Ranking the Neverwinter Modules: The Average

My ranking of all the Neverwinter modules continues today with places eight to five. The worst modules can be found here, the best ones by clicking this link.

9. Tyranny of Dragons

Tyranny of DragonsAs fourth overall module Tyranny of Dragons came without an independent adventure area and partially recycled old content. This was not well received by the community although from today’s point of view it’s nothing special. To make things worse, daily progression was a waiting game. It required killing a dragon, leading to either waiting for a spawn or instance hopping. It was a pain to complete on multiple chars. The devs eventually reworked the dragons to become a weekly instead. ToD however remains one of the least appealing campaigns to run in my opinion.

The module additionally introduced a “best-in-slot” race for ZEN in Dragonborn and brought additional refining with Artifact Gear. On the plus side: Scourge Warlock class and group content.

8. Curse of Icewind Dale

Curse of Icewind DaleNeverwinter’s Module 3, Curse of Icewind Dale, illustrates why fun doesn’t always mean quality. Looking back, I remember that it wasn’t too bad. The Black Ice grind, a system like Voninblod if you aren’t around that long, was indeed a pain. Back then however it was literally the only real thing you had to do, which made it kind of bearable. And even considering that open world and the PVP campaign eventually turned out to be a bust, I had some fun in Dwarven Valley and Icewind Pass.

Other things however contributed to this module not getting ranked higher. First of all it ended the vanilla cycle, which some still think was the best era of the game. Although it might seem silly now, but the devs releasing a full module without a dungeon addition was kind of a shock to players.

Additionally Heroic Encounters were a letdown. People liked the idea of random elite mobs spawning as concept, but flaws started to show soon. The Major HEs dropped essential boots and the scoring system was trash, making it incredibly hard for support classes to get them. And of course nobody envisioned or wanted HEs to become a substantial part of the grind for many modules to come.

The campaign? It’s fast, but I think I’ve never completed it without buying the required currency from Genie’s Gifts. The dailies on the big maps are just too tedious.

7. Underdark

Underdark BannerUnderdark had tons of great content. First and foremost it finally introduced more ways of acquiring seals and gear and gave players group content to do right after hitting 70. It was an instrumental change after the Elemental Evil mess-up.

The campaign gave players the freedom to run the stuff they wanted and didn’t enforce daily participation. You could acquire Faerzress at your own pace doing various stuff, there only was a 400 weekly limit. Sounds a lot like Tomb of Annihilation right? Additionally having only one campaign currency means that running the content generates its own keys, which is great. The Twisted Weapons from Epic Demogorgon was a welcomed token based grind for a best-in-slot set in an already RNG-heavy environment and then you had the Dwarven King Quest Arc, which was the start to some very strong story-telling that continues until today.

Underdark wasn’t without flaws though. The legendary ring grind is the worst and the module introduced Masterwork, which I’m not too fond of in general. Oh and Coalgate happend! Maybe it’s a bit unfair to hold it against the module since it’s unrelated to it, but it is tied to Underdark nonetheless.

6. Lost City of Omu

Lost City of Omu really was a solid module. As mentioned in my review it featured good storytelling, decent group content, a nice adventure zone, casual campaign, and great quality of life improvements. All of that wasn’t enough however to come up for some other major flaws. First of all, the module itself wasn’t too innovative. There was not one new major system. Instead, most stuff was build on templates from Mods 10-12. It worked for the most part, but should still be counted against a module in an overall ranking. The class balance and meta struggles in Omu were also real. Synergies continued to get out of hand up to a point where potent teams could one-rotate all bosses. Trivializing content due to bad balancing is never a good concept and that unfortunately was the case in Omu.

5. Maze Engine

Let’s get one thing out of the way: The campaign of Maze Engine is just awful. Going out and killing a random demon mob across different adventure areas might be the most boring setup there is. However, that’s pretty much all I have on the flip side. I’m not sure everybody realizes it, but Maze Engine is actually a module that introduced tons of changes that made sense. It might be the best “QoL” addition to date. Let’s list it:

  • Alliances
  • Stronghold economic changes in favor of players
  • Queue system
  • Streamlining and update of old campaigns
  • Mount system

Stronghold progression is still a pain for all those little guilds, but the improvements in Maze Engine indeed helped a little. The queue changes in the meantime are easily one of the better tweaks this game has seen so far. The ability to premade into content with more than five players majorly added to the overall convenience. Same can be said about campaigns. The old content got easier and cheaper to complete. The mount system admittedly was as much a new grind and power creep as quality of life improvement, but the way the game developed it never was quite as painful as other systems.

