Neverwinter and main quest facerolling

So I reinstalled Neverwinter to give the Oathbound Paladin a spin – was looking forward to it in a big way, since I always play paladins in D&D settings and consider it almost a crime that the game launched without them.

I expected to be entertained – Neverwinter’s combat is perhaps the only thing keeping a lot of folks coming back, despite the rampant lockboxing, consolish community, and a currency bloat to rival the World Bank.

What I did not expect was the ability to one-shot story bosses.

Seriously. If you haven’t tried the Oathbound Paladin, do so, just till the end of the starter zone. Take a few seconds to clear the skeletons around the Harbinger, and pop your Daily. Holy hand of smackdown! I blinked a few times before I realized it was over. Just like that.

Rinse and repeat for the Guardian of the Nine, and Honor Reagh, and Fleabottom, and Karzov – the last of whom my other characters had to tango with a good hundred times longer.

Yes, yes – it’s only act one. Wait till you hit the big league, and start grouping, and all that. But is that an excuse to make the single-player experience (especially early on, in new players’ ‘evaluation phase’) a complete faceroll, even for one class? A great many people solo MMOs. Would playing an Oathbound Paladin (and it is the newest class, so many would) make a first-timer equate Neverwinter with brainless, challenge-less games like, I don’t know, any random idle game out there?

Neverwinter has a bad enough rep. I personally, despite my liking for the action, detest the cash grabbing, and what they did with the franchise (fan of BioWare’s NWN here), and the lip service paid to roleplay. Compounding things by removing all challenge from the main quest, a la so many other MMOs, is just one more step down the slope. I’m not asking for Dark Souls. Just for the potential of the game’s combat system to be maximized in the single-player experience as well.

But I guess the OPness worked after all. Because by the time I cleared the Blacklake District quests, I was wondering just how far my paladin was going to be this ludicrously powerful. Which means I’ll carry on playing her. Not for progression – but for curiosity.

I suppose this could hook first-timers as well. And at least it beats damned lockboxes.

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2 Responses to “Neverwinter and main quest facerolling”

  1. I started Neverwinter myself right around launch, with a halfling Great Weapon Fighter…’cause I figured that would be the best race to experience handling a 2-handed sword. Was a decent experience, as I hadn’t played too many other action-oriented MMOs at the time.

    Later went and made myself an orc Hunter Ranger, ’cause I always tend to enjoy a ranged class. Certainly a different playstyle than a melee with an oversized meat cleaver, but it was fun.

    What stinks is the F2P limitation on character slots. I guess I’d have to go and make a new account if I wanted to try any of the other classes.

    • My own GWF was a halfling as well! Seems plenty of folks have the same idea. Now if only we had some diversity in weapon choices… my halfling had to cling to a crafted battleaxe long after outleveling it, simply to stand apart from all the Buster Swords.

      But anyhow, the facerolling didn’t feel so bad as a GWF and a HR. Oathbound Paladins truly live up to their class initials. Add a companion like the Archmage’s Apprentice, and ezmode suddenly seems quite tough.

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