Neverwinter Community Interview (Rob Overmeyer)

Neverwinter released to a positive critical response on the 20th of June, 2013.

Neverwinter released to a positive critical response on the 20th of June, 2013.

You may remember that recently we were involved in a bit of a kerfuffle over a community-based Neverwinter interview. The details are here, but as luck would have it we now have the correct answers from Cryptic Studios thanks to the intrepid Derek Reeve! Apparently, Cryptic Studios accidentally sent the wrong answers to Derek Reeve; a mistake for which they are profusely sorry. An apology which we are only too happy to accept and offer one of our own in reply for any grief we might have caused them!

A special thanks to Gareth Newnham who corresponded with the Neverwinter Reddit channel to help source the questions, to Rob Overmeyer who answered the questions with good humour and verve, and to Derek Reeve who never gave up on us!

Without further adieu, here are the questions with their answers:

1.  Pentara asked: Hows it hanging?”

“It’s going pretty good! My name is Rob Overmeyer. I’m not Craig Z., who is actually in Peru as I write this, but I am an Executive Producer here at Cryptic and I am in charge of Neverwinter Foundry and Gateway. Neverwinter is currently working on its next update “Fury of the Feywild” and it’s just about ready to go to public testing on our preview shard. We are very excited to bring a really cool experience to our fans and continue to grow Neverwinter.”

 2. Jaspor asked, “Future of the Foundry – Boss fights, group content, PvP as user generated content?”

“Actually, we’re working on all of those, but I can’t give release timeframes. Just ahead in our next update we are improving the 3D editing tool, making our catalog search better and adding a ton of new assets for authors to use in their quests.

Past that we are going to continue the partnership we have with our author community and decide what the next major update for the Foundry should be. We already know that both the authors and the developers want to create team-sized content with bigger monsters and larger quests. We also know that branching stories is something that has been requested by nearly all our authors.

PVP is a hot topic internally and a much-anticipated feature.

With all this enthusiasm for the growth of what authors can do with the foundry, rest assured that we have a big list and a full plate of features that we can work on.”

3.  Andromansis pondered fantasy genetics: “Are halflings just elves with dwarfism?”

“The term “halfling” is derived from the fact that a halfling is around half of the size of a human, but otherwise very similar in appearance. Did you know in the original 1974 Dungeons & Dragons, halflings first appeared as ‘Hobbits?’”

4. Clusterfuckoflove and Cothurn both desperately wondered: “WHEN WILL THE DAMN RANGER COME OUT (BOTH DUO AND RANGED)?”

“I’m sure you know that this is a highly anticipated addition to Neverwinter. All I can really say is that we hear our fans loud and clear. :)”

5. Shintal respectfully queried: “I would love to know if u can get mounts/companions from end-game dungeons and if not, if they will implement it.”

“There are a set of mounts and companions that you can get from Foundry Achievements. Plenty of quests the authors have created are fantastic end-game style dungeons that offer a challenge along with a unique experience. As for the addition of mounts and companions for rewards to existing dungeons, that is something we would need to discuss. “

6. Screampuff carefully considered his position before asking: “Will foundry content ever be categorized as epic? Perhaps if it were submitted for the developers to look at? I feel like I won’t have a reason to do a foundry dungeon over an epic dungeon when I hit 60 and am trying to improve my gearscore.

“I admit I am biased when it comes to Foundry content. If you are a fan of the Foundry you already know that there are some truly epic quests out there already. We do have plans to add the ability to make team scaling foundry quests (team content) and with that we will be looking at difficulty, scaling and rewards.”

7. Screampuff continued, “Do you have any control over the Zen shop prices, or is that purely Perfect World Entertainment? I find the prices to be a bit too steep, and I’d rather see things like EXP, crafting, gold and item drop rate boosters over scrolls and stones.”

“The Zen shop prices are controlled by both Cryptic and PWE. It’s a collaborative effort.  We try to find a balance of what we think is appropriate pricing but It’s something that we’re always looking at. We even recently did a round of price reductions.  We take feedback from the community very seriously, so if players think an item is too high then it’s something that we will look at and try to address. The reality of the business is that we do offer an unprecedented amount of content free and that content we do charge for is convenience or aesthetic, but it’s always up for discussion.”

