With the first round of the Tales of Old event, the Lair of the Mad Dragon, behind us, now is a good time to reflect and capture our thoughts. If you missed our coverage of the event, you can check out that blog.

  • Hugely successful nostalgia win by bringing back an old dungeon!
  • Great dungeon layout design, such as optional rooms for the chance at additional loot, i.e. not every room was mandatory.
  • Great dungeon mechanics that allowed group success to be directly related to their ability to work as a group, without forced interrupts/immunity phases for bosses, or push/pull insta-kill mechanics.
  • Level scaling was generally successful. We know from the Mod 16 information just released that they are continuing to work on scaling.
  • The rewards, at this point in time, feel appropriate to inspire event participation. Update for The Frozen Heart: The gear was increased by 5 (five) IL, which makes the gear much less competitive compared to the gear coming in Undermountain.
  • A great mix of rewards, from gear you want to chase to fashion items and a vanity pet inspired by the event.
  • The availability of time and life extensions in the dungeon was generally successful, but at times not forthcoming. Specifically, some cycles through the dungeon seemed to drop mostly time extensions and very few extra lives.
  • The progress and mechanics of the disadvantages and difficulty modifiers felt balanced and provided a differentiated experience.
  • The penalty to the group for having a team member get disconnected (legitimately for poor internet, which definitely happens) or having a real-life emergency endangers the entire group investment, and needs to be re-worked.
    Update for The Frozen Heart: While this was adjusted, the ability to re-join in the Frozen Heart versus being booted out to PE is haphazard and unpredictable.
  • Allowing consumables before going into the dungeon, even though some could not be used during, is a great way to reward players for thinking ahead.
  • Allowing the use of temporary buff items like the Chain of Scales during the dungeon was a great design choice.
  • The dungeon design was excellent for companions. There was maybe a single instance where companions needed to be re-summoned.
  • The week long duration to achieve enough rewards to fully participate in the event seemed reasonable, however, the number of characters you were able to achieve full participation with was limited by having to participate in real life. One character was certainly reasonable and two manageable. Three characters felt like real life sacrifice was needed.
  • Great design with the availability of the artifact even if not enough Coins were earned to gain a Fabled Chapter. Many players, however, seemed to adopt an all-or-nothing strategy where gaining a Fabled Chapter was top priority. Perhaps if there was an opportunity to gain a Fabled Chapter through some other mechanism more players would have participated in the event to earn the artifact and few power ups. We definitely have disappointed Alliance players who could not reach the required Coins/runs to obtain the Fabled Chapter either on their main or all their desired characters.
  • Interesting decision by the developers to not place a Zen item in the store that would buff the amount of event currency earned through participation. The Tales of Old event seems to differentiate from campaigns in this regard, as well as even Strongholds, where the Stronghold Cleric buffs Influence earned.
  • Several players had passionate discussions about what characters they wanted to bring to a group given the week-long time limit and their availability to play. While many Alliance members have characters who can fill roles like damage, control, healing and tanking, players, for example, would refuse to run their damage, control or heal class due to the need to prioritize their tank. Perhaps running the event for two weeks would alleviate this tension around group forming.
  • Groups seemed to form for two reasons: to farm Trinkets or gain Coins. I believe this was due to the large amount of time needed to target both goals during runs. Another potential reason for avoiding Trinket gathering was perhaps the chance of a mimic getting lucky and killing a party member.
  • A larger-than-normal time commitment is needed, save for the highest performing groups, even if the team is focusing only on Coins. This likely required many players to change their regular Neverwinter gaming schedule. For many Alliance members, participation in the event superseded all other activities like random queues, weeklies, campaign progress, etc.
  • The 16k Item Level requirement meant that for some players, alt characters did not participate. If Coins were account bound, the Tales event could help alt characters gain an artifact that would help them progress.
  • The server or network performance appeared to cause massive lagging when many players were running the event initially. This issue seemed to disappear during the middle of the event, but Alliance members reported performance issues again in the final hours before the event end. Update for The Frozen Heart: This issue has manifested again in a big way. When groups are affected by lag and rubberbanding, the affect can be game-breaking.