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Default Neverwinter - Interviews, Commentary

August 24th, 2010, 12:26
Lucky Day sends in this handful of Neverwinter items. First, Massively has an interview with Cryptic's Jack Emmert. Let's try to tie down what this game is:
You've described the game as not an MMO but a cooperative RPG.

(laughs) An OMG.

Right, an OMG, the online multiplayer game, yes. We also have these open spaces, public space, and privatized spaces. They aren't instances, and it's not an open world, and I'm trying to wrap my head around this, could you explain it a bit more?

We'll have worlds that are certainly cooperative. How many players will be in a particular area will be a little bit up in the air. There will be, for lack of a better word, dungeons, that you and your teammates go in, that will just be for you and your teammates, so more like a traditional instance would be in an MMO. Players will have lots of controls over whether something's public or private and so forth, and we're working on those various options now. As we go into beta and get feedback from people actually using the tools, we'll add more, but the idea of a large zone with hundreds of players, that isn't what Neverwinter is, no.

An example would be like Phantasy Star Online, perhaps, where players can meet up and play in these open spaces but move into privatized areas?

Yeah, that's not a bad analogy.
GameSpot also caught up with Jack:
GS: And along those lines, we understand that the game will let players choose to play as one of five character professions. Can you share which professions these will be? How closely will they approximate the 4th Edition rules? Will we see heroic feats, paragon paths/epic destinies…?
JE: Fighter. Wizard. Rogue. Ranger. Cleric. You'll see the powers, abilities, and spells from the latest Players' Handbook spring to life on the computer screen. Neverwinter is all about the heroic levels; the paragon paths and epic destinies will be something we add.
…and PC World's Matt Peckham (yes, that awful NWN2 review) weighs in with some general comments.
More information.

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August 24th, 2010, 12:26
Cryptic studio's is the developer, probably another game to avoid like the plague then.

Then again, it's not one of their MMO's and it's not being developed for consoles. So this could be intresting.

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August 24th, 2010, 13:52
Pardon my ignorance, but our Paladins not a part of 4E rules?

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August 24th, 2010, 14:07
I positively hated NWN1 & couldn't get into NWN2, yet I find myself intrigued by this title. It sounds like they aren't making the success of this game rely on the use of construction tools which is a plus for me.
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August 24th, 2010, 16:16
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but our Paladins not a part of 4E rules?
They are, but they probably aren't including them to save them for a future expansion.

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August 24th, 2010, 16:36
Neverwinter is all about the heroic levels; the paragon paths and epic destinies will be something we add.
It's all about keeping the player paying. I think all game developers had the same meeting regarding revenue and microtransactions are in whether they use a store or package DLC
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August 24th, 2010, 17:27
This absolutely screams "Wait for reviews!"
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August 24th, 2010, 18:59
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
This absolutely screams "Wait for reviews!"
Is it possible to review an online game?
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August 24th, 2010, 21:12
"So there's no offline play?"

"There is no offline play".

That puts the nail in the coffin for me.
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August 24th, 2010, 21:21
Yep. Not interested.
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August 24th, 2010, 21:27
Of course it's possible to review an online game. I'm very skeptical about this one, but I'm keeping an open mind. Really people, this thing is a long way from being released.

Who knows, it might be good.
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August 24th, 2010, 22:05
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That puts the nail in the coffin for me.
Same here.

By the way, this VERY MUCH reminds me of a perhaps very similar online game you might have forgotten … This one : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legends_of_Might_and_Magic

Legends Of Might & Magic seems to have had a very similar formula. Plus, it was online-only as well.

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August 25th, 2010, 08:21
even though its online only I'm pretty sure you can still play it solo. The OC will probably be too hard but I'd be curious about user made mods.

the marketing of this is clearly meant to maximize one friend convincing all his buddies to join him the way it was done in diablo. This was the original marketing idea behind NWN1 (and all the complaints of one license per purchased title) until focus groups shifted their thinking.

some of the comments above are duplicating the ones in the original announcement thread.

There's no report on how they are going to make money yet so I wouldn't be so quick to rush to judgement that they are going to sell content ala STO, DDO and probably LotRO when it goes free.

It doesn't sound like a a NWN title (its NW) but they are pushing the toolset hard it seems and that intrigues me, even with lack of DM. It seems they may have learned a lesson or two from the mistakes of NWN2, but ignoring the change in trend set by Bio that has become DA.

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August 25th, 2010, 12:14
I believe that we'll see more and more games becoming online … being online only or having at least multiplayer put in or on.

Because Multiplayer is also some kind of copy protection : One must (nowadays, surely) connect with a dedicated server in order to run this game. Copy protection at its easiest.
Well, at least in theory.

And all of the people actually like it !

This is what I've been expecting since several ears now. The sheer demand by MP-loving people has so much increased that the industry "suddenly" notices that this is also a very neat kind of copy protection. Like Blizzard showed everyone with the Battlenet.

I also predict that solo games (offline games, I mean) will very much decline in the future, or even die out. Everyone has - so the industry assumes - broadband, so there's no need to make offline games at all.

And Onlive … it' to me nothing but kind of an evolution of the concept of having a server to bind them all. (Although the concept of "terminals" is almost as old as PC computing is, even mainframes have it.)

