What We Know So Far about the Neverwinter Currency
Neverwinter is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Cryptic Studios and released by Perfect World Entertainment for Microsoft Windows in 2013 and the Xbox One in 2015. Based in the fictional Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter from Dungeons & Dragons, Neverwinter is a standalone game and not part of the previous Neverwinter Nights series.
Based on beta previews, Neverwinter will have a cash shop currency called Zen, a gear and auction house currency called Neverwinter Astral Diamonds, on top of the standard gold currency for buying NPC vendor items.
Neverwinter also seems to have a fairly fluid currency system, meaning players will be able to purchase certain currency and exchange them for another.
For instance, Zen can be purchased and then converted to Neverwinter Astral Diamonds. "You can buy Zen from the Neverwinter site and use it to buy items in the Zen store or trade for Neverwinter Astral Diamonds, which can be used in the auction house," confirmed Massively.com senior editor Shawn Schuster after playing in the beta.
"Currency is interesting and reminds me a bit of Guild Wars 2," he added, referring to a similar system in the ArenaNet title where players could buy Gems and use the Gems to purchase at the cash shop or to trade them in for gold.
Zen is the same cash shop currency used across all games under publisher Perfect World. Cash shop items typically sold in Perfect World games include cosmetic enhancements, accessories, in-game pets and mounts -- and will likely be the case for Neverwinter as well.
Neverwinter Astral Diamonds, meanwhile, can be obtained either through Zen conversion or through refinement of Rough Neverwinter Astral Diamonds found in the game.
Cryptic Studios CEO Jack Emmert further defined Neverwinter Astral Diamonds as a type of currency used in-game to purchase gear and to bid in the auction house,
"Neverwinter Astral Diamonds are what we've dubbed a "time currency" (similar to Dilithium in Star Trek Online or Questionite in Champions Online). Typically, a player can earn Neverwinter Astral Diamonds by doing certain types of quests and missions. And, usually, this content is time limited so a player can only repeat this type of gameplay so often," said Emmert.
Those who want to begin their adventures with a fat stack of Neverwinter Astral Diamonds from the get-go can order the Neverwinter Starter Packs. Only the two more expensive packs will receive free Neverwinter Astral Diamonds:
Hero of the North Founder's Pack - $200 - 750,000 Astral Diamonds
Guardian of Neverwinter Pack - $560 - 125,000 Astral Diamonds
Neverwinter Starter Kit - $20 - 0 Astral Diamonds
Emmert assured fans who do not purchase the starter packs that they will not be gimped. "Isn't that pay to win? I need to buy one of these "Starter Packs" to get the gear I want? No, no. Not at all -- that's the beauty of this system."
"In-game, a player can earn Neverwinter Astral Diamonds from completing content (usually somewhat harder than normal quests, but not necessarily "1337"). No one needs to purchase Neverwinter Astral Diamonds... Ever. Play as you'd like and get everything desirable that way."
Massively.com's Schuster also noted that there is a "normal gold-based in-game currency for purchasing items from NPCs." We imagine this will be earned through looting mobs and completing the normal missions. It is also possible that special missions will reward both gold and Neverwinter Astral Diamonds.
Glory and Tokens
Neverwinter will also make use of a Glory currency earned via PvP participation and can be spent on "special gear," said Massively.com's Schuster.
He added that Ardent and Celestial tokens will be earned as players visit altars, and that "these tokens can be used to purchase consumables and collectibles that can be traded for high-end gear."