Dear Julia and the Development Team,
Hello, my name is Jenna and I am known to the community as Enna Backpetal, a cleric in Blackcloaks and Enna F Backpetal, the Leader of and Fighter in Spiritcloaks, both within the Cloaks Alliance. I have been playing for about 3 years now. I am a fairly new content creator on Twitch, starting on June 8, 2019, with Neverwinter being my top game to stream accounting for about 99% of my content. I became apart of the content creator community in November 2018 co-hosting with GreyHastur.
I am writing this rather lengthy letter to voice my concerns about the state of the game as I see it through my eyes and through the eyes of viewers of my channel and members within the Neverwinter community in-game.
The changes to the game over the last few months have been many and for many of us, most welcome. Mod 16 was buggy, but exciting, only to have those changes that made it fun again, taken away from us within days. We cried the day that the mob health decreased while doubling our enchantment values – it should have been one or the other (or none), but not both. It was said Mod 16 was about class balancing and making things more challenging and then in the next breath took the challenge away, catering to the loudest voices who from my experience represent a minority of the playerbase. That on top of the fact that class balancing still needs major work - was, and still is, a source of major disappointment.
Random dungeon queues have changed and it is a source of great frustration for many new players. It may have overlooked but: New Players have 1 loadout and that player is going to choose the DPS path every time. Granted they get a second loadout at level 30, but for all players 30 and under in the levelling queue are going to be dps. Now the trifecta (1 Tank, 1 Heal, 3 DPS) is forced onto the levelling queue and what's happening now is the wait times are atrocious because everyone is looking for that healer that will never proc unless a higher level person queues into it as a healer. As a lvl 80 Devout I can sit and proc the levelling queue, one after the other, all day long, but as an Arbiter, I wait and wait and wait. My suggestion is to remove the requirements for the levelling queues, even if it requires some additional programming to separate the two skirmishes that are in the levelling queue (because I'm guessing that's the problem).
Uprising created an amazing, challenging dungeon. However I am super upset by many things and because of them I lack the ambition to try. I am not the only one that feels this way, and while reading this, you should know that many many people feel the same way.
My first and biggest issue is, the Trial requires a double trifecta but then there is a lack of freedom over which classes can be used. Let me explain. You can have 6 Wizards (or insert any of the same class of DPS here) on DPS or 2 Fighters (or 2 Paladins) for tanks, but you cannot viably have 2 Healing Clerics or 2 Healing Paladins or 2 Healing Warlocks. The trial MUST have those temporary hit points with the Paladin heals because a healing Cleric or a healing Warlock cannot heal through a hit from Halastar that has more damage than the tank has hitpoints. It's ridiculous, disappointing and unfair.
Second, the small group of 10 people who do not play the game regularly, and are clearly only in it for a profit, have dictated how the trial was even developed and created. Testers in BETA didn't even get to really test the trial – the whole community relied on people from the elite player base community to test it. Those same people now have the trial on farm mode and have since left the game because no one is buying their loot, which feels like their agenda for testing in the first place. Most only came back after 2 weeks of not playing because Lassor wanted to do the trial with them while it was streamed live.
And, on a side note, that was a real kick in the HAMSTER to content creators that are here nearly every day streaming the game – to have a Dev ask to be in that group and to have it be streamed by someone who doesn't normally stream on a regular basis. There are many frequent dedicated and long term streamers in the community. We as streamers who play almost daily, for many hours and are all trial-ready with little to no practice, but have yet to be invited to play with anyone on a livestream, having a small select group of top tier players doesn't show the skill required and doesn't do the dungeon justice.
Third, The trial dropped on us without balancing the classes needed to keep all classes viable. Rangers are no longer relevant as ranged (and there are players that want to, and do, play ranged despite being told they can't) and are barely relevant as melee. Warlocks aren't wanted either because their damage is somewhere around 15% less than others. They are being taken to trial practice, yes, but they are being carried and it's no fun for the person playing the ranger/warlock just as it's no fun for the group carrying the person.
Fourth, because of all of the attention given to the loudest voices who I do not believe represent the majority, many good players have left the game. Since Ravenloft, it feels like the changes are pushing people to leave a game they love. I'm sure it's in the numbers. People might have come back for Mod 16, but it feels like numbers have fallen a great deal lately. Please stop pandering to the loudest voices. Just remember for every person you hear complaining, think of the number of people that are keeping quiet because they love the game as it is.
