By Pinpointerror @ December 23, 2013 at 8:59am
State of the Game
Andy Velasquez, Neverwinter Lead Producer
Neverwinter friends and fans! Lead Producer TheSquez here, providing another glimpse into the current status of Neverwinter.
It has been a long time since I have had the chance to write another State of the Game, and I apologize for that, but we have been very busy here at Cryptic HQ. If you are reading this, I am hoping that you have had a chance to check out Module 2: Shadowmantle featuring the new Hunter Ranger class!
Shadowmantle has been our largest update thus far, and I am extremely proud of my team for being able to get it done so quickly while maintaining a high quality product. As always, there are things that we learned from this expansion that we will look to improve upon in our development process. One of our main goals for huge content updates is to get them onto our Preview server as soon as possible, so that we can ensure the updates are stable and begin to collect user feedback from our most dedicated players. Shadowmantle went up onto our Preview server around a month before the update was scheduled to be released, but ideally, we would like to have our updates available even earlier.
The importance of player feedback cannot be understated. Iteration is a huge part of our development cycle, and even though we playtest our new features hundreds of times before they are put onto Preview, major changes still happen after that point. The biggest change that occurred between Preview time and Live time for Shadowmantle came from the Refinement System. After the massive amounts of feedback that we received here, we decided to remove the AD cost of refinement. We read through as much feedback as we can and all of it is appreciated!
The bulk of Shadowmantle is just part of what we have been working on for the past few months. We have had a strike team of developers whose single goal is to create events that we can run for everyone every other week. These events range from simply collecting free goodies as they randomly drop in the world (Tymora’s Gift), to creating entire new zones with special events and brand new physics technology (Winter Festival). The team has done a superb job cranking through various events, and will look to expand and improve upon them before they appear again.
In addition to the main Shadowmantle content and recurring events, we have been hard at work on changes that some of you might never see. If you did not know, Neverwinter has been available to play in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Turkish languages for a while. We have just recently added Russian to the list of supported languages, as well as launched a completely separate shard for Russian players to use! This is completely new ground for Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, as we have never supported this many languages in this many regions of the world before, but it has been worth the effort.
I was even lucky enough to personally head out to Russia for Igromir, the Russian equivalent of E3. Once there I was totally blown away by how interested and knowledgeable the press and the fans were about Neverwinter already. They all had been eagerly keeping tabs on the progress of our initial launch as well as our module updates and were incredibly anxious to get their hands on the game for themselves. Thanks to all of the lessons that we learned with our first server launch, the launch of the Russian server was extremely smooth. The only problem that we ran into was that a few of us were quite grumpy about having to wake up at 3am Pacific in order to open the server up to players in Russia at a reasonable time for them.
We are currently hard at work planning our next update for Neverwinter! I can’t wait for the chance to get these PR goons off of my back so I can tell everyone about it!
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