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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview

Default RPGWatch Feature: NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview

December 4th, 2007, 16:30
We had the chance to talk with Ossian Studios about the first NWN2 Adventure Pack, Mysteries of Westgate. Here's a sample:

RPGWatch: Mysteries of Westgate is set almost entirely within the city of Westgate itself. Alan, in a recent interview you said Neverwinter in NWN2 lacked interaction and had a "western movie billboard" feel, which I can understand. In practice, what are you doing to make the city feel more alive and complete and what sort of interaction are you looking to include?


Alan Miranda: I did indeed say that. We include several kinds of interaction for players. Firstly, we've added some ambient NPCs that you'll meet on the street who have a lot of character. Some are just for colour while others perform a service, like the merchants in the cluster of tents in the Market Triangle whom we wanted to be more than just functional item dispensers. You're also likely to encounter the greedy hands of the thieves of Westgate, and may find yourself pickpocketed by someone and subsequently chasing after them down the street attempting to get your money back.

Secondly, buildings aren't just a backdrop in Mysteries of Westgate, so you'll be able to enter a number of optional ones that have nothing to do with the critical path, and meet the occupants within, some of whom will be rather perturbed to see you. There are also interactive objects scattered throughout the city that players can simply have fun with. It's all part of our goal of giving people more things to click on, because that is what our development team (as players) would want.
Read it all here.
More information.

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December 4th, 2007, 16:30
Wow, very good interview and lots of juicy bits.
Nice to hear they try to develop in the BG2 direction, sounds very interesting.

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December 4th, 2007, 16:52
Good interview. Niiiiccceee.
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December 4th, 2007, 18:02
Indeed, nice interview. Though I am a bit sceptical about some points, I must admit I am looking forward to MoW.
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December 4th, 2007, 19:39
Very good interview. *thumbs up*

Sounds like there is some real fan ethusiasm behind this concept. I think now it depends on Atari and their terms of condition for the acquisition of this adventure pack, if MoW becomes a success or not.

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Last edited by Avantenor; December 4th, 2007 at 23:30.
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December 5th, 2007, 00:20
There's absolutely NO mention of MP and whether the mod will support or even allow it!! Do we know anything about this?

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 5th, 2007, 01:36
I agree nice interview and it sounds like something to look foreward to. As far as MP I don't know. This interview is about all I know about the adventure pack.

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December 5th, 2007, 01:42
I didn't see any point in asking about MP because the original announcement and the first interview were pretty clear:

Can the adventure pack be played via multiplayer or with a DM?

Alan Miranda: We focused on making Mysteries of Westgate a high quality single-player game only, so there are no plans to make it multiplayer or playable with a DM.

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December 5th, 2007, 01:46
Maybe a MP addon can be made for this adventure pack, since if they have a party system it should be possible or maybe worst case a mod?
Dang multiplayer really seems to be taking a hit with NWN2 series.

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December 5th, 2007, 02:12
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Dang multiplayer really seems to be taking a hit with NWN2 series.
Personally I'm glad they are concentrating on the single player aspects of the game. NWN is still amazing if you want MP and it seems that every game released today needs to have MP, even if the game could of been ten times better if they just concentrated on single player. For example: The Witcher and NWN2 MOTB are amazing because they did just concentrate on a branching story line where the story evolved depending on your actions. This is not easy to do. If they decided to try to make a great MP game to go along with an amazing SP game, the game would have probably been (like many before it) a mediocre game with a mediocre plot and mediocre mp. I would like to see more adventure packs and games in general either concentrate on making a great MP game or a great SP game.

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December 5th, 2007, 03:59
I have loved his stuff before and will be all over this when it hits!

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December 5th, 2007, 05:15
Sorry, but A) I didn't see that original announcement, and B) my only REAL interest in NWN2 is for playing MP with my friends from the Watch!! While I played every MP mod available for NWN1, I ignored all the SP only mods!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 5th, 2007, 06:28
nice.

I've not read it in detail but the questions you chose are some you won't see anywhere else. That VD interview sure raised the bar for us. I'm sorry I couldn't come up with more in that vein but I have yet to even get past the intro in the NWN2 OC so I offered some from a Toolset enthusiast's PoV. I'll will in a week or two though when newegg ships the new rig.

Thanks again. Its a nice feeling that I could contribute something.

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December 5th, 2007, 20:29
Excellent interview. My NWN2 interest level is as low as it's ever been, but several things here made me perk up my ears, not least of which being the return to a more strategic level of combat as mentioned in BG2 mage battles. Those were fights to remember.

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December 6th, 2007, 00:17
skavenhorde, mind comparing the sales and replayability of NWN due to the MP and with the other two you sited, not to mention the fan base word of mouth? Or what if The Witcher and NWN2 did Not sell as well Because they didn't have Coop?

Think MotB and The Witcher would sale more, have a bigger fan base and replayability if a good Coop was implemented?

Why is it believed it would have an effect on the quality? The Netcode is already implemented inthe Core Engine.
Hell, you could just hire a second Netcoder, a couple more testers and finish in the same about of time, since on average it's about certain amount of hours used to make the game.

