While it was long rumored to be true, this morning Cryptic confirmed that their third MMO is indeed Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter Nights (or just “Neverwinter” to the hip). Expect to see a lot of lids flipped about this, both excited for another D&D title and the continuation of the popular Neverwinter Nights series, and people angry that Cryptic is doing anything ever again.
The press release delivers a few tidbits of info:
“In Neverwinter, players choose to become one of five classic D&D classes and team up with friends or computer-controlled allies to form five-person co-op groups. Players also create their own storylines and quests utilizing an extremely user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge.”
Only five classes? Huh, seems kind of skimpy there. It also appears that the game is less of a true MMO and more of a co-op title — I don’t think people who hated the instancing and non-explorable world of DDO are going to be pleased here.
It’s also interesting that Cryptic is putting a lot of focus on content generation — in other words, players making their own missions for others to run. Personally, I love this sort of thing, as long as it’s done *right*. Mission Architect in City of Heroes is a great case study for both the good and bad of such features.
Gamespot scored a more informative interview that covers several details:
- Going to be based off of the 4th edition, which may be a deal-breaker for some (it’s not a widely-loved ruleset)
- Classes: Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Ranger, Cleric
- Races: Humans, elves, dwarves, plus a few others
- R.A. Salvatore’s new trilogy will be an introduction to the game world
My feelings on all of this? “Eh.” I mean, it’s good to finally get confirmation, but nothing about this announcement intrigues me; on the contrary, a lot of it seems generic and not that ambitious. I think a lot of people displeased with DDO (I personally love it) really wanted a traditional open-world D&D MMO, and they’re certainly not going to get it here.
However, if Cryptic really can pull off a fun and involving mission creation system, and if the classes have a lot of diversity and specializations to them, it could be something. I’m going to settle into a laid-back wait-and-see mode.