List of Economy / AD Related Nerfs


One reason why players aren’t too thrilled about the upcoming Salvage changes in Module 15 is the fact that it’s yet another nerf in a long list of economy / AD related ones. We’ve already that it sometimes feels like the only answer the devs have in terms of balancing the economy is to take away the current best way of generating wealth. Of course MMOs as evolving games always need some adjustments here and there. And well, if there’s too much of X, nerfing X seems like an obvious choice. But if that’s all you do, it’ll get annoying for players over time.

So we thought that adding some context to the discussion is interesting and could help. So let’s sit down and compile a (probably incomplete) list of economy / AD related nerfs. Have fun with it!

Removing Profession Nodes from Various Solo Lairs

In the very early stages of the game profession or skill nodes were actually useful. During the vanilla days they dropped Rank 4 Enchantments, which was a nice reward back then. Players figured out that nodes would refresh every time they entered certain solo instances. So a fairly interesting cat-and-mouse game ensued. The devs removed nodes from the lair everyone was farming, and the playersbase would then move on to the next best location, until that got nerfed as well. It might sound funny, but actually was a pain in the butt. Unfortunately not only players but also swarms of bots farmed the nodes, which is why the devs felt they had to step in.

Add a Loot Cap to Profession Nodes

Just removing nodes turned out to not be enough. New modules brought new lairs, new nodes, and new areas to farm. So the devs decided to target the issue more globally and simple add a loot cap to profession nodes. Players could only loot about 20 skill nodes within a certain period of time. After that, you would only get vendor trash.

Strip Refinement from Profession Nodes

The above nerf hit legit players more than bots (which applies to most stuff on this list by the way). Why? Because bots could just switch accounts and characters and bypass the new shiny cap. So the last play the devs had was stripping refinement from nodes altogether. RIP. They added Insignias and other stuff as replacement, but is anyone actually still farming them?

Rework RAD from Invocation to a RAD Bonus

This might be a minor one, but it still had massive impact on how accounts could utilize their alt toons. Back in the day, full 50-toon accounts were the norm. Not that anyone could actually play so many characters, it was all about simply logging in once per day, grab your daily Ardent Coin and some RADs. At some point the devs decided this is too good and changed RADs from invoking into a bonus instead. You could still use it by transferring Salvage, but the whole process got a lot more complicated.

Rework Invocation to a 6-Step Process

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Not sure whether this happened at the same time they changed RAD to a bonus or it was an individual nerf/rework. But the second big change to invocation was changing the reward structure to a 6-step process. Logging in once per day and get all the rewards was changed to six pray cycles with increasing cooldowns that gradually dish out better rewards as you move up. It was a clear nerf towards alts, because you suddenly had to go through the whole account six times per day instead of just once. Theoretically doing the full cycle was more profitable than before, but it was a pain. I know I never did it on all of my alts, but I know a lot of folks that actually put in the work.


Before 2017 the chests at the end of dungeons would let players look into it and only consume a key on accepting the contents. If you didn’t like what you saw, you could cancel and move on. The devs suddenly declared this as bug, and wanted to fix it after it had been live for years (literally!). A shitstorm ensued, Cryptic rushed to rework the system, and added more loot to compensate for the change.

I guess it’s controversial to include this here, because it didn’t directly target player income. But Keygate did indeed impact the way players would farm dungeons. After all, it wasn’t even as bad (and I plan to write about that soon), but given the outrage at the time, this definitely felt like a nerf.


Let’s move on to the next “gate”. Coalgate unlike Keygate is not controversial at all. It was a clear nerf to the economy. In the early stages of the game Coalescent Wards were not a ZEN store exclusive, but also available on the Trade Bar store. Opening the right lockboxes back in the day was very profitable because the contents on average were worth more than one Enchanted Key. That’s still the case today in some situations, but back then it wasn’t even close. A big reason for that was Coals being available on the Trade Bar store because it directly added value to lockboxes.

That however also led to the fact that Coals at all times were much cheaper than their ZEN price tag. You bet that the devs didn’t like that, right? So what they did was remove Wards from the store, stating that it was unintended that items featured on both the ZEN and the Trade Bar store. Yeah… I mean, it could technically be true, but let’s say the explanation didn’t convince everyone. What made matters worse was that the devs pulled an evil bait and switch on consoles, because they first announced Trade Bar price reductions and when people had stacked on Keys and ZEN (thanks to well-timed sales), they changed their announcement and instead removed Coals entirely. It was a mess.

