Neverwinter Heart of Fire Preview: Salvage and AD Economy Changes

As part of our extensive coverage of Neverwinter’s “Heart of Fire” update, we are looking into the changes to the AD economy today. Module 15 will (once more) drastically change the way Astral Diamonds are obtained, and how effective you can farm the currency. In this article we’re going through all the affected areas and also briefly discuss how RAD farming is going to look like.

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RIP Salvage

[sc name=”discord”]

The aspect that is probably getting the most attention is the removal of Salvage from the game. You will no longer be able to turn endgame gear into RADs. The devs said it was necessary to detach the systems so that they are able to hand out gear without accounting for the impact it might have on the economy. And as I’ve lined out in my initial reaction to the announcement, there’s some truth to that. It’s however also a nerf and the devs bluntly stated that they don’t expect everyone to make the same amount of RADs in Module 15.

Hearing this it’s kinda obvious that you absolutely want to Salvage your surplus equipment before launch. Otherwise you won’t be able to, because gear will be changed globally. It’s not like you can still refine the stuff you have. The whole feature is getting removed from the game. All what has been a salvage vendor will turn into a seal one instead. This applies to Strongholds, and also VIP.

Talking about VIP: Related areas receive slight nerfs as well. The VIP RAD bonus now isn’t as useful as before and alternate characters can’t utilize their bonus from invoking any longer unless you run content with them. Right now sending over any Salvage that’s not bound to character obviously does the trick.

Dungeon Chest Changes


The devs however also throw a little compensation at players that’s also a great QoL change for casual folks. Normal dungeon chests can now freely be opened and do no longer require a key. This is a huge plus for non-VIPs that now always get at least one chest at the end of every run. This also obviously no longer limits VIPs to three free chests (keys) per day, if you are running that much. On top of that, all chests will drop RADs directly, [sc name=”astralicon”]2,000 -[sc name=”astralicon”]6,000 for most content. This won’t likely cover what you currently make from Salvage, especially not in the endgame dungeons that usually drop 2-3 epic pieces worth 10,000 – 12,000, but it’s at least something.

The other major change connected to dungeon chests is the ability to re-roll their content. Dungeon Chest Keys are converted into tokens (Epic 1:1, Normal 2:1) that can be spend if you don’t like what you see within a chest. Any chest can be re-rolled four times (costs [sc name=”astralicon”]5,000 without a token). This might not be of much use in your Shores of Tuern farm runs, but definitely while gunning for Ultimate Enchanting Stones (or other coveted items) in endgame content. Especially early on it means players have a much higher chance of getting the chests they want on toons that have a plenty of leftover Dungeon Chest Keys from VIP. In earlier versions on preview the tokens were not bound by the way, meaning that alternate characters could have send over theirs to a main. But that unfortunately changed recently.

RAD From Campaigns and Seals

Another source of RADs are campaigns and seals. You can now exchange surplus currency for [sc name=”astralicon”]1,000. It’s a nice way to get rid of stuff you still have left, but most currencies are probably not worth farming to be honest. The only real niche I see are Heroic Encounters in Barovia. You get Barovian Coins and Seal of the Brave that you can turn into cash. Heroic Encounters themselves by the way are also supposed to drop RADs now, although I haven’t seen that on preview. Noworries additionally mentioned that they’ll be looking to add more RAD to Hunts.


Overall this clearly projects as a nerf, at least to top-end players, but it might not turn out to be as bad as some people make it. What you can criticize is that the devs solely try to balance the economy by reducing the amount of RADs players can farm (it’s the third or fourth major change in recent memory), but that’s probably a topic for another article. Overall I think we are going to see a revival of eSOT/eTOS farms because those are able to generate plenty of end chests in a very short amount of time. Also random queues will play an even bigger role in your daily RAD generation.

How much this change is going to affect you in the end depends on how you currently work towards your daily [sc name=”astralicon”]100,000 cap. If Salvage and running dungeons is your thing, then you will obviously make less on average. Especially endgame dungeons that drop multiple pieces of Salvage will be less profitable in terms of pure RAD. The direct drops from chests, Heroic Encounters and campaigns in my opinion are not entirely able to make up for the loss of Salvage. For casual players that have no VIP subscription, this however could indeed turn out to be a plus. They get a guaranteed chest at the end of each run, which isn’t currently the case.

Also don’t discount those re-rolls. It will be much easier to acquire wanted items from chests and hence the amount of necessary grind should decrease. It by the way also means that prices on chest items will most likely fall. So if you have Ultimate Enchanting Stones lying around that you don’t need, better get rid of those.

That’s our preview of the RAD economy changes in Module 15. What’s your take on the changes? Do you like them or are you concerned that you might make much less RAD on average? 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.

14 thoughts on “Neverwinter Heart of Fire Preview: Salvage and AD Economy Changes

  • October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    The RAD from campaign currencies look like a hit on strongholds. My guild wants me to put this stuff in the coffer. This is fine. But not if it is costing me one of a decreasing number of ways of getting any AD.

  • October 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

    whats the best economic use of salvage gear now on preview?
    selling for gold, or donating as surplus equipment for guild marks are all i can think of…

    • October 10, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Do not forget that the leadership is gone for good (they claim it is now gathering, but level of gathering is just max level from all professions). So you will need a source of RP as well.

