My Adventure is Over
There will be no new page on this website from now on. This is the end of the adventure.
I started playing Neverwinter the 4th of September 2018, during Mod 14, one month after developping severe eye problems that made me unable to read for prolonged periods, which made me unable to work, as most of my work consists in reading and writing text. Neverwinter was pretty much all I could do, and only a couple of hours here and there, closing my eyes as often as I could... It took me 1 week to reach level 70, the maximum at the time. It was a fantastic adventure.
I remember being totally useless as an Anointed Champion (which was a Cleric path at the time), my only goal being staying alive to buff my allies. And that was tough. I remember being carried through Master Spellplague Caverns by a Paladin who explained all of the mechanics to me, being very patient as I kept messing up, while he pretty much soloed the dungeon. I'm still very grateful to him.
At the time it was easy to exchange AD to Zen, and the price was only 500 AD for 1 Zen. The delay to exchange was only 2 weeks at the worst time (just before the Black Friday sale), at least on PS4. I managed to save enough to buy a full year of VIP. This has saved me tons of time and made the game way better.
I remember getting much better when I unlocked my boons, finally being able to be a decent healer. I completed all of the campaigns by the 18th of March 2019 and was able to beat Castle Ravenloft around those times. Those were good times.
With Mod 15, the lack of content and the Acquisitions Incorporated campaign (despised by pretty much everyone, which hopefully became an Adventure done in one go, instead of having to repeat it ad nauseum) made me play the game a lot less. Masterwork 5 went live with this Mod, and even though I had started to prepare early, it still took me an entire year to reach Masterwork 5... and all of the items were completely obsolete then, because of Mod 16.
Mod 16 changed pretty much everything and increased the maximum level to 80. For many people it meant their character and the build they had worked for became useless, and many people left the game at that point. But to me, the changes made me a real healer, and knowing what was coming, I had saved for max rank Bonding Runestones. These were all anyone needed to be godlike, nothing else mattered, Bonding Runestones. And I had tons of fun in Lair of the Mad Mage. It was the only dungeon in the advanced random queue for the whole mod 16, and it was quite rewarding.
Then Mod 17 came, and with it the challenge of the Trial of the Mad Mage. Unfortunately, that's also when my mother passed away. And I've never been in the mood to do it, even though I could have made a fortune with it.
But that's also when I became more involved with the community. As my eyes were getting a bit better, I took the whole month of December to write a full guide on the game, which is the one you can still look at on MMOMinds. I updated it later for Mod 18 and Mod 19, but it was clear I could not keep updating it forever, as it was all on a single extremely long page for me.
Mod 18 was fantastic. I have joined a very supportive guild, the Dominion of Lost Souls, made very good friends, and after a month of intensive training, finally managed to beat ToMM and obtained my weapons in very few runs.
In July 2020, I started working on this website, to learn all of the technologies that had changed these past couple of years (the web has changed so much in so little time !), still being extra careful with my eyes, but more confident in my ability to get back to work. By October, it was ready, and I put it online.
Mod 19 had just hit Neverwinter, and I really disliked the changes, as healers were nerfed to the ground (as much as monster's damage, so it ended up okay in that regard). The intense gameplay which was about managing Divinity by Channeling, or moving, or timing heals right after monsters hit, so that people survive if they are hit twice in a row (only Paladins could make people survive 2 hits with their gigantic shields at the time, Clerics had a rough time, and often witnessed allies being one shot)... became “Healing Word once every 18s and Xuna will do the rest, you can sleep”. And the new powers and feats we obtained simply didn't make sense at all and were terrible design...
With Mod 19 came the Redeemed Citadel Event. I farmed for the Blessed weapons, which I never used and regretted wasting my time for... And got bored with the endless grind of running in circles forever to look for monsters that would never be there. Only a few items were interesting and they were a gigantic time investment, for the least interesting farm ever... And even after going through all of it, you would not even get them if you were unlucky... So I skipped hunts entirely. I never did Zariel's Challenge either, because the rewards were obsolete on day 1 and training was never at a good time for me.
I thought it would get better, and I was still having some fun, as I challenged myself to solo as many dungeons as I could (videos), and beat even more of them in duo with my best friend (videos). We almost managed to beat Temple of the Nine Gods (last boss was too hard), and almost managed to beat Castle Ravenloft with an extra tank (I'm certain we could have done it, but we ran out of time). Healing's gameplay was terrible, but at least Xuna made it a bit less painful.