Thanks to Cloud in the comments for adding some info on Coalgate. Our initial post was slightly wrong.

This is the first part of our list of AD and economy related nerfs. Yes, that’s not nearly everything that got changed throughout the years. So stay tuned for more!

Have you witnessed or were you impacted by some stuff on this list? What’s your personal toplist of worst economy / AD related nerfs? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

9 thoughts on “List of Economy / AD Related Nerfs

  • October 2, 2018 at 8:38 am


    1) Before VIP, Coal Wards in the Trade Bar Store were unbound and overpriced at 200 bars.
    2) Coal Wards started flooding the AH cheaper then Zen price
    3) They made Coal Wards BtA, so they could not be sold on.

    4) They sensibly reworked the Trade Bar Store price to 75 bars (also Pres Wards were cheaper)
    5) They introduce VIP and one benefit was a Trade Bar Store benefit with a free daily Lockbox Key

    6) The Neverwinter FOOLS! FORGOT they had previously made Coal Wards BtA in the Trade Bar store!
    7) Coal Wards were suddenly much cheaper AND Unbound again!
    8) The AH got flooded with Coal Wards, and only an idiot would spend Cash-Zen on Coals, anyway.

    9) Their solution? Make Coal Wards BtA again? NO!

    10) Wards completely removed from Trade Bar Store!

    This made many feel that the major selling point of VIP had been removed, demonstrating Craptrick to be a disreputable, dishonest, crooked company of scammers and thieving cheats.


  • October 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    No Caterday or share scare?? What about the main reason for salvage??

    • October 2, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Caturday was an exploit and not sure what share scare is referring to. There is a second article coming by the way, this is not the full list.

  • October 2, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    they removed unbound coals from invoking from game early on. Then later moved the odds of a coal from 10% to 3%. That had a big economy impact.

    They reworked salvage values several times

    Removed AD from leadership

    Essentially made all BIS gear bound on pickup, used to be a strong market in farming dungeons to resell gear (and a very weak market on nonBIS gear because it predated salvage). After those changes the way to make AD was getting 5-10k AD in salvage per dungeon instead of getting 0-250K AD depending on RNG

    Made Dragon Hoard drops BOP so the market on RP rebounded… also people had to play again because the profit from killing stuff and selling Dragon Hoard drops was gone

    Made Rhix useless

    • October 6, 2018 at 2:18 am

      Dragon Hoard drops?
      It was the first time when noskill casuals can keep up with veterans.
      We had to kick many of them and there was even a guild break because of it.

      Combine it with the unified exploit and It almost ruined a game.
      So I don’t feel pity for those people…
      They should have been banned.
      It was far worse than those poor bastards with the hunt exploit.

  • October 3, 2018 at 7:53 am

    If the numbers from preview servers on AD rewards from chests are true, this is going to be the biggest hit yet. Even hardcore players will have a hard time hitting the cap.

    Anyone ever wondered if the latest changes is to get out of their agreement to keep the game running? They are under a lot of restrictions from the D and D community because it’s the official game. And they probably have it written somewhere that if the player base gets under a certain amount, they are able to shut the game down.

    All these restrictions to AD gain sure feels like they don’t want us to play anymore.

  • October 4, 2018 at 6:13 am

    As a console player I would like to clear up the coalgate info. First coal wards and pres wards were never available in the trade bar store on console. The mod we were to get was going to add them into the store and there even was a big post on the arc main page. This came out about 2-3 weeks before the mod was dropped. During the next 2-3 weeks after the post went up they had a zen sale and a key sale to get people opening lockboxes and spending money as you would at least get trade bars to get a coal ward after the update. Fast forward to 2 days before the mod is gonna drop and after the sales so they got their money they ninja edit the post and take the coal wards and pres wards from the store. No one knows about this until the livestream and the community manager at the time doges a question about the wards being in the tradebar store. The pe was on fire when the update hit and instead of people talking about the new content it was just rioting due to the bait and switch pw and cryptic pulled. They ended up removing the wards from the pc store as well due to the response on console and giving people 1 coal ward up to 10 based on how many trade bars they had.

    • October 4, 2018 at 6:50 am


    • October 4, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Not true. Caol wards were available for 200 TB on XB prior to the change, at which point they were removed. They were never available on PS$

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