Life and Times in Neverwinter, Part Two

The more I get into Neverwinter, the more I notice the odd things about it.

For one, identify scrolls are used exclusively to ID special items like greens and blues. You can’t take them over to a local shopkeeper or even to another mage and pay for them to ID it for you like in a number of traditional CRPGs. Intelligence doesn’t even pay a part in rolling to figure out what it might be — you have to have a scroll.

Nor do mages learn an “identify” spell of any kind or scribe their own scrolls. That would make things too “easy” and go against what Cryptic and Perfect World had done to indirectly force players into spending more of those astral diamonds on the market by taking scrolls out of the hands of regular vendors.

It’s strange to see something treated like a routine chore elsewhere leveraged in such a way to feed into the whole economy-based aspect of the design. But from a role-playing perspective, it’s just a bizarre thing to see in a game like this.

Professions are also where I’m currently focusing my character’s other efforts into. Professions are part of the crafting process of Neverwinter. Your character eventually earns followers that act much like assets that you can use to assign to tasks like protect a caravan or sew up rolls of fabric. Professions, ranging from Leadership to Tailoring, can all earn experience by doing whatever tasks are assigned to them as long as you have the requisite number of members in that field. You pick a task, assign an asset related to the field, and then wait until the required time passes which can take anywhere from ten minutes to 18-hour cycles depending on the complexity of the task.

As they go up in level, they also gain the experience to do more complicated and slightly more rewarding things like sew up shirts and pants or go on duties that pay you in astral diamonds. Of course, there are also tasks that require upgraded versions of these assets. A mercenary isn’t going to be able to do a task that specifically asks for a guard, for example. You have to literally spend four mercenaries to train up one guard. And it takes about 18-hours to hire one mercenary or train said guard. You can always pay to immediately finish the task, but that almost always requires a huge cost in astral diamonds — tens of thousands, for example.

Right now, the rewards are pretty awful. After spending so long getting my tailoring and leadership up, there’s not much coming out of either field except shirts and pants that no one really wants to buy. I guess I should just start putting them up on auction and see who bites for a few diamonds here and there.

I’ve also been fooling around with that, too, the Auction House. Nearly anything in the game can be found there from rare ingredients used by professions in crafting equipment to actual professional assets such as guards and tailors. I’ve sold a ton of identify scrolls, ingredients, and a few blue weapons that I couldn’t use.

Neverwinter_shot_b

You can even buy “refugees” from the auction house, an ingredient used in the Leadership field for a mission. Good thing alignments aren’t part of the game.

PvP is also iffy because it’s so random. Sometimes I’m in a group that works like a well oiled machine, other times, the mix of professions in the group are severely handicapped against the opposing team leading to much wasted time. AFKs, or Away From Keyboard players, are also something of a problem though the recent patch was supposed to have fixed that by auto-kicking idle players from the match.

It’s also where you earn “glory” points, another form of currency used to purchase equipment and goods from the PvP store. I almost have enought to complete my “gladiator” set for my mage, so it’s slow going. Sometimes the matches are over in less than ten minutes. Other times, they can drag on as two evenly matched sides vie for control every step of the way. Domination is the only kind of mode available right now, though more modes are promised for later such as PvE (players versus environment) and the lost city of Gauntlgrym.

So far, I’m still enjoying the time I’m spending with it.

 

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