So funny story: In planning out in advance what I wanted to talk about in this biweekly Neverwinter
column, I had selected something that recently caught my eye about the game and made me happy. That something was the Neverwinter Gateway
, a web portal that allows out-of-game players the ability to fiddle with their character sheets, auctions, professions, guilds, and mail. I thought -- and I still do -- that this was a nifty service that deserved a day in the sun.
As I was getting set to write that column, Neverwinter's
economy exploded and then imploded over the course of a weekend, thanks to a nasty exploit that involved, yup, the Gateway. Suddenly my topic had to shift from "isn't this a neat tool?" to "check out what the tools are doing with this tool." Seeing the economy effectively destroyed in a matter of hours and how Cryptic Studios
dealt with this PR nightmare might be old news at this point, but it's definitely worthy of reflection, analysis, and speculation as to how trust can be rebuilt in this fledgling title.
Let's get cracking -- we have a lot of ground to cover!