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Neverwinter Nights 2 Officially Announced 246

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like Atari has just announced Neverwinter Nights 2, to be developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the same ex-Black Isle folks who are making Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic 2 in conjunction with BioWare. However, it's 'scheduled for release in 2006', so we've got a while to wait." A post on the Obsidian forums has a single piece of concept art, and it's confirmed that "[Original developers] BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process."
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Neverwinter Nights 2 Officially Announced

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  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:06PM (#9881665) Homepage Journal
    How ironic that the 'Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.' message showed up for me when I first tried to view this article.

    To be released in 2006 + 4. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:06PM (#9881676)
    • Simultaneous Mac playability to come out in 2015.

      That's why I never bought and played NWN. It had been out for over a year and already disposed of by my friends before it was even out for OSX.
      • Then you missed out. I'm playing through the Hordes of the Underdark expansion on my PowerBook at the moment, and it's excellent (yes, you can install the PC NWN expansion packs fine on the Mac with the free OpenKnights installer [sourceforge.net]). There's plenty of user-created modules to start on once I've finished, and then I'll start looking into visiting the persistant worlds people are hosting.
  • Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cephyn ( 461066 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:08PM (#9881691) Homepage
    I have mixed feelings about this. I loved the concept of NWN but it never seemed to work out quite right. And it seemed to me that the community took FOREVER to get any good standalone mods out. I hope NWN2 has better support and modeling for persistent worlds, because thats what most people wanted and NWN really didn't work out well for it.

    I have high hopes though.
    • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QEDog ( 610238 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:18PM (#9881786)
      I feel the same way. The scripting language sucked, support for other media too. Even the D20 engine was broken (trap detection, pick locking, etc). The campaign story felt too much like "go fetch" (compared to, lets say, KOtoR, that was more smooth). Oh, and the TONS of bugs that it shipped with that made DM almost unplayable. I was very dissapointed, I was hoping more from the guys that created Baldur's Gate.
      • I didn't think much of the official campaign that came with the original game either, but the expansion packs were far superior. They actually bothered to adjust your alignment when you acted contrary to it (I've found out that my playing style is definitely chaotic, and my monk is in danger of losing the ability to level). You also had the ability to be a real bastard if you want, which I don't recall in the OC.
    • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Skye16 ( 685048 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:22PM (#9881830)
      I'm certainly not going to try to argue with you about most people wanting the persistent worlds, especially since I have no experience with it at all. All I know is that I absolutely adored NWN and the default story lines, the depth, and the way everything worked. I also genuinely didn't feel that the engine was all that bad...hell, you pump your resolution up through the roof, and those rough polygons actually did look rounded, so it wasn't that bad (disclaimer: I have admittedly poor eyesight, even though I had LASIK done a few weeks ago to correct what they could).

      In any event, some people claim it was a disappointment, but I thought it was brilliant. I still feel it is the best RPG released to date for the PC, and only slightly behind SNES masterpieces such as ChronoTrigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasy 3(6) (and possibly the PSX FF7).
      • the single player campaign was fine, but way too short to be the only reason to buy the game.
      • by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:06PM (#9882234) Homepage Journal
        Getting LASIK to improve your eyesight is like getting kicked in the crotch to improve your fertility.

        I hope you didn't like that $3200.
        • Well it fixed my brother's eyesight (he used to need glasses, doesn't anymore). I guess YMMV however...
        • Are you kidding me? It was the best $2,400 I've ever spent on anything, ever. I can see as well now as I could with my glasses, where before I had ~ -7 prescription. I had such a bad astygmatism and such horrible prescription that contacts were virtually out, and I despise glasses, especially when they break at 5am on a work day and you spend 30 minutes crawling around on the floor unable to see a damn thing looking for a lense your cat batted under the TV stand

          *takes a few deep breaths*

          The fact tha
      • FF7 had nowhere near the individual character depth that 6 did, in terms of individual skills and abilities. Materia made them modular and consequently, the game boiled down to the three characters you favored getting all of the xp. No reason to use the rest.

