By DwightMC @ December 5, 2013 at 6:00am
New Features and Content
New Class: The Hunter Ranger!
The Hunter Ranger is now available to play! A brand new class that twists together ranged and melee attacks to exploit his foes in combat. You can now select the Hunter Ranger class at character creation.
New Level 60 Adventure Zone: The Dread Ring!
The recent Thayan Resurrection has caused much turmoil amongst the Red Wizards of Thay, some wanting to return Thay to the rule of the zulkirs, some still in service to Szass Tam. In a desperate bid to consolidate her power, Valindra Shadowmantle has decided to accelerate her plans at the Dread Ring to raise the ancient black dragon Lorragauth. Red Wizard insurgents revealed to Lord Neverember Valindra’s plans, and now a force of heroes from Neverwinter has been sent to try and stop Valindra. Take up the battle to thwart the lich’s evil plans by visiting Sgt. Knox in Protector’s Enclave at level 60 and taking the “Conquering Our Dread” quest.
New Level 60 Skirmish: Dread Legion!
The forces of the Red Wizards have rallied to drive the Neverwinter Vanguard from the Dread Ring, led by the powerful Saj Amog, Zulkir of Conjuration!
New Level 60 Epic Dungeon: Valindra’s Tower!
It is time to finish the fight with Valindra Shadowmantle! Confront the lich in her stronghold and end her reign of terror over the good people of the Sword Coast! This is the hardest dungeon in Neverwinter yet, requiring a Gear Score of 10500. Gear up, then queue up for Valindra’s Tower in the dungeon queues list.
Dungeon and Skirmish Queue Revisions
- Players may now replace missing party members in queued dungeons and skirmishes.
- The level restrictions on dungeon and skirmish queues have been relaxed, allowing players up to two levels lower or higher to queue for each one.
- If a player is two or more levels below the recommended level, they'll temporarily be boosted to one under the recommended level.
- Party restrictions have been relaxed on skirmishes, no longer requiring a party to have a tank and healer.
Party Vote Kicking
Party members may now call a vote to kick a player from a party. This includes all Epic Dungeons, regular dungeons and Skirmishes at this time.
Large-Scale Dungeon Revisions
A number of changes have been applied to dungeons across the game to improve gameplay:
- Dungeon quests have been updated to clarify current quest objectives and progression on the dungeon maps, including defeat of each of the dungeon bosses.
- Respawn campfires now unlock after you defeat quest objectives or appropriate progression points on dungeon maps.
- Holes in terrain have been fixed; additionally, warp volumes have added beneath maps to transport you to the starting safe area so players don’t get stuck in bad places.
- Bosses have been adjusted so they either have their own locked-in arenas or will return to their arenas so they don’t get stuck in bad places.
Early Game Revisions
The early game from Protector’s Enclave through Tower District has been adjusted to improve quest flow and zone composition. Try it out with a new character! Highlights include:
- Protector's Enclave
- The quest, Vital Supplies, has been removed.
- New quest: A Game of Orbs! This quest guides players to find the three Scrying Stones throughout Protector's Enclave.
- The flow of Finding Honor has been slightly smoothed out.
- Blacklake District
- Hazel's quests are now more integrated with the flow of the zone.
- The Dead Rats instance has been shortened and streamlined.
- The enemy encounters in the zone are now a little more spread out and varied.
- Tower District
- The enemy encounters in the zone are now a little more spread out.
Have you ever seen a really cool companion but had no idea where to acquire it? Have you just reached level 60 and want to know what items are available? The new Collections screen can help you find what you need!
The Collections window can be accessed by pressing 'Ctrl-J' or by pressing the new button at the top of the screen. Collection categories are listed along the left side of the window. When a category is selected, you can browse everything that makes up these collections. The "Locations" checkbox will let you view all the items in the selected category sorted by location instead.
When collecting an item that belongs to a collection, the item's icon will brighten in the Collections screen and you'll be presented with an Achievement-like notification (or more if that item belongs to multiple categories!). Every collection item checked off will increase your Collection Score (or Companion Collection Score as appropriate). Many collections also have a completion bonus, and some collections even grant titles. The Scores are purely cosmetic for the time being.
