There's a reason Cryptic's Neverwinter isn't called Neverwinter Nights 3. According to Jack Emmert, CEO of Cryptic, "Neverwinter represents a different style of game than the others. This is an online, co-operative RPG with a large focus on the online aspect. Therefore it is different than the other two. Also, I'm a big believer in simplicity. As far as I can figure, Neverwinter Nights games were about Neverwinter — I have no idea why it was night time. So why not just call it Neverwinter."
A majority of the game's action will take place within and in the sewers below the city of Neverwinter, and occasionally bleed out into the nearby environs. Andy Velasquez, producer at Cryptic, explains the story setup. "It's about 100 years past what most players are familiar with from Neverwinter Night and Neverwinter Nights 2." Things have been hectic around Neverwinter, as they tend to be. A volcano blew up, taking most of the city with it. Foreign powers then entered the city to try and put the pieces back together. It's in this period of rebuilding that the game begins, where there's a clashing of interests as those who cling to the old ways of the city lock horns with the newcomers. Emmert added, "To sum up, you're going to kill monsters and get loot."