Once a bustling location, Neverwinter has faced a great many disasters in the past hundred years. Rule of the city remains unclear following the unfortunate demise of the last Lord of Neverwinter and factions still battle for dominance after the all-consuming Spellplague took a high toll on the population. Even Neverwinter's dead are beginning to rise from their graves and march upon the city they once called home.
In Neverwinter, players choose to become one of five classic D&D classes and team up with friends or computer-controlled allies to form five-person co-op groups. Players also create their own storylines and quests utilizing an extremely user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge.
"Wizards of the Coast is excited to invite millions of fans back to Neverwinter with the launch of R.A. Salvatore's Gauntlgrym,” said Liz Schuh, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast. "And we're excited about the prospects for great digital gaming experiences based on this epic world.”
Neverwinter for PC is scheduled to release in Q4 2011 and is part of a multi-platform event, including a book trilogy from New York Times best-selling author R. A. Salvatore and a tabletop roleplaying game from Wizards of the Coast. Book one in Salvatore's Neverwinter trilogy, titled Gauntlgrym, releases on October 5 of this year and lays the groundwork for the Neverwinter storyline. The novel previews the settings, characters and monsters from the PC game and details the events that lead up to this highly anticipated PC gaming experience.
The business is model is yet to be decided per Jack Ememrt, whether its subscription, free to play with game purchase, or free to play with options to buy in game items.
Neverwinter will not be a MMOG but is intended for small parties of players JAck Ememrt refers to as an Onlinle Multiplayer Game (OMG). Solo play will be possible but, at least with the official campaign, decidedly difficult. NPC companions will be in the official campaign.
The choice of making NW not be an MMORPG (which Cryptic Studios specializes in) was not due to the lawsuit that D&D Online maker Turbine has made against CS parent company Atari. Jack Emmert says this was already a project in the works that the company decided to make into a D&D project at Atari's request.
All play will be online. Private areas are possible.
The rumoured name for the game was Neverwinter Nights 3 or Nevewinter Nights Online.
Neverwinter drops the name Nights for three stated reasons: the extra noun Nights they felt was awkward; RA Salvatore's upcoming books of the same name also drops the word; while still maintaining a connection to the previous two or three incarnations of the game this version will be very different and they need to stay fresh.
The word "Online" was dropped for the first stated reason just as they didn't use it with their game Champions. It is also not a MMOG and they want to make that clear in the name.
Users will be able to make custom areas using "Forge", the working name a simplified version of Cryptic Studios own tools they've used to make the game.
Players connect to user made content in game via an NPC or an object that that will link them via a quest or somesuch. Players can rate the quality of user made content.
There will (likely) be no DM Client ala. the previous two versions of the game but Forge will allow the host to build dynamically while players are in game.
Classes available at launch will be Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Ranger, and Rogue. Initial races will be Human, Elf, and Dwarf and a surprise race (half-orc?). Additional races will be available to play after launch probably at one a month.
References to the previous games history will be seen in Easter Eggs.
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