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Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:46 am
by Alphastream
Rainer has two recent videos covering Mod 16 changes.

First, he talks about new and replaced enchants/runestones.
The following are no longer used, and can be turned in for something else:
  • Eldritch runestones (exchange for Bonding of same level)
  • Tranquil Enchantment (exchange for Choice Pack - full range of almost all enchants)
  • Insignias of Leeching or Vigor (exchange for insignia choice pack of same level)

The exchange is in PE, next to the Claims Agent. You can trade in any enchantment in the "Enchantment Trade In" tab and then go to the "Enchantment Claim" tab and you will see a "Enchantment Choice Pack" of the same rank that you traded in. The choice pack is same rank and same type in terms of number of stats boosted.

Rank 15 is the new highest rank, with the following:
  • Single-Stat, such as Dark or Radiant, now provide +1200 of the stat (up from 1,000 at Rank 14)
  • Dual-Stat, such as Cruel, now provide +660 to 2 stats (up from R14 of +600/+600)
  • Triple-Stat, such as Black Ice, now provide (up from R14 of +700 to one stat and +350 to two stats)

Note that the Heart of Fire enchant from Acquisitions Inc cannot be upgraded to R15!

Various stats have changed, so the main enchants now provide (Offense, Defense, Utility):
  • Dark: ArPen, Critical Resist (was LSteal), Companion Influence Strength (was move)
  • Silvery: Accuracy (Was Recovery), Deflection, Glory Bonus
  • Radiant (no change): Power, Max HP, Gold Bonus
  • Azure (no change): Crit, Defense, XP Bonus
  • Tactical Enchantment (new): Combat Advantage, Awareness, (no utliity).
  • Woven Tales: Crit + Combat Advantage, Deflection + Awareness, Companion Influence Str + Gold Bonus.
  • Shiny Coin: ArPen + Com Adv, Awareness + Max HP, XP + Gold.
  • Savage: Crit + ArPen, Crit Resist + Max HP, Gold + XP
  • Ruthless: Crit + Accuracy, Crit Resist + Defense, Glory + Gold.
  • Cruel: Power + Accuracy, Defense + Deflect, Hit Points Strength (healing-related) + Glory Bonus
  • Vicious: ArPen + Pow, Crit Resist + Deflect, Glory + XP
  • Brutal: Pow + Crit, Max HP + Defense, Companion Infl Str + XP.
  • Wicked: ArPen + Accuracy, Deflect + Max HP, Gold + Hit Points Strength.
  • Demonic: Power + Crit + ArPen, Defl + Max HP + Crit Resist, (no utlity in preview).
  • Gigantic: Crit + ArPen + Accuracy, Defense + Defl + Max HP, (no utility).
  • Draconic: Power + ArPen + Accuracy, Defense + Crit Resist + Max HPs, (no utility).
  • Black Ice: Power + Crit + Accuracy, Deflect + Defense + Crit Resist, (no utility)
  • Assassin's Enchant (new): Crit + Accuracy + Combat Advantage, Deflect + Crit Resist + Awareness, (no utility).

Runestones (Offense, Defense):
Runestones at R15 now grant +660 to a stat (or +2,640 Max HPs).
Bonding Runestone R15 now grants 70% of companion stats for 30 seconds (R14 was 65%). (Note, the Bolster bonus from companions can bring the total for all 3 bonding plus Bolster to 245% stats from companion).
Here are the stats from runestones:
  • Arcane: ArPen, Deflection
  • Profane: Crit Strike, Defense
  • Recondite (new, was Training): Accuracy, Awareness
  • Empowered: Power, Max HPs
  • Serene: When companion is struck by an attack, companion has a chance to gain HPs. (This is currently really useless)
  • Indomnitable: Your pet's powers that target foes deal +x% additional damage over 3 seconds as physical damage, only the best Indomnitable runestone applies.

The video also shows off the new Legendary level of Insignias. They can give +1,120 to one stat and +480 to a second stat.

He has a spreadsheet here with all the info.

Rainer's second video is regarding whether Mod 16 is good or bad. This is similar to a thread I posted above. There are a lot of bugs in it. It's worth checking out what he says.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:21 pm
by Alphastream
The NWO site continues to exist based on a few volunteers. Their latest article is an overview of the changes to game mechanics.

