Neverwinter MMO Goes Open Beta This Month

Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios said on Thursday that the long-awaited Action MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter will go into open beta on April 30, 2013. Players will get unrestricted access to the upcoming free-to-play game based in the popular Forgotten Realms city. This is a standalone game, and not part of the popular Neverwinter Nights series of games previously developed by Obsidian Entertainment and BioWare.

"On April 30, we go into Open Beta," said Cryptic Studios Executive Producer and COO, Craig Zinkievich. "That's when the world we've labored for years to build comes to life -- that's when every gamer can login and play what we've worked so hard to create. We could not be more excited."

Gamers who have already purchased the $200 Founder's Pack will have early access. Beginning 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, April 12, these customers will be able to check out the professions system as part of a newly added 60-hour Beta Weekend 4. These professions will include Leadership, Mailsmithing, Platesmithing and Leatherworking.

Developed by Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes, Star Trek Online), the MMORPG was originally the property of parent company Atari which previously published other games based on AD&D. The game was slated for a late 2011 release, but was delayed to 2012 due to the studio's transition from Atari to new parent company Perfect World Entertainment that year. A decision to change Neverwinter from co-op play to a full-blown F2P MMORPG further delayed the game into late 2012, then into early 2013.

"Explore and defend one of the most beloved cities from Dungeons & Dragons as it rises from the ashes of destruction," reads the game's description. "This action RPG set in an immersive MMO world will take you from the besieged walls of the city to subterranean passageways in search of forgotten secrets and lost treasure."

That said, Neverwinter doesn't clone the first-person experience provided in EverQuest 2, World of Warcraft or even Dungeons & Dragons Online. In a way, it stays visually true to the classic Neverwinter Nights games we've come to know and love, only with a bit more console-like hack-n-slash action (or so it seems). Here are the recommended and minimum system requirements:

Recommended System Requirements:
* OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP 2, Windows 7 or Windows 8
* CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz CPU equivalent or better
* Memory: 2 GB RAM or more
* GPU: GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon HD 2900 GT performance or better, 512 MB+ VRAM
* Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound chip or onboard audio capability with the latest sound drivers
* Broadband Internet Connection Required

Minimum System Requirements:
* OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
* CPU: Dual-core 2.0 GHz CPU or better
* Memory: 1 GB RAM
* GPU: Shader Model 2.0 or higher, GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X850 performance, 128 MB+ VRAM
* Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound chip or onboard audio capability with the latest sound drivers
* Broadband Internet Connection Required

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  • Stimpack
    I played about 30 minutes of the beta and didn't go back. It's not because I didn't like it, I just had time constraints. I still have no idea if the game is really worth downloading again. So what do people think? This, or DDO?
  • DarkSable
    I've played it a little, and was underwhelmed - it has the Guild Wars 2 syndrome; there's so much of it that SHOULD be so good... and isn't.

    Personally, I'm probably going to stay with DDO. Even if the graphics aren't the best in the world, the gameplay is incredible, and there's miles upon miles of customization options with which to make the perfect character.
  • bak0n
    I like never winter over DDO. DDO has some really cool class build setups but the game play got old quickly. I switched to LOTRO because of it. Now Its NW or the upcoming elder scrolls.