I think some players might be disappointed in the group content. Maze Engine brought back a lot of the dungeons Elemental Evil had removed, but in controversial form. Castle Never got majorly streamlined and couldn’t generate the atmosphere and challenge of its glory days. And the leveling dungeons haven’t seen much action at all. These points still stand, overall however I might have been a bit harsh in my original module review.

So these are my rankings eight to five. Would you have gone with other modules, another order? 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.

7 thoughts on “Ranking the Neverwinter Modules: The Average

  • September 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    When are the they gonna be finished with the tomb of Annihilation?

    • September 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Mod 12B. Tomb is “mod 12”, but the “B” mod, mostly quality of life fixes, RP mechanics changes, and a new skirmish, will appear probably next month. Like how the private queues with different ILs and the Shadow Tower were part of Mod 11/River District, but arrived in 11B.

  • September 15, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Totally disagree there have not been worst than Cloaked Ascendancy and the terrible idea of 1 day a week missions of Jungles of chult is a close second with Elemental evil taking 3rd worst mod

    • September 15, 2017 at 1:41 am

      Interesting perception. Could you be a bit more specific? Is it that you don’t have enough to do?

      • September 15, 2017 at 3:38 am

        Yes that is exactly the problem I am not 14k so can’t do TONG. That means I have to do fbi or msp. and doing that 6 days of the week really makes it extremely boring. I have 13 toons and most of them are waiting for the upcoming discounted campaign items(4 are up to date with chult) you can buy for 50k ad. making the actual playtime for me terrible.

        Having a new mod and being only able to do its content 1 day a week is just as bad as doing 1 mission a day from River district In my opinion there will be no reason to return to chult in the next mod making yet another grave yard like they did with menthol derith. somi gave us msva/sva/fbi that players between 10-14 k can play. but Chult does not give any content for players 10-12k and only 1 day a week for 12-14k. this means this entire mod is just aimed at bis and not at the emerging players that are getting better. had they given us a normal and master version of TONG it might have given the mid level players content but they did not.
        P.S. I do realise GWF & tank & DC ate welcome below 14 when it comes to tong but the rest have no chance to get in it before getting to 14k and even then my CW simply can’t get in and it is 13.9k ah well guess back to solo t2 dungeons till mod 14 drops

  • September 5, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Icewind dale should be higher. It was the one and only open-pvp module.
    I would really love more of those instade of landscape things(hunts, heroics).

  • September 7, 2018 at 12:25 am

    for an overall view of each release is good, but in terms of fun or interesting stories or really doing something, all undedark related campaigns go in the last (even with this manthol derith new map concept that makes no sense since it is published in menzoberranzan boxed set and is NOTHING like they did it), and going on in fun terms they are follow by elemental evil and cloak ascendency, now to the not fun AND boring to the bone grinding system of SKT which also burn my eyes with so much white, and now the fun mods but shitty systems, dragons, dread ring, sharandar mor/chult

    the thing is that there is nothing to do with story but to listen to the short diluted dialog and do, not real role playing there, and the part of published modules that gets neverwinter is the worst, even optional like svarbog, how i can enjoy something that has 0 depth and is even something that in p&p is a option not necessary to run during the campaign, is just a bonus?

    i remember playing the original content and having a blast, the story, the zones, the dungeons, then mod1 hit and start to get bored, 1 new dungeon that i can’t get in, and when i got in everybody dropped, and so on for every mod till 11, i just wasn’t interested in some 1 liner story with no dungeons or just 1 endgame bis dungeon and a do 1 quest x day for the rest of your life till u advance!

    and in defense of icewindale, farming black ice was, and idk why, FAR WAY EASIER than voninblod.

    ravenloft is a clear example of taking a dump in the players face, first raped by wizards taking the goth terro from ravenloft into a book for a 1 night stand adventure or run the same story but as campaign from 3.5e till now, and neverwinter version of ravenloft is even worst, even more bleached than the “new era” published material.

    But i’m betting that nex mod will get the lowest place, that’s for sure, i really don’t want them to release that crap and get their hands into undermountain but making it right and taking the conversion job serious!

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