Pure Adventure games are right now the only kind of games that can be played without being online all of the time.

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August 25th, 2010, 12:49
I agree Arlik. I think we'll see more and more PC games require you to be connected with the internet, even in a single player mode. I don't really have a problem with it, so long as it does not create lag. I understand why people might not like it though, especially if they tend to play on laptops when they don't have an online connection.

But I think the sheer economics will win out. Say you have a potential audience of 2MM users (these are people that want to play your type game, before considering their feelings on paying for it, drm, online/offline etc.). If you release it as completely offline, you run the risk of: A) people breaking the DRM and pirating it and B) people who get pissed of at the DRM, so they refuse to buy it. How much does that reduce your actual sales to? I don't know, but let's say it is 250,000. Or you release with no DRM and the numbers could be the same, but are probably worse.

Or you do some version of this online only. You basically cut out the pirates completely (or pretty close). Let's say that is 50% of that 2MM (which I don't think is unrealistic). So you are down to 1MM potential sales. You only have to capture 25% of that to have the same net sales (plus you have the possibility of selling additional content in a much smoother manner) and you probably, IMO, capture more than 25%, if you make a compelling game.

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August 25th, 2010, 16:29
And that points to the - rather philosophical - question why all of this money generated through sales is really "needed".

Except of covering the development costs, of course.

Because, a profit is a profit.

But now, they go rather for big profits than for small profits.

Which means that the small profits are in their regard of a "lesser value", so to say, than big profits. Or, in other words, that small profits are considered as less important than big profits.

But, given that profit is a profit, what actually makes a small profit less desirable than a big profit ?

It might be the risk thing. The bigger the companym, the bigger the profits should be in order to catch up the company in bad times (working like some kind of safety net).

But profits are profits … Is it the shareholders who want rather bigger profits than smaller profits ?

And why ?

Is this greed ?

And who actually says tht shareholder DO NOT be content with rather smaller profits ?

It's this development/evolution that frightens me. verything must be igger. Small things are regarded as "disrepuutable", simply because they are small, and not big. No other reason.

An the shareholders want rather big profits, otherwise they'll quit. nd sell perhaps their shares to other people.

And Locusts, the name which was given to HedgeFonds and whatnot, they are only oriented in INCREASING the value. They clearly prefer big profits from small profits. Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger.

I fear there might be some beast gone loose. Or rather, a thought model. It might be simple Greed. Or something else.

But it clearly makes people - from a psychological point [of view] - go for the igger, better, more than life thing. It's like accumulation. It shoul grow, grow, grow and even more grow with no end.

This is like cancer. Growth without stopping. Pressing pople into making EVEN MORE bigger profits. Growth without stopping, growth without any end.

This is as if Greed could become some kind of mental cancer. "Economy cancer" or "Society cancer" on a meta level, so to say.

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August 25th, 2010, 16:42
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Because, a profit is a profit.

But now, they go rather for big profits than for small profits.
What makes you think that? I think it's not the case, instead it's that they'd rather go for 'some small profit' over 'losing lots of money'.

It might be the risk thing. The bigger the companym, the bigger the profits should be in order to catch up the company in bad times (working like some kind of safety net).
Companies don't usually work this way. If they create too much spare cash then something is wrong with the business plan.

As for your more off topic thoughts on why people want money, that's simply capitalism. Money is a suitable bartering tool that allows you to trade services provided now for services used later. It's only fair that the larger the service that is provided now the larger the service that you get to use later (or more of them, or for longer) is. That's what money/profit/etc allows you to do. The alternative is a non-open system where some authority determines how much service you need to provide in order to receive the service that they determine you need, which is how most communism models end up.
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August 25th, 2010, 18:59
I don't necessarily call it greed, just good business sense. How many games, in the current environment, are positive cash flow? I don't know the answer, but I know a lot of games, including indi games, end up losing money. If we want more of these games done, we should support methods that increase revenue for the company, within reason.

I know that if I creat something, I certainly want to maximize the number of people that are paying me for it, and I'm not going to feel like I'm being greedy to do so.

But, given that profit is a profit, what actually makes a small profit less desirable than a big profit ?

It might be the risk thing. The bigger the companym, the bigger the profits should be in order to catch up the company in bad times (working like some kind of safety net).

But profits are profits … Is it the shareholders who want rather bigger profits than smaller profits ?
Return on capital/equity is certainly a driving force for shareholders, as it should be. I'd say smaller companies though have bigger risk. A big company can weather a miss on a big title, but a small company cannot.

All in all, I don't pirate games and I don't support those that do. If you want to play a game, you should pay for it. Pure and simple. So as long as they are implementing things to reduce piracy that don't deter my enjoyment of the game, then I have no problem with them.

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August 25th, 2010, 20:42
Requiring an online connection for single player games has done nothing to slow piracy so far.
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August 26th, 2010, 05:21
Like I said, I think its a way to sell more units as buyers get their buddies to by more units. Like a Memeoid the initial buyer is a reference point to more buyers, jsut as it was such a boon for games like Diablo, Half-Life and even Baldur's Gate and NWN.

Remember, it was lack of Multiplayer that was considered one of the failures of PS:T when it came out, even though it too was an Infinity Engine game.

Plus, they can also track and sell usage statistics and generate revenue from a "soft" source.

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