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