Dev Blog written by John Hopler, Content Designer
The new Tyranny of Dragons campaign brings with it five new Heroic Encounters. Heroic Encounters are group content set in the main adventure zones. Any heroes nearby when a Heroic Encounter is underway can just jump in, play, and get immediate rewards when victorious.
We’ve done a few things differently with the Heroic Encounters for Tyranny of Dragons. First, the Heroic Encounter marker is always visible on the map. If the dragon is not present, the marker displays the time remaining until the dragon returns. When the Heroic Encounter starts, all players in the mission area see a quick cutscene of the dragon’s arrival. The cutscene allows us to add a little drama to the dragon’s arrival, but it also provides time to prep the battle area.
Dragons have large collision capsules and need to spawn on relatively flat terrain, so while the scene is running, players in the center of the battle area are moved to a location at the edge of the mission area and certain groups of critters are spawned or despawned as the scenario requires.
The new Heroic Encounters follow the story of the Cult of the Dragon as it unfolds across the Sword Coast. The Cult, now under the leadership of Wyrmspeaker Severin, has changed its tactics and has begun recruiting living dragons as allies. Severin has a plan to make the Cult more powerful than ever. It is up to the heroes of Neverwinter to uncover this plan and thwart it.
New mission locations have been added to a number of existing adventure zones. Each location contains both individual and group content involving the Cult of the Dragon, with a Heroic Encounter as the centerpiece of each area. The story begins in Neverdeath, where Severin's cultists are scouring the graveyard for information vital to their plan and squaring off against other cultists who still cling to the traditional ways. As the plot unfolds, heroes also journey to Ebon Downs, Icespire Peak, Rothé Valley, and the Whispering Caverns.
The opponents in Neverdeath, Ebon Downs, and Icespire Peak scale in power to a hero's level and should be challenging for heroes new and old. The Cultists in Rothé Valley and Whispering Caverns are level 60 and are intended for experienced adventurers. Along the way, heroes will work alongside some of the most influential groups in the Sword Coast: the Harpers, the Emerald Enclave, the Lords' Alliance, the Order of the Gauntlet, and even the Zhentarim.
Heroes receive rewards each time the dragon is defeated. Each participant is guaranteed some Dragon Hoard coins (a currency used to advance the campaign), but it is also possible to receive Dragon Enchantments. Each dragon may also drop items like rare Cult of the Dragon weapons or even an artifact! The special items available vary from dragon to dragon.
As you progress through the campaign, each new area unlocked also unlocks a daily mission to defeat the dragon in that location. Be sure to check in with the mission contact for the area you are adventuring in so you don't miss out on additional experience, gold, and campaign tokens!
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