Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic’s MMORPG Neverwinter has become a favorite of the GameOgre Wednesday live stream and there’s been quite a bit of anticipation going down about updates coming to the game. Starting with the Arc Client, players will find that PWE is changing out the old launcher for their games and mixing up a brand new alchemy for their updates and news. The Hunter Ranger class has just been given an amazing preview that’ll give players the ability to switch between ranged and melee combat. Finally several quality-of-life changes are coming to the game with better item progression and new paragon paths for existing classes.
The Arc Client
PWE is changing how their games are accessed and is thinking about the technology of the launcher. Right now, ever PWE game has its own separate launcher and web page and this means that there’s a certain amount of discontinuity between games from the same publisher—but PWE wants to change this.
This development is known as Arc and takes a page from systems such as Origin that place multiple games under one application. The Arc Client is currently in production and already available for you to download.
The Arc Client will allow you to download Perfect World games, and will eventually replace the various launchers, patchers, and download methods we currently offer. An early version of the Arc Client is available now…
The new game websites will be different than they are now in the following ways:
- All game websites in the Perfect World network will run on the same framework
- The game websites will be totally viewable in the Arc Client
The benefit to this is that website and Launcher content will no longer be segregated. Rather than having two channels of information with different feeds, there will be a single feed that you’ll be able to view from multiple entry points (on the website, in the Arc client, or on your phone).
With this you can house all of your PWE games under one launcher, which will care for, feed, groom, and update them as needed. No longer will you need to launcher Neverwinter one day and Star Trek Online another, just to let both of them update before playing either—having Arc running one will make sure the other is updated.
As development continues more features will appear, currently that means a new website network—Arcgames.com—has appeared and ZEN purchases will be streamlined according to a recent devblog. Soon we will welcome our new Arc overlords.
The Hunter Ranger Class
With much excitement, I’m happy to introduce the Hunter Ranger class that Neverwinter will be gaining hopefully in the very near future along with Module 2: Shadowmantle.
The Hunter Ranger changes up the game a little bit by mixing and matching melee with ranged combat giving players a warrior with a bow (who can engage from range) and also razor-edged swords for close-up encounters. As a result, this class with come with the capability of switching modes of attack from ranged to melee at the press of a button.
Swapping weapons will cause the Hunter Ranger’s entire skillset to change according to the properties of their choice. As a result, I expect that players will need to think twice as much about how to set up their loadouts.
Ranged At-Will Powers
- Rapid Shot – A reliable At-Will power to fire a flurry of arrows at your target.
- Aimed Shot – A precise and deadly shot into the heart of your enemy.
Melee At-Will Powers – Press Tab to engage your enemies up close with melee attacks.
- Rapid Strike – Strike your targets at close range.
- Aimed Strike – Strike your foes in a vital spot and cause significant bleed damage.
Ranged Encounter Powers
- Marauder’s Escape – Dash backward to escape an incoming attack.
- Thorn Ward – Summon a thorn ward to attack your enemies and lower their defenses.
- Hawk Shot – Fire an arrow at your opponent, dealing extra damage based on their distance from you.
- Fox’s Cunning – You and a nearby ally dodge the next incoming attack.
Melee Encounter Powers
- Marauder’s Rush – Rush towards your target, striking at them fiercely.
- Thorn Strike – Strike your opponent with thorny vines, dealing additional damage based on how full their health is.
- Hawkeye – With increased precision, your next attack deals additional damage.
- Fox Shift – Dash to nearby targets, slowing their run speed while increasing your own.
The preview list is quite comprehensive and is available in the blog post on Neverwinter’s website.
I expect a lot of drow elf Hunter Rangers to appear in honor of Forgotten Realms’s favorite ranger of all time.
Item Progression refinements and new Paragon Paths coming to Neverwinter
As with any game, as players progress from the levelling portion of the game to endgame some trade offs happen. In the case of Neverwinter levelling through the city is only one part of the game and once level cap is reached it’s time to start getting that gear…in gear. Doing this means progressing and fusing items, and in its career so far, the MMO engineers at Cryptic have discovered that it doesn’t work quite as well as it could.
A long explanation of coming refinements hit the blog and talk about streamlining and features has come to pacify potential dissent and smooth over rough edges.
Enchantments and Runetones no longer need to be unslotted to be refined—they can stay right where they are enchanting that weapon. This change precipitated the change of the “Fusion” system into the “Refinement” system. Refinement still leads towards ranking up an item, but with this change new “Reagents” will be required once enough refinement is done to an item to allow it to change ranks.
Something else that happens in endgame is players start to better define the role that they want to play their character in and to facilitate that Neverwinter has Paragon Paths.
Each Paragon Path adds new feats, capabilities, and buffs—these additions are way too many to feasibly list in this round up—and this will better allow players to stand out from other adventurers.
Examples include the Anointed Champion for the Devoted Cleric, which adds a bunch of support feats; Whisperkinfe for the Trickster Rogue, which adds more ranged and gap-closure options; Master of Flame for the Control Wizard, which, of course, adds a lot of fire; Iron Vanguard for the Great Weapon Fighter, providing more crowd control and survivability; and Swordmaster for the Guardian Fighter, handing over a lot of extra DPS and burst damage options.
Of course, GWF and GF will be swapping in Paragon paths already available to each-other in this one it seems in a sort of mix-and-match swap meet but it opens up more opportunities for players of both classes to customize their playstyle.
The future is bright for Neverwinter. See you there.