This year will bring you some games that you should keep an eye out for. But if there’s one free MMORPG that you must play then that game is Neverwinter. FreeMMOStation spoke with Rob Overmeyer, Executive Producer of Neverwinter to learn more about the development and potential of this game.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers and detail your role on the development of Neverwinter?
I am Rob Overmeyer and I am the EP of the Foundry and Gateway for Neverwinter.
Neverwinter was originally planned as a co-op game, not an MMO. What was the reasoning for the change and did you have to throw away much work?
At our heart we are an MMO company. It is what we know, love and play. There were a ton of really great ideas and a co-op game would have been cool but we realized to do this right, it had to be an MMO. Because we were making Neverwinter we didn’t have to throw much of anything away. The early content was built in our engine and it was only a matter of scaling up to make it fit. The trend across the board was to scale up not cut or change. Everything from costumes to environments just got bigger and better.
How closely are you working with Wizards of the Coast to make Neverwinter a completely faithful game to the Forgotten Realms universe?
We work with Wizards of the Coast every step of the way. We are not just developers but super fans of the history and universe. Our desire to stay true to the Forgotten Realms is matched only by Wizards of the Coast.
With games such as TERA and RaiderZ offering exciting action-based combat, how do you describe combat in Neverwinter?
Combat in Neverwinter is visceral and you really feel the weight of your characters movements in combat. Combat should feel like it is purposeful and choices matter. Neverwinter has been able to strike a balance of fun, action and purpose in the combat.
What are you planning for PvP? Any game mode in particular that you would like to tell us about?
We definitely have plans for PvP but we are playing that hand pretty close to the chest for now.
What did you bring into Neverwinter from your experience with Star Trek Online and Champions Online?
Everything we do, every day, in Champions Online and Star Trek Online helps us make Neverwinter an awesome Free to Play MMO. We have learned a lot about how to build and launch a game but Champions Online and Star Trek Online have taught us a lot about what a Free to Play game should be and how to support it. Star Trek UGC showed us how creative and amazing player authored content is and we learned how to work with that community of authors to improve the Foundry. Because we had some experience with the basics of MMO’s we were also able to take some risks and spend some time working on some new features that we hadn’t tackled before.
The Foundry is something that can give Neverwinter an amazing longevity, but how will you control the quality of the user-generated content and avoid having low-quality maps drowning the good ones?
We have been working with our authors to improve the quality of our search tools and have made some really cool improvements. One concern is the drowning out of good content but there is also an issue with new content not getting a fair shake to make it to the top of any lists and get played. We have added several tabs to the Foundry Catalog to help out. We have a “Best” tab that lists quests and campaigns in order of rating. Ratings are based on a commonly used algorithm to reach an adjusted rating based on reviews and plays. We also have a “Subscribed” tab that will show only quests created by authors you are subscribed to. Next up we have the “Featured” tab that lists the currently featured quests. Featured quests are awesome quests that need to get some red carpet treatment. Quests will be picked based on several criteria. After that we have the “New” tab that lists all the new and fresh quests created in the past few weeks. This is where you can find the latest and greatest the authors have to offer. Finally we have the “Needs Review” tab. On this tab you will find quests that are only playable by players that become reviewers. Once these quests get reviewed by the players they can move to the other tabs.
Now, that is all fine but it is really just a start. We are currently working on making it better and we will always work with the community to address their concerns about finding the Foundry content they want to play.
When do you plan to launch the open beta?
Open Beta launches on April 30th.
Thank you for your time!
Anytime! Make sure you try out the Foundry.