I’m gonna come right out and say this, I have some pretty low expectations for the next installation of the Neverwinter PC game series. However it’s not because it’s hard to live up to or come close to standards set by the Bioware/Black Isle folks when it comes to PC RPG’s. Any company can come out of nearly nowhere and blow us all away with an outstanding title, video games a bit less often though because of costs involved in making one. Nevertheless I’d really love to root for the underdog here and hope that Cryptic pulls off a winner, but so far that’s looking to be a dismal prospect.
Cryptic’s past titles have been mediocre at best, and this is where my suspicion lies. It’s also worth mentioning they probably should get their lore right, before they go attempting to win over hardcore FR fans. While I may have started playing D&D when I was 13, I’ve been playing video games since I was 5 – which means I can honestly say “20+ years of experience” when it comes to this subject matter. When the announcement for “Neverwinter” was made, like many of us I was pretty excited at first glance. I’ve always beeg a huge fan of the series and the Forgotten Realms world, but a lot about this title (so far) seems iffy.
Given a projected quarter for it’s launch date, already having determined it’s 5 classes (via the front page graphic), the creation tools being announced and more, yet they still don’t know what the hell the games core genre will be other than an RPG? It’s advertised as a “Multiplayer RPG” but in an interview their CEO the game is referenced in an MMO-esque light. Talking about pricing schemes and mentioning microtransactions and “pay-by-the-minute” doesn’t sound much like any “Multiplayer RPG” I’ve ever played. On top of sounding asinine, the arrogant “Hey look the Neverwinter IP on a new game, no business model yet but that’s okay! Come and give us your money!” attitude makes it seem like they’re banking on a majority of sales being generated solely from the games name (and perhaps 4e?) and not much else.
They are ready to sell this idea to all of us yet they don’t even know the how they’re going to go about doing it? How does this seem feasible that they’re already planning out classes yet we don’t know if it’s going to be turn based, action (ala Diablo), similar to other bioware engine RPG’s, or a full fledged MMO? Will class synergies and/or balance not matter because it’s the first 4e video game so far and they assume we’ll all just go gobble it up when it hits the shelves?
Perhaps the most boisterously stupid thing I’ve read thus far is from Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert:
“We’re trying to create new sorts of games that we call “OMGs” (online multiplayer games)“.
Hello? ‘Online multiplayer game’ isn’t exactly revolutionary idea, and a real stupid use of an internet acronym for a buzz word to boot. Considering ‘online multiplayer gaming’ has existed for decades, I’d say it’s kind of a dickish move on Mr. Emmert’s behalf to even conjure and spread such silly words. Is this game being developed for consoles too, perhaps that’s why the approach is so willy nilly? There’s still a lot of unanswered questions that I have so I guess time is going to be the only cure for that. We’ll have to just wait and see. What are your thoughts on all of this, let me know in the comments section!