        Mana is still my favorite adventure RPG- I absolutely love the menu system. My biggest gripe about NWN is the fact that their character menus are about the CRAPPIEST implimentation of the Mana menu concept I've ever seen. Takes too long to drill ar
        • Seiken Densetsu 2 (aka Secret of Mana or just SD2) is a great game! I still own my copy. It had some balance issues... for example, magic was extremely over-powering. The Sprite character could repeatidly cast drain MP, until the enemy lacked MP, and then drain HP until the enemy was dead.

          Hence the Sprite was completely self sustaining because she never ran out of hit points or magic points.

          Also, because there is no delay inbetween casting spells, the Sprite could easily blitz (i.e. spam) any enemy wit
          • There was a "casting delay" if you were actually playing the sprite or the girl. If you were playing the boy, then you could essentially "override" the casting delay through remote controlling the other members in your party.

            Still one of my favorite games.... though I spent hundreds of hours more on the original (released as Final Fantasy Adventure for the Game Boy in the US... still have my copy, though the battery's frooged out.).

            Balance-wise, the Sprite kicked ass, the guy was good in hand-to-hand, an
      • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hoplite3 ( 671379 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:26PM (#9882404)
        I still feel it is the best RPG released to date for the PC...

        I have to disagree. While I liked the game well enough, it was no Fallout 2, or Planscape: Torment for that matter.

        I rather liked playing nonpersistant worlds with two or three friends. Small party adventures and the like -- no other game I've played has had that before. The real problem with NWN was that its hard to make content for RPGs. At least if you're making a FPS mod, the difficulties are largely technical (modeling, coding). The specifics of the rules for the mod can usually be adjusted easily. For an RPG, there's lots and lots of writing to do. You need good dialog (very hard), a good story (medium hard), and a proper anticipation of the player's response (virtually impossible). Technical problems usually yield to incremental approaches, creative problems have no such strategy. Ultimately, I think this is why there were so few good player mods of NWN.

    • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mike_scheck ( 512662 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:28PM (#9881880)
      You have a good point. The community *did* take a really long time to build modules. But the great thing is, the community *built* modules. These days not nearly enough games give the end users the tools they need to create their own expansions/modules to the game. NWN gave the end user the same tools that the game designers used to build the modules and its expansion pack.

      I think NWN is one of the best games to come out in years, because of its replay value. There aren't many games I buy (and I buy way too many) that I finish, and of the ones I finish, I almost never replay them. Neverwinter Nights is the exception, because I wanted to play though it with every different class (melee, vs divine magine, vs arcane magic, vs rogue) for several different modules. I would send Atari my check right now for NWN2 if I could.
    • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tekunokurato ( 531385 ) <jackphelps@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:31PM (#9881906) Homepage
      I agree that the game didn't really have much heart. Hopefully the company will take a cue from maxis and release the mod development tools to established modders beforehand so the mod-base can kick off on the right foot.
    • It took a long time for NWN to go Gold, it should be no surprise that it took some time for persistent worlds to develop and mature. These are side projects that other people do without any compensation.

      One of the great benefits of user created content is that it does not have to be marketed to the most average user. People can find niche worlds that fit their play style...

      Like this one www.theunderdark.com
      An excellent world, constantly updated and improved, with personalized service and changes for $0.
    • Yeah, and I hope the game doesn't get delayed into the point where we have to wait four years for it to come out... like NWN did. I remember camping outside EB and waiting for it to come out that night... and I've loved it ever since. I think it'll kick some serious ass though. Let's just hope that the graphics don't become outdated before the release though.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:08PM (#9881694) Homepage Journal
    This makes me wonder if by 2006, Linux versions of games will be commonly released along with or even before windows versions.
    • This makes me wonder if by 2006, Linux versions of games will be commonly released along with or even before windows versions.

      Or, perhaps more precisely, if by 2006 Linux will constitute substantial market and mind share for game producers, sufficient to consider the loss of it to competitors of similar games adequate to justify producing and supporting a Linux version.

