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Neverwinter Nights 2 - All News

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16:11
NWN2 - GOLD!
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Box Art

Monday - July 21, 2014

NWN2 - Baldur's Gate II: Reloaded Mod

by Couchpotato, 14:59

We were sent news of a new mod for NWN2 called Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Reloaded. The mod is from the same people who made Baldur's Gate Reloaded.

Here is a trailer and mod announcement.

The BGR Team (Shallina, myself, and perhaps a few new and familiar faces), having completed Baldur's Gate: Reloaded, have decided to complete the series and remake Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn + Throne of Bhaal. While we originally made the announcement over a month ago, it sounds like many of you in this awesome community are not on Facebook which is where we do most of our communication. I greatly value your guys' input and comments, so it would be a shame to not include many of you whom I deeply respect and admire in our updates and conversations about the upcoming campaign.

Tuesday - December 31, 2013

NWN2 - Mods By Tsongo

by Couchpotato, 04:59

Some of you may still play NWN2, or bought it from GOG recently. I thought I would share a few mods by a modder called Tsongo. I do have to warn you they do contain some adult content. It's nothing explicit but it may bother some players.

Serene

You wake up at home in the village of Marintree slightly the worst for wear after a night of partying with the local dryads. A contest is being held in the village to select people to join the Order of the Moon as your sister Serene did a couple of years ago .Events unfold and what starts as a hunt for Serene turns into revenge....

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time in a far away land you were given a job to do, a job that would take you on a journey that would alter the way that this land would be forever.

Bad Habits

A high kicking, low punching, staff wielding, kama waving story driven campaign for human monks that will take your sack wearing brother or sister from level 1 to 20.

Tuesday - November 26, 2013

NWN2 - Untold Tales Of Tolkien Mod

by Couchpotato, 01:33

I just want to bring everyones attention to a new NWN 2 mod called Untold Tales Of Tolkien: The Indanthrine Prince. So if your still playing the game head over to the vault to download the mod. Here is the mods description to get you started.

Welcome to the NWN2 edition of the NWN1 module of the same name! This is no mere copy - much has been expanded upon, altered and improved. This module is the first in a planned series of three. This is the initial release. The module has been tested in full many times and is in a very stable state - no known serious problems. We will be allowing about a month of feedback before putting together a FINAL release by the end of the year. Enjoy the module, keep supporting NWN2!

The history of Middle Earth is sewn with legends. Exceptional people renowned as heroes of their time; or held in terrible infamy. Many such tales are widely told and remembered. But equally, are the Untold Tales; those that were drowned out or overlooked amidst the pressures of their time of telling. What follows is one such tale, and it is told over a number of chapters, this being the first...

On the eastern borders of Rhovanion lies a small rural village. One of many such, scattered amongst the fertile farming plains. It is here that the focal figure of this tale begins their journey. An apprentice to a respected scholar finds themself trading the neighbourly, quiet village life for something quite different, when the life they knew is ripped out from under them.

A new path, but of what? Justice? Revenge? Perhaps simply a new life of adventure and discovery. No matter the path taken, the events that follow change that apprentice and the lives of those close to them. This chapter of the tale takes the hero across many leagues, including the bustling markets of Esgaroth on the Long Lake; crumbling crypts; the wildlands of Rhun and it's volatile mountain ranges; macabre Easterling fortresses and the shadowy gloom of Mirkwood.

This is a tale of loyalty, love and friendship. Of hatred, justice and revenge. All play their part in the making of this untold hero. This Untold Tale is but the first part of their incredible story...


Game best suited for 1-3 players.(Does not include NPC companions) For new characters, leveling to approximately level 12. Game length approximately 20-30 hours

Thursday - June 06, 2013

NWN2 - Baldur's Gate Reloaded Mod Released

by Couchpotato, 00:01

Baldur's Gate Reloaded for NWN 2 was just released today. The project was in development fo seven years. I just started playing the mod and highly recommend it.

