So my first blog post happens to be about NWO. Yep, like a lot of you, I have tried it and will post my take on it as well.
I registered and played as a free player on the Dragon Shard. Each server is considered a shard.
I chose to do a direct download of the game. NWO must use the same type of download as DDO-it sucks-took all night. They do offer a torrent download (hint, hint DDO) which no doubt is much faster. Once downloaded the game had to update. During the update I checked out some of what you could buy with real money. Lots of neat stuff but I don’t feel the cost is worth it just yet. Maybe at some point in the future when the game is more complete.
I confess that this is the first time I have had any experience with a Cryptic game. So what I experience as new may be old hat. I never played WOW either. Yea I know-I’m weird.
The game does not except direct payment by credit card, only by PayPal or something called Skrill-(paypal clone). This is an extra step but adds to the security so a positive as far as I can see.
There are a lot of similarities between DDO and NWO and it doesn’t really feel like it’s because they are based on the same game. If you bought the founder pack you get a black panther. Yes the shipwreck scene is eerily familiar. The control wizards have a floating ball for spell power. Astral diamonds, crafting, auction NPCs and probably a lot more but I only played it for one day so far. (the last update made it so auction purchases and money will be delivered via in game mail). But, no robots! No arm blasters either!
Yes the environmental graphics are wonderful.
I found as I played that everything I liked in the game was stuff not available in DDO.
Let’s start at character creation.
Character customization can apparently be described two ways: 1: a robust choice in looks and colors and physical attributes when designing the character. 2: A meriad of skills, enhancements and buffs available to flesh out a really unique build. When NWO says it has the tools for full customization of your character, they mean the former not the latter. You can customize everything about the face and hair. (the game also offers hair dyes). The body does have 3 types and no height adjustments, but it does allow size/width adjustments to your head and torso. They have scars and face tattoos also.
The races you can choose from: Human, dwarf, elf, half-elf, half-orc, halfling and a new one->Tiefling. Those guys look cool. My first character is a tiefling control wizard named Xenobias. My second is a halfling trickster rogue named Squeeker. F2P are allowed 2 slots per server. I like the Tiefling. It’s like running your own personal Hellboy Character.
Each race gives some stat bonuses. You can choose from 2 sets which depend on the class you chose. Bonuses to your main stat and secondary stat. Or your main stat and another stat. In my case the second choice was INT and CON. Tiefling wizards’ first choice is +2 to int and wis, so I started out with a 20 int.
Once all that is done then you get to pick what town/city/area you are from with each having it’s own history and 3 choices of background for your character. You can also add your own background to that if you desire.
Some of the places to choose from are Cormyr, Neverwinter, Baldurs Gate among others the older d+d crew will recognize. It’s a pretty nice selection. I liked it.
I don’t know about the more robust classes but my wizard has insane HP. By lvl 8 he was over 900 with a base con of 11. I like this. It is probably because the game has been built to accomodate casual/solo play. Skirmishes (raids?) need a group as well as some dungeons. I have leveled him up to 14 in one day running everything solo, with no pets, except two skirmishes and 1 pvp ‘Total Domination’ type game. Max level is 60. Yes there are already level 60 characters.
I have died but you will respawn at the last rest shrine you were at, (campfires in this game) with no equipment damage and full hp. I like this. Speaking of rest shrines. You can use them multiple times without a cooldown and you heal by gobbs of hp per tick. LVL 14 I heal 289 per tick, of course now I have just shy of 3k hp. I like this too. Potions heal great too. A minor one heals for a flat 1k everytime-I like it. City healing is about a quarter of a campfire but still seeing it tick for 67 pts each time is nice. So you’re back in the thick of it immediately.
It seems I don’t need spell points, everything is based on spell power and stamina. I also have some powerful finishing moves but need to build up the power to use them-very similar to DDO’s top tier ed skills. Skills and spells and consumables all have cool downs but much quicker than most of DDO. These can be decreased through skill path point allocation as well.
Fighting is basic hack and slash but very quick and every player has the teleport skill. It allows you to teleport up to 28ft away in any of the cardinal directions. It works quite well during combat. You will run out of stamina if you do it too much. You can also do it in the public instances. You will know when a spell is targeted on you by the arcane symbol that appears under you. If you’re fast enough you can teleport out of the symbol before it fires.
Wilderness zones are public and you will be fighting alongside everyone else. Xp is given to you if you damage a mob so you don’t have to kill it. Money and items dropped from it are first come first serve. Although rare drops seem to be for individuals-haven’t checked that but I have never lost a rare yet.. The quest goals inside wildernesses can be for more than one person if two or more are on same quest. But, they do respawn. So if someone grabs that box before you, another will appear shortly. You can group for everything but you don’t have to.
The game gives you a fairy path to each of your quests entrances and to each objective inside quest. So no more wondering around trying to find something. Even with the path you will need to roam all over the place to find specials, red names and extra stuff to do.
The guards will actually attack every mob that comes near so if you are solo in a wilderness and low on hp they can help. They won’t heal you though. And there are kids in the towns! They are far and few between and mostly street urchins but it gives a better feel to the places.
