When I first took the D&D-based, free-to-play MMO “Neverwinter” for a spin, one thing stuck in my head right away: where were the bows?
I mean, “Neverwinter” was being finished up during what my friends and I called the “Year of the Bow,” a.k.a. 2012, when Katniss Everdeen and Hawkeye made shooting arrows at stuff cooler than it had been since probably the Middle Ages. Cryptic and Perfect World seemed like they passed up on a pretty big opportunity by releasing a game with no archers and instead turning Clerics into a class that used ranged attacks (which took some getting used to, for sure).
In any case, the point is now moot, as the “Shadowmantle” expansion is now live, introducing the Hunter Ranger to “Neverwinter.” And just in case you get tired of firing arrows at monsters, you can switch to dual-wielding melee attacks and get up close and personal. I predict this will be a popular choice for new characters.
Sticking with the theme of opening up new options for players, “Shadowmantle” also adds new Paragon Paths for all classes, allowing for the type of choice that was hinted at during the game’s launch but not really carried out. Plus there’s a new zone called the Dread Ring, powerful artifacts with unique powers and stat bonuses, and more.
Best of all, it’s all free, since that’s how “Neverwinter” rolls. Head here if you need an account, and don’t forget to sharpen up your archery skills while you’re waiting for the client to download.