Perfect World’s Neverwinter will be the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) to hit the Xbox One. The publisher announced Tuesday that the free-to-play game will beat other fantasy MMOs, such as The Elder Scrolls Online, with a March release date.
Neverwinter will land the Xbox One on March 31, 2015, Perfect World announced on the game’s website. An Xbox LIVE Gold subscription will be required, however, which will undoubtedly lead to remarks about whether the game is truly free-to-play.
— Neverwinter (@NeverwinterGame) February 24, 2015
The developer also revealed the content that will be available in Neverwinter at launch.
Neverwinter will launch with the Tyranny of Dragons expansion, which means that it will include all seven classes that were present at Tyranny of Dragons’ release. This includes the Guardian Fighter, Great Weapon Fighter, Control Wizard, Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric, Hunter Ranger, and Scourge Warlock. All class balancing that is currently on PC will also be brought to you on the Xbox One.
That means all of the PC launch content, such as dungeons and skirmishes, will be present along with the Tyranny of Dragons expansion when the MMO launches on the Xbox One. The Oathbound Paladin is an exception though and will be part of a future expansion.
“The Sharandar, Dread Ring, Icewind Dale, and PvP campaigns as well as the Gauntylgrym zone (along with the dungeons and skirmishes associated with them) will be released on Xbox One in later expansions,” the developer added.
Xbox One players will be kept separate from PC players in Neverwinter, however. This seems only fair as PC gamers have been playing the Dungeons & Dragons MMO since last June.
Neverwinter did run a closed beta just a couple of weeks ago. I was able to participate in the beta and the MMO performed well with the exception of some performance issues in crowded zones. The game is more action-based than MMORPGs such as World of WarCraft, which made the transition to the controller easier.
The number of different abilities that can be used can make the controller setup a little more challenging to become accustomed to, but it the basics can be picked up quickly. All of the combat abilities are mapped to the triggers and face-buttons with the bumpers used to change loadouts to access additional abilities and loadouts. The menu/start button on the Xbox One controller is used for inventory management, quest logs, and the like.
Text-based communication between players was understandably almost non-existent. It’s one area that could use some additional development, but voice chat works just as well when already in groups.
The one thing we haven’t seen yet is how the micro-transaction elements will work on the Xbox One. The additional currencies in Neverwinter will undoubtedly be up for sale on the Xbox Store, but it remains to be seen if console players will jump on these.
[Images via Neverwinter]