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Neverwinter is a free-to-play fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game in development by Cryptic Studios. The game will be published by Perfect World Entertainment. The game is set within the popular Forgotten Realms campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons and uses mechanics based on a modified version of fourth-edition Dungeons and Dragons rules.

Release date[]

The game is scheduled for release in early 2013.

The first beta weekend for Neverwinter was from February 8 to February 10. This was followed by a second beta weekend from March 8 to March 10 and a third one from March 22 to March 24. A fourth beta weekend was announced later, and held from April 12 to April 14.

Open beta for those who bought Hero of the North Pack began on April 25, 2013 (11am Central Time). Those who bought Guardian of Neverwinter, the open beta access was granted on April 27, 2013. For everybody else, the open beta began on April 30. This was treated as soft launch with no more character wipes occurring.


The game client is currently being developed only for Microsoft Windows. However, there is some unofficial support available for running the client on Linux and Mac systems.

System requirements[]

Recommended Minimum
OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP 2, Windows 7 or Windows 8 Windows® XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz CPU equivalent or better Dual-core 2.0GHz CPU or better
Memory: 2GB RAM or more 1GB RAM
Video: GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon HD 2900GT performance or better, 512MB+ video ram Shader Model 2.0 or higher, GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X850 performance, 128MB+ video ram
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound chip or onboard audio capability with the latest sound drivers

Payment model[]

Neverwinter will be Free to Play. It will not have a subscription feature.

As all other games produced by Perfect World, there will be in-game Cash Shop with items available for purchase with Zen, an in-game currency purchased with real-world money or possibly with another in-game currency.

Players will also earn Astral Diamonds by partaking in game content and events. Astral Diamonds can be used to purchase items in the game or be exchanged for Zen on the Astral Diamond Exchange.


As with most MMORPGs, gameplay revolves around playing a character created by the player in an open world. Neverwinter has a strong storyline. In order to advance that storyline, most of the action takes place in instanced areas which can be open outdoor locations, dungeons, caves, sewers, crypts etc. There are large open world locations where players compete with each other for contests and spawning monsters. However, Protector's Enclave - the starting area where most of the earlier events take place - is a safe area without any enemies.

The combat in the game is more action-oriented than in most MMORPGs and has been described as being very similar to a third-person shooter. Instead of selecting targets by using keys like Tab or clicking on them, players rotate their view so that a targeting reticle is over their intended target. Use of the action bar is atypical of most MMORPGs in that the first two abilities are bound to the mouse buttons rather than to numeric keys, and others are linked to "Q", "E", and Shift by default.

Shards (Servers)

Neverwinter will have three shards at launch. Many MMOs have the concept of a shard, and there are several different terms in use for the same concept including Server, World and Realm. The shards will be named: • Beholder • Dragon • Mindflayer

Cryptic has decided to launch Neverwinter with three shards, to reduce the risk of players having a negative experience due to servers overloading. Cryptic's goal is to continue to optimize our software and hardware so that they can merge the three shards into a single seamless game world soon after launch, and they have built their multi-shard technology with this in mind. For example, they are requiring guild names to be unique across all shards, so that when they do merge the shards nobody will have to change their guild name due to a naming conflict.


Much like other Cryptic games, all of the characters’ names are unique to each accounts @handle (account name), so there is no need to reserve character names.


The game takes place along the Sword Coast region of Féerune‎, a continent within the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. 29th Tarsakh, 1385 DR Spellplague struck the Realms but Neverwinter escaped the devastation unharmed. However, in 1451 DR mount Hotenow - a volcano near Neverwinter erupted and the eruption destroyed the city. Eventually the city was destroyed by an alliance of Thay and Ashmadai worshipers. In 1467 DR, Lord Neverember arrived with Mintarn Mercenaries and took control of Protector's Enclave. Lord Neverember started reconstruction of Protector's Enclave and called upon the people to rebuild the city to its former glory. Now, with Lord Neverember who has declared himself the Lord Protector of Neverwinter, there are many active threats in the region. The city is the center of conflict between Thay and Netherese with Ashmadai infiltrating the influential citizens of New Neverwinter. Plaguechanged creatures are another threat faced by all the human settlements after Spellplague. And the reason of eruption of Mount Hotenow is still not clear, for it may erupt again.