I’ve been looking to possibly diversify a bit from Star Trek Online, so a few days ago I thought I’d try Neverwinter. Since Neverwinter is also published by Cryptic, I hoped maybe the interface and presentation would be similar to STO (much like Champions Online was) and ease the learning curve.
I didn’t end up getting to play a lot, because the installation and startup process had been absolutely painful.
On Sunday night I went to Steam and downloaded the Neverwinter installation file. It seemed to have installed just fine, but when I tried to start the game… nothing happened. Eventually I figured out the shortcut it created was somehow pointing to a Steam startup, so I remapped the link to the .exe file and bypassed a Steam startup. Okay, that worked. A 9 Gb download later, game launcher opened.
Oops, looked like there’s a huge patch that needed to be downloaded too. That’s another 7 Gb, so yes, I wasn’t playing that night. Left it patching overnight.
Monday night, patch’s all done! So I started the game up and created a test character. How do I zoom in closer? The mousewheel didn’t work like it does in STO. Maybe changing the graphical settings? Ah, shouldn’t have done that, because afterwards the mouse cursor position became messed up. I couldn’t click any buttons in the UI anymore; I had to move the visible cursor arrow a few inches to the left and hope the invisible ACTUAL cursor was landing on the right boxes. Took me fifteen minutes to fumble my way to properly exit the game.
Surely restarting the game would clear this problem, right? Wait, there’s ANOTHER giant patch that needed to be downloaded? There might have been a new major update that was being rolled out for Neverwinter this weekend, so maybe my timing was just bad. Fine, I left it downloading this second patch overnight. Again.
Tuesday night, patch’s all done! Time to boot it up again and see if the cursor problem cleared itself. Except… wait, game launcher Fatal Error? Retried half a dozen times, even deleted the Steam appcache folder twice, which always resolved STO game launcher crashes. No dice. Rebooted the computer twice. No dice.
Didn’t look like there’s a way to fix this. So with a sigh, I uninstalled Neverwinter and went back to Steam for a fresh download. Not entirely sure why, but I guess the patch files were saved on my computer? I didn’t have to wait 3 hours for the patch to download this time. Great! Loading screens started… Cryptic screen, then Neverwinter screen… then… it stayed there. It’s stuck there for 10 minutes. Taskmanager kill, retried, same thing. Kill again, rebooted the computer, retried… same thing.
So with another sigh, I uninstalled Neverwinter. AGAIN. This time, I bypassed Steam altogether and went straight to Arc Games website for the download. Downloaded, installed, game launcher came up… only to start the patch download all over again.
By this point I was good and frustrated with it. In the meantime, I was chatting with a friend who played Neverwinter for years, and when he heard about the problems I was having with the installation, convinced me not to bother with it. He was telling me while many MMOs out there are Pay-to-Win, Neverwinter is exceptionally in-your-face about it, taking every opportunity to try to get the player to pay. Obviously I can’t validate his claim since I can’t get this game to run properly anyway, but with all the problems I’ve had with the game before I even started, I consider it a safe bet to stay the heck away.