Module 12b to Feature Massive Refinement Overhaul and Bonding Nerf

If you were preparing for a nice and cozy refinement weekend or siege grind on PC and/or consoles, we have bad news for you. Because that’s probably not going to happen! The community is in turmoil as three new threads on the preview forum popped up yesterday detailing massive refinement changes and a nerf to Bonding Runestones.

The feedback threads blew up with hundreds of comments within hours, which is no wonder given the magnitude of the changes. The preview server has not yet been updated, but based on the announcements we’ll try to give you guys a rough overview of what’s going to come.

Refining Changes

Let’s start with the good news first, because Refinement is getting streamlined. The current process of having matching refining points for different items and stockpiling them until a Double Refining event comes along just isn’t too great. First of all the everyday progression simply isn’t there when all you do is stashing stuff away. And the bag space issues that comes with it have been a long-standing complaint in the community.

Luckily all this is being dealt with in a new system. Players will be able to convert all refining stones into a single currency called “Refining Points”. These points can then be used to charge your Artifacts, Artifact Gear, Enchantments and such. It’s close to the Voninblod mechanic and a similar empowerment system has actually been proposed by former community mod Ironzerg roughly two years ago.

It’s a much simpler system since you no longer need to pay attention to matching stones or hold onto any RP. Double Refining weekends will be gone as they are no longer needed. Additionally the requirements of supplying a matching Enchantment of the same rank as reagent is gone, making the process much more linear. Pretty much everything related to refining will get easier to deal with.

New Ranks

We haven’t done any math yet, but the devs promised that refining the current ranks should get cheaper as well. At the same time however they will introduce new tiers. All Enchantments and Runestones can be upgraded to Rank 14, including new Ultimate Potency and Superior Power/Stability/Union Marks. The rank over Transcendent for armor and weapon enchantments is called Unparalleled. Without additional information it’s hard to judge how difficult it will be to get to these new heights. Players on PC will probably also struggle with the Double Refining weekend. It’s difficult to judge whether it’s better to wait for the new update or utilize the event as usual.

Bonding Nerf

While the refining changes look like a major quality-of-life improvement, players also have to swallow a bitter pill. The devs have announced in the past that they are not happy with the state of Bonding Runestones and that changes will be coming. Unfortunately it’s not just a tweak but a full blown nerf hammer. Essentially Bondings are dragged down to Augments’ level by providing a 195% stat boost with 50% uptime.

It’s not only a huge nerf, but also a strange one. The devs mentioned that Bondings are still supposed to be best-in-slot, but that’s shaky. Right now it looks like you’ll have to craft Rank 14 Bondings to even match Augments. So it’s questionable why you would want to invest millions to only become as strong. But just like refining the full extent of the change will probably not become evident until the build is on preview. In any case though players should prepare for big stat losses and a major retooling process.

Yesterday’s announcement is truly a mixed bag for players. One the one hand you have major improvements to the refining process, on the other hand a new grind to Rank 14s and a hefty Bonding nerf. Are you more in the “yay” or “nay” camp? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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42 thoughts on “Module 12b to Feature Massive Refinement Overhaul and Bonding Nerf

  • August 31, 2017 at 7:16 am

    So yeah, to get to 14 and the 195% 50% uptime we are looking at 1-2 mill ad per bonding, plus coalescent wards considering going to rank 12 was a 3% success chance. I have to imagine that ranks 13 and 14 will be 2% and then 1%. I play on ps4, we’ve always had bonding runestones. The dev’s really need to rethink this. Considering all I have heard and read about mod 12, and my experience in FBI, MSVA already running those dungeons with such a monumental nerf is going to be ludicrous. As the 195% will be at rank 14, the rank 12’s people currently have will likely be 150% or less. So all of the refinement, ad, zen that people dumped into those has been flushed down the crapper. Hitting mod 12 will be the last hurrah for many, likely myself included as I have no interest in spending hundreds of hours and billions of ad and zen into retooling my characters, and I sure as hell won’t be giving pwe/cryptic a single cent of real money.
    So after Mod12, if this garbage nerf goes life it’ll be peace out cubscouts for me.

    • August 31, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      I never bothered getting bondings myself, so I can say yay all the way. Never personally felt they were needed to make me feel useful or helpful, even in FBI, so I do look forward to seeing the new ranks – even if I’m nowhere near /reaching/ them!