You can download it off the NWN 2 Nexus.

Baldur's Gate: Reloaded is a fan-made tribute to and complete remake of Baldur's Gate (1998), orginally developed by BioWare and published by Interplay Enterainment, for Neverwinter Nights 2. This campaign features both the entire original campaign and its expansion, Tales of the Sword Coast.

NOTE: Baldur's Gate: Reloaded requires that you have both Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir expansion packs installed.

Monday - May 13, 2013

NWN2 - Baldur's Gate: Reloaded Mod

by Couchpotato, 00:02

Thanks to a forum post by Fenris a mod for NWN2 came to my attention. The mod is called Baldur's Gate: Reloaded, and has a release date of June 1, 2013.

Baldur's Gate: Reloaded is a fan-made tribute and remake of the original Baldur's Gate using the Neverwinter Nights 2 engine.

The project started in November of 2006 and has slowly progressed since then towards completion. Our team size has varied throughout the course of development from as many as 5 members to as little as 1 member.

The planned release date is June 1, 2013. Both expansion packs to Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir, are required to play.

Contact Drew Rechner (http://www.facebook.com/drew.rechner) for any questions, comments, or concerns.


* This not-for-profit project is in no way affiliated with Bioware or any applicable parties and is a fan tribute to a great RPG experience. Basically, we love Bioware and Baldur's Gate and want to pay tribute to a great developer and a great game!

Sunday - January 27, 2013

NWN2 - Complete Game Relased on GOG

by Aries100, 14:53

NWN 2 Complete has been released at GOG, the game includes this:

Neverwinter Nights 2: Complete includes the original game, and three expansions: Mask of the Betrayer, Storm of Zehir, and Mysteries of Westgate.

Here's some info about the game and its expansions:

Welcome back to Neverwinter! Bards sing tales of heroes in ages past, but they rarely mention those that are yet to become heroes. One such hero is a farmer in the small village of West Harbor. Raised by the elven ranger, Daeghun, as his own child, our hero will embark on a grandiose quest against the King of Shadows. Neverwinter Nights 2 is the tale of his deeds. His adventures continue in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Our protagonist discovers that an ominous spell has fallen on him. A curse of perpetual hunger--one which can only be quelled by consuming the souls of spirits. In order to remove the curse, he has to travel to the Shadow Realm, which harbors dark secrets and tormented souls.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - March 14, 2012

NWN2 - Icewind Dale Remake Released

by Dhruin, 09:56

Wandering Skyrim Nexus I noticed they've launched NWN2 Nexus - and announced the complete, non-Beta release of an Icewind Dale remake for NWN2. I can't decide if it's a great idea or not - but it's certainly ambitious:

Our tale begins here, in the quiet fishing village of Easthaven. One of the so-called "Ten Towns" of Icewind Dale, the tiny community is hardly a town, but rather a collection of ramshackle huts crowded together upon the icy shores of Lac Dinneshere. Here within a dimly lit tavern, a group of travelers sit huddled around a table, swapping tales and making grand plans for the future, completely unaware of the part they are to play in the events that are about to unfold.

This is a campaign so you must select "New Campiagn" to start. (select new game/new campaign/Icewind Dale/start campaign.

Races: races from IWD are supported, others may work.
Classes: classes from IWD are supported, others may work.
Level: start at level 1
Party Size: party of up to 6
Difficulty: Combat is balanced for a party of 4. Speed of level progression is based on party size so choose wisely

Has been tested for Multiplayer and seems to be working...

Thursday - June 16, 2011

NWN2 - Original Forums Closed

by Dhruin, 00:15

Thrasher notes the original BioWare NWN1 and NWN2 forums have been closed by BioWare. We knew the shift to the new Social Network would happen eventually but there doesn't appear to have been a specific warning, leaving some players frustrated at the loss of the old infomation. Thread here at the Social Network.

