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Neverwinter’s Module 14, Ravenloft, is finally live on all platforms. With the playerbase largely moving on to Barovia and fighting evil Strahd, it’s time to cast my final vote on the “Lost City of Omu” module and its features. As extension of the Chult setting it has sometimes been jokingly referred to as “Module 12c”, but was it really just filler content? In this article I’m going through all aspects of the expansion before handing out a final grade. Enjoy!
Maps and Setting: A-
I personally liked the smaller “Omu” map compared to the huge ones we had in modules 10-12. Especially with the Hunt system it was nice to not have mobs so spread out, although the overall density wasn’t exclusively a plus for grinding. Overall nonetheless I felt like this was a definite step in the right direction. Visually and logically, as always, there’s not much to say other than “well done”. I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but the best maps are those that do not get in the way of players. If everything makes sense (and looks decent), then it’s a good product.
The Lost City of Omu wasn’t as filled with gimmicks and Easter eggs as earlier zones, but the devs still tried to keep this type of feature active. It’s great because it certainly adds to the atmosphere. Giving a minus after the A because I thought that the “Undercity” never became a true fan-favorite. The shrine system was just your common daily and nobody ever went for the Heroic Encounter you could spawn when activating all shrines. Most players just operated on the surface anyway. It’s not that I really dislike the concept by the way. It’s a clever way to extend the map without actually making it feel bigger. It just simply wasn’t utilized too much.
Campaign and Story: A-
As you may know, I’m a fan of the Weekly Haul progression system. Naturally I do not have much to complain about here. The module once again was low maintenance, meaning you could do things you wanted to do and were not forced to do things that might annoy you. Omu even was a little more casual to do than Module 12. Since you could enhance your currency drops with shrines, you could get over your weekly workload in like an hour or so.
While it’s something that works for me personally, I know a lot of you are not quite as fond. Also the story felt a little too generic, although you still have that Celeste / Makos broken heart thing going. Which leads to a very good, but not quite perfect rating.
Gear Progression: B
In terms of creativity the gear progression in Omu is an F. The devs just used their templates from Module 12 to add some more items and rings with unique equip bonuses, and re-introduced “Vivified” (Exalted) from Mod 10. While that’s not really too innovative, players still had tons of stuff to play around with. Especially the loads of unique set bonuses made theory/buildcrafting as exciting as ever. Across the board this might have been the module in which I tweaked my characters the most. This makes gear progression solid although grinding the Omuan Tale Carvings could turn out quite annoying.
I gave Hunting a C- in Tomb of Annihilation and moved up half a grade here because I felt like the system wasn’t as frustrating. Most of it probably just was the smaller map size. You could definitely plan and time your routes more precisely, and you didn’t need as much time to establish one. Additionally you don’t have to farm Razortyrannus separately and can just kill them on your normal routes. Getting some Trophies was still a pain and after going through the multiple layers of RNG in order to get to the capstone Hunt in Soshenstar, I actually was a little burned out on the whole system in Mod 13 initially. Which is why I have yet to get to a Tyrant. But I’m in no rush and Omu allows me to farm specific mobs for 30 minutes per sessions quite effectively.
Group Content and Balancing: C
This is truly a mixed bag for me. I absolutely like Cradle as group content. I know the devs overdid that whole platforming thing, but I really wish they wouldn’t have nerfed the pull/push mechanic multiple times. It was indeed a little too hard initially, but a small tweak would have done it. Now I feel like it caters too much to the casuals and that the mechanic is hardly a true skill check any longer. The fight is still challenging and figuring out the mechanics was the most fun I’ve had in a while.
Unfortunately, the current group content is majorly spoiled by the meta and balancing woes. To be honest, I main a Control Wizard, which is not the best class to own right now. But I also brought up a DC (I wonder why) and have an endgame Guardian Fighter and viable Paladin. I still might be a little biased, but the current issues with the meta is not as much about classes anyway. The synergies and damage multipliers certain compositions are able to generate are just too much. You shouldn’t be able to one-rotate current dungeon bosses for example.
It’s fun for a while, but then you realize how trivializing content can’t be good long-term. If you’re calling for more challenging dungeons you are as much calling for nerfs to certain synergies. So while I liked Cradle, the devs really have to make sure to keep challenge and skill-checks across all tiers of players.
Masterworks is an interesting topic to me. On the one hand it’s super profitable. Even if you can’t afford to compete at the very top, farming Masterwork Charts alone is a major source of income. Double Guild Marks and Double Professions have long turned into the most important regular weekend event.
On the other hand Masterworks feels so meaningless on the long run. Most products pretty much get outdated with the very next module, the market crashes, and the hype is over. Yes, MMOs are ever changing environments, but a system that requires players to invest tens of millions of ADs just to participate could last a little longer in my opinion. That’s also part of the reason why it’s getting increasingly harder to catch up. If you never started Masterworks, there’s no point of doing so now. Since the system always builds on top of what’s already there, the target audience shrinks with every extension.
That however is more an issue of the whole system and not Omu specifically. Masterworks in Mod 13 were still profitable and get a good rating. I nonetheless feel like the approach has to change at some point. I’d also love to see Masterworks getting detached from professions. I don’t want to hear arguments that professions still have a purpose thanks to them. No they do not! Professions are useless and MW a completely different system that only happened to get built on top of the crafting environment.
Quality of Life Improvements: A+
Quality of life improvements tend to get a good rating and the ones in Omu are no different. I think having a decent set of those included really helps to sell modules to your players. Of course you have to make sure that content comes first, but then bugfixing and maintaining/improving features that are already there is a close second. Especially veteran players that give feedback on a daily basis are getting honored this way.
The list of improvements in Omu wasn’t too extensive, but let’s not get too picky here. The additions to loadouts were huge and the other stuff at least useful.
Albeit not too innovative, The Lost City of Omu was a solid module. I definitely see why some people discredit it as “12c”, but in the end it featured a favorable campaign structure, plenty of gear choices to retool characters, and a nice story/environment. Unfortunately meta issues and the continuation of the grind-heavy Hunt mechanic hurt the overall grade. Even the quality of life improvements couldn’t make up for it. The rest of the game works fairly well to be honest. So it definitely feels like the devs have to focus on group content and balancing in the future.
What’s your final grade for the Lost City of Omu module? Do you agree that it’s solid? Or were you less entertained? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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