At first I found Neverwinter pleasant in a steady, middly way. Then I got used to the controls a little and the very new strangeness of everything eased. Once you get to just playing without thinking about your fingers too much, it’s really a very nice game. The controls are a little strange – to me anyway – a reticule points you and the wasd keys move you (strafe not turn for ad), there’s that. Also there’s just the normal learning things. I haven’t managed to figure out how teleport works properly for example, but then I’m only just starting this Control Wizard. I do have a Guardian that I’ve taken to level 8 too, and that was a blast!
As is to be expected from Cryptic, download, install and play worked just fine on the old laptop. The graphics look ok on highest setting, and it still runs well for me. This is a good thing because the graphics are pretty hideous at less than best settings, very jaggy. There is some lag in cities – but all in all the performance is not bad for a game at the beginning of its life. I expect things will smooth even more in the coming months but even if they don’t, play is acceptable.
Alas, can’t comment on companions or crafting, or anything too deep yet. I hope I find time to play this enough to do so though. Being a D&D game, the dungeons are the thing, and they are fun – corners to explore, treasures to find, lever mechanisms and of course monsters. Combat includes positioning yourself and blocking attacks, which is all flavour of the month just now. Dancing about waving your reticule isn’t really what I enjoy but fortunately it isn’t maddening and I mostly hit what I aim for and stay out of trouble. It would flow more smoothly if there was just slightly less lag I think – but Cryptic was smart enough to make fights quite forgiving, your reticule doesn’t have to be exactly on what you aim at, nor do you have to be pixel-perfect when moving. (Mind you I can only comment on the lower levels.)
One thing that’s really well done is you can group or solo at will. What a breath of fresh air that is! I’m not sure if there is some coercive choice there – possibly groups get better loot? Well, I have a lot to explore still. I’ve not been nagged to spend at every turn and so far my bags are adequate but there may be trouble ahead on that. I believe bags can only be bought for cash. I hate it when you’re forced to pay for bagspace and have never bought a bag for cash in a game yet – doubt I will this time either. I’d prefer to shop for a nice outfit or mount sometime.
So far I am liking this game. It doesn’t have much of a virtual world feel, more like being in a stage-set. You cannot explore at will, and so far quests have been “on rail” affairs – not my normal kind of game at all, but I’m coping 🙂