Categories available on release:
- Companions: A list of every companion that can be obtained in Neverwinter, aside from a select few "promo" companions.
- Epic Equipment: A wide selection of armor and weapons for level 60 characters.
- Artifacts: A complete list of available artifacts showing each major phase in their progression.
- Sharandar: The Sharandar Rewards page has been converted into a collection category. It lists all of the rewards available in and around Sharandar.
- Dread Ring: Like the Sharandar page, this category lists all of the major rewards for the new zone, the Dread Ring.
Active Companion Bonuses
All companions now have an Active Bonus that they grant to you or your summoned companion when they are in an Active Companion Slot. These Active Companion slots are on the left side of the Companion Window. You start with 3 and gain one at level 30 and a fifth slot on reaching level 60.
Active Bonuses are varied in their effects. Many just grant a bonus to the character’s stats. Some give bonuses when certain conditions apply, such as extra damage when the target is knocked prone. Still other bonuses have a chance to trigger when the character uses an at-will, encounter or Daily power.
Look through your companions and decide which ones will be in your Active Slots based on the bonuses that they give. All active bonuses currently on you and your summoned companions are shown like a buff under your HUD portrait, with a turquoise hand icon. Mouse over that icon to see a list of all current active bonuses.
New Artifact Quests!
Along with the new Artifacts system, we’ve adding in an introductory quest to teach players about artifacts and acquire your choice of one of three artifacts. Talk to Sgt. Knox in Protector’s Enclave at minimum level 21 and take the “Artifact Facts” quest. Others are available from epic dungeons and as a glory vendor reward.
Artifacts provide stats and a power that can be activated for your Primary Artifact. Up to 3 artifacts can be slotted at a time a single Primary and two Secondary artifacts available. Primary Artifact slots are always available to slot an item into where Secondary Artifact slots unlock at level 60. You may refine these artifacts similarly to how Enchantments now refine and improve their item quality, upgrading the artifact's provided stats and active powers!
Enchantment and Runestone Item Refinement
The way you rank up these items has changed. The process is now called Refinement, and instead of gathering 4 of the same type and “Fusing” them together, they now gain Refinement Points (RP) by consuming any other Enchantment or Runestone. The amount of RP gained varies based on the Rank of Enchant/Runestone you are consuming, and these amounts are displayed in the new Refinement UI when you place a valid item into a Refining Slot. You get additional RP when using a matching item, which is an Enchant/Runestone of the same type (Radiant or Training, for example), regardless of the Rank. After an Enchant/Runestone gains the appropriate amount of RP, it will now be able to Upgrade to the next rank. The Refining Stones needed to upgrade it are displayed, as well as the chance of success to do so. You will also be able to find various Refining Stones that are designed to be consumed for a boost of RP.
There is a new tutorial quest to help familiarize players with these changes.
Unslotting an Enchantment or Runestone intact now costs an amount of Copper, Silver, and Gold (based on the Rank of the Enchant/Runestone and the Quality of the item) as opposed to Astral Diamonds. You can destroy a slotted Enchantment or Runestone for no cost. You can also now Refine/Upgrade a slotted Enchantment without removing it from its slot. This can be done by right-clicking on a slotted item and choosing “Refine Enchantment” or by choosing “Refine” from the drop down list while in the Enchanting window.
New Paragon Path Choices!
All existing classes now have a choice between 2 paragon paths:
- Control Wizard: Master of Flame – Control powers of fire and apply damage over time effects to your foes.
- Devoted Cleric: Anointed Champion – Enhance your party or make your target invulnerable for short periods when they need it most.
- Great Weapon Fighter: Iron Vanguard – Master the previously exclusive Guardian Fighter’s control techniques.
- Guardian Fighter: Swordmaster – Learn the offensive prowess previously exclusive to the Great Weapon Fighter.
- Trickster Rogue: Whisper Knife – Choose additional ranged and gap closing options.