  • August 31, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I just dont think i have the energy.. kudos to you that due.. i just cant.. even get my mind around the additional ranks and regearing and retooling everything

    • August 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      The good news is by the time you drop the hammer on us , we will have a new assassin’s creed , new God of war an a few other good looking titles the we can switch 2. Just seems like a scam to me , nerd stuff , release harder content , rinse , wash repeat. Kind of like the lostmoith set nerf then my sw nerf , this will likely be the end for me also

  • August 31, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Yay all the way until the bonding nerf. Now it’s a nay and mod12 on console doesn’t feel too shiny.

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I’m concerned that the current dungeons were tuned around the current bonding situation and will become unplayable for many people after this change.

    At least they told us *before* 2RP instead of right after.

    • September 5, 2017 at 5:40 am

      No they didn’t

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I think I’ll add that what really really really is NOT cool about this is that we are getting this nerf, we are going to have to spend massive amounts of resources to upgrade our enchantments and make new companion enchantments, and even then we are going to LOSE POWER versus the game. This is not fun or happy making, to have to fight like heck to not even quite get back to where we were. I hope they think about that some more. If I’m going to invest all this work I should be BETTER than before versus PVE not the same or worse.

  • August 31, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Final nail in the coffin for me this is the last time the devs pull this lazy arse crap. It dose not matter how invested you are in the game we must all look at the truth here… this game is rubbish think about it. When was the last time we had a new class? When was the last time we had a level rise?

    How many more times are you gonna run these dungeons over and over and over again? End game loot is crap what is the end goal? What are we doing playing this game that dose not provide any decent reward..

    Comeing away from this game has been the biggest relief for me.

    • August 31, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Well it looks like the bonding stones will be 100% up-time after all…. I think i might now stay, the uptime was the deciding factor for me… I can handle the nerf.

  • August 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I must say i really like the game mechanics , but Mod12 sucks, i’m just tired of doing the same darn thing over and over.. going from 1 to 60 was an adventure i enjoyed after that, it was repetition nonstop most additions not following the story.. i just can’t keep going.. my steam library needs some loving and i’m gonna get back to that.

  • August 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Cryptic Developer @noworries#8859 posted the following on the forums:
    “We fully understand how big of a topic this is which is why we wanted to get the details out early to get feedback on all of the changes. And feedback certainly has been given! Although these types of topics can get heated due to the passion players have for this game, it is a good thing to see such involvement and discussion from our player base.

    There are valid points being brought up through out this discussion. Reading over all of this feedback, from multiple sources, has allowed us to take a look at different perspectives on the bonding issues. Bonding runestones do need an adjustment and we’d like to allow for other companion and runestone choices to not be so underwhelming compared to a bonding companion.

    Many of the points brought forward by you is that a 50% up time changes too many dynamics which will drive many players to feeling that an augment pet is the only correct route to play. That is not our intention and not where we want the game to go.

    We are going to switch the up time to being able to be 100% (cooldown and up time will match). This will be with the lowered percentages that we presented and seems like the best way to address many of the concerns while still bringing bonding power more in line with where it should be.

    Also, we are going to look into switching the offensive effect of Eldritch Runestones to match the defensive effect, meaning that either slot will grant the stat gain (it does mean the AP functionality of the Eldritch Runestone offensive slot is going away). This allows players who would like to use an augment pet with Eldritch Runestones to have a choice in which augment pet to use.

    The concerns on dungeon runs/difficulty in the game with any changes to bonding runestones is not unnoticed and something we have been paying attention to internally throughout all of this. We have been doing internal testing on this and look forward to feedback during preview on this very topic.”

  • August 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    It’s effing stupid, plan and simple. Our whole guild has decided to quit after playing for years.

  • September 1, 2017 at 12:05 am

    If they roll back the latest comment about 100% uptime for Bondings I’m out and many more with me.

  • September 1, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Talked with my guild members about this. Mod12b hits and we are done, good-bye rank 14 guild. The uptime being changed doesn’t change that fact. 95% at rank 12 to 65% at rank 14 is the final straw. We are done, if they wanted more options for runestones they should have scaled the others up to compete with bondings, not broken what the game has been built around. “Here buy these companions on the zen market, they come with a bonding runestone.” I guess we weren’t buying enough bonding companions anymore to make cryptic happy, time to nerf what they sold us.
    Yeah, this is a really sore subject.

  • September 1, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I think it’s very amusing how people rage and say they will leave. Just do it then.

