on to pay for it. If you allow that reviewers don’t have to pay for games you must allow for that. Which is not to say that reviewers getting games for free is actually ideal, but it’s the reality.

      • Jockie says:

        Nah the way the e-mail was phrased (and what I quoted above) makes it pretty clear it’s a bribe/reward for on-going coverage rather than enabling someone to do their job properly – in my opinion at least

  5. Njordsk says:

    I found my shorts sessions so dull I quit playing after 2H or so. Bland was written all over my mind, yet I can’t speak for above 5 level.

    • frightlever says:

      GIve Rift a whirl – first 20 levels are free and AFAIK there’s still a Raptr deal on-going to get the base game and expansion. (checked – there is) If you register a full game code ahead of them going F2P on the 12th you get perks for free. Anyhoo, here’s the Raptr deal:

      link to

      Basically download the Rift trial, install Raptr, register Rift with Raptr, start the Raptr client, start Rift, go into character creation, minimize everything and then go outside and sunbath for 24 hours or something.

      FWIW the Rift F2P looks relatively innocuous, though that is yet to be born out obviously.

      • trjp says:

        If he finds NW boring, Rift will kill him with sheer tedium.

        I love Rift but it’s SLOWWWWWWW paced after NW.

        NW is really an ARPG, moving around is important, it has action-based combat.

        Rift is old-school cooldown-based shin-kicking combat – I jumped out of a NW game into a Rift game earlier this week and it was like playing in treacle :)

      • RProxyOnly says:

        To be eligible for the offer, you MUST be ‘Experienced’, which means you have to have already played the game enough that you are in the top 60% of players… Wtf?

        That is simply THE most fucking butt stupid ‘offer’ I have EVER seen anyone ‘giveaway’……. What brain donor thought it would be a good idea to give copies of a game to PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAD IT AND PLAYED IT.

        Raptr have attempted the most brainless ‘gaming offer’ I have ever seen.

        AND you must live in an ‘eligible country”.. and ‘UK’ isn’t on the list.

        Rift always looked really boring to me anyway.

        • TheOx129 says:

          The idea is you sign up for Rift Lite (which lets you play until level 20), you then sign up for and download the Raptr client, then play Rift until you’re experienced (~14 hours I think). So you essentially sign up for the “free trial” (irrelevant since it’s going F2P soon), then play for 14 hours, then you get a free copy of the game (and more importantly, the expansion) and some cosmetic goodies. It’s actually quite a clever way to get people into the game, I think.

  6. Kinch says:

    Lolol, sorry. This game has become a joke. From widespread hacks and exploits to this… Skip this game, seriously.*

    I only played to level 29-30 (can’t even remember, haven’t logged in for a long time) as a trickster rogue (called Lea, hi RPS guild) and it was all so bland and generic, with unfun combat (as in, you are rooted in place when attacking, rofl) – nowhere near the polish of GW2, for example.

    *Disclaimer: it’s my opinion. ;)

    • frightlever says:

      I didn’t like it either and only played a couple of hours but I do recall a lot of manoeuvring during combat. Sure you were doing it right?

      • Kinch says:

        In Neverwinter, you can’t cast and move at the same time. You can dodge (more like somersault through space and time), and some skills involve a lot of movement, but when attacking you’re rooted. Simple as that. I missed so many targets because they moved an inch or two while I was using some slicy-dicy skill. It got really annoying after a while.

        Still, it’s not my biggest gripe with the game. It has a lot of issues and they surfaced really quickly.

        • Foosnark says:

          You can with some powers — the charge-up-and-release ones mostly.

          Enemies can’t move while attacking either, and they have a big windup. Which means a lot of combat, if you’re ranged, is playing keepaway. If you’re melee, well… sorry :P

      • aepervius says:

        You can move *between* dailies/encounter but as far as I remember you cannot move for dailies or encounter powers, so if you rely on them a lot , then you feel as if you are a turret.

        Heck even the at will are like that. Duellist flurry for example you are stuck in place while doing the flurry, and by default if you try to dodge you have to wait until the end of it. It nailed me more than once because it is quite long, and many boss/mobs can do a “red zone” skills quicker than the flurry ends. I know there might be a / command like for champion online to stops a skill you started, but I should not have to fiddle with that, a dodge should stop my skill in the middle and let me dodge.

    • Machinations says:

      While I am done with NW and it is clearly beginning failure cascade state, I thought the combat was heads and shoulders better than GW2, which to me is as fun as watching ants crawl up my leg and sting my privates. But, ymmv.

