over 3 years ago - nitocris83 - Direct link
Hey folks! Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. A special nod to @thefabricant for the extensive (but clear/bullet point) posting. It definitely highlights one of the aspects of the CDP – creating a broad topic in order to then distill it into priorities and subtopics! It provides an informative and constructive starting point for future discussions.

While people are participating in this discussion, I'd love it if folks could also keep in their back of the mind how they would divide this this topic into different ones while still keeping it a comprehensive discussion. For example, @krumple01 asked why should players feel all their progress is taken away after spending a lot of time and resources. This is a secondary theme that came up during the accessibility CDP discussion as well; it might be useful to be aware of recurrence of themes and if they should be their own topic or if they are naturally just embedded in multiple aspects of the game.
over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
Hi All,

I know I said I would be jumping in today but it just wasn't possible due to today ending up being a very busy day for me. I should have more time tomorrow. All i would say is keep the ideas and thoughts coming. Whilst conversation about ideas is good I wouldn't drill to far down into any specific area just yet. We will do that as part of the second phase of this CDP.

Sorry I haven't engaged sooner and I am very much looking forward to doing so.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
Apologies for the (extremely) long post. This is a subject I have a very strong opinion on, so I am breaking up my feedback into a general overview and then each sub section for readability purposes.

Table of Contents.

In order to quickly access any parts of my post, you can Control F and search for the following, just copy paste this text in to get that section.

✪ Part 1 – New Progression and Reward Paradigm.
✪ Part 2 – Boons Rework.
✪ Part 3 – Campaigns as optional content.
✪ Part 4 – Itemization Philosophy.
✪ Part 5 – Crafting.
✪ Part 6 – Chase Items.
✪ Part 7 – Slots in Items.
✪ Part 8 – Potential Implementation and Conclusion.

✪ Part 1 – New Progression and Reward Paradigm.

Feedback Overview.

Reworking the way character progression and rewards are structured internally, to have a consistent paradigm going forward both for item design and the rate at which player power progresses relative to content.

Feedback Goal.

Prevent unnecessary clashes between systems to prevent early forced obsolescence.
Allow for items to remain in a useable state for longer.
Allow for more interesting item design, whilst at the same time retaining a balanced endgame.
Allow for meaningful player choices in terms of item use.
Prevent unnecessary player frustration due to poor risk/reward ratios.
Allow for more horizontal rather than vertical progression.

Feedback Functionality.

Changing multiple systems in order to align them to a single progression/reward paradigm. This will be covered more in depth in each of the different areas my feedback addresses.

Risks and concerns.

Likely cannot be done in the short term, although small changes can be made to some systems to facilitate moving towards this later.
It makes item/reward design more predictable to the player. Depending on the developers aims, that may not be what you want.

Hi Fabricant,

First of all thank you very much for all the time you invested here and also for the formatting.

I actually agree with every single goal with the caveat of (and i am sure you are thinking this) still including vertical progression but in wider intervals.

Could you give an example in regard to this point please? 'Allow for meaningful player choices in terms of item use.'

On to your next sections (-:


over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 2 – Boons Rework.

Feedback Overview.

Boons are the only long term reward a player obtains from campaigns. They play a role in character progression and are currently extremely lacklustre, while at the same time acting as a major chore for older players wanting to level up a new character. They also add up over time, leading to eventual power creep due to the way they are structured and the longer the game goes on, the more “catch up” a new player must do as a result of them.

Feedback Goal.

Change boons progression to horizontal rather than vertical, to help curb future power creep.
Make boons more meaningful and feel more impactful. Currently they are extremely lacklustre.
Bring back an element of player choice in character customization, by pitting meaningful boon choices against each other.
Make “alting” less of a chore, due to the reworked boon functionality.
Reduce the amount of catch up a new player must do.

Feedback Functionality.

Change the way campaign boons work, to make them similar to stronghold boons. Instead of allowing you to allocate additional points for every campaign you complete, you will always only be allowed to switch between 6 campaign boons. Two offensive, two defensive and two utility. Completing a campaign would then allow you to allocate points into that campaign’s boons and each campaign would add 1 new boon for each category. As the game goes on, there would be more and more choices to pick between, but the number of boons you could use would always be the same. This does the following:

Allows for more impactful boon choices. As the amount of power from boons is never intended to increase, you could aim for the overall impact of boons on a player to be, for example a 30% improvement so a player will really feel the impact of choosing a boon.
Allows for more innovative boon design. More powerful boons can do more interesting things.
Make campaigns less of a chore for older players. You only need to run through the campaigns for boons that you want. Also reduces the amount of catch up a new player needs to do.
Curbs power creep.

Risks and Concerns.

This type of horizontal progression necessitates that new boons not only be interesting, but also be situational, otherwise some campaigns will never be completed if their boons are considered to be a poor choice.
It is more difficult and time consuming to make powerful boons than make flat stat increases.
It necessitates recycling older mechanics, in order to provide incentive to sometimes switch between boons.
Many campaigns may never be ran as a result of this change if not implemented correctly.

Whilst I am 80 and 23k IL I really do not have a great understanding of the minutiae of Boons. A lot of this is due to the fact we need to streamline player flow and goals to 80 (see CDP 1 for those who haven't read it). Therefore this point is something that we are working toward refactoring 'Make campaigns less of a chore for older players. You only need to run through the campaigns for boons that you want. Also reduces the amount of catch up a new player needs to do.' I would just change OLDER to ALL.

I also like the idea of more horizontal progression elements in regard to abilities, boons and so on and again with the caveat that vertical progression isn't something we will ditch but at the same time Alternate Advancement can help slow the vertical power creep and make vertical progression more meaningful and relevant when it is released. I am a huge fan of Alternate Advancement personally.

