So on last week’s “Pixels & Dice” podcast, I discussed the current failed state of the “Foundry” system in “Neverwinter”, and how the lack of attention Cryptic is giving it might be a bad omen for the game overall. Well, I received some constructive feedback regarding this podcast episode, which I would like to reply to here.
First of all, I stand corrected. The Foundry is not currently advertised as a core feature in “Neverwinter” on the game’s website. I said otherwise, and I was mistaken. That said, I stand by the meat of my argument, because while the Foundry may not get mentioned on their main website, no feature of the game is mentioned on their main website, other than it is “Free-to-Play” and provides a “D&D” experience. That is about as generic as it gets!
But, not wanting to be a jerk about this, I took a look over at the Neverwinter Forums, which are a part of the game’s official website, and the Foundry has three whole sections of that forum to itself. Okay, but that’s just the forum, right? That’s not really advertising, is it?
That’s when I took a look over at the “Star Trek Online” website. You see, STO is another MMORPG from Cryptic, which also has its own version of the Foundry system for making player-generated content. And – surprise, surprise! – the Foundry isn’t mentioned on STO’s main website, either. But it does have multiple sections assigned to discussing the Foundry on their forums.
Just. Like. “Neverwinter”… Except the STO Foundry still works.
But let’s get even deeper. If you log into “Neverwinter” itself, what do you find rather easily? The Foundry. Sure, it doesn’t work, but it is still sitting there in the UI, making it appear to anyone who wasn’t checking up on such things that this is still a viable, functioning feature in the game. So while Cryptic might not be actively advertising the Foundry as an active feature of the game, they certainly aren’t going out of their way to take it down until it is fixed.
This gives the erroneous impression that the Foundry is still supported and functioning, unless one actually tries to use it. And that in itself is a form of false advertising.
Anyway, I do appreciate the feedback I received on Twitter regarding this episode, and hope those folk continue to listen in the future. But when it comes down to brass tacks, I am still convinced that Cryptic is trying to hide the issues with the Foundry, while still pretending it is a viable feature, so as to not scare off players interested in that content. And I should note that I have been contacted by the Neverwinter Foundry Authors group on Facebook, and they agree with my stance in the last podcast episode. If anyone would know about the current state of the Foundry, I expect it would be those folk.