Thursday - March 24, 2011

NWN2 - Platinum Edition 50% Off on Steam

by Dhruin, 21:20

Eron writes in to say NWN2 Platinum Edition (Neverwinter Nights™ 2 and two official expansion packs: Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir) is on sale for $9.99 until Monday on Steam.

Thursday - February 10, 2011

NWN2 - Kaedrin's PrC Pack v1.41 Released

by Dhruin, 21:43

We haven't had a NWN2 newsbit for a long time, so it's nice to get reminded by something.  Kaedrin has released a new version of the PrC Pack with a new Prestige Class and 166 other fixes or changes.  Full details on the BioWare forums.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - August 27, 2009

NWN2 - Debrief @ Bitmob

by Dhruin, 01:08

This interview with Obsidian features Feargus Urguhart, George Ziets, Richard Taylor and more.  Titled a Debrief, the conversation looks back on NWN2 and its expansions and the development:

Bitmob: Mask of the Betrayer's story drew a great deal of praise. What was different between the story development of the original campaign and the first expansion?

George Zeits: For one thing, MOTB was a lot shorter, and we had a much better sense of how much work we could actually get done in the time that we had. I wasn't at Obsidian during the initial story development for NWN2, but I think the game suffered a great deal from overambition -- the original storyline was massive, and a huge amount of material had to be cut from the final game. As a result, the final product was less polished and the storyline was messier than they should have been.

By the time we started MOTB, though, we were veterans. In fact, three of the four core content designers on MOTB -- Jeff Husges, Eric Fenstermaker, and me -- were NWN2's Act 2 team, and we'd all worked in the same office. I was able to write a story for MOTB that had a much more realistic scope, given our schedule and rate of content creation.

We still had to cut some content, but not so much that the core storyline had to be gutted or rewritten.

RT: In Mask of the Betrayer, we had a dedicated story writer on the team. He took ownership over the story and the major characters, taking care to write a lot of their dialogues and review the dialogues written by others to make sure that the characters were consistently portrayed.

On the original campaign, the responsibility for the overall story was just one of many responsibilities resting on the shoulders of the lead designer, which meant that it didn’t get as much focused attention as we were able to give it on Mask of the Betrayer. We were happy with [how] having a dedicated story designer worked out on Mask of the Betrayer.

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - August 25, 2009

NWN2 - v1.23 Hotfix, Disc Check Removed

by Dhruin, 23:56

Good news, everyone!  After quite a fair wait, the promised v1.23 Hotfix for NWN2 has been released and it also removes the disc check.  From Matthew Rorie at the official forums:

Hey guys,

If you boot up your NWN2 and hit that shiny Update button, you should be able to download the 1.23 hotfix. Here's a brief and non-inclusive list of changes:

-Modified the SecuROM implementation. This should remove some of the crashes people have experienced with 1.23, and you no longer need to have the game disc in the drive to play the game.

-Fixes for AMD Athlon XP chips that were experiencing some crashes.

-Enabled Instant Feats.

-Some odds and ends on top of that.

Download and enjoy!

Edit by GF- just updating with some details:
- Athlon XP crashes upon launching autodownloader in-game fixed
- Athlon XP crashes when launching toolset fixed.
- SecuROM - Blue Screen of Death issue resolved. Game disk dependency removed.
- Instant feat column added to feats.2da
- Toolset: plugin warning message no longer hides behind the splash screen
- Toolset: Bottom entries no longer get truncated in the blueprint palette (and other locations that use the new filter)
- Toolset: 2GB limit when staging files for Autodownloader has been fixed.

Saturday - August 15, 2009

NWN2 - v1.23 Hotfix Next Week?

by Dhruin, 00:27

Matthew Rorie pops up at the NWN2 forums to apologise for the lack of posts, offer a giveaway, let us know the v1.23 hotfix might make it next week and hint that Obsidian is looking at where next for NWN2:

I'm sure you guys have a lot of questions about the future of NWN2. Unfortunately, while we're looking at what can be done from here on, we don't really have a lot of specifics to share at the moment. In the short term, we're working on the 1.23 hotfix that should address some of the issues that arose with that patch. We'll hopefully have that out to you guys sometime next week.

