Posted Wed, Apr 24, 2013 by gunky
The gameplay in Neverwinter has a strong focus on action. Combat is dynamic and reactive, and requires active participation rather than just standing still and clicking number keys. Players are not swamped with a bewildering array of situationally-useful skills - your toolbar at the bottom gives you access to no more than 8 at once, and swapping these skills for different ones can dramatically change how the character plays.
Even the classes themselves have been sharpened-up for a more action-y feel. The Devoted Cleric, for example, is the primary "healer" class in the game, but it is not a heal-bot that just stands at the back and spams one or two heal skills. The cleric has to be as good at kicking asses as he is at fixing them, or it just doesn't feel like a dynamic, engaging class compared to the others.
The questing system may feel a bit old-fashioned, but even that lends to the D&D flavor. Tabletop D&D is where that system comes from, after all - NPC townies request help, itinerant heroes perform the task and return when finished for their reward. Quite frankly, any other system would feel wrong in a D&D game.