Neverwinter expands and tweaks its balance through updates called Modules, and while the PC version just received the latest Mod 6, Elemental Evil–upping the level cap to 70 and introducing new content, as well as the playable Oathbound Paladin class–the Xbox One version is significantly behind for now. Thanks to some rather vicious Google’ing, I’ve discovered that content-wise it’s around Mod 3, but it also has the Scourge Warlock playable class and all the recent class balancing from Mod 5.
UPDATE: All Modules available on PC will roll out on the Xbox One in September 2015.
Before we get started, there are a few things I want to point out.
Neverwinter is a HUGE game, and one way each class becomes more powerful is through a time-consuming Campaign feature that offers you permanent stat boosts called Boons, as well as some of the best gear in the game. You may have searched for info on your class of choice, becoming confused at the mention of Icewind Dale or Sharandar. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. As an MMO fan that primarily enjoys the end-game, I’m a fanatic when it comes to perfecting my character build. This is especially important to realize, considering Neverwinter charges $5 USD each time you want to reset your stats, feat points, boons, etc.; so I totally understand wanting to “get it right” the first time.
With the disparity in content, it’s been a challenge trying to find class guides that aren’t out of date or focus on campaigns and content that aren’t included in the Xbox One version at this time. I’ve still yet to find a class guide that only focuses on Xbox, but at least now you’ll have an idea of what to omit and what’s still relevant.
A lot of guides also advise you to purchase certain pieces of gear on the auction house, since they’re relatively cheap.. on the PC version. Neverwinter has been around on PC for almost two years, so a lot of the earlier epic gear for level 60 is generally sold for their salvage price on the auction house. With the Xbox One version being fairly new, many of you won’t have enough Astral Diamonds to buy ANY of the recommended gear.
With that being said, I’m not here to write a comprehensive class guide. There is already a healthy amount of information out there written by a dedicated group of amazing people that have poured an absurd amount of time in to their guides so we don’t have to. For that, we thank them.
As I said above, a lot of what I’ve found is either outdated or conflicting with the Xbox version, so what I’d rather do is help out you new players by posting links to the best guides I’ve found online for each of the seven playable classes. I’ll also provide a link to PVP related builds if I stumble upon them, but this will mainly serve as a focus to the PVE aspect of Neverwinter instead.
If you’re just interested in learning more about the lore or the game itself, the best place to start is the Official Neverwinter Wiki. There’s a ton of useful information there. Neverwinter forum user “heethin” has also posted a great list of starter tips right here, which was influential in not only helping me understand the game a bit more, but pointed me in the right direction when it came to building my own Control Wizard.
*This list will be updated whenever I discover more information. If you know of a better guide, or even a guide that focuses on a different play style, by all means post a link in the comments. I want this post to be a great place for newcomers on Xbox One to visit and learn more about their chosen class, considering there’s already enough information out there for the PC version. If you have questions, just ask!
LAST UPDATE: 5/19/2015
The Trickster Rogue uses stealth and daggers to damage and subdue foes, which is a common theme in most RPG settings. Depending on your preferred play style however, you can choose to focus on raw combat for maximum damage output, or take a more stealthy approach to gain the upper hand while remaining unseen. Being out in the open isn’t all bad though, as you’ll always have a new trick up your sleeve; thanks to abilities that snare, daze, or pierce armor. As a Trickster Rogue, the first thing that goes through your enemy’s head should always be your dagger!
Hunter Rangers are a diverse and adaptable breed of damage dealers, as they can switch between firing off ranged attacks using their bow, or deliver fierce melee attacks using daggers. The key to maximizing your class’s potential is knowing when to switch between your ranged and melee combat stances, and learning how each of your abilities change depending on which one you happen to be in. Hunter Rangers can eventually specialize more in control abilities, or even summon storms and enhance their damage output with lightning-based attacks.
Quality HR’s Hunter Ranger Pathfinder (PVE) Guide: A custom build that focuses on providing a support role through the use of crowd control, buffing allies, and debuffing enemies instead of dealing large amounts of damage. If you’re interested in helping your team rather than speccing for personal gain, this could be the build you’re looking for.
j0kerspsycho’s Hunter Ranger PVE PVP Guide: Recommended in the comment section below by user “Anthony Mornout”, this seems to be a nice all around DPS build that works in both PVP and PVE.
As the name implies, the Control Wizard is adept at keeping things under control through the use of various debilitating spells. Whether they’re altering time to slow down nearby enemies, freezing them in place, or sucking them in to a black hole, the Control Wizard is a great addition to any group and generally makes everyone’s life a hell of a lot easier. Don’t let the name fool you though–they can dish out a lot of punishment (especially AoE damage) and, depending on how they allocate their feat points, can further increase the damage output of every member in their group! Why would you NOT want one of these in your party?
