At Last, Devs Realized Black Ice Was a Horrible Idea

Black Ice in Module 3, and even more so its reincarnation in Module 10 as Voninblod, never really grew into a fan-favorite. The mechanic tried to establish upkeep costs for armor pieces if you wanted to sport the highest item levels. That might sound like a reasonable idea at first, get a basic piece of gear and be able to further improve it by investing time, but in a bigger context it was a misconception right from the start.

Neverwinter already featured so much grind that players were simply unwilling to add another bullet to their list of daily activities. Most players were glad when they could finally move on from Black Ice Gear of Icewind Dale, and most definitely Relic Gear of Storm Kings Thunder.

[su_quote cie=”asterdahl” url=”″]Black Ice Shaping will be removed from the game. Ultimately this was a feature that was built at a very specific time in Neverwinter history and the team that originally built it intended for it to be supported long term. However, it really holds no unique place in terms of the items it creates, as professions that create all sorts of equipment already exist. Instead, it simply creates items similar to what other professions create, with the added mechanic that you must keep the item charged with black ice, which is ultimately not something the current team would like to see persisted. For those who have black ice assets and tools, you will be able to turn those into assets and materials for other professions in cases where they no longer have a use.[/su_quote]

During the preview days of Module 10, the devs did defend reintroducing armor empowerment. Might have even been Asterdahl that said said Black Ice performed well on their end, whatever that means. Now however the opinion inside the studio seems to have changed. The above quote is from the feedback thread of the new professions system in Module 15, which will discontinue Black Ice Shaping.

Asterdahl clearly states that the current team does no longer like the idea of charging items with Black Ice (or equivalents). It certainly took them longer than we hoped to realize the flaws of the system, but better late than never. Empowerment now is a thing of the past, and we guess many of you feel relieved to hear that.

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7 thoughts on “At Last, Devs Realized Black Ice Was a Horrible Idea

  • September 30, 2018 at 8:47 am


  • September 30, 2018 at 9:36 am

    _”with the added mechanic that you must keep the item charged with black ice”_

    I was horrified and disgusted to read a senior developer’s Know Nothing and factually incorrect statements that all gear upgraded with Black Ice needs Black Ice Empowerment, and that this is one excuse to remove the Profession completely. The only real problem with Black Ice Shaping was that you needed to level it to Rank 5 on one character of each class in order to have the upgrade recipes for all classes. A DC could not upgrade SW Drowcraft gear and so on.

    Oi! AssTardTurd! Check out Mod 8’s Elemental Assault Drowcraft gear etc! NO BLACK ICE EMPOWERMENT REQUIRED!

    So THIS is why we did not get new recipes for the Ostorian gear, Primal gear and other gear after Mod 8? You’d already decided to destroy Black Ice Shaping and now you lie about it?

    OR, you actually ARE that stupid and Know Nothing?

    Do you ever even play the damned game? 😡

    The feedback thread says Black Ice will still be a required campaign currency. Many daily quests reward refined/purified Black Ice, but most of it comes from digging or as Raw Black Ice.

    1) How do we refine Black Ice if we have no Black Ice Shaping Profession?

    2) Will we still need Black Ice Picks and Silvergrip handles?

    3) What about my Hammerstone Runeforged Picks from the Zen Market?

    4) Will my Steel and Mithril Gravers and Gauntlets and my many Epic Grandmaster Cryomancers have any use for refining the Campaign currency?

    5) Will opening Ranks 1 to 3 of the Black Ice Forge still be the central trunk of the Campaign Tree?

    6) What happens to IWD Open World PvP? Do we no longer dig for Raw Black Ice when we win?

    F2P – The only way to win is not to play


    • October 1, 2018 at 4:26 am

      All your questions are answered in the announcement.

      1) Talk to the dude at the Black Ice Forge in Caer Konig. He’s got a store that buys Black Ice.
      2) Pick yes, handles *why* (but yes you can still use them).
      3) Same
      4) No, but they’ll convert into unbound asset vouchers for the new profession system, so you can turn them into equivalent value of other professions, or sell them.
      5) Yes.
      6) Of course. Black Ice mining isn’t going to change, there just won’t be a profession associated with it. Instead, there will be a store that takes Raw Black Ice and gives you everything you would have used the profession for during the campaign.

      • October 1, 2018 at 9:14 am

        Thanks for that, John.

        So we don’t need to purify raw Black Ice at all? Do we trade it 1:1 for purified Black Ice, or just spend it as it is?

        And when you say “Of course” to #6, are you saying of course we no longer dig for Raw Black Ice when we win Black Ice Domination?

        As for “why” Truesilver grip handles, it reduces the number of swipes by 1, so mining ice can be a lot quicker. 2 swipes instead of 5 with the Mithril pick.

        In many ways, IWD is still one of my favourite zones.


  • September 30, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I wish they would take it a step further and get rid of overload slots.

  • October 1, 2018 at 7:56 am

    It was then producer Panderus who made the statement that Black Ice was ‘a success, according to their records,’ of something similar.

  • October 10, 2018 at 5:51 am

    in fact, it is, among other things, to destroy Corrupt Black Ice Enchantment – to destroy spare AP resources

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