This game is a lot easier when working with friends. You can have a party of up to 5 people and the party leader can set to share loot in different ways. If you need help finding people to party up with you can try setting up some gaming sessions here on TA or feel free to join the TA Neverwinter guild in the game's forums.
Before you start the game, it is quite valuable to link your Xbox one game with the PC version of the game by linking your Arc account online. You do not actually have to play the PC version or even download it, just log in to the games website and give your Xbox code. This will allow you to obtain an in game companion much earlier than you would have gotten normally. This free companion is actually quite a bit more powerful than the starter companions you earn normally when they regularly become available. The game will tell you how to do this when you first launch it.
The first thing you do when selecting your character is to select a race and a class. Not all races and class combinations are equal so definitely think about what type of character you would like to become. I have included a list of races and classes below with a short description of each to help you along...
Drow - +2 dexterity, +2 charisma or wisdom, 2x campfire recover speed, 5% chance to apply darkfire when attacking for 4 seconds, reducing targets defense by 10%
Dwarf - +2 constitution, +2 strength or wisdom, increased resistance to knock/repel effects, increased resistance to "damage over time" effects.
Halfling - +2 dexterity, +2 charisma or constitution, 3% chance to deflect incoming attacks, 10% increased resistance to crowd control effects.
Half-elf - +2 constitution, +2 charisma or wisdom, +1% deflect, +1% critical severity, +1% gold find, +1 to non-class score
Half-orc - +2 dexterity, +2 constitution or strength, +5% critical damage, 10% run speed bonus in combat for 3 seconds
Human - +2 any ability score, +3% defense, +1 heroic feat point at levels 10, 15, and 20.
Tiefling - +2 charisma, +2 constitution or intelligence, +5% damage to targets below half health, 10% chance to lower power of attacker by 5% for 5 seconds when hit.
Wood elf - +2 dexterity, +2 intelligence or wisdom, +1% critical strike chance, 10% resistance to slow effects
Sun elf - +2 intelligence, +2 dexterity or charisma, +2% action point gain, +10% resistance to crowd control effects.
The following two races are only available via purchase from the Zen Market. You will have to log in with a normal character to purchase them but if you do, you can either start a new character as the new race or use the provided race re-roll token to convert your current character into the new race.
Drow Renegade - +2 dexterity, +2 charisma or wisdom, 5% chance to reduce enemies power and defense by 6% for 4 seconds, 2x recover speed at campfires.
Dragonborn - +2 to any two stats of choice, +3% power and critical strike, 5% bonus healing from spells and abilities.
Overall, it isn't of extreme importance what race your character is. While some races are better than others (match up the primary stat bonuses with the classes below), none of them will be so bad you can't play it. Humans and Dragonborn are nearly always good.
The 6 available attributes in Neverwinter are: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma. You will have 1 primary attribute and 2 secondary attributes depending on what class you have chosen. You always want to prioritize raising your primary attribute, and typically one of your two secondary attributes. For example, a Hunter Range has a primary attribute of Dexterity, and a secondary attribute of Strength and Wisdom. When putting points towards the attributes, however, all of your points should go towards Dexterity and Wisdom, while ignoring Strength.
The following is a short list of available stats your character can have and what exactly they mean. These are all above and beyond what the above primary attributes can grant you.
Power - increases damage and healing
Critical Strike - increases chance to score large hits
Armor Penetration - increased how much enemy resistance is ignored
Recovery - increases speed at which your skills recharge
Defense - increases your damage resistance
Deflect - increases chance to ignore large incoming damage
Regeneration - increases health regeneration speed
Life Steal - increases chance that you regain HP upon dealing damage
Movement - increases movement speed
How much of these stats depends entirely on what class you choose and the build you're going for. A DPS class will want to focus on Power, Critical Strike, and Armor Penetration, while a Cleric class will want higher recovery, and a tank may want to focus on Defense more. The better gear you get, the higher stats you will inevitably have. At the endgame, when you have most of the best gear, many players do something called min/maxing, which is really focusing on where they can get the most benefit by decreasing one of these stats and increasing another. You won't need to worry about doing this for the large majority of your time in Neverwinter.
Control Wizard - The wizard specializes on striking multiple enemies at a time. They excel at controlling large groups of enemies and can freeze enemies in their tracks making it easy for DPS (damage dealing) fighters to wail on them unhindered.
