Cryptic’s Neverwinter is a blast to play, but as any new player quickly discovers, you need Astral Diamonds to buy anything really interesting, and AD don’t drop. You can make nearly unlimited amounts fairly early in the game, however, if you know how.
Which is why I’ve written this guide.
First, get your character to level 11. Following the quests, this doesn’t take long to do. Anything your character needs – potions, new gear – drop often or will be given to you during the quests so you shouldn’t feel a need to buy anything at this point.
Around level 11, Sergeant Knox will have a quest for you that sends your character to the shrine in Protector’s Enclave to learn how to invoke the gods.
Invoking can be done every hour, and twice a day will grant the player a random amount of Rough Astral Diamonds (as well as free experience points).
Rough AD need to be refined before they can be spent. You do this by going to your currency tab in your inventory, and clicking the refine button near your Rough Astral Diamonds total. Now they’re ready to use.
Around this same time, you should have met Rhix through a quest; he’s a little Kobold merchant on the outside of the central market in Protector’s Enclave. He offers daily quests which reward in Rough AD. The amount you can earn will increase as you level up.
As you’re getting your first Astral Diamonds, start familiarizing yourself with the Auction House.
The best way to make tons of AD in the Auction House is to specialize in one or two types of goods. I like to deal in blue gear in certain level ranges, for example. Note that some blue items seem in endless supply and are constantly low priced, while others are true rare drops with more highly sought stats. I’ve found that the true rare drops are often under-priced after a player sees the low prices of the more common, less desirable rares, and prices based on those. More goods are sold – and more under-priced items appear – on the weekends and over holiday breaks, as you might imagine.
Another way to earn Astral is through Professions. Three of the best professions for this are Leadership, Tailoring, Leatherworking. With Leadership, you will regularly get tasks that reward Astral, with better rewards as you gain Leadership levels.
In Tailoring and Leatherworking, you are able to create shirts and pants which players will very rarely get any other way. At higher levels, these are worth a decent chunk of AD.
I recommend choosing one Profession and intently focusing on leveling it up until you get to those higher level tasks. Both Tailoring and Leatherworking offer resource gathering and supply crafting missions worth a fair amount of experience points. When leveling the Professions, I focus on those rather than on crafting lower level gear, other than what I need for my own characters. With dedication, you’ll soon be at higher levels, able to create items sought out in the Auction House.
Now that you have Astral Diamonds, how do you exchange them for Zen? The Astral / Zen Exchange is the third icon from the left in the bar at the top of the game.
Click that, and the window that pops up will show you the lowest priced Zen currently offered for sale, and how many are available at that price. Simply enter the amount of Zen you’d like to purchase, the amount you’re willing to pay, and click Post to purchase your Zen.
This is how I’ve been able to buy anything I want in the Zen Market without spending a cent, mere weeks after beginning to play the game. With these methods and a little bit of patience, you, too, will soon be able to afford anything you’d like.