The Neverwinter MMORPG is constantly being expanded but if you expected the latest update to simply add more creatures or a higher level cap, you’d be sadly mistaken.
The seventh major update for the videogame focuses on strongholds, where players join with their guild mates to flush out monsters and take control of settlements for their own use. Having claimed an abandoned keep from the wild, they must build it back into its former glory on the game’s largest map.
Neverwinter: Strongholds will initially be released on PC this summer and will follow on the Xbox One at a later date. The game is free to play (with an Xbox Live Gold membership on that console, sold separately), with all content open for every player to experience – from first level to the current cap.
Here are five things you need to know about the upcoming Neverwinter: Strongholds expansion pack from Cryptic Studios.
1) TAKING OWNERSHIP
Your guild may already have status within the city of Neverwinter, but now it has its very own keep. Although you’ve been handed the keys, it’s up to you and your guild to make sure it doesn’t fall prey to the creatures and monsters that reside there. Once the keep has been secured, guilds will work to solidify their foothold, by clearing the surrounding wilderness areas and building defenses to fend off attackers.
2) BUILDING BRINGS BONUSES
As the lands are cleared, guilds can build defenses both in and around their strongholds to protect the keep. This includes structures such as archer towers and barracks to house additional armed troops. Once word spreads that a new settlement has been secured, it will begin to attract new NPCs who have heard about it – such as merchants. Eventually, it may become like a bustling town.
Guilds have been a cornerstone of Neverwinter since its inception and have offered players the opportunity to unite under a single name, socialize with like-minded adventurers and aid each other in times of need. Only members of your guild will have access to this territory and players who aren’t aligned won’t simply be able to wander in and out.
4) NO TIME COMMITMENT
Smaller guilds who are able to dedicate less time and resources to the task of securing their stronghold won’t be penalized. Any work that has been carried out will remain and your keep won’t deteriorate below the level you raise it to if you don’t happen to check in every day. So if the boss/your teacher dumps a major two-week project on you, you’ll be fine to bow out for that period in the knowledge your keep is safe.
5) GUILD VERSUS GUILD
The wilderness and orcs aren’t the only things you may need to defend your keep against. Following the launch of Strongholds, when guilds have had some time to start building up their defenses, a new PvP-style challenge will be added. Guilds that choose to battle other guilds will try and storm an enemy’s keep, as that guild’s players try to take yours. Naturally, this feature will be opt-in, so your Stronghold won’t be under siege if your guild is away.
Battles will include huge siege structures that increase a guild’s ability to wage war against another keep and the developers promise to scale battles to include as many warriors as possible. “Strongholds gives Neverwinter players the ability to create their own stories of banding together with their guild to forge tales of rescuing lands overrun with Orcs and defending their turf from invading players,” said Rob Overmeyer, executive producer for Neverwinter.