Have you reached level 20 and don’t know what to do next? This guide has you covered! This guide covers the early to mid-game of Neverwinter.
Hiya adventurers! I am Luna Winter, Devout Cleric proudly part of The Neverwinter Nine guild and the Gutbuster’s Brigade alliance. I picked Neverwinter up in 2020 and have been playing since.
As of writing this guide, my main is 57k and I have completed all of the games content but Tower of the Mad Mage and Zariel’s Challenge (Master). Both of which I am geared for.
One of Neverwinter’s biggest problems is that the Mod 21 introduction and levelling experience leave you feeling overwhelmed with content. So my goal is to hopefully help give you the guidance on your next steps.
For this guide, I played through a Paladin named “Star in the Night” for the screenshots.
Overview, Item Level, and Unlocking Content
First up, I want to give an overview on how Neverwinter’s content works for those of you who are a little lost. Item level is a rough gauge of how well geared a character is. The higher the item level, the better a player is. Or that’s how it’s meant to work. Instead there are a few quirks with how item level and stats are calculated that add a bit of nuance here.
How to get the most out of your stats is beyond what I want to cover, but I will run through some quick basics. A white stat means it can be improved through gear, consumables, or abilities. Green means that the stat is at its maximum value and is “capped”. Orange means that you are getting more than you need for that stat and it is “overcapped”. Orange is bad, green is good, white is ok. The number on the left counts for up to 50% of the statistic on the right. The maximum the percentage can be is 90% and the cap for the raw number is equal to your item level.
Above: Green box shows a capped stat. Red box shows an overcapped stat
For beginners (below 40,000 item level), you want as much item level as possible with the exceptions of a couple of items, which I will detail later.
The journey to level 20 and the Undermountain campaign will give you enough item level to unlock 75% of the game. You need the following item level to unlock each campaign/random queue. Some content unlocked relatively early (Tower of the Mad Mage and Zariel’s Challenge Master) wont be achievable until you reach a high item level (45,000+).
|20,000:||Random Skirmish Queue, Undermountain (Adventure), Tomb of the Nine Gods (Dungeon), Assault on Svardborg (Trial), Cradle of the Death God (Trial), Rise of Tiamat (Trial)|
|21,000:||Tyranny of Dragons (Campaign), Dread Ring (Campaign), Storm King’s Thunder (Campaign), Icewind Dale (Campaign)|
|22,000:||The Cloaked Ascendancy (Campaign)|
|23,000:||Jungles of Chult (Campaign)|
|24,000:||Elemental Evil (Adventure), Ravenloft (Campaign)|
|25,000:||Castle Ravenloft (Dungeon), Lair of the Mad Mage (Dungeon)|
|26,000:||The Dwarven King (Adventure), Descent Into Avernus (Campaign)|
|28,000:||The Maze Engine (Adventure)|
|30,000:||Random Advanced Dungeon Queue, Acquisitions Incorporated (Adventure), Path of the Fallen (Campaign), The Infernal Citadel (Dungeon), Tower of the Mad Mage (Trial), Zariel’s Challenge (Trial)|
|35,000:||Zariel’s Challenge Master (Trial)|
|40,000:||Random Trial Queue, Sharandar (Campaign), Demogorgon (Trial)|
|45,000:||Vault of Stars (Dungeon)*|
*Vault of Stars can be private queued with 40,000 item level. Most groups private queue.
**Reaper’s Challenge varies in item level every day, but 50,000 is the usual (and highest) requirement.
Currency: Astral Diamonds, Zen, Seals, and Trade Bars
Most of this was covered in the levelling experience, but I feel it is always good to cover the basics again. There are heaps of currency in Neverwinter, but only two really matter: Astral Diamonds and Zen. Astral diamonds is the currency you use to buy items from other players through the Auction House (AH). Astral diamonds comes in two forms: rough (known as RAD) and refined astral diamonds (known as AD). You can turn 100,000 RAD into AD every day, which can be done in the Riches tab. I will talk about earning rough astral diamonds later.
