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Default NWN2 - Interview @ RPG Codex

April 28th, 2007, 12:40
RPG Codex has an enlightening interview with the always straight to the point Josh Sawyer on NWN2 - what went right and what didn't. It's an excellent read and here's the first question as a sample:
You took over Neverwinter Nights 2 development in March 2006, when the game was in an "almost done" state. What was your first impression of the game (design, features, etc)?

Despite having a large amount of design documentation, I didn't feel I had a clear picture of how we were going to get to a finished game. Arguably of more importance, the game didn't feel fun. There's a lot of abstraction in D&D RPGs, so it's never really going to feel "viscerally" fun, but the controls and interface were frustrating. Of course, the framerate was also very low and that was a barrier to understanding other underlying problems (e.g. companion behavior).
More information.
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April 28th, 2007, 12:40
Man, whenever I'm modding with the toolset I hate Obsidian, but whenever I read an interview with one of them I have to admit that it is very hard NOT to like them.
Contrary to many other developers they seem to be quite critical towards their own product, and that's something I like.
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April 28th, 2007, 20:56
Obsidian has yet to make a game I'd say lived up to their full potential(compared to the Black Isle days), but I have more respect for their "average" than for most people's best.

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April 28th, 2007, 23:28
I brought this up on the codex also, but I would have liked to hear Sawyer's answer about the craptastic and insanely easy combat. I'm really suprised VD didn't ask, since the rest of the game was pretty good. But its always nice to see a AAA developer actually answer questions honestly, and also makes you respect them and their work.
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April 29th, 2007, 01:51
roqua, stop playing all your games on 'easy' mode then!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 29th, 2007, 02:44
Special Thrill: Choose Grobnar as companion and enjoy him cursing your own party instead of the enemy. Plus Qara and her Fireballs.

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April 29th, 2007, 07:15
I guess the combat was pretty easy but I was too busy battling the interface to really notice.

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April 29th, 2007, 07:17
And don't forget battling your companions with their mass destruct AoF spells!! Qara anyone!!

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April 29th, 2007, 10:50
The combat is still easy even on hardest difficulty setting. Even with puppet mode on NPCs I didn't find the combat very tactical compared to say Icewind Dale series, not that the combat was heavy on strategy in those games, but there were lot of well designed battles. I think the design focus in NWN2 was rather on plot than in combat, not that there is anything wrong in that.

If I recall right in NWN2 enemies do pretty much the same thing. Melee enemies always just run to you. Ranged enemies always use a bow and spellcasters just fling magic missile or chain lightning on higher levels. The AI can be improved but it still wouldn't make combat that much harder since most of the time the enemies have been placed on a clean map right in front of players with no traps between them or any other objects or hazards on the map that would complicate the battle. The traps also don't pose enough threat, I don't remember I saw any flesh to stone or finger of death traps in NWN2.

For example of a nicely designed battle that used map design to complicate things, in IWD2 there was that goblin fortress where you had to sneak in and take down drums that would summon tough monsters when goblin shamans banged them. Only that the drums were on the other side of canyon. There were few bridges that you could cross, but they were guarded by monsters and ofcourse trapped. But anyway that was the front yard of the fortress, you had to continue through a tunnel to get inside the fortress and eventually take down everything there.

Edit: For NWN2's sake, it did involve some memorable battles like the two black dragons, the red dragon (especially if you got the dragon to assault the giants and double crossed it), the siege defense, the battle with several Reavers and the final battle with KoS. Though they standed out more of novel feature than tactical combat once you figured out all the buff spells you had available like energy immunity and stone skin.
Last edited by Surlent; April 29th, 2007 at 11:04.
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April 29th, 2007, 15:36
I agree surlent.

I love this part and this will be used by me for years to come as an example.

And though I know it would have resulted in a lot of resistance and probably less attention from the media, I would have pushed back as much as possible against replacing the renderer. I just don't think we had the time to do it completely and well. It also really screwed up all of our GUI code and changed all of the art asset pipelines throughout production.
The graphics race ruining games as usual.
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May 1st, 2007, 02:38
What would they have done? Used the old engine and released a game with 2003-ish graphics? I am pretty happy with the graphics. NWN2 is a nice looking game.
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