After a few years of tabletop gamers suffering through the poorly received fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, this month finally delivers the first official D&D Next (5th edition) products. The update to the RPG comes after a long series of play tests and community feedback, so hopefully the classic game will see a return to its former glory in the coming year. D&D fans who would prefer their RP on a console, rather than a tabletop or a PC, are about to get some good news about another exciting update in the D&D world…
A PC version of Neverwinter launched last summer and gave MMO fans a free-to-play world full of D&D lore to explore, raid, and conquer. The game is financially supported by optional add-on purchases, such as the Hunter Ranger Booster Pack that launched over the holiday season. Despite generating little buzz in the mainstream scene, Neverwinter is apparently doing well enough to justify an Xbox One port to give console gamers a taste of the action.
Gamers in China will have the first chance to play the console game, when the port receives an early release there this fall. The rest of the world will have to wait until the first half of 2015 to see how well the free-to-play PC game can make the leap to the world of new-gen consoles.
A lot of content additions have arrived since the launch of Neverwinter and it sounds like some of that DLC may trickle in slowly over time for Xbox One users, rather than being released all at once in some kind of ultimate edition. Lead producer, Andy Velasquez, spoke to IGN about the contents of the upcoming Xbox One version…
“[Neverwinter] will feature all the same races, all the same classes, all the same maps. The content will be there, with some minor exceptions.
“Since we launched on PC… we’ve added some bits to the endgame, and then we added another module which had another campaign at the endgame. So we’ll probably stagger those releases [in the console version].”
Obviously, the biggest change to the game will be the controls. Neverwinter operates like most other MMOs, with a keyboard and mouse driven interface. According to Velasquez, Xbox One users will be able to map spells and abilities to controller buttons and easily swap them out in-game. It sounds like a difficult transition, but games have made the jump successfully before (Diablo 3, anyone?), so it’s is definitely doable.
In addition to the announcement of the Xbox One port, the developer has also revealed more details on the upcoming PC expansion, Tyranny of Dragons. The expansion is set to launch on August 14 and tie-in to a number of the upcoming D&D Next tabletop campaigns. In addition to loads of new lore to soak in, the expansion also brings along new areas, a new class, and a new race.
The Scourge Warlocke class is free to all players, but gamers interested in rolling a Dragonborn character need to shell out $75. Sounds pricey, but that is actually a temporarily discounted price. After the content launches on August 14, the price of the Dragonborn Legends Pack will spike up to $100. Walking around in the form of a humanoid dragon is pretty amazing, but we’re not quite sure it’s a hundred dollars worth of amazing…
Do you think Neverwinter will find an audience on the Xbox One? How much would you be willing to pay to play a console version of the free-to-play PC game? Let us know in the comments.
Neverwinter will release worldwide on the Xbox One in the first half of 2015. The PC version is currently available.
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Source: Arc Games