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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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  • 4th Ed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @03:44AM (#33352006) Homepage Journal

    You got your WoW in my D&D!


    Can haz EZ-Mode?

  • Re:4th Edition? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by borizz ( 1023175 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:08AM (#33352134)
    On the other hand, 3rd ed was about "How much jerky did you bring when you went on this hike?", "Well, that's not enough jerky".

    4th Ed is the first one I can play with my friends where we spend more time playing than looking in damn books. Also, if you don't like Eladrin (basically High Elves) or Dragonborn, don't play them.
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:33AM (#33352256) Journal

    accessible content creation tools

    If true, this one's the really big deal - it's what made NWN stand out originally. Its singleplayer was only so-so, but the ability for a relative newbie to easily create your own worlds and then DM a party (or just a bunch of randomly wandering players) in them was what made the game worthwhile.

  • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:40AM (#33352288) Journal

    Try Pathfinder, it's basically what 4th should have been.
    The classes maintain their flavor while gaining options.
    They streamlined what needed it (NOTE streamlined what was needed. NOT made stupidly dumb everything)
    http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG [paizo.com]
    95%+ compatible with 3.5
        I've been playing since 1982 and pathfinder is the best version of AD&D I've seen yet, not perfect, but it's never been perfect.
          AD&D has a cycle to it, version, add on rules till it gets to be a mess to track them, then new version, lather rinse repeat. But it's still a lot of fun.


  • Not that excited (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:47AM (#33352320) Journal

    I wish I could work up much interest in this announcement, but to be honest, I'm finding it hard.

    What is it with everybody going for a multiplayer focus these days? I mean, sure, I've no objection to having a co-operative mode in the game (indeed it's a positive boon), but I'm getting sick to death of games where the singleplayer campaign is rendered unnecessarily hard or boring due to pandering to co-op. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is probably the most recent example (there are sections which are a nightmare on any difficulty if you're on your own), but it's just one of many.

    Once upon a time, I'd have been more positive, I guess. Back when I was a student, or newly started working (and still relatively junior, at the point where I was working fairly sensible hours), myself and a bunch of friends would routinely play online co-op. But even then, it wasn't that easy, for a game that demanded a substantial number of people and a good chunk of time. I remember a theoretically 6-player co-op run we did through Baldur's Gate 2 and its expansion, where in reality, after the first session or two, we never seemed to have more than 3 or 4 people in-game at any one time (which BG2 was thankfully very good at adjusting for). We ended up running the first NWN with a 3 person party (as NWN was much less resilient if your group was missing a player) and felt like we were missing out on a lot, since you couldn't really get a properly balanced party with just 3 people. These days, after going through a MMORPG phase (which does help with the problem somewhat by increasing the pool of available players, at the expense of basically needing to devote 30+ hours a week to it to play sensibly) we just don't seem to bother. With the people I actually know and like well enough to want to play online regularly with all in the same situation as myself, working jobs with substantial degrees of responsibility and erratic hours, getting people together on any kind of schedule is just too difficult. Co-op gaming for me has basically come down to the odd Gears of War mission on a Sunday afternoon.

    Maybe it's just me being a Grumpy Old Man (TM). Maybe there is a huge market out there for games where the developers have cut loads of corners and justified it by saying "but it's multiplayer focussed". Oh well, at least Bioware still seem to be on my side (now when's Dragon Age 2 out?).

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @04:53AM (#33352344)

    I didn't know Neverwinter Nights even had single player. Oh wait. You mean the remake of NWN from Bioware? I don't know why everyone has so little imagination that they have to keep reusing the same name. It doesn't bode well for the games themselves.

  • by Lord Cronos ( 1398015 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:07AM (#33352400)
    What happened to the days when all you needed were three books, (The DM's guide, player's handbook, and monster manual) and some imagination to play DnD? I'm not ever from that generation but I can see how v4 has taken all the creativity and original thought out of DnD. Instead of think up scenarios, worlds, and campaings for players. All DM's have to do is roll dice until their twenty-some books have told them what to say. The massive amounts of rules don't add to the gameplay, they just limit what you can do both as a DM and a character. I used to run v1 campaigns and can't do it anymore because any new players I get, (and most of them are older than me since I was born in 1993) can't understand its simplicity. I hope that at some point people will get fed up with having to keep track of tons of little things just to keep their character alive and go back to just making sure you had enough hit points kill the dragon before it cooked you and ate you for lunch.
  • by kitsunewarlock ( 971818 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:13AM (#33352426) Journal
    I completely agree and really wish I had mod points to add to this. While I have a few balance gripes with anything d20 related, any tabletop RPG will inevitably have one thing that is 'better' than another in most situations. And when you really start to play a game with a competent GM and group of people you can call 'friends', balance should be maintained through social contract. Not through rules so simple that they cripple a character's ability to be unique.
  • Re:4th Edition? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:46AM (#33352604)

    Equally good at everything != Awesome at everything.

