My recap series of articles is now finished so I will dive into the focused highlight articles on certain aspects of GenCon. First up is an awesome preview, shown to me by Atari Senior Products Manager Peter Brooks, of a new Facebook game launching soon called: Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter, and Brooks also showed me a bit of the new Neverwinter MMO coming out soon which I will detail in another post, along with a few details. The game is being published by Atari and developed by Liquid Entertainment exclusively for the Facebook platform.
Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter
This game is great news for three types of people: 1) Those that like good RPGs. 2) Those that like good, deep and addicting Facebook games (there are not mant) 3) Those that like Dungeons and Dragons. Those three are not listed in any particular order of importance, just simply stated. This game appears to be of a high caliber in all of those categories.
It starts out easily enough as you have some character customization with limited race, class and appearance options. There is enough for you to make your character feel unique. One of the coolest features of this game is how the party works. At the tavern/hub of the town you are in, you can enlist mercinary NPC characters to fill out the rest of your party, or, the more interesting option, use your friend’s characters. Their characters gain the experience from being in the party as if they were actually there! If you are using a friend’s character they can also watch your game in “spectator” mode which allows them some minor control, as well as the ability to recharge their “energy” faster (which is basically your play limit, like most Facebook games.) This hub area can also be used to purchase items and perform other RPG-town activities.
The game also features a currency that can be purchased with real money, called Astral Diamonds. None of this stuff will be required in order to beat the game, but simply enhances the experience. Similar to cash shops in most MMOs nowadays. Each dungeon will feature three different difficulty levels with increasingly better rewards as you finish them on harder settings.
One of the coolest features is that once you reach level 10, you can actually create your own dungeons! He did not let me see anything on this feature, other than mentioning that it exists, but it is great there are including this. I can imagine scenarios where there could be a pretty nice amount of user-generated content in a game like this.
The actual combat flows almost identical to a tabletop D&D 4th edition game. Everyone goes in order of their initiative, you have minor, move and standard actions. You have at-will, encounter and daily powers. You move across the map on a grid. There are traps and other hazards you can come across. The only real difference is that all of the dice rolls and the AI is done under the hood, making it “feel” more like a video game!
This game is shaping up to really be fantastic. As someone that tends to generally stay away from “casual” games, I am genuinely excited to try this game out once it releases. Go by the Facebook page I linked above and like it for a chance to get into the beta starting up soon. Lets hope it turns out as well as it looks like it can! Let us know what you think in the comments below!