Neverwinter is a free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons fantasy action MMORPG by Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment. It released in 2013 and has had 21 modules added over the years, as well as featuring some fantastic action-oriented combat. Every attack, ability and dodge requires manual planning and execution by the player. Today, module 22 will launch on PC titled Neverwinter: Dragonbone Vale, with console content launching on February 8. It’s a great time to get back into this MMORPG, or start fresh with the redesigned tutorial and story-rich levelling experience.
The most recent major update to Neverwinter was in July 2021 with the release of Jewel of the North. This added a new Bard class as well as a significant change to the levelling process by introducing a level squish, so the max level has dropped from 80 down to 20. Prior to this level squish, Neverwinter played like most MMORPG’s on the market. You kill monsters and complete quests to gain experience and earn enough to gain a level. Now though, levels are granted to the player as they complete story elements.
At first, it was quite jarring not earning any XP from killing monsters. I’m used to just killing everything in between quests but now I find myself just skipping a lot of these trash mobs. It took me a good few hours to get used to skipping groups of mobs that ultimately made my game time more efficient. Now, we complete quests within a linear story arc that takes us across key zones and areas to quest in. This allows new and returning players to reach epic-level content much faster (in approximately 10-12 hours) and gives veteran players the option to quickly level up their alternate characters.
Any characters you had previously, whether level 1 or level 80, will be converted to level 20 once you log in. Old characters will be placed back in Protector’s Enclave, Neverwinter’s central player hub, and you’ll be given quests to introduce you to the new systems and transition your current character to the new levelling and content progression. You’ll be given a new set of armour and weapons which won’t be high enough item level to get you straight into end-game content, but you’ll be given quests and journal updates to see what you need to do next. I’ll go more in depth in a future separate article as well as chronicle my experience playing thew new Bard class.
For now though, once the Neverwinter: Dragonbone Vale module releases later today, we’ll be able to navigate to the steep and treacherous terrain of the Sword Mountains. The Cult of the Dragon have been discovered. Elminster Aumar has called for the great factions of the land to assemble: The Lords’ Alliance, the Emerald Enclave, the Order of the Gauntlet, and the Harpers. This gathering has been dubbed the Shield of the North. Your journey will begin in the War Camp where preparations are being made to push further into the valley towards a dark ritual site.
There are bridges that divide the zone into the Sword Mountains’ four distinctive areas, starting with Wyrmbone Marrows in the south, reaching up through Quellwater Tarn, Scaleblight Summit, and Whetstone Thicket. We’re also given access to a new exploration tool specific to these zones within Dragonborn Vale – a grappling hook. Not to be confused with the grappling hook from Halo Infinite that could be used anywhere, this new feature will allow you to grapple up to hitching posts spread through the new zones, similar to ones seen in certain parts of The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood.
I’m super keen to get my older characters ready to explore these new zones once Neverwinter: Dragonbone Vale releases today on PC and on February 8 for consoles.
Written by: @ChrisJInglis