Our current leveling duo, my great weapon fighter and my partner’s cleric are fast approaching the half-way mark of level 30. The zones in the game are generally worth a 3-4 levels, so the zones can flash past if you’re deep into a questing session. If you add-on the opportunities for event-based skirmishes, dungeons, dailies and foundry missions it is pretty easy to outlevel content.
Despite the pace of progress I don’t feel particularly like we’re missing out on anything important. This is my fourth character, and my third to play actively (my ranger is leveling through crafting and invoking alone) so I’ve seen a lot of the content before. The nice aspect of the game’s varied design is that there are always options.
Our fledgling guild of ex-WoW players has brought a familiar, group-centric playstyle to the game. My experiences of Neverwinter until recently have been solo/duo with pugged skirmishes and the rare dungeon run. With this new guild however we play often together and have run the first three dungeons a few times each with different party groupings. It’s refreshing to be back in the ‘dungeon with friends’ mode of MMO play – that’s how I started the genre back in WoW in 2007. As we’re leveling characters we chat on voice chat about builds and possible group combinations – I look forward to running the level 60 epic dungeons with them!
The contrast with these gaming sessions to those I had in raiding (even flex-mode) in WoW is noticeable. I’m not experienced enough in Neverwinter dungeons to be able to provide a detailed comparison – but I find the boss fights challenging without the added stress of having to learn a bunch of complex mechanics. It seems perfectly doable to go in as a well-coordinated team and learn the mechanics on the fly, that’s something sadly I doubt you can do in many of WoW’s raids now. Neverwinter pitches the non-epic dungeon boss fights at a nice level for learning group-play.