Cheap Artifact Gear For Everyone!

I've mentioned before that if you follow an MMO only casually, updates can be full of all kinds of surprises. Both my pet tank and I went all wide-eyed when our Alliance leader told us that there are now craftable artifact weapons and off-hands which are better than the ones that we were using before, even in their most basic green state as they start at item level 415. And the best thing? People are selling them on the auction house for (what feels like) ridiculously little, less than 20k AD a pop!

They probably have some downside to them that makes them less than ideal for min-maxers, but for more casual players like us this is absolutely amazing. I immediately went out and bought a set for every single one of my max-level alts, who were usually still sporting purple versions of their Elemental Evil main and off-hand at item level 390.

New daggers for my rogue.

It's a bit sad to have to start refining from scratch again, but it does feel a lot better with the new refinement system. I'm just not sure what to do with my old weapons now, as they took out the bonus that allowed you to transfer most of your progression from old to new. Another downside is that I'll be losing a lot of nice looks unless I'm willing to completely destroy the old gear to preserve it: For example my great weapon fighter was using a weapon skin from the winter festival, and my control wizard one from the summer festival. Oh well, they will come around again.



When my pet tank and I encountered our first tyrannosaur in the jungle, we initially weren't sure whether we were meant to fight or flee. It hardly seemed to take any damage at first - until we knocked it over, which seemed to temporarily apply a massive damage buff.

"It's Kephess!" I exclaimed.

That probably won't make sense to 99% of my readers, but I wanted to write it down for future reference anyway.

(Boring explanation for anyone who really wants one: In SWTOR there is a reptilian (Trandoshan) raid boss called Kephess, who got revived repeatedly after being beaten several times. Thanks to this, it became a running joke that he's everywhere, secretly responsible for everything etc. In his second incarnation, one of the fight's major mechanics is to knock him down to do increased damage to him. The similarity just struck me as quite amusing.)


Chulty Story

Playing through the introduction to Chult was strangely amusing. My pet tank and I kept shouting at each other throughout. To paraphrase just a few things that were said:

"Oh no, I can see where this is going..."
"There's always a guy like that in your party, isn't there?"
"Oh god, we crashed the ship."
"Ship-wrecked in an RPG - typical!"
"I don't think this one's going to live much longer..."

It's funny to me how enjoyable Neverwinter's story can be in that way. The writing isn't particularly exciting, the voice acting is unprofessional, and the graphics with NPCs who are unable to even move their mouths remind me of the sort of cut scenes that might have featured in an RTS fifteen years ago.

But it's also... so earnest and fun! It reminds me a bit of whenever I visit my Mum and sit down to watch one of her soap operas with her, and even though I never watch them unless I'm on one of those visits, I can always immediately tell what's going on and have a good laugh about how clich├ęd it all is (while secretly also wondering just how the current episode's plot arc is going to resolve itself).


Refinement Revamp

It's been quiet on here because I've been off Neverwinter for the last few months. As usual, I always come back though, which in this case started with trying to make sense of the changes that were made to the refinement system with the Swords of Chult module launched in October.

I had actually already read about both the inventory and the refinement point changes beforehand, but seeing them live was still something else. I can't deny that they look good on paper, and also that it's super convenient to be able to identify all the greens in my bag with one button click and then refine the lot of them with another. However, right now I also can't help feeling like I'm missing something. It all seems a bit too easy. Surely there must still be some trick to deciding what to refine and when? It just seems strange after the previous complexity.

What's also interesting is that it seems that the amount of RP you get from green gear drops has been buffed, relatively speaking. It used to be as much as a white pearl per item, now it's as much as a peridot, which is five times as much! Combined with the new ease of turning these drops into refinement points, this has had the funny side effect of my pet tank going from ridiculing me for picking up all the "junk" to actually wanting said junk for himself. I can't quite decide yet whether I'm happy that he's now helping me hoover up all the shinies after every fight or annoyed that he's suddenly competing for the loot.