The giveaway is a few signed copies of Storm of Zehir - simply post once in this thread.

Friday - July 24, 2009

NWN2 - v1.23 Hot fix

by Dhruin, 23:25

Latest forum DRM war incoming...

In an upcoming hotfix to Patch 1.23, we will be changing how SecuROM copy protection is used in Neverwinter Nights 2. This should eliminate some of the crashes that a few people have been seeing in the patch.

We'll have more details on this soon!

Link to the NWN2 forum announcement.

Thursday - July 16, 2009

NWN2 - v1.23 Released

by Dhruin, 22:24

The much anticipated 1.23 update for NWN2 has been released to the Autopatcher, according to Obsidian's Matthew Rorie.  No patch notes were included but updated beta notes were provided some time back.

Monday - June 29, 2009

NWN2 - Hearts of Endia Mod Review

by Dhruin, 22:48

Sorcerer's Place let us know they have a review of the NWN2 mod, Hearts of Endia.  The score is 8/10 and here's an early snip:

There's little empty room in this adventure. It feels every inch and every minute has been worked on. The locales are lovely and the quests are well set, as I amply showed above. I might say that some city or indoor areas may be just a tiny bit empty, but that's a feeling that probably never entirely leaves anything made in the NWN1 or NWN2 toolset that I've seen so far. As you stray from the beaten path, you discover beautiful locations, you gain side-quests that you otherwise would not and you meet strange people that give you items (well, just one, but still). The author has even provided custom music that fits the module's Alpine atmosphere. It made me laugh like a child throughout the candy-like peaceful sections and it provided an additional flavour to the more adrenaline-loaded moments as well.

Friday - June 19, 2009

NWN2 - Night Howls in Nestlehaven Mod Review

by Dhruin, 13:08

Sorcerer's Place dropped us a line for another NWN2 mod review.  This time it is Night Howls in Nestlehaven and the score is 4.5/6:

The Atmosphere in 'Night Howls of Nestlehaven' is very tense, and you can almost feel the friction between the two opposing families. As you dig into the case and begin piecing the puzzle together, you will come to realise that what you have seen might just be the top of the iceberg . Small pieces of information are revealed as you follow the different leads on the murderers, and slowly, as they come together, you will come to understand the full gravity of the situation.

There are quite a few different companions to choose from in 'Night Howls in Nestlehaven'. They mostly won't just team up with you however, you have to prove yourself capable first by following some of the various leads, unveiling the plot. They will often voice their opinions about the situation, or warn you if they sense danger ahead. All-in-all I found them to be very well rounded, adding a lot of flavour to the game.

Thursday - June 11, 2009

NWN2 - Tears of Ilmarid 2 Module Review @ Sorcerer's Place

by Magerette, 17:47

For those interested in user created modules for Obsidian's rpg NeverwinterNights2, chevalier over at Sorcerer's Place has put up a detailed look at Hohiro Kurita's The Blood War, second installment in a campaign entitled Tears of Ilmarid. You can find all the relevant information, including a download link for the module, here on the Boards O'Magick forum.

Snip of the Final Thoughts section:

I can only wish the author had more time to develop some aspects further as he had originally wanted. As for what I did not lack, I've said it all: the excellent atmosphere, the drama, the convincing character cast, the congruity of the module, the well-done pre-release testing, they were all there and they were of the highest quality. They make the module stand out and be unique.

Rating this module is hard. On the one hand, it feels very short. On the other hand, it's very well done. On the one hand, it has great storytelling, drama and character chast, on the other hand, much of the ending isn't very convincing. On the one hand, locations are pretty, on the other hand there was little to do in most of them and many felt understaffed. All in all, the good things do prevail over the bad things and the rating I give is 8 out of 10. I had a lot of fun playing and I give it a hearty recommendation. I am looking forward to Part 3.