      The cost of producing and supporting Linux games will hopefully get cheaper as the platform matures. One can only it will remain a free p
      • >The cost of producing and supporting Linux games will hopefully get cheaper as the platform matures.

        Linux is pretty mature as it is now.

        What is going to cost them is the different flavours of Linux.

        If you run RedHat 9.0, then you need to set this.
        If you run Slackware 0.01, then you need to do this.

        Publishers are moving towards consoles because its cheaper to produce (there is only one Xbox, one Playstation 2...)
        • If you run Slackware 0.01, then you need to do this.

          I'm sorry, but if you're running Slackware [slackware.com] 0.01, what you need to do is upgrade. ^_^
        • "Mature" when it comes to games is having the ability to say "do you run Linux? Then run this installer." and not having to worry about which distribution it is.

          If you can do that, or ignore all but one distribution, and:

          * have a paying install base (ie, not total number of installs but number of people who are willing to pay for your software) at least as big as OSX


          * can be reasonably well assured that people who have video cards they bought to play your game will have 3D graphics running smoothly -
        • "If you run RedHat 9.0, then you need to set this.
          If you run Slackware 0.01, then you need to do this."

          My experience with Loki installer is that this tends be much less of an issue, Nwn 1 did not make use of this tool and in my opinion created some of the issues with nwn1 Linux.

          The biggest issue overall is the end user like on any platform, ie do they have 3D acceleration enabled etc.

  • Queue.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by QuijiboIsAWord ( 715586 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:08PM (#9881698)
    Queue the "Duke Nuke'm Forever will ship simultaneously" jokes.
  • by stretch0611 ( 603238 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:10PM (#9881714) Journal
    I guarantee in 2008 it will be on the Top Ten List of "Most Waited For Vaporware".
  • Well,finally... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ashe Tyrael ( 697937 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:12PM (#9881735)
    If this is even half as good as Neverwinter Nights, then 2006 is the new date to watch for.

    I suppose the big question is, will Obsidian actually continue the sterling work that Bioware have already done for Linux, by releasing a Linux port of NWN2 at the same time as the Windows/Mac versions? Worst that could happen is that they abandon the Linux side completely.. which would be tragic, as Bioware have done a lot for the image of linux gaming.
  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:12PM (#9881736)
    "[Original developers] BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process."

    So the storyline and gameplay will be every bit as 'good' as the original NWN?

    uh oh...
  • ...now we can look forward to more Dead Piro Days...

    http://www.megatokyo.com/ [megatokyo.com]
  • Linux Client (Score:2, Interesting)

    by A.T. Hun ( 192737 )
    I already started begging for a Linux client.
    http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?s howtopic= 2499
  • NWN 2? I guess... (Score:5, Informative)

    by KeeperS ( 728100 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:16PM (#9881778)
    I'm a fan of NWN and all, but is a sequel really needed? I was under the assumption that Bioware's Dragon Age [bioware.com] was going to be the spiritual successor to NWN.
    • Dragon Age is, probably, but remember that Atari owns the rights to NWN - not Bioware. I doubt Bioware really wanted to do this; if they did, you'd expect that they would develop it, wouldn't you?
      • Dragon Age is not associated with Dungeons and Dragons, either... where Neverwinter Nights is built from the ground up using D&D rules and intellectual property. Dragon Age gives the designers more freedom and the PHB's less profit sharing. It is a smart move now that Bioware has enough clout with customers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:17PM (#9881784)
    LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2004--Atari Interactive, Inc., Obsidian Entertainment and BioWare Corp.(TM), under license from Hasbro, Inc., have announced plans for Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2, the sequel to BioWare Corp.'s best-selling and genre-defining role-playing game set in the popular Dungeons & Dragons® Forgotten Realms(TM) universe created by Wizards of the Coast. Atari, Inc. will publish the title. Originally developed by BioWare, Neverwinter Nights has set a new standard in the role-playing genre with a deep and engrossing storyline; immersive character development; stunning graphics; and, an expansive multiplayer experience like none other.

