Neverwinter Interview – Dragonslayer and the Evolution of the Dungeons and Dragons MMO

Dungeons & Dragons fans are having a pretty amazing week thanks to all the announcements coming out of the DnD Direct event. The next movie now has a release date and title, Spelljammer has been confirmed (for real this time), and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to all Dungeons and Dragons announcements in other media, video game fans also learned a ton of details about never winter upcoming module: Dragonslayer.

The MMO’s 23rd module, Dragonslayer, thematically follows the events of the game’s latest big addition and offers players the chance to become dragon slayers and battle some of the franchise’s most epic monsters. The expansion arrives in June and brings a complete overhaul of never winter dragons, giving these deadly creatures all-new attacks, spells, and the ability to take flight. Long-time veteran players and new players alike can look forward to a major update for the beloved “Temple of Tiamat” trial, as the new version will feature new mechanics and challenges, as well as gameplay options. Normal and Master difficulty.


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To help celebrate the big announcement, Game Rant connected with Neverwinter’s Randy Mosiondz (Lead Designer) and Brett Norton (Executive Producer) to catch up and chat about all things Dragonslayer (and a bit more about the future of the MMO DnD) …

Game Rant: First, let’s talk about some of the biggest changes that were just announced. Can you tell us everything we need to know about the brand new dragon hunting system?

Excited: If you played the previous version of Neverwinter, Dragonbone Vale, you probably have a good idea of ​​the events leading up to Dragonslayer. Valindra and the Red Wizards of Thay have teamed up with the Cult of the Dragon to channel the power of an unearthed Netherese mythalaire to cast a powerful spell known as Scaleblight Mythal to turn dragons along the Sword Coast into dracoliches. under their control! While adventurers working with Northern Shield factions managed to interrupt the mythos cast, it still affected many dragons, angering them. Now the heroes of Neverwinter must help defend against this sudden onslaught of dragons with the help of Smerdiuk Dragonbane and his team of dragon slayers.

Brett: There’s not just one, but five different types of (usually evil) Chromatic Dragons in DnD, and you’ll be able to fight them all in Dragon Hunts gameplay. Each of the dragons fight a little differently, and we’re not just talking about their different breath weapons. Each type of dragon has unique spells it can cast, so you and your party will need to vary your tactics a bit depending on which dragon you’re hunting.

Dragons also belong to different age groups, and their spells and abilities become stronger and more diverse as they age. Young dragons are the most basic dragons, with only a few special abilities beyond the typical claw/bite/breath you might expect. Adult dragons are more advanced, with a few more tricks up their sleeve. And of course, the mighty Elder Dragons are downright tricky, throwing all sorts of different spells and abilities into the mix.

Game Rant: Are there any particular Fizban specific items or monsters that are on the way to the game that you can tell us about?

Excited: We took inspiration from Fizban in terms of portraying dragon abilities and the story of Dragonslayer. Part of the reason the dragons were driven to rage was that the Scaleblight Mythal disrupted their vision of the dragon, allowing them to see or communicate with echoes of themselves from other realities. . While many were not turned into dracoliches by the spell as intended, they were still brought closer by these whispers, some of which have already been turned into dracoliches in their respective planes!


Game Rant: How about the new epic lairs? What books/campaigns are the short stories based on and how challenging will they be for players?

Excited: Dragonslayer lairs were built around the D&D descriptions of the different types of lairs. It ranged from a frozen mountaintop of a white dragon to lava-filled underground ruins for a red dragon. While we haven’t incorporated any lair-specific abilities, they certainly work for dragon dwellers!

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Game Rant: Tell us about the new difficulty system. Who is this feature for? Brand new players, super advanced players or a mix of both?

Brett: Dragon Hunts is designed to be playable by just about anyone who has reached our “epic” content level (level 20). Whether you’ve just reached epic content or you’ve been at it for years, there are different dragon hunts to get into.

As mentioned earlier, the Dragon Age plays a large role in the overall hunting challenge. New adventurers can cut their teeth on young or adult dragons, while veteran adventurers can party hard and dive into the fight against ancient dragons.