(primary skill: intelligence, secondary skills: wisdom/charisma)
Devoted Cleric - Clerics are mostly healers and enemy debuffers. They are a hard class to solo with, but are highly sought after in endgame content. If you're looking for the easiest time getting into endgame content, choosing a cleric and going Anointed Champion or Divine Oracle is your best bet. Running things alone, however, will be challenging compared to other classes.
(primary skill: wisdom, secondary skills: strength/charisma)
Great Weapon Fighter - This class is a great DPS fighter. They deal large amounts of damage to a few close enemies at a time.
(primary skill: strength, secondary skills: constitution/dexterity)
Guardian Fighter - Guardian Fighters can be tanks or they can focus on debuffing the enemies, depending on which path you go down.
(primary skill: constitution, secondary skills: strength/dexterity)
Hunter Ranger - Hunter Rangers are a DPS class that have both melee and ranged abilities.
(primary skill: dexterity, secondary skills: wisdom/strength)
Scourge Warlock - This class can either DPS or go the route of the cleric and Debuff/Heal. Usually they are sought after for the latter as a support role, but the former is still a fine option for solo content.
(primary skill: charisma, secondary skills: constitution/intelligence)
Trickster Rogue - This class is primarily DPS based in melee.
(primary skill: dexterity, secondary skills: strength/charisma)
There's no wrong answers when it comes to choosing a class. Likewise, if you spend your time researching for what the "Super Best Awesome DPS Class", there's a good chance that Neverwinter will alter that class and another class will become the best for DPS in an upcoming mod. Overall, pick the class that you enjoy playing, and you'll be able to make it work.
There are MANY different types of currencies within Neverwinter, including monetary currencies, Seals, and Campaign Currencies of all different sorts. Typically each Campaign will have its own currencies that are specific towards that campaign, and that currency will be explained more in each campaign page. Here, we will talk about the general currency you're going to be seeing a lot of.
Coins - You will pick up coins constantly while fighting enemies and completing quests. Coins work on a 100:1 scale, where 100 copper = 1 Silver, and 100 Silver = 1 Gold. Coins as a currency are fairly useless, however, especially at endgame. They are largely used to purchase injury kits, basic health potions, resource retrieval kits, and more significantly used in removing enchantments intact from gear.
Astral Diamonds - Astral Diamonds is the main monetary currency used in Neverwinter. This currency is used for buying gear and items on the Tarmalune Trade House, as well as in advancing certain campaign tasks, and being used to convert into Zen to purchase things on the Zen market. Astral Diamonds is the refined version of Rough Astral Diamonds, and you can only refine so much a day. Once you've reached level 70, Astral Diamonds will be primarily the currency you're collecting to further buy things for your character.
Rough Astral Diamonds - Whenever you earn Astral Diamonds from quests or salvage, you will earn it in its Rough form. Rough Astral Diamonds can't be spent on anything or transferred, but you can refine a certain amount of Astral Diamonds each day from this pool. The primary way to boost this pool is to convert higher level blue and purple gear into salvage.
Glory - Glory is strictly a pvp currency. The only way you can earn glory is to compete in pvp battles. Glory is mostly useful for purchasing items.
Ardent and Celestial coins - This currency is earned from praying every day at a rest area. You can have a significant amount of Ardent coins, but you can only have up to 11 Celestial coins at a time before you won't be able to pray and you must purchase something from the Vault of Piety (Which will almost always be Coffers of Celestial Enchantments).
Seals - Seals are received from bosses and chests in dungeons, and are used to purchase gear from vendors in relation to those seals. Each seal has a different cap on how many you can hold. You can use your seals to buy gear that you need, or buy gear for salvage and AD.
Zen - Zen is the micro-transaction currency you would expect to see in a Free to Play game. This is the currency you can spend real money on, and use to buy things from the Zen Store. The alternative method to getting zen, however, is using the Astral Diamonds Exchange. This is a market where you can buy Zen for a fluctuating price of Astral Diamonds, which allows you to use the AD you've acquired through playing the game to get Zen, or allows you to buy Zen and convert it to AD via this exchange.
