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Role Playing (Games) Games

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."
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Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011

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  • Re:Action points (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:23AM (#33352202)

    Extra standard action, which can be substituted for a move or minor action as per the usual rules. Though you normally get some other effect with it, like temporary health, and some abilities allow for spending them to cause other effects (IIRC).

    I tend to play without them, because people always forget about them anyway, and it's hard to explain exactly what they're supposed to be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:52AM (#33352874)

    Surely. []

  • by Yuioup ( 452151 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @07:58AM (#33353264)

    2D&D - Pandering to Diablo crowd. Also, whoo, this all tastes a little Vanilla.
          ---> 2nd Edition D&D (1989) predates Diablo (1997) by at least 7 years ...

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:57AM (#33354464)

    That being said, I have seen nothing good at all about the 4th edition, and frankly no, it's not really D&D anymore other than the name. IMNSHO

    The great things about 4E are:

    1) It's extremely DM friendly, especially for making up adventures on the fly. To crunch out the stats for a fight that would be interesting and challenging to veteran 3/3.5E players would easily take an hour. 1/2E didn't have that level of complexity, but it was really easy to guess wrong about how tough a fight would be. (And sure, you could fudge it from there if you wanted -- *rolls behind the screen* "Damn, the terrasque rolled all 1s... again." but that's not particularly fun for anyone.) 4E makes it ridiculously easy to throw together an encounter on the spur of the moment that's actually interesting and balanced.

    2) It's actually pretty balanced. Earlier editions are fundamentally imbalanced even with just the basic books. For example, in 2E, dual classed humans are ridiculously more powerful than any other kind of character you could make. In 3E, wizard/cleric/druid are ridiculously more powerful than any other kind of character you could make. (People like to say that those caster classes were weak at first and grew strong over time, but as your players have a stronger grasp of the game, the level where the pure casters are equal to anyone else gets lower and lower. By the time we stopped playing 3E, it was about level 3.)

    And sure, you can just sort of agree amongst the players that you're not going to play anything especially powerful, but how fun is that? I think it's perfectly reasonable to say, we're not going to pick one level each of 10 different prestige classes from 8 different books, but how fun is it to say, no one can play a spellcaster?

    People sometimes turn that criticism into a strawman that I think D&D is about building the strongest character you can and how that's not the way the game's not meant to played. And that's true, it's not -- it's a team game. Team games are fun if everyone in terms of character strengths has something to contribute. It's not fun to be the 3.5E fighter in a party with a 3.5E cleric, who's a much better fighter than you and can cast a ton of spells. (On the other hand, you can have a lot of fun with 2E/3E/etc. until the point when the players start figuring these things out.)

    The bad thing about 4E is this:

    Sadly, it turns out that a rigorously balanced version of D&D isn't all that much fun to play if you're used to previous editions. Balance is achieved by making each character class fairly similar in, not every way, but a lot of ways.

    Additionally, the non-combat abilities of your character are drastically reduced. In a sense, this was necessary, because again, who wants to play a fighter (who has basically nothing other than a couple skills maybe to contribute mechanically outside of a fight) when there's the druid who's not only a much better combat character but also has 100 creative things he can do outside of combat.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:36AM (#33355022)

    What made NWN 1 a game where I bought multiple copies of (one per computer) were seven things:

    1: The DRM or lack thereof. The CD protection got patched out, and a valid and unique CD key was needed to play multiplayer. This by itself made the game worth installing and buying multiple copies of, because they actually considered gamers as (WTF) paying customers, and not potential thieves. What a concept that is unheard of these days. I use NWN1's implementation of DRM and its exceedingly low piracy statistics as an example of how a game should be shipped. Why spend time on local DRM when that will be cracked anyway? Just have a valid/unique key for the network stuff to ensure people who paid their tickets can access that and spend the money that would have gone for DRM on making the game better.

    2: The forums were not just active, but Bioware reps were very common and extremely helpful. Had a question about scripting? It was answered immediately with well thought out answers.

    3: The sheer amount of very well done player written modules. There were easily thousands of modules worth playing.

    4: Persistent worlds. This reminded me of the MUDs of yore, where they had a relatively small player base, but everyone knew each other and actually roleplayed. Newcomers were always welcome, and if they had any ability to interact with others, they usually found a place in the world.

    5: NWN1 did not feel as it was rushed out the door unlike modern games which feel like early betas. The campaigns were of a decent length, (although I miss the detailed story of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2,) the tools to build modules and/or a PW were well documented and very good, and it was easy to add "hackpacks" or additional models or tile sets. The expansions were well worth getting.

    6: NWN1 ran not just on Windows, but Mac and Linux. I had a PW server happily running on a Linux box for a long time. To boot, all three were patched at the same time, rather than having one platform languish. Other than Blizzard, every other game company gives lip service at best to Macs and just laughs loudly if asked for Linux support.

    7: NWN1 was constantly updated, even years after the expansions. These days, you might see *one* update to a game, then it is scooted to the wayside and all development effort put into making another sequel.

    My hope:

    Maybe I'm wishing on a star here, but I hope Neverwinter harkens back to NWN1 in being a game that is timeless in the sense that even years down the line, people still buy the game for the player written modules or the persistent worlds.

    If Neverwinter came out with only a CD key as copy protection, a good way to find player modules to download, a strong multiplayer server finder network, top notch editing tools for PWs and modules, vibrant game forums, and perhaps even some contests to get people to write modules, I'm sure it will do quite well over a long period of time, where other games would be long forgotten.

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:11AM (#33355616)

    Add to that giant rant:

    1) If a 3/3.5 druid is not the toughest character at the table at level 1, he is doing something wrong. It will just get worse from there. By level 7, the druid, played competently, is tougher than the other 5 guys in the party put together. The game devolves to watching the druid do everything.

    A genuinely well-played druid is even worse. I've seen a ~ level 10 druid (this is in regulation/tournament play -- no weird house rules in play, etc.) respond to the appearance of a pit fiend in an adventure that the players were clearly not meant to fight by grappling it and pinning it before it even got to go.

    2) 3/3.5E wizard is weak at level 1-2. By 3, it's pulling its own weight as a party member and it only gets stronger from there. One hint is: if your wizard is doing damage in combat, you're probably playing it wrong. Level 2 wizard damage spells kind of suck. Conversely, blindness (to pick one malediction/debuff style spell) is hugely crippling and permanent. A properly built wizard will already be throwing out spells at that level that will almost never have their saving throws made.

  • Re:4th Ed. (Score:2, Informative)

    by fedos ( 150319 ) < minus poet> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @12:54PM (#33357288) Homepage

    If you think that there's no risk of dying in 4th edition then you haven't played it. Healing surges heal you by a 1/4 your max hit points, not to full health, and you only get one second wind per encounter. Any additional healing must come from a healing surge activated by a power. Your total healing is limited to not just the number of healing spells possessed by the healer, but is also limited by your daily surges.

    The classes do not play the same. The powers and class features are varied and two characters with the same role, the same class even, will play very differently.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein