Disclaimer: I’m only doing PVE content, so if you’re in it for the PVP this review will not help you much.
It seems the main point of concern for most people is if this is a “pay to win” MMO? Technically it is not and as most reviewers have pointed out, you can go to max level without spending a dime, though it will take you longer without the XP boost and a faster mount. But if you don’t feel the need to rush to the end you will get at 80+ hours of free RPG MMO play time. At max level spending money becomes a real option especially if you want to be more competitive in PVP or do tougher dungeons and don’t want to spend all your time grinding out Astral Diamonds.
1) The Neverwinter Gateway web site and cell phone APP is a cool feature. Often when I’m away from my computer I will open the app on my phone and assign a task to one or more of my professional assets or play a round of Sword Coast Adventures dice game to level companions.
2) Graphics are decent.
3) Even though you have tons of powers you are limited on how many you can have on your hotkeys which cuts down on the number of buttons you have to press in a battle. Yes I think this is a good thing, or at least it is for me.
4) The quest tracking. I like the “sparkle” trail on the ground that leads you to your quest area and back, but it can be turned off if you hate it.
5) Nearly 100% voiced dialogs, including quest.
6) This may not be for everyone but I like the private instanced mini dungeons you get from quest, of course you can also join up with a friend and complete them together if you wanted.
7) User created content, this can be a crap shoot but there is some damn fun ones out there.
The Not so Good:
1) Not an open world MMO. I know this is not a big deal but I just keep feeling like I’m missing something and I hate run into invisible walls in outdoor zones.
2) No way to open the Tyrannical Lockboxchest you pick up everywhere without spending real money to buy keys. There is nothing in them that is required to play the game and if you have enough Astral Diamonds you can often find the items from the chest in the auction house.
3) Too many types of currency in the game! Money (normal game currency), ZEN, Glory, Companion Upgrade Tokens, Astral Diamonds, Ardent Coin, Celestial Coin, and Black Ice. That doesn’t count the other 20+ types of currency you get from quest areas, seasonal events and some chest. I know they are doing this to make the game more detailed but I find it a pain to keep track of them all and find myself going back to old quest areas to see what I can buy with them. At less they don’t take up bag space!
4) Can be very hard to resist speeding money, for me it is mainly to gamble on those Lockboxchest, “come on, baby needs a new pair of shoes, damn snake eyes.”
5) Limited bag space at lower levels. I run out of space on almost every quest but I don’t have a full set of the biggest bags as they cost either 1,000 Zen (~$10) or 300K+ Astral Diamonds which takes a lot of time to gather.
So in the end my PERSONAL OPINION is that it is a decent MMO and can be fun to play. But will I play it for hundreds of hours? I doubt it. I’m guessing I will finish to level 60 on my main toon and possibly test another class out but not a full level up, then move on to another game. There are way too many FTP MMO’s out there to get stuck in one.
For full disclosure: I have spent some real money in the game to get a bigger bag and a faster mount. But I feel I’m getting my money’s worth and I’m supporting the company as someone has to pay the developers and keep the lights on.