Life and times in Neverwinter – The Auction House is back! And Cryptic apologizes with cat capes all around.

One of the strangest things I’ve observed about Neverwinter’s economy is how quickly alternatives were found. Before, people in the Protector’s Enclave hub were selling everything for AD (astral diamonds), Enchanted Keys (purchased with Zen which must be exchanged for with astral diamonds), or precious gold which…doesn’t really have a direct exchange of any kind other than with these sellers.

This ball of cuteness was the hottest commodity on Neverwinter.

This ball of cuteness was the hottest commodity on Neverwinter in the hours leading up to the Great Auction House Crash.

When the Auction House was taken down, everyone started dealing primarily in gold — or bartering — to get what they wanted. Today, with the Auction House back up along with the Zen exchange and AD requests have come back in full force.

Exchange rates between Zen coins and AD still seems a bit high right now, but I’m willing to wait it out and see what happens over the next few days. People with massive stacks of AD (I’m not one of them) are probably going to slowly trickle them through the system so as not to draw too much attention to themselves — or depress exchange rates too far.

As a kind of apology for the downtime that Neverwinter also suffered this past Sunday, everyone who registered before May 19th got a “Catastrophe” survival pack with some unique gear, one of which was a cape with a cat standard. Useless to a level 60 like me, it’s still fun stuff if you don’t take it too seriously. Cryptic apparently recognized the Great Cat Exchange prior to the Great Auction House Crash when people were buying up and giving away these feline companions like there was no tomorrow. Because, in a way, there wasn’t when Perfect World and Cryptic brought the game down hours later.

I’m still plugging away at the game, farming up resources and selling them off to make a few diamonds along the way. It’s something to do from time to time to try and build up my own store of glittery goodies. I’ve been checking out a few strategies to try and see where those will take my AD account and have been working the AH (auction house) as much as I can. The worst part is just waiting for the auctions to wind down and see how well — or how badly — I might have done.

I’ve also been dabbling a bit in PvP, more for glory points than for anything else. Because it’s so random unless you’re with a group, the matches can swing wildly from crazy victory without doing much to defeat.

One of the “matches” I was in was against a team that either dropped out leaving only one guy on the opposing side or who went AFK somehow (even though a patch was supposed to eliminate that — it’s still an issue).

Even though there’s no call to be nice to the other side when this happens (and believe me, Neverwinter’s no stranger to players who just love to spawn kill the other team when it’s clear they’ve lost), there are occasions when strangers on both sides clearly see what the situation for what it is…and then just chill out and goof around.

That happened in one of the matches I was in recently and as weird as the match was because the other team was simply not there except for this one player, we all chose to just hang around and chill until it was over. Sure, we could have kept killing the guy, but he or she also just wanted to goof around knowing that it was pointless to waste their efforts by getting slaughtered. Why make it any more frustrating?

Sometimes it can even be a case where both sides just call it quits and do 1 vs. 1 matches, shoot the breeze, or just hang out and do something else in RL (real life) like pop a bag of popcorn while waiting for the match to end.

Then there are cases when the other guy just wants to get killed over and over — that’s happened too.

Still, PvP is still kind of a buggy affair but given how slow the developers were in finally recognizing an issue that apparently was carried over from Star Trek Online’s own closed beta from years ago (the negative bids thing wasn’t the first time a Cryptic game had this issue), I’m not expecting any dramatic changes there for quite some time.

Welp, until next time. It’s off to Neverwinter…and the Auction House!

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