As endgame player I usually look at updates and changes from an economic or almost academic standpoint. Where can you profit, what’s the next big thing? How is new gear going to alter current builds? I’m very interested in traditional MMO gameplay elements, which is also why I’m not a great story or lore guy. But I do indeed enjoy good content as distraction from doing other stuff. It’s not what matters most, but I also do not merely see a campaign as obstacle that’s between me and a new set of boons or gear.
Especially not if quests are well done. This has been the case in the Underdark and Maze Engine modules specifically. I also like some of the stuff during the Cloaked Ascendancy days. Hilariously these are all modules that do not directly tie into any official story lines. It almost feels like the devs and their partners produce better content if you let them off the hook.
Only a Handful of Quests?
The Acquisitions Incorporated story is another great example. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I did enjoy the quests on preview a lot. Which is also why I’m a little disappointed that you only get slightly more than a handful quests out of the campaign. It’s not super short, certainly not compared to other story lines in Neverwinter. But since the game teamed up with what you could very well label “stars” of the D&D universe, I was hoping for a little more than the usual. The “Dwarven King” quest hub by R.A. Salvatore for example has nine quests and overall did feel a little more extensive. Same with the Maze Engine campaign.
It’s a shame because the opportunity to work with the Penny Arcade folks might not arise again, much less in the near future. So for those hoping that there might be more in store for Acquisitions Incorporated and Neverwinter: Not likely. At least not based on how that game has operated in the past.
Will New Players Stay?
The length of the content might also be an issue in regard of acquiring new players. Thomas Foss stressed how branching out is a blatant approach to lure some of the Penny Arcade fanbase into the game. But you’re kinda asking yourself: Are 2-4 hours of playtime cutting it for them? Remember, we are talking about a classic D&D crowd that probably comes for the story first and wants to be no part of boring grind activity. Sure, the quests are cleverly spread out both by the Weekly Haul progression system and the fact that you only get new story every ten levels. But it still doesn’t feel like you’re getting weeks of original content out of Acquisitions Incorporated. If you’re unlucky the waiting time might even turn off potential customers.
Overall you surely hope that you will be able retain some fans of Omin Dran and company. In the end you can view Acquisitions Incorporated as celebrities advertising the game. For that purpose, the campaign is absolutely sufficient. Considering all the hype though, Cryptic at PAX and all, it should have been just a little bit more. That said however, the disappointment stems from the fact that I like the content. So in a way the devs dug their own grave by delivering an enjoyable story line, which you can’t really blame them for.
Dang Those Limited Resources
Dang those limited resources, once more. It’s always a lot of could have and would have with this game. The Mod 15 story is certainly a minor issue, but still had me caught in one of those “oh that’s it?” situations. An additional encouraging aspect of my playthrough on preview by the way: Since the brain behind the great Maze Engine quests, Sean McCann, has long left Cryptic Studios we were a little concerned back then whether the game would take a hit. Turns out this isn’t the case, at least for now, which is unconditionally great.
Have you already played through the campaign? Were you also hoping for more or is story just fine? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!
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