 

Source: Blues News

Saturday - June 06, 2009

NWN2 - Moonshadows Module Review

by Dhruin, 10:18

Chevalier from Sorcerer's Place writes in about their review of the NWN2 module, Moonshadows Chapter 1.  Written by Ossian's Alex 'Hugie' Hugon, word is "this is an exploration-driven module with heavy combat and a story that really gets going"; the score is 8.75/10 and here's a bit on the area design:

The area design is awesome. It's in no way behind the official releases. I often stopped by to take a screenshot or two and sometimes it turned into a small session.  There is much to look at, even though Alex's primary focus was on the writing. In retrospect, it feels as if he had delivered a more than competent area design job with the areas being a secondary concern, while he was seeing his role as a story designer and writer first and foremost, not stepping too far into the engine room. And yet you don't need nanotools to create something remarkable. I wonder what he will be capable of after a couple of years spent at Ossian. The forest areas and especially the eastern part, since basically everything above the ground is a forest here, reminded me of the Baldur's Gate series and brought a tear to my eye.

Friday - May 29, 2009

NWN2 - Updated v1.23 Beta Notes

by Dhruin, 00:17

The patch notes for the NWN2 v1.23 beta have been updated.  Rob McGinnis' thread points to a Word .doc and the those notes are far too long to post, so grab the file yourself if you're interested.

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

NWN2 - 2008 Module of the Year Winners

by Dhruin, 23:25

NW Vault's 2008 Module of the Year winners have been announed for both NWN and NWN2.

The NWN winner is Shadewood by Fester Pot and for NWN2, A Hunt Through the Dark Remastered by Markus "Wayne" Schlegel.  Head over for the followup Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each game.

Thursday - April 16, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate and v1.23

by Dhruin, 23:32

Obsidian's Rob McGinnis posts that Mysteries of Westgate will be released soon (Seriously.  No, stop laughing.  Really...it's soon), which means it will need to be tested against the upcoming v1.23 patch for NWN2:

Hello everyone,

I do not want to get people's hopes up, but I am told that Mysteries of Westgate will be released very soon (sooner than my normal soon).

We will also be releasing the 1.23 beta within a matter of a day or so, so I thought I would talk to you all about how we are planning things to work.

We are going to change the 1.23 beta to a semi-closed beta, instead of an open beta. This will help us support you better and will help to get MoW out there sooner, rather than waiting on another few rounds of MoW testing.

MoW has not been specifically tested with 1.23 yet, so we want to make sure any bugs that come up are reported and handled correctly. It wouldn't be fair to Ossian if there ended up being some compatibility issues between MoW and 1.23, and people just chalked those up as issues with MoW.

I will be asking for people that want to test 1.23 to sign up at the Obsidian forums ( http://forums.obsidian.net/ ), then send me a PM on those forums to let me know.

We will also be providing a revert patch for the beta, so if you find things are too troublesome for you, you can revert back to 1.22 so you can enjoy MoW.

If you have any questions, please post them here and I will try to answer them as best I can. No, I cannot give an exact date.

Wednesday - April 15, 2009

NWN2 - Autodownloader Docs

by Dhruin, 00:31

For the NWN2 modders out there, Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has posted links to preliminary documention for the upcoming Autodownloader in v1.23:

You can find the links to the Autodownloader docs for the 1.23 beta here:

Autodownloader Server Admin Guide
Autodownloader Toolset User Guide

Please note these documents are drafts and will evolve with the 1.23 beta.

These files will also be hosted on Neverwinteros.com. [...]

Just a quick note: I'd advise reading the toolset doc before the server admin doc. Some things are explained in detail there which are only briefly touched upon in the server admin doc.

Monday - April 13, 2009

NWN2 - 2008 Module of the Year Voting

by Dhruin, 22:05

Seems a bit late in the year to me but RPG Vault has opened voting for the 2008 NWN and NWN2 Module of the Year.

