@Copyright: Dioriel’s guide
Welcome to Neverwinter! This is a general guide which applies to all platforms.
Hi new players! I’m Dioriel, the leader of Conviction on the PC version of Neverwinter, and through my interaction with many newer players of this game, I’ve run across the same questions, concerns, and frustrations over and over again. I’ve decided to write down a simple path for being the most efficient end-game player you can be. Some guides are “what to do when you hit 70” guides, and others are leveling guides. I believe that you can prepare for 70 as you’re leveling, and I also believe the game itself really doesn’t explain this very well. Which is why I’m writing this guide! As for my qualifications, I’ve played off and on since release, and I have 7 level 70s with an 8th on the way.
First, it’s NEVER too early to start your path to end-game awesomeness. If you are the min/maxer type, before you even make a new character, you can look up guides on the internet that will tell you the best race to roll for your class, and what your starting attributes should be. I would suggest checking out www.mmominds.com for this, or just do a google search. Look for anything that is Mod 9 or later, and they should work. Rangers, Warlocks, and Guardian Fighters just got a rework on PC, so many guides for those classes are out of date and need updating, but they are coming.
Once you’ve chosen your race and class, get to level 15 through questing. I would suggest finding a guild. They give xp bonuses, and the stronghold daily quests that become available to you at level 15 give a lot of extra xp, especially the daily dungeon quest given by the cleric. There are lots of guilds out there that accept and welcome new players, so don’t be afraid to go looking for one.
If you can get your hands on an Ensorcelled Mulhollorand weapon and offhand, try to do that now. They will level with you and remain a decent choice even at the lower end of lvl 70 content.
At level 21, you can speak to Sgt. Knox in Protector’s Enclave and get a quest called Artifact Facts. This will lead you to a short lair quest, where at the turn in of the quest, you will get to choose one artifact as a reward. If you take nothing else from this guide, take this:
DO NOT CHOOSE THE CATALOGUE!
The Catalogue is a tempting trap, one that I’ve seen almost every new/uncoached player fall into, because of their lack of bag space. Don’t do it, just don’t. Believe me, you’ll thank me when you’re spending 200k AD (or more on PS4) on the Lantern of Revelation later and sadly recalling when you could have gotten it for free. Especially if you’re DPS (and usually, even if you’re not), the Lantern is hands down the best choice, and one that you will probably still be wearing as you’re spamming Castle Never runs in your Elemental Dragonflight gear set at level 70.
PLEASE DON’T CHOOSE THE CATALOGUE!
When you hit level 26, start the Tyranny of Dragons Campaign. Go see Sgt. Knox, and he’ll point you to Harper Boward in PE (the quest is called Cult on the Rise). This is your first taste of the campaign system in the game, and you’ll notice that it, like most of them, are time-gated. It benefits you to begin this now and work on it as you level. The boons you get are excellent, too.
Also, as soon as you can, start running 2 skirmishes and 2 dungeons per day. This will get you started earning astral diamonds.
If you are inclined to spend any real money on the game, I would suggest using it first on VIP, then on a mount from the zen store (the gilded giant spider or armored bear are two good ones, since you can get the Wanderer’s Fortune insignia bonus. More on that in a bit).
VIP pays for itself in AD (or AD savings) from the daily lockbox key alone. And the good thing about buying a mount is you only buy it once, then every new character on your account can claim their own copy.
If you have any leftover zen, next up should be a decent companion. It used to matter greatly which one to get, but now, just get one you like that fits with your playstyle and has decent bonuses. Your goal will be to have 3 high level bonding runestones on your companion, but for now, just put whatever you find on it.
Before we get there, a few notes on approaching level 60. First of all, SAVE all your astral diamonds that you’ve acquired so far. I know it isn’t much, but it’s way better to save them now. If you need gear, use some identify scrolls to ID some of the green gear you get, and put that on. Gear really doesn’t matter until 70, so don’t waste good AD on it. Here’s a tip if you run out of ID scrolls:
You can buy the lowest level ID scroll from the wondrous bazaar (they cost 15 AD each) or the Auction House and they will identify any level of gear. So don’t waste AD on the greater ones when the cheapest will work the same.
