There’s lots of buzz surrounding Cryptic’s next MMO, Neverwinter Nights. This if you are unaware is an action MMO based on the 4th edition D&D rules. Bhagpuss of Inventory Full seems to be warming to other bloggers descriptions of the game as it enters beta testing.
The more I read the less interested I am in it. Unlike other (probably the majority) D&D gamers I actually prefer the Eberron setting of DDO fame to the Forgotten Realms, I consider the latter to be too high-magic and overly dominated by the super-powerful NPCs that crop up in every story to hijack the plot. Eberron offered a lower power level and a massive dose of politics and intrigue to balance combat (this is largely ignored by DDO of course in favour of killing stuff).
The combat system, from the videos I’ve watched this week, makes me think the gameplay will be rather like Tera: small set of skills, dodges yet holy trinity gameplay (tank, healer, damage dealer). Also like Tera there does not appear to be much character customisation. Each ‘class’ has one set role – like the Lancer in Tera, the sword and shield fighter class *is* a tank. Even Vindictus had different builds for the limited selection of characters, why are action MMOs opting for such simplified character systems? In the above linked dev blog they talk of customisation through gear (stacking attack power or armour penetration), this is exactly like the limited customisation by glyph in Tera!
I haven’t even played a Foundry game, so I can’t comment on the user generated content side. It is a plus that the devs state everything will be available from the start. I actually thought Sony missed a trick making the dungeon maker a collection mini-game. I felt very frustrated when I tried to make a dungeon and found so little was available.
It’s one to watch, certainly more than most of the 2013 new games, but the gameplay will have to be *really* good to get over my aversion to the 4th edition mechanics and the lack of character customisation.