A little before I left town for the holidays I received an invitation to participate in the Closed Alpha and Beta stages of “Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter.” Sadly, I was unable to get the game installed before leaving town, but last night I went ahead and confirmed my beta code and started getting things set up. It looks like there is, as in any alpha or beta, a series of events that we are supposed to participate in and report back on, so this could be a bit fun.
Obviously at this early of a testing stage I am not really supposed to disclose any real information about the game publicly, but I can say that my relationship with this game has been a bit rocky (and I’ve never even played it!). Back in 2009 and 2010, people were really excited to see that Cryptic Studios was taking a shot at making a full MMO iteration of “Neverwinter Nights.” The older PC titles were quite popular with fans, so it was neat to think of them transporting these concepts into an MMORPG. People obviously had a love/hate relationship with Turbine’s “Dungeons & Dragons Online,” but for the most part I can say that game does at least a decent job (from what I can tell, not having done much of the pen-and-paper game) of carrying over the concepts of the table-top games to the PC. So, when people saw that this next online game would even have the foundry, they were pretty excited. Yet, then Perfect World entered the picture and, upon acquiring Cryptic, they opted to do a complete overhaul of the game. Many were outraged and thought that the company would butcher the title into a “typical Asian MMO” that would absolutely stink, but others were a bit more optimistic and felt that there was potential to make the game more “actiony” without ruining the D&D experience.
I kind of fall somewhere in the middle of all of this. I think there is a chance for them to make an exciting game, but at the same time I certainly did not want them to destroy the very things that would have made an online “Neverwinter” experience fun and authentic. So, hopefully this game won’t be an utter disappointment, but hey: right now (and supposedly after launch, too) it is free-to-play for me, so I can’t lose too terribly much other than some of my time!