  7. trjp says:

    As JW is still playing, does that mean he’s bothered to fix the guild so that someone can actually invite people and – y’know – do guild-like things? :)

  8. Seregmegilmor says:

    Okay, just for saying this…

    No. Its launch date was the 30th April, when it launched, feature complete, and started accepting money for in-game purchases. 20th June is not its launch date, no matter how fast and loose they play with “beta” – it’s its first major update.

    …I love this website a hundred more times.

  9. Gap Gen says:

    The giant face shooting people with lasers is supposed to be funny, right? Because it’s amazing, but also very silly.

    • cpmartins says:

      You mean the Beholder? That’s as old school as it gets. But if a giant faced multi-tentacled-eyed angry looking thing started shooting lasers(disclaimer: not actual lasers) at me, I know “I” wouldn’t find it funny.

    • Svant says:

      Beholders(pictured) and the Giant Gelatinous Cube are probably the best monsters created =)

      • bstard says:

        What about them boars? They have bled for half the MMO’s first 10 levels!

  10. Krovlar says:

    I don’t get it, do F2P games just not get an Open Beta? OB is an important part of any MMO or Onlines launch, usually. Is it the fact that they allowed a cash shop during it? Are they supposed to wait until launch to implement the cash shop, and when there are problems say “too friggin bad, that’s launch for ya”? I understand most people treat them like launches, but if they accept me into a closed beta and I choose to treat it like launch and shirk my beta tester duties, that’s not on the company, that’s me being a terrible human being.

    I guess I just don’t understand how this is different than any other game. Dota has accepted purchasing entrance to the “beta” for over a year now, Marvel Heroes would have technically launches months ago do to their cash shop opening up…I am just a little confused.

    • Seregmegilmor says:

      Well, as far as I’m concerned, I’m okay with testing the cash shop in a closed or open beta….
      …Just not with real money.

      City of heroes allowed you to test the whole shop process, from buying points to spending them, but withdrawing from virtual accounts. I think blizzard tested D3 RAH with “betabucks” too.
      If you really want to support a game, there are founder packs and such that allow to “fund” the game while it’s in beta, but launching an “open beta” and instantly opening the cash shop with real money… I dunno but it feels wrong to me…

      (and I find it even worse that in Firefall for example, the cash shop already seems to use real money while the game is supposed to be in “closed” beta and items bought don’t always work… and I’m even more befuddled by players actually purchasing in-game items with real money in a closed beta when there _are_ founder packs, but well…)

      Besides, usually when you’re “beta” testing a game, you usually end the beta and launch the game by wiping everything to really start with a clean slate. However that becomes a problem when you let your “beta testers” put in cash for items like exp boosts and such that wouldn’t really carry over…

      I’ve always seen closed and open betas as an exchange, they let us try the game “for free”, and we help them debug it in return, either by actively reporting bugs in closed betas, or helping stress test the servers with open betas… With these practices, feels like instead they’re trying to milk as much money as they can from an unfinished product, and if there are problems, they can always say “oh well it’s a beta, there are bound to be problems yet”

    • stampy says:

      I got a beta invite to Card Hunter today… there is a great disclaimer about the cash shop:

      We may offer for sale Pizza, our in-game currency, during the Beta. BE AWARE THAT ANY ITEMS OR SERVICES YOU PURCHASE WITH THIS PIZZA DURING BETA WILL BE LOST WHEN WE RESET THE GAME. However, we will re-credit your purchased Pizza to you after each game reset. YOU SHOULD ONLY PURCHASE PIZZA DURING THE BETA IF YOU ARE OK WITH THIS.

      THAT is an F2P beta (though it is not open, but that could easily apply to an open beta).

  11. ScubaMonster says:

    They call it beta so that way when people bitch about things that get broken or need to be fixed, you can always point out “Hey, it’s only beta”. But they have been an amazing team addressing issues immediately and keeping the fan base up to date on everything that’s going on.

    • stampy says:

      They have been an amazing team? The entire economy imploded because of a bug that had not only been known and reported months before closed beta (ACTUAL beta) ended, but a bug that existed and had been exploited in other perfect world games!

      I’m sure there HAVE been issues they have responded to well… but they made a game with a pay model that make the economy far more important than it should be, and they shat the bed on the economy.

  12. Lionmaruu says:

    The game is nice but lets see if the “super-fix-patch” ,now on a test server, will fix tanks/fighters to a proper level to compare with rogues, wizards and clerics. I’m still enjoying the game a lot…

  13. Phendron says:

    Full Circle!

    Thank god for Pathfinder.

  14. nunya says:

    All I’m reading from this article is ‘wah wah wah I don’t understand what beta means’. Pretty shit-tier video game journalism.