Then Mod 20 was announced. My website was 2 months old and I almost completed it (except only the Cleric's powers were detailed), and I knew I had to rework everything from scratch... The mod 16 update was not enough, and they decided to rework everything again. To be honest, there were problems : Bonding Runestones were just too important to have and newer players just didn't know and wouldn't focus on them as early as they could; The scaling system was completely useless because of stat caps, but they insisted on working on it... and they could have done so, simply by caping Power and Weapon Damage in dungeons instead of putting weird formulas on everything... and the stat caps were not displayed ingame (which didn't help new players)... On top of this, tooltips were not generated automatically, and there were tons of mistakes in them (and that's still that way nowadays, which is a terrible coding practice).
When working on the Mod 20 changes, I warned Cryptic about how their new system has huge flaws, about how better practices in how tooltips are generated would save them tons of time, and would make them a lot more accurate... And I didn't realize how much more work I would have to do to update the whole website properly...
My website became a real business, and I had hopes to make it profitable on the long run, to make my time working on it worth it. There would not be a lot of other resources up to date, so I did it for the community, with still some hopes that my voice would be heard, that the problems would get resolved and that there could be a bright future for Neverwinter (we are currently hitting the lowest point ever).
If I disliked Mod 19, I hated Mod 20. I only played a single dungeon, with my best friend, and completed the Sharandar campaign (which is definitely the worst campaign in the game, because it's the least engaging of all, and it's extremely repetitive (not even talking about the AFK hunts with abysmal drop rates)... I spent the whole mod pretty much only collecting VIP keys.
The more I worked on the Mod 20 changes, the more I found stuff that doesn't make sense, problems for the long run, and stuff that doesn't work as advertized. On top of this, Cryptic's communication and selling practices were becoming worse and worse, regularly falsely advertizing stuff, changing the price of items right after they were released, selling stuff to put new better items at a lower price in the Zen Market two weeks later, nerfing items once everyone had farmed them, pushing content with tons of bugs on Live...
And they announced that they fired 40 of their employes after their other game Magic:Legends was a total fiasco because of their lack of quality control. The executive producer, Chris Whiteside, has left the boat with many others, and Neverwinter is in its worst state ever. The devs are still pushing broken content on Live, nothing I talked about more than 6 months ago was fixed, and more and more cash grabs are coming to the Zen Market...
Very recently, they locked new players away from most dungeons, made getting Astral Diamonds a pain for them (which means it will take them much more time to be able to do end game content), removed half of the content of the Leveling phase, did not make the story any better (though tutorials have improved, but there are still tons of posts on Reddit from new players who are lost in those tutorials), pushed the Bard on Live with powers that do not work well, and a mechanic that's borderline unplayable on consoles (because moving is everything in dungeons and you just can't stop to input a song whenever you want) and items that won't work at all for them (like Mirage weapons), made all of my progress on masterwork useless (yup, never been able to craft anything good with it for almost 2 years and now it's all gone for nothing, so much for being masterwork 5 in every craft... the worst part is masterwork 7 will be as useless as everything before...), and now they are going to monetize unbounding items which should not have been bound to character but bound to account in the first place...
That's as far as I'll go. I don't enjoy the game anymore, and wasting my time understanding how items work (or too often don't work) killed everything for me. Not only it would have taken me a lot less time to write my guide if stuff was explained properly and actually worked, it also ended up being really not profitable for me, as I've been earning about 50€ a month, which is really not much for a full time job...
So, it's really a matter of Time, Money, and Motivation : it takes way too long to work on Neverwinter, because of the bad tooltips and bugs, so I couldn't do it as a hobby. It's not a profitable business either, so I would have to stop anyway, even if I wanted to continue. And I don't want to involve myself more with a game that I consider broken beyond repairs.
I might be pessimistic, but unless they rework the game from scratch (and I mean the way they code it, not the content, though the content is very lacking too lately), which they won't do, because it's way too late now, and they have limited resources. The game will only get worse and worse, especially if they keep pushing new content every two months, as it's becoming a rush, and they will never catch up.
I know that many of you still enjoy the game, and don't really care that much about the broken stuff, but for a content creator trying to explain the game and to guide players, it's just too much. I won't tell you to quit, because what matters is having fun. And if you're still having fun, it's all that matters. I don't think Cryptic and Neverwinter have a bright future, but Neverwinter will probably still be there next year. I just can't recommend this game to new players, who would either have to spend lots of money or might see the end of the game before being able to do the hardest dungeons.
Regardless, I wanted to have a proper guide for the game, and that's now done, even though I wish it could be even more complete, more positive, and an ongoing story. Working on this website teached me lots of things, and I'm now going back to projects I've left way too long ago. It was great discussing stuff with you all. Thanks to all of you, who have contributed with your remarks, and screenshots of mounts. Special thanks to those who have supported the website financially, and made it possible to keep it online for a year or two more.
Today, the 16th of October 2021, I've now uninstalled the game (and removed 145 GB of videos/screenshots from my PS4). Farewell, and whether it's on Neverwinter or other games, have fun !