Neverwinter Q&A

We were recently given the opportunity to present some questions to the Neverwinter team!  Grant Allen, Combat Designer, took some time out to answer them for us..

Neverwinter - Valindra and Dracolich

1. How have you prepared to cope with the influx of players over the first week of Open Beta?  Were you anticipating any problems for players logging in, or queues that may exist?

A: Our infrastructure team was/is well prepared, but there will always be things that can go wrong that no one can anticipate.  With that said, it went pretty smoothly overall.

2. Are there any limitations with the tech being used, especially at launch, and how it will scale for demand?

A: Not aware of any particular limitations, and we’ll scale the service as needed.

3. What if the three shards aren’t enough to accommodate all players?

A: We’d make more I would think.

4. What have you learned from the launch of Champions Online and Star Trek Online that has helped?

A: Listen to the customers and try to apply the lessons and experience we’ve learned from our previous games into making a great game and a great F2P model that our players enjoy and want to come back to.

5. What are your thoughts on players using third party add-ons such as those available via the Curse network for World of Warcraft?

A: Depends on their function.  In Warcraft, running a ton of add-ons can make the game feel like a spread sheet that played itself.  But so long as add-ons are not used in an exploitive manner, I don’t personally take offense at them if it helps people enjoy the game.

Trickster Rogue

6. What are the most popular races and classes so far?

A: Trickster Rogue for class, not sure on race.

7. Does the dev team have a favourite race and class?

A: Tiefling Rogues have been pretty common in playtests, but all the classes have people who swear by them.

8. Why is the focus on smaller 5 man parties, rather than large raids? What made you decide to go down that path?

A: Initially because smaller 5 man teams are closer to the tabletop/D&D experience.  Past that, since Neverwinter is more action based than traditional MMO titles, having several dozen players running about all trying to do the same thing can quickly lead to too much on screen chaos.

Combat

9. In the Foundry Beta, content was put through a review stage before going live, keeping inappropriate or offensive content out.  How will moderation work once the game opens up and many more people are able to add content to the Foundry?

A: Once an Author publishes their Quest it goes into a “Needs Review” category.  A Quest will remain in this category until the quest gets 5 good reviews.  If a quest is inappropriate or violates the Foundry Terms of Use, the community can report the quest and keep it from the reaching the main Foundry content lists.  While it is true, that with so many quests being published, some inappropriate content may make it out of review, the community always has the capability to report content at any time.

10. Will content creators be able to upload custom models, audio, or other assets in the future? (assuming such assets would be in keeping with the style of the game)

A: This is definitely an interesting concept for the Foundry and a feature that has a lot of potential.  While there are currently no plans to have an asset upload feature for the Foundry, we’re always working on ways to improve it and support the collaboration of Authors.

11. There are a lot of F2P fantasy MMOs on the market at the moment.  What key features do you think make Neverwinter stand out?

A: Neverwinter is an accessible, action based game set in the well-loved D&D Forgotten Realms universe.  On top of that, the Foundry allows players to create their own quests and adventures.  Another big plus for the Foundry is that it’s all handled in game, meaning the content is readily accessible and doesn’t require potential adventurers to download random maps or mods online.

12. With any F2P game, there are concerns about pay-to-win.  How will purchasable in-game items be balanced to avoid the pay-to-win scenario?

A: Pay-to-win is a bit less of an issue in large part because it’s possible to earn or auction every type of currency.  On top of that, actual armor and weapons are purchased from other players.

Founder Exclusive Mounts

13. The extended FAQ stated that the Menzo-Renegade Drow is to remain exclusive to Heroes of the North, but with plans for a future update to allow players to create a regular Drow character.  Will any of the other Founder exclusives be available for purchase at a later date?

A: This has not been decided at this time, but it’s very likely that many Founder’s items will remain unique to Founders.

14. Can you tell us anything about the future of the game in regards to additional content and patches over the coming year(s)?

A: While I can’t give away any specific details I can say that we plan on supporting Neverwinter and giving it all the resources it needs to be successful.  So this means we’ll definitely be adding new content, new classes, new races, and much more very soon.  So stay tuned!

 

Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter is currently in Open Beta, but from this point forward there will be no character wipes.  If you’ve not tried the game out yet, you can sign up here.

You can check out our initial impressions of Neverwinter over here.

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