Zen is the premium currency of Neverwinter. You can acquire it only two ways: through the Zen-Astral Diamond Exchange (ZAX) or by spending real world money. The ZAX currently has a backlog so it can take the better part of a year to get Zen this way. So for all intents and purposes, you can only get Zen through paying for it. Luckily, you don’t ‘need’ Zen for anything outside VIP.
Seals of the Wild and Seals of the Fallen are two useful early game currency that can be used to boost your item level. You can buy useful shirts/pants and solid entry level gear at Seal Vendors found in every major player hub, such as Protector’s Enclave or the Yawning Portal. Seals of the Wild can be obtained through the Random Trial Queue (RTQ) and the Random Advanced Dungeon Queue (RADQ). Seals of the Fallen can be obtained through heroic encounters in Avernus and Vallenhas, as well as most high level content.
Above: Seal Vendor at the Market in Protector’s Enclave
Trade bars are the last major currency to become familiar with. Trade bars can be spent at the trade bar vendor for mount and companion upgrade tokens, enchantments, scrolls of life, and many other useful items. You acquire these through dungeon chests or by opening lockboxes.
Above: Trade Bar Store in Protector’s Enclave
You have just reached level 20, what do you do? Your first objective should be reaching 30,000 item level. This will unlock almost every campaign for you to work through.
Join an active guild if you can. Ask any questions in the guild or alliance chat. Everyone in this game was in your position at some point, so we’re usually happy to help! When you join a high level and established guild, you will get access to three boons, each giving you 1,000 item level. Be sure to equip them in your Boons > Guild Stronghold page!
Above: Guild Boons
You should run the Vault of the Nine quest available from Lord Neverember if you haven’t already. You get an artifact that can be claimed on all your characters. Bard, Cleric, Fighter, and Paladin all have useful artifacts depending on your class, but each artifact is still worth using if you don’t have four artifacts slotted already.
Above: Vault of the Nine Quest from Lord Neverember
Make sure you are running the Random Skirmish Queue and the Random Dungeon Queue at least once per day for the bonus rough astral diamonds as these will be super useful later. You can access the queue through the ‘K’ key by default, or otherwise clicking on the second circle from the left on the top bar.
Above: Queue Menu
If you are under 30,000 item level, consider running through the Undermountain adventure. If you are above 30,000, you can instead jump to Avernus, though running through Undermountain will still be helpful to your character.
One you have finished the first few adventures and reached level 20, you should start the Undermountain Adventure. It will run through a series of linear areas, giving you better gear and some nice boons.
You can start this at the table behind Sergeant Knox. The quest is called “An Important Invitation”.
Above: Where to Find “An Important Invitation”
After working your way through the Undermountain adventure and spoken to Runemaster Sinyé, you will have access to a quest from Obaya Uday, called “Master Expedition (Three Daily)”. As the name suggests, you will be able to run three Master Expeditions daily, giving you various runic etchings that can be handed to Zok, the questionable merchant under the stairs.
In order to get this etching, you need to use a rune, which can be made using resonance acquired from the runic corruption encounters in the various Undermountain regions. 10 resonance will get you one rune. Always run a Master Expedition with at least one rune. Only one player in your party needs to use the rune (party leader usually), so share the burden with some friends or party up with others.
Above: Runic Heroic Encounters
Items from Master Expeditions
Below are some items to keep an eye out for and can help when building your character.
- 1,010 Item Level Companion Gear
- Arcturia’s Music Box (Artifact)
- Ebony Stained Shirt (Shirt)
- Jhesiyra’s Tattered Mantle (Neck)
- Mugger of the Maze’s Braces (Arms)
- Trobriand’s Condution Cable (Waist)
- Staff of Flowers (Artifact)
- Stealer of the Star’s Hides (Chest)
- Stealer of the Star’s Braces (Arms)
- Stealer of the Star’s Hides (Chest)
- Stealer of the Star’s Hood (Head)
- Trapper of the Twilight Braces (Arms)
- Trobriand’s Condution Cable (Waist)
Continuing the Adventure
Above: Adventures and Campaigns
Now that you’ve finished Undermountain, you can continue with the four linear storylines known as adventures. These are Elemental Evil, The Dwarven King, The Maze Engine, and Acquisitons Incorporated. Each should be an hour or two long depending on your gear and reward you with Boons, Armour, Weapons, and some rough astral diamonds.