I also very much like the idea of including more player agency in terms of boon choice. I need to learn more about and experience boons more deeply which I am doing at the moment and therefore I will dig into this specific area more in Phase 2 Fabricant.

Meeting now and then i will move onto your third post.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link

Hi Fabricant,

First of all thank you very much for all the time you invested here and also for the formatting.

I actually agree with every single goal with the caveat of (and i am sure you are thinking this) still including vertical progression but in wider intervals.

Could you give an example in regard to this point please? 'Allow for meaningful player choices in terms of item use.'

On to your next sections (-:


With regards to this, it has to do with the way itemization currently works in Neverwinter where there are very clear obvious choices in terms of what items a player at end game should be using. A lot of the choices that exist are "non choices" in the sense that yes you could use them, but you would be consciously deciding to use something worse in favour of a better option.

An easy example I can use, from a DPS players perspective is the Ebony Chest body armour, which increases your power by 10%. Sure, I could use something else as a DPS, but I would be choosing to use something which I know is worse. There isn't a real choice on that slot, I am "forced" into using 1 item.

Then in the cases where they are choices, they do not feel very meaningful. An example of this in module 17, there were boots and a shirt which had the same bonus (3% damage while above 75% stamina) and it did not stack, so these 2 items were mutually exclusive. You wanted this bonus on 1 of the items, but it did not matter which of the 2 it was on, so the choice existed did you pick the boots or did you pick the shirt. Now the problem here is, all the other boots and all the other shirts had poor effects, so you weren't forced into making an interesting decision here, you just picked whichever one's stats worked out right for you and that was it.

These problems are compounded by the fact that many of these bonuses are not interesting. Choosing to use a ring that increases the damage of your encounters by 3% or the damage of your at wills by 3% is not an interesting choice. It does not change the way you play the game, you will not even functionally notice the difference and the only way you will be able to tell you are performing 3% better is by sitting down and testing it.

To me, meaningful item choice means that there needs to be a moment of indecision when you are deciding what you want to use and right now, that indecision does not exist. I am not torn between picking item 1 and item 2. Part of the problem here is that item bonuses cannot, by the nature of how the system is currently designed, be particularly powerful, which limits you in terms of how interesting you can make the bonus. It is very difficult to do something interesting with a bonus which is supposed to improve your performance by at most 3%.

Anyhow, I am working on a (revised) version of my essay at the moment which I will share when I am done which covers a lot of the issues with my current essay, as well as I think explains my view a bit better, but its very long (over 13,000 words at the moment) so it is taking time to proof read and it covers more than just the scope of this CDP. I will link it when I am done.

I would suggest waiting until I have been able to give my thoughts or your first design/commentary if that is ok for reasons of efficiency (should you want to include or respond or disagree with any thoughts I have currently on the original posts). It shouldn't take me more than a couple of hours.

And thanks for your explanation and giving more clarity there. Also it might be worth waiting until we enter phase 2 early next week to deploy your revised version so you can hear other ideas and comments from the CDP work group.


P.S: Phase 1 Ideation, Phase 2 Drilling into ideas and challenging/evolving them, Phase 3 Top 3 ideas and why.
over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 3 – Campaigns as optional content.

Feedback Overview.

Old campaigns have the problem that, for the most part, once you have the boons you have no reason to go back to them. In addition to that however, they also have the problem that until you do have the boons you feel compelled to run them.

Feedback Goal.

Provide a reason to run old campaigns after obtaining the boons, without feeling compelled to do so.
Provide a reason for new players to run campaigns.
Make campaigns feel optional and fun, rather than compulsory activities.

Feedback Functionality.

The way I would resolve this issue is by adding new rewards to campaign daily quests after a player has completed the campaign. These rewards would either be in the form of RP, RAD or materials used for guild upgrades. The purpose of this is twofold, one to incentivize a player to run through this content and keep it relevant post its sell by date and the second is to provide an upgrade path to new players.

In addition to this, with the changes to itemization proposed in the next post, campaign specific items like hunt items should remain useful for much longer, so players may have a reason to want to farm them long after the campaign’s lifetime.

Risks and Concerns.

Campaigns become too rewarding if not balanced properly.

Hi Fabricant,

We are looking into campaigns, related rewards and progression as part of overall streamlining. Some of the ideas you have mentioned here we have discussed (-:

We have discussed rotating zones and content out and then reintroducing it as an Evolving World as well as how this would apply to new quests, rewards and related rewiring.

We want to create an enhanced experience with everything we do where earning rewards do not feel like a chore.

Anytime we provide an opportunity for the player to replay previous content we want it to be an enhanced and evolving experience.

So in short I disagree here with the concept of making folks work for rewards by playing content they have done previously without it being a new experience.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 4 – Itemization Philosophy.

Feedback Overview.

Clearly delineate the purposes of crafted gear vs gear with unique effects vs gear with a set bonus, as well as target the general intended power level of gear vs content. Currently whenever a new piece of gear is added, it either automatically invalidates every other item on that gear slot, or it is already invalidated itself. For meaningful itemization this needs to change.

Feedback Goal.

Make both crafted items and dropped items useable in the long term.
Make chase items more interesting and in some cases more expensive.
Add back an element of choice to itemization.
Structure rewards better, to make planning future rewards relative to content easier.

Feedback Functionality.

Currently, crafted gear and dropped gear compete for the same slots. Crafters are faced with the frustration that often anything they create does not persist for longer than a single module and they spend more time than not being unable to craft anything meaningful. To resolve this, I propose that items come in 3 categories, Stat sticks, Unique bonuses and set pieces.