Fifth, There are issues with the test server, not everyone wants to go on the test server and run the new content. There are a ton of us who have avoided anything on preview, avoided watching anything on preview, because we wanted to – and will always want to – experience content organically – when it goes live. So many of us were not even aware of what was going on with the preview server and this elite group of people and now that it is on the live server, we have to take what they came up with for you. That is a hard pill to swallow. I feel more players would play the test server if it wasn't the identical content to the next release, but maybe an arena style fight with the mechanics in there but individually rather than a boss fight with all mechanics in one.
Finally, the trial dropped on us as a very exciting challenge and then later it was called an experiment. There are so many things wrong with this. It was obvious this wasn't intended as an experiment, but as a new state of the game and it was exciting! To now say it's an experiment just feels like a cop out for anything that doesn't work. Cryptic should be proud of what they have created and own this as an intended challenging dungeon and then set about fixing what is making it all go wrong.
In conclusion, please make the content challenging again. We all feel like we are right back at Mod 15. Please make the levelling queue have no class requirement. Please fix the classes and/or trial so 2 of the same healing class can be viable. Please stop pandering to the loudest voices. Please stop using the same group of people to test the game. These people, while doing it for free, really aren't doing it for free, they are doing it for an in-game profit. The content needs testing, not the top tier players.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss issues I have raise, you can reply to me here or alternatively My channel can be found at www.twitch.tv/backpetal.
Just call me Enna...
Enna Backpetal Cleric
Enna F Backpetal Fighter Twitch Me Baby One More Time
My thoughts are very close to what you have said.
I hope you have more success than me in getting some answer.
Rangers are lacking in single target DPS
Warlock's have to be carried
Cannot have 2 healing clerics (though definitely cannot have 2 SW's)
Stop catering to the loud noises
Stop testing content by the elite players
I disagree with rangers lacking DPS even as single target and to stop catering to the loud noises only.
My reasons are:
I have tested all the top 3 dps classes by skill ceiling players and for rangers, the difference in ST dps is very miniscule in comparison to an arcanist, that is presumably the best ST dps dealer. In fact, they have the best rush skills and burst aoe that it doesn't justify for them to also have the best ST DPS as well.
My second reason to not cater to the elitist is because the game has been catering for the casual players for as long as it existed. These elitist have spend irl money and time and effort to reach where they are now. It's like they chased for all that end gear and progressed through game to only find out that they didn't need any of that for any dungeon.
I am also absurdly confused about why people separate TOMM for the 1%. It is not for the 1%, it is for the 100% if those 99% actually do aim to reach BiS. The dungeon is a end game dungeon which is suppose to be played by end game players. The same way TOMG, CR and etc are made for averaged gear player, would you then blame the dev's for not making them available for someone who just turned lvl 80 with 15-16ilvl with no real experience of dungeons? This game is all about its gear progression and it only makes sense to gate dungeons behind a certain lvl gear, otherwise the game will lose all its sense of progression. In the same way, TOMM is something to be chased for and sought after, you remove TOMM, you basically remove the existence of elitism in the game. Why shouldn't you perfect things in life? If you are a casual player, that is perfectly fine with me as someone who respects elitism but i don't understand what part of being good in the game is a problem? if anything, we carry you guys in LOMM and other difficult dungeons when you are completely oblivious of the mechanics.
Note that PVE games always tend to rely on progression to attract players whereas the PVP games are more about cosmetics and etc. God forbid you make a PVP game pay2win, you'll see no one play in 1 month's time.
I want to offer my opinion on what u wrote, since I agree with a lot of your points, but disagree on some. I 100% agree that the nerf to mob health and the enchantment buff were unneeded, and that class balance is not in a good place now.
I also agree on what u wrote regarding the random ques. I understand where u are coming from here, and while its not a “must” to have a paladin, it’s a fair complaint, that its way harder to do without an OP in your Party. This is where I have to disagree, I was part of the people that testet the Trial on preview, aswell as many of my guildmates and friends in Neverwinter, and the notion that we designed the trial only to make a profit, and that the majority of us already stopped playing it, is just wrong. Some people are playing the new PoE seasone now, but most of us are still here, and enjoying the trial.
