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Neverwinter is the spiritual successor of Neverwinter Nights, a fan favourite in the computer RPG genre. As an action MMO, it attempts to take the series in a different direction, and ramps of the action and the story to make an epic journey for players to embark upon. Lets take a couple of minutes to look at the first 20 levels, and my experience in game after about 12 hours of game time.

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Combat is fun and responsive. The lack of tab targeting is a fun change, and players can destroy their opponents on the battlefield with fun animations and spell effects. No tab targetting does have some issues, and healing is where it’s most apparent. Finding a target in a group is a challenge that distracts from the gameplay. I’ve already mentioned several times my issues with the single target heals in Neverwinter, and in Open Beta this is still an issue.

Action is never far in Neverwinter. Questing is a rapid fire shot of adventure, whisking you from location to location as you battle orcs, bandits and the undead. The quests seem to have a great story to them, but I was rushing through the game so much that I missed most of it.  I did catch enough of the story by R.A. Salvatore to know that I’m going to go through it again at a much slower pace with another character.

I also jumped into a few skirmishes, encouraged by some quests I picked up, and got another quick jolt of action, fighting through some quick waves based battles to earn some loot and XP. The ruined neighbourhoods of Neverwinter lend themselves well to these fights to the death. While group based, these Skirmishes tended to devolve into chaotic messes where everyone was taking on large groups without worrying about what the rest of their group was doing.

Looking for something a little more structure, I ran the Cloak Tower dungeon again. You can find a video of a run through from one of the Beta Weekends on our Youtube channel. Nothing much has changed with the structure or the mechanics of the dungeon, and I enjoyed myself. Once again, however, there wasn’t much need for any sort of strategy. I don’t know if it’s because we’re still fairly low level, or because most of us had played in Beta, but both runs that I managed to fit in followed the same pattern of zerg and kill.

ClericCombat

The crafting is very reminiscent of Star Wars: The Old Republic, with minions that you send off on missions (some of these early ones taking as much as 6 hours) but with the addition of being able to complete them immediately for the cost of in-game currency.  I’ll talk about this in more detail in the full review, but so far, it’s working very well.

The game is a ton of fun, and I feel myself looking forward to my play time. The fact that this is free-to-play is a bonus, as I would gladly pay money for the opportunity to play Neverwinter. As to the question of the founders packs, this is a personal decision for everyone. What I can say is that I don’t feel that any of the items that you receive in the pack (such as an exclusive race, the drow; mounts and more) are useless. The choice comes down to the value that you put on the in-game conveniences that you get.

Should you go check it out? Most definitely! The price is right, the game is fun, and you’ll yourself sitting down for a quick play session and suddenly wondering where the last 4 hours have gone.

I’m playing as Almazar the Devoted Cleric in game. Feel free to say “Hi!” if you decide to check it out.