I read with some sadness, via Shintar’s blog, that the Neverwinter Gateway has closed down. This website was a fantastic resource for the Neverwinter MMORPG back when I was playing the game regularly. The Sword Coast Adventures virtual dice game in and of itself was a really slick piece of programming for a web-based system. Having access to not only your character details but also the full crafting system (more similar to SWTOR’s crafting than most MMOs) made it a stand-out ‘app’ for its time.
The official notice confirms the website’s, rather sudden demise. Reading the details there’s apparently plans to give a companion to anyone who has used the website ‘recently’ in the next update. I’ll have to login to check whether our forays into the game as a leveling-trio early in the summer count as ‘recent’, since I did make use of the Gateway again at the time.
The loss of the Gateway contrasts with Blizzard having finally answered the call of so many players and bloggers for there to be a more interactive App for World of Warcraft players. Although we never had an App to manage those needy garrisons during Warlords of Draenor; we do now have one to keep tabs on our Class Halls for the Legion expansion.
The App is nicely designed and has just the right amount of functionality: I can send off champions on missions and collect the rewards from any that have completed. Furthermore I can start recruitment missions to acquire more of the limited-use troop units and collect any that have arrived. My highest level character is still just shy of the level 110 cap so the World Quest map feature isn’t available for me to test yet, although from what I’ve read I can’t see the real value in being able to see that.
One apparent limitation of the App’s real utility is linked to how the Class Hall mission system has been designed and balanced around the resource currency. Unlike in Draenor, there doesn’t seem to be many (if any) missions that reward resources – so sending missions always has a net negative effect on your character’s current Class Hall resources total. It seems to be pretty easy to spend all your resources in a relatively short space of time if you’re not active on that character enough to earn more. So having access to send all your characters’ champions off on missions regularly is all very nice, but unless you plan on spending time regularly in the game, you’ll find this function losses its utility quickly as all your characters’ will be “resource broke” before long. I could contrast this to the Neverwinter Gateway, which allowed you to log on as often as you wanted without the concern that you’d overspend on some form of currency in the process.