Coming Up

The undisputed meh-ness of Heart of Fire has caused my pet tank and me to give Neverwinter the cold shoulder for the past month, especially as we had much more entertaining alternatives to play, but that doesn't mean that I stopped caring about what Cryptic will bring out next. So I was pleased to find out that they just announced the next module, which will be called Undermountain.

Unfortunately, based on what else they announced, it sounds like this will be another module heavily focused on systems changes, including but not limited to changing the very names of classes, changing how tanking and healing works, removing feats and power points, changing item and level scaling, changing the way stats work - which includes the removal of recovery and lifesteal, which is huge - and the raising of the level cap to 80.

The reason I started the above sentence with "unfortunately" is that while all the explanations given for these in the linked dev blogs sound reasonable enough (Healing is currently pointless? You don't say!), Cryptic has a history of being very bad at getting balancing right, so I expect the launch of an expansion with this many gameplay changes to be an utter disaster. Plus the level cap increase, something that would be a normal and happy event in many other MMOs, brings up memories of Elemental Evil, Neverwinter's worst module ever. (There were many things wrong with Elemental Evil and not all of those had something to do with the level cap increase, but it was certainly a contributing factor.)

So I'll be keeping an eye on what else they announce for Undermountain - I'll definitely want to check it out at some point, but based on past experience probably not at launch.

(As an aside, while reading up on this piece of news I learned that Neverwinter Unblogged is shutting down - that is a great shame and a huge loss, as this site was a big part in keeping me up-to-date with what was going on in the game and often provided very helpful info for a more casual player like me.)