For today’s column I’d like to take you guys back over four years ago when I was an up-and-coming Neverwinter endgamer and had no clue that I would be running the game’s biggest fansite eventually. I guess every success story features a weird anecdote or even coincidence that majorly impacted its emergence, and I’m going to share Uncensored’s in this article. I’m not sure about the correct dates by the way. So some stuff might be off a few weeks. The reason is that Perfect World changed their forum software at some point and that I was unable to dig up the original threads. But I still think what is written here is fairly accurate.
Let’s Hop into Our Delorean
Ok, so let’s hop into our DeLorean and travel back to 2013. Before we get to RNG tests and why they were important for Uncensored, let’s talk about how I got into the game first. Because that was fairly random itself. I always lived a pretty active online life and usually had several “side projects” or “hobbies” in the digital world in addition to whatever I was doing in real life (school, studies, work, etc.). I started with classic Blizzard Battle.net titles like StarCraft, WarCraft II, and Diablo II, but hilariously World of Warcraft of all things ended my first gaming tenure. When the MMO launched, I played it 24/7 for a couple weeks. Then however an important stretch in school completely took me out of it and I quickly lost interest.
While I didn’t game from that point on, my online activity remained. I did help develop and run a fairly small browsergame, had six to eight months of intensive (and expensive) online betting, downloaded and watched all sorts of series after that, and then went on writing for a sports blog. In 2013, all of this had stopped and I was seeking for my next activity. That’s when I somehow got into the YouTube “Let’s Play” scene. Not sure how it started, but it did entertain me to watch other people play games. That went on for a solid four to six months before somebody on one of my subscribed channels tried Neverwinter.
So Neverwinter It Is?
For several reasons I think I got introduced to the game at the right time. I had thought about getting into a MMO before, but most popular titles had been running for a while and I do like being part of something from the beginning. I also didn’t want to fully commit (aka buying or subscribing something). So Neverwinter’s as new title with a free-2-play model was perfect. I also fell in love with the action combat, but in retrospect I think Neverwinter was just the first title with the right set of features that crossed my path. So I went with it.
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I played through open beta and launch, and quickly emerged as “endgame player”. Naturally drop rates were something of interest, especially since reselling lockboxes used to be a major money-maker back in the day. I figured that by bringing multiple copies of one character over to the preview server, you could legitimately multiply items and get to stacks of Enchanted Keys that were otherwise unobtainable on live for me. I’m not sure I was the very first that tried to get to lockbox drop rates that way, but probably one of very few “pioneers”. I was genuinely amazed by my method and the results, and naively started posting them on the official message board. That’s when things got complicated.
My RNG test thread was well received by the community. I started with some minor stuff like Waukeen’s Treasure Chest or Coffer of Celestial Enchantments, but eventually moved on to lockboxes. There didn’t seem to be an issue with what I was doing until a mod named “Melodywhr” closed the thread. I messaged the mod team for the reasons, and shit went downhill rather fast behind the scenes. Melodywhr turned out to be a completely ignorant asshat that did a great job incinerating the discussion behind the scene and handing out warnings when I would disagree.
They basically reasoned that the tests were unreliable and unnecessarily bashing the low drop rates. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but I got fairly pissed in the process and closed with a sentence like “the censorship around here sure meets the standards of your company’s country (China)”. That’s when they banned me for “racism”. It’s obviously bullshit, but I probably deserved the ban for other stuff that was said anyway.
Onto the Wiki
So here I was, completely frustrated by the mods and the game, searching for another way to present information that I felt was super valuable to the community. I ended up on the official wiki, which of course is an environment where the community collectively decides about the type and accuracy of information. Melodywhr however, as insane as they were, followed me on the wiki and deleted my RNG page, noting:
[su_quote]This information is not official and is not supported by PWE. This content was removed from the official Neverwinter forums because it provides information that is potentially false and sheds a negative light on unpublished and unknown drop rates within the game.[/su_quote]
This is a volunteer mod trying to enforce company ToS on a wiki! Try to think about that for a second and then list all the stuff that’s wrong with it. You probably will need more than one sheet of paper. On top of challenging the tests’ credibility, Melodywhr also basically said I was exploiting the preview server because copying over multiple version of the same character wasn’t intended. Oh boy… What then ensued was a legendary “edit war”. Melodywhr deleted the RNG page over and over again while I was resetting it to its original state. The whole thing lasted until the former wiki admin “Two30” woke up and locked the page until things could be sorted out. Melodywhr said that a PWE official would get in touch with Two30, but since that never happened, the page was reinstated.
After that, I continued to publish my RNG results on the wiki. The page however was inconvenient to handle and edit. So I started thinking about moving them elsewhere. That’s when someone on my ingame friends list brought up the idea of doing an independent message board for the game. The rest is history. We originally were a group of four, including a real-life buddy of mine, that had clashed with moderation over various topics and were fed up enough to set up Uncensored. I only planned to host my RNG Tests and other tools on the site, but as we know today it developed into a whole lot more.
So that’s your story of RNG tests, Melodywhr, and why a controversy turned into the game’s biggest fansite. As you can see, there are a lot of what ifs involved. I often think it’s hilarious that the mods of all people could have prevented the site from existing. Since they often wrongly label us “toxic” or at least “outlaws” because we allow open talk about the game around here, it must hurt really bad that it was within their power to stop us. All they probably had to do was letting me post my stupid RNG tests on the message board in 2013. Isn’t that ironic?
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