Neverwinter Call to Arms: Gate Crashers Review
One of the features that I love most about the Neverwinter mmorpg is the ease to which players can get into the thick of action. Many online games force players to travel to distant zones or do a number of introductory quests in order to get the ball rolling, but Neverwinter just has the player simply queue up for battle. The game regularly releases new skirmishes for players to participate in, and the latest one requires the help of gamers to fend off a demonic invasion attempting to take control of a teleportation gate in Scar Keep. Is this new skirmish worth the effort, and, more importantly, is it fun? Find out in our Neverwinter Call to Arms: Gate Crashers review.
Call to Arms: Gate Crashers is the latest skirmish for Neverwinter, and it's open for all characters ranging in level from six to sixty. All that a person needs to do to partake of the skirmish is just queue up for it by opening their queue panel (the default key is K). As the event lasted for a weekend, you should have had no problem getting slotted into a group right away. I think the longest time I waited to do the skirmish was literally thirty seconds.
Once the event pops and you agree to join, you and four other mmo players will find yourself in the courtyard of a ruined keep. There's a respawn point on a ledge overlooking the courtyard, and the Call to Arms: Gate Crashers event will begin once a player jumps down. The overall goal of the skirmish is to fight off three waves of attackers, after which Celaphon, a giant intellect devourer (a walking brain), will appear for the final battle. The entire event is normally done within fifteen minutes, but if the group is comprised mostly of level sixty characters, it can be done is as little as ten minutes.
The enemies that players will face in the Neverwinter Call to Arms: Gate Crashers skirmish is mix of aberrants, foulspawn, and disciples of the Order of Blue Fire. There is a mix of cannon fodder, as well as some tougher foes to face. Some of the entities that players will have to defeat include Plaguechanged Raiders; Blue Fire Eyes; Order of Blue Fire Guards, Seers, Knight Accordants, Cultists, and Acolytes of Corruption; Nothic Mindwarps, Plaguechanged Maws, Nothic Plaguegazers, Nothic Brutes, and an Intellect Predator. Overall, there's a whole host of creatures and evil people to slay to defend the teleportation gate from falling into sinister hands.
There is a short break between each wave, and you'll be notified that one wave has ended and that another has begun. The enemies will assault the players by coming over the walls of the ruined courtyard from both sides. Players will definitely be able to see them coming. Killing the monsters does drop loot in the form of coinage, potions, items, and medallions of battle. These medallions can be turned in to the event vendor for special items. After the three waves, Celaphon emerges and the final fight is on. A good rule of thumb is to ignore the adds and concentrate all your attacks on Celaphon. Once he's defeated, the skirmish is over. He does spawn small hordes of intellect devourers during the fight. Another tactic that was commonly used was to drop a portable altar in the center of the courtyard to provide a place to recover hit points at a quicker rate. If a player died during the fight, they could quickly respawn back at the campfire and enter the fray within seconds.
As for the fight itself, I found it highly enjoyable. There was enough monsters to keep players busy, and unless the entire group was very low level, you wouldn't be totally overwhelmed. Having a control wizard as part of the group is very handy as AoE attacks really help out in these mass battles. My only complaint was that many times my trickster rogue had just started their special attack, only to have the object of that attack knocked back out of range due to another player using their abilities. Other than that, I really liked the pacing and composition of the Gate Crashers skirmish. The mix of creatures could make for some interesting fights as their various attacks could overlap, causing a great deal of damage to the player.
There are some good rewards for taking part in the Call to Arms: Gate Crashers event. After defeating Celaphon, all players get to loot the treasure chest that contains some currency, a bluefire dye pack, a cruel enchantment, some medallions of battle, and, if you're really lucky, an intellect devourer companion. The cruel enchantment is a dual-purpose enchantment. It impacts power and recovery (if used for offense), defense and deflect (defense), or movement and glory gain (utility). Bluefire dye packs allow players to dye their gear with the icy blue colors associated with this event. Medallions of battle can be saved for any future skirmish event, but players can spend them now on new weapon skins, bluefire dye packs, and a refiner's cache. This cache holds an enchantment along with the chance for enhancement refinement resources such as a mark of potency, an aquamarine, flawless sapphire, or greater mark of potency. I would recommend buying the skins and ignoring the dye packs as you get a dye pack with every Gate Crashers skirmish completed. Overall, you should net around forty medallions of battle per skirmish.
So what's the verdict in our Neverwinter Call to Arms: Gate Crashers review? Well, the final verdict is a thumbs up. I love the skirmish system used in this free mmo and wish more mmo games would use it. The battles are short, lasting only about fifteen minutes, but they're action packed and there are tangible rewards. I do like the bluefire aspect to the weapons and the dye packs you can apply to your gear. They look pretty sharp. I recommend jumping into the fray when the next Call to Arms event rolls around. Plus, how often to you get to beat up on an intellect devourer?