Module 13 Shows Dev’s Ability to Make Most out of Few Resources
[blog_subscription_form]Back when we did our first “Podcast of Annihilation” and were talking about the then upcoming Module 13, I said that the next update will surely contain something “unexpected”. The one big thing nobody knows yet. Back in November 2017 we pretty much knew that the module would contain some sort of endgame group content, a new campaign, that the story would stay in Chult, and that we probably would get new Hunts. My reasoning to expect a completely new feature mainly was that the already known stuff “can’t be it”.
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Module 13 Actually Features No New System
It turned out however that it was. Module 13 actually features no new gameplay system, mechanic, class, race, or anything similar. That doesn’t mean creating a full new adventure zone, campaign, and especially group content with boss mechanics doesn’t require effort. You have story, quests, rewards, gear, icons, models, voice acting, sound, and whatnot. But it’s still the first time the devs have built a full module on systems that were already there. All previous updates at least featured one brand-new aspect that in some way extended the game beyond story, dungeons, or campaigns.
- Module 1: Active Companions, Artificing Profession, Weaponsmithing Profession, Boon System
- Module 2: Artifacts, Refinement, Hunter Ranger Class, Collections System, Second Paragon Paths, Sword Coast Adventures
- Module 3: Heroic Encounters, Black Ice Shaping Profession, Open World PVP, Hunter Ranger Pathfinder Paragon Path, Overflow Experience, Dungeon Delve Keys, Overload Enchantments
- Module 4: Artifact Weapons, Armor Reinforcement Kits, Scourge Warlock Class, Dragonborn Race
- Module 5: Artifact Neck/Waist/Off-Hands, Jewelcrafting Profession, Scourge Warlock Soulbinder Paragon Path
- Module 6: Level Cap Raise, Oathbound Paladin Class, Gear Score Rework, Companion Only Equipment
- Module 7: Strongholds, Siege PVP
- Module 8: Masterwork Professions
- Module 9: Mount System, Alliances
- Module 10: Queue System Updates, Voninblod Empowerment, Treasure Hunting
- Module 11: Great Hall, Temporary Stronghold Structures, Stronghold Marauders Event, Loadouts
- Module 12: Hunts, Private PVP Queues, Quest Journal Improvements, Inventory Management Upgrades
Lost City of Omu Has the Fashion Bag
And the Lost City of Omu? Well, it has the Fashion Bag, which is more of a quality-of-life update however. But I’ve included other big QoL changes in the list above as well. So it’s fair to count this one for Module 13. But after that? The main features of (Treasure) Hunts, Masterwork, and Vivification (Exaltation) are all old. There’s no new gameplay element to explore (or grind).
Now, what sounds like the start of a good old rant really isn’t. When I saw the feature list back in January on the preview server I was actually quite worried about the community’s reaction. The module is a copy & paste in terms of systems, and the campaign’s structure is even exactly the same as its Module 12 counterpart. Sure, you still have those endgamers rightfully complaining about the lack of content. But that’s more an ongoing issue rather than one of Lost City of Omu. I also saw some folks jokingly calling the update “Module 12c”, which certainly isn’t far off. Other than that though, looking through threads and talking to guys, folks seem to actually enjoy the additions for the most part. And that got me thinking: How in the world did the devs get away with this?
The Ability to Make Most out of Few Resources
When we talk about “resources” in the game, it mostly comes with a negative vibe. Stuff is taking way to long, even “it’s on our radar” means it’s months away. But Module 13 is indeed a good update to show that the devs at least usually make the most out of their resources. Without doing anything spectacular, they’ve presented features in the Lost City of Omu that probably get players excited enough to play the mod. The item level bar was raised just slightly, but folks will still upgrade to the new Vivified and Exalted levels. Hunts are nothing new, but the rewards have unique equip bonuses that makes going for them worth it. Rich Masterworkers in the meantime have new toys to play with and the endgame community a trial that will at least keep them busy for up to ten weeks.
Doomsayers Could Have a Point
That’s nothing super intriguing, but it keeps the game running. More than that, it’s not wrong to feed off past systems and ride the stuff that works. There is a small “but” however, because doomsayers could have a point by stating that Module 13 is the product of even less resources put into the game. We know Cryptic is currently working hard on the “Magic the Gathering” MMO and have pulled some Neverwinter devs to help out there. So could additional features, like a new class, have been sacrificed for it? Sure, but that’s something only time can tell. If the next module looks like Lost City of Omu, and the mod thereafter, then the game is in trouble. At some point in the near future, we surely need that “big thing nobody knows yet”.
But for now, let’s simply appreciate the devs’ ability to make the most out of their resources. Without actually introducing something truly new, they were still able to present a stuffed module with lots of fun to be had.
What’s your opinion on the Lost City of Omu? Do you miss that one unique element or are you just fine continuing the activities you already know? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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6 thoughts on “Module 13 Shows Dev’s Ability to Make Most out of Few Resources”
Does implementing the “Rocktober” bugfix month changes help with the assessment. I realize it is not something new or novel (or even a feature), but it is part of what took up dev time for this release.
“Rocktober” happened only because NWO’s seniors devs sails away to Magic the Gathering and have to clean their mess before moving, and let the code as unbugged as possible to the junior devs someone at Cryptic said they have recruit. No new features in Mod 13, already boring after second day live.
Active Companions were Mod 2. Mod 1 introduced salvaging and the reason for it, BoP drops. Mod 4 introduced Bonding Stones.
Rocktober was a sign of things to come. Nothing new… Just finally fixing the stuff they should have fixed 2-3 years ago….
“Mod 1, Patch NW.5.20130812b.8: Professions Resources and Assets may no longer be put into banks in order to cause massive inconvenience.”
“Mod 6 – removed ALL the dungeons except for the three least popular ones. Dread Vault, Idris and Mad Dragon STILL not restored.”
I’d prefer more bug fixes over new content. As much as I’d immediately roll a few Druids if they ever released them, I’d prefer all the bugs to be fixed and the classes balanced before they introduce a new class.
And I think the OP was introduced as a hopelessly broken, ludicrously over-powered class due to Mod 6 One-Shots.
I think the new stuff in previous mods was much more ground-breaking than now because in Mod Zero, NW was basically the Main Quest line with only a skeletal outline of what it is now. New classes and professions were introduced later, probably due to time-constraints on early development. Some races were introduced behind paywalls etc.
What else can be added? What ne systems could be introduced?
Letting me put all my Professions assets and resources, which can stack to 999 for reagents, in the bank rather than having to spend HOURS mailing them with a system that can, occasionally, disperse the e-mail into the ether and lose them would be a major benefit.
I do not mind at all that no new systems were introduced. I play Neverwinter for the stories more than to encounter new systems. I have a number of modules unfinished, and when I go back to them, I always have to figure out how advancement in this one worked again. Unfortunately the advancement systems in modules have often been horrible, and a real drag for characters created later. Who wants to collect all the black ice in Icewind Dale? Who wants to bother with Linu’s Favors or vivifying when Chult is out?
Constant introduction of new systems serves the BiS, end-game crowd, but is painful for a more casual gamer.
On the same note, personally I hope the devs would stop tinkering with class balance. Let us play whatever characters we want. There is no way to actually balance them anyhow. I would only adjust things if it is clear a particular class in completely unviable in PvP. Hands off constant rebalancing would leave a lot more time to focus on actual material for the game and would avoid annoying players with nerfs.
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