    "Neverwinter Nights is one of the most beloved RPG's of all time and we're pleased that Obsidian has taken on the challenge," said John Hight, executive producer, Atari. "Feargus and his team at Obsidian Entertainment are the best people on the planet to take up where BioWare left off and bring this great game to new levels. They are intimately familiar with what makes Neverwinter Nights special, they know what it takes to make a great game and they have the respect of the RPG community."

    The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into ten languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming at www.bioware.com. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide(TM) and Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark(TM), have created nearly 4,000 modifications to the original game using the award-winning BioWare Aurora Toolset, the groundbreaking software included with the full game that allows players to create their own universes, quests and storylines.

    "BioWare and Atari created an immense community of players attracted by both the immersion of an interactive gaming experience and the ability to create their own pen-and-paper styled modules. Neverwinter Nights changed the very nature of roleplaying games," said Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian Entertainment's CEO. "With Neverwinter Nights 2, we're going to take that incredible experience to the next level by combining a huge new single-player game with deep character development and many new upgrades and enhancements to the already powerful BioWare Aurora Toolset for the modding community."

    Neverwinter Nights 2 will be developed by Obsidian Entertainment, founded by Feargus Urquhart who, as the President of Black Isle Studios, was responsible for the publishing of the Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series and the development of the Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment franchises, both powered by BioWare Engine Technology, as well as overseeing the creation and development of the Fallout series. BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process.

    "From our development of Baldur's Gate(TM) and Neverwinter Nights to our engine licensure on Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic® 2, we've been working collaboratively with Feargus and other members of the Obsidian Entertainment team for years," said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, BioWare Corp.'s Joint CEO. "Neverwinter Nights remains one of the most important titles BioWare has ever created. We certainly plan to remain involved in the production and development of Neverwinter Nights 2 and we're delighted to initiate another partnership with Obsidian Entertainment and Atari," added Dr. Ray Muzyka, BioWare Corp.'s Joint CEO.

    Neverwinter Nights 2 is scheduled for release in 2006. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found on the Atari website at www.atari.com/nwn2, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.

    About Obsidian Entertainment

    Obsidian Entertainment is a premier software development company passionately dedicated to creating high quality, ne
  • 2006 Good grief! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Powertrip ( 702807 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:18PM (#9881790) Homepage Journal
    The software industry is becoming more and more like the hardware industry nowadays with the paper launches extremely premature. 2006 - That is a heck of a way off... Think that ATARI is lookign to stimulate its trailing stock price? http://www.stockhouse.ca/comp_info.asp?symbol=ATAR &table=LIST [stockhouse.ca].... It wouldn't surprise me...
    • Hey...if it's that, or pull an Interplay, pre-announce all you like.

      I'm willing to wait for a great game, as opposed to being unable to receive said game because the company is no longer able to pay its bills.
  • Yay (Score:5, Interesting)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:23PM (#9881837)
    I didn't enjoy the single player original NWN, I did like the expansion packs though.
    The concept was great, the tools worked pretty well, and the community is awesome (so many great hacks)
    The biggest thing lacking about NWN has been the engine is old, it already looked a bit dated at launch. Hopefully the designers put more focus on an engine that can expand into the future, since it is one of those games that can reside on your computer for years. Also persistant world support would be awesome. For everybody who hates paying MMO subscriptions, NWN2 could be the answer (I hope)
    • The biggest thing lacking about NWN has been the engine is old

      For some people a game is more than the number of polygons it pushes. I'm still playing Icewind Dale, Diablo and Dungeon Keeper 2 just as much as newer games. If the story or gameplay is there then the graphics are secondary.
      • Re:Yay (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ca1v1n ( 135902 )
        The really distracting thing about NWN is that some parts of it were incredibly realistic, and then some parts were Quake 1 era quality. If the whole thing was Quake 1 era quality, it wouldn't have been such a big deal, but when you walk through a field of grass that's waving in the wind, and approach a guy whose head is obviously made of less than 20 triangles, it's a bit distracting.
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:25PM (#9881851)
    With the lengthy delivery date, NWN2 seems to be allowing for design into one or more of the future game consoles.

