Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I Want My Stuff

Super-short post. For real. 

There's so much going on right now, stories I'd usually try to cover (...wait, do I think I'm a reporter now?) are getting a pass and that's even if I remember they're happening. If it hadn't been for Shintar's mini-post on Neverwinter's burn-it-all-down revamp I'd have missed it altogether.

There's a FAQ that covers the big changes that came in the snappily-named M21 update. There's a new class: Bard. A whole bunch of zones got canned... sorry, vaulted. Level cap is now 20. There's a new new player experience. Yes, it's one of those deals. Everyone's doing them.

Looking at character select, where Perfect World (or maybe Cryptic) handily note the last day you logged in, I see it's been just over a year since I last played Neverwinter. I would have guessed less. 

Also, who came up with those character names, eh? Me, presumably. What was I thinking of? Magmia is a name I often use but Feldspar? And Lenara Greymark sounds like I took it from a book because I sure as heck wouldn't have come up with it myself. Oh, well. I  guess they'll have to do.

Let's be honest for once. I was motivated to log in because Shintar said she got "dozens of new rewards" for content she'd already completed. I'll patch for free stuff any time.

The patch didn't take long. I guess it's quicker when you're making the game smaller. For some reason the game wanted me to re-calibrate my monitor which, if you knew my monitor, you would know was never going to happen. I lied and told it I had so it would let me in.


A large pop-up window appeared. I waited for the shower of free stuff. There wasn't one. Then the window disappeared. I hadn't pressed anything or I didn't think I had. It was hard to be sure. There were a lot of people yelling in chat and something seemed to be exploding close by. I think I might have pressed the "Claim Valuables" button but the window may have closed before I could see what was in there.

I opened my inventory to see if the stuff had gone straight in. Maybe it had, but before I got to find out I noticed a couple of things flashing in the HUD so I clicked on those. Seems that being max level now meant I needed to spend a bunch of points on stats. Twenty-two of them, covering a range of levels from three upwards.

I got halfway through spending them, mostly on Wisdom and Constitution, when I realised I was on my
Warlock not my Cleric. Luckily you get one free respec. I used it because chances are low I'll ever need it more. It's not like I play this game often enough for it to matter.

I respent the points properly and then the game wanted me to pick a Paragon class or some such. Ironically, it turns out there's a healing role for Warlocks so I could have stuck with the wisdom and saved the respec. Since I hadn't I picked the DPS role instead.

That completely replaced all the icons on my hotbars with new abilities, none of which I recognised or understood. I waited a bit longer to see if any free stuff was coming. It wasn't, so I thought I'd just see if much had changed from how things played for me a year ago.

Short answer? They hadn't. With no idea what I was doing I just followed the sparkly trail for the quest I'd been doing last time. I'd been level 30 then. Maybe 31. Not 32 because I still had an unopened pack of goodies marked "To be opened on your 32nd birthday". Not literally but, yes, that.

I did the whole quest - crossed a couple of open maps, went down a tunnel, across another open area, into a dungeon. Lots of kobolds tried to stop me so I killed them all and got an achievement for killing kobolds.

The only thing that happened the whole time that seemed different was that every time I picked up some gold a kobold had dropped it was the exact same amount, which just happened to be the exact sum total of all the money I had. That seemed unlikely. Also, I never got any of it. Might be a bug, might be a currency cap for free players. No idea. Annoying though, either way.

Hmm. Now I think of it, I wonder if the kobolds were stealing all my money during the fight and I was just taking it back! No, that couldn't be it. Could it?

Eventually I found the woman I'd been looking for, right at the back of the dungeon. She congratulated me on killing everything and said she could get out on her own. I left her to get on with it and followed the sparkly trail back to the camp where I'd started. 

I spoke to the guy who'd sent me and he gave me a ring. It was a sidegrade. He gave me another quest. Another person gave me a quest. I could see the rewards I'd get for doing them and they were huge upgrades. I have no idea whether that's because of the update or because my gear was so bad to begin with.

I looked through my bags for the ring and I noticed a ton of stuff that might be free stuff you get for being de-re-up-down-levelled to twenty. Since I didn't know what I'd had in there when I started, I couldn't be sure but anyway, based on the extreme lack of challenge I'd faced doing the quest, it didn't seem like it mattered. I was clearly fine as I was.

And that's where I stopped. Not because I wasn't having fun. I was having fun. I almost always have fun when I play Neverwinter. It's kind of a knockabout fun game, at least the way I play it. I just don't have time for that particular fun right now, not when I'm having so many other kinds of fun thrown at me from all directions.

I do want to know exactly what's changed and how it affects new players. I am interested. Unfortunately, I don't believe I'm the one whose going to be able to tell that story. Even if I had the time I don't have the understanding. I strongly suspect that from my perspective nothing much will seem to have changed even if plenty has. 

I'll just be doing quests I've never done in places I've never seen, using abilities I'm not familiar with and getting stuff I don't recognize. Same as it ever was. I can at least say I didn't immediately think things had gotten any worse!

If anyone wants to know any more than that, they'd better ask someone else. Maybe Shintar knows!


  1. I'll patch for free stuff any time.

    Hahaha, and here I thought you were just curious about the changes. ;) I will check them out in good time, but I have a lot of stuff going on at the same time as well.

    Oh, and those character names sound a lot like they were randomised suggestions from the game itself.

    1. Yeah, well, I am curious... but, free stuff!

      I was wondering if they were randomized names. So few games do that any more but I forget sometimes how old NWO is.


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