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Default R.A. Salvatore - Neverwinter & 38 Studios

May 7th, 2013, 16:07
R.A. Salvatore gave an interview on GameReactor TV. In the interview he was asked about Neverwinter, and 38 Studios.
Best-selling author R.A. Salvatore talks about his most recent books set in the Forgotten Realms, their ties with Neverwinter, and the unfortunate demise of 38 Studios.

We caught up with Salvatore at the PAX East Neverwinter party, with the author sitting down in a comfy armchair with guests and journalist gathering in a circle to hear what he had to say. We sat back for a while, but finally stepped in and asked if we could steal away R.A. for ten minutes for an interview. With the crowd dispersed a number of issues were covered - including how it came to be that his latest series of books set in the Forgotten Realms are tied in with the MMORPG from Cryptic Studios.

"We'd really like your books to set the stage for the game, and I said "what does that mean?". And basically what it meant was you know, new game, they want a different look so basically blowing up a city… (laughs) So I finally get to destroy a city in the Forgotten Realms count me in."

"Curt Schilling gets beat up a lot, but he did something real magical with the people he brought together. He handselected that team and he brought in some of the best people ever and I give him a lot of credit for trying. He put himself, he put his own money on the line - I give him a lot of credit for that so no regrets from me. It is what it is, I'm sorry people got hurt, you know I got hurt, my sons got hurt, but as that fades the good parts come to the forefront."

Speaking on former 38 Studios colleagues and friends, Salvatore had the following to say:

"A lot of them seem to be landing on their feet with good companies or their own companies, so you know… It's journey right, everything we do here is a journey if you live your whole life think you just have to get to the goal you're not living your life you're just trying to get somewhere. You think you're going to some magic fairy land when you get to that goal. It's the journey, it's not the ending - the ending is death, dude."

"The IP is going to come up for sale. I hope somebody buys it. I hope they contact me and want me to come back and do some work with it. I think it's awesome, and I'm not just saying that cause I wrote it. The parts I wrote - great - but the work the team did… the love they poured into that expanding this hundreds and hundreds of pages in the wiki - just amazing stuff was coming out of that team."
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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 7th, 2013 at 20:37.
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May 7th, 2013, 16:07
played neverwinter for about 10 minutes last night as a dwarf cleric, the controls are very meh and its simplistic. will give it another chance but first impressions arent good.
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May 7th, 2013, 16:56
I had high hopes for 38 Studios MMO. There's footage of some of the game world floating around and it looked pretty impressive. Of course, graphics are just gravy and we have no idea whether the game ever would've played well or had content worth a crap. Sadly we'll probably never know.

Originally Posted by cptbarkey View Post
played neverwinter for about 10 minutes last night as a dwarf cleric, the controls are very meh and its simplistic. will give it another chance but first impressions arent good.
It's an ok game but IMO if you like that style of game and haven't played TERA, you should just play TERA since it does the style (action combat MMO) so much better and actually looks like a modern game instead of looking like something from 5-10 years ago.

IMO there isn't much D&D about Neverwinter except that it takes place in Neverwinter and has a few other D&D terms. The gameplay, class designs, combat…none of it has anything to do with D&D.

D&D is the godfather of group-based PvE and Neverwinter is just another generic MMO that's 90% solo, has slapped on PvP (and D&D has nothing to do with PvP so why is it even in the game), and has small smatterings of PvE.

To me I think that's the biggest problem with Neverwinter. There was a time, when WoTC owned D&D, that they had tight quality control and I don't think they would've allowed something like Neverwinter to happen. Neverwinter is more of a loose nod to D&D than anything truly resembling D&D.
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May 7th, 2013, 17:40
Why do people constantly claim D&D had nothing to do with PvP?

Again, it had as much PvP as you like - and I've certainly had my share during sessions. Also, it was an evolution of Chainmail - which was all about PvP.

