We have briefly discussed the Reddit AMA on this site, but left out an isolated comment about the foundry, because it wasn’t really an important change of approach by the devs.
[su_quote cite=”Cryptic_Goatshark” url=”https://www.reddit.com/r/Neverwinter/comments/43v4gh/developer_ama_on_neverwinter_the_maze_engine/czlpdk9″]We’re looking at some of the most frustrating foundry bugs (creators can’t test their content because of a bug with portals), but we don’t currently have plans to add anything new to the foundry this year.[/su_quote]
The comment however is a pretty sad representation of the current state of the foundry. It’s highly annoying how the foundry has more and more fallen from grace. The devs feel that an otherwise great asset can’t net them enough revenue and a comeback becomes highly unlikely. The time and effort needed to bring the system on par rises with every module and gets harder to justify with dwindling foundry user numbers. It’s a vicious cycle and a typical symptom of the limited resources the devs have. They have to focus on more profitable content and can’t attach somebody to maintain the foundry. Lately even the weekly spotlights were not as frequent.
To be fair, the foundry never really lived an easy life. Plagued by bots and exploiters probably the most nerfs have come in that area of the game, which made the foundry less interesting for both legit authors and players. In the early days it was XP and then mainly farming. For a good amount of time, everyone and their mother was exploiting foundries in to get loads of drops from Dragon’s Hoard Enchantments. This might be inevitable, because the more power you give authors in creating user generated content, the more likely some are going to abuse that power. But the less power you give authors, the less the foundry can serve its purpose of being a true sandbox environment. If you wanted to truly bring it back you would probably need to rethink the whole system from scratch.
It seems the foundry does not even net daily AD any longer (I gotta be honest that I haven’t really played a foundry in ages and didn’t check prior to this post, but it’s not listed here), which effectively simply removes any ingame viability of the system. It might also be evident that this game lacks a strong RPG community, which could create quests and visual foundries just for the sake of it. In the daily grind that Neverwinter is, it indeed seems hard to find a place and audience for such a toolset. It’s still puzzling how such a powerful asset in a D&D labeled game cannot be utilized in a better way.
And people have come up with good ideas how to revitalize the foundry over the months. Add the ability to create PVP maps or use foundry contests to design the next dungeon are only two of many suggestions that were ignored and might even have gone unnoticed. The news about the AMA comment spread rapidly in the foundry community and seems to have put the final nail in the coffin even for the loyal supporters and those that were still hopeful. Most namely @eldarth, host of foundry contests like the current Drowned Shore one and creator of the amazing and comprehensive list of verified foundry bugs, has posted a statement in his threads that the time to move on has come.
[su_quote cite=”eldarth” url=”http://forum.arcgames.com/neverwinter/discussion/comment/12782253/#Comment_12782253″]Yep. Forum posts, detailed bug lists, hundreds of suggestions, a five page DETAILED report on MAKING Foundry profitable by an actual economist, and numerous solutions to all their foundry issues both in forum and to individuals up through management.
They DO NOT WANT TO MAKE MORE ZEN. As they’d say in Princess Bride… “Inconceivable!” Free Content, PvP solutions, More Zen. Epic marketing fail. I’m done.
I’ll be creating over in SCL. I seriously doubt this title is going to last another year. If anyone wants to “take over” the Epic Shore Contest, let me know and I’ll get you the prize AD and Mount. …and if anyone wants to take over maintenance of the eternally ignored bug list, also let me know and I’ll see if mods can change ownership. [/su_quote]
There are a few more users to mention here like iandarksword, instynctive or torontodave and others that I probably don’t know because I’m not rooted in the foundry community. It’s as sad as telling to see these guys abandon the sinking ship. Also judging from some of the comments of strumslinger this does not only mean the foundry won’t get an update in 2016, but has most likely been retired as an asset. Yep, let’s not kid ourselves, that’s it. Not that they would tell you, but we do.
We at Neverwinter Uncensored want to thank the users mentioned here for what they have provided and meant to the foundry in recent years. Thanks to all authors that created and maintained quality quests and thanks to those that enjoyed playing them. It’s a bitter ending to what was once promoted as one of the capstone features of the game, but at least there’s certainty now.
What do think of the foundry and its retirement? Make sure to share your thoughts and sentiments by commenting below or posting to our forum.