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Neverwinter shows off the Scourge Warlock for Tyranny of Dragons

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Do you want to fight some dragons? The next expansion to Neverwinter is all about fighting dragons, hence the title Tyranny of Dragons. Would you prefer to do so whilst conjuring up forbidden and evil magic from beyond to help smite your foes and empower your party? Then the Scourge Warlock is right up your alley. You can check the new class out in the trailer just past the break.

Scourge Warlocks are casters who can summon a Soul Puppet from the beyond, using their magical prowess to leech health and empower allies while leaving enemies as shambling shells. They also have access to a new paragon path, Hellbringer, which... well, it doesn't summon bunnies and stomach rubs. Take a look at the official development blog for a clearer picture of what these casters are capable of, and watch the trailer to see the class in action before Tyranny of Dragons goes live on August 14th.

[Source: Cryptic Studios press release]

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Neverwinter's next new class is the Scourge Warlock

Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Perfect World Entertainment has just announced that the Scourge Warlock will join Neverwinter's class roster on August 14th when the previously revealed Tyranny of Dragons module launches. How does the new class with its special Curse mechanic work?
The Scourge Warlock is a powerful magic user who plies dark magical abilities, communing with shadowy benefactors to destroy all who would dare stand in their way. A powerful striker who focuses on dealing heavy damage to both single and grouped foes, the Scourge Warlock wields a myriad of options to deal with adversaries using their powerful Warlock's Curse.
The class will be available to all players.

[Source: PWE press release]

Neverwinter throws Protector's Jubilee for first anniversary

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Anniversaries, Neverwinter

Can you believe it: Neverwinter is one year old today! It's been a strong first year for this D&D title, and to celebrate the occasion the team is hosting a new event in the game called the Protector's Jubilee.

The Protector's Jubilee will feature bright decorations in Protector's Enclave, covert missions, defensive skirmishes, and plenty of rewards including the jester attire. Players can grab keys during the event to a new area called the Protector's Garden that will remain in the game going forward. The festivities will go from today through June 25th.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

Perfect World Entertainment posts strong Q1 2014 earnings

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

Perfect World Entertainment posted its earnings report for Q1 2014, showing strong financials that include an increase from the same period in 2013. In Q1 2014, the publisher made $143.3M in revenue, $105.5M in gross profit, and had an operating profit of $28.5M.

Perfect World CEO Robert Xiao said he was pleased with the results, commenting that, "Our total revenues came in line with the high end of our expectations, which was slightly softer than the strong fourth quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, we decelerated promotional activities for our client-based MMORPGs and remained focused on content development of our portfolio and pipeline."

Xiao focused on the expansion of the company's mobile lineup as a cause for hope for the future as well as the Chinese Dota 2 beta test and Neverwinter launch later this year.

Neverwinter announces its fourth module, Tyranny of Dragons

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

First person who mentions Game of Thrones in the comments gets a downvote.  I'm serious, try it.
Stupid dragons. They think they're so special, with their wings and their breath weapons and their intelligence and their hides like armor. Sure, maybe all of that is pretty special when you think about it, but that's not the point. While we can't be sure just yet, though, it's a fairly sure thing that the next Neverwinter module will indeed allow you to put some dragons in their place; after all, the next module is dubbed Tyranny of Dragons. Seems like it would involve some draconic influence there.

Tyranny of Dragons is due for release on August 14th, 2014. Unfortunately, we have no further details at this time outside of the fact that it will include dragons and will tie into the overarching story of the same name moving through the Dungeons & Dragons product line. Regardless, you'll want to get your best dragon-slaying shoes on for late summer because it's high time you showed those dragons what you think of them. (They're not so big.)

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment press release]

Neverwinter's heroic encounters bring dynamic events to Icewind Dale

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Neverwinter

Neverwinter's Module 3 is on track to release tomorrow, and with it arrives a new type of quest for the game: heroic encounters.

Cryptic put up an overview of heroic encounters today, calling these quests "challenging" and "exciting." They sound an awful lot like other MMO's dynamic events, as these variable-sized public quests will spawn on the landscape with different types of tasks.

Some of the encounters will require more than one party to complete, and the biggest ones for each map will begin only about every 90 minutes. Rewards from heroic encounters include profession assets, Black Ice, weapons, and consumables.

Neverwinter offers doubled experience until May 5th

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

This is an awful lot of winter for a game titled... well, you know.
Are you ready for the imminent release of Neverwinter's next major patch? Oh, you're not. You aren't nearly ready. This is going to be a problem, isn't it? Quick, maybe you can catch up this weekend before it comes out. Helping you in that catch-up goal is the fact that the game is offering doubled experience from now until May 5th, 1:00 p.m. EDT.

So what's doubled? Oh, just experience from killing creatures, clearing quests, professions, invocations, Foundry missions... you know, pretty much everything you could possibly be doing in the game. And even if you've already hit the level cap, Companions will still gain the increased experience, although those Companions will not get the upgrade from Sword Coast Adventures. So if you're looking to race up to the level cap before the next patch hits, you've got a weekend full of play ahead of you.

Neverwinter shows off new Black Ice armor sets

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Neverwinter's Curse of Icewind Dale is two weeks away, and the team at Cryptic hopes to whip up interest by showing off the new armor sets coming with the update.