Regarding the loot:
I asked for unbound loot dropping in the Trial, but that is because I think its generally better for the game to have unbound loot. In my opinion Dungeons should be the main source of income in a game like this, and unbound loot makes content relevant for a far longer time then bound loot. It also drains a lot of AD out of the game, which the devs at some points stated that that is something they want to do. Also I find nothing more frustrating then to have loot that is only obtainable by RNG (hello OMU rings), since i tend to get shafted by RNG nearly every time.
So no, im not in it for the profit alone (although good rewards are certainly part of what makes a dungeon fun imo) and also a lot of my friends and guildmates aren’t running it just for profit. We wanted challenging content, that actually makes us want to play the game, that was the main motivation. I know you and Viral have some personal problems, but to be fair, he streamed the trial regularly when we were running on Preview, and also when they started to run on the Live server. And albeit other streamers being here for longer, I haven’t seen anyone else, besides Zyandra really streaming the trial at the start. So if the Developers want to show the trial, it only makes sense to do that with someone that actually runs it. I agree, class balancing is not where it should be, but atleast for ranger and Warlock its not as bad as u make it out to be, Ranger is up there with TR/CW and as I have demonstrated on another thread, Warlock dps is enough to finish the trial. Although you are right 100% that its not optimal and I hope that the Developers change this as soon as possible, its also always the case that some kind of "meta" evolves in a game with different classes. Some paths will be worse, (Ranged hunters, for example, arent "no longer" relevant, they werent relevant before mod 16 either) and some paths will be better. I truly hope cryptic manages to balance all the classes, but neverwinter was never balanced, and imo, today is propably better then before. Maybe im alone with this experience, but I have actually seen a lot of players come back to the Game because of the trial. Tbh, my guild would most likely be dead if mod 17 wouldn’t have added something challenging that we as a group can enjoy. I get why players don’t want to spoil themselves on the Preview server, but I don’t think that there is a good solution to this problem. Cryptic doesn’t have the manpower to test everything themselves, and especially with hard and rewarding content like the Trial, its crucial that there are no exploits in there, if people could cheat their way to victory, the rage in the community would be far worse then what is going on now. Having an arena to test mechanics individually, while sounding like a good idea, would not be able to identify loopholes in a dungeon/trial as good as running the actuall dungeon.
And since the trial was talked about in the Forums, and also streamed regularly on twitch when it was on preview, it should have been hard to not be aware of it, if one is involved with the community. Its not the fault of the players that testet on preview, that other players didn’t test it. I encourage everyone to test for themselves on preview, but it kinda saddens me that u think so low of me, gonz, and the other people that tested the trial on preview. If we were only in it for the profit, we wouldnt have streamed it, there wouldnt be extensive guides written about it. I think the trial is a step in the right direction, i can only hope that we get more content like that.
First of all, I wanted to tell you something about the people who you said test the trial and are just in for profit, please don't make assumption about them, you don't know their life, neither do I.
Moreover, be glad they provided videos and explanations and guide for the trial so you can figure the caps to reach and how to deal with mechanics...
And what is the problem by making your own group full of content creators TOMM-ready ? It takes a lot of practice, of investissement on character, on time and on group synergy... Just because you're TOMM ready (again according to the guide) doesn't mean you are ready to succeed.
How can you ask about a more challening game when the last trial is challenging ? I can't understand this...
people who don´t want things to change because they are very happy with the state of classes balance, and tomm, and all this OP concerns will do this: they will pick one small aspect of the OP´s text and attack that.
Like "eh rangers are ok", or "one warlock once finished TOMM", or "I entered once the preview server, why are you attacking me?" and then implying the rest of the post is wrong.
Stating something like: "Make the game difficult again" is a road to hell. I mean, M16 did one major thing wrong in this accord: it made things unbearable for a casual player while not satisfying the skilled ones. That is the problem - you need more difficulty settings and corresponding rewards. If you have just one, wherever it is, you are hurting too many people.
I personally do not care anymore. Originally I played the content a few mods after the release, when requirements begun to be "whatever". With scaling... I consider such an attitude gone. To top that, some challenges have other checks - like CoDG - and will never be playable by less skilled people.