This is one where it is pretty well summarized. Head on over there for the read. It is a good and important review.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:32 am
by Alphastream
Just a quick post to acknowledge that the devs are patching up the preview server from time to time, and they do tweak all sorts of things, including class powers and the like. If you are ever curious, this link will show you the preview patches.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:25 am
by Alphastream
Free Gear alert!

I finally tried preview and the Undermountain quest. Before a single fight, you are granted a bunch of gear. Similar to Barovia (but even faster), you are granted gear to help you in case you are a new player. The gear includes: 5 Coalesced Magics (campaign currency), IL 644 rings, necklace, belt, shirt, pants, braces, chest, boots, head, The Barovian broken miror, bad luck charm, and tarnished locket, Undermountain weapon and off-hand artifacts (green IL of 397, equip is +500 to Crit Resist, Accuracy, Awareness). The gear that has enchants comes with rank 8 enchants for a total of 14 of them.

Upon reaching Undermountain and very quickly the Yawning Portal, an early quest offered IL 670 boots. Way weaker than my Barovia hunt armor, but indicative of getting gear through quests (similar to going from 60 to 70 in the Elemental Evil campaign). Vendors sell IL 770 "Royal Reserve" level 73 gear for 40k AD, but it didn't seem that much better than my Barovia hunt gear. The same vendor sells "Deserter" level 75 IL805 gear, and while it lacks any equip bonus, it did seem stronger (about 250 more stat points and 900 HPs) for 50kAD. The level 78 IL 840 Wyrm gear offers about 470 more stat points and 1,700 extra HPsfor 60k AD. Not worth it, I imagine, but an option if you have a weaker character.

Now, as for my preview experience. I had to respec, because everything is changed. You need to do abilities, powers, the very simplified feats (now just a few quick choices), boons, and companions. It can take a while as you figure it out. It's all very different, but recognizable. For my DC, the powers were familiar, though many are different.

I first ran an Acquisitions Inc quest, since those are absurdly easy in Mod 15 and I've heard about scaling. It wasn't auto-kill, but it was still really easy. Then I did Undermountain, and at least the intro parts were not very hard. I tried a few powers and it was okay. I was not dying the way many people have talked about... I was actually barely hurt.

Then I went to Dread Rings. Weekly quest seemed to be the same AD payout. Challenge level seemed very much like mod 15, other than my not having the same rotation (no divine empowered synergies, etc.). Off to Soshenstar River... really felt similar in challenge to Mod 15. Off to Barovia... this was harder. Doing a small HE solo I had to heal myself with an actual healing power (which does not do damage, just heals me), and I felt the way powers instantly recharge at first, but then I run out of divinity as a DC and have to stop fighting to Tab and recover the powers.

This was a fast run to try stuff out. I liked it better than I thought I would. It wasn't ridiculously different. It was different, and I would say it felt simpler strategically, which was not good for me. The redesign of powers and feats and boons was overall negative for me. Not a deal breaker, just not overall fun in terms of choices. While the reduced complexity will be good for new players, I didn't find the design intuitive or rewarding, and it's still high knowledge. Fewer choices, but still tons of terms (stats, conditions, etc.) a new player doesn't understand.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:58 pm
by Alphastream
New dev blog on the Companion system.

This covers much of what we've seen discussed in the videos above.

They now use the term "Active Companion and Player Bonuses" for the six bonuses you get from your companions. You get one slot from your active companion, shown in purple. You get other slots based on your class, and then those are filled from a non-summoned companion you have in your pet inventory.

The purple "Pet Enhancement" comes from a relatively small pool of benefits available, sort of similar to your mount attack power (if you have a legendary mount). However, as our guild member Bardok pointed out, these tend to say "when your companion is near." That may mean that ranged classes have a tough time if their melee pet is not in the "near" range.

A dev explained in the forums:
"Purple Slot: This is the pet enhancement slot. This slot gets power from the quality of the pet that is currently summoned by the player.

Other Slots: These are player bonus slots. These slots get their power from the companion they were bundled with. Generally if a power is named after a companion then that companion's quality is what affects its overall power. This power does not care about the quality of the summoned companion. If the companion it was received from is stored it will retain its power since it is based on that pets quality and not if it is summoned.:

They also again review how companion gear and runestones work. A big change is that the gear and runestones are centralized - the choice on the screen impacts any companions you make active and no longer is companion-specific. Gear is now any 3 companion gear items of any type (belt, ring, whatever). But, it must be companion gear. So, if you have the old Gateway items, you are again in luck. Otherwise, farming companion gear is a good idea (it's also on the AH). You also slot 3 bonding runestones and all companion gear uses runestones (not enchantments). Honestly, I wish they had just gotten rid of runestones (what's the point of the complexity?), but I guess this at least makes runestones more important that in Mod 15. As noted earlier, Bonding now affects all companion types, including Augment companions. And, Eldritch runestones no longer do anything and can be converted for free once Mod 16 launches.