Stat sticks are exactly what the name describes. They are items that exist for the purposes of filling out your stats. I propose that while levelling, some basic stat sticks drop and that vendors sell some for gold when your character begins campaigns and then endgame stat sticks are crafted gear. They will provide much higher combined rating than they currently do, to help combat my proposed change to items with unique bonuses. They also will not come with any bonuses in addition to stats. Pet gear is the only item which will always be a stat stick and is the notable exception to the rule, competing with nothing for its item slot.

Items with unique bonuses are there to help players customize their character. Currently they come in the form of items like enduring boots, which have small bonuses which are not particularly interesting and come on statted items. I propose that all items with unique bonuses come without a combined rating at all and potentially, do not have any stats on them either aside from HP and Power, which will remain unchanged from current values. What they will have however, is extremely potent bonuses, instead of the small bonuses we currently have. They drop from challenging open world content, for example hunts. The bonuses on unique items should be a horizontal progression system and new bonuses as well as old ones should aim for a certain power level then stay there.

As a base line I recommend each item’s bonus is intended to be roughly a 5% damage increase, so at most you are using 5 of them for a 25% increase. This makes them impactful to the point a player can feel the difference between using one and not using one but maintains the same level of improvement of adding together the bonuses on all current existing pieces of gear a player may have slotted.

Set pieces are things like the artefact weapon sets we have currently, or the artefact neck/belt/artefact set. I propose expanding this to allow for body armour sets as well, but not making them a prerequisite for the slots they currently exist on (so you can have unique weapon pieces, or stat stick weapons). The bonuses they provide should in general be stronger than a unique item bonus, with the downside that it occupies more slots. They should specialize a character in a certain direction (potentially towards that type of content), and they are only obtained from dungeons/raids.

How I see these systems engaging with each other:

Game content is designed with the idea that when considering all the possible gear, the hardest content in the game available to you at any given time is completable with 70-90/95% of the obtainable stat pool. The final 5/10% should be chase items and should not be factored in to content design, as it is more for bragging rights then content completion. A very skilled player should be able to complete the content with 70% of the obtainable stats, where as a less skilled player then has some cushion room in the remaining 20/25%. This means that the first dungeon a player encounters, will require them to at minimum reach 70% of the required gear level, before being able to enter it.
Some of the counter stats for dungeons should be intended to be capped, for example a DpS should always cap their offensive counter stats if they are prepared for a dungeon. With the best available crafted gear, this should be possible with 5 open item slots. A player with less good items could then use more item slots to cap the ratings, in exchange for having less unique slots.
Once the player has capped their stats, since there is no further benefit to investing in statted items, they then choose which unique bonuses or set bonuses they want on their remaining item slots.
The result of this change to itemization should be the following:
You always want to have some crafted gear and crafted gear for every spot will hold value, since it is the best obtainable statted gear and the only deciding factor for which statted piece you use is which unique bonuses you want (in other words, you pick the statted pieces that complement your other gear choices).
You always want some items with unique bonuses, or some items with set bonuses as once you have capped your stats with the best available stat sticks, there is no point to equipping more of them and the only remaining way to improve your character is through investing into unique bonuses.
You can introduce new gear to a single item category without automatically invalidating gear in every category. For example, adding new crafted items will only potentially invalidate old crafted items. Adding new unique items should not invalidate any older unique items and the same is true for set items.
Item bonuses can be more meaningful, due to lower overall stat pools and only using a limited number of items with bonuses.
Crafting becomes a much more effective currency sink, as the gear it creates always has some demand.

Examples of the types of bonuses I would like to see on unique or set items:

3 Set bonus Neck/Belt/Artefact for a set which has no stats - Gain an additional encounter power slot.
Gloves or Helmet Bonus - Overloads decay twice as fast but give twice the bonus.
Helmet Bonus - Your encounter powers have half their current cooldowns. You cannot change your encounter powers. After using an encounter power, it is switched out with another encounter power at random.
Helmet Bonus - You cannot see further than 20' from your character. Deal 10% increased damage to enemies within 10'.
Gloves Bonus - Gain Sequence of Skill. For the First 5 seconds of combat, your At-Wills do 10% increased damage. For second 5 seconds of combat, your Encounters deal 10% increased damage. For the third 5 seconds of combat, your daily powers gain 10% increased damage. For the next 5 seconds of combat all 3 power types gain 10% increased damage. The cycle restarts after reaching the final part of the sequence. Powers currently boosted have a sparkling UI panel like when the OP Divine Barrier has critical touch active.
Gloves Bonus - After using 5 altering power types (for example, encounter, at will, encounter, at will, encounter) your next used power will deal double damage. Dealing double damage or breaking the sequence resets the counter.
Boots Bonus - All feats are allocated but grant 55% of their full value.
Gloves Bonus - Your at wills no longer generate Action Points. Your dailies have their Action Point cost cut in half.

As you can see, these bonuses are much more impactful, both to performance and to character gameplay than current item bonuses.

Risks and Concerns.

Cannot be done in a single change, it modifies too many aspects off itemization at once.
Necessitates that all older items become obsolete.
Necessitates that players properly understand the counter stats system, otherwise it is very easy for them to equip too many items with unique bonuses and end up with a character that is not functional.
Requires that items with unique bonuses are balanced very carefully, to prevent players from all using the same items.
Requires rebalancing the amount of Counter stats on all items and rebalancing the number of counter stats all enemies have.

This is a little too detailed/definitive for me to really comment on currently (This isn't your fault). Let me explain why. We are currently working on elements of CDP 1and therefore we will use this particular post along with others to help inform our decisions.

