Neverwinter’s Jewel of the North is live on PC with the new Bard class and level squish

    
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It’s a big day for Neverwinter players, as Jewel of the North is live on the platform. This is the big update that’s adding the Bard class and squishing and improving the game’s entire leveling experience and tutorial.

“Along with the new class, Neverwinter: Jewel of the North brings major game-changing improvements that make it easier for all adventurers to access and enjoy all of the content available in Neverwinter. With the new streamlined leveling system which follows the beloved system found in Dungeons & Dragons, the max level cap in Neverwinter has transitioned from level 80 to level 20. This allows new and returning adventurers to reach epic-level content much faster (in approximately 10-12 hours) and gives veteran adventurers the option to quickly level up their alternate characters. Additional notable improvements geared towards providing a greater experience for all adventurers include the new Adventures feature, two new locations (the Adventurer’s Guild and Training Room) and revamped tutorials and early game performance improvements.”

Xbox One and PS4 players, of course, have to wait until late August for their crack at this egg, but in the meantime, they can take a peek at the studio’s guides for new and returning players and catch up with our own interview all about the patch.

Source: Press release
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ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Bard is really damn rough at the start, not sure if later powers are better. Their sword aoe hits like a wet noodle (9 attacks on a 1* enemy even with blue weapon), leaving them heavily single target focused. Then their more powerful ranged attack has like a 3 second wind up on the animation for the third hit, with no added benefit like a secondary effect or split bolts.

The song’s a neat idea but having to hit 686686 every time I want to play a basic AOE song is a bit stupid.

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Yuge McBigly

I think my favorite part of the removal of XP is that now I can plan out how to avoid mobs completely instead of feeling obligated to murder all I see for the experience.

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Anthony Clark

Just tried it out. All my 80s are now 20s…. ugh.

Bard seems cool.

Do not like EXP being removed. Feels wrong.

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Neurotic

I played for about two hours last night, I made a bard and got about 1/3 of the way through Neverdeath graveyard, and then logged into my main, max-level character. So, my initial thoughts are:

– Bards are great so far! They play how I think rangers should have played, as a combination of ranged and melee. Whereas (in my experience) rangers tend to get vaporized as soon as they get into melee range, the bard’s combat seems to be much better balanced between ranged and melee. Plus, the music effects are excellent, and the actual manual playing of your instrument is CRAZY good fun! In my opinion, this is the best bard since EQII.

– A bit too early to comment on the level squish and progression now, other than to say that it’s SO satisfying seeing my army of 60-79 alts all smoothly brought to 20 and knowing that they’re ready for greater things now. In the journal, with the quest and campaign tracking, it was also very satisfying to see so many ‘Completed! Claim your reward!’ buttons, which did generate tons of quality refining mats and 1,000 AD per box (iirc).

– On that topic, it’s really really satisfying to see some of the things I don’t like so much – such as the Acquisitions, Inc. content – segmented off and neatly tracked in the journal. Again, I need to play more to fully understand what I’m seeing here, but the initial impression feels good.

– My existing level 80 main character received TONS of complete armour sets as — I guess — rewards for having completed previous campaigns. Very cool.

– The general polish and presentation of parts of the UI, loading screens, and launcher is great. It’s little touches here and there, but it does all add up and give a really nice feel.

– The new Adventurer’s Guild and training zone are super cool, I’m loving that stuff too. However, it seems a bit odd that Brandon the mount vendor is inside the building, with no mounts nearby. I feel like he should be standing near a horse or something. :D

– My favourite part about this update is that it was relatively small — like, less than a couple of gigs, which is great news for people with crap connections like me. :D

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Vanquesse V

I’m not sure what the idea was, but the gear given out to characters that got boosted to level 20 is not enough to start doing endgame campaigns, nor is it enough to play the max level adventures. It is also low enough that earning AD will be very difficult, so you’re kinda forced to either swipe your card, or to play through the entire story anyway because each completed zone gives a quite large amount of AD. Oh and you have to play through all of them in order, and you will be scaled down in power as well.

