Recently, Neverwinter Online became host to a bunch of dragons, a new race called the Dragonborn, and a new class by way of the Scourge Warlock. The release concedes with a lot of nice gear, stuff, and even ZEN store items reviewed below. Keep reading for a first impressions review of the new content presented in the Tyranny of Dragons expansion in Neverwinter Online.
Dragonborn are a humanoid dragon-kin race that players can now roll characters as (or reroll a pre-existing character as) and are accessible as part of the Dragonborn Legend Pack (see below.)
The Scourge Warlock is a new ranged-DPS/support class that gives players the chance to make pacts with eldritch demonic forces from beyond space and time—and for these deals, give players the chance to melt some face.
The dragons have been wrecking up the place and need to be brought under control—apparently they’re in town because of a shadowy organization known as the Cult of the Dragon (how fitting.) A campaign has started up around kicking said dragons in the teeth, tail, and wins and all adventurers are being called upon to do them in.
The Dragonborn are a new race added with the Tyranny of Dragons expansion and the race is only available via the Dragonborn Legend Pack ($74.99 from Perfect World’s Arcgames website.) Along with the Dragonborn as a race, the pack also contains a bunch of items from the Heart of the Red Dragon artifact, to two different sets of fashion items, a Ring of Dragon Slaying, and a whole bevy of glyphs that provide the powers of the chromatic dragons for a limited time each.
The dragonborn race themselves allow players to place +2 in any two abilities making the race extremely versatile. As for racial abilities, dragonborn receive Dragonborn Fury—a 5% chance when attacking to apply Dragonborn Fury for 6 seconds, increasing power and critical strike by 3%–and Draconic Heritage—receive 5% more healing from all sources.
The dragonborn themselves also have an entire set of new racial quests added to the Protector’s Enclave and around the Neverwinter Online. The arrival of the Tyranny of Dragons content has led dragonborn natives to sail into Neverwinter to assist combatting the Cult of the Dragons.
The dragonborn racial content also winds through the new Cult of the Dragons content here and there, see below for further information on this additional campaign.
The Scourge Warlock
With the Tyranny of Dragons expansion comes the addition of an entirely new class: the Scourge Warlock. Warlocks gain their control of eldritch powers through deals with extra-dimensional fiends—and this is exemplified through the fully-voiced Warlock quest line, which itself is a treat. As a class, Warlocks are a sort of support-DPS hybrid, who strike from a distance and harass foes with heavy damage or by hexing enemies and buffing allies.
Early Warlocks make use of two primary skills: Eldritch Blast and Dark Spiral Aura; and very quickly the TAB skill that Curses targets unlocks. The Eldritch Blast power is a lot like the Control Wizard’s Magic Missile, but it ramps up damage and finally explodes with the third shot; Dark Spiral Aura slowly builds up motes of swirling darkness around the Warlock after each kill until it is unleashed in a single high-damage blast. The TAB power, cursing, places a mark on targets that synergizes with other Warlock powers in interesting ways including increasing damage, feeding health back to the Warlock, buffing allies, or weakening foes.
The Warlock can also summon a Soul Puppet—a temporary pet that inflicts a lot of damage, lasts 120 seconds, or until it has been hit 5 times. There are several Warlock powers that spawn Soul Puppets, and the Paragon Path of Damnation allows for Soul Puppets to become permanent companions.
The Warlock SHIFT power is a type of dodge, causing the Warlock to phase out of reality (wreathing them in purple flames) as they slide across the battlefield and receive 30% extra damage resistance and immunity to control effects.
Much of the Warlock arsenal of powers are wrapped around sapping the power and health of enemies and either siphoning it back to the Warlock or feeding it to the Warlock’s friends.
The Warlock powers feel good as well, they have excellent special effects and hit hard. A whole host of horrible noises follow the triggering of Warlock powers and the synergistic effect with Curses means that players will find themselves thinking about how they unleash Hell. As a result, the Warlock feels like an advanced and interesting class with a lot of different gimmicks and strategies that experienced players can take advantage of.
With the addition of the Tyranny of Dragons content, Cryptic has naturally added a bunch of draconic content to Neverwinter. Namely, players will get a chance to fight actual dragons. The Harpers are leading the campaign against the Cult of the Dragon across Neverwinter and need the aid of adventurers like you to fight back this tide of draconic evil.
Naturally, this also means you’ll be fighting actual dragons.
First, the Harpers will be reaching out for help from their cloister in the Protector’s Enclave. Just to the side of the royal court, they’ll be waiting in alliance with a number of other groups, to give quests that will lead the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. The campaign works very similarly to Sharandar or the Dread Ring in that players must build up reputation by following stepping-stones up a tree by helping out the different groups in the alliance.
With each new group helped (each of whom require tribute and assistance over several days) a new one opens up. And, of course, this opens up passive traits as well as the availability of anti-dragon weaponry and armor.
The first part of the campaign, the Harpers, will send players back to Neverdeath Graveyard. There a green dragon appears periodically (every 30 minutes or so) and gets a severe beat down by whatever adventurers are present. The dragon is an event called a Heroic Encounter, a mechanic originally introduced with Icewind Dale.
The return to Neverdeath Graveyard shows an interesting re-use of older content of Neverwinter Online by Cryptic that does a great job of making good use of locations already extant by refreshing them for level 60 adventurers. I’d so long passed through Neverdeath that I’d forgotten its ghastly marches of gravestones, the howling rift, and the uncanny fog that clings to the environment like a funereal shroud.
The big, angry green dragon was extremely impressive as well.
Further into the campaign, players will be called to visit Ebon Downs, Icespire Peak, Rothé Valley, and Whispering Caverns. In each location there will be quests from various groups allied with the Harpers—and, again naturally, a dragon. While the first dragon is green, there are black, blue, white, and red. The majority of the chromatic dragons are present.