So yeah, I understand your desire - but please, realise you are once again just one voice of many trying to prove your own interest. And that is what the devs have to realise: They do not have a homogeneous player-base, on the contrary, once in a while they should drop a candy to every segment of a game.
We do also intend on running it with an SW solo healer, just to prove a point that paladins are not a must, and more of an excuse to the players who cannot beat it to fall back on. Most of my group did quit, and did come back for the trial. I quit in M16 as I didn't like how the combat felt after the changes, however there is something new and fun to play, in this trial and its difficult. The difficulty of it, outweighs the dislike I have for the combat, and running that trial is fun... or was. Also if we were doing the trial purely for profit, why would we have so many guides published and promoted? We would just keep them to ourselves.
The reason why my group dictated how the trial was developed was because they wanted feedback, like most things they develop, however there was nobody to give feedback, except from us. That's why they worked closely with us, as we could have a direct form of communication to improve the trial.
You could probably watch my old streams, or messages ive said in various places, that I said I would farm the trial until I didnt want to farm it anymore, until it became boring. I farmed it, and yes, inevitably it became boring, so I began to slow down. I don't see you wanting to run MEs on every character everyday, because over time it loses its enjoyment value. This is why we pushed to make it harder and harder, so it would keep its difficulty and enjoyment for longer, but people thought it was already too hard. The reason I've personally been away from streaming is because im trying to sort out issues in real life, and I don't have as much time, this is why the stream was actually delayed for 2 weeks in the first place, as I didnt know when I have time. As Tom said above, at the time, I was the only streamer doing the trial, with Zyandra starting shortly after. The point was to promote the Trial, not content added in older modules. If other people were streaming the Trial, I assure you, I would have not been picked. It's not a secret, im not the most ideal person to promote, but when I am the only choice, you are forced into a decision. I don't see what the issues are with preview, it's there to help test and give feedback to the devs, kinda like this post? I know you dislike going on there, as you don't like to ruin anything, but it's not like anything is going to be spoiled or ruined by you doing it, people will talk about it around you. How I see it, you are just missing out, and using it as an excuse for something, as there is no reason to not visit it. Going into the trial, people expected you to know the mechanics at least a little. So if you don't want to try the trial out on preview, then you could have read a guide, or watched a video, but I know you also chose not to do that. Considering you want to help the community, wouldn't watching and promoting someone's guide be in your interest, and not shutting it down whenever it comes up?
I would go into more details about that stream, as its a main focus point for this letter, however I dont think I should be revealing private messages with the developers, and I feel if you were to put more attention into your own gameplay and abilities in the game and looking into improving, then that could have easily been you streaming with the devs, and having them promote you.
Alternatively, to make the above possible without being illogical, they could give certain difficulties to some dungeons. For example LOMM could have a lowest difficulty catering to someone with 90k power minimum. Eventhough, you see enough people running with lower power than that, but they almost always get carried. However, the rewards have to be lower otherwise it becomes unfair. But i still think that the issue with TOMM is not this, in fact the casual players would still hate the dungeon as there is a single boss, and if he didn't aoe one shot you without you knowing the mechanics because the difficulty is set to low, then most casual players will bore out of it pretty fast. Most casual players i know just want trash trash trash and they want to see those juicy crit numbers float.
But something like TOMM must stay top difficulty or maybe add another setting for non-dps classes to be able to play TOMM at lower difficulty but keep the rewards the same since they are lower in dps anyway.
But it's a big no no for a progression based game to simply allow all content to be playable by all the playerbase. Where is the sense of progression when you can do any dungeon with any gear? Can we then say that we need the gear at all?
In fact, elitism encourages skill over anything else but then the gear system needs to vanish but there is loophole even in this situation. Assume for a second, that the devs remove the gear/ilvl altogether and release a dungeon TOMM 2 for a certain skilled lvl players. Do you think the casual players with lower gears will like that? In fact, they'll hate it even more as now they can't compensate for their lack of skills through the gear which at least they could earn through the grind and playing casually, that they actually love doing.