    Or they just got the storyline done now.

    If it is the former then there is a huge risk in console delivery delays. If it is the latter: 'Get Crackin, dammit!!!'

    They should be using XNA - they'd be done by now!!!
  • I just hope... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hsoft ( 742011 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:25PM (#9881858) Homepage
    That Bioware will take this opportunity to design the script engine better.

    I mean, I do think that Bioware made a *wonderful* job with this game. However, the scripting engine is far from perfect. As a developer, coding NWNscripts makes you feel you'd finish your game faster and easier if you'd just screw NWN and make it from the ground up in Delphi. Well, this is true if your ambition is big enough. Of course it is quick to make a hacknslash campaign, but when you try to go deeper, that's another thing.

    Anyway, I didn't play nor script NWN for ages now...

    Use python or something like that for NWN2. I saw that RPGMaker XP uses Ruby for it's scripting language. I didn't remotely try it or read further about it, but if RPG Maker made this, it must be possible for Bioware to make the same. Just create, huh... I don't know, a NWN API for python. Screw the idea of having your own scripting language...
  • Licensing the engine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slycer9 ( 264565 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:31PM (#9881914) Journal
    I can't help but wonder if Atari will continue and possibly expand upon Bioware's 'vision' of the intended purpose of the game engine itself.

    Think about it.

    Basically all BW did with NWN was release a set of tools for people/groups to create their OWN worlds/adventures/environments. From the looks of things, Dragon Age is going to be similarly engineered and even enhanced for the same use.

    Granted, the single player campaigns sucked, (although HotU wasn't too bad comparitively speaking) but look at it from an Id standpoint. Come out with a great set of tools/engine and let the mod community do what they WANT to do with the game, rather than forcing them to adhere to the developers vision.

    I personally think we're going to soon see a company release a set of tools only. Tileset editors, weapon/clothing/misc editors, environment. This wouldn't be a GAME release, but something for the mod community to use as they see fit to create from scratch rather than modifying an existing game. Think d20 in general without the limitations of being set firmly in a fantasy realm. Hell, there's even a mod underway to create a contemporary NWN mod!

    I think things like this have the potential to change things in the gaming world far more than the advent of new rendering techniques. Changing the game experience for the end user is one thing, allowing US to change the way we play those games is another entirely.
  • by superultra ( 670002 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:33PM (#9881932) Homepage
    Ok. So Obsidian is doing KOTOR II, and now also Neverwinter Nights 2. Besides finishing up Jade Empire, what is it exactly Bioware is doing for Bioware?
  • What do they think they're going to improve by creating a new game? They still don't have all of the bugs worked out of the current neverwinter!
  • Eh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tirinal ( 667204 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:35PM (#9881953)
    I'm more than a little leery of this announcement. Obsidian Entertainment has been in existence for less than a year, yet they are already trying to develop sequels to two of the best games to come out in the last three years. This seems to me at least as another instance of publishers demanding sequels to known brands and outsourcing the work when the original developer is occupied with other titles.

    Moreover, NWN2 is scheduled to be released in late 2006. That's less than half of the time Bioware had to develop the original title, and Bioware had both more expertise and more manpower.
    • Re:Eh... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fourier ( 60719 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:00PM (#9882179) Journal
      Most of Obsidian's employees came from Black Isle Studios after Interplay gave it the axe. Black Isle was responsible for gems such as Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and Fallout 2. The name is different, but Obsidian has a proven track record. There's an interview here [gamespot.com].

      The release schedule is undoubtedly shortened because Obsidian will be using Bioware's already-complete toolset. Perhaps some small upgrades to the engine will be necessary, but I'm sure most of their time will be spent adding new artwork and scripting the story.
    • Bioware has a pretty strong pedigree to it now. They probably want more control over the game, and more royalties then the publisher cares to part with. Part of the reason for Jade Empire and Dragon Age is to make Bioware less reliant on external IP. By cutting Wizards / Lucasarts out of the picture, Bioware can keep a bigger part of the profits.