    What is the difference between nerfing bondings or upscaling everything else? Either way you are still devaluing the bonding runestones. Apart from being a huge overhaul in general, it is easier to change one item than not changing it and instead changing everything else around it.

    Surely it’s disappointing because people spend money and time and tbh if you are on PC, I really don’t understand why you are still playing this game… at least on consoles you have the excuse that there are no other mmo’s out there that are similar. So yeah, either leave or stay and embrace the change.

    • September 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Frankly, I don’t expect them to do what’s ”easier”. I expect them to take the hard route and do something right, both for the game, and the players. It’s not their job to ”fix bondings because it’s easier than buffing up the completely undesirable crap that is the state of other runestones”’. The fact that they’re getting paid to do what’s ”easier” is even more frustrating.

    • September 5, 2017 at 5:55 am

      Embrace is a strange word to use towards people that grinded for years, or even worse spent a lot of real money to get where they are today. The new grind/cost is real and will only get us to where we already are today. Common knowledge is that bondings is not the real problem, power share is.

      Mod 12.5 means that 90% of all parties will need 2 DC and 1 OP to make up for lost stats. The stat loss from bondings means next to nothing to parties with perfect power sharing. About 80% of the player base will have a huge struggle to get near the top 20%. Ultimately the reward for fast grinds will be selling upgrade marks to lower geared/less rich players. Ofc this option will be accessible primarily for AD hoarders who gained insane amounts of AD by previous economy fk ups.

      What’s really funny is that the exact same results could have been obtained by doubling mob’s HP and damage output. Or even better, by setting up an optional, more difficult dungeon mode with greater loot. Instead, Cryp goes for a moneygrab. If you fail to see that, you should probably embrace a hamster.

      • September 5, 2017 at 6:23 am

        No need to get sour mate. The solution is simple, if u don’t like it just leave. I spent hours and hours to upgrade my stuff as well. Spending real money, well, that’s your issue. It’s free to play, no one is forcing you to keep up with the top. There are guilds that play casually and they complete content just as well as everyone else.

        This whole we need two DC’s is the whole issue and the community. The debs don’t give to fucks about u r overpowered or not. It’s the people who play the game who complain all the time that forces them to nerf everything. Just look at the history. Pally bubble, DC complains that they r now useless. Then aa of dc, pally complains they r now overpowered and no one wants a pally anymore. So they nerf the aa. People don’t want to invest in bondings so they complain that they r too overpowered. And… stuff gets nerfed.

        If you spent real money and don’t like the way cryptic is changing the game, I am sure you can contact consumer protection or affairs, whatever it is called where you live or Microsoft and they will be able to do something about it. I have heard about people who did that and they got all their money refunded under the condition to get their accounts deleted from cryptic.

        • September 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

          I disagree with you about the simple solution. Investments in time or money is one of the major reasons for many to stay. Starting all over in an MMO can be… well. I don’t like the expanded leeching. Btw I mostly invested time and loooove in this game.

  • September 1, 2017 at 5:42 am

    We are playing through Mod12. Was a guild decision. But if the bondings take this hit we are done. Yes we are on console, we have stood by every change they have made to our characters and the game for the year it has been on console, done multiple reworks to readjust for the nerf hammer that Cryptic likes to swing and continued on. The thing is, you can only put up with so much, everyone has their limits. Should the bonding nerf go through we have made the decision that this is our line in the sand. We go no further with cryptic. That is the nature of things. Mock those who have the wherewithal to say when enough is enough if you must, but in the end we have chosen what is best for us.

    • September 1, 2017 at 5:53 am

      Not mocking u mate, I agree the you that the changes suck.
      The pure fact that it takes a forum to tell the devs that a 50% uptime means that bondings won’t be best in slot anymore is already retarded. An 8th grader could have told that to them.

      I’m on console too, hence it’s the only reason I still play this game. If I were a PC player I would definitely okay other stuff. Tbh, what’s there to do in never winter….?! Nothing, it’s rinse and repeat, but that is exactly the difference between a free mmo who only lives from add ons and a mmo like elder scrolls where people pay 50 bugs to begin with to even start playing. Cryptic has no money to do decent stuff, hence they tweak around in order to keep people busy.

      • September 19, 2017 at 7:40 am

        hehe dude are you one of the devs ?? defending cryptic like that…
        why do you reply on everybody ?? let them be mad we have the right to be mad.