Everybody plays the game on the same server but the game breaks up the map into smaller "instances" so as not to overpopulate one area. If you are in a group, the game will attempt to put you in the same instance as your group when you change areas. Instances have a Soft Cap, and a Hard Cap of maximum players allowed within that instance. For example, Protector's Enclave might have a Soft Cap of 30, and a Hard Cap of 35. What this means is that you can manually choose to switch instances via the menu as long as that instance has less than 30 players. If it has 30 players, however, you can still join that instance only if you're in a group with someone already in that instance. If you get into a group with someone already in that instance, you can then switch up to the Hard Cap of 35 total players. After that Hard Cap is reached, you can no longer switch. You will often see people in more populated areas asking for invites to certain instance numbers, which means they're hoping someone in that instance will get into a group with them so that the other person may switch
Neverwinter has a crafting system within it that is called Professions. There are 9 available professions that all characters may access and progress through. While every character can work on all professions, however, that doesn't mean you necessarily will want to. A Hunter Ranger, for example, may have no real need to level up their Platesmithing profession, while generally the only two professions that are recommended for everyone is Alchemy and Leadership. The following are all the available professions and what they can do.
Alchemy - create potions, dyes, and profession resources.
Artificing - create main and off-hand weapons for wizard, cleric, and warlock.
Jewelcrafting - create belts, rings, and neck items for all classes.
Leadership - obtaining gold, xp, astral diamonds, gems, and other consumable items.
Leatherworking - create armors for rogue, hunter ranger, and warlock.
Mailsmithing - create armors for cleric and great weapon fighter
Platesmithing - create armors for guardian fighter
Tailoring - create armors for control wizard as well as Epic shirts and pants for all classes (with stats on them)
Weaponsmithing - create weapons for hunter ranger, great weapon fighter, guardian fighter, and rogue
The only large problem with crafting, however, is that it only works well in theory. In theory, you can level up your profession as you level up yourself, and along the way you can craft yourself better gear that you can use while leveling. Because of how the game has progressed, however, you will end up leveling yourself far faster than you'll be able to level up your professions. The only real benefit outside of Leadership and Alchemy as professions is when you reach Level 20, where you can start creating better Armor Reinforcement Kits. These kits are useful at endgame for increasing your Item Level and adding additional stats. Mailsmithing at level 20, for example, allows you to craft a Major Reinforcement Kit that grants you 200 additional power. While you can also buy these kits off of the Trade House directly, it is typically cheaper to craft them yourself instead.
Skirmishes and Dungeons
Along the way through your leveling, you're going to start seeing quests that are labelled "Group content", such as The Cloak Tower. These will introduce you to dungeons and skirmishes, which are runs you can queue for via the queue system. There are skirmishes, normal dungeons, and epic dungeons, all with large differences to them. A dungeon is a three person event that is typically easier to complete, and can take any composition of players. An Epic Dungeon is done when you have reached the highest level and the required item level, and typically involves having your standard MMO composition of 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 dps. A Skirmish, both at the endgame and while leveling, is also another 5 player event, however these are usually shorter, and the queue system does not care about group composition for a skirmish, so these are usually easier to do.
Astral Diamonds and Salvage
Accumulating Astral Diamonds is an important part of Neverwinter, given how often you use it for upgrading and purchasing items from the trade house. As mentioned previously, you can have a large amount of rough astral diamonds, but you can only refine so much a day. Many weekly quests will give you astral diamonds, random quests can reward you astral diamonds as well, but the primary method people use for building up their stockpile of rough astral diamonds is through Salvage. When you get a higher rarity piece, say a purple gear reward at the end of the dungeon, instead of discarding it you can bring it to a salvage anvil and 'salvage' the piece instead. This will reward you with a certain amount of rough astral diamonds depending on the type of gear and color. For example, a purple chest piece with item level 480 might give you 6000 rough astral diamonds, while a blue ring with item level 400 might only give you 2000. Don't worry too much about building up your rough astral diamonds while you are leveling from 0-70.
When you reach level 70, however, you will notice people advertising for 'salvage runs'. These can mean different things, but the most common salvage run currently is a group of players running the epic dungeon "Temple of the Spiders'". This can be a very quick dungeon that contains 3 bosses within it that have a chance of dropping a piece of gear, as well as a chest at the end that can be opened with an epic key for an additional reward. If you're ever low on rough astral diamonds, consider trying to join a salvage run group, or finding other ways of getting gear drops that you don't need and can salvage instead. For an achievement you need to collect 50 thousand astral diamonds overall, but you will receive this achievement fairly quickly into your playtime.
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