Saturday, 14 December 2013

NWO: The Architects of Thay

In the latest campaign released on Neverwinter Online, veteran players find themselves sent forth to finally face the game's big bad, the eponymous lich Valindra "Shadowmantle" at her stronghold within the Neverwinter Wood, a blasted area called the Dread Ring which is crawling with not only her undead lackeys but also her allies, the demon conjuring Red Wizards, who have established portals to their distant homeland of Thay. In my opinion, this is the best zone in the entire game so far (I haven't done any of the epic or Gauntlgrym dungeons though) with recognizable hero and ally NPCs from the rest of the game being present in the zone, handing out random daily missions.

She can look pretty cute when she wants to.

It's also not segmented like in the previous Sharandar campaign (still need to slay that Malabog guy too), where you have to "unlock" each path in order. You just have the entire, awesomely designed zone to work with giving that feeling of space. One of the three individual dungeons here also gets my vote as current best dungeon setting currently (keeping in mind I haven't seen everything). I'm talking about the Phantasmal Fortress which is found after you jump into one of the rather poorly guarded portals to Thay (which gives off a strong Persia/Egypt vibe helped by all the snake motifs).

While I think it is actually the easiest dungeon in the zone, the multiple physics and mind breaking layouts of oddly angled stairs, upside down hallways (with people walking in them) and many other strange mind tricks really make this place tick for me. It's been awhile since I've actually stopped in a dungeon just to watch the scenery, in this case I intentionally go back for it! Those Thayans may be demon worshipping scum but they sure know how to make impressive structures. I highly recommend giving it a visit today! :)

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