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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » NWN 2 » PWC File Requirements. Are its days numbered?

Default PWC File Requirements. Are its days numbered?

July 14th, 2007, 19:00
Rob McGinnis, the very active community rep for OE has recently responded to a number of requests on the PWC file including my own.

Multiplayer priorities
PWC files will probably never go away. So, with that in mind, the problem then becomes how to get the PWC files to the player in the easiest and least intrusive manner.

There are many ways to approach this and, of course, the most preferable ways are also the most complicated ways and would require a lot of big changes to the client.
and on my suggestion

Multiplayer priorities
someone said they manage to compress PWC files to something amazingly small with .rar.

Could OE use some sort of compression like 7zip on the server end and only send the PWC's to the clients on a per area basis as needed (and then cache them on the client)?

Then the client would decompress them once they are received.

As well, and I'm not sure how the PWC file is formatted, could the PWC file be reduced by not having all of it sent? Just the changes or differences from a set, flat floor at 0.0 on the z axis?

thanks
We are looking at a ton of different options still - including the possibility of making a huge overhaul to the way the engine handles PWC files. we will probably be bringing a few extra programmers on for a couple months to iron out some of the PWC and PWC download issues to be timed with when the expansion is released, but not limited to the expansion.
This opens up new issues methinks. If they are planning a PWC overhaul at the time of release of MotB does that mean the release date will be pushed back.

Clearly Rob and company are seeing a problem with the lack of multiplayer for NWN2. There are very few mods already for NWN2 but the PWC requirement is just killing NWN2 even more than Hak requirements. There were always servers (like my own) that ran without haks for NWN1 but every server needs a PWC for NWN2.
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July 15th, 2007, 05:09
OK, help out the Newb; what's a PWC file?

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 16th, 2007, 08:32
yep, one too many abbreviations for me too ='.'=
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July 17th, 2007, 19:48
ok, that answer tells me that your NWN game Corwin is still in NWN1 and not NWN2 .

I'm not sure what PWC stands for but its basically a requirement for any multiplayer playing. (PW = Persistant World I'm guessing).

As near as I can tell its the Walkmesh, the file which tells players where they can walk. OE considered it too large to download to the client side when the player's connect so they seperated it.

Everyone that wants to play on your hosted mod in NWN2 has to have the most current PWC file for that mod and already on their computer before they start to play. They can't simply have a copy of NWN2 and just login.

Its the most controversial thing about NWN2 right now and probably, other than a too complex a toolset, the reason that NWN2 is not taking off for Multiplayer.

For awhile there players were also taking it apart so they could cheat and there was some early bugs with it saving information to it it had no business doing and then everyone was incompatible.

I've pointed out this thread because McGinnis is acknowledging it as a problem instead of OE justifying it.
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July 18th, 2007, 01:17
OK, now you make sense. We played NWN2 till the mods ran out, and we did notice (to our annoyance), that everyone had to download the mod before they could play. Our problem now, is we've run out of decent NWN1 mods and are playing a PW mod while we wait for some new NWN2 MP mods!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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September 4th, 2007, 00:50
Persistent World Client: A quote from Tanita:

"the PWC file ist _not_ only walkmeshes, but for your players you could sum it up like that…

actually there is a lot of confusion about what hak/mod/erf/pwc/etc are all about - and that's funny, as it is really simple: they are all the same.

these files are just archives, containing a number of files, similar to zip-files, but without compression. you could think of a hak/mod/erf/pwc as a folder, there could be almost anything within (not quite true - only the filetypes used by nwn/toolset are supported).

in your mod-file there are a really large number of files, most of them only needed by the server (like scripts), others also needed by the client (like terrain). you don't want to give all of them to your players, partly because of download-size, partly because of secrecy, but you need to give them some of it, and only your toolset knows which ones.

so a pwc is just a smaller copy of the mod, containing only what your players need, but still in one handy (?) single file…

trn and trx files are the ones describing the terrains, that is not only walkmesh but also surface form, water, gras etc. for outside areas. the difference is that the trx-files contain an optimised version of the walkmesh, making downloads smaller and pathfinding faster, while the trn files contain the "full" walkmesh as needed for the toolset's terrain editor.

often you'll only change some files within your mod/pwc, like you only updated one map. this is the same as updation only one file in a hak, as a hak again is just another name (and purpose) for the same fileformat. it is rather simple to change only that particular file inside the mod/pwc/hak, we've done this with hak's in nwn1 for more than a year now at our pw, and we'll extend our hak-update tool "hakarazzi" to support pwc as well."

This is what killed online play for me in Nwn2. I am just not going to dl a pwc for every pw I play on. They are not small and any changes made require you to upload the new pwc, they are not auto-updated. There have been some efforts in this area to streamline the process but I have not been keeping up with the latest.
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September 4th, 2007, 15:48
At least, as Lucky said, it looks like they are making some effort to repair this mess. The lack of MP mods will likely kill the chances NWN2 might have for matching the long life NWN1 obtained. NWN1 is still being sold today, mainly because of the vast number of mods available to try out. NWN2 will vanish in a year at the rate it is going right now.

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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September 4th, 2007, 19:52
That's a pretty fair assessment, but I think a lot will depend on whether they keep at trying to solve the problems, and also on the expansions. If they keep putting out great expansions it may have some legs, but not like NwN which in many ways was phenomenal with its staying power. They (Obsidian) admitted that they were focusing more on the single player experience, which from their point of view was the larger of the communities. Just talking pure numbers that is true, something like 10 to 1, according to them, single vs. multiplayer and persistent worlds. Still I don't think they were quite up on the trends. Personally sp modules pretty much bore me to tears, but I am rather a jaded gamer.
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September 4th, 2007, 23:12
Originally Posted by ffbj View Post
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*cough* Good to know that. I actually wondered what PricewaterhouseCoopers had to do with NWN. *cough*

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September 16th, 2007, 04:03
Since MotB will be out Oct 9th and patch 1.07 is no where to be seen we can pretty much rule out that PWC problems will be fixed by these magical new programmers they hired in time for release.

To be fair, 1.07 is experiencing a lot more headaches than they realized by having to hotfix the next new problems that gets found. These transition crashes are the worst it appears because they can't figure it out yet.

On the PW my buddy plays on he says they fixed it a long time ago, which is consistent with what Rob McGinnis is saying that some PWs aren't experiencing it. If I were a betting man I'd wager that they simply rewrote the transition script.

One thing is for certain though, is that they are finally realizing necessity of a good onlione community. I can't believe they waited a year to release the standalone server, and it they probably coughed up the dough to Granny to finally give custom content a kick in the pants with the Granny Tool. Now maybe we might see more than a handful of models.

ffbj if what Tanita says is true about PWC's being the same as haks or any file that tells me that the things are text and that would explain why they compress so well. Text files are still a popular choice of file formats because they translate so well; every machine supports them one way or another.

Anyway, here's hoping it becomes more playable..at least until Dragon Age is out.

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September 16th, 2007, 21:54
@ffbj…….I wonder if they know how many of us play or try to play SP mod in MP mode. Our Friday group has done it many times with about a 50% success rate. I am refering to NWN2 mods btw. If memory servers we have only tried one NWN1 mod. I keep hoping our group will have something to play soon to keep us alive. lol

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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