Top Five Tips for Using the Neverwinter Foundry
Content is one of the most important factors in mmorpg games, in my opinion. I love exploring an online game's world and gaining knowledge of its lore by undergoing quests. The more quests that a game has, the happier I am. I'm one of those gamers who hate getting to end-game in an mmo because, to me, that means there's nothing left to do. I hate grinding out the same old dungeons over and over again just to get marginally better gear to make the grind a little bit easier. I'm not a fan of alts as you usually end up doing the exact same quests all over again once you leave a different starting zone. All of these reasons are why I love player-created content and the best game companies take advantage of this untapped pool or talent. Neverwinter has an amazing content creator called the Foundry that all players can use to craft new adventures and share them with other players. However, the sheer number of options available within the Foundry and lack of experience with the system can lead to the creation of some truly awful adventures. In an effort to help players take their first few player-created quests, we offer these top five tips for using the Neverwinter Foundry.
Check out Highly Rated Quests
The first quick tip for using the Neverwinter Foundry system is to examine player-created quests that are highly rated. You can quickly access Foundry missions by hitting "L" when you're in the game. Players have the option to rate the adventure that they've played and the quest's overall average is clearly visible. Pick out a few of the most highly rated adventures and play them. See how the creators of those quests laid the adventure out, how they placed monsters, and how they use dialogue to help set the mood. Just get a feel of what makes a good quest. If some aspect of a mission appeals to you, don't be afraid to swipe it and use it in one of your own.
In an effort to keep your frustration level down, make sure you plan ahead when creating a Foundry mission for Neverwinter. While you're playing an mmo, the same criteria applies as if you're creating an adventure for a pen-and-paper rpg. Sit down and consider what you want your quest to encompass. Come up with a plot, decide on what creatures you wish to use, how many npcs will be needed, and the layout of the terrain. The Foundry features pre-made maps for indoor and outdoor environments that I recommend you use when you first begin. Later on, you can create a custom layout to properly show your vision. A solid plan that details where you want to place encounters, traps, and the dialogue needed removes the guesswork when you start fiddling with the Foundry.
When you create your first few Foundry quests, start small so you don't overwhelm yourself with a massive project. When you become more familiar with Neverwinter's Foundry system, you can create more elaborate adventures and campaigns. Imagine your creation of quests as akin to writing a book. When you first start out, you want to practice by writing short stories, not epic tomes such as The Lord of the Rings or The Game of Thrones. Keep it simple and compact so you can easily keep a handle on the creation process.
I can't emphasize this enough: save your progress often. Just like any other work you do on a computer, you don't want to go through the agony of having hours of your work wasted just because the power went our or you lost connection to the internet. Saving your work often keeps you from raging if something goes wrong and then punching your monitor in frustration.
Play Through It
Once you've created your adventure using the Foundry system, play through it. This allows you to check for any bugs you might have missed and to see if the quest plays like you envisioned it. I would recommend playing it through with a number of different classes to get a feel for how difficult the quest is depending upon the player's class. Keep a notebook handy to jot down anything that needs to be fixed. To make sure that your overall design is strong, intentionally do things wrong such as going the wrong way or not interacting with certain objects to see if anything is broken.
There's a lot you can create using the Foundry system in Neverwinter. I hope that these top five tips help make your first forays into quest design more pain-free. The main limits in creating epic adventures for this free mmorpg is your own imagination and familiarity with the Foundry tools. Now get going and create some more tavern brawl adventures for my rogue to take part in!