Ranking Neverwinter Modules According to Steam Numbers

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While writing my piece about consoles vs. PC, I browsed over the steam charts for the game. I already did an extensive review of all Neverwinter Modules (The WorstThe AverageThe Best), but I figured it might be interesting to do another one based on the steam numbers. Although we know the chart is not really indicative of player totals, its trends could indeed match the whole population. So let’s stop being the “vocal minority” and start looking how the majority rated the Neverwinter modules!


Obviously you can’t just go by the totals. The usual game has their most players at launch and then suffer a sharp decline over time. So modules have to be judged in the proper context. Relatively to the player numbers in recent months, how many players did it bring back. And how many was it able to sustain? With that in mind, here’s the ranking of Neverwinter modules according to steam numbers.


Side note: Fury of the Feywild, Shadowmantle and Tomb of Annihilation all can’t be ranked, because we’re either missing data points or the context to do so.

9. Elemental Evil

Elemental Evil was a success, right? Uhm, not according to Steam numbers, sorry! The module was able to add a moderate amount of players (+11.91%), but led the game into its sub 3,000 average players era. During the next three months, Neverwinter lost a staggering 37% of its population! No other module came even close to such a downfall! I hope somebody sued the former team, because they definitely robbed the game!

8. Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of Dragons might be the module with the most prominent spike in the game’s history. It initially brought back 22.20% players only to lose 26.06% in the very next month. That makes it save to say that module 4 wasn’t a fan favorite. Seems like many players at the time tried to give Neverwinter a chance again, but quickly turned away.

7. Maze Engine

I rated Maze Engine as my 4th best module, but the audience doesn’t agree at all. Maze Engine in March 2016 was barely able to add any players to the game (+0.26%), and then lost 22% in the following months. Combine this with the lowest peak concurrent numbers for the game and you have a pretty disastrous module. Apparently the story quests and many quality-of-life upgrades weren’t able to keep most folks interested, and to offset a really bad campaign design and Castle Never rework.

6. Strongholds

Strongholds released in August of 2015 provided a noticeable spike (+15.65%), but overall wasn’t able to stop the bleeding caused by Elemental Evil. The game lost another 20% population during its tenure.

5. Curse of Icewind Dale

Module 3 didn’t draw too much attention as the gain in players initially was only a small 6.15%. The decline however was pretty steep. Neverwinter lost roughly 17% of its players during the next two months. It might be a bit harsh to credit this all to Icewind Dale though. The game was still young and some of it can probably be credited to declining hype in general. Also Elder Scrolls Online launched at the same time and was a pretty fierce competitor. Many players left to at least try it out.


4. Storm Kings Thunder

The overall decline in population in Storm Kings Thunder wasn’t as bad as in other modules, but it still featured the lowest average concurrent players on Steam for any month at 1,748. What makes it even worse is that SKT was a major content addition with lots of features, and followed the official D&D story line as well. Still nobody wanted to play it.

With Sea of Moving Ice however, it got interesting. Despite negative reviews, the module recovered and even featured more players in the end (+9%). It’s beyond me how you could like the grind in SoMI, but there was admittedly a lot of AD to make and the Khyek travel was actually a pretty cool and new element. This one did surprise me nonetheless.

3. Cloaked Ascendancy

We continue the batch of modules that didn’t lose any players with the Cloaked Ascendancy. It took the hype of Sea of Moving Ice, further built on it and sustained player numbers throughout the months. Both average and peak concurrent numbers were the most the game had seen for about a year.

2. Rise of Tiamat

Rise of Tiamat was a solid module by all standards. Released in November 2014, it added roughly 22% more players. And it could even largely sustain its numbers even though there was a relatively long waiting time until the next major content addition. According to Steam, this definitely is one of the strongest module and only one of two that could actually add players to the game during its tenure.

1. Underdark

With Underdark a lot of the flaws in Elemental Evil were fixed and the devs were finally able to stop the ongoing decline. The module initially wasn’t able to bring too many players back (+13.44%), but at least was able to fully sustain its numbers. I guess R.A. Salvatore and Drizzt Do’Urden as selling points definitely helped.


Well this one featured a few surprises for me! Maze Engine being bad, Storm Kings Thunder decent and Rise of Tiamat great? That’s some major differences to my own ranking! But hey, at least Elemental Evil still sucks…

It was fun to do a ranking using the Steam numbers! What’s your opinion on this one? Is it accurate, or more accurate than my own one? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on 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.

5 thoughts on “Ranking Neverwinter Modules According to Steam Numbers

  • December 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Interesting, well-written article (as always).

    Steam numbers are not the best metric for PC as many (or most) use Arc or no client at all, but probably give a reasonable indication. We cannot see how many people transferred from Steam to Arc, for example (as I did after about a week, as they were giving away a free Ioun of Radiance that all characters can claim forevermore).

    I don’t much like Steam and only ever used it because I had to register Skyrim back in the day. But I hated the stealth updates etc that broke SKSE and all my mods, so I only played off-line (it was single-player, after all) and I never logged in to Steam until after SKSE etc had been updated. I do have many good friends from those days, though, and a friends Discussion Group and a NW Guild Group on Steam. Most of us started Neverwinter at the same time, after our leader told us he’d been playing for a few days back at the start of Mod 2, and how good it was.

    I think Underdark was the most successful for one reason and one reason only: BtA gear and weapon sets.

    After the Global Thermonuclear Train Wreck of the Toxic Waste Freight Train crashing into the Sewage Works and ploughing through a Giant Petrol Refinery in the middle of a Major Population Centre that was Mod 6, the BtA IL 405/420 gear was a breath of fresh air for all those abandoned Alts, and a saviour of the game in many ways. I even started buying Zen occasionally in a Promo after stopping in Mod 3 (although I never quit the game, just quit dropping cash).

    The free artifact was nice as well, as a feeder, but the main thing was that my main characters could easily farm Demonic and Twisted Ichor and buy gear for all the other classes. And all of it remained BtA when equipped, as long as you did not transmute the weapons or armour or slot an overload enchant on Head and Arms gear.

    Except the Underwear, of course, which is unbound at purchase but BoE. But my mains and a few others had Elemental Gemmed Exquisite, anyway, as in those old Mod 2/3 days I had time to do Professions and faff about with a 60% chance of a Tier III result.

    And, of course, the +4 and +5 BtA rings and the obvious non-Exploit of 2. DECLINE when we saw the absolute garbage inside an “Epic” chest. That certainly helped make Underdark successful. I ended up only accepting a +4 to salvage it, after my bank slots were half-filled with +4 rings of all sorts. I kept at least two of each, though, just in case.

    Some decent voice acting in Underdark, as well. And coupled with Maze Engine, at least an apparent story line that was not just lost in the grind. I am taking an old Mod 2 Alt through Maze Engine at the moment (Character 4), in borrowed gear with Rank 11 enchants, as I want to get him the Demonlord set. He is the only character to even start it properly so far, beyond Chapter 2.

    But I think Icewind Dale is still probably one of my favourite zones. Partly because it reminds me of Skyrim, partly because of some old R.A. Salvatore books I read in the ’80s and partly because I know where everything is! So I can grind dailies, weeklies and farm quite quickly for Boons on some of those old Alts. The 4th Boon is the best, increased Power as Stamina diminishes.

    And it’s maybe still worth getting Rank 5 of the Black Ice forge on at least one character of each class (6 so far, 2 are rank 4, so roll-on Double Professions XP). I find the Elemental Drowcraft Gear to still be a little better than the SKT armour from Protector Seals in certain cases (although the SKT armour is much easier to get, of course).

    I’ve not seen any Scrimshaw drop in IWD since Mod 3 or 4, though. So some of those Transmutes are completely impossible to get now.


  • December 8, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Does PS4 or Xbox put out any kind of player numbers?

    • December 8, 2017 at 9:45 am


  • April 1, 2018 at 1:45 am

    neverwinter is dead whenever is made mini-moduls. players want huge update, big content and 80lvl.

  • April 1, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I think Neverwinter is dead when they change the XP for post-70 Awards from 1,750,000 XP to 100,000 XP. I have a new character that is 44 days old and has 93 Power Points and 300k AD from invoking. I think it’s because they are letting new players and Alts get as far as possible in as short a time as possible before they turn off the servers in favour of M:TG.

    They have no other motivation to do such a huge “favour” to players that I can see. Presumably, XP Boosts and Campaign Completions just don’t sell and with the post-60 XP changes, they are just not needed now.


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