The other day I sat down and tried out the recent D&D MMO, Neverwinter, based off of the popular D&D locale. There is some level of interest for me there - partly because I am trying to start getting into D&D with last Summer's newly-introduced 5th edition, and partly because the game is going to be released for the XBox One.
I downloaded and played the game for about two hours last night. And though there were some things I liked - greater emphasis on roleplaying character names and backstories, a fair amount of customization options, and a fun rogue class; there were still far too many things that I disliked about Neverwinter. For starters, it ran hit-or-miss on my system, slowing down a lot and becoming choppy when I was in a busy hub city. The way my character moved was kind of awkward, making the character run sideways when you pressed the 'A' or 'D' buttons, rather than making them spin around to change direction like in WOW, which to me feels much more natural. And for the life of me, I just couldn't help but feel confused by the presentation of everything - I felt lost pretty quickly.
Funnily enough my time with Neverwinter had an adverse effect. While I may still try the game when it comes to XBO (though sadly, not cross-platform), I don't really feel inclined to keep playing it on the PC. In fact, the game caused me to rush right back into the arms of World of Warcraft, which some brief time with showed me that it is still clearly the better MMO.
Within a few hours last night, I became a reborn fan of WOW. I recreated my infamous gnome mage again, this time taking advantage of newer hairstyle options and the improved character model. Though my feelings towards the appearances of some changes are still up for debate (my gnome only has eyebrows if he has a beard?) I did find a couple of hairstyles I could appreciate.
Those of you who might recall my previous times in WOW (The last time I was actually subscribed to the game was clear back in 2011!) may remember that I disliked a lot of the changes to the game in recent years. And while I still do question some of them, I think this latest outing with the game has made me a fan of them.
Back in my first few years with WOW, I remember easily spending a few days or even a week doing quests in Dun Morogh. That is not the case now, and within a few hours of playtime I managed to explore all of the area and complete its quests. I think this may be a better thing now more than ever, since I'm eager to experience higher-level content in this game for once.
The game also feels a lot cleaner, a lot less messy. By going over the starting areas again, they managed to make the flow of everything a lot more linear, so you don't have to spend all of that time there and also so it seems a lot less boring. My experience at least with the Coldridge Pass also showed me that perhaps there is no longer any benefit to going through every last starting area in the game, other than for completion reasons. All of the cloth equipment I received was of exactly the same quality as the ones which I received from Gnomeregan.
My journey started, I expect for there to be lots of questing and raiding this month. I am also hoping to improve my enchanting and tailoring a lot. Perhaps the thing I'm most excited for right now is that my fiancee is also planning on coming back to the game, so we can play it together for the first time in ages. That could be a lot of fun!
People may put WOW down, but as far as I can tell the game is still the #1 MMO for a reason...