Before I start, I want to say I am writing this because I want this game to succeed and in my opinion 2020 was the worst year in this game’s history instead of taking the covid uptick (most games improved due to more players) the game actually managed to not slide down a hill but fall down a cliff! I really hope 2021 will be better!
THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE AN ATTACK ON CHRIS WHITESIDE! It is meant to be a review of the past year!
When Chris Whiteside was first announced he made promises like he will listen to all players. Let’s look back at his first year and see if he was earnest in that statement or just saying it because it sounded good!
These are some (not all) of the changes Chris Whiteside brought to Neverwinter:
- HIDING rewards from certain players
The decision was made to not reveal what rewards are available in game and also hide away where to obtain these rewards. A Good example of this is the recent hunt gear. Many people have no idea that hunts drop good gear and when they see people using these hunt gear have no CLUE where they can obtain it. With the RNG system making it even harder how is someone to know they must repeatedly do content especially after the got nothing for extremely hard work (like t3 hunt) and got nothing!
- Less campaigns
Under Chris Whiteside the decision was made to reduce the campaigns from 3 per year to 2 per year. What does this mean for the players (from non bis perspective). Non-BIS Players have not had a new trial to play in more than 2 years. A Large percentage of the player base can barely play Lair of the mad mage at this time meaning they have to play a more than one-year old dungeon as their latest dungeon. Reducing the amount of Campaign means these players have even less to play than even before!
- Shorter campaigns
Another of the bad decisions was the shortening of campaign by the removal of many of the many of the content that used to be in campaigns like hunts and weeklies. These contents have now simply been put into the supposed new content or episodes. For the same reason as less campaign this is a terrible thing for non bis players. Campaign can now be completed in 3-4 weeks of playing 20 min per week. That means campaigns now last 60-80 minutes! That is just crazy giving player 120-160 minutes of campaign playtime a YEAR!
- Pay to receive content reward
A new concept was introduced instead of grinding for your content reward you now have to pay zen for it as well. Yes, the game has to make money but pay gating content after you are just putting content that used to be part of the now shortened campaigns is not the right way to do it!
- 2 Versions of dungeons and trial
“We are talking about doing exactly this Joseph.
Let's have two versions of each dungeon/trial (at least the level 70 ones): the one we already have and a "story dungeon" instance.
Chris” – Chris Whiteside statement
They have only released a new trial with this version system but the new trail’s normal version is unplayable by 70-90% of the player base making it worthless! The dungeons and trials that need this have not been implemented. E.G. TOMM and IC. Trial like Demogorgon and Svarborg already had a master normal version and should really not take much resources to add back into the game!
- ZAX record wait
Due to the bad decisions this year the ZAX have now reached a Record back log. In the past during the black Friday event the Zax backlog completely disappeared this year it is on a 2-month backlog. Yes, it is a player-based economy but this shows player that it is not worth investing in a game that is bleeding players and income is drying up (not saying they are in financial trouble just saying less people are buying zen)!
- No new trial or dungeon added in 1 year to Randoms
WE used to get all 3 mod old dungeons and trials added into the random. But due to the “not meant for everyone” mentality this has made it impossible to add unplayable content to randoms. Players are now stuck to repeat the same content they have been doing for 2 YEARS!!!!!
- No new playable dungeon or trial for non bis players
Let me start by saying I understand IC can be played by a larger % of the player base but I would say that is about 30% of the level 80 players and IC was released on January 21st. that means there will be no new dungeon release when this dungeon is 1 year old and still unplayable by 70+% of the players! Also need to be stated of the 30% that can play it about half don’t bother because it takes to long to get a team that can do it and tanking is not enjoyable anymore meaning tanks that can do it is like looking for chicken teeth!
- Episodes (or whatever they call it this week)
Episodes are nothing but content that sued to be in dungeons and now are taunted as extra content. This latest series of episode also Pointed out the pro BIS mentality. Favor farm was done best doing hunts, yet a non bis team have near 0% chance to do the t3 version of it. If the gave all players including non-party members rewards it would be easy to form a 20-man party to do these but not giving non-party members rewards mean NON BIS players are again punished. This ends up that these players that are not in good favor with the dev team need to farm the most hated mechanic in the game Heroic encounters for a mind-numbing eternity! I was really optimistic about these episodes but it flopped first we got a bug ridden he farm called Rage of BEL that ROBbed you of your sanity then another HE farm for 4 more months!
- Mobile phone style limited time sales
I said this before and am saying it again. This game has to make money I understand that. However, make “flash sales” to try and force impulse buying of items that may or may not be good is not the way to do it. YES do flash sale with non-critical items like fashion, preservation wards, coal wards, Regents, insignia’s or etc that I find nothing wrong with but FLASH SALE that I have seen talked a bout in many mobile seminars as a good way to trick players into spending money they really do not need to spend is not a good idea on game critical items!
- Re- use old code with bugs and all.
I understand the importance of reusable code I understand inheritance, Polymorphism, etc. However in the latest mod we had a simple copy and past of the bout system from mod
This copy and pasted one of the most irritating bugs from that mod that was never bothered to fix. When in a boat or car and you enter a dungeon/skirmish/trial YOUR PET IS UNSUMMONED when you copy and past code PLEASE take the time to fix the old bugs
- Larger BIS NON bis divide
One of the biggest reason’s players abandon this game is the BIS – NON-BIS divide! Before I get into this problem let me say I know there needs to be a BIS and they need to get content. I also know there need to be a divide.
The problem however this divide has grown to big and are now near impossible to catch up with. This past year cause the BIS players to demand more demanding content. This means content that 90-98% of players cannot play. (They need content that fit their play style yes). The NON-BIS players are getting frustrated and leaving since the can’t play 2-year-old content and will never be able to play new content. Before someone say they just needed to farm gear. They can’t! ALL BIS content now DEMAND “EXP ONLY” With every “not meant for everyone” content release the disastrous gap increase. In mod 16 I think they tried to adres this gap in it seemed to allow players to catch up but in the past year und Chris Whiteside this gap has increased as if it is on steroids!
IF this is not addressed soon you will only have BIS players left and that will not be good for the game at ALL!!!
- Content not release with as many bugs
This was one of the Best things Chris Whiteside promised when he first arrived at the game. However, we soon got his first “episode” Rage of BEL and it was a Bug infested mess after that it never got better ending in the car in Avernus that was released with a mod 10 bug!
- Mount changes
This is one of those things that really was not needed and only achieved 1 thing increased the BIS non-BIS divide. Resources that could have been used in more important aspects was just used on this and it really hurt the player base!
- Companion changes
Another on of those NOT NEEDED changes! We have no ide what the changes will be like when on final release we do know private beta players have been given and unfair advantage AGAIN! They can buy pets and gear on the cheap now and make millions out of exploiting non-PRIVATE BETA players AGAIN! These changes send mixed message again the last 2 mods (worst in games history IMO) have been punishing players for playing multiple toons and now they do a alt friendly change? Yes I stan to make insane amount of ad out of this but is it a good thing I don’t think so!
Here are some things I kept in mind while I wrote this:
- But Should Non-BIS not be striving to get to BIS?
YES they should but if you make it impossible for them to make it to bis without being carried by bis players (let’s face it they only care about themself and rarely help other. there are exceptions) they will not make it there and the game will continue to BLEED players!
- But what about Covid lockdown limiting changes?
This is something that many try to justify the Disastrous year this game had and I have a simple answer for that. They had time and resources to make un asked for and un needed Mount and Companion changes! NO EXCUSE!