Wednesday - April 08, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Review @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 00:28

NW Vault has reviewed Mysteries of Westgate, awarding a score of 8.64/10:

Ossian has done a fine job of maintaining Westgate's reputation as a wild and squalid city, where law and order exist only in name. Citizens and even city officials are often hesitant to talk anywhere they might be overheard. The City Watch is overworked, under-funded, and many are on the take. To most citizens, solace may only be found in bars, brothels, or if they can afford it, barricaded compounds.

The writing in MoW ranges from the dramatic to the decidedly tongue-in-cheek. In almost all instances, it's very well done. This should come as no surprise to those who have played Darkness Over Daggerford (DoD) or the mods made by Ossian staff. There is a plethora of talent in that organization and the results show it.

NWN2 - Whither Westgate?

by Dhruin, 00:22

Ossian's Tiberius has posted a couple of comments to explain the continuing absence of Mysteries of Westgate.  Apparently Atari is waiting on two separate Hasbro approvals related to European distribution.  Here's the main bit:

Contrary to what some have implied, we really are waiting on Hasbro's approval. That approval has not come, apparently, because of concerns regarding some of the European distributors. I don't know enough to be more specific as to the nature of these concerns. The result is the same regardless.

What that means is that you North American customers could be playing right now, but everyone (Ossian included) has always desired a simultaneous release. The question is whether the approvals will take long enough to warrant a staggered release or if we should continue holding up everyone to wait for the concerns to be addressed. I don't know which direction it will go.

Friday - April 03, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Review @ Thieves-Guild

by Dhruin, 22:09

NWN2 fansite Thives-Guild.net let us know they have completed their Mysteries of Westgate review.  It's very positive and notes plenty of sidequests, meaningful choices and challenging combat.  Here's a near-end snip:

The story line is exceptionally well written and entertaining.  There are more than enough surprises to keep you looking over your shoulder or around the next corner to see what is in store for you.  As you follow each lead, promising avenues of exploration will suddenly dry up or be abruptly cut off only to yield a new path to follow.  And the game will tease and frustrate you more than once along the path.  (Damn, that bitch got away AGAIN!)  Each step yields a few more clues to the riddle behind the mask and gets you a bit closer to the answers you seek.  The end game will NOT disappoint.  Without a doubt, this game has some of the best and most challenging end game combat I've seen.     

There is still no official release date, although April 7-8 seems to have the smart money.

Friday - March 20, 2009

NWN2 - Podcast 95 - Mysteries of Westgate

by Dhruin, 21:22

The latest NWN Podcast is out, featuring an interview with Ossian's Alan Miranda and a review of Mysteries of Westgate.  I haven't listened to it yet but here's their blurb:

The 95th episode of the only Neverwinter Nights Podcast is all about the very near adventure pack for NWN2, Mysteries of Westgate

In this episode we have special guest, CEO of Ossian Studios, Alan Miranda drop in and answer questions posted live from community members in the nwnpodcast IRC room.

Then we air the first MOW review done by our very own Michele aka Liso. So tune in and catch all the goodies.

There is also a bunch of screens showing the companions from MoW.

Monday - March 16, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate - Yet Another Update

by Dhruin, 21:12

"Soon" is such as nebulous term.  Alan Miranda at the official forums:

Hi Folks,

As Tiberius mentioned earlier, we are still waiting for all of MoW’s distribution approvals, although progress has been made. Only when that is ready can Atari announce a release date. We’ll keep you posted as best we can on this progress, as we await pretty much day-to-day. For now, know that quite a number of reviewers are playing the final retail version of MoW and have been telling us how much they like it. Hopefully there’ll be some more previews coming out from them for you to read.
- Alan

Wednesday - March 11, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate - Latest Info

by Dhruin, 02:36

From Tiberius on the official forum:

OK, this message will be split into information I know and what I think. The first is definite. The second is just my own (slightly informed) opinion. Do not take any of the second as a "promise."