      Having Obsidian do the follow ups probably makes the game cheaper all around. Expect NWN2 to be very much an incremental improvement over NWN1. More polygons
  • You know the game is going to be good when the new developers' website is slashdotted within 15 minutes. Obviously game stability will be very important to NWN2's development.
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:42PM (#9882022) Homepage
    I just hoping that they flesh out the single-player game better, and allow for more than one party member. I was really disappointed with the gameply when I played the 1p version of NWN#1, however, the graphics kick Icewind Dale's clean elven arse, and make Diablo I & II look like Mario Brothers on SuperNES.
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Informative)

    by hellfire ( 86129 ) <deviladv&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:44PM (#9882043) Homepage
    Okay, I find there are Four distinct elements to NWN:

    1) The game play rules. These are primarily set by Wizards of the coast. D&D has specific character building rules that NWN follows. NWN2 can't call itself "based on D&D" without following most of those rules. There are some rules, about 1%, which don't translate well to an online vs paper game, so there is play allowed, but not much.

    2) The editor. This is already pretty sophisticated. New features added should be added as an update to an already feature rich application, since you can't add much more to it already.

    3) The graphics. These could be updated, but that's little more than "prettying up" the game.

    4) The scenarios. Okay, you worked hard on it, so make us spend money to reward your efforts, but why not release it as an expansion of the original NWN? It will be cheaper for us, and even if you don't release the damn thing for Mac on time (grumble) at least the mac community knows how to make the PC expansions work without needing a fully native installer.

    Basically I see no reason for a brand new engine other than to force people to pay more money than they have to. The other thing is that I see a lot more people's names on this NWN2 than NWN1 so it might be a licensing thing, but frankly that's hurtful to the NWN1 community. You sold the app, but you haven't really let the community milk it as much as it could be.
    • Expansion packs seem like good value since they cost less than a full release. But generally expansions get done within a year or two of the original game. I can think of two reasons for this; expansion packs don't have as much content as the original and game engines age pretty quickly.

      NWN 2 is scheduled to release in two years, which means Obsidian is going to have a lot of time to develop new content. Dozens of artists working for two years cost a lot, so it won't be feasible for them to release a va
      • game engines age pretty quickly.

        The problem with this statement is that aging of game engines is an artificial construct that has nothing to do with quality of the game. Game companies can't make money unless they provide you the latest, and pass it off as better than the original.

        The NWN engine is just fine in terms of features and graphics. It could do a little better with the bugs though. My point is that they CAN'T do much with the engine except pretty up the graphics. That's just fluff compared
    • 2) The editor. This is already pretty sophisticated. New features added should be added as an update to an already feature rich application, since you can't add much more to it already.

      After having spent almost all of my free time for six months in the editor I can tell you that it leaves a LOT to be desired. The basics of the scripting engine are wonderfull, but the conversation editor is quite weak, custom content creation is painfull, area creation is a chore with no provision for any randomness, etc.
  • Activision releases a mega-hit and Atari announces vaporware.

  • by Keltan ( 800326 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @03:56PM (#9882146)
    ...will NWN2 support the pen and paper D&D 3.5 edition changes? (Of course, by then pen and paper will be up to 4.0, so NWN2 will still be behind!) :)
  • Linux client (Score:2, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 )
    This is probably the only reason why I paid for NWN, and both expansions, twice (one as a gift). Besides multiplayer being pretty nice, running in Linux was vital since it's a long game.

    If it runs on Linux, I can use my laptop as a second monitor to display KDE on it while I play (it's not powerful enough on its own, P200, 64MB RAM). If I was stuck with having to use Windows then it'd be much more annoying, as I'd lose the ability to do some things I need.

    So, if it runs on Linux well (I can live without t
  • by tyrantnine ( 768028 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:08PM (#9882255)
    2 days ago or so -- I've been on slow saga recently to go revisit RPG's I'd missed (or quit)... First Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal, then Star Wars KOTOR, and now to NWN...