Edit: Actually in re-reading your post this is something I will come back to in Phase 2 of this CDP.


over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 5 – Crafting.

Feedback Overview.

Make crafting a more satisfying process long term, which both rewards players who craft and players who collect resources.

Feedback Goal.

Make gathering of resources rewarding to both new players and endgame players.
Make crafting rewarding long term.
Hopefully, make farming resources unreasonable to do for bots.
Make the gathering of resources more interesting and less of a chore.

Feedback Functionality.

I have linked this before, so I won’t write it all out again, just link to it again.

Risks and Concerns.

Development resource requirements are high.
Needs to be carefully balanced so that players have incentive to push for harder content, whilst still being rewarding enough for those who cannot progress there.

I agree with all the goals here. Just dev time and priority as you say.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 6 – Chase Items.

Feedback Overview.

Improve the design for chase items, both through crafting which currently has no chase items and through item drops.

Feedback Goal.

Ensure that the hunting of chase items is a fun process and not a frustrating one.
Provide incentive to go after chase items.
In some areas, add an element of risk and reward for the creation of chase items.
Allow for the revitalization of old items.

Feedback Functionality.

Whilst the M17 implementation of chase items is good, it is possible to do it better, especially in the implementation of crafted chase items which Neverwinter has never really had. Here are (in my opinion) some important rules.

Chase items should not be gated behind drop RNG unless they are also unbound. Going after items like Shadowstalker rings is frustrating, not fun. ToMM rings are an excellent implementation.
Chase items should not be rewarded from levelling content and should be adequately challenging in contrast to the reward. A bad example of a Chase item is the new pet gear, which should in my opinion have the +4/+5 variant added to the watcher bosses loot tables because currently there is no challenge in farming it, just frustration.
Content should not be balanced around chase items, that is not their purpose. They exist as, “the item to have” and should be difficult to obtain and good enough to justify bragging about.
Chase items can be gated behind crafting RNG in some cases, provided it is done well.

In terms of adding crafted chase items, I recommend doing this in 2 ways. The first is adding a new crafting process which allows you to craft extra bonuses onto an item, but with the drawback of incredible risks involved and opportunity costs. The resource cost to do so would be low (about 100k AD), but the outcomes would not be guaranteed and would work as follows:

The outcome of crafting would outright delete the item 25% of the time.
The outcome of crafting would lock disable enchantment slots for this item.
Nothing happens 25% of the time (the item remains the same).
A random bonus is picked from a table of bonuses available on that item slot 25% of the time.

After attempting to craft an item in this manner, you may not attempt to craft on that item again. It is a once off attempt. After attempting such a craft, the item will be bound as well. This has the advantage that it allows you to cheaply try and craft one of these bonuses onto an item which has no value if you want the bonus, but there is a massive opportunity cost on trying to craft it onto BiS gear. As a result of this it can easily revitalize old pieces of gear if a player gets a bonus, they want on it and because this is random, creates some diversity in gear usage. It also gives the players with lots of currency a currency sink, as they chase after the perfect bonus on the perfect item.

Additionally, every item should have an extra set of unlockable stats on them, using cubes of augmentation. The base value would be 1000 with a max value of 3000 on each piece, allowing players to roll on them. This acts as a significant AD sink for players who want to min max but, provided is not accounted for in general content design (assume the minimum value of 1000), has no impact on endgame.

The second method is through adding very long recipe chains which require hard to obtain items, to craft chase pieces of gear. This would be equivalent to a harder version of masterwork.

Risks and Concerns.

If the crafting system is not explained adequately, players may delete items that are valuable to them without intending to. Huge potential for backlash.
Items need to be balanced very carefully. The same is true for the mods in the random table.
There needs to be enough mods to make getting the bonus you want a difficult process.
There needs to be chase items appealing to every class.

Before I comment on this one are you talking about chase items just in regard to end-game or for players at different milestone phases in their progression. I don't disagree that earning chase items should be an actual experience (Memorable) but I worry you are talking about one sub set of the player base here. There are areas for example in the game with huge divides in terms of bridges to achieve current milestones, rights of pass age and related chase items.

The details you gave here will be used as examples of achieving the overall goals you layout above.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 7 – Slots in Items.

Feedback Overview.

This is not directly related to rewards and progression, but it goes hand in hand with streamlining by making it more convenient to use multiple items, thus actually promoting item choice. The current slot system for enchantments is antiquated and can be greatly improved.

Feedback Goal.

Make it easier to swap between items.
Make the user interface for changing enchantments more friendly.
Make the user interface helpful for colour blind people.

Feedback Functionality.

Remove slots from items, instead embed them into the UI. Changing items changes the type of slots available or enables/disables slots. For example, if you have a radiant enchantment slotted in an offensive slot and you switch to an item with a defensive slot in that area, it swaps the effect from offensive to defensive.
If an item is not slotted, the slots are disabled for that piece.
Its recommended with this system, to remove the gold cost from unsocketing enchantments, however, if keeping the gold cost is considered important, then it is recommended to add the ability to “consume gold in advance” for moving enchantments around so that it can be done with loadouts so long as the gold has already been spent.
Add symbols for the slots indicating what they are, so people who are colour blind can tell at a glance.
Reduce the number of clicks involved in unsocketing and resocketing enchantments.

Here is an example of how I think it should work:

Note, this is my mockup attempt at designing something like this and I expect a proper UI artist could make something much better. The point is to illustrate that it can be done better.

Risks and Concerns.

Removing the gold cost for swapping enchantments may remove an important gold sink.
If the new system is not immediately intuitive, it could confuse people.

Note, there are additional risks present specifically in how I designed it, for example, if you want to design items with variable socket numbers (more than 3) the design gets in the way of that. I am sure someone who knows more about UI design can come up with a better design to overcome these kinds of issues though.