What I know is that some distribution sites were ready last Friday. Others needed more time. Once everything is finalized and ready to go, there are a series of final OKs that need to be received before any systems can be brought on-line. These OKs come from more than just Atari and are expected to take very little time to get. Once all the OKs are received, Atari will put out the official press release.

What I think is that all the systems are almost certainly ready by this point and that Atari is only waiting on the final go-ahead, if that is not already received. When the press-release comes, I believe there will be no further delay until it can be bought. In other words, the press release will say something like "available now," but they might give a 1-2 day heads' up. I still have a funny feeling this Friday will be the release day.

Saturday - March 07, 2009

NWN2:Mysteries of Westgate - Preview @ VGBlogger

by Magerette, 16:12

RPGWatch's Mike Anderson (txa1265) has written a short preview of Ossian Studios' NWN2  Adventure Pack, Mysteries of Westgate, for gaming site VGBlogger. Here's a sample:

One of the greatest things about the original Neverwinter Nights was the ability to craft your own complete role-playing adventures with relative ease. This has led to a large body of modules that rival commercial games, and was eventually exploited by Atari in the form of several ‘Premium Modules’. Neverwinter Nights 2 also features a large module toolset, though it is more cumbersome to use, was released in a less than optimal state, and has taken longer for developers to craft new modules with. Very soon, though, the first official ‘Adventure Pack’ will be released - Mysteries of Westgate from Ossian Studios. I will be reviewing that module later, but had a few thoughts on it - and also wanted to highlight the impending release.

Friday - March 06, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate: Date?

by Dhruin, 21:18

We assumed Atari would finally get around to fixing and promoting an official release date for Mysteries of Westgate but it seems even the developers still don't know exactly when we'll get to play it.  Tiberius in response to the prevailing rumour of a Friday release:

I'm not saying they are going to wait until next Friday; no one's told me the exact day. I just know they like to release games on Friday because most people then have time on the weekend. I don't agree that this makes Atari "irresponsible," btw, though I realize that lots of people will criticize them for anything at this point.

I happen to think that the day they announce the date will also be the first day you can actually buy it. I seriously doubt that would be Saturday and certainly not Sunday, but again, I'm guessing like everyone else.

Thursday - March 05, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate: Gold!

by Dhruin, 08:25

Alan Miranda from Ossian has posted on the official forums that Atari has passed Mysteries of Westgate through QA with the latest 1.22 patch, making the game officially "Gold":

Hi Everyone,

As per my earlier post (see below), Ossian and Atari have done the final QA pass on MoW to make sure everything is working with 1.22. We finished yesterday and the critical path and sidequests all check out fine. I’ve gotten the official Atari stamp of approval today, meaning that MoW is now gold!

With MoW in the pipe, the next step is to get this final version to the digital distributors, for as you may or may not know, Atari uses services like Digital River to digitally distribute their games from the Atari website. When that has been hooked up, MoW will be set to release, and you’ll hear the official word from Atari about it. I’ll also post here to tell you the good news.

In the interim, it will be reviewers who will now get their copies of MoW to review. We’re looking forward to what they have to say!
- Alan

Thanks to Cal1s from Thieves Guild.net for the heads up.

Thursday - February 26, 2009

NWN2 - More on MoW Release Date

by Dhruin, 20:59

Comments from Ossian Studios' Russ 'Tiberius' Davis on the official forum on the Mysteries of Westgate release:

Well, looking at what needs to be done, Monday would be a little ambitious. That would have been possible if 1.22 had released this past Monday as originally planned, but not now. And while the couple extra days may be disappointing, be glad Obsidian took the extra time to work out whatever issue held up the 1.22 release. Better to wait a few extra days than have to wait all the way to 1.23 because of a quick rush job.

