Neverwinter Beta Weekends Dated, and For $200 You Can Pretend You're Drizzt

Perfect World Entertainment is prepared to open a portal to the Forgotten Realms next month with the first of three beta weekend events for its upcoming Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG, Neverwinter, and there's one sure way to get in—spending $49.99 or $199.99 on a Neverwinter Founder's Pack.

Set in one of the most popular Dungeons & Dragons settings, the line to get into Neverwinter's beta weekend events is sure to be incredibly long, and with only three of them scheduled for North America and Europe—February 8-10, March 8-10 and March 22-24—the odds of getting a basic invite are slim.

Unless of course you partake in what is quickly becoming standard for free-to-play MMO games, the Founder's Pack Program. These special preorder programs give publishers a chance to get a little cash up front, rewarding players with special perks and in-game items in exchange for their hard-earned cash.


Neverwinter has three tiers of Founder's Packs for purchase. The first, priced at $19.99 (valued at $49), is more of a starter kit—players purchasing this tier are not guaranteed beta access. What they do get is this:

• ‘Adventurer's Helper Pack' containing six different types of in-game items
• ‘Small Bag of Holding' for twelve extra inventory slots
• ‘Amulet of Protection' item

Next up is the Guardian of Neverwinter Pack, which offers entry into all three beta weekends, a three day head start into the open beta, and $149 worth of in-game items for $59.99, including...

• Three-day head start access to Neverwinter Open Beta
• Unique ‘Gold Moonstone Mask Regalia' head piece
• Unique ‘Armored Horse' mount
• Unique ‘Direwolf Companion'
• In-game and forum ‘Founder' title


But wait, there's more!

Those hungry for some hot renegade Dark Elf action can shell out $199.99 for the Hero of the North Founder's Pack. They'll score beta access, a five-day head start to the open beta, and the exclusive playable Menzoberranzan Renegade race, complete with special racial abilities, a tattoo, and a panther companion, just like a certain Drow ranger. All told it's $549 worth of virtual stuff.


• Five-day head start access to Neverwinter Open Beta
• Beta Weekend Friend Invite code
• Exclusive access to ‘Menzoberranzan Renegade', a Drow playable race like the legendary ranger Drizzt Do'Urden, complete with unique racial abilities and tattoo
• Unique ‘Armored Spider' mount
• Unique ‘Panther Companion'
• In-game and forum ‘Founder' title
• VIP Game Access to skip-the-line and get priority log-in access

Players will be able to purchase Founder's Packs on the official Neverwinter web page starting tomorrow. You don't have to buy one to get into the beta weekend, but it helps.


How much is playing a Dark Elf worth to you?

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1. Fuck Drizzt. 2. Fuck Dark elves. Forgotten Realms used to be diverse, but now everything is fucking Drizzt and Dark Elves.

Seriously this Pay to Play beta bullshit has got to stop. Anyone else remember the day when Betas were testing and not advertising? I miss those days.