The beta testing for Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment's upcoming MMORPG, Neverwinter, will begin soon. According to Kotaku, the beta testing process is set to start in February and three stress tests will be held on weekends. The first beta tests will be on February 8-10, the second will be on March 8-10, and the final beta tests on March 22-24.

Those who want access to the beta of the game will have to purchase the founder’s pack, dubbed the Guardian of Neverwinter pack, for $59.99 (approximately Rs 3,200). Along with guaranteed access to the beta weekends, this pack gives buyers a three-day head start into the open beta, an exclusive armour piece, a mount, a companion, and an in-game title declaring you to be a 'Founder'.

Another pack is the considerably pricier Hero of the North pack, which will set you back $199.99 (approximately Rs 10,700). This pack gives players a five-day head start into the open beta, an additional invitation for the beta, and a ton of in-game stuff, including access to the Drow as a playable race. Other ways to gain access include promotions from different places, including events like the upcoming PAX East.

Get ready to venture into the Forgotten Realms!

Get ready to venture into the Forgotten Realms!

If you want a look at what the game will be like, you can check out the pre-alpha footage Cryptic revealed back in July 2012. The developers claim that the game will have fast, action-based combat, as opposed to the hotkey system used in World of Warcraft.

Neverwinter is based on the Forgotten Realms universe created for the pen-and-paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons. The Forgotten Realms has had a number of games set in it, such as BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate series, the Icewind Dale series, and the Neverwinter Nights series, among others.

Neverwinter was announced in 2010, and is said to have a persistent world and a content creation kit. It is based around co-operative groups of five and is built on the fourth edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons, and has all the character customisation Cryptic is known for.

Neverwinter is also said to be a 'multi-platform event', but it won't be seeing a console release. It means that there will be a trilogy of novels based on the Forgotten Realms, and a tabletop roleplaying game.

Cryptic is well known in MMO development and has games like City of Heroes, City of Villains, Champions Online and Star Trek Online. Games by Cryptic are known for their immensely deep levels of character creation. Its first game—City of Heroes—was hailed to have one of the most detailed character creation tools; the game lets you create whichever superhero you want, ranging from those based on pre-existing superheroes like Batman or Green Arrow, to coming up with completely new superheroes.

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