The gear you get from these adventures are generally not that useful (except the Gallant items from Acquisitons Incorporated, which can be nice). The astral diamonds and the boons are a solid reason to run these adventures however, totalling to 400,000 over these four adventures. More than enough to get started in Neverwinter.
Under campaigns, you should see a list of Legacy Campaigns. These are storylines which require daily or weekly missions to be completed. These are a big time investment, but all can be completed by yourself so work through them at your own pace. The quickest way to complete the campaigns is running them during 2x events, which can be viewed in the calendar.
Every week, Sybella Artis, located in the back of Protector’s Enclave, will offer three missions which reward a special currency known as Heroes Medallions. These medallions can be spent at her shop for useful rewards, such as companion upgrade tokens and various refinement items.
Above: Sybella in Protector’s Enclave
In my opinion, the most overlooked campaign by new players is the Dread Ring campaign. Dread Ring can be completed by running daily quests. One quest in particular, the quest given by Sergeant Knox known as the lair quest, can give you some useful refinement items. The specific lair and the chance of getting an enchanting stone depends on the day, but it’s worth running every day if you can.
The days certain rewards are available. Will vary depending on your time zone:
|Monday||Random||Bonus Vanguard Scrip|
|Tuesday||Dread Spire||Enchanting Stone|
|Wednesday||Death Forge||Enchanting Stone|
|Thursday||Phantasmal Fortress||Enchanting Stone|
|Friday||Random||Bonus Vanguard Scrip|
|Saturday||Your Choice||Enchanting Stone|
|Sunday||Your Choice||Enchanting Stone|
You can start this campaign by going to the campaigns tab and clicking begin story.
Above: Dread Ring Start
If you’re to ask any player in Neverwinter where to go to improve your item level, Vallenhas and/or Avernus will be the answer. There are two campaigns here: Descent Into Avernus, which involves the region of Vallenhas, and the Path of the Fallen campaign, which involves the connected regions of the Avernus Wastes, the Wandering Emporium, and the Bleeding Citadel. The two campaigns are very similar and often get confused by players.
Descent Into Avernus
I’ll start with Descent Into Avernus first. This campaign is one of the most important in the game, especially when you’re starting out. It unlocks a campaign currency known as chaotic writings, which are earned through the quests and heroic encounters. Chaotic writings can be spent at Juma, a little demon in a cage to the side of the stronghold (towards the north of the map). He has Suprise Bags affectionately known by players as “juma bags” that can be purchased with 100 chaotic writings. Juma bags contain heaps of great rewards, such as mounts, companions, companion upgrade tokens, rough astral diamonds, wards, legendary dragon keys (usable in any dungeon), and gear with an item level of 1225.
Above: Juma’s Location
The easiest way to get chaotic writings is through the Demonic Summoning heroic encounter, affectionately known as Ape. During 2x: Descent Into Avernus weeks, the Siege heroic encounter is a good option to farm too, but it is difficult to get people to farm it normally. At certain times of the day, a demonic insurgency will happen. This is a chain of heroic encounters that give 100 chaotic writings each encounter. You can see how long until the next insurgency is in the top right of the map, and you can join by using the red portal near the fireplace in the Vallenhas stronghold.
You can start the campaign by speaking to Sergeant Knox in Protector’s Enclave. The quest is called “A House in Need”.
Above: House in Need
Items From Juma Bags
Below are gear to keep an eye out for.
