In case you hadn’t noticed, we are in what is essentially Neverwinter Week here at MMO Fallout. This week’s Community Concerns goes back to the actual community. In this case, user Shroom Mage over at the MMORPG.com forums gave a great explanation as to why Neverwinter, despite some complaints from gamers, is still a Dungeons and Dragons game.
These so-called “D&D purists” should probably think for a moment what D&D is actually about.
You think it’s about the “complexity”? The classes? The alignments? Turn-based combat? The specific list of skills each class gets? Ability scores? Feats? What?
If you take any one of these mechanics and replace it, you won’t have changed the core of the game at all. We can change the setting of a 3.5 campaign from Forgotten Realms to Star Wars, and you know what? Even without the same classes, skills, feats, and other mechanics, it still feels an awful lot like D&D. We could play AD&D, and… yeah, it still feels like D&D.
We can completely change the rules of combat (change the way dice are rolled, replace the dice with some other mechanism, play a physical game instead), and still retain that D&D feel. Is the transition to realtime really a factor? Surely a game can feel like D&D without turn-based combat.
The core of tabletop is in two things: dungeon-crawling and storytelling. By level 10, Neverwinter has more dungeon-crawling than any other MMO I can think of, and with fairly well-written quests, scripted instances, and, most importantly, the Foundry (which, using dialogue options and trigger items, will allow an incredible amount of complexity), I think the storytelling will be quite strong.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. As I said in our beta hands on of Neverwinter, if you are looking for a direct translation of the pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons, or a recreation of D&D Online, you will be sorely disappointed. Those seeking an action-oriented MMO might find themselves a new home in Perfect World’s upcoming game, however.
Community Concerns airs every Monday and focuses on thoughts by the community surrounding current events. If you have something you would like to talk about, shoot us an email: contact[at]mmofallout<dot>com.