Good thing I checked my spam mail address yesterday night because I received a Neverwinter Beta invite from Gamebreak.tv‘s free giveaway. I started the download while I was leveling up my Warrior in WoW (89 now) and once the download was done, I gave it an install. Simple enough process. Logged in, little patch, adjusted settings and then rolled a Great Weapon Fighter.
I won’t go into too much more because I didn’t really play for very long but I will throw out some first impressions:
- Font used for labels is sort of jarring and stands out too much
- There was some lag in overcrowded areas (my system is a beast so I’m going to blame their engine), though it wasn’t unplayable – just enough to notice it was there
- I did the initial part and the ‘Save the Crown’ quest
- Controls are really simple and straight forward
- Mobs weren’t exactly challenging – granted it was the starting area
- Their mini-map is confusing – lots of stuff on there; that is likely just not knowing what the symbols are
- Character creation was simple
- Customization was limited, but the options available made sense
- Attribute die-rolling doesn’t seem as random as it should be if it really was die rolls. I almost suspect they randomly switch between preset attribute builds.
- Races available: Human, Halfling, Dwarf, Tiefling, Half-Orc, and two flavors of Elves:
High (heeeey maaaan!)Half-Elf (they hop along on their one leg) and Wood (shaaaawing!) Elf. (EDIT: Can you tell I didn’t pay too much attention to the Elves?)
- Class available: Devout Cleric, Controller Wizard, Trickster Thief, Guardian Fighter and Great Weapon Fighter.
- They have that glowie-umbilical cord to lead you from A to B
- Graphics had some decent details, but didn’t feel as crisp as other games
- Animations were decent
- Combat abilities had some impact, especially with swinging the large weapon around though they need to make the Charge ability have more of an impact – it felt more like you were a ghost going through targets instead of knocking them over
- I didn’t see any access to Foundry stuff but then I didn’t look either.
- I couldn’t find a store to buy new armor or weapons (see mini-map xenophobia above)
- I didn’t do any crafting (heh – like I would…)
- I didn’t do any exploring yet – seems like you’re limited to the areas you are in, rather than any sort of free roaming or sandbox type.
My initial feeling is it could be nice little game but I can’t see myself playing it with any dedication (shut up UFTimmy – I know, I don’t play any games with any sort of dedication anymore).
The Foundry, depending on how powerful it is, may get me more involved with the game than the actual game itself. Still it wasn’t a bad overall feel. It feels more like an action game (which is what they were aiming at, so good on them) than what I traditionally view as MMO fare.
Fortunately it will be free to play so I can easily see myself playing it from time to time, maybe even with some friends from work who don’t want to invest too much into a game and don’t really like the wide open world type of games because they get too into them (or lost).