My decision to hop aboard the Neverwinter train came as a fairly recent one.
To understand how it came about, you have to know that in our family, I’m the one who keeps up with the news in the gaming industry, reads the reviews and blogs, researches the games and decides in the end whether to get them or not. So it’s not uncommon for my husband, even though he’s an avid gamer, to be completely clueless about what games are out there or what’s coming out, because he’s perfectly happy just letting me fill him in and playing anything that I play.
It definitely helps that we have very similar gaming tastes. I’d like to think I’ve always chosen well and that I know the kind of games he prefers and never had to push my luck or his self-respect with anything like Hello Kitty Online. The most important thing is that we get to play together, and bless him for trusting me enough to follow me into whatever MMO world I want to explore.
But still, I almost made a faux pas with Neverwinter. I’d gotten my hands on a beta key earlier this year, played a few days of the beta and liked what I saw, but when “soft launch” came this week I took one look at the sea of games we’re already swimming in and said to the mister, “Maybe we should pass on this, or at least wait until after the open beta when we can both play free at our leisure.” His answer: “But why?”
In retrospect, I suppose I should have foreseen this; that as someone who prides himself on having owned the original Dungeons and Dragons basic boxed set, my husband would be hard-pressed to pass up anything attached to the franchise, let alone an actual MMO based in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter. So he promptly went ahead and bought us both each a Guardian pack, which is how I found myself in front of my computer Saturday morning downloading the client and trawling the multitudes of D&D name generator sites for ideas.
Ultimately, my husband ended up rolling what he calls a “classical cleric”, while I rolled a Wood Elf Great Weapon Fighter. Because if there’s one thing I like more than elves, it’s elves wielding big honking swords.
It was pretty much all we played this weekend. I can already tell Neverwinter is not going to be as deep as some of the more involved MMOs I’ve played, but it’s still very engaging for a story-based online game supported by lots of dungeons and opportunities to play with friends.
The important thing is, I’m enjoying it; but apparently Neverwinter has gotten its hooks even deeper into my husband — which is incredible, for he is usually so even-tempered and takes a judicious attitude towards new games. I’d say 60 bucks, which is the usual price I’m used to dropping for a brand new game anyway, was definitely worth it for the chance to see things a little early and play with the gang of usual suspects, not to mention the items and perks that come with the pack.
Anyway, it’s only been a couple days and I still feel so green, but I’m slowly discovering that there’s a lot more to Neverwinter. Every hour, I still get surprised when I stumble across new game mechanics or systems that I didn’t know existed, while continuing to be impressed by how much is already in place. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface, or looked into the Foundry. As I only reached level 15 yesterday, I’m looking forward to a whole new world still waiting for me.