The current system is benefiting every type of person. If you prefer a grindy game, well good luck you got just that. If you hate the grind because you work and study then you have the ZAX and Zen store. If you love difficult content that requires skill and gear, then you have TOMM. If you love content that requires less skill and less gear, you have LOMM. If you love content that requires no skill, you have lots of dungeons and if you love content that requires less gear but skill, then you have CR, CODG, TONG etc. The addition of TOMM was aimed at those that wanted a reward for obtaining Bis gear and requiring skill for the dungeon i.e. elitists and the game had yet to cater for them.
I congratulate the Dev's for making this decision and it was utmost wise of them to cater to this small population that had been overlooked for years.
If that screenshot doesn not make the devs go and balance the classes, my hope is lost.
> Again that screenshot with 7 dps players from only 2 classes.
> If that screenshot doesn not make the devs go and balance the classes, my hope is lost.
If you want we can also upload the screenshot of the non-meta successful run. Do you prefer that one?
But don´t try to convince me that all the classes are at the same level because once one warlock and one guardian finished ToMM.
Well sorry. You can try to convince me of that if you want.
@sobi I didn't write it, because I thought it was clear, the more difficult the level is, the better are the rewards, and that's how you feel that you improved yourself.
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"Don't ever become a pessimist... a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events."
All I read constantly is "its possible, its possible."
Yeah it is.
As if that ever was the point, the point was: It's not a similar experience.
When I run content with a likely geared SW (we even got the same Battlehorns, Power around 1.5k difference, he got a bit more base power) and I go looking for that one popcorn I just lost, he pops 3 battlehorns while I pop ... my popcorn.. and I end up as top paingiver, even if it wasn't by much, then its laughable.
And well, that wasn't a hypothetical situation here.
The elitism aside, the issue with Tomm is how worthless running other content is now compared to it. Nobody would feel like an idiot if there were some rewards in running content, other than RNG on meh-rewards and RAD thats capped to a minimum, and many other ways to make AD nerfed. (I'm looking at you, MW!)
Of course there are still ways to make AD. There is still stuff to sell. Yeah, yeah. I can also hypothetically make a lot of AD from EXP if I had so much time. ... Cause thats what everything else is consuming far too much now, compared to M15. Time.
With what originally was the way to go, the average daily grinding nerfed, and it now mainly consisting of MEs (and their slightly altered copies) its hard to love the game especially when the RNG is not on your side.
Thats the only winning factor of a big daily grind now: pure RNG. If I get something good, I can stomach another few days of nothing. I didn't get anything for a week, I feel like hitting dummies and pretending rather.
Now is pretty much late for everything as we see most of the player base migrated to another clases.
There was a lot of silence in quite a few threads.
There is now, too. Why put so much effort into anything that gets pushed aside (like testing class balance, comparing heals and the SW healing ability as a whole compared to the others, dps, stuff like that), but hey - Tomm works! Tomm gets worked on! Oh, another dev answer on a Tomm thread.
I don't mind Tomm or who it caters to. But it felt like it sucked the devttention from every other topic regarding the whole mess left behind.
I do however have one small comment concerning quite a few of the replies focussed on TOMM:
Volume matters. Of course TOMM has not yet reached a point where there is a lot of volume yet, but it would be nice if we could stop treating a couple of non-meta successes as being applicable to the greater whole. You don't refer to them as non-meta for nothing.
I am happy to know that there are people that can do TOMM on a DPS Warlock, I am happy to know that non-meta groups can complete it. Its good news, but until as many Archery Rangers, DPS Clerics or DPS Barbarians have finished that thing as Wizards Rogues or melee Rangers have.. Balance is still obviously an issue.
Yes I know most of you agree with that premise (at least somewhat..archery ranger may be a stretch ), but I would very much like for Cryptic to not get distracted by a screenshot or other anecdotes and then decide "oh all is well". I want them to stay focused on the big, seriously skewed, picture. Yes, I also know that that is a very paranoid attitude. But I am not willing to pretend to have much trust left here. Yet, I have hope and I'd like to keep it for a little longer.
They should have the numbers. Just look at the numbers of people completing, damage dealt and all of that. And adjust.
I just mentioned that screenshot because it looks ironical to me that a run intended to gather some kind of prove of balance between classes choses to run with only 2 different classes as dps.
Everyone knows about the issues with the dps classes. It has been discussed to death and everyone, including the people, who are running TOMM, has agreed that those classes need to have their damage ratios fixed to be inline with the others.