✪ Part 8 – Potential Implementation and Conclusion.

Bringing the above walls of text back into grounded reality, I thought I would conclude by ranking this feedback in terms of what I consider to be my personal priority for it.

Boons – A Priority, since it is one of the easiest systems to overhaul and likely has one of the bigger impacts out of the changes I suggested.
Itemization – A priority. It has the largest potential positive impact going forward, but it is also one of the hardest changes to implement.
Professions changes – B priority. Whilst a system overhaul as I proposed would be nice to have, it is not necessary, and the current system is functional. Furthermore, the investment required to achieve this is colossal compared to the reward.
Chase Items – B Priority. These items only impact a small portion of the player base and whilst important, improving itemization for the entire player base is a far larger concern.
Enchantment Slot Redesign – C priority. Although it is a huge QoL improvement, I don’t feel it is immediately required to improve rewards.

The boons issue is likely the one which could be tackled first and likely could be entirely implemented in a single module, so I won’t mention how I would potentially consider implementing that. The itemization change however, is huge and would probably have to be planned for across several modules. The easiest way to go about it would likely to start introducing new hunt items with these kinds of bonuses and then with the next professions overhaul, introduce a set of levelling gear as well as endgame professions gear to support them better. The hunt items would see very limited use at first before the professions update, due to requiring extreme stat bloat to fit them into your build, but some people would still be able to make use of them.

Anyhow, essay over. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Good goals and food for thought in regard to stream lining and extra bonus points for putting in your priorities and related reasoning.

Looking forward to continuing the conversation with you throughout this CDP and the many more to follow. Really good work.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
I'd like to focus on a very important point raised by @thefabricant on part 6: bound items should absolutely not depend entirely on RNG.

Feedback Overview:
Important Bound on Pickup items/gear should always have at least one way to be obtained deterministically (i.e. not depending luck)

Feedback Goal:
Reduce frustration caused by bad luck, always rewarding players with some progress after they complete some piece of content

Feedback Functionality:
All content that has a chance to drop bound gear or other useful bound items should also have a system tied to it where players can get the same items deterministically. Many different approaches can be taken to create such a system, like:

- Currency/store approach: completing the content will always grant players a certain currency and, if you didn't get your desired item by luck, you can use your collected currency to buy it. This approach already exists in-game for the Lionheart (ToMM) Weapons.

- Quest approach: completing the content will always grant players progress in a repeatable quest that can be taken at will. After completing the content a certain number of times, you'll complete the quest and will receive a choice pack where you can choose the item you desire. This approach already exists in a limited way in-game in the Stardock yellow quest "The Teachings of Zerthimon", where you can select a piece of companion gear after completing a certain number of Fragment Expeditions. This implementation is not ideal because it does not include every item and can only be done once.

- Restoration approach: completing the content will always grant players a specific "restoration material". If players don't get the desired item by luck, they will be able to buy a "broken" version of it by a small amount of gold, AD or another existing currency. The desired item will then be obtained by "restoring" the broken version with a certain amount of the "restoration material". Restoring gear is a very common system in this game, but I don't think it was ever used for this purpose.

Other approaches may be used as well, as long as the result stays the same: a clear, guaranteed way to farm for a desired item.

Why does this matter? It's extremely frustrating to do the same thing over and over, hoping for a lucky drop, and feeling like no progress was made at all when RNG doesn't favor you. With systems like this in place, players always get some progress done and won't feel their efforts were completely wasted.

Risks & Concerns:
The "currency/store" approach will make the "Neverwinter has too many currencies" problem worse and must be used with moderation.

Thanks for taking the time to post Carlos. Not much more than for me to say that I agree (-: I think RNG has its place but I also thing we should be fostering compulsion loops and ensuring there are appropriate bridges between them.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
This topic I have been waiting for and I have a lot to say on this topic but I don't know where to start. I also just want to say, there are no bullet points this time because I want to express my experience to make my points on these topics. So if I sound salty, or attacking, it is just the frustration I have behind these experiences.

A1. First I suppose I want to get this idea out of the way. Why should a character that has spent a lot of time, astral diamonds or even money on progression, to have all that effort and success taken a way?

My main character is a Cleric and if I run Lomm on my Devout build, I can actually do significant damage to the monsters. Even though technically the Devout build isn't meant to deal damage, it can. But if I run Cragmire Crypts, my damage goes to basically nothing even thought this dungeon is so old, I shouldn't be reduced to nothing. You have stripped the fun out of progression or any progression by stripping the character running older content. It becomes frustrating because show me a point where scaling isn't being drastically used? Pretty much anything that isn't the new mod is being scaled. Why? Bring back progression and remove scaling, its not fun to be artificially nerfed in content that doesn't give any reward other than some rough AD.

A2. To go along the same lines, during mod 16 and 17 running Lomm I collected a few pieces of gear and ran it over 200 times, so I know it well. But now in mod 18 my character is scaled in Lomm. Why? What was the point in making the effort to obtain items to only be reduced and capped out now? The dungeons when they are scaled become convoluted, so you remove all the stats that make the character feel strong in favor of the player running content that is harder for less reward. Because it is less reward now but its harder to actually run it now. How does that make any sense?

B. And then rewards. First I think refinement point gems should be removed from all the end chests. We get so much refinement points, 90% of the current rewards are nothing other than refinement points. I have so many refinement points I have over 5 million backlog of refinement points. Yet get so much tossed at me, its no longer a reward. It just seems like a cheap way to make the player feel like they are being given something. So many items from end chests just go straight to refinement points, armor pieces that I don't want or need. Put something more meaningful in the reward chests in the dungeons.