    First let me just say those who disparge NWN and praise Star Wars KOTOR just have their Star Wars fanboy blinders on. Having started NWN just a day or two after finishing KOTOR (yes I know, backward Chronologically, but I wanted a switch from fantasy after plowing through BGII+Throne of Bhaal for Weeks :) ) the similarities are amazing. The way henchman/party members have stories which expand (and are only accessible as you gain levels), the way dialog is handled, to the engine itself - though KOTOR is certainly prettier and in a few ways cleaner, its obvious its the same thing. While KOTOR has better graphics, and far more voice acting (I am somewhat thankful NWN switches to just reading more often - the sheer amount in KOTOR had me reading and skipping the voice acting shortly into the game anyway - it just took waaay too long to actually listen), both are 3rd edition D&D (KOTOR stripped down to appeal to console gamers), feats and skills to match (although in KOTOR, skills are laughably useless). NWN is certainly a lot more in depth... but really the two games are remarkably similar.

    I am only partway into Chapter 2 in NWN and so far have found it to be really good. I don't quite get where people who enjoyed BG I and II are coming from when they say they don't like the game -- you start of rather slow (just as your first level character in BG I was very weak), but things pick up quickly and the loads of quests, dialog is everywhere, and ala KOTOR, your alignment can shift during the game (though to more useful/desirable effect in KOTOR it seems). Anyway just the first of four chapters in NWN took me forever, and I have so far throught it was great. It seems to have at least as much story and oomph as BG II, and I haven't yet dabbled playing online. I imagine that might be a disappointment given I have played pen and paper RPGs forever (though not many recently), but who knows with as much time as people have had to develop modules and develop communities by this point.

    Anyway the single player campaign in NWN to me is so far, so good, and I look forward to seeing some "amateur" work once I complete it, as well as begin dabbling in multiplayer. In comparing BGII+Throne of Bhaal, KOTOR, and NWN, so far I'd say NWN is my favorite, though I enjoyed them all... those that find large differences aren't really looking too deeply at the games, though - NWN is far more expandible and multiplayer friendly of the three :).
  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:09PM (#9882270) Journal
    Bioware's next big PC game is going to be Dragon Age. What exactly is going to be so great about this game? It will have all of the toolset goodness of NWN and the story telling of a Bioware game, without the clunkiness of attempting to implement D&D on a PC. It also allows Bioware to do what they want without having every piece of content triple-approvded by Hasbro/WOTC.
  • by 2Flower ( 216318 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @04:32PM (#9882450) Homepage
    I've written a number of mods for NWN, including Penultima, Penultima ReRolled, Elegia Eternum, and Excrucio Eternum. And... I'm very leery of NWN2's prospects.

    Are they seriously going to support the modding community to the extent NWN1 did? NWN1 was basically a pile of resources for you to build your own adventure; the game that came with it was so-so. Is NWN2 going to do skimp on the resources in favor of the more profitable single player adventure, or will it focus on toolsetting?

    Also, regardless of how in-depth the toolset is... you're still saddled with D&D and all the baggage that comes with it. NWN had too many corporate overlords dictating how the game rules must work in order to make them accurate to the pen and paper game -- even when it made no sense on a computer! (Paladins are weak because the game couldn't replace P&P systems with more computer-saavy ones, for instance.) Many of the flaws in NWN arise from all the multi-step lawyer based approval processes to allow for any deviation from the D&D standards. I don't want that mess following me into my next platform.

    Frankly, NWN2 does nothing that Dragon Age isn't already doing. DA is going to have massive toolset support, a design philosophy that's learned from NWN1, and Bioware's name behind it -- and it's independent of all the corps watching over the D&D franchise. When it comes to picking a platform to move my game authoring work to, I'd rather go with what feels right.

    NWN2 feels like Atari and Hasbro wanting to cash in on the property. Unless new info arises to show why NWN2 is superior for me to develop my own original game worlds within, I'll stick with Dragon Age.
    • Thats funny! I was going to post how I enjoyed the mods(like penultima) made by the NWN Community more than the actual game itself, and low and behold your post is the first one I see.