Neverwinter may be crap (ok, for the sensitive: it's utterly mediocre) - but it has plenty to do with D&D. It just doesn't follow the rules very closely - but everything can be traced directly back to D&D and that abysmal 4th Edition.
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May 7th, 2013, 18:50
Why do people constantly claim D&D had nothing to do with PvP?
Have you played D&D 4e in exclusively PvP? Sure you can have group disagreements and players attack each other, but full on PvP battle, with capture bases mode?
The problem is that 4e isn't meant to be played in PvP. As ALL players are rather glass cannons. A striker class could drop down another player in one turn.
So to balance this, monsters have padded HP and defenses, other players don't.

Mind you, this is all PnP D&D. Neverwinter MMO is of course balanced differently, so the PvP sort of works.
The only problem I have with it is that you are forced to use it, if you want to do Epic Dungeons. (In order to do them you need certain gear rating, which you can buy with glory points you get from doing PvP)
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May 7th, 2013, 18:56
Originally Posted by lilmagi View Post
Have you played D&D 4e in exclusively PvP? Sure you can have group disagreements and players attack each other, but full on PvP battle, with capture bases mode?
I'm not talking about 4E - I'm talking about D&D, as was the original poster. That includes all versions of D&D and presumably AD&D as well.
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May 8th, 2013, 03:22
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Neverwinter may be crap (ok, for the sensitive: it's utterly mediocre) - but it has plenty to do with D&D. It just doesn't follow the rules very closely - but everything can be traced directly back to D&D and that abysmal 4th Edition.
I would call it 'average', but what REALLY gets me is how something supposedly written by RA Salvatore (and I have read the first Neverwinter book and have the second one) could totally lack any sort of a narrative 'pull'.

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May 8th, 2013, 09:40
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I would call it 'average', but what REALLY gets me is how something supposedly written by RA Salvatore (and I have read the first Neverwinter book and have the second one) could totally lack any sort of a narrative 'pull'.
Well, that's kind of strange - because the same happened with Diablo 3 and Leonard Boyarsky, who used to be a big deal in writing.

I'm not saying the lore was awful - and I actually liked the story/narrative more than it seems most people did, but it definitely wasn't special.

I think it has to do with the difference between writing from passion - and writing as a job, especially when the games might not reflect what the writer would really want to play himself.

I can't imagine a serious writer dying to play something like Neverwinter - as no matter how good the writing is, the flow will always emphasize combat over story. That said, I guess writers might want shallow combat as much as the next guy - just to kick back a bit.

That's one of the primary issues with trying to "plan" development. So many investors think you can get "key people" or throw money at something and they know what to expect. It's also my experience that most artists peak relatively early - and then it's just a slow descent. There are exceptions, but it's rare in my experience.

So many writers start out with a couple of good books - then they peak with a few great books, and then nothing ever really gets close again.
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May 8th, 2013, 22:02
I don't know what you expect from Salvatore, brothers. He is widely and imo rightly considered one of the most dull fantasy pulp manufacturers of all time. The few good books at the start don't really save him.
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May 8th, 2013, 22:22
Originally Posted by Soulbane View Post
I don't know what you expect from Salvatore, brothers. He is widely and imo rightly considered one of the most dull fantasy pulp manufacturers of all time. The few good books at the start don't really save him.
I don't agree. I've read a lot of D&D books and he is the best author of those types in my opinion.
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May 8th, 2013, 22:37
Salvatore's Homeland was great. Everthing else I've read was pretty average. Good for the mandatory 220 page licensed books I suppose but that isn't saying much.

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May 9th, 2013, 01:19
I liked Cleric Quintet quite a bit, and also mostly enjoyed the Icewind Dale Trilogy and some of the Drow and Drizzt books. But his writing is always wildly uneven and could use much tighter editing.

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May 9th, 2013, 01:50
I get the impression they have strict length guidelines which really must have an impact on creative writing, forcing brevity and ultimately bad writing habits. I can see why they are uneven (not unique to Salvatore).

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