Classes and Balance
- All classes will receive a free respec to use at their disposal to go along with the new Paragon Paths and other class changes.
- Devoted Clerics and Great Weapon Fighters will be notified they are receiving a forced full respec of powers.
- Many powers such as Icy Terrain, Shard of the Eternal Avalanche, and Daunting Light now properly benefit from the Armor Penetration stat.
- Paragon Feats are now in the same position for all classes. This has no impact on when they can be purchased.
- Resistances to Knockback effects now reduce the knock distance much more consistently.
- Control Wizard
- Arcane Singularity is now able to properly score critical hits.
- Arcane Singularity now properly obeys line of sight rules.
- Chill Strike: This power now generates the correct amount of Action Points. This has resulted in roughly 50% more AP gained per use.
- Chill Strike: The Mastery version of this power no longer incorrectly generates AP based on the number of targets hit.
- Entangling Force: This power now generates the correct amount of Action Points. This has resulted in roughly 25% more AP gained per use.
- Entangling Force: The Mastery version of this power no longer incorrectly generates AP based on the number of targets hit.
- Steal Time (Mastery) will now also have a reduced cooldown when interrupted early.
- Maelstrom of Chaos now obeys line of sight rules.
- Feat: Tempest Magic Feat now also affects Fire damage.
- Feat: Critical Power: AoE crits no longer incorrectly trigger this feat multiple times.
- Feat: Malevolent Surge: This feat now properly affects Shard of the Endless Avalanche.
- Many powers that didn't properly trigger certain effects now do. These powers include:
- Arcane Singularity
- Maelstrom of Chaos
- Shard of the Eternal Avalanche
- (Spellstorm Mage) Storm Pillar
- Devoted Cleric
- Daunting Light can now trigger all weapon enchantments.
- Flame Strike is now able to properly score critical hits.
- Flame Strike now obeys line of sight rules.
- Power of the Sun is now part of the Righteous Tree.
- Restoration Mastery is now part of the Virtuous Tree.
- Many powers that didn't properly trigger certain effects now do. These powers include:
- Astral Guardian
- Daunting Light
- Hallowed Ground
- Great Weapon Fighter
- All of the Great Weapon Fighter's At-Will powers have been updated to improve AoE effectiveness and, in certain cases, group utility, AoE tanking viability, and more interesting feat interactions. These changes are detailed below.
- Wicked Strike: Now briefly reduces targets outgoing damage by 2% (Stacks 3 times) for 3-5 seconds depending on rank. Damage reduction from hitting multiple targets has been reduced by 4%, resulting in 16% more overall damage against 5 targets.
- Reaping Strike: Now reduces incoming damage by 8% while charging, damage reduction from hitting multiple targets has been reduced by 3.2%, resulting in 16% more overall damage against multiple targets. In addition, the crawl speed while charging has been increased by 50%.
- Sure Strike: Reduced damage of final hit and increased damage of hits 1-3. Overall damage is about 2.5% higher. The damage reduction from hitting multiple targets on the final hit has been reduced by 5%, resulting in 10% more damage against multiple targets.
- Weapon Master Strike: Damage reduction from hitting multiple targets has been reduced by 2%, resulting in 8% more overall damage against 5 targets.
- Battle Fury: Now also affects your team at 25% of its normal effectiveness.
- Weapon Master's Strike can no longer be prematurely cancelled to strike faster than intended.
- Feats: These adjustments generally serve to better flesh out the various paths, as well as add some additional PvE tanking benefits.
- Unstoppable Recovery: This feat is now part of the Sentinel tree.
- Student of the Sword: This feat is now part of the Instigator tree.
- Reaping Strike no longer silently fails when it is not charged long enough.
- Executioner’s Style: This was a powerful effect in theory, but in practice it could be difficult to use effectively. This effect has been changed so that now Reaping Strikes grants you .04/.08/1.2/1.6/2% of your max AP per target killed, and also causes Indomitable Battle Strike to deal 2/4/6/8/10% more damage based on the targets missing health.