      • October 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        Unless they also nerf wanderers fortune and the utility enchants I doubt that the profession changes will cause an RP bottleneck. Once you have completed a Seige of Neverwinter the stuff rains from the skies. It is the stones and marks that turn the RP into something useful which is the bottleneck as it requires AD for non VIPs and the ability to make enough of them has been repeatedly attacked. Lower end players (who folk assume to be the beneficiaries of the changes) will hit their RP cap long before they have made enough AD to use any of it. Without paying they will be capped at around 11k which can be hit without serious investment in stones/marks. This makes all the quest zones playable but leaves you a liability in most non levelling dungeon content.

        • October 10, 2018 at 2:26 pm

          The RP from Wanderer’s are BtA, while those from Leadership are unbound, so can be converted to RP or sold for AD on the AH.

          In Mod 15, apparently RP will come from Jewelcrafting, rather than “Gathering”.

          @Anton Koc
          But what do you mean that new players will have a cap of 11k RP without paying?

          and what do you mean that Gathering level with be an average of all Professions?

          Some of my characters have rank 25 in everything, rank 5 Black Ice Shaping.

          Most just have rank 25 in Alchemy, Leadership, Jewelcrafting and their class Crafting skill, either Weapon or Artificing plus Plate, Mail or Tailoring.

          • October 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm

            You can get to around 11k in a reasonable time with the free stuff/event gear and bit of salvage to buy stones and marks to get stuff to epic and levelling queues to get seals of the brave gear. Getting beyond that is a much more serious AD requirement for the stones and marks and becomes less of a feasible planning objective for a casual player as AD supply falls To get the required materials looks like pay and/or VIP and/or more ‘professional’ strategies like alt farming. Which of these is the most practical and available strategy for the casual player who is supposed to be benefiting from the changes? Just because high end players are being hit hard does not mean that anyone else has to benefiting. These changes are not about benefiting folk or fixing imbalances in the AD economy they are about increasing the amount of cash going into it. The target is those people with the fewest alternative strategies for progression.

            On Gathering my understanding was that the problem was Cryptic marketing gathering as a replacement for Leadership when it does not appear to be. On the preview stream devs seemed to be saying gathering matched your highest ranking profession. So unless Leadership is the only 25 on an account the investment in leadership is simply the “salvage” value of the assets. Whereas with other professions you get levels in the news professions and the asset salvage. As Leadership is the profession most put the most effort into and will not like this outcome, there may be further adjustment before go live.

    • October 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      It gives a few RP. 150 for epics or sth like that.

      • October 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        for those of us that dont need more bound RP though..
        im to the point of selling all unbound RP as it is.

        so what do you do with the salvage now?

        as someone mentioned above, after a certain point RP is not holding you back from advancing
        (now that may change in the future of course)

  • October 10, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Ah, you meant 11k item level? You seemed to be saying 11k refining points, like it was some sort of daily cap for newer players.

    Gathering will not produce refining gems, but apparently will gather reagents that Jewel Crafting can turn into refining gems. But both will cost gold, which is odd as the purpose of any profession is to increase wealth, not hemorrhage it.

    It’s 20.5 gold just to unslot the rank 6 enchants in the Vistani gear, never mind swapping weapon and armour enchants and companion runes back and forth. They need to make unslotting enchants and runes Zero Cost, like mount insignia.

    One of my characters has some sport of rough emerald that can be converted to a refining point gem if he finds other reagents. I have no idea where to even look.


    • October 11, 2018 at 4:21 am

      Yeah I meant Item Level. Just realised the number would be higher for a level 20 guild member and quite a bit lower if the player is not in a guild.

      On gold costs I think reducing them is unlikely. There is a systematic starving of in game currencies and attempts to increase demands on them. The average player is meant to be short of AD and Gold.

      The player base has been harping on about currency sinks without thinking through where the issues really arise from. Prices don’t rise just because there are rich players except for very rare items. There are only so many GMOPs you can use regardless of how many millions of AD you have. For the things the average player needs demand is fairly static unless you give up on progression. Price is determined by supply.

      If prices were meant to go down through the changes supply would stay the same or even go up. But Cryptic are also attacking supply. The loss of leadership is one example. Professions are another. It is clear from the preview thread the devs see the new professions as more like Masterwork, a minority pursuit. They admit that they don’t want goods flooding out of professions onto the AH depressing prices.

      They want prices to rise not fall and to make those prices less affordable through currency supply restrictions.

  • October 11, 2018 at 4:46 am

    The big question for me now is: how can i make the most/best way AD and still have fun with the game.
    And by that i mean, i dont wanna solo grind the same thing for hours. In addition i´m working a full time job and only have a few hours in the evening to play NW.
    I´m in the endgame and i´m no newbie (playing since 2013) but im for sure no hardcore player. How can i fit in-between these two extremes. Im no VIP but im thinking of becoming one.

  • October 12, 2018 at 8:23 am

    So current dungeon chest keys will be converted into reroll tokens. Will daily VIP rewards also include 3 tokens after the new module hits?

  • November 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    I love to see how the developers are responsible for damaging the game with each new mod and I love to see how players care more about meaningless things than the real problem. Adios to AD hello Visa and Master only. Keep enjoying your game. That is the intention to disappear the AD has become a problem for the developers.

  • January 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    mod 15 just hit xbox. gee, what a wake-up call. It seems farming Ad to buy zen for keeping up VIP may not even be worth it. I’ll need every last penny for boosting Item Level.

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