On a side note I also think refinement gems should be removed from Lock boxes. I think its also just filler and since I already get thousands of refinement point in game, why would I want to open a lock box that is going to give me 99 times out of 100 nothing more than refinement points.

I don't think I am alone in these thoughts and perhaps they aren't well thought out and mostly wanted to use personal experience to make my points. I am frustrated by these things and yet I feel like I am the type of player to put up with a lot of stuff, I can only imagine how the rest of the player base feels about these things.

But as far as rewards go, I think the idea for me comes from the idea that 90% of the items in the game are obsolete, outdated or there is a better alternative. Yet the only thing we can do with these items we don't want is to turn them into refinement points.
1. One idea is to convert all these unwanted items into the current mods seals. They don't need to be a lot, maybe 5 newest seals per item sacrificed.

2. Another idea is to allow all the outdated or obsolete items to be brought up to the current mods range. So you can introduce some way of infusing power into these items which bring them up to be relevant. There can be multiple stages to this process which require a simi rare drop. Similar to how we exalted weapons from the Chult campaign, but instead of just making them upgraded once, they can be brought up to compete with current mod items.

So any artifact weapon of the past and any armor sets from campaigns in the past can all be brought up to current stats. Something like this would actually give older outdated items have some value or worth obtaining.

3. Also when using rerolls in reward chests, some times or actually many times I have this experience where I press the button to reroll but nothing actually changes. It makes me think for a second that I'm lagging. But after 4 more rerolls I realize nope, I wasn't lagging. I wouldn't even bring this up if it only happened to me once or twice but its pretty much every time I go into a dungeon it will happen. I honestly can't believe that the loot table is so limited that my odds of rerolling the same exact reward as previous would happen that often. I think this is either a bug, or there is some metric behind the scene where it's used to spend up rerolls without actually providing any actual "chance" at better rewards.

Hi Krumple,

Many thanks for your post and for your insight on the streams. Comments below:

A1: Agreed and working on this in regard to streamlining.
A2: Agreed and working on scaling.
A2b: There is certainly a point in player progression where refinement points are over saturated. There are also points where it can feel like a drought. Also working on this in regard to streamlining.
Items are garbage: I get your point but this is a very broad statement and whilst it may apply 100% to you it isn't necessarily the case in regard to other players at different points in their progression and milestones. This said this is part of the reason we are having the CDP. We have been discussing points 1 and 2. Point 3 happens to me as well. I will check but I am pretty sure this isn't a bug. Will get back to you.


over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
✪ Part 3 – Campaigns as optional content.

Feedback Overview.

Old campaigns have the problem that, for the most part, once you have the boons you have no reason to go back to them. In addition to that however, they also have the problem that until you do have the boons you feel compelled to run them.

Feedback Goal.

• Provide a reason to run old campaigns after obtaining the boons, without feeling compelled to do so.
• Provide a reason for new players to run campaigns.
• Make campaigns feel optional and fun, rather than compulsory activities.

Feedback Functionality.

The way I would resolve this issue is by adding new rewards to campaign daily quests after a player has completed the campaign. These rewards would either be in the form of RP, RAD or materials used for guild upgrades. The purpose of this is twofold, one to incentivize a player to run through this content and keep it relevant post its sell by date and the second is to provide an upgrade path to new players.
In addition to this, with the changes to itemization proposed in the next post, campaign specific items like hunt items should remain useful for much longer, so players may have a reason to want to farm them long after the campaign’s lifetime.

Risks and Concerns.

• Campaigns become too rewarding if not balanced properly.

To piggyback off Sharp's idea of overhauling campaign rewards: what if classes could unlocked a third paragon path by completing a campaign task for it and said paragon path is based around that campaign's theme?

Old campaigns are generally not "that" impactful, and there is a sentiment that boons are generally there as "something for more stat points" and not something that decides your character. A new subclass could add these game defining attributes, such as a DPS path for Paladin.

So I was thinking: why not add in some more paragon paths to campaigns?


To provide a reason to run old campaign content, even if you dislike the boons offered.
To expand extra subclass options/playstyles that some people have been clamoring for.


Essentially, take a 5e subclass (or any prior edition subclass/class) and make its access only available through completing a campaign task from a themed campaign. Some concessions will have to be made translating the subclass to NW, such as the subclass not quite matching the 5e/original edition class.

One example would be an upcoming pirate/Zorro themed module that might be set to release. A Rogue Tank path based around timing parries and finesse could be christened as the Swashbuckler and its access be given as a campaign task in this pirate/Zorro flavored campaign.

Another example could be giving the Fighter a magic/melee paragon spec, the Eldritch Knight, from doing Stardock. The reasoning for this would be because the gith have the famous "gish" term that denotes a warrior that has decent proficiency in magic. For the people who want to be immersed in the story, the idea is that the Fighter characters learn the secrets of the paragon path from the gith in story, which is why it's locked to Stardock.

The goal behind adding these paths would be to expand options for classes (ex: Paladin DPS paragon tied to Sybella/3rd Eye campaign) or add in new playstyles (ex: a magic Barbarian spec based around magic runes, the Rune Knight, tied to Storm King's Thunder) that attempts to balance new ideas with reusing code to help cut down on programming time.

Risks and Concerns

The biggest one: time used to develop these new paragon paths/reuse assets or animations takes away development time from doing more important things like solving game breaking issues, or developing new module content.
The game's programming flat out won't allow you to add an extra paragon path.
The paragon path being a case of a "if you have this reward, you've proven you don't need it" for your average NW player that doesn't grind all day.