  • September 1, 2017 at 6:34 am

    I’m so tired of this cycle. A miniscule number of BiS players get bored & complain that the content isn’t varied & challenging enough. And Arc’s response is *always* to opt in favor of nerfing which, sure, makes things a bit harder for BiS players, but it also cuts lower IL players off at the knees & makes them more dependent on the higher ILs to get anything done. And don’t even get me started on the expense required to adjust every time Arc rolls out another harsh nerf.

    This game doesn’t need more nerfs at this stage. The player population is declining & veteran players are quitting in droves. Guilds & alliances are struggling, and often failing, to remain intact. This game is inherently social by design, but Arc routinely rolls out decisions that are divisive to the community. Instead of making decisions that pit end game players against the rest, Arc needs to even the playing field in a way that doesn’t penalize one type of player to serve another.

    Neverwinter needs more interesting & fun dungeons that ALL level 70s can access at their particular IL. Don’t restrict anyone’s access to any dungeon & instead offer 3 degrees of difficulty for all dungeons that you can select from before going in. It’s not going to hurt anyone to let lower IL level players run FBI-lite & MSVA-lite. That way BiS players who want a big challenge can get that & the lower IL players who want to run more than just EToS & CN can easily form their own groups to do that without relying on others for a carry. Scale the rewards to the difficulty level selected & that will give players incentive to improve so they can tackle the next difficulty level & earn better loot. It’s a more inclusive means of progression and the added variety for all will help to stave off boredom. And most important, it will enable the community to thrive again.

    • September 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Your suggestion makes sense and solves a lot of problems in the game….. which is why they will do the exact opposite instead.

  • September 1, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    No way. We’re looking at the gutting of our entire guild, and really most of our alliance. This is a major loss of players just over the bonding nerf. Then you have the additional Q changes. Its bad after bad.

    The refining is fine.. There won’t be much of a change, just an additional slog to get up the mountain to 14.

    Bondings get the blame for power creep. But no one pays attention to the fact that we’ve had a straight run of mods with a massive increase of weapon and EQ stats for each one. This of course gets amplified through the bonding runestones, THATS where the power creep comes from. We’ve had these same bonding runestones in the ‘new’ system for quite a while now with ALL endgame content balanced for it. Augments have been out of the main style for a long while now except for a few specific situations.

    There is nothing inherently overpowered about them. Theres just currently an incentive for overpowered players to play lesser content with the same massive gear they have to make their daily income and assist their guild SH through farming campaign currency. At the same time rewards in dungeons remain pitifully low because an absolutely extreme minority thats poured money into their characters and have BIS eq, mounts, insignias, pets, pet eq, and enchants can do content quickly. Its just a badly maintained ‘system’ that is punishing the majority for the willingness of the minority to invest in their characters and do content quickly. They are really working hard to kill off their own game.

  • September 1, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    if they remove the refining meta where power gives additional ref points on power artifacts and so on then artifact feeding won’t be working anymore, would it? i’m really ok with the bonding nerf. it’s only been a matter of time. But upgrading artifacts would require about 5x as many ref points then it does now.

    • September 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      This is very sad indeed. It took a lot time as it is, it’s gonna be even harder for ppl to upgrade their artis

  • September 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve stopped playing the game as soon as Chult hit live and went back to Black Desert which is coming on consoles soon.
    I think that’s gonna gut NW a lot, together with the coming changes to refining and dungeons it’s sadly gonna hurt the game even more.
    The bonding balancing was something I would like to see too, or rebalancing augments to be at least in par so that there’s more choice of playing styles.

    The way they do it is the way they did everything, sucker you into sinking all your ad into bondings, then make them a less viable choice.

    Anyone remembers VIP and Coal Wards for tarm bars ?
    How many people invested in months over months of VIP only to see their investment go down the gutter.

    Its the same strategy all over. Bait, switch, screw the playerbase, renew the playerbase with new unsuspecting players, bait, switch….etc etc

    Sigh, I’d really wish some other developer/publisher picks this game up and saves it from PWE/Cryptic’s clutch.

  • September 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    It took them less than 24 hours to pull the 50% uptime of bondings off the table. Cryptic starts this conversation so everyone gets fired up and focuses on one issue instead of the big picture. They knew they were never going to stick with the 50% uptime. My guess is if people start complaining about the 195% bonus it goes to 225% in less than 24 hours (try complaining on the boards Tuesday during the maintenance, they will “hear” you).