- Bone Harvester Hood (Head)
- Fancy Duelist Mask of Cormyr (Head)
- Poisoned Leathers of Rage (Chest)
- Safety Harness of Protection (Chest)
- Shielded Defender Vambrace (Arms)
- Spiked Defender Vambrace (Arms)
- Rusted Iron Leggings (Feet)
Bel and the Forger’s Box
As you progress through the campaign, you will be handed a Dormant Forger’s Box. This is a permanent consumable that can be used every 10 minutes and gives you a boost in power and another stat. It’s a very useful device for healers and damage dealers in particular. To upgrade it, you need to gather certain components. You get them from here:
|Reinforced Metal Rod||Heroic Encounters in Vallenhas|
|Broken Metal Rod||Any skill node on any map|
|Balanced Metal Rod||Alyssa’s shop at Marshal rank|
|Battle Worn Metal Rod||From a boss in the Insurgency Heroic Encounter|
|Infused Metal Rod||Random drop when you defeat Bel|
|Dented Metal Rod||Found in the Ornate Box at Seneschal rank|
I’m not too familiar with Bel to be comfortable giving anymore information on it. A great guide by u/Zephriael can be found here – [reddit.com] .
Path of the Fallen
Path of the Fallen takes place in the Avernus wastes, following on from the Descent Into Avernus questline. Here, you will have four distinct areas to quest in: the Wastes, the Scab, the Stygian Docks, and Haruman’s Hill. There’s a few features on this map you likely wont have seen before. The first is the vehicle. One of the first quests will allow you to use a car to travel across the wastes. This makes traveling through the map a lot easier, but it can be difficult to control at first.
In Avernus, there’s a battle between the devils and demons. As you defeat one of the factions in the instance, the other will gain power. Eventually when enough mobs have been defeated, a special boss, Garyx the Unforgivable if the devils are winning or Siegebreaker Mog’dorath if the demons are winning, spawns in the Scab or the Stygian Docks respectively. Each boss has the same loot table and can drop valuable legendary rings.
Avernus has a bounty system, similar to Chult. Certain mobs, tagged with a special symbol next to their name, can drop special items that can be traded for lures. Those lures can then be used to spawn a boss that can drop some gear. Some of the gear that drops, such as Bone Devil’s Ribcage, Goristro’s Horns, and the Wisps of the Shadow Demon are among the best in the game. However, they can be a grind to get, especially the ribcage. You can trade for the lures at the Bleeding Citadel, which is unlocked by finishing the Path of the Fallen campaign.
Above: Hunt Marks in Avernus
Certain mobs drop treasure maps in the Avernus wastes. These maps show a location somewhere in the wastes where you can go and dig up a chest. The chest has a chance to drop a really good entry level weapon set, known as the Legion’s Guard.
You can start the campaign by continuing through the Vallenhas story.
The highest level place in the game as of Mod 21 is Sharandar. If you played Neverwinter at any point over the last few years, you might remember it. The old Sharandar was replaced with a reworked zone and campaign, turning it into a much more difficult zone.
Sharandar is split into three acts: the Iron Tooth, the Soul Keeper, and the Odious Court. Each chapter represents a different area from the main New Sharandar hub.
Sharandar is home to a bounty system with special mobs like Avernus, but these mobs don’t drop anything. Instead, defeating the mobs will grant you a percentage bonus to the Bounty quests. You can pick up a bounty quest for each of the three areas from the bounty board. Aragon made a great image guide to the locations of these mobs, which can be found here – [nwo-tredecim.com] and here – [nwo-tredecim.com] . Handing in the bounty quests has a chance of giving you 1300 or 1350 item level companion gear, the best currently available in the game.
You can start the campaign by speaking to Illiyasha Guildstar in Protector’s Enclave. The quest is called “The Return to Sharandar”. You need 40,000 item level to accept the quest.
Above: Where to Find “Return to Sharandar”
I have spoken a little about this before, but the random queues are a great way to get your 100,000 daily rough astral diamonds. You can attempt the Dungeon Queue with any item level, but you need 20,000 item level for the Skirmish Queue, 30,000 for the Advanced Dungeon Queue (RADQ), and 40,000 for the Trial Queue (RTQ).
I would recommend running the RADQ or the RTQ with your guild/alliance. They can be a bit involved and mechanic heavy (especially the Infernal Citadel and Demogorgon). Be sure to watch a video or read a guide on the mechanics of the dungeon you’re doing! Some players are happy to teach mechanics in the dungeon, but don’t rely on that.
