Today I’d like to talk about one of the more underrated changes of the Cloaked Ascendancy update. In the new module, all Relics return 50% more Voninblod. It’s kinda interesting the devs are not getting more credit for the change given how much players protested when they learned Neverwinter would reintroduce Empowerment in Storm Kings Thunder. Maybe it’s because players tend to post only when there’s something to complain about. But maybe it’s also because the mechanic is still a bad design, even with considerable more Voninblod from Relics.
The mechanic still has to go
To be clear, I still don’t like Empowerment one bit. Any mechanic that requires players to constantly grind in order to maintain their gear is absolutely horrible. For the same reason I’d like to burn all Overload Enchantments, another Icewind Dale invention that can be labeled an utter failure. If you are serious about grinding and progression in this game, you have more than enough stuff to do. Sharandar, Dread Ring, daily ADs, you name it. We never needed Voninblod, because it directly competes with other activities on our daily task list. In case you don’t have unlimited amount of time per day, it’s an either or.
For those that can do Svardborg, Vivified gear brought a little bit of relief. At 150 item level in unempowered state it’s still better than pretty much everything else. So if you care about those 40 extra item levels, you have to farm Voninblod. If not, you still own darn good stuff. That’s ok and how I actually think the system should always have been. One major issues of Voninblod gear was the fact that you had to empower it to even be on par with gear that you already owned from the Elemental Evil and Underdark cycle. That’s just pathetic.
Gear is maintainable now
Again: Vivified definitely helped in that area, but farming Voninblod still took away too much time from other activities. Playing the campaign on the only character that’s rocking full Vivified, I decided to not care about Empowerment at all. I would take the Relics that I came across while doing dailies and running Treasure Maps, but not more. My Voninblod drained from over 50,000 to about 15,000 before the Cloaked Ascendancy. As you would expect just doing dailies was not enough to maintain the set whatsoever.
This completely changed after the module launch. It was sort of a coincidence that I turned in the Relics I found doing dailies and then looked at my Voninblod stock and was like ‘hell, today gave a lot’. So I went to Bryn Shander for the first time since weeks to actually farm Relics and soon realized that maintaining the gear wouldn’t be such a pain any longer. It’s really that much better. The +50% is exactly what makes farming Voninblod more rewarding than grindy. I personally do no longer skip it because it’s painful, but gladly complete it because I know I won’t have to do it for at least another two weeks.
And it’s not limited to Bryn Shander alone. Treasure Maps and HEs drop considerably more and Fangbreaker Island finally returns more Voninblod in a run than you armor consumes. All in all, you now can maintain Everfrost gear by doing content where the resistance is actually needed.
Still some issues left
A 50% Voninblod boost obviously doesn’t solve all problems. If you really want to minimize your Voninblod consumption you still have to switch gear in content that doesn’t warrant it. Additionally there’s no way around the fact that the mechanic is an annoying design as a whole. But at least the change has made farming Voninblod viable. I now might even get those last two boons from the Sea of Moving Ice, because my Voninblod stock is rising again.
What’s your opinion of the current state of the Voninblod farm after the changes? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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