The MMORPG Neverwinter brought its latest expansion Jewel of the North to the Xbox and PlayStation on August 24th. It brings a new class, the bard, and he does exactly what you expect from a bard: entertain fellow players. In the “free performance mode” as a bard you can actually play whatever you like, and fellow players around you can (or must) experience it.
What is Jewel of the North? The free expansion for the MMORPG Neverwinter came to the PC in July. Now you can finally play your favorite songs on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, because the expansion has also been available on the consoles since August 24th. Jewel of the North brought the bard class into play and the associated performance modes, which you can only activate as a bard.
What can the bard do? The Bard in Neverwinter is inspired by the archetype from the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. As a bard you are a daring hero and can combine hand-to-hand combat with magic. You play music to strengthen and heal allies, or to turn your opponent’s head with the songs. Exclusively with the Bard, you also have access to the new performance mode, in which you can play different songs. Not only do they sound good, they can even harm your opponent. But the real highlight of the Bard in Neverwinter is the free performance mode.
Jewel of the North makes you a medieval rock star
What is the free performance mode? In this mode you can let out your inner musician, because with the instrument of your choice you can play whatever you want in free performance. Not only do you have access to the eight base notes, but you can even choose accidents and octaves, that is, different “versions” of the base notes that vary in height and depth, among other things.
So you are completely free, you can replay well-known songs or of course create completely new songs and show them to other players, at any time when you are not fighting. So you can literally be a medieval rock star and present your pieces in front of a cheering audience.
The MMORPG Guild Wars 2 has a similar concept when it comes to its instruments. Musicians’ guilds can regularly gather hundreds of players there for their performances. The free performance mode of Neverwinter seems even more mature and we are excited to see what will be possible with it.
Salim Grant, Senior Designer at Neverwinter and significantly involved in the free performance mode, says:
With the Bard’s free performance mode, we want to enable a lot of creativity and musical enjoyment for the players; just like playing the ocarina in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. […] The performance mode was specially developed for players who want to unleash their inner bard and entertain their allied adventurers. With the Bard, we wanted to give the Dungeons & Dragons players as much customization as possible so that they can become the Bards they always wanted to be.
How does the mode work? As long as you are not in combat with the bard, you can activate the mode at any time. On the PC you can do this with the F12 key, on the consoles it works via the L1 trigger and R3. Once in the mode, you can now clink freely in front of you. You then change octaves on the PC with the arrow keys and on the consoles with the trigger buttons.
The community becomes musical
How do the players react? The bard and especially the free performance mode are gratefully received by the fans. The players share their creations on reddit and distribute sheet music, so to speak, so that all bards can play their favorite songs.
In addition to classics such as “Happy Birthday”, the players’ songs also include titles from “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Game of Thrones”. But it wouldn’t be the Internet if it stayed that way. The well-known song “Never gonna give you up” by Rick Astley (the “Rick Roll Song”) made it to Neverwinter on a musical path, as did the Twitch insider “Darude Sandstorm”. The community celebrates its rock stars: under the videos of the practicing bards, the players enjoy the artists.