    The issue I see is that they have not put out any of the AD costs for the new Marks. Right now it costs 1 mm AD (marks, full price, no VIP) to get from R10 to r12. (10 SMOPS, 100k each). It’s a steep price, but you are going for BiS, so I get it.

    They are dropping it down to 300k on SMOPS, but how expensive will the Enchantment Stones and the UMOPS be?

    I’m guessing (complete WAG, I’ve seen nothing on the message boards) that the new UMOPS will be 250k each and that the 9 enchantment stones you need will either be rare drops or cost 100k, 250k, 500k. Meaning that the cost to go from R10-R12 (in AD) will remain roughly the same but it will cost roughly 2 mm AD to get from 12-14. That is a LOT of 36k daily Rough AD refinement! I hope you have an alt army on multiple accounts to refine enough to upgrade.

    I’ve seen a couple of posts that have been ignored by the mods asking the cost. IMO it’s because saying “Oh, we heard you and 50% uptime IS wrong, our bad” is easier than talking about the actual cost of BiS gear moving forward.

    How much is the new refining going to cost (in AD)? That is a currency we all understand on our respective servers.

  • September 19, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Lore on the ps4, devoted cleric. One simple fix, increase drop rates for epic items in lower dungeons so the lower ppl have no probs catching up. Up more seasoned players who dont have their panties in a bunch, will undoubtedly adapt. Mod 9 was the end for most. The community rebuilt. Its a whole new ball game. Not ‘the same-ole’ neverwinter. Get over it and get good.

  • October 25, 2017 at 9:28 am

    “Double Refining weekends will be gone as they are no longer needed.” i don’t see this explained or justified. how is double RP perk not ‘needed’ anymore?

  • October 25, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I agree that there are a lot of issues with the way Cryptic releases new content. More importantly, there’s something seriously wrong with the timing of their fixes. They knew for a long time about the dungeon key exploit. They knew for a long time about the bonding unbalance. It just takes them waaay too long to fix issues they are aware of. It’s not surprising players start taking them for granted.

    However, I don’t think it’s an issue of bait and switch, but more of poor planning, and messed up priorities. It’s up to us as players to pick up on the pattern and adjust our expectations accordingly. We need to take a step back and look at the game with some maturity. Nobody suckered anybody into sinking all of your AD into bondings. You did because you absolutely must have the best of the best in every slot, and nothing else is good enough. The devs never intended us to play that way. They never intended us to make parties with noting but DCs and GFs, but that’s what we do because we love exploits.

    Stop taking things for granted that you KNOW aren’t working they way they should. You should know by now that eventually the devs will catch up and nerf it. And then everybody will be pissed off again, and saying they’re gonna quit.

  • October 26, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I hear ya bud sexydntsingit looks like he out for awhile.

  • October 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I honestly wouldnt know what to tell others about this new mod for this game but being a beta plyr for this game i saw it go really up into space and fall straight into the earths lava core realy fast good luck to all who play and dont. RIP CRAPTIC!

  • November 5, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Fools suckered in to P2W with bonding stones
    You payed for power you got screwed!
    Remember this next time you shell out money for power

  • January 12, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Welcome to Nerfawinter! What once was a great game has laid waste to development testing theories on live servers only to change the changes made in the next mod. Poor craftsmenship has a lot of player leaving to better developed games… I would love to see this game back to its former glory but ignorance and greed of cryptic will never allow them to higher the talent needed to keep this game alive…to the people staying behind I wish you luck…. To the developers at cryptic I hope your career dissolves with the game as we don’t need you in the gaming market to ruin anymore products. I do wish you well in your new career path.

  • January 13, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Waaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaah! Bunch of whiny babies. End game players complain all the time about being bored, with nothing to do, and dungeons are too easy. Then they change things to make it more challenging, and all you hear is crying. “I’m quitting! Wah! Wah!” SHUT UP AND PLAY, OR JUST QUIT AND GO AWAY!

  • January 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    You cannot say leave and get over it,that is disrespectful and ignorant to the time of people’s lives that played AND spent hrs at work father or mothers included for kids just shut your opinion up on this ,cryp is wrong to sale this for high prices then break them down and make them less instead of increasing difficulties with battles,hunk about it how mucheap of a dick head are you?rhetorical,but to just leave hundreds behind?Hours and cash ?No one cares if it’s free to play cause it can’t go on if not a single persons buys anything ,that’s when it shutdown ,are you even thinking?Or just keyboard warrior status?rhetorical also.God man just shut up.

  • January 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Think*-How much*-shutsdown*

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