I’d recommend reading Obikin’s guide – [obikin89.com] for the RADQ, and his guide – [obikin89.com] for the RTQ.
Earning Astral Diamonds
Earning astral diamonds is vital to improving and getting better equipment. The easiest way to get refined AD outside making some yourself is to sell items on the AH. This is more for mid-late game players as they will usually be able to farm for equipment and gear that people with buy. To start with, you should worry about making RAD and refining your 100,000 a day. The following are some of the ways I earn mine:
Random Queues. You earn about 7,000 RAD from the dungeon and skirmish, and about 39,000 from the RADQ and RTQ. You will get more from the chest at the end and if you are playing the role in demand (usually tank or healer).
Dungeon Chests.Most dungeons and skirmishes drop a varying amount of astral diamonds. An easily repeatable way to earn more astral diamonds and can be paired with the random queues.
Master Expeditions.The amount you can get varies if you use a rune to increase the amount you get from a Master Expedition, but you generally get between 15,000 and 20,000 RAD a day.
Juma Bags. One of the common drops in Juma’s Surprise Bags is 2,500 RAD. You can farm astral diamonds this way while aiming for better drops.
Rage of Bel. This is event in Vallenhas which lasts for an hour and runs every few hours. You can defeat the boss six times a day, which can be done during one of those hours. Each run earns you a small amount of RAD.
Companion and Mount Bolster
If you ask a player how to improve their item level after getting some Avernus gear and the Legion’s Guard set, most players will tell you to get some mounts and companions. The reason is that there are two systems known as your companion bolster and mount bolster. Each system works the same, giving 3,000 item level at 100% companion bolster and 6,000 item level at 100% mount bolster, for a total of 9,000 bonus item level. Your top 10 mounts and companions count towards your bolster. These mounts/companions aren’t necessarily the mounts in your stable or the companions you are using the powers from.
Above: Mount and Companion Bolster Location
The amount of bolster you gain from a companion or mount is dependent on the rarity of the companion or mount.
You don’t need a high bolster at first (30% is a good start) and it can take a while to get the last 20-30%. The easiest way to get a decent bolster to start with is to use Astral Diamonds to buy epic companions and mounts to take your total to 10. You can only have one of each companion/mount, so you will need 10 unique companions/mounts (I made this mistake early on).
Events and the Calendar
If you plan on playing for a while, it’s a good idea to keep up with the calendar and the upcoming events. You can access the calendar through the “L” key by default, or by clicking the calendar icon next to the map in the top right.
Some events to look out for:
- 2x Refining Stones
- 2x Currency (Any campaign)
- Dungeon Delvers Delights
- Summer Festival/Winter Festival
- Wondrous Bazaar Discounted
- Trade Bar Store Discounted
- Astral Lockbox*
*Best for those closer to 50k
Below are some great resources to help you on your journey:
– Aragon – [youtube.com] , a youtuber with great breakdowns on Neverwinter and whats happening in the game.
– Rainer – [youtube.com] , a youtuber with great breakdowns on some of the RNG in the game.
– Galactic Underwear – [youtube.com] , a youtuber with everything Neverwinter.
– Northside – [youtube.com] , a youtuber to keep up to date on Neverwinter.
– Neverwinter Subreddit – [reddit.com] , a great resource for asking questions.
– NW-Hub – [nw-hub.com] , contains a link to the Neverwinter Character Builder, an invaluable tool to designing your character (Thanks for making it Rainer).
– Obikin’s Requiem for Neverwinter – [obikin89.com] , a great guide that goes way more in depth than I do.
– Rainer’s Mod 20 Pocket Wiki – [google.com] , a great resource for finding information on mounts/companions/artifacts and much more.
– JanneNW’s Website – [jannenw.info] , contains heaps of information on the behind the scenes formulas in NW.
– MMOMinds – [mmominds.com] , a source for builds.
Hope you enjoy the post for Neverwinter Full Overview + All Items Level & Unlocking Content, If you think we should update the post or something is wrong please let us know via comment and we will fix it how fast as possible! Thank you and have a great day!
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