Cryptic and Perfect World are looking ahead to the past for the next free expansion for Neverwinter. Module 3 will add Icewind Dale, the snowy northern area that has been the setting of two of the most beloved Black Isle Studio RPGs ever made as well as several R.A. Salvatore novels. This setting will incorporate several PvE maps, new crafting profession options using black ice and further updates to the PvP system, plus numerous other changes.
Judging by the screenshots, it looks like they used the first Icewind Dale game as a design template. That looks like the fishing village I clicked my party through, only to have them slaughtered just outside town by a handful of orcs because I didn't bring enough arrows or any potions.
The devs have released a trailer revealing some of the details of Module 3: Curse of Icewind Dale.
They've also itemized a number of the upcoming new elements on their blog:
This iconic region has been recreated in Neverwinter, after being the primary location of multiple R.A. Salvatore novels, as well as multiple other video games.
This new zone is a smal fishing town in Icewind Dale, a staging point for those seeking black ice, and the neutral ground in the growing conflict between the Ten-Towners and Arcane Brotherhood. It will serve as the main social hub for all Icewind Dale activities.
This treacherous pass is one of the two new zones that will offer both PvP and PvE content to players.
This expansive valley is the second of the two new zones that will offer both PvP and PvE content to players.
Akar Kessel has returned and has fortified himself in a location high within Kelvin's Cairn, the mountain peak that overlooks all of Icewind Dale.
Black Ice - Lore
Black Ice is a new, extremely valuable resource, that players will be harvesting and fighting over within Icewind Dale. However, it has a dark history.
Black Ice - Harvesting
Black Ice is a new, extremely valuable resource that players will be harvesting and fighting over within Icewind Dale.
Black Ice - Shaping
With this new resource at hand, players will be utilizing a new profession in order to craft spectacular gear.
Black Ice - Gear
Unlike gear of old, Black Ice Gear will have unique properties that allow players to greatly increase their stats bonus, but only temporarily.
PvP Leaderboards & Matchmaking
The matchmaking system has undergone extensive revisions, and will now feature leaderboards so that you can climb the ranks to the most elite combatants in Neverwinter.
For the first time ever, Neverwinter will feature a PvP Campaign, which will have daily quests focused on slaying other players, or navigating through dangerous PvP areas for resources.
Explore the region with the Icewind Dale campaign by completing new repeatable quests, earning boons, and receiving gifts from the grateful people of Caer-Konig.
As with every update, there will be a new array of enemies to battle, which will require new combat strategies to defeat efficiently. This includes yeti, crag cats, dire bears, the corrupted Hammerstone Clan of dwarves, and the savage Bear Tribe of the Reghed Barbarians.
Along with Akar Kessell, players face the deadly black ice-corrupted beholder, undead giants, and the deadly remorhaz.
Discover new quest encounters that appear as you adventure through Icewind Dale. They range in difficulty from minor encounters for 2 – 3 players to epic battles for a dozen or more!
There are two new factions being introduced that will serve as the basis of the conflict over Black Ice in Icewind Dale: the local council of Ten-Towners capitalizing on the black ice trade to grow their wealth, and the Arcane Brotherhood who seeks to unlock the mysteries behind the black ice. Each offer temporary contracts to adventurers to further their goals in Icewind Dale.
An organization of wizards from Luskan, the Arcane Brotherhood seeks to harvest Black Ice under the claims of academic pursuit.
Having already fought off Akar Kessel's army once, the Ten-Towners now try to retain their grasp on the region by using the power of Black Ice.
Hunter Ranger Paragon Path
To join the other classes, the Hunter Ranger will now have a new Paragon Path called the Pathfinder.
There will be many changes to items from levels 1 - 60, to make item progression more fun and interesting.
Once you hit 60, XP that you accumulate will start to provide you with rewards, rather than be lost in a void.
We will be adding dungeons keys to go along with the time-based dungeon delve events, to allow for dungeon delving at your leisure.
Source: Neverwinter blog