But that’s not all, there is another level of challenges called modifiers! Adventurers can spice up their hunts by applying up to three unique dragon modifiers. There are around 10 different modifiers and each one you add to a hunt increases its rewards.

And there are even more evolutionary challenges beyond that! Each modifier can be powered up multiple times, giving you the flexibility to try a hunt with no modifiers, some modifiers, all modifiers, and powered up modifiers!

There are lots of combinations to try and lots of different rewards to win!


Game Rant: Much like DnD during 5th, Neverwinter has really evolved a lot over the past few years (and from its roots in 4th). What kind of next steps do you see coming as the game continues to grow and DnD continues to change?

Brett: Neverwinter always tries to keep pace with the thematic changes that occur in the DnD tabletop game, but due to differences in support, we do not attempt to reflect this. Just as Neverwinter has evolved from its 4th roots to try to better match 5th years ago, we will continue to incorporate new themes and content from the source books. But at the end of the day, Neverwinter is an MMORPG, and we need to stay true to those core elements while incorporating as many “new things” from the DnD table as possible.

Game Rant: There are a lot of rumors and speculation about DnD 5.5 or a “next phase” of current DnD, how do you think Neverwinter will be impacted by what comes next for the TTPRG?

Breth: It takes a little time to change a video game with nearly 10 years of development behind it, but as potential new rulebooks are released, we’ll bring what works to Neverwinter. Fortunately, most rule changes and sourcebook updates are fairly open to interpretation, and WotC gives the Neverwinter team a lot of creative leeway in how we interpret the sourcebooks (both that we stay true to the heart of the PI).

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Game Rant: The multiverse is vast – do you see Neverwinter branching out into other realms in the future for particular adventures? Dark Sun, MtG planes or other settings?

Breth: As a personal fan of Dark Sun’s world of Athas, I’d love to visit it, but it’s a dark, sinister place that we might struggle to portray well in Neverwinter. It may not be in Neverwinter’s future to visit the Sea of ​​Silt on Athas, but we can all secretly hope that somewhere in WotC there’s a secret Dark Sun project in the works.

But when it comes to the larger DnD multiverse, thanks to the interplanar adventures that happened in Neverwinter, it’s not out of the question for us to visit different planets/planes. We would obviously like to visit many DnD realms, be it Krynn, Wildspace, Sigil, etc. Wizards of the Coast is very understanding when it comes to ideas, and as long as we can work out solid contextual reasons in Neverwinter for why we would visit a specific plane/planet, we can probably make it work.

red dragon skull

Game Rant: Do you consider Neverwinter to be a friendly game for new players? What kind of experience could someone new to the game expect if they wanted to start today?

Brett: We don’t see Neverwinter as a super easy game trying to reach a very casual gamer audience, but at the same time we have a completely free 10+ hour adventure experience that almost any gamer could (and should!) ) Completed. The Adventure Phase takes you through the Sword Coast, allowing you to slowly master the skills and gain the experience levels you need to become an epic adventurer. Once you hit level 20, you can start our epic adventures and campaigns, which are a bit more difficult, but still very doable for most players.

And as stated, it’s all completely free. There are no paywalls or portals preventing you from accessing content, areas, maps, etc. The “good things” are not locked; everyone has access to everything. So if you’re curious about what Neverwinter has to offer, go ahead and give it a try! Even if you only play a few hours to enjoy the solo leveling adventures, we are happy to have you on board.

Game Rant: Is there anything else about the current and future state of Neverwinter that you would like people to know?

Brett: We’re working on long-term plans for Neverwinter, some of which will be really fun and wild. Our development roadmap leading up to, and just beyond, our 10th anniversary next year is shaping up to be stellar. For our fan readers, we hope next year brings you some great new adventures and takes you to places you’ve really wanted to see in Neverwinter for a while. And for those who haven’t tried Neverwinter, now is the perfect time to jump into the game and start leveling up a character so you’ll be ready for Dragonslayer when it releases!

never winter is free on PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Dragonslayer releases on PC and consoles in June.

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