Invocation is a core mechanism of Neverwinter, offering a number of benefits to players regardless of how active they are in the game.
Here’s a set of quick tips and things to remember with this system:
Where to invoke?
The game teaches you to invoke at the open air Temple to the Gods on the steps near Knox in Protector’s Enclave. But that’s far from the only place where you can invoke. Most zones have at least one camp fire for you to invoke while out questing in other areas. Often players will lay one of the short duration portable altars near the auction house area of the city, if I’m sorting crafting tasks as a first activity after login I can usually rely on someone else to have laid one of these by the time I’m done – I occasionally lay one myself just to pay the same favour forward to other players.
When to invoke?
This can be confusing for players as it’s a bit complex. You can invoke every hour for diminishing returns, the fourth in a session would net you very little benefits. However (and it’s a big however!) the actual window for the daily invoke benefits (see coins below) is between four hours before and five hours after the exact time you invoked the day before – so if I invoke at 5pm on Sunday, then I should invoke between 1pm and 9pm on Monday to keep my daily benefits building up. Beware this time window – it’s easy to login, invoke and not notice whether your celestial coin count has increased, it if hasn’t then you’ve invoked too early that day and need to try again before the window expires. It’s always best to check your celestial coin count (the small number out of 7 by the minimap) before invoking!
The first invoke of the day (see the time window above) gives you one ardent coin, which never expires, and one celestial coin that does. So if you miss one day of invoking your count of celestial coins, up to the max of 7, will reset. It can be said this is straying into “needy MMO” territory, but celestial coins aren’t that important so I do not stress about them too much. Life, socialising, work etc all come before gaming these days for me.
If you have seven celestial coins already the game will warn you before letting you invoke – you should spend some of the coins at this point by clicking on the coin icon above the count. The rewards for seven coins is generally best – enchanting materials are always useful. However the six coin reward is really great for level 60s progressing through old campaign content to gear up – you get a choice of coins from either the Sharandar or Dread Ring campaigns – if you’re doing either then try to stick to a schedule for a few weeks and it’ll speed you through the campaign unlocks!
Ardent coins offer, I would suggest, over-priced gear upgrades via the trade of celestial coins for seals (of the Lion/Drake/Unicorn etc). Better to get gear through dungeons or from the Auction House with astral diamonds. The long-term goal with ardent coins is to buy the angel healer companion for a whopping 360 coins, yes that’s 360 days of invocation. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be consecutive but it’s definitely a long-term goal to have, I’m just over 1/3 of the way so far on both main characters since we took a long break after launch before coming back.
The good stuff
Arguably the real rewards, beyond the coins are the benefits you get each time you invoke. The experience reward is substantial, easily one tenth of a level. Added to that you get a small pile of raw astral diamonds, an enchant or potion at random and a temporary stat bonus. There’s diminishing returns on invoking every hour within a session – still worth invoking two or even three times but more than that you’ll only get the temporary stat bonus.
I like the invocation system a lot as Cryptic took a set of system mechanisms and wrapped it in the tasty lore of the Forgotten Realms. The system gives players a boost to leveling, a small supply of astral diamonds to help engage them with the player economy and some cheap consumable items. When I first read about the reset of celestial coins I was wary of just how much we’d need to be logging in to avoid being penalised but the coins do not offer anything that important at least to pre-cap play.