- Grudge Style: The extra threat gain now also affects Reaping Strike.
- Intimidation: Now also makes any affected targets temporarily build 5/10/15/20/25% more threat against you when you attack them with any of your powers. In addition, the base powers now always generate 100% extra threat.
- Instigator’s Vengeance: This feat was relying on too many outside variables to be useful, so has been simplified and made more self-reliant. It now increases damage by 12%, but is disabled for 3 seconds whenever direct damage is received. Damage over time (DoT) effects do not count as direct damage.
- Feat: Deep Gash: This feat now benefits from Strength and other damage bonuses.
- Feat: Deep Gash: This feat no longer incorrectly ignores damage reduction from armor and deflection.
- Guardian Fighter
- Frontline Surge no longer incorrectly generates extra Action Points if it hits multiple targets.
- Menacing Impact: Description no longer disappears after ranking it up.
- Supremacy of Steel: Fixed bug allowing the AoE effect to sometimes be cast multiple times.
- Aggravating Strike is now considered an at will for the purpose of feats, class features, enchantments and other abilities that trigger or enhance effects.
- Shield Slam is now considered an at will for the purpose of feats, class features, enchantments and other abilities that trigger or enhance effects.
- Frontline Surge knockdown effect now better matches the FX that plays.
- Threatening Rush now provides Action Points when striking a target.
- Trickster Rogue
- Courage Breaker: Tooltip now mentions that it increases your Power stat. (10% for 10 seconds)
- Courage Breaker: The duration of the power stat buff has been slightly reduced to match the debuff duration.
- Impact Shot: Resolved timing and FX issues this power had.
- Smoke Bomb now properly obeys line of sight rules.
- Stealth meter will no longer stop regenerating when stunned upon entering stealth in rare instances.
- Feat: Swift Footwork: This feat now properly grants the full Stamina regeneration bonus.
- Enemies and Encounters
- Battle Wight Commander: This enemy's Soul Reaper power now properly matches its targeting area.
- Battle Wight Commander: The timing on this enemy's Soul Reaper power has improved.
- Blacklake District: Fleabottom will now leash if the player attempts to run too far away.
- Bristle Spider: The range of this enemy's Poison Spray power now properly matches its targeting area.
- The Ghost companion no longer sometimes tries to possess inanimate objects.
- Panthers now have an updated walk animation.
- Panthers will no longer slide when attacking in certain conditions.
- Acolyte of Kelemvor now only casts Sword of Kelemvor while in combat but will now always do it first.
- The Cat now adds a small amount of Deflect chance in addition to its fall damage reduction.
- Ioun Stone of Might now also increases Guardian Fighter block regeneration rate.
- Ioun Stones now modify player maximum hit points like they do their other stats. This includes HP-enhancing slotted items.
Content and Environment
- Protector's Enclave
- Alliances: This quest now mentions Sword Coast Adventures, as well as the new Active Companion Bonus feature.
- There are now transition cutscenes when using the Moonstone Mask teleporters.
- Several typos have been corrected in Aralynn the Pious' dialogs.
- Ebon Downs
- Throne of Idris: Players must now destroy the Bone Golem to progress through the dungeon.
- Pirates' Skyhold
- The Scalefather's heal power now has a longer cooldown.
- The Scalefather's heal power now heals for less.
- Mount Hotenow
- Caverns of Karrundax: Pyraphenia the Firebrand's arena no longer has an unintended safe spot to fight from.
- Castle Never
- Ashes of the Past no longer drop in Castle Never.
- Crypt of the Dwarf King: A door has been added partway through the dungeon. The party must defeat the encounter near the door in order to open it.
- Fardelver Crypt: Players must now defeat the encounter near the second campfire to activate the respawn point.
- Fardelver Crypt: A door has been added partway through the dungeon. The party must defeat the encounter near the door in order to open it.
- Dungeon Portcullis doors no longer cause an error when used to join rooms.
- Featured Projects are no longer affected by Foundry XP limits.
- Several new Room pieces have been added to the authoring tools.