8. Merkaloid bluntly asked: “Will you have an EU based shard?”

“I won’t rule it out. Neverwinter is a great game with a ton of fantastic players. The need for more shards to serve our growing game is something we are excited about. We’re talking about other territories now, actually.”

9. Tissek and Aaxxandum asked far too many question, so we picked the one question that was almost two: “Is there a timeline for more paragon paths and multiple group roles for each class? And related to this: Dualspec and easy switching between specs?”

“There is a development timeline for paragon paths but I’ll have to keep the details of that for another time. The idea of a dual spec is an interesting one for sure.”

 10. Skrowl wondered why there aren’t more launch servers:WHY YOU NO HAVE MOAR LAUNCH SERVERS!?” [Now that the game has launched, are you happy with the current number of servers; might you need more to meet demand?]

“We are all absolutely happy with Neverwinter. Our server count is right where we expected to need it to be at. With the way our zones and instancing works we don’t need a high server count to handle player load. Of course there is always an upper limit to what a server or shard can handle so when needed we can and will add what we need to support our players to continue to offer a great experience in Neverwinter. “

 11. Kentgrave made this list of demands about micro-transactions; thoughts? [The demands can be seen below the answer due to their length]:

“You bring up a lot of good points and ideas about Micro-transactions.  We spent countless hours trying to come up with an effective model based on what we learned from our earlier games, competitors, and friends at other companies. We are still tweaking this model. These things are fluid. Pricing is always being evaluated and looked at and thank you so much for your suggestions. We’re passing them around the team now, actually. :)”

 Kentgrave’s list of demands:

“Dear Executive Producer of Neverwinter,

I propose a Path of Exile Ethical Micro-transaction model.

What is an Ethical Micro-transaction model? Click here to read an article about Path of Exile and its system of bringing in revenue via “ethical” means.

Path of Exile Ethical Micro-transactions

or view their actual micro-transactions that are available here to get an idea of what it offers

Path of Exile Shop

Please remove all active companions, Profession packs, Keys, Enchants, Rune-stones, and Astral Diamond to Zen exchange from the game which make it possible for someone to practically pay to get ahead and through AD/Zen exchange make it possible to buy high end gear and weapons without actually having to play the game.

Instead make purely 100% cosmetic/aesthetic purchases available that do not give any player an edge on the other. This would include:

  • Mounts
  • Cosmetic Changes in Appearance
  • Name Tokens
  • Bank Slots
  • Bags
  • Enchants that do not add “stats” but instead add effects to weapons such as glowing effects.
  • Add purchases like path of exile which change the “animations” of skills and abilities but do not change how strong they are.
  • Inactive companions that do not aid in combat.
  • Armor model enhancements which change how armor looks but does not change stats of armor
  • Costumes
  • Sell the ability for a player to design their own weapon or armor models to be implemented in the game as potential loot drops or simply as costumes or purely aesthetic appearance changes (For a hefty fee of course)

This would in turn remove all “pay to win” gripes and complaints from the game while still providing tons of stuff that players will be willing to pay for. Path of Exile has proven this, players love to look and feel different! Paying to get ahead of everyone else and “feel” stronger isn’t the only thing we will pay for.

Above all else please remove the Key/Lock-boxes as they are basically slot machines. Or at the very least provide a way to get keys in game even if its not particularly easy to obtain or cost a lot of astral Diamonds so players don’t have 200 lock-boxes sitting in their bank for no reason because they realized after 100 keys that the chances of getting a nightmare are about 1:1000. Also as they do with all gambling in most forms at the very least you could add to the description of the lock-box what your actual %chance of obtaining an epic item is so players aren’t mislead into thinking the chance is greater then it really is.”

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Chris’ Update: Just for good measure, we felt like a real interview story deserved a new video just as much as a wrong interview did. Thanks again to the people at Cryptic Studios for everything.

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  1. [...] [Update #2: the real answers have since been recieved (22nd of July; posted on the 23rd). They can be viewed here.] [...]