Neverwinter Online – PvP

I tend to try out the PvP in every MMO.  I don’t know why, because I never enjoy it (and I’m certainly not good at it, which may or may not be related), but I always do.  I did quite a bit of battlegrounds in WoW and really enjoyed working toward new pieces of equipment that ultimately didn’t really improve my pvp experience at all, but I guess there was that little kernel of “once I get some gear this will be fun” that I was foolishly chasing.  Neverwinter actually has daily quests to do the PvP, so I’ve done a few matches now.  I feel qualified to bitch about it.

First of all – this is low level PvP.  In every game (except Guild Wars, because they scale you…) low level PvP tends to not resemble max level PvP at all.  It also tends to be significantly less balanced because no one bothers to balance it the whole way across and they just tweak the end result where people will likely spend the most time.  It makes sense from an efficiency standpoint.  GW is the only game that’s really done things right, in my opinion.  Not only do they scale your character so they only have to balance one playing field, but for the battleground portion they literally give you a separate copy of your character that is max level, so you can properly choose pvp-oriented skills and gear, instead of having to juggle it all on your pve character.

Something that is debatable about GW is the rewards for pvp.  In every game, you get shiny new equipment for success, which ultimately makes you more successful. And… ultimately raises the bar of entry to a degree that is intimidating to new players.  GW removed that paradox by offering cosmetic skins for everything instead of actual power increases.  I always thought WoW should have done that, and they kinda did… arena armor had different coloured skins for more success, allowing for bragging rights without a positive feedback loop of getting better to allow for more wins to allow for getting better.  The problem was the base armor was still a huge increase over everything else, which meant you were still stuck in that loop of “Need gear to compete – can’t get gear without competing”.  When GW came along I was like “FINALLY someone does it right!!!”  … but then it sucked.  It turns out there’s not much incentive to keep grinding when your character is just as powerful at level 1 as it will be at 100.  I’m not really sure what the solution is!  The pretty princess carrot wasn’t interesting enough for me, but the “get gear be powerful” carrot makes the barrier to entry too goddamn frustrating.

But anyway, I was going to talk about Neverwinter!  I have yet to find a glory vendor that sells low level gear, so it would seem that I am grinding up glory to bank it away until level 60.  There is a daily quest that gives you diamonds as a reward for doing PvP, and there is a rotating event that gives you bonus glory for participating.  If you do well in a match, it throws a random green item at you.  If nothing else the diamonds are super useful (you can trade them for zen which is the bought-with-real-money funbux) so I figured I would be doing at least one match a day until the gear became available at 60.

To give you an idea of how that’s going, I just logged in and said “Oh no, the daily reset already?  Now I have to do another match…”

PvP in Neverwinter is pretty much the same as every other game.  A group of players are dropped into a map which has some points to control (by standing on them until they change colour) and they run back and forth killing each other until one of the teams reaches the magical score number that means “you win”.  Granted, it’s only shown me two maps so far at lower levels, but both of them were like that.  When you are below the level of the match, it “scales” you to the top level… but you get none of the abilities and keep all your same gear.  So you still suck.

The problem lies in the whole “killing each other” step.  I’m a melee character which almost always has range issues in pvp no matter what game it is, but in Neverwinter, attacking prevents you from moving. (edit: Specifically melee swings stop you from moving.  I know those silly casters almost never get to move, but at least they get to attack from range…). So, each fight goes something like this:
Charge up to enemy – swing.
Enemy walks away and is out of range within a step or two.
Move toward enemy – resume swinging.
Hit once before they move away again.
That’s assuming they don’t roll away from you, since everyone has a dodge move.  Except shield bearers who just kind of stand there attempting to block uselessly while you kill them anyway (I feel bad for them… maybe they don’t suck at 60.)

I tried a match on my baby cleric as well and it was somewhat similar.  She attacks from range, but being locked down during the attack(and heal) animation still ensured she had difficulty dodging away from attacks.  I’m pretty terrible at playing her in general and only played one low level match though, so it’s hardly a fair review.

The real issue is that, in order to counteract the whole “you stand still while attacking” thing, it seems as though they gave everyone tons of “daze” abilities.  Which is the same thing as saying “everyone stunlocks”.  Because pvp is the most fun when no one can actually control their characters.  Ugh it’s like a glass case display of every bad decision in every example of PvP I’ve played over the years.

They also don’t seem to have anticipated the afk masses.  Perhaps they thought the carrot of getting random unidentified junk for performing well would be enough to keep people from idling at the entrance, but the fact is you get more glory for losing quickly than you do for participating in the frustrating stun battles at the points.

I am starting to see more cleansing happening, so maybe things settle down later on… but that just means it becomes a matter of “whoever has more non-afk cleansers wins”.

~BONUS BITCH~ – When you exit the battleground, everyone stays in your group.  And then the game nags you to add them to your friends list.  It does this for dungeons too, and it makes me irrationally angry each and every time.  Especially if we queue as a group and then have to either kick everyone out, or disband and reform our guild group every fucking time.  So Angry.

I will say this though… it’s making me feel like logging back into GW2 to try and earn some more pretty princess gear.

—–

UPDATE:

I just learned that there are also some very powerful enchants which are essentially only able to be obtained by paying real cash (you can attempt them for free but there’s a 1% chance of success without purchased items).  The enchants are usable in PvP and quite likely will be gamechangers (stuff like passive chance to stun.  Because there just isn’t enough goddamn CC flying around).  It suggests to me that the PvP game has a good chance of becoming “pay to win” once people figure out it’s nuances.  Fuck that.

Neverwinter – First Impressions (PvE focus)
Neverwinter – Second Impressions

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About tagracat
I am not a professional, I don't get paid to review shit, I am just opinionated and I seem to have some sort of disorder that results in spewing my opinions onto the internet. I enjoy writing long-winded posts about things and sometimes I like to pretend people want to read them, so a blog seemed an appropriate place to stuff it. But mostly I just like writing about things.

4 Responses to Neverwinter Online – PvP

  1. Khaz says:

    Very few games adopt the move while attacking concept, almost never with casters. I’ll never understand why either. heck, snare me while casting but don’t immobilize me. I also would like to see some lower lvl PvP gear.

  2. Jonathan Leung says:

    just randomly google neverwinter low level PVP, and found ur article comparing GW2 with NW, thanks for the comparison. I will stick to GW2~~

  3. Pingback: Neverwinter Online – First Impressions | Tagra Reviews Things

  4. Pingback: Neverwinter – Second Impressions | Tagra Reviews Things

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