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Preview: Summer is a good time to jump into the revamped ‘Neverwinter’ MMO


Neverwinter Bard

If you’ve always been curious about the “Neverwinter” MMO but were too intimidated to try it, then this summer may be the perfect time to pick up the free-to-play game. That’s when Perfect World Entertainment is releasing its next major module, which caps off a major revamp and introduces the first new class in the game since 2015.

“Neverwinter: Jewel of the North” can be seen as a fresh start as it reimagines how the massively multiplayer online game introduces players to its corner of Forgotten Realms. Previously, the game had a level 80 cap and the epic level content was locked behind dozens of hours of gameplay.

With the recent update, the developer, Cryptic Studios, shortens that grind considerably. Aligning it more with the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons experience, the team set the level cap at 20 and it now takes 10 to 12 hours to reach that mark. From there, progress is based on gear while Cryptic said it’s leaning toward using a milestone progression system instead of straight XP.

Because of the progression change, the studio also had to alter other aspects of “Neverwinter.” The team streamlined the adventures and made sure they are less onerous. Players should go through a campaign once and get good rewards from that.

The Bard can fulfill man roles in a party in “Neverwinter” going from a support healing class to done that focuses on damage. (Perfect World Entertainment) 
INTRODUCING THE BARD
One of the bigger reasons to jump in now is to play as the Bard. The studio has been working on the new class for a year, and it’s the perfect one to emphasize a new focus in “Neverwinter” — expression. The developers said they wanted players to express themselves more with the overhaul.

The addition of the Bard class comes with new appearances, better customized gear and looks for all classes and races. The Bard itself even gets a free performance mode when parties are kicking back at the tavern.

As for the nitty gritty of the class, it’s one focused on dexterity and wisdom. The class’s early power is Perform, which lets it sing a song that supports a party. One of those songs is Blaze Flamenco, which deals fire damage to all nearby enemies. It also increases the damage bonus to Bards and nearby allies by 2 percent for 36 seconds. The Bard’s daily Inspiration ability offers a boost to allies’ defense, damage bonus and health recovery. It also makes them immune to mind control.

As players progress, they can mold their Bard along two different Paragon paths. The Minstrel acts in a support role, helping keep the party alive during tough encounters by boosting damage or healing allies. The Songblade is more offensive-minded and focused on dealing damage. Think of it as a swashbuckler type character with sword-fighting style based on rapiers.

The “Neverwinter” Bard fights a skeleton knight early on in the game. (Perfect World Entertainment) 
THE FLEXIBLE CLASS
An advantage of playing as the Bard is that players can fulfill two roles. Its …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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