We've spoken countless times about the flood of MMOs flipping the giant “make more money” switch that is free-to-play, but we're pretty sure this is the first time we've seen one make the jump before coming out. On top of that, Neverwinter's upping the stakes from online co-op RPG to full-blown MMO, according to IGN. Of course, making room for thousands of people takes time, so the DnD spin-off's packed up its 20-sided die and hit the road for the tail-end of 2012. Well, waiting rolls character, right? Er, we mean “builds.” Hmm, this is going to be harder than we thought.
On the surface, assuming the role of, say, a space captain, spell-slinging badass, or superhero who sees lasers and breathes blizzards sounds like just about the greatest thing ever. And yet, there is a videogame genre that basically says, “Ok, let's take those fantasies, grind them up, and sprinkle them in a blender with heaping helpings of boring.” It's the MMORPG, and Cryptic Studios head Jack Emmert – a man who's been behind the scenes on games like City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online – has had just about enough of it.
His solution? Neverwinter. Described as a “co-op RPG,” it aims to reach a hand inside that blender and pluck out the boredom while leaving behind the good stuff. And, we suppose, keep both its hands. Difficult, in this case, doesn't even begin to describe it.
So, how's it gonna work? Read all about it – straight from Emmert himself – after the break.
Never say never... winter. After a lawsuit from Turbine seemed to have put it down for the count, Cryptic's rumored Neverwinter Nights follow-up has finally gone official. Based off what little has been said about the game, it appears to be an MMO, but with a potentially game-changing twist – literally. See, as with previous Neverwinter titles, there's a heavy emphasis on world-creation.
Using a “user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge,” you'll be able to become the dungeon master of your own quests and storylines. Sure, the majority of Forge quests will probably resemble forgeries of WoW's Hemet Nessingwary quests – you know, kill 100000 wizard-ninjas, etc – but if the system's as versatile as previous Neverwinter games, there's huge potential for something special.
So, that's the good news. The bad news? If you're the impatient type, Neverwinter's Q4 2011 release date may be a bit rough for you to swallow. In the meantime, though, why not throw together a few missions for Cryptic's first MMO, City of Heroes? After all, what better inspiration for a swords 'n' sorcery yarn than a dude in revealingly tight-fitting spandex who shoots lasers out his face? The tale of “xxxCaptainHulkYashaxxx” is one that needs to be told, regardless of whether it's in underwear-on-the-outside or a chainmail bikini.
How would you like a chance to suit up and stamp out some crime before everyone with a decent rig and an eye for spandex starts doing it? If so, circle August 17 on your calendar, because that’s when Champions Online begins its open beta.
In addition, if you preorder the game from any number of outlets, you gain "guaranteed access" to the beta (we thought “guaranteed access” was implied in the term “open beta”), along with some other super-powered goodies that vary from store-to-store.
The full game is set to confuse poor crowds of bystanders that just wanted to go bird and plane-watching on September 1 – barring any horrible bugs in the open beta, of course. Seeing as how GameStop’s preorder offer is early entry into the final version of Champions, though, we don’t think Cryptic’s too worried.
The full – and slightly lengthy – list of preorder bonuses is after the break.
First there was BioWare. Then Obsidian. And now, as the next stop in what’s beginning to look like a tour of the whole Western RPG development scene, the Neverwinter Nights license may be landing at City of Heroes/Villains creator Cryptic Studios.
The rumor comes from Variety’s typically reliable Cut Scene blog, which cites a number of unnamed “sources.” Those same sources believe the game will drop off Cryptic’s increasingly productive MMO assembly line – which also includes Champions Online and Star Trek Online – in 2011. Apparently, the NWN MMO was the deciding factor in Atari’s decision to acquire Cryptic last year. Clearly, whatever form this game takes, it’s gonna be big.
Other than those unconfirmed whispers, not much else is known about the game. So, if NWN Online is real – and not just some cruel joke cooked up by whoever it is that constantly produces bogus videogame industry rumors – would you be interested in playing it?
Why are you a PC gamer? Why did you choose to support a less convenient, less unified machine even in the face of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's pickup-and-play offerings? Do you like the customizability the PC affords? The constantly evolving technology -- to gaze down from a heap of cast-aside PC parts and proclaim the superiority of your uber-machine? Or is the community? Do you relish being a member of a tightly-knit underdog pack, a group that's not afraid to bellow "We'll prove you wrong" to the gaming community at large?
How would you react if everyone suddenly acknowledged PC gaming's strength? If people turned around and realized that PC gaming isn't dying, would you still be so gung-ho about it?
Well, today, we have -- among other things -- one more outlet prostrating itself before the PC. How long before the unwashed masses follow suit?
Additionally, we have a treat for Trekkies, EA's Riccitiello admitting to another one of his company's screw-ups, and the longest hypothetical game title evar. Please insert disc titled "Read more" to continue.