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Choose My Adventure: If it's Neverwinter, is it Alwayssummer?


I had a good time this weekend in Neverwinter streaming the first part of our adventure on Massively's Twitch channel. The viewers even participated in creating my character with me based on the gender, race, and class chosen in last week's column. When sitting down to actually create a male Tiefling Control Wizard, I realized that many other relevant choices that could take multiple articles just to vote on. In fact, as was evident in the livestream, in Neverwinter's character creator, you could take over an hour to roll the ideal character.

Eventually, the stream audience settled on a medium-red Goku-lookalike named Morthos Angelbane. I don't know how canon that name is, but this is Choose My Adventure. It's not really my decision to make. However, character creation for Cryptic's Neverwinter offers some interesting choices that I feel really set the game apart from other similar games.

The opening screen for character creation really wasn't a surprise because it opens with racial selection. Given that class is not governed by race as in some other games or even classic Dungeons and Dragons, I think it makes sense to start with this selection. Race is perhaps the broadest category, and after that, you are just narrowing your choices.

I found it impressive that Neverwinter did not step away from giving races individual statistics and abilities. (If you're interested in the specifics, I gave the breakdown last week.) And despite the fact that neither lore nor story-choice plays a major role in your character's overall progression, I found it refreshing that Cryptic decided to drop lore into much of the character creation process. Of course, when you're choosing a race, the tooltip presents a brief history of the race and the current culture as well as the racial abilities and stats reflected in that lore. It didn't feel shoehorned-in as in some other games.

You chose the Control Wizard class for the character I am playing, but that didn't mean I couldn't look at the other possible class choices. The descriptions of the different classes unfortunately fell in line with the standard descriptions you'd find in most MMOs, and I don't mean tank, healer, and DPS. That would have actually been helpful. No, Neverwinter described the classes using flashy language that really doesn't help anyone make decisions regarding the role he'd like to play in a group. Thankfully, the internet is a bit more helpful. Thank you, internet.

Cryptic's first break-out hit was City of Heroes, and we roleplayers remember how many hours we would spend in that game perfecting the look of our characters, not to mention the number of characters we actually made until we settled on just the right one for us. This tradition seems to continue through all Cryptic games, from Champions Online and Star Trek Online to Neverwinter. Although Neverwinter doesn't exactly match the previous games in the number of choices, it does outpace most other MMOs. I find the level of texture detail and objects like hair-design to be a bit dated in Neverwinter, but the creator makes up for it by allowing me to design the character the way I want to. That said, I do think there could have been a bit more variety in the Tiefling facial structure design. My friend Kyle, who hung out with me during the stream, mentioned that Tieflings remind him of Pureblood Sith from Star Wars: The Old Republic. I bring this up not to suggest that SWTOR has a better character creator but to point out that there could have been a bit more variety in the facial structure of Tieflings beyond the direction the horns face.

Yesterday, the Masquerade of Liars started. Cryptic described this event on its blog:

The Masquerade of Liars is a festival of frivolity and misrule. It celebrates costumes, treats, and the freedom of appearing to be someone or something you're not. Illusionists wander the streets and entertain the crowds with phantasmal transformations, appearing as monsters and notables to the delight of all. If you are a prankster or jester, you'll enjoy tricking friends or strangers – and possibly scaring them!
I'm going to assume you will want me to participate in that. I will livestream that on Saturday, along with the other things you want to see from Neverwinter, like PvP. Yes, shortly, I will reach level 10, meaning I can PvP. I will admit that PvP in Neverwinter scares me a bit, especially since I am livestreaming the whole thing. I have never been good at action-combat PvP. I'm certainly not new with action combat, given the number of DC Universe Online streams I've done. But I never really PvPed in that game. Do you think that Neverwinter PvP is worth a shot? Would you be interested in seeing me level that way?

Although I will have some friends leveling up with me throughout most of my experience, I would certainly like to have you along as well. I am on the Dragon server, and as I mentioned above, my character's name is Morthos Angelbane, and my handle is TheRealShaddoe. Look me up if you'd like to join me in-game on this adventure.

Finally, since we will eventually build a Foundry mission, I'd like to check out some of the good ones in-game now. I've picked three missions that were voted the best. Which would you like to see me tackle this weekend on Massively's livestream? Here are the choices with brief descriptions:

Family Secrets
Author: @Adylhere
Duration: 30 minutes
"You have received a note asking you to visit urgently a noble house to take an assignment."

Valerie's Dream
Author: @Lumicakery
Duration: 22 minutes
"A very wealthy man requires aid from brave and capable adventurers to help awaken his daughter, who has unexplainably entered a sleep-like state. A shaman from a distant land has been hired to help adventurers enter her dream. Meet him at his estate in 35, True Box Road, of Neverwinter. A reward is prepared."

The Book of the Dead
Author: @Magic88255
Duration: 14 minutes
"You take your best friend Linda to a secluded cabin in the woods, where you activate an archaeologist's magic diary with a recorded recitation of passages fom the Book of the Dead. the spell calls up an evil spirit which possesses Linda and threatens to do the same to you. When the archaeologist's daughter shows up at the cabin, the night turns into a nightmare."
Choose My Adventure - The Larry EditionLarry Everett loves MMOs, but sometimes when he gets stuck in one particular MMO, he loses sight of everything else he's missing. Direct his game time in Choose My Adventure on Wednesdays and on The Stream Team.

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