Also, it’s never too early to start saving your rank 4 and 5 enchants, as well as any coalescent or preservation wards. These lower level enchants are awesome for refining your artifacts later on, so don’t sell or nuke them, save them up! Making a bank alt helps here…get a bank alt high enough to reach the mailbox and bank in town, and send him all your extra refinement stones/enchants/runestones. I would suggest making this alt a Devoted Cleric (if that isn’t your main) for reasons I’ll come to later. Another way to store things is in your mail. If you mail items to yourself, they can sit in your mailbox indefinitely.
A couple of notes about bag space:
- You can get a free bag by completing the main quest line in Neverdeath Graveyard. You can head there around level 23.
- You can get another free bag at the store for the Benign Order of the Third Eye campaign, which is 2nd from the bottom on the left side of the campaign window (press the ] key)
- Beyond this, if you want more/bigger bags, you’ll have to buy them with AD or zen.
Now the world is your oyster! The fastest way to level is by questing, and you’ll find yourself outleveling many of the zones. You can skip them if you want, or be a completionist, it’s totally up to you. The tips in this guide mostly assume you’ll get out of the under-60 content as soon as you hit 60, but nothing says you have to. Make sure you talk to Sgt. Knox every few levels to see if he has anything new for you (hint: he will).
Congratulations! You made it to level 60. Now that the easy part is done, time to get to work.
First, Go talk to Sgt. Knox. He’ll have several of new quests for you, some of which you should do right now, and some that can wait. Here’s the ones you should do right now:
- An Audience With The Protector. This will give you some free stuff, and a couple other tutorial type quests.
- A Matter of Dwarves and Farms. This starts the Dwarven King/ RA Salvatore quest line, which serves as a precursor to the Underdark campaign. While you can’t really start that until you hit 70, the quests are available at 60. It’s also the precursor to Maze Engine, which for some ridiculous reason is put lower in the ] window. If you care about story at all, the only way the Maze Engine story makes sense is if you do these quests first.
- Going to Seed. This is the start of the Elemental Evil campaign, which will be the bulk of your leveling to 70, and where much buttkicking for goodness occurs.
- Aiding Bruenor Battlehammer. This is the start of the Maze Engine quests. Now, you can do this before the Dwarven King chain, but that’s a bit like reading The Return of the King before you read The Fellowship of the Ring. If you don’t care about story, by all means, do this first. But if you’re like me and actually do care about the story in a game, start with the Dwarves and Farms chain.
Also, a new quest opens given by Jarlaxle, who is standing near the giant front door of Protector’s enclave, near a wagon. Speak to him to initiate the Vault of the Nine quest, which rewards you with your class artifact. Once you complete it, every new character you make now can claim their own copy of that artifact from the Reward Claim Agent in PE. You might need a friend to help you if you run this at level 60. It is a lair that boosts you to 70, but you will be weak against the level 70 mobs inside. It’s worth it, though!
OK, that should get you started on the way to 70. If you are in a guild, any of the green or better stuff that drops in the elemental evil or higher zones can be donated to your guild coffer, or sold for gold once identified.
As I mentioned before, start saving dropped enchants for later, too. You’ll need a lot of them.
Now, for your mount. I HIGHLY suggest getting a mount, from the zen store or AH, that can give you the Wanderer’s Fortune Insignia bonus. This will basically turn you into a refinement point generating machine, all of which you will need once you hit 70. Use this tool to see which mounts those are, though the Gilded Giant Spider is an affordable first suggestion.
You can use that tool to search by insignia bonus or by mount, it’s very handy. Also, all insignia bonuses that you have on mounts in your stable apply, so getting more than one mount (later on down the line) is ideal. Some of the more common mounts are very affordable on the auction house, and the stats and bonuses you can get from having them in your stable with insignia slotted can add up!
