Neverwinter’s release and announcement cadence the past few weeks has been confusing, to say the least. Now that the last chunk of Sharandar is out the door, at least on PC, PWE is moving on to talking about the next module: the one that introduces some pretty drastic level squish. The studio says its goal is to get players to the newest content more quickly and introduce the key game concepts along the leveling curve.PWE and Cryptic write in a dev blog today. “As you play through the new leveling flow, you achieve new levels at key milestones in the stories of each zone. This means we could better message new power unlocks in the quest rewards, and ensure a proper pace and challenge as you work through each zone. No longer will players out-level a story just because they did some side-quests, or a few queues.”
The new leveling progression will now take around 12 hours of play to reach the cap, and several maps – Blacklake District, Tower District, Blackdagger Ruins, Helm’s Hold, Pirate’s Skyhold, Rothe Valley, and Mount Hotenow have been retired, at least for now, until they can be retooled for the new curve. It also sounds as if if all existing characters will just be repositioned at level 20 with a gear back to help them acclimate.
“We did not make this decision lightly and we know there are players out there that enjoyed each of these spaces. First and foremost, we want to make it clear that vaulting in this case is not the same as removal. We have removed content in the past, and we do listen to the concerns about content like old dungeons that have been lost. We have made some past efforts with features like Tales of Old to bring back this lost content. With the new M21 leveling flow, the Throne of Idris was brought back to properly end the story of Ebon Downs. But those are targeted cases, and with vaulting we have a more discrete plan to bring this content back. With the new Adventure system, which we will discuss more in an upcoming post, we will be able to revisit these zones and their stories with updated flow, rewards, and visual polish.”