An example would be giving a Paladin DPS paragon, but if the campaign task is tied to is Avernus rather than an easier campaign like the 3rd Eye intro Campaign. The reason this is a problem is because Avernus is supposed to be a difficult campaign that isn't intended to be done immediately, whereas giving Paladin players a DPS spec should be done in an early campaign so Paladins can use that DPS spec for easier soloing in other campaigns.

Class balance/imbalance issues (you guys really should consider a CDP on this one ...)
The issue of "why should I bother running this campaign if the boons suck and if the subclass isn't for my current class" still remains.
Some fans are mad that their favorite subclass wasn't represented "properly" from the tabletop game to NW.


Thanks a lot for your post. As mentioned in my reply to Fabricant I do see boons as something that could be used for alternate advancement just not sure more sub classes is a high priority at the moment vs continued work on current classes and sub classes. This said we will be using this as another example/viewpoint when discussing boons as they relate to progression and rewards.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
Masterwork Profession

First of all, I would like to Express my desire to see things for companions in the new crafting. Things must be either analogous to things from expeditions(1010 level) or better quality. Different variations of things with different stats and slots for stones.

The range of crafting can be expanded, for example, with consumables of all types. You can list them, starting with leaflets from the Tower of the Mad Mage, ending with signs for improving things. About tablets: make a likeness of omuan tale carving, but for crafting things. For example, there was a major update, where new armor was introduced. And with the help of these tale carving, you can raise the level of a thing to the actual one.

Also very concerned about the relevance of crafting - will it become useless again in a short period of time?

Very important, as for me, is the relevance of resources collected from maps. For example, in all previous crafts, we encountered the fact that Gold Ore was needed everywhere in large quantities, while Molybdenum was almost never used in subsequent crafts. I would like to see the absence of "unnecessary" resources when collecting from maps.

Moving away from the theme of crafting, but closely related to it - is guild marks. 30k is a very small limit for full-fledged crafting, sometimes this amount may not be enough for even one thing, not to mention a set. This restriction does not give someone a great advantage, but it brings great inconvenience. This is also caused by the fact that players from high-level guilds have nowhere to put resources to convert them to guild marks. I propose to put some merchant who could exchange one campaign currency(for example, the tyranny of dragons) for coupons for gems for the Guild(with the preservation of proporia marks). You can also enter some Guild buildings that would allow high-level guilds to get rid of the limit in Mimic, but were also useful for the entire Guild as a whole.

Hi Hoverist,

We are working toward making crafting more relevant and complete as a system. A number of folks have mentioned rewards, material rewiring as it relates to player experience, campaigns, zones, rewards, compulsion loops, progression and so on.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
FEEDBACK CONTENT: dungeon loot rewards
FEEDBACK GOAL: dungeon and item system of neverwinter

Me and my mates/friends don't admire the loot/reward system of neverwinter. Let's start with the standing of a "DUNGEON" (or trial, skirmish,...):

Usually dungeons are a very specific thing. They are hard challenges and some highlights of the game. So it should be like "I am doing the whole week my dailys and prepare my equip to run at the weekend a dungeon with my friends". But in Neverwinter dungeons are the daily content. To get the main currency to improve the equipment we have to run dungeons (in random queues) every day. So they are nothing special anymore. And they are pretty easy. So what to do after the daily dungeons? Nothing. Because the old dungeons are easy and boring (because of running them every day). Why should I run FBI after my daily routine? There are no rewards and no fun.

So let's come back to the topic (rewards). There should be hard mode versions of dungeons. Different levels. Like "epic" or "mythic". These should be as hard as the new contents normal mode. And finishing them should bring some nice rewards. So that new items are not only available in the new map. So I could say "Let's run FBI mythic because the boots I want can drop there" (boss Loot or chest Loot). So that the Bis items should be farmed in different dungeons. Buying them with seals or running expeditions to get them is pretty boring compared to pretty hard dungeons. And I like the "system" of the Shadowstalker Rings (example). There are different rarities. +1, +2,..., +5. Introducing that for all items would be a nice way. Each version of a gear piece can be found in a different location. For example: the "blabla Boots" +1 can be optained in the new campaigns hunts (like Barovia hunts - they were quite funny). +2 I can get in the new dungeon (normal mode). +3 can drop in epic FBI. +4 in epic LoMM and +5 in mythic LOL. So I can get these boots pretty easy. But getting them in a better version will force me to run old dungeons in epic or mythic version, which are pretty hard. If my guild or group is not strong enough to finish mythic LOL, we try epic FBI to get these boots.

I hope you understand what I wanted to say, because my English is not that great for long texts. That's why I worked with so many examples.

Thanks Dema for a well constructed and easy to understand post. I totally agree in regard to dungeons. In CDP 1 we talked about different tiered dungeons and tiered rewards. We are working toward this currently as well as discussing rewards rewiring across content and systems as part of this CDP.

over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link

I've seen you use the term Alternate Advancement on more than one occasion. Are you looking towards a system similar to what EverQuest used? If so, I'm not upset at all. That was a great system but, don't make it so that all of our overlow exp goes into that system just so we can make some sort of meaningful progress in it. Otherwise, it's a great system in my opinion.

Yes (-:
over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
This is it for me today (Time constraints). I will be continuing tomorrow and reading any new posts tonight.


over 3 years ago - cwhitesidedev#9752 - Direct link
First of all, sorry engilish is not my prime language, so gramar or spelling mistakes may happens(or not).

I have opitions about various parts, (realated to reawards), so I will split my post in parts(do not expect same style as fabricant did, I have no time for it.

Now also need to note one major thing> These are mine feedbacks and opinions, if you don't like them, sorry, but this post is not meant to please some or specific group of players.