      Anyway, NWN was a great game, but it hit every single one of my petpeeves. For instance the opening chapter being nothing but a fetch this item behind door one, now fetch the item behind door 2...ugh. Not to mention that to me, not a single character was very memorable.

      The toolset on the other hand was amazing. Even though m
      • The first sequel that came out pissed me off. I installed it and the first chapter quest involved recovering 4 items, which immidately felt like a rehash of chapter one in the first game. I felt so angered that they'd charge me $40 for a rehash of the first part of the original game that I returned it and refused to buy the second expansion (which I hear is better).

        I stopped playing Shadows of Undrentide in the first chapter, too. After playing Hordes of the Underdark I decided to go back and slog my w
    • "Paladins are weak because the game couldn't replace P&P systems with more computer-saavy ones, for instance"

      how so?
  • Will it have first person perspective?
    There was a hack out for NWN that allowed you tp put the camera in a position so that you where looking through your characters eveys.
    This added so much to the game. Instead of seeing the monster coming, you turned a corner and you where staring it in the face! The game was much more tense.
    Naturally Bioware released a patch to not allow thats. Bastards.
  • by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @05:20PM (#9882884)
    Warning, shameless advertising :)

    If you like NWN with more roleplay than mechanics, check out Glorwing [glorwing.com] my persistent world of choice.

    It runs on a dual AMD 2800MP Spindlet3p Blackbird server, for those of you who remember such things. It needs all that horsepower to make up for the horrible scalability of the bioware engine, but it's darn fun and we've got a great community.
  • by mfterman ( 2719 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @05:41PM (#9883251)
    I have mixed feelings about D&D computer games. The fact of the matter is that PnP RPGs and CRPGs have different strengths and weaknesses. What works for one does not necessarily work for the other.

    For example, the strength of PnP RPGs is that you have a human being running them and can handle all the social interactions that a computer simply can't, not until we solve the AI problem anyway. On the other hand, computers laugh at the more bookkeeping heavy PnP RPGs. Computers can handle incredibly complicated mechanics and keep track of thousands of numbers without trouble.

    Frankly, I think Bioware is heading in the right direction. They really need to do a game with a ruleset that from the ground up takes advantages of the strengths and avoids the weaknesses of CRPGs, instead of dealing with the legacies of a PnP RPG.
  • *original* NWN (Score:3, Informative)

    by RubberChainsaw ( 669667 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @07:12PM (#9884204)
    I don't like the way the term "original" NWN is being used for BioWare's NWN 1. The true original NWN was created by StormFront Studios, for SSI. And it was released on the AOL network from 1991 to 1997. It was shut down shortly after AOL went flatrate.

    Lots of info on the original NWN can be found at the bladekeep site [bladekeep.com]

    IMO, the original NWN was one of the best games I've ever played. Perhaps the best. This was a great game that will never be forgotten by the people lucky enough to have played it during its time.

    Many of the players of the original have gone about creating a clone of the original called Forgotten World [forgottenworld.com]. I just recently found out about Forgotten World and have been browsing the forums there. Its got alot of the old guilds and names I recognise. ITB, MECH, KEF, GOC.. Man the original nwn was great. PvP in the sewers and lost hills. Feebing kwusses. Ahh, sweet memories.

    Anyway, if anyone played the original NWN you should check out Forgotten World. It'll bring back memories.
  • by TibbonZero ( 571809 ) <Tibbon@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:43PM (#9885323) Homepage Journal
    Wonder if they'll tell us all that the game will ship for three platforms in one box again to get us all to preorder?

    Oh wait, or maybe they'll just keep the Mac prices jacked up to $50 when you can find it for PC for $30!

    Or, maybe they can give away the linux version free again for people who have Windows too, and still screw the mac user!
  • Remember Unreal 2? I wouldn't be surprised if NWN 2 and KOTOR 2 end up being little more than tech upgrades with the sort of fundamentally similar content usually reserved for expansion packs.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!