    He absolutely sucked at a lot of non-combat skills, his AC wasn't great (wizard, can't use metal armour, though thick dragonborn skin helped) and combat wise he was much better used against swarms of minions than against stronger individual enemies (typical wizard). When I say hitting with his staff was as strong as most of his spells, that's ignoring the range and area effects on the spells, and I should be clear that hitting with his staff comes nowhere near what a true fighter is capable of.

    He wasn't some kind of super do-everything-awesome character, I'm just saying he had flavour, and you don't have to stick to the expected class for a race to get a good character.

  • Re:4th Edition? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:14AM (#33352730)

    Roleplay isn't something you can really put in or take out of the rules. Whether you get roleplay or not depends more on the group you're playing with. For example, one of the (4e) encounters I set up for a group recently went something like this:
    Party is doing the usual killing thing in a ruined keep, and finds a note in a chest revealing that someone is to meet with a cultist that night to hand over an artifact (elsewhere in the ruins was an excavation, down into a room below that was now empty. Hint hint.).
    They decide that the best way to proceed is to make a fake artifact (not knowing what it looks like didn't stop them), go to the meeting, and try to get some more information out of the cultist guy. They even try to get the reward for handing over their fake, but narrowly avoid being stabbed instead. Then they tie the cultist guy up, borrow his cloak and pretend to be him when the guy with the real artifact comes.

    They could have handled it several other ways, including attacking him to get the artifact, or following him back after he gets the artifact and stealing it, etc. but they chose the roleplaying route and it worked out amazingly well for them. The fact that it was 4e wasn't a barrier to the roleplaying at all, despite what people say about d&d having been made into a hack&slash.

  • by homb ( 82455 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @07:08AM (#33352966)

    Well I do have the 3 books of 4e and I don't think there's anything else that's necessary to have fun. Just ask my kids. Now of course considering that it's human nature to want more, people will flock to the additions and newest stuff that comes with more rules. But you really don't need it, and as you said in many ways just having HP, AC, To Hit and a couple of spells is more than enough to have a lot of fun with a well crafted story.

  • by damnbunni ( 1215350 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @07:50AM (#33353228) Journal

    I hate to tell you this, but I have well over 50 books for AD&D 2nd Edition, and there are at least as many in 1st Edition.

    There have ALWAYS been a zillion supplements for D&D/AD&D. It's how the publisher makes money. They make more books. If all they sold were the PHB, Monster Manual, and DMG no one would ever need more than those three volumes.

    There have _always_ been published adventures, campaign settings, and more optional rules than you can shake a quarterstaff at. At least with 3.5e/4e they tend to be reasonably consistant. (anyone remember when non-weapon proficiencies were introduced and one book said you had to roll _over_ the number and one said you had to roll _under_?)

  • Re:4th Edition? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderwiggin13 ( 734997 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:43AM (#33354248)
    Agreed. I always like trying different combinations that may not be best suited for each other. For the last campaign I was in I rolled a minotaur bard - the DM normally doesn't allow monster classes but he made an exception since it wasn't a typical combination. The roleplay element alone made the character more than worth it.
  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:50AM (#33354352)
    Forget books, I used to routinely run RPG sessions in school with nothing but myself (GM), five or six friends, an empty room or space, pens and paper. No dice, no books, nothing.

    I ran the game and made the decisions, and because I was fair doing it no one ever complained about the lack of dice or adherence to rules - I made it fun to play and that is all you really need.
  • by homb ( 82455 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:46AM (#33355200)

    Nothing is overpowered when you're playing against a live DM whose intelligence and creativity are on par with the player.

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:00AM (#33355432)

    2) Wizards have not ruled the game since 2nd ed, and clerics have never been other than a support class. Druids still kick ass, but everyone gets their moment to shine. Are you sure you played 3.5? A cleric who spends five full rounds buffing himself can be a mediocre fighter, but still can't beat a fighter two levels lower than he is (we put this to the test.) But a similar range of buffs on the tank can turn him into a Dragon slaying god. Spellcasters are good at taking out hordes of grunts, but for bosses, there's no saving throw against a good axe.