- An empty Large Cave Room has been added to allow authors to create custom cave rooms.
- Room with Catwalks no longer generates errors when placing NPCs in certain valid parts of the room.
- Royal Crypt rooms now properly allow NPC placement anywhere in the room.
- Royal Crypt rooms now kill anyone who falls into the inescapable pits.
Performance and Graphics
- Fixed a client crash when inspecting one party member's companion after another.
- Due to optimization changes, all players' graphics settings have been reset to default. They can still be changed afterward in the video options.
- 3DVision: Some shadows are no longer in a state where they can only be seen by one eye.
- Protector's Enclave has received a minor performance update.
- Blacklake District has received a minor performance update.
- Tower District has received a minor performance update.
Items and Economy
- Vault of Piety: A Cache of Sharandar Treasures may now be purchased for 6 Celestial Coins. This cache includes items that can help players catch up in the Sharandar campaign.
- Vault of Piety: The contents of the Coffer of Wondrous Augmentation are now Bind on Account. They can be sent to other characters on the same account via in-game mail, but may no longer be traded in person or on the Auction House.
- Vault of Piety: Added a chance to receive refinement stones into the Coffer of Wondrous Augmentation.
- Coal now properly has the "Alchemy" tag, allowing it to be found on the Auction House.
- Fomorian Concoction now stacks up to 100 (up from 50).
- Lliira's Favor now stacks up to 100 (up from 99).
- The Astral Diamond cost of a Feat Respec has been reduced by ~40%.
- Stats on all quest rewards have been slightly increased.
- The weapon merchant in Protector's Enclave now sells Hunter Ranger weapons.
- Trickster Rogue Iliyanbruen Ancestral Helmet no longer removes hair.
- Waukeen Cloak: This item's tooltip no longer incorrectly claims that it is salvageable.
- The maximum number of Idle Companion slots purchasable from the Zen Market is now 192, up from 96.
- Players may now purchase up to 160 bank slots, up from 80.
- Enchantments and Runestones
- Epic Dungeons now include Refinement Stones in the respective boss drop items.
- Characters that are level 60 before Shadowmantle goes live will receive a special in game mail with a bonus Artifact & Enchantment Booster Pack to help them on their way with the new system.
- Barkshield: The description for this enchantment has been updated to accurately reflect its behavior. The player loses a stack of Barkshield whenever somebody attempts to damage him/her, regardless of whether or not he/she takes HP damage. This is just a tooltip change.
- Eldritch Runestone: The tooltip of this runestone now refers to ratings instead of stats. Maximum hit points are excluded from its bonus.
- Tenebrous Enchantment now properly respects armor, dodging, and damage immunity.
- Thunderhead: Thunderhead now properly shows its icon when it stuns an enemy.
- Soulforged Armor: These enchantments have been reworked. When you die you are resurrected, healing you for 20/22.5/25/27.5% of average player health and healed for an additional 10/12.5/15/17.5% of average player health over 3 seconds. This effect may only occur every 90 seconds.
- Item Sets
- Beacon of Faith: This set now lists how long the buff lasts in its description.
- Fabled Iliyanbruen: This set now properly goes on cooldown after 3 uses, rather than each charge cooling down separately.
- Fatebender Set: All encounter powers now properly remove stacks of Arcane Flux.
- Focal Magi: This set now properly stacks once per wizard who is wearing the set, rather than once per affected target. The tooltip now correctly describes the behavior.
- Grand Templar: This set now lists how long the buff lasts in its description.
- Heroic Duelist's: Fixed bug causing the Heal over time to end when Unstoppable does, but heal value is now based on your Determination level when cast. Reduced Hot to last 8 seconds instead of 10. (Healing improved overall compared to current).
- High Prophet: This set now has the correct display name on its buff icon.
- Sacred Hand: This set now has the correct display name on its buff icon.
- Sinister Shade: The tooltip for this armor set now reads much more clearly. This is only a tooltip change.
- Leadership now has a chance to drop Refining Stones in the various boxes given as rewards for some tasks for use in Item Refinement.
