Neverwinter Online Races
Neverwinter Online is an MMO game developed by Cryptic Studios. It was Released on June 20, 2013, and is based loosely on the eponymous city from the opus of R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms novels.
Cryptic Studios has a deep well to work with, and judging from their other games (City of Heroes, Champions Online and Star Trek Online), it would appear that they are up to the task and do this game justice. What they produced instead is a stand-alone game that took a lot of elements from the famous franchise, made it their own while at the same time sticking to their roots and introducing some new concepts to the table. How would it fare with other games of the same genre? Let’s find out!
Off to the Races
For those familiar with the Dungeons and Dragons and Forgotten Realms lore, they are in for a treat with the playable races in this game. Neverwinter Online lets players choose from six of the famous races that inhabit the said world. There are the Humans, Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves, the Drow and Tiefling. Each race has their own strengths and traits that players can utilize to sway the tide of battle in their favor. Cryptic’s use of these races certainly pays homage to the source material.
The classes in Neverwinter are divided into the Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Wizard types. Each archetype, with the exception of the Cleric and Wizard, has a subclass that provides a different dynamic for players. For the fighter class, there is the Guardian Fighter and Great Weapon subclass. The Rogue class has the Trickster and Archer subclass. From their namesake, one can construe that the Guardian Fighter is the tank in the game that soaks damage for the team, while the Great Weapon Fighter is the damage dealer that opts to go melee in battles. The same goes for the Tricker Rogues and Archers, the former preferring cunning and being elusive while the latter bombards opponents with various projectiles from afar. Each class has strengths and weaknesses that are vital in team composition, player-vs-player skirmishes and dungeon runs.
On Your Toes, Always
Cryptic Studios developed Neverwinter Online as a hack-and-slash MMO in order for players to be alert at all times while playing the game. Unlike in other MMOs that have a targeting system and static battle sequences, Neverwinter provides a more dynamic fighting mechanic. Players need to aim and time their attacks and spells properly in order for them to hit; power strikes need to be charged up and distance needs to be considered before flailing one’s broadsword around waves of enemies. Dodging enemy strikes and spells require players to actually move in order to dodge or block them. Enemies would often converge towards the player and try to swarm if their numbers give them the advantage to do so. This makes the game fast-paced and exciting as it keeps the players constantly thinking and really be invested in the game, capitalizing on timing and landing their strikes and spells at the opportune moment during the battle sequences.
Skills that Kill
Being that this game is considered as a hack-and-slash MMO, the players are given powers that they can level up as they see fit. These are the At-will, Encounter and Daily type of powers. At-will powers can be used by the player as much as they please because these powers do not have any cool downs (this is especially beneficial in clearing waves of enemies); Encounter powers are abilities that recharge at certain time after use. Daily powers are the more stronger abilities that players can use to dispatch enemies, but its cool down is longer than Encounter powers.