Neverwinter, an MMO role-playing game from Cryptic Studios, is an online Dungeons and Dragons adventure. Full of dynamic quests, fun customizations, and a plethora of rewards, it hasn’t gotten a huge amount of notice since its debut in 2013. While originally released for PC, it came out on Xbox One in 2015, and Playstation 4 in 2016. But it is an excellent way for fans of the tabletop RPG to explore the world and lore of D&D further. Here are seven reasons, in no particular order, why you should be playing it, too!
1. It Gets Updated With D&D Campaign Guides
When new adventure campaigns for Dungeons and Dragons are released, there is a subsequent quest system on Neverwinter to enjoy them. This includes older campaigns like Storm King’s Thunder and Rage of Demons, as well as newer ones such as The Descent and Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Players who enjoy these campaigns at the table will have another avenue to explore them. In contrast, players who haven’t gotten to play them traditionally can still experience all the fun they have to offer. This also enforces the living, breathing world of Neverwinter to have constant threats arise.
2. It’s a Positive Online Experience
Let’s be frank; not everyone online is nice. And it can be frustratingly hard to find a community that lets you explore on your own without harassment. Neverwinter’s community is, by far and large, very supportive, collaborative, and welcoming. It is a commonplace to see players heal others who have fallen or help them in a battle, and then move on with their own quest. You can also find players role-playing as their characters in the Moonstone Mask – a tavern outside of the main city. While there is a PVP option, it is not necessary, and you can play the game without ever crossing a PVP space. Many quests are also very collaborative, such as gathering to fight a dragon that appears once every fifteen minutes. With a common end goal and rewards in mind, players work together in harmony.
3. Happy Holidays
Neverwinter also finds an excuse to celebrate real-world holidays inside the game. It’s exciting to enter the main city and see new decorations, events, and themes to celebrate. These draw from real holidays such as Chinese New Year and Christmas while keeping true to its D&D roots. A winter festival allowed players to slalom and go ice fishing, while a summer festival let players collect food and play sporting events. It is exciting to enter the city and find it all decorated with hanging lanterns or covered in snow. And to see fireworks shoot off over buildings as another player enjoys the party.
You have to try hard to be bored in Neverwinter. Quests are allowed to be completed over again, and some are on a constant loop. There are a variety of rewards to get in many different avenues, allowing players to pursue multiple quests and side quests simultaneously. Even large quests that have you cycle through side quests over and over again will mix it up with new objectives and locations to keep things fresh. There is never a dull moment in the game.
5. An Adventuring Party
Players can join adventuring parties with people they know in real life or met in the game. After reaching level 15 (which goes by very quickly), you can assign players to be your “friend.” This lets players load together in the same instance as they travel the world and realms of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s gratifying to complete quests with a spouse or a best friend. But you can also join dungeons or skirmishes that temporarily pair you with others to take on challenging quests. The system keeps the parties balanced, allowing everyone’s strengths to shine and making it feel like a traditional D&D game. These include defending a bridge, exploring an arcane tower, and even fighting the five-headed dragon goddess Tiamat. For those that prefer to play alone, there is also the fun option to hire an NPC companion that travels with you and assists you in battle.
6. Deep D&D Lore
As Neverwinter was initially released before the trendy 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, there is a great deal of lore to enjoy. There are many gods, locations, and storylines that draw from older versions of D&D as well as newer ones. Players can also chat with and go on quests with classic characters from the popular R.A. Salvatore novels, such as the drow ranger Drizzt and gruff dwarven king Bruenor. There are also many characters from the campaign books scattered throughout Neverwinter, including the vampire Strahd and the mad mage Halaster. There are many locations to explore, such as the Underdark, Pirates Skyhold, the Shadowfell, and Icespire Peak.
7. So Many Rewards
Neverwinter is a very achievement-oriented game. And it does this very well. There are short, and long quests players can tackle to get all kinds of rewards. This includes new armor and weapons, regular wardrobe items (which can be worn without sacrificing armor rating), mounts, pets, spells, boons, enchantments, and everything in between. There is always a feeling of “I want this next” and “Now this thing”! It certainly adds to the excitement to see other players running about with glowing armor riding drakes being followed by tiny dinosaurs. No matter how short or long you play, you’ll never exit the game feeling as if you haven’t achieved anything. In that way, it’s very rewarding, and there is a constant sense of achievement.
Somehow, Neverwinter has been mostly overlooked by the D&D community. There are many options for those who want to experience Dungeons and Dragons, including board games and other video game experiences. But Neverwinter is a dark horse, and it’s constant vibrant quests, supportive community, and living world is a gift that keeps on giving. No D&D fan’s resume is complete without diving the excellence that is this game.
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!