Tuesday 4 February 2014

NWO: Gateway to the Sword Coast

I've been playing Neverwinter Online for awhile now but I'm pretty new to the whole browser based Gateway thing they've had going on which basically lets you play some parts of the game without needing to login to the client. Previously you could manage your little workers from there to get them crafting or questing up minor rewards for you and that was it. Enter the "Sword Coast Adventures" mini-game which was recently added. For me, this is a brilliant tie-in and I've lately been spending more time here than in the game itself!

It focuses on the adventures of your companions that you can send out to various dungeons to try complete quests. Low level quests reward crap, but the highest level ones I've seen (as well as the tutorial one) reward unique companions that you can't acquire by other means. How it works is that your team of four must explore a location until they find the goal. In their way are challenges (the goal itself is a challenge) that test various attributes via dice rolls. All party members get 6 six sided die and based on their actual level and class additional four/six/eight/or twelve sided die (I don't have a level 30 pet so there may be a 20 sided in there somewhere).

While luck plays a big part in victory there is strategy to the gambling. You can see the requirements for the nearby challenges before heading to them, meaning you can plan in advance who is best to tackle what. Also the option to reroll when you get a partial success is crucial later on when you literally are running out of rolls to win (dice of your choice are removed as the challenge progresses). In summary I think it's a pretty well done side game that ties in with NWO very neatly, and it's one you never even have to play to enjoy the main game.

Lastly while your companions can gain experience there it is still not as fast as training them yourself in-game. If you have a level 60 character, getting a companion to level 15 in one sitting is very easy. Summon said level 1 companion, then do all the daily quests in the Dread Ring followed by all the daily quests in Sharandar minus the solo dungeons. That's it. Repeat or add to as necessary for pets that have a higher max level.

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