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Feb102017

Top Five Reasons Why We're Looking Forward to the Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy Expansion

By Jeff Francis
Looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy

In just a few weeks, Neverwinter players will have a new module to dive into: The Cloaked Ascendancy. Unlike the last few updates to the fantasy online rpg, players won't have to brave the freezing cold to complete quests as the upcoming module is set in one of the districts of the city of Neverwinter itself. Hardened adventurers will be tasked by Lord Neverember with reclaiming the River District. Strap on your armor and sword as we examine the top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy.

Neverwinter River District

The first of our top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy is that we have a new zone to have fun in. The River District was once home to the city's wealthiest citizens before the Spellplague hit. Now the city is looking to reclaim the territory (and especially the riches still hidden away there!), but a cabal of dangerous wizards now control the area. The zone design in the last few expansions for Neverwinter (which you can play for free here) have been really strong, allowing for open exploration instead of the linear format that was originally used. The layout of the River District looks really interesting, with multiple guard posts and digging locations that players can help rebuild and upgrade through their actions. Active dig locations serve as entry points to underground dungeons, sewers, and tombs. Overall, I'm really looking forward to exploring the River District.

The second of our top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy is getting to undertake a new storyline. I know a lot of mmo gamers love to repeat the same dungeons and raids over and over again, but my background is firmly rooted in the original pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons rpg. As such, story is the driving force behind my desire to do anything within the game. There should be some great quests that propel the storyline of the cabal of wizards demanding to rule over the city of Neverwinter. Many of the recent threats players have faced have been external, so it's a nice change of pace to be facing an internal threat. I also like the flexibility of being able to tackle the three wizards in any order I choose.

The new Illusionist's Gambit skirmish is another of the top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy. I really enjoy the skirmish system found in Neverwinter as it allows for some quick gameplay with just the click of the mouse. What is interesting about the new skirmish being introduced in the Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy expansion is that players are facing off against an illusionist and his experiments. The developers have stated that the goal of the Illusionist's Gambit skirmish was to make it fun and enjoyable even after playing it many times. This is being done by having a lot of options available that the skirmish can combine together. A recent developer blog stated that some of the things players could encounter include the floor being coated in ice, enemies that explode, and the possibility of being turned into a chicken. There will be hordes of illusionary enemies to face, including some bigger monsters or packs of them, such as a horde of mimics. To top it off, the skirmish will also feature backdrops from many different areas and instances within the game.

Neverwinter wizards

Number four of our of top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy is getting more lore. This reason dovetails in with the storyline facet but can still be considered separate. Digging deeper into the lore of the city of Neverwinter and its inhabitants is always worthwhile, in my opinion. I want to learn more about the trio of wizards and why their leader, Gyrion, feels that he's the rightful ruler of the city. The player will have to dig into the truth of what's really going on, and the developers have stated that they wanted the quests found in the Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy expansion to provide more backstory to what's going on. This lore also extends to the various NPCs that the player has become friendly with over the years, such as Sergeant Knox, Xuna, and Celeste. We're told that players will learn what these NPCs have been up to while completing the module's quests. Getting to interact with specific NPCs always increases my enjoyment of the game, such as dealing with Wulfgar and Cattie-brie in Storm King's Thunder, not to mention seeing poor Xuna shivering with cold on the frozen seashore in that module. I'm also interested in seeing what became of the Nashers.

The final of our top five reasons why we're looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy is the new campaign. Some players may argue that the return of the Spellplague Caverns, including a new epic version, should take the final slot. However, I admit that I'm a campaign junkie as I get a sense of accomplishment by ticking off the various tasks. The main reason why I love campaigns is getting my grubby mitts on some new boons to make my character better. It'll be interesting to see what boons players will be able to get in the new campaign as well as any other potential rewards, such as how players could earn the Dwarven Battlerager companion in The Maze Engine campaign.

As you can see, there are a number of features that have us looking forward to Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy. The upcoming module for the free mmo adds the new River District zone to explore as well as the Illusionist's Gambit skirmish. Plus, there'll be a new storyline to complete and more lore to accumulate. There's only a few more weeks to wait as the Neverwinter The Cloaked Ascendancy expansion is slated to be released on February 21st.

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