If you’re an MMORPG player you’ve probably started to see advertisements pop up about Perfect World Entertainment’s free-to-play title Neverwinter Online coming to Xbox One as a beta. Plans have been announced by the publisher for Neverwinter to launch in closed beta beginning February 5 – 8.
Beta signups are currently available on PWE’s Arc Games website.
The beta on Xbox One will contain all classes, races, and features already available as of the Tyranny of Dragons expansion, but also include some console-specific functionality. This includes optimized controls and friend’s list integration.
The completed Xbox One release of Neverwinter Online is expected to launch for all Xbox Live Gold members sometime early 2015.
Neverwinter Online well-built for console
The launch of Neverwinter Online revealed an MMORPG with controls that appeared designed to work well with console controllers: limited action sets, open-targeting, and simple movement controls.
Limited action sets has become a trend for many MMORPGs to reduce the total number of total controls available to players during combat to make skirmishes more concise and let players “build” around actions rather than just armor and weaponry. It’s also the hallmark of games such as DC Universe Online, which was designed from the drawing table to be released on console.
As a platform shift, heading to console may give Neverwinter Online a boost over other free-to-play PC games because of its multi-platform capability. Few other free-to-play MMORPG games on the market cross platforms with examples such as DCUO and Warframe becoming stand outs.