This CPD is with intention to make game great, not build game arround or for specific group of players..

I have feedback about few things, so I will split them in groups.

1) Invocation
Invocation system need rework, update or even complete overhaul.

Make invocation account wide and provide decent rewards for players who play this game.

Need to make so invocation would be counted account wide, so players would not have to keep switching between alts, just for invocations.
Also, need so invication time would be counted when player are in game. That's mean, when you actually play game not just log ing, invoke>> go play other mmo.
And most important items obtained via invoke should be account bound.

The reason is that, due current system, lot of players created large group of alts( invoke hordes). I know about 7 players who have over 200 alts across multiple accounts.
The main reason there are such invoke hordies is that, players try get few things from invocations. preservation and coalescent ward are one of most aimed items.

When you check AH< you can see one account and sell like 30+ stack of x99 preservation wards. Bots are bad for mmo games, but this invoke hordes also make bad for this game.

Gmae should reward players who actually play this game.

Risks & Concerns::

1) players with massive invoke hordes will be mad(literally).
2) poor implementation may lead to explotation.
3) due requirement to stay in game, may lead to increase of bot usage, which would require system which would monitor(log) players bahaviour in safe spots( protector enclave, or easy/low lv areas).

Neverwinter online had issuese's with bots before, the reason why there are none or least noticible is not due that security become better. The reason is that most players who used them have left game. So obviously with invoke rework would require hardcore system testing from bots, otherwise game become bot fiesta.


2) Reward/loot table
General reward is simply full of leftovers from previous mods, which are outdated and poluting reward system.

Clean up reward/loot table from outated/irrelevant items, make drop/loot table more reasonable.

Current reward/loot table is one massive list of items and you have Random chance to gain them. Which most of time lead to frustration due receiving irrelevant and even illogical item.
As good example, we have Fangbreaker Island(mod 10) and Spellplague Caverns(mod 12) dungeons. When I complete them I receive Elven Armor gear parts are reward.
Now Elven Armor where introduced in mod 6, which brings question why it's still in loot table. Even in mod 10 it where way outdated, and in current mod 18 it's like ancient relict from long long forgotten adventures.

Campaing areas should drop items realated to that campaing only. No other items from other campaings.
Also, need improve rewards in old campaings, so it would be worth to visit them. ( AS example quest, to slay x enemies while affeacted by debuff, which work k-team system(hardcore mode + heavy downscale)).

Now reward in general.

Gear parts -
Common(white) - From lv 1 to lv 80(all) should be removed from drop table, migrated to Protectors enclave market area. Most of these items goes to vendors/traders for few coins of copper/silver anyways. Better reward player with more gold than with item which he either throw away or sell to first met vendor for few coins of copper.
Uncommon(green) - bottom line reward - you gain them in open world areas, from lv 1 to lv 80 or campaing areas.
Rare(blue) - these ones gain from elite/specific monsters/sub boss. Or leveling or quest realated dungeons.
Epic - From epic dungeon or hunts(chult/barovia/Undermountain expeditions) with certain chances.


The chance of obtain mount/companion/artefacts I leave for staff to decide, I think there need to talk about their qualities/ranks.

When you hit that chance of obtaining, either mount/companion or arteacts.
Drop rates depend on mount quality and are where you hunt,

Open world: leveling/campaing areas.
Common(white) - chance ~ 65% ( just mount and companions).
Uncommon(green)- chance ~25%
Rare(Blue ) - Chance ~10%.
Epic(purple) ~0% ( there should not be epic quality in open world)

Sub dungen(level up dungeon).
Common(white) - chance ~ 45% ( just mount and companions).
Uncommon(green)- chance ~35%
Rare(Blue ) - Chance ~15%.
Epic(purple) ~5%

Sub dungen(campaing realated sub dungeons( example dread ring forge of death)
Common(white) - chance ~ 25% ( just mount and companions).
Uncommon(green)- chance ~45%
Rare(Blue ) - Chance ~20%.
Epic(purple) ~10%

Common(white) - chance ~ 25% ( just mount and companions).
Uncommon(green)- chance ~45%
Rare(Blue ) - Chance ~20%.
Epic(purple) ~10%

Note: for hunts need reevaluate so harder/higher tear hunts would grant higher chances.

Epic dungeon.
Common(white) - chance ~ 10% ( just mount and companions).
Uncommon(green)- chance ~25%
Rare(Blue ) - Chance ~45%.
Epic(purple) ~20%

Note: whole system is that, higher tear content should increase chance to get higher quality reward.
even if you get lucky to obtain artefact, it's frustrating to get uncommon rank of old artefacts.

Also, need to remind, this is just example how I think reward system should go..

By reducing quantity of not needed/irrelevant items from reward tables in specific situation, we improve chance to get better rewards. Also by changing chances of obtain higher quality item in old campaing dungeons, it make more reason to vsit them.

I think dread ring campaing and it's sub dungeons system we can use as base/example. You get one free key daily, for others, you must farm/do quests in that campaing area and buy from vendor.

This would make reason for players visist old campaings and farm mounts/companions/arteacts. Also some extra elements could be addded, to make hunts/farms more interesting.

Risks & Concerns::

This will require to take current reward/loot table, and check from a to z. Reevaluate items, which ones to keep and which ones move away.
Rework old campaigns, so it would have similar system as Dread ring campaing do have with it's keys and sub dungeon.

And I assume it would take lot of time(realy a lot of time).

And as always,, poor implementation would lead to bad outcome..

For now I think it's enough.

Once again sorry for my bad engliish. Also if I left some confusion, just send me message and I will try explain more properly.

Really interesting post. Thanks Hades.


Other sites