I always say that you have to take everything you read on the Internet with a pound of salt, and April Fool’s Day is no exception. At least on April 1st, though, the posts are a lot more funny.
I took that pound of salt when I logged on and saw that Neverwinter was releasing a few new things. “Sure”, I thought. “What awesomeness is it going to be that won’t be real and I’ll be disappointed that it’s not real?” They had three things on the April Fool’s docket: A new Dragon class, a Gelatinous Cube mount, and a new skirmish where your characters are pieces on a D&D board. Ha ha, Cryptic. Very funny. The dragon class is obviously a prank, but the other two just sound really awesome, so it’s too bad it’s April Fool’s…
But lo and behold, Cryptic wasn’t joking. Yes, the dragon class is fake, but the Cube mount and the skirmish are totally real! And they are both a thing of nerdy goodness.
I logged on last night and gladly forked over 800 zen for the mount. It hits all the right receptors as it bounces and slimes around town, wobbling just as one would expect a jelly cube to bounce. I love it. If a lime green jello mold could be adorable, this one definitely is.
Up for offer, too, was “Respen’s Marvelous Game” which completing 15 times netted a new Green Slime Companion! Since all of my companions are basic (get it? GET IT?!), and the next time I see 300,000 AD to upgrade them may be never (but then it may happen if I keep using Bing), the Slime would only take one night of grinding the skirmish. Cake.
However, Respen’s Marvelous Game truly shined and delivered a heavy dose of geekery. Designed for characters from level 6-60, your character becomes a miniature on a D&D map, on it’s own little base in an epic pose. You then make your way through two different randomized dungeons. The first, the one I encountered more often, is a stereotypical dungeon filled with baddies, all the while the DM Respen is narrating as you go, fantastically using different voices for all the characters you encounter.
The second adventure is a search for an elven princess who has been kidnapped and involves going through the woods from place to place trying to find her, with events randomized. I loved near the end, after defeating an orc summoner, he says “With his dying breath the orc finishes the ritual and summons <audible dice roll> a pit fiend!” and a huge winged demon bursts from the ground.
In order to get the companion, I had to complete the run 15 times, but since each run only took about 5-10 minutes, it wasn’t that bad. I got kicked out of a few groups for being too low level (elitists <shakes head>… damage was scaled so that we were all on equal footing, but my being level 35 still somehow annoyed the 60s that they couldn’t cope for 5 minutes). Sometimes I ended up on the top of the charts, other times near the bottom. Standard stuff. There wasn’t a time, though, when a dungeon was too hard to beat.
All in all, Cryptic showed what it does best. Quick, easy to group content that felt a lot more epic than it had any reason to be, lots of fun, and coupled with nice rewards for a decent effort. Well played, Cryptic.
I always thought ArenaNet were the masters of MMO April Fool’s, but it seems there’s a new contender in town.
P.S. – I recently updated my Characters page to show all of the different MMO characters I play. Feel free to add me as a friend and send a message if you see me in game.
P.P.S. – Sadly, I realized that as this is about to post that it will be too late to head into Neverwinter if you wanted to try the April Fool’s content. My hope is that this awesomeness is too good for a one-off event, and they’ll periodically be bringing this back. It’s too much fun not to.