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Why Neverwinter is the Best Free MMO

neverwinter forest

character in neverwinter

Next to Neverwinter, how many massively-multiplayer online games have you played in your life? Perhaps you remember roaming dozens of worlds in Star Wars Galaxies, working professions and creating trade empires. Perhaps you have heard people talk about the big titles like Guild Wars 2 and are not sure what the deal is. Perhaps you have heard that Bungie Studios, makers of the ultra-popular Halo series, will release the world’s only first-person shooter MMO called Destiny.

While there are many things that separate one title from the other, there are really only two categories that all these games fall into: a subscription based MMOs or a free to play MMO.

So What is the Best?

There are endless debates about what the best subscription-based MMO is. An EVE Online follower would tell you that their game is the only true challenge, while others claim that EVE is nothing more than spreadsheets in space.  Likewise, there are still players who play the original Everquest, a title launched fourteen years ago.  When it comes to the best free MMORPG, however, there is no question about which game owns the crown. Neverwinter Online, a free to play MMORPG from Bioware Studios stands far ahead of other F2P games due to its beauty, versatility, rapid combat, and innovative cash shops. Let’s take a look at what you get from Neverwinter:

  • Foundry building to modify worlds
  • Zero-grinding crafting and professions
  • Rapid combat instead of simple number-punching
  • Weapon and armor customization
  • Classes with different utility than the standard tanks, DPS, and healers
  • Endgame PVP as well as PVE

The best features are the first two.  Here’s the scoop:

The Foundry

Many MMOs are the same when you come down to the core, including Neverwinter, but the Foundry truly sets it apart from the competition. The Foundry allows you to change the entire world, creating new dungeons and instances so that you can quest against extreme difficulty or see through the eyes of an artist bringing a vibrant digital canvas to life.  No other MMO (except the now-defunct Star Trek Online) offers anything close to a world-editing companion, meaning that Neverwinter Online is worth it just for the Foundry alone if you are the type who enjoys building a beautiful image with your bare hands. Fans of creating their own world in games like Starcraft 2 and Halo will be able to take on the challenge of the Foundry with relish and let others enjoy (or suffer from) their creations.

gamingjobsonline160x300Crafting Systems

Anyone who has been a long-time veteran of the MMO genre knows that the worst part of any game is the grind needed to craft items. Whether you are a blacksmith creating armor or an alchemist putting together unstable concoctions, you have to go out into the world looking for the raw elements like metals, plants, and gems in order to create items for your class or character. In the MMO Neverwinter eliminates this time sink in one of the most creative ways possible: by delegating it to you subordinates. Instead of looking for ten stacks of iron ore for a sword, you hire workers for gold who will do it for you. This allows you to spend the next few minutes or the next hour (depending on the rarity of the mats) doing whatever else you please: questing, trading, or raiding. No need to look on the minimap for new nodes, no need to wander a landscape looking for that last type of plant.

What’s in a Name

Subscription-based MMO titles are some of the most popular that you have heard of. The history of subscription MMOs dates back to the 1980s, when text-based games charged as much as ten dollars per hour to play over a basic CompuServe server. Today, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft charges fifteen dollars per month for each of its ten million players, a staggering profit that every other game developer seeks to get a slice of.

Few of these companies, however, are able to match this lofty standard, and most have gone free to play even if they started up as a subscription model. A F2P title allows any player to download either the entire game or a significant portion of it and roam about, questing and leveling, without paying a dime.

Where’s the Profit?

As you can imagine, companies need to pay to maintain their servers, and millions of customers who are not paying any dues makes for a pretty poor business model. Instead, these free MMOs make money by in-game transactions, allowing players to get extra gear, extra levels, extra quests, extra dungeons, and extra player-versus-player maps with a payment ranging from several dollars to several hundred dollars. Many MMOs have a “cash shop” similar to an in-game auction house where an individual can spend as much money as they please customizing their character. In Neverwinter Online, many of the weapons, armor, mounts, or aesthetic pieces are only available from the cash shop.

 

character with sword

grey bearded character

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One Response to “Why Neverwinter is the Best Free MMO”

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