But Dioriel, you say, I don’t have zen or enough AD for that! Now it’s time to explain the Zen/AD exchange. On your top menu bar, there is a button third from the left with a little Z and a diamond on it. It will bring up the Zen exchange, which works like a rudimentary stock market. If you run 2 dungeons and 2 skirmishes per day, you will start to get some AD. You can slowly turn this into zen via the exchange. Here’s a great guide:
At Level 64, head back to Sgt. Knox and get the Mystery of Sharandar quest. This leads to the Sharandar campaign and your next source of boons and other goodies. If you start this at 64, you can have one or two boons at least by the time you get to 70. It’s also time-gated, so it’s something you can do a little bit of each day to progress.
At 67 you can start the Spinward Rise portion of the Elemental Evil campaign. If you don’t have an Ensorcelled Mulhollorand weapon set, I suggest you complete the main quest line in this zone. The reward at the end is your first artifact weapon, and it’s relatively easy to get. Also, the gear set you get here can carry you over until you start getting gear from seals. If you do have the Ensorcelled set, you can skip this and just go for some of the other artifact sets in the game, it’s up to you.
Hoorah! You made it. Level 70 can be a confusing place. The campaign window goes a bit wonky here, and I suggest you DON’T follow the order of the campaigns as they are listed.
First, once again, go see Sgt. Knox. If you haven’t started Underdark and Maze Engine, now is the time. Also, grab the quest called Conquering our Dread. This unlocks the Dread Ring campaign, which should be doable (carefully) by any new 70, especially if you’ve picked up a few boons from Tyranny of Dragons and Sharandar by now. You should also do the Protector’s Emissary quest for the matching offhand to the weapon you got in spinward rise.
Don’t be afraid to join groups for the lairs in any of these zones, btw. There will always be people looking in the zone’s chat.
Start grinding those Demonic Heroic encounters in Dread Ring. You want a bunch of Faerzress and demonic ichor (Underdark campaign currency) so you can progress toward the boons.
If you don’t have 2,000 item level or a buddy, I HIGHLY recommend avoiding Well of Dragons, Icewind Dale, and Storm King’s Thunder, despite the stupid order of the campaign window. I mean, you can go try them, but you’ll quickly realize that death rides on swift wings in these zones for the undergeared player.
I am not going to talk much about gearing as there are a ton of other guides out there for that. The basic order is: Alliance >> Dusk/Drowcraft/Elven >> Dragonflight.
I would recommend joining an active guild, or a custom LFG channel like Legit (http://www.nwlegitcommunity.shivtr.com/) to make getting dungeon groups easier.
Continue working on your campaigns and doing the 2 dungeons and 2 skirmishes per day.
One other note, if you made a bank alt way back when, now would be a good time to consider getting that alt to 60 to access that class’s artifact for your main. If you’re thinking ahead, I would suggest rolling a Devoted Cleric as your alt (if that isn’t your main) because the Sigil of the Devoted is so useful for almost every class. Just run your DC through the Vault of the Nine quest at 60, and your main will also have access to that artifact.
One note about refinement. You’ll see a lot of guides tell you to save all your refining and do it on a double RP weekend. That is excellent advice…if you’re already at 2.5k item level or higher. If you aren’t, I suggest you go ahead and refine away whenever you need to clear some bag space. Artifacts are the easiest to level, and give the most item level gain. Also, I would get your artifact weapon and offhand to at least rare right away.
Finally, you only need to use coalescent wards on refining things that have 1% chance to upgrade. Anything more (even 3% or 10%), it is cheaper in the long run to use preservation wards. Coalescent wards are ridiculously expensive. Preservation wards are not. If you don’t believe me, check the AH yourself and do the math, but one coalescent ward is literally 90x the price of one preservation ward right now on PC, so even if it takes you 90 tries with a preservation ward to upgrade something (hint: it won’t), you’re still ahead.
Well, that’s all for now, though I’m sure there are some things I’ve missed. Big thanks to the members of Conviction, who helped in the creation of this guide, either intentionally or unintentionally. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me on the Neverwinter official forums or in game on the PC @dioriel.