- There is now a rare Hunter Ranger dye pack task at rank 7 for Alchemy.
- Every armor-making profession has new tasks to make shirts and pants with a new look and different stats.
- Leatherworking and Weaponsmithing have been updated with Hunter Ranger weapons and armor.
- Tasks to create blue-quality feet slot items have been added to several professions.
User Interface (UI)
- Achievement notification window sizes now better fit the text contained in them.
- Character Creation: Text no longer overflows some Appearance Customization buttons in certain locales.
- Right clicking on a friend notification now has the option to message them.
- With the new Artifact slots, default keybinds for new characters have been changed. Artifact Slot is now bound to 3, potions are now bound to 4-6, and mounts have been bound to 7. Existing keybinds remain unchanged, so most players will not be affected by this change unless they create a new character.
- Players no longer have a chance of becoming added to an instance that they cannot "de-queue from" for several minutes.
- The support button will now open in the Arc Overlay when possible for users who are using Arc.
- In the Change Appearance Window, all dyes held in bags will now display no matter what bag or how many different dyes you have.
- Social Window Friends List now includes the class icons and levels of friends.
- Tower Rush and Defender names now correctly display when you complete the action rather than being reversed.
- The minimap now properly contains manual waypoints (red flags) so they don’t display outside the minimap frame.
- Pressing the ESC key now properly closes the correct order of windows when the Professions window is open.
- Journal, Lore and Achievement tabs have had slight adjustments to avoid overlapping.
- Zen Market: There is now an "On Sale" category that automatically displays any items currently on sale.
- Zen Market: There is no longer a Zen icon on unlockable races in the character creation window as these are not purchasable through the Zen Market.
- Auction House
- Auction Broker has had small layout adjustments to be better in line with other stores.
- There is now a 50 character limit in the search field.
- There is now a Clear button in the search tab that sets all fields to empty but keeps the category and type selected.
- The Trade House no longer takes an increased cut when starting an Auction in the field.
- Campaign window will now open to the campaign corresponding to the map you are currently in if you are in a map related to a campaign.
- Players without access to campaign stores now have an option to preview those stores instead.
- Campaigns now have a green checkmark for completed and non-repeatable tasks.
- Character Window
- Equipping an item from one of the equipment slot buttons will now properly notify the player if they are equipping an item that is bound.
- The "Respec Powers" button is now properly labeled "Respec Character," as this respec covers powers, feats, ability points, and paragon path.
- Pet Inspect and pet detail windows have had updated and unified layout changes.
- Companion mouse over tooltips have been updated to be more accurate in rare instances such as when viewing them from a store.
- Double clicking on an active companion will now make it idle.
- Slotted Runestones may now be right clicked for a context menu.
- It is now possible to bind a companion to you if your Active Companion Slots are full and you already have a companion of that type.
- Items and Inventory
- The Currency Bag now has 60 slots, up from 36.
- Items that do not bind use much less empty space in the tooltips now.
- Item set tooltips have received an updated font.
- Items with usable powers now show cooldowns while in the inventory as well as while slotted.
- There is now better indication of what happened when attempting to send mail to a player with a full inbox.
- When a player's mailbox is full the HUD button for mail will now turn red.
- It is now allowed to mail Bind on Account items to your other characters such as the updated Coalescent Wards from the Coffer of Wondrous Augmentation.
- Paragon Path powers and feats now have a more distinctive look.
- Power tooltip sizes are now look the same no matter where they were being moused over from.
- Powers window now supports right clicking a power to prompt a context menu to quickly slot powers.
- The XP bars now properly retain their correct locations when moving the window around.
- Text on the Choose Task button and progress bar now fits properly within the borders in certain locales.
- Text no longer overlaps in certain Attribute descriptions in certain locales in the character window.
- Adjusted the position of some buttons and text to better accommodate other languages in many windows.
- Custom chat channels now better support the use of accented characters.
- Powers that could sometimes show as untranslated will now more reliably show their translated strings.
- The Sun Elf fashion items in the Sharandar collection are not giving credit for the collection at this time.