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December 6th, 2007, 01:17
I don't. I'm sure a group of players appreciates coop and good for them when it is implemented but I'm pretty confident it's a small part of the market and I don't think it's all that easy to put in place.

Quite apart from the netcode, there are UI, balance and design considerations to make. BioWare's own figures for NWN1 were 10% of players actually played MP in any fashion.

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December 6th, 2007, 07:05
Acleacius, I also don't usually play coop. Maybe every once in a while I'll give Dungeon Lords a go with some friends and family but normally I don't.

As for what you said about sales, dude I'm not talking about sales. I don't know if it would sell better or not. All I know is that The Witcher and NWN:MOTB are great games because the developers did concentrate on making a hell of a story with TONS of replayability due to the fact that your actions in the game actually take you down different paths of the story. Like I said before, this is not easy to do. Have you tried programming that kind of detail in a game? If you have then good on you, but I know it's not easy to do and takes a lot of your time and resources just to acomplish this feat.

A developer can put a lot of his resources into making a great sp game or they can put their resources in making a great MP game. If they try to do both at the same time, two things seem to happen 1)They run out of time while devolping the game or 2) The game is mediocre, not a great SP game and not a great MP game or even worse it's a buggy mess with unfinished parts of the game(Dungeon Lords)

There is one example I haven't used, System Shock 2. They seemed to do it right, they first concentrated on making a game that was a blast to play and then added in the MP afterwords. Even though I've never played the MP portion of the game, I've read that many fans loved it.

Now, on the flip side, there is Mark of Chaos. I was looking foreward to this game since I first heard about it (I FINALLY get to play my favorite race) but I was a little let down by the game. It seemed unfinished to me. I don't know if it was because they were concentrating on both the SP and MP portions of the game while making it or other factors, but I'm positive that by trying to do both they ended up with a mediocre game.

So when I read that a developer is concentrating on just making a SP or even Multiplayer (though I wouldn't care about the latter) it gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside because there is hope that the game will be at least a little fun to play, that's not always the case but at least there's hope

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December 8th, 2007, 20:19
Lack of MP was one of the reasons cited that sales were high for BG and IWD over Planescape. The same I think was said for FO2 and System shock but don't quote me on that.

However, I've never seen any real marketing analysis on the PS:T numbers so I'm certain it was conjecture. Bio's own studies on NWN for lack of MP and worse, DM'g, were taken from online stats on their server and focus groups.

Based on this the direction of marketing the game and patches was completely changed for NWN. Obsidian took this to heart and released NWN2 in the same vein, heavily focusing on the Official Campaign to the detriment of mulitplayer. For awhile they even considered dropping the DM Client. It worked well for initial sales but its hurt shelf life. They have around 10% of the numbers playing online as NWN1 did in its first year.

That said, I don't think this will matter much for this Adventure Pack. Pirates of the Sword Coast did well because it could be played Co-Op but lack of MP certainly didn't mean good sales for NWN1's other Premium Mods. I think this will be the same.

We didn't get a definite answer on whether unique content will spill over to regular game, but more often than not if its interesting and good it will. Look at patch 1.69 for NWN.

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December 8th, 2007, 21:07
Dhruin that's fine, I hadn't heard the 10%, sounds low especially if you take in to account all the mod and added content, however using your numbers 10% of 2 million is 200k, is a pretty significance number, hell I bet that could keep a mmog afloat.
It's certainly true needs more work but any game with a huge fan base like NWN would only benifit, at least there is no doubt in my mind from being part of the Coop fan based since as far back as 1994 with Heretic.

skavenhorde I couldn't agree more I think they are both very good games too, I do think Coop is significant in continued sales and increased fan base.

In general as I mentioned since they both use the same engine the Netcode is present and no doubt there is added work but on any quality game that has had Coop it has been a huge boost. I can't think of a single quality game with Coop that it didn't have a positive effect.
It's certainly true some people don't prefer it, hell in the early days we all had to lug our PCs over to a friends how and do the Serial Cable Boogie! Wait who has the End-of-Line Resistor!

Dhruin & skavenhorde if you guys had the time think it would be fun to play a Coop RPG with your girlfriends/wives, buddies or whatever? Or is it just an unattractive possibility due to too much chatter or lack of focus and direction?

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December 8th, 2007, 22:38
I don't think Bioware every actually published the numbers as I think they were selling the information as marketing analysis to other companies. Its an information age after all.

All they have given is that MP is low compared to SP and that the DM Client is the least used of all the features. To us users of the game that last bit would be obvious but it doesn't discount the need for it or its quality as a tool for gaming. Its a darn shame that support for it dropped off so dramatically.

The NWN2 comparisons to NWN are obvious to anyone who's played both games in MP as far as sheer numbers are concerned. The staff has admitted to it while keeping tabs at Gamespy when the topic was brought up. It runs roughly around 600 people during peak hours and I remember lurking at Gamespy's website to compare against HL etc. to see NWN in the 1000's.

In a sign that OE might be moving on to their other projects responses in the forums from them has tapered off considerably by their own admission. However, they are denying their lack of interest continuing development in the game naturally.

In fact, Shane K. DeFreest has said goodbye as NWN2 Community Manager here.

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