Module 3 will allow players to forge this new type of armor from black ice, a special material that they'll be picking up from quests and adventuring. There are two different types of sets that each class can make from it, Corrupted and Purified Black Ice armor, each with its own stat builds and the ability to be powered up for a limited time. The armor not only looks all cool and jaggedy but it will help protect characters from the new black ice damage that's also coming in the new area.

The studio posted pictures of the armor sets for each one of the classes, a few of which you can check out after the break.

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Neverwinter previews post-60 advancement plans

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Riding on a bear is its own reward.
You've hit the level cap in Neverwinter. You are officially as hardcore as you can ever be, and that brings a smile to your face. But it also makes you kind of wistful. After all, there are still so many roaming bags of experience points vicious monsters to fight, and all of the experience from those is going to waste. But that's going to change when Module 3 comes out and all of your otherwise unnecessary XP turns into sweet, delicious piles of extra loot.

When Module 3 goes live, characters will continue accumulating experience as before when they hit level 60. Once they accumulate 250,000 XP, the character will be rewarded with a special pack that can contain extra Power Points, Enchants, account-bound XP Scrolls, and other useful goodies. The Power Points can only be used to add a total of 20 points to your character's Power Tree, but it still means that hitting 60 doesn't mean the end of your character growth. So go out, slay, and enjoy a little bit of extra potency as a result.

One Shots: Reflection perfection

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, The Elder Scrolls Online

"Take a picture of a picture in an MMO," I said to you guys a couple of weeks ago, and darn it if you awesome folks didn't come through! We have two entries from that screenshot challenge this week, starting with reader Chiara taking a look at her good looks in Lord of the Rings Online.

"One of the things that impressed me the most when Riders of Rohan launched was the furniture," Chiara wrote. "I spent the whole day breaking into NPCs' houses uninvited (they weren't amused). The first time I saw a mirror, I squealed."

I'm squealing right now myself, but that's mostly because a mouse just ran across the ceiling tiles. I need to throw a cat up between the floors one of these days to solve that problem. Anyway, let's take a gander at the other great entires from players' screenshot folders!

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Neverwinter will make players choose between mercenaries

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Neverwinter

When Icewind Dale arrives with Neverwinter's Module 3, players will have a difficult decision to make: whether to join up with the Ten-Towners or the Arcane Brotherhood.

In a new post, Cryptic explains that these two groups are at conflict with each other in the effort to collect the precious Black Ice. Ten-Towners want the Ice for profit and for those who have lived in the north, while the Arcane Brotherhood desires the substance to increase its members' knowledge. Once a group is chosen, that faction will deliver daily contracts that the player can take up. By repeating the dailies, players can earn enough Black Ice to create a new armor set. Players shouldn't fret too much about their choice, as their allegiance can change on a daily basis with no penalty.

Cryptic will also be introducing account shared banks with the module to help pass items between characters with ease. Module 3 arrives on May 13th.

Neverwinter launching Curse of Icewind Dale on May 13th

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

All right, I can get this thing to work, don't worry.
If you're ready to have some chill adventures in Neverwinter, you'd better be ready on May 13th. That's when the Curse of Icewind Dale module will launch for players, bringing with it two new adventure zones, a new open PvP region, and new factions for players to fight over. Also a new Hunter Ranger Paragon path, but that really only affects Hunter Rangers, which as infographics show make up only half of the characters in the game.

But why are you going to Icewind Dale? What's so important? If only there were some sort of lore trailer past the break that will give a concise explanation of exactly what's going down in the region and why players are taking part, as well as outline the factions fighting over the valuable Black Ice. That would be very convenient, wouldn't it? Perhaps you should click past the break to check out that exact trailer, then.

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO April Fools' pranks of all time

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

There are two types of people on April 1st: those who are annoyed and indifferent to the tomfoolery going on all around them, and those who gleefully embrace the zany antics and baldfaced lies. For the record, I am of the latter crowd. I love April Fools' Day and the humor and creativity that it inspires. While this day is by no means contained to our neck of the woods, MMOs have a long-running streak of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you "fell for it." And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.

So let's go through my favorite MMO April Fools pranks of all time, as catalogued by yours truly!

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Neverwinter spoofs game-within-a-game

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, Humor, Neverwinter

Neverwinter has jumped the gun on April Fools' Day with its "preview" of Respen's Marvelous Game.

The idea is that Neverwinter will add a game-within-a-game, allowing characters in the MMO to sit down and engage in some good ol' fashion tabletop D&D: "Respen's Marvelous Game takes place atop a table, with your character being transformed into a miniature statuette. This new event will challenge you on a whole new level. Now you will know what it is like to be on the other side of a tabletop game!"

Of course, this is just a joke. Or is it? Cryptic teased the possibility of earning a green slime companion and said that it will be revealing more details tomorrow.

Neverwinter releases post-Shadowmantle infographic

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

There are a lot of numbers.  Should probably go tell somebody.
So how is Neverwinter doing these days? The game's been a little quiet since the launch of Shadowmantle. But it looks as if it's doing fairly well, judging by a brand-new infographic, which is embedded just past the cut. More than 2 million new characters have been created since the launch of Shadowmantle, with Hunter Rangers turning up as the most popular new character and Devoted Clerics as the least.

Beyond that, over 3 million characters have died in PvP matches and a combined total of 405 years' worth of experience has been gained. If you can't get enough of numbers about games, go ahead and jump past the cut to see exactly how the game has been doing since its last update. On a numerical level, it seems pretty solid.

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment press release]

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