Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Neverwinter Online: Tales of the Old - Dread Vault

Tales of the Old is an interesting event that revives some of the previously removed dungeons with some updated foes and challenges, all to earn tales currency to buy rewards. Unlike normal runs you are limited on time, unable to use consumables (no heal pots), and have a party wide total deaths limit for starters (because you can make it harder).

I don't have any problems with that, though death is annoying due to the run distance from the campfire but I think that mainly stems from dungeon design - and one of my main gripes about lengthy dungeons.

In Dread Vault your team must work your way down a lengthy cavern to ultimately fight an elder brain. Unfortunately the whole journey is just move forward, kill trash, repeat over and over for more than 10 minutes. Even without the enemies it will take a decent amount of time just to walk from point A to point B.

Prepare for more of the same thing!

While some players like Syncaine enjoy massive instances dungeons, I personally find them to be fucking boring. Sure you have mini bosses before the main villain but that makes what, 20% of the dungeon interesting? And then you are expected to run the entire dungeon over and over? That just reeks of dumb design and I'm starting to see why Cryptic removed it in the first place.

The only place massive dungeons have in MMOs is if they are not instanced at all, so that you are able to randomly encounter other players and not the automatons that are the NPCs. They did this right in the general Undermountain zones.

Meanwhile instanced content works best when it gets right to the point. Tiamat, Demogorgon, and Baphomet (my favorite) all drop you right into the boss fight itself. I'd much prefer a similar event centered on those, though obviously "Tales of the Old" wouldn't be a suitable title.

Better still, just hold a Boss Rush event with the option of soloing. There are enough bosses and mini-bosses in the game to pick from now to make that happen. Anyway, Tales of Old - thumbs up. Dread Vault - also thumbs up, but only for the boss fights. The rest of it is just a waste of time.

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