Developer Scarabman Shares PVP Issues and Possible Roadmap

The PVP mode in Neverwinter is in dire need of some love (unconfirmed rumors even have it that PVP has recently founded a support group with the Foundry). It’s really a shame because Neverwinter with its action-based combat seems like a natural fit for player versus player combat. But a multitude of issues in the past and more than a dozen game-breaking bugs, items, or class mechanics has decreased the PVP population significantly. There are still a couple dedicated YouTubers out there that try to promote PVP content and compile training groups, but currently that’s a drop in the bucket. So any news regarding making the game mode more accessible and desirable for players is actually good news.

PVP News? PVP News!

And guess what, news we have! Because developer Scarabman posted some interesting comments in a recent PVP suggestion thread.

[su_quote]We’ve talked about adding more maps to PvP and we’d love to do it. However, we recognize there have been issues with PvP balance and we have decided to put our PvP focus on that problem, first. We’ve been working toward that goal over the last couple of expansions by hitting some of the largest problems faced in PvP and there are more changes in the pipeline that will come in M15. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the out-of-control numbers that some of the stats have right now (e.g. recovery, lifesteal). We’re actively working on a long term solution for those problems but it’s a huge undertaking. What kinds of new things would you most be interested in seeing? Personally, I’d like to see a 3v3 deathmatch option and a PvP boons rework.[/su_quote]

While this doesn’t offer any “solutions” as of right now, it’s at least good to know that the devs continue to work on balancing issues. Especially the powercreep is one of the major reasons why PVP got more and more unplayable over the course of the last mods. It seems like players with high Recovery for example can use their powers way more often than the devs accounted for when designing the powers. The gameplay advantage over a new player is simply too big.

From the comment it looks like the devs might be looking into implementing a completely different stat distribution for PVP. Players have proposed this in the past as a possible solution. A system with harsher diminishing returns for example could not only help currently, but also make the system more robust for the future.

Neverwinter Combat League

[su_quote]I’m a big fan of PvP seasons. The combat league was going to be something that made seasons matter, and they did, to a certain extent. However, it was also not well implemented and, thus, it wasn’t sustainable from our end.[/su_quote]

Scarabman also quickly touched on the Neverwinter Combat League, a PVP season system with unique rewards. It was indeed fun, but he admitted that it wasn’t “well implemented” back in the day. No specifics, but part of the issues probably was that full premades had too much of an advantage in a ranking that’s based on single player performance. The solo queue tried to solve that issue, but it quickly became apparent that friends were still able to time the queue and get on the same team because the system always tries to group guild mates etc. So a proper matchmaking and solo queue system is the requirement of running the NCL again.

Anyway, it seems like PVP folks at least have some stuff to look forward to in Mod 15. Lead Designer Thomas Foss also quickly chipped in and said that he will save the thread for review. So by all means, go post your own suggestions there because they are definitely being monitored!

What’s your take on the topic? Is this encouraging or just the usual soon(tm)? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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10 thoughts on “Developer Scarabman Shares PVP Issues and Possible Roadmap

  • August 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    if it were me, i’d place content over balancing. I know that statement will get much vitriol but here’s the case for it. They have been working on re balancing pvp for ever. Multiple attempts have been made in the past, new system implemented and all have not resulted in an improved pvp system. At least content is something you can see and theoretically has a lasting impact. The pvprs learn to work around the broken systems, even if that’s pvp guild aligning on rules or everyone guilds GFs and TRs.

    The combat league was popular but it was also a fail because it was implemented while there were still several major exploits in pvp. It wasn’t a skilled based ranking. It really came down to which tricks you knew and how could of a party you were in when you queued. The bigger pvprs didn’t sync queue each other, they targeted new players and pug groups to help their standings. Which has always been the case.