I am not sure why everyone is going around complaining so much about TOMM with a stick up their HAMSTER. It is not the first time content has been released for a specific group. This happened just recently with whatever mod was IA. This mod had absolutely nothing of value for anyone who already was or near BIS. What was available? a rank 14 enchantment and gear that you had to jump through hoops to get that was worse than your current gear? While there was some complaints then i dont remember nearly the same volume as their is now. If you cant get into TOMM then work your way there so you can do it. These so called "Evil loot selling testers who are only in it for themselves" have provided us with multiple guides and videos showing us exactly how to run the trial successfully.
Maybe instead of continually bashing these people we should maybe thank them for helping to make sure we actually have a working trial. Or i guess instead we could have a trial where you just queued with 10 people running Xuna and basically have the trail autocompleted for you.....
NOTE: I am currently not able to run the trial and have not set foot in it.
Moreover, D&D is supposed to be a very social game, official adventures are for 4-6 players iirc
That doesn't sound complex to me, and a lot of people forget what the first "M" means in MMORPG.
Neverwinter is not D&D, it's a MMORPG based on D&D.
I now that the topic of that post was not ONLY dps class balance, but it was mentioned on the first message.
And I imagine the party gathering for that run:
_ Ey, let´s show that Paula how wrong she is, let´s make a run with only one healer so she can´t complain anymore.
- Great idea! what DPS do we use?
- All wizzards and rogues and rangers, of course... if not we are not finishing it.
- YAY! let´s shut up that b****.
If I wanted to purely profit off of ToMM, I would never have written a guide for it and left you and the rest of the community in the dark. It is far more to my advantage for nobody to know anything about it outside of my group if I wish to profit, then it is for me to tell you how to beat it. Think about that. How often did you stream ToMM exactly? Complaining about the target audience of ToMM doesn't count. If the developers intended to do a livestream on ToMM, it makes sense to ask the people who are actively running it, which would be my team and tom's team at the time. And as far as content creation goes, where are your guides on how to beat ToMM, or how to play a class? I don't see any. I am well aware that I do not represent the majority, but the funny thing is, the developers explicitly stated this piece of content was designed for the top end players. Don't you think, it makes sense to include what the top end players want out of content, in content designed for them? Furthermore, do not pretend that you represent the majority either, you represent the streamer/youtuber community, which is far more interested in twitch loot drops then in actually having challenging content. Even during the beta, the devs called this an experiment. At no point did they act like it was not an experiment. Something can be challenging and also be experimental and there is nothing wrong with calling it what it is. The post was with reference to healers, but if you want to discuss DpS I will indulge you. On preview, I was initially mainly responsible for forming the groups. Funnily enough, I main a wizard. Also interestingly enough, I wrote a guide for a class, which happened to be Wizard. I have been writing guides for a very long time, probably longer than you have been playing. Most of the people who add me in game overwhelmingly play 1 class, this has been the case since circa mod 6, can you guess which class that is. Yep, that class is Wizard! Conclusion: If I am responsible for making a group, its highly likely the group composition, irrespective of the state of the class, will contain multiple Wizards. I am not going to tell the people I know in game, "sorry, I won't invite you as you do not play the right class for me to meet my class quota."
The thing about the trial is, it takes a long time to teach people how to do it. We had been running with a group of about ~13 people together on preview for 4 weeks before it went live. We weren't suddenly going to abandon this group when it hit live, considering the time we had invested into helping each other. The funny thing is, now that it is live, people are also running on their under geared alts. Those whirlwinds take 200 wins, that takes a lot of time and you can only do 20 wins/week/character!
The other DpS classes can finish the trial. Yes, it will be harder than with a group consisting entirely of Wizards/Rogues/Hunters, but I am pretty sure a group of only Warlocks or only Barbarians as DpS could finish it. When 1 of our core group members plays his Barbarian alt, he does ~80% of our top DpS. Considering we have finished it with 2 DpS fallen off or 2 DpS debuffed by magnets, finishing with 6 Barbs is not out of the question. The only class I feel hesitant can complete it with 6 of is 6 Guardian Fighters, the rest are all fair game. That is not saying that the classes are balanced, class balance does need work, but it is saying that the class you are playing as DpS is not the reason you are failing to complete the trial.