Ironzerg79’s Spellstorm Renegade Guide: This guide focuses on the Spellstorm paragon path, rather than Master of Flame. Using the Renegade feats, you’ll be dishing out a ton of AoE damage, buffing your party’s damage with your frequent critical strike procs, and controlling crowds like a pro by making things not live anymore. Sometimes death is the best form of control!
Grimah’s Comprehensive to Wizardy: Although the AoE build in this guide is basically the same as the one linked above, it does offer other build options for solo’ing, etc. Recommended in the comment section below by the user “Martin”.
Where the Control Wizard is great at balancing damage and debilitations, the Scourge Warlock is primarily a glass cannon. With the right loadout, Scourge Warlocks can dish out an insane amount of AoE damage, which is fantastic for making short work of trash mobs, dealing with add phases during boss encounters, or leveling alongside a friend or two. They can rain down fire, disintegrate foes with the Gates of Hell, and even summon a Soul Puppet to supplement their damage output, but they’re definitely a little on the squishy side. If you want to fling spells that focus solely on murdering the opposition before they have a chance to react, look no further.
Leeroy Jenkins’ Scourge Warlock Hellbringer Fury Guide: The Hellbringer/Fury build is all about maximizing damage output, so if you’re after a glass cannon spec, this is the one. It’s actually updated for the new Mod 6, but the link provided will take you to the Mod 5 balance instead. Just ignore the Campaign sections that deal with anything other than Tyranny of Dragons and you’re golden! This is the same build I use on my level 60 SW and the damage output is pretty insane.
If you’re looking to fill a tanking role for your group, the Guardian Fighter should be right up your alley. Armed with a sword and board, the Guardian Fighter gives up the ability to dodge and instead raises their shield to block even the mightiest of blows. Their larger health pools and aggro-generating abilities make them prime candidates for holding the attention of deadly bosses, while the rest of the group does what they do best. They’re also very adept at controlling enemies and keeping them all in one place, which is handy if you happen to have a Wizard or Warlock around to make them all do that whole dying thing.
Crixus8000’s Guardian Fighter Guide: Seems to focus on being solid at all aspects of the game, rather than restricting yourself to PVP or becoming a one trick pony in PVE. If you’re looking for one end or the other though, you may want to check out one of the other guides online.
Great Weapon Fighter
A Great Weapon Fighter forgoes the use of a shield in favor of giant two-handed weapons, and are primarily built to deal single target damage due to their lackluster AoE output. They can focus on enhancements that make them more durable, thus increasing their effectiveness as an add-tank or in PVP, and also have abilities that damage large groups of enemies while debilitating them with snares and knockdowns. If you’re interested in dealing damage as a melee class, but want something a little more durable, the GWF could be the one. The player base seems to be divided though, with some saying GWFs are in a bad spot right now, while others have reported great success with it as a DPS class.
Lazalia’s High Crit Build for PVE GWF: This guide was sent to us via e-mail by “mechi789” and is the most popular PVE build among the GWF player base on the official Neverwinter forums. Another version of Lazalia’s GWF guide can be found at MMOMinds, where it’s currently the highest rated guide by its users.
Lia Knowles’s GWF Destroyer PVE DPS Build (thanks to Ren for the updated link): This guide focuses on dishing out as much single target DPS as possible using the Swordmaster paragon, although the author makes note early on that it could get rather expensive during the end-game. Those looking for more of an off-tank or AoE build may want to look elsewhere.
The Devout Cleric is a sturdy class that focuses on keeping their party members alive, while also providing beneficial stat boosts, debilitations, and a decent amount of DPS during combat. They can fill the role of a controller, thanks to spells that provide knockbacks, immobilization, snares, and more, and can switch between stances to empower existing spells when things get a little dicey. A Devout Cleric is often the backbone of any successful party, and with great power comes great responsibility. This is definitely a class you’ll want to know inside and out if you plan on hitting the end-game dungeons or raids with a healing focus in mind.
Kaelac’s Devout Cleric Guide: Updated for Module 5, which is right on par with the Xbox One’s class balancing. Since it’s a PC guide it’ll still cover campaigns and stuff that aren’t in the Xbox version, but the important parts are all there. This is a stellar guide that has really made me appreciate the Devout Cleric’s versatility and offers a few different builds depending on your play style. I’ve been following it as I level my own DC, and I’m beyond happy with the results.
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s no stranger to sinking an absurd amount of time in to an MMO, but also has a deep seeded love for pro wrestling, horror films, and his hometown of Baltimore, MD. Get in touch with him by e-mail at the address above, or follow him on Twitter.