Finally, they discuss Bolstering. This is where any old companions can provide a bonus to the power of the summoned companion. Combat companions (not augments) further will gain an increase to their "non-rating combat stats." This replaces the old system where having a legendary companion in your "active" screen but not summoned would increase the stats of the summoned companion. There is no more "active" screen. Instead, the best companions of each type will boost your summoned companion. There are 5 types, or categories, that companions now fit in. These categories are fighters, creatures, invokers, mystical, and beasts. Depending on how you look at it, this is a reward for previous hard work, a cool reason to collect and upgrade companions, or yet more cash grab and grind from Cryptic. See, you know want 5 legendary companions in EACH companion category, for 25 total companions at legendary for the max bonus. Yeah.

The exact way Bolstering works is confusing, and apparently isn't fully working on preview. Here is what a dev said on the forums:
"Bolster bonus has always just affected the non-rating stats of combat companions. However for augments it affects their ratings giving them a bit of an advantage in that department."

That confuses me, so I've asked on the forums what it's supposed to mean.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:50 pm
by Alphastream
A somewhat vague dev post on Mod 16 rewards. It's generally straightforward - new mod with new levels, so new rewards with new levels.

They do say there are 5 new artifact sets.

And, we can earn gear as we do the campaign. But, it looks like it takes rare drops to restore that gear we get. We will see how bad that grind is.

Top dungeon will of course have its own seals and special rewards. But, we can expect that a mod later those may just move over and become standard, so it isn't a huge deal if you can't run the top dungeon.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:32 pm
by Alphastream
Back from vacation, and an official dev blog on the Lair of the Mad Mage dungeon dropped recently. As with previous end-mod dungeons, it spoils part of the official tabletop adventure. Therefore, this is a spoiler for anyone playing the Dungeon of the Mad Mage D&D adventure.

You venture into Halaster’s domain to face his two apprentices, Arcturia and Trobriand. Arcturia has many summoned creatures, requiring team coordination to prevent being overwhelmed.

Torbriand's creations include a Boreworm (like an enormous purple worm). It sounds as if any number of creatures could appear as well. The final fight appears to have the theme of electricity.

The dungeon requires level 80, completion of Undermountain campaign, and an IL (probably not set yet).

And, a Dev blog on the environment areas and what it was like to make it. It was apparently very challenging.

In Other news, on the forums Asterdahl (developer) said he has been working relentlessly on various issues and is now returning to the Cleric to make changes. I found it interesting that it sounds like they are overworked and also that they will be tweaking classes. It all sounds like too much work for too little time.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:25 pm
by Alphastream
The last two dev blogs focused on character classes are out:



Neither has super amazing details. The Ranger has two paths, Hunter and Warden. Both can be a mix of ranged and melee, but the Hunter can be all ranged and the Warden can be all melee. It sounds like Hunter has more of the trap path, while Warden has more of the pack/ally boosting?

Wizard has Arcanist and Thaumaturge paths. Arcanist seems to focus on electricity and time type powers, while Thaumaturge is fire and ice to create rimefire effects. They now get fireball as a final encounter power.

Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:27 pm
by Alphastream
One of the more surreal dev blog posts in the while. It's supposed to be a typical design post about lighting. Instead, it basically says:
  • Neverwinter's lighting engine is 6 years old and hard to work with
  • I'm the only employee working on environment, making it harder
  • I'm now leaving to work on the Magic the Gathering MMO.


Re: Undermountain: Neverwinter's Biggest Expansion

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:46 pm
by Alphastream
I just came across this dev forum post regarding their recent stream...

"Enchant exchange bind status: Our current tech does not allow for stores to have a concept of bind status, therefore the exchange cannot be set up to check bound to bound and unbound to unbound. It has a set parameter of any enchant going in, regardless of bind status, providing a bound enchant coming out. Because of potential for major exploitability, we cannot set the parameter so that the enchant the exchange provides back is unbound. "

Wow. This is a huge financial loss for some players. If you have stacks of unbound enchants and any of them changed to either be outdated or no longer preferable, they would be bound by the exchange process and unsellable.