Considering how much choice we have during character creation, it\'s rather depressing once in the game world. You\'ll quickly notice the drastic lack of armour variation. As a standard rule your armour will only really change appearance every ten levels, and even then it will only be a minor change, such as an added shoulder guard, or a slightly larger collar. This only increases the \"every character looks the same\" feel you get, which is only made worse by the level of detail you are able to alter during creation. I can think of some much older MMO\'s that had much more variety even in it\'s initial days, so there really is no excuse. Bosses from certain quests will drop more unique looking items though, several in the Tower District of the city drop Orcish themed armour and weaponry. But, sadly you are unable to renter the particular section of the game to fight them unless you are on that particular quest. So while they do allow you to alter the look of one item to that of another for a fee, acquiring an item with the look you want is more a matter of luck than ability.
The lack of a \"Preview-Gear\" option is a really big niggle for me personally. I\'m one of the players that cares just as much about the look of an item as I do the stats. The numbers can be great, but if it looks like crap, I\'ll go buy a piece of armour or a weapon with slightly lowers stats that looks better. This is sort of worsened by the fact Neverwinter allows you to alter the look of an item, to that of another If I am able to make my rather plain looking chest piece look like any other in the game, I can to see what my options are before I hand over the cash to the vendor.
Now the dungeons in themselves aren\'t bad, most are very fun with some interesting sections. But, and this is a very, very big but, the bosses you face are all exactly the same. No matter the dungeon you enter every single boss will do the same thing, put down a couple of red splats then summon a bunch of adds, then summon a bunch more adds, then summon a load more adds. It\'s at the point where the bosses themselves pose no threat, instead it\'s all placed on the summoned in adds that you have been killing hundreds off throughout the entire dungeon. Not only that, but the bosses at the end of small quest tree\'s do the exact same tactic. Cryptic really need to pull their finger out with this one, it needs improving immediately. A dungeon boss should be an interesting challenge that keeps you on your toes. Not something that\'s the same as every other boss in the entire game, it does scream of a cheap short-cut to me.
I couldn\'t about this section post Open Beta launch without bringing up the launch itself. Constant lag to the point where the game was unplayable, rubber-banding characters all over the place, queue\'s hours long, queue positioning shoot up by a couple of thousand as well as going down, my friends and I actually made a game out of whether we\'d move up or down upon the next position update. While launch issues like these are not uncommon with online games these days, that simply can\'t excuse it. In fact it condemns it, given all the issues almost every online launch has experienced over the past few years, this should have been expected, anticipated and indeed planned for.
Now we bring it down to the real ugliness of the game. Neverwinter is, as you all know, a 100% free to play game. As such it has a real world cash shop, that\'s fine, a lot of money has been spent to create this wonderful game, they have to see a return some how. The real issue is with the item pricing and indeed what some of the things are they charge for. Let\'s say you reach level 60 (current max level) with a Divine Cleric and find out that in order for you to play the classes role effectively in end game content you required a spell you didn\'t pick up while levelling. Why in most games (including F2P) on the market you\'d simply spend some of your in game money to redistribute you spend points. Sadly in Neverwinter you are required to purchase a $5 token from the ZEN Store.
How about, much like in most MMO\'s on the market today, you quickly run out of bag space, why one would simply craft a new bag, or purchase one from a craftsman capable. Not in Neverwinter, here you\'re required to spend between $6 and $10 for a single bag with no way to acquire one through in game means. I would also like to point out that you will be paying $30 for a mount, $30 for a companion and even $30 for a set of cosmetic clothing.
Now again, I understand that a company needs to make money, they have to see a return on the money spent to create the game. But they really need to sit down and take a long hard look at their payment model, because at the moment it\'s ridiculous. Hell take a look at Guild Wars 2 or The Secret World and see how they have done a cash shop. I have and continue to happily spend money there because I feel appreciated and that I do obtain value for the money I spend. Looking in Neverwinter\'s cash shop, I can\'t help but feel unappreciated and undervalued. As such I refuse to spend any money on anything other that a few extra character slots, their one reasonably priced item.
So far, the game play of Neverwinter has not really disappointed me. There are little niggles and gripes such as the samey bosses, but over all it remains a fun and entertaining experience. So long as I avoid the horrid cash shop and Cryptic fix up some the the obvious issues, I feel this game will keep me entertained for a good while yet.
In the end Neverwinter is a incredibly fun and entertaining game that is free to download and free to play. I wholeheartedly suggest you go out there and give it a try for yourself!