They have horses! I don’t have a horse. Yet. Or a companion (a fighting pet). Everyone can have a companion. They except equipment just as in DDO. Another nice thing is when you leave a town to go to another town a double click poofs you right there without that long trek.
If you are hit with arrows you will see them clearly poking out of your side or back. There are knockdowns and spells can be interrupted. Don’t know how many times I was just about to throw a spell only to find myself on my back. (BTW, as far as I can tell wizards do not use any type of weapon just the glowing, floating ball).
When you get around level 14 or so you will start to see some equipment with upgrade slots. Collecting or buying enchantment discs and fusing them will give you bonus discs to slot into the equipment. Each disc will give something for each type of bonus. So you don’t need to make 1 for defense and 1 for offense. They fuse and enchant right from your inventory-no workstation needed. You can remove them and reuse them. For diamonds of course.
There is a somewhat rag doll drop but bloodsplash is pretty much non existant. I think the voice overs and narrations are quite good and most have a bit of personality in them. It only took me a few minutes to get the hang of the controls. There are some differences such as when you want to interact with something hit the ‘F’ button. The alt button brings you out of mouse point and so on. I suppose I could remap but it’s not really necessary.
Crafting I haven’t tried and it looks like a long uphill battle to do it, but… What you craft can only be made by crafting and will not appear in game any other way. You need materials which you find or buy and you need to train professions to get skills to make these things. Each profession advance takes time and as you get more advanced it takes longer. But since you are training a recuited NPC and not youself, training progresses regardless of what your character is doing. Some steps need materials to train so you may have to wait until you find the right stuff.
You may have heard about the kits. Several types-arcane, religious, thief, dungeon, nature. The kits allow interactions with specials to receive crafting materials. If you have a particular class skill you won’t need a kit for that type. My arcane has the arcane skill but needs kits for the others. I don’t know if you can train the other types as skills but it looks like …NOT! So basically if you are not going to craft you don’t need the kits.
Power players may not like this game as much as casual will. Unless of course they are made of money. You can powerplay this game but you will need to purchase the uber packs and Zen and diamonds to do it.
By the way-> you win diamonds doing skirmishes then you can trade them in for ZEN. Certain special items can only be bought with Astrals or Zen.
One thing I don’t like is having to use identify scrolls on things. As far as I know, there isn’t an identify skill to train. You can sell an unidentified item but it will be for far less than if you know what it is. The scrolls are level based with the 60 levels split by a third. So as you level up you will need to buy more expensive scrolls. They do drop from kills but you’ll need more than what would drop. Guess what, they can only be bought with astral diamonds. So run those skirmishes guys
At level 15 you can begin to build in the foundry. No level restrictions on running the homemade foundry quests. The foundry is a neat feature. I have run a few player made quests. Some are really done nice while others …not so much. After you run one you will have the option to rate it for up to 5 stars. You can also write your own review of it and tip the creator coin if you really like it. I will try my hand at building one at some point. I used to build for a few text based muds eons ago.
1 player made quest I really liked was called ‘Fight Club’ Here you can fight through a list of several different types of mobs. Lets you practice your fighting, see what the mobs are resistant to, grab up consumables, heal pots, cash and items. I left a review and even gave a tip. I will run this one several times. If you want to die choose the ‘elite’ list to fight.
The foundry actually is a very smart move. Having content increased by the players them selves for free is genious. They also can see what players like by how often a certain quest is run. As well as seeing what kind of quest types are popular.
This is a very busy game with tons of stuff to do and, unlike the naysayers, I don’t yet feel that it is at all repetitive.
The game engine has the ability to patch ‘on the fly’. This happens as you zone from one instance to the next and is usually 2 or 3 files but once in a while it can be extensive.
My day ended when a piece of hardware failed and killed all the servers and web site. That’s to be expected with a beta game I suppose. One thing I have noticed, so far the forums don’t have all the unhappy fools dissin the game yet. You know the ones, nothing makes them happy except mouthing off against a game. Not like DDO but I guess that will change when the DDO haters move over there. We know who you are! LOL
Over all I like the game , it has a huge world and even though it is incomplete it may really give DDO a run for it’s money.
It would be nice if we could get everyone on the dragon shard server and form up a guild. I would like to see how they do with guilds. To form a guild you will need 5 players logged on at that time. Once formed you can add people as often as you want. Guilds have banks as well. I don’t know what perks will be added to guilds in the future. Right now it’s a quick way to get parties formed. Also with a guild you can plan out your pvp domination teams. I didn’t win my match but did get most kills…and most deaths. :p People are already farming up what they consider is good ‘PVP Gear’.
You can ride you horse into battle in the arena! It helps to move between pillars quicker. Your fighting pets can be in the team dungeons with you as well. Oh your pet can be a humanoid class or an animal. All stay with you forever if you wish and can be leved from 1 to 30. They recieve exp with you as they fight. I have a cleric named Ellentine!!