The era of the free-to-play title has arrived. From Marvel Heroes, to DC Universe Online and World of Warplanes, this year has seen the release, re-release and repackaging of many top-tier, subscription-less titles. Hoping to outdo them all is Cryptic Studios‘ latest take on the popular D&D mythos, a high fantasy title named Neverwinter.
Released back in June, 2013, this lore-rich universe has already attracted a respectable 2 million-plus players – including our own Rob Keyes – with updates and paid incentives also arriving thick and fast. The game’s latest mega-patch, aka Module 2: Shadowmantle is scheduled to debut this Thursday, bringing with it a whole heap of tweaks, revisions, modes and campaigns.
Chief amongst these changes is the arrival of an all-new character class, the woodland-dwelling Hunter Ranger. Blending in amongst the forests of FaerÃ»n and striking with a deadly combination of speed and stealth, this new group will appeal to anyone who preferred the exploits of LOTR‘s Faramir to his bulky brother Boromir.
Hoping to ease players into the new Hunter Ranger experience, Cryptic has also announced a Hunter Ranger Booster Pack for Neverwinter, set to release alongside Module 2. Fresh content includes two new weapons, two additional armors, an animal companion and a selection of useful in-game items. The official list features:
- Special Title (Unlocks Account Wide)
- Master of the Savage Wild
- Adventurer’s Helper Pack (Claimable by ONE Character on the Account)
- A sack of assorted Skill Kits, Identification Scrolls, and other valuable tools for a busy adventurer.
- Greater Bag of Holding (Claimable by ONE Character on the Account)
- A bag with a larger inside than out. Has 24 Inventory Slots
Starting Weapons (Hunter Ranger Only)
- Bow of the Wild: 87-107 Damage. +127 Power. 3 Offensive Slots: +10 Power, Critical Strike and Recovery. +53 Armor Penetration.
- Hatchets of the Wild: 52-64 Damage. +127 Power. 3 Offensive Slots: +10 Power, Critical Strike and Recovery. +53 Armor Penetration.
Neck and Slot items (Unlocks Account Wide)
- Cloak of the Wild: +16 Armor Penetration. +37 Deflection.
- Hood of the Wild: +37 Critical Strike. +16 Armor Penetration. +18 Defense.
Hunting Hawk Companion (Unlocks Account Wide)
- As a Blue Companion, the Hunting Hawk has a max Rank of 25 providing you with three skins from which to pick.
Given the distinction being made between the Hunter Ranger class (as part of the free Module 2 patch) and the Hunter Ranger Booster Pack, it’s likely — though never officially stated — that the latter option will end up costing real-world dollars. The availability of the pack as part of the game’s own Zen currency service — a first for the title — also seems to suggest a monetary fee. Judging by the cost of a similar Neverwinter pack – the newbie-friendly ‘Starter Kit,’ this additional Hunter Ranger gear could cost somewhere in the region of $20 to $30.
How does D&D: Neverwinter shape up to the MMORPG competition? Does the Hunter Ranger class sound enticing? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Neverwinter news, right here on Game Rant.
Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter is now available to play via the arc server platform. The base title is completely free, with additional content available for an added fee.
The Hunter Ranger Booster Pack is set to go live on December 5, 2013, alongside the Module 2: Shadowmantle expansion.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.