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Bruno Brito

so you’re kinda forced to either swipe your card

:D

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Vanquesse V

I wish I was clever enough to have come up with “swiping” to refer to engaging in p2w. I picked it up from the Lost Ark community

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Crafty_Youth5227

Rushing everyone to the end game is how they make their money. This whole thing is about that cash shop. I swear I wish a different company-owned this game as well as Star Trek Online. The only game they don’t seem to mess with is Champions Online as the player base is small anyway.

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Vanquesse V

I’ve been playing a bit of STO recently and my impression of the game playing from 1 to 20 on a fresh account is that you don’t need to spend any money. There’s no optional sub, and there’s not a lot of QoL in the store. Sure you can buy ships that scale into endgame but you don’t seem to have to and it feels perfectly fine to play completely free.
Obviously I don’t know the inner workings of the endgame, but STO as it is right now feels better and more welcoming than it ever was since they went f2p.
lockboxes also drop was less frequently than in CO or NV

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Crafty_Youth5227

Trust me when you get to the end game in both games you will open your wallet. Of course, they aren’t going to hit you up before that. The sto ships you get as you level are really weak and you will notice it.

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Vanquesse V

that’s fair, though it would probably take me at least 40 hours to hit 60 and if they let me play that long without bothering me I don’t mind spending 30$ for an account wide endgame ship. If they were selling important QoL on top of endgame ships I would have a pretty different opinion on the game.

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Crafty_Youth5227

Make sure you buy the pack that replaces the subscription the game had in sto. You get a lot of goodies with that and I think was even the cost of a sub. I forget what they called it.

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Yuge McBigly

Lifetime Subscription and it’s something like $299 unless it’s on sale for $199

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Crafty_Youth5227

OH god no. I think it might be called a starter pack. It should be only 15 dollars.

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Bruno Brito

So, i played a bit, stopped before level 6. My thoughts:

– Funneling players into Neverdeath Graveyard after the Valindra siege makes a lot of sense, lore-wise. It’s also one of the worst decisions i’ve seen Cryptic take. Neverdeath is awful. It’s a desolate cemetery with nothing going for it. It also takes away from immersion because you should be fighting bandits and kobolds at level 2, not cleansing cemeteries and finding dragon plots.

– There is no XP anymore. Leveling is completely streamlined and you get levels through specific quests. Honestly? I don’t like it. I think the level 20 pruning was a great idea, but they should have kept the number of zones and just fixed them so you could pick and choose your zone to level in any order you wanted. DnD is about decision and adventure, and also leveling. This new leveling feels anything but.

– There is already a LOT of complaints on the reddit about how this update is really Zen-Store heavy and well, yeah? It’s a update that makes everyone fast-forward to Neverwinter’s endgame, which is known to be awfully monetized.

Now, the core game is absolute fun. I recommend it just for the sake of it. I just don’t know if it’s worth it keeping on your harddrive after you level the 20 levels because…yeah, AD grinding endgame.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I streamed it a bit today and the verdict is still out on both the level squish and the Bard.

I need to see more on how fast you get through the story beats now. It’s a bit odd because they do a lot more “Here are all the quests you need” instead of making you search out the contacts and a lot of teleporting you to mission instances.

You don’t get gear and rewards from chests or drops. It’s all done through mission rewards.

The game hasn’t sent me looking for campaigns at all yet, so no clue how those will run or if dungeons are required to advance a zone.

The Bard is fun so far. It has some really (really) long-range single target attacks and some AoE Buffs/Damage. On the surface, it seems like a class that could shake up team comp a bit. You can spec into DPS or Heals, but you also have Rogue abilities like disarming traps and such. You could conceivably have a healer that also did all the rogue duties and give that slot to another healer or a different DPS.

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Vanquesse V

you *can* still get gear upgrades as drops, it just happens very very rarely. I had an epic chest armor drop in the clock tower which is towards the end of the first zone.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Huh, they’re linking accounts to Steam now. Oh well, reinstalled and ready for another spin because WHY THE HECK NOT?

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PanagiotisLial1

I expect it to bring mixed reactions due to the level squish

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Darthbawl

I hope the level squish goes well.