    With all due respect, your players are not very good at playing spellcasters. (You should be happy about this -- seriously, their incompetence makes the game more fun than it actually is.) Hell, if your clerics are even wasting rounds buffing they're not very good. One round of buffing (usually while closing in anyway) is pretty standard at the low-mid levels but that phase doesn't last very long, level-wise. You fix the buffing problem in a number of ways -- for example, spells that last either all day or plenty long to clear a dungeon or whatever, possibly with extend spell to turn hour/level durations into 'all damn day', quicken spell to get short-turn combat buffs out fast. Pearls of power allow throwing the 10 minutes/level spells like barkskin (plant domain as one example -- there's good stuff for other domains as well, of course) as many times as you need to. Bead of karma and other casting-level mods to jack up the casting level of buffs, increasing their bonuses, increasing their duration, and making them harder to dispel.

    It only even matters so much what items you even choose to let the players have because of craft wonderous item.

    That's all out of the core PHB/DMG. If you allow other books into play, it gets even worse fast. Divine metamagic is probably the most broken feat in the whole edition and drastically increases the cleric's ability to throw out big buff spells or combat spells while full attacking. Divine spell power makes the aforementioned casting level problem worse. Sudden metamagic feats make all of the above worse.

    A fighter is a better fighter than a cleric at very low levels. Get into the midlevels and it's over -- if your cleric gets into any fight without about 10 buff spells already up, he is doing something seriously wrong. Get into the high levels (16ish) and throwing out 500 melee damage in a round as a cleric with no combat feats, no magical weapons or especially combat-focused magic items, and a 10 strength is very possible with no prep time (outside of spells that last literally a day or longer.)

    I give you, the fighter always has feats on the cleric -- but that's about it. Divine power fixes the base attack deficit, and that's out at level 7. Past that point, it's not very satisfying to be the fighter when the cleric puts out twice the melee damage you do AND has the full wack of cleric things to do.

  • Re:Strong pass (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chibi Merrow ( 226057 ) <mrmerrow AT monkeyinfinity DOT net> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @01:08PM (#33357522) Homepage Journal

    It feels more like a company deciding to exploit the stubbornness of a group of D&D players by pandering to their tendencies to resist change, which I suppose could be considered as just like T$R with its shameless grab for money under the mask of serving the playerbase.

    I dunno. I liked the move from 2nd to 3rd (though I still have a special place in my heart for 2nd and recently started buying some books to rerun I6: Ravenloft this Halloween). And I really liked the move from 3rd to 3.5. To me, 2nd->3rd seemed more like house cleaning--creating unified systems instead of separate tables and rule sets for EVERYTHING. But I'm a computer scientist, I like consistency... So I'm biased.

    I don't think 4th Edition is a bad game, I just think its mechanics are too different to be considered D&D... But WotC's goal was to attract new players, they don't care about the old players, they already have our money. :)

    That, and WotC changing campaign settings to match the new rules really ticked me off...

  • by Abstrackt ( 609015 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @01:40PM (#33358092)

    Nothing is overpowered when you're playing against a live DM whose intelligence and creativity are on par with the player.

    If I had mod points you'd get them all. Though I admit I prefer when the DM can outsmart the players.

    Our former DM (fake trap guy I mentioned earlier) outsmarted one of our party in a way I will never forget. One of our members ended up with a monkey's paw with one wish left on it so he spent days crafting his wish to allow for any countereffects the DM would add. The gist of the wish was that he wanted to be able to cast meteor shower simply by saying "meteor shower". It took him several minutes to recite the full details of his wish. When he finished the DM granted the wish with two caveats: he was compelled to respond when anyone asked him a question and the only words the player was able to speak were "meteor shower".

    Naturally, the party didn't survive very long after this fiasco but it was well worth it having been a witness to such an epic battle of wills.

  • by GundamFan ( 848341 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @02:05PM (#33358532)
    Fun is what you make it.

    I've been on both sides of this (being useless in combat and being the top damage) and I would rather be in a rag tag party of misfits and having fun any day of the week. As long as it is fun and the story is good who cares about balance, I play pen and paper RPGs to get away from that kind of drama.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.