After having some time to think it over, Cryptic has decided to ease the experience penalties for Foundry users, and even lets us throw away those damned Nightmare Lockboxes!
Earlier this week, I wrote about how Cryptic shut down power leveling in the Foundry by cutting the experience gained through custom quests and kills by half. In the time since, many players have felt nervous and confused, as the Foundry was supposed to be a legitimate option for leveling and end-game content, as opposed to PvP or PvE content created by the Cryptic team. It seemed for a brief period that Cryptic was saying one thing and doing another, and with the long-term strategy for the game hanging in the balance, the players' concern was rightly placed. This morning's patch notes, live as of 11am EDT today, show that Cryptic is taking these concerns seriously, as they have "improved and relaxed" the experience limits that they set in place only a few days ago.
Whether or not the Foundry can be abused as it has been in the recent past remains to be seen, but I doubt that Cryptic would have included this fix without a clear sense of what they were doing. Their post announcing the patch notes does not clarify the details of what they've fixed within the Foundry, so it will be up to players to investigate further, unless a Cryptic official makes an announcement sometime later today.
It's been over century since the Spellplague forever changed The Forgotten Realms. Now, explore the city that's been at the center of a thousand adventures: Neverwinter. Adapted from the real Dungeons and Dragon's ruleset, Neverwinter will feature action-oriented combat and storytelling unlike any other MMO. Take the world in your hands with the Foundry toolset and make your own tales. Make your mark in this legendary world.
In addition to the Foundry changes, the patch included many other bug fixes and minor alterations. The most noteworthy of these is the fact that Nightmare Lockboxes (an chest that can only be opened with a key purchased from the Zen Market) can now be destroyed or sold to a vendor. Although some players reveled in finding, trading, or selling these lockboxes, for players uninterested in spending real money their presence was a burden. The ability to remove them from the already-cramped inventory space is a welcome change for these players.
As of yet, there have been no major content changes or additions since the open beta launch on April 25th. Many players are growing restless for content additions to the game, as well as some highly demanded bug fixes, such as retuning the final boss within the Lair of the Mad Dragon dungeon (hint: it's a dragon), or allowing players to switch characters without being disconnected from the server. While Cryptic has done a great job of ensuring the stability and growth of Neverwinter so far, the long term success of the game is being measured right now, in the waiting period until these kinds of issues are addressed.