  • August 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I think what he means by the CL wasn’t well implemented and was unsustainable for them, is the rewards were too important for the number of participating players. If you ended up in the first 40 of your class you would win an epic mount, which turned out to be legendary. At that time epic mounts were way less common than today. If you are the make a 2nd NCL session you ought to give similar or better rewards than the first one.
    I remember that Neverwinter at the the time of NCL was in a pivotal situation, where a lot and I mean A LOT of big players and whales were very dissatisfied with Cryptic/PWE and the game, specially big shot pvp players and the pvp scene/community in general. I actually think, in retrospect, the NCL event was meant to bring some enthusiasm back into the game and pvp, in the hopes of retain that chunk of players and satisfy them enough to make them stay. That’s how I felt it was at back then. They probably assess the NCL didn’t meet the objectives they set for it and decided to call it and drop it. There was no more justification for a second one given they lost a big part of hardcore, veteran pvp players and guilds.
    I also remember there was this feeling of boycott to the event where many players didn’t participate at all and just quit, or got their rewards and sold the mount with unique skin as a way of saying fuck you to PWE, we don’t care about epic mounts.

    Anyway, this helped less geared and experienced players like myself to reach the top40 easily. It was very easy to be in the top ranks, you just had to play regularly pvp every day. Plenty of unexperienced players in PvP during the event to farm your points towards the ranking.

  • August 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I want to add also that in retrospect, I think that, as kind of a retaliation to the finger given by the veterans to PWE by selling their mounts and the “fuck you”/boycott attitude, the company decided much later to upgrade them to legendary, which is quite a remarkable reward for an easy to participate and win event, maybe in the hopes of making some regret their behaviour.

    Just my take on the subject, doesn’t mean it’s the factual truth.

  • August 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    but that’s part of the problem, cryptic never said there wouldn’t be another NCL, they left everyone hanging on a season 2 that never came. I think that’s symbolic of the transparency that so many people rage about in the relationship with the devs

    • August 10, 2018 at 2:19 am

      yes that is correct, but they also said it was a preseason, leaving the window open to bail the project completely. It had a test/experimental feeling to it. This is their announcement :

      “Today, we’re happy to introduce our newest series of Neverwinter in-game events – the Neverwinter Combat League (NCL). This new series will bring seasons to Neverwinter’s PvP mode. In each season, … ”
      “Today marks the start of the first pre-season, ”

      and then the reward page shows: “Neverwinter Combat League – Pre-Season #1 Rewards” and “Take a look at the rewards for the Neverwinter Combat League preseason #1: ”

      Very ambiguous, they imply more will come but also present it as a pre-season. A bit like a game in Early Access that never releases. The EA tag shields them of every complaint about the game.

  • August 8, 2018 at 3:43 am

    So nerfs are coming again, harming PvE as usual. Lifesteal is just got useful for PvE at 20%.

    IMHO PvP is bad in all games where there is also PvE. PvP is constant source of nerfs, player’s dissatisfaction and other things. The worst thing is mandatory PvP in PvE zones like it is in ArchAge and Black Desert. What I like in NWN that PVP is optional, but it still harms in PvE due to nerfs.

    IMHO, PvP should just be completely separate from PvE. Like fixed stats and completely independent equipment (in special loadout or in some other way). Idea of PvE is to grow stronger via achievements (boons, equipement) to access more complex content. Idea of PvP go stronger via personal skill improvement. To add non-skill component to PvP via non-balanced equipement – just constant source or troubles. These are just two separate lines. In sports they restrict equipement effect and “potion” effect as much as possible for a reason.

  • August 8, 2018 at 8:37 am

    “So nerfs are coming again, harming PvE as usual” same first thinking.
    The only good thing to do is to separate PvE from PvP, other games have done this, Craptic devs should look farther than they’re own nose too find a stable solution.

  • August 8, 2018 at 9:10 am

    lifesteal is to strong in pve also

  • August 11, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I think they should ax all pvp. there are so many better things they could spend time on. the pvp community in this game has always been toxic. more toxic than most and they can’t get balance right and I don’t think it’s possible wiht how different the classes are. it’s especially bad that the things they do for pvp effect pve and the pve players are the majority and the pvp players are the very very very tiny minority.. it’s a waste of time and effort imo that should not be worked on. just trashed.

  • August 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I like PvP. They should keep it. It is one of the things that I return to in this game after having completed all the content. The only challenge that remains are other players. 🙂

    I do want to see some better match-making, or bracketing of players. PvP based incentives to play (to make use of that glory!) would help bring some people back. An NCL would be the icing on the cake!

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