That said, I don't know why we can't give the release date now that the final piece is in place, but I guess caution still rules the day. However... I'd suggest freeing up some time during the weekend of March 7-8 in case interesting things happen in the intervening week. This is just a precautionary measure, of course; nothing says anything actually will happen...

Wednesday - February 25, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 Released (Updated)

by Dhruin, 22:07

I can't see an official announcement but my Autopatcher says v1.22 has been released.  In the meantime, read the beta patch notes if you are interested.

Update: The official thread is up, with the final patch notes.

Tuesday - February 24, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 on Wednesday?

by Dhruin, 22:32

From Rob McGinnis on the NWN2 v1.22 patch:

Atari has asked for some additional time for testing. The main patch should be released on Wednesday if they approve it.

Monday - February 23, 2009

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate "Coming Soon"

by Dhruin, 20:02

Cal1s from Thieves-Guild.net writes that Ossian Studios has posted this tasty tidbit on their site:

At long last, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate will soon be available to play! An official Atari announcement is forthcoming, so please stay tuned for more news. To read all about our game's features, check out our MoW info page.

This would seem to match in with our information that MoW would have launched last week, if not for the v1.22 delay.

Thursday - February 19, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 Next Week?

by Dhruin, 21:02

Rob McGinnis has posted that the v1.22 patch for NWN2 will be next Monday at the earliest:

No patch today (2/19). We are waiting on final word from some of the testing groups.

Since we do not release full patches on Fridays, it will be Monday at the earliest before the patch comes out.

We had heard from a reliable (but not official) source that Mysteries of Westgate might see a release on the 20th but presumably this will have to wait until after v1.22.

Wednesday - February 18, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 Hotfix Expected

by Dhruin, 20:57

With NWN2 v1.22 imminent, Lucky Day points out Obsidian has discovered a small bug and will issue a hotfix, rather than delaying the patch:

The issue has to do with the ending denouement. It's not an issue that the majority of people would run into, but some could see it.

NWN2 - Autodownloader coming in v1.23

by Dhruin, 11:52

Lucky Day notes Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has confirmed an Autodownloader feature is planned for the v1.23 patch for NWN2, with a beta due soon.

Friday - February 13, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 Patch Expected Feb 18

by Dhruin, 22:46

Rob McGinnis writes on the official forums that the v1.22 patch for NWN2 should be out on February 18, barring no serious problems:

Update time:

I would like to get the patch out to you on, or around the 18th of February. No promises, of course. If something really bad crops up in testing, we will have to delay again.

Thanks, Toothpaste!

Saturday - February 07, 2009

NWN2 - v1.22 Patch Delay Comments

by Dhruin, 22:22

Lucky Day writes about this comment from Obsidian's Rob McGinnis about the delay to the NWN2 v1.22 patch:

Here's the deal...

Originally the patch was delayed because of some translation fixes that were requested. Then Atari asked for some additional fixes to go in. Now we are waiting on a fix from SecuRom.

But, this delay has not gone to waste. We fixed a couple additional things and may fix a couple more for this patch. A couple of the fixes we made should clear up the problems people have been having with the Trial by Combat.

We are evaluating some ELC issues with Yuan-ti and the Favored Soul. Those may be fixed in 1.22 as well, or they may move off to 1.23 if it looks like it will take too long to fix them.

The patch has not gone to QA yet. Once it does, you can expect it to be about 2 weeks before it is released.

I will let you all know as soon as it goes to QA.

He also mentions they'd add area caching if they ever did a NWN3:

Area caching was something we looked into for SoZ. We would have had to re-write large portions of the engine to accomplish this - which means SoZ probably still wouldn't be released now. The NWN engine is extremely complex and making even a small change ripples through and causes problems elsewhere.

If we ever do a NWN3, we would probably do streaming areas - but that would make the toolset and area creation even more complex for modders.

Sunday - January 18, 2009

NWN2 - The Black Hound Blog

by Dhruin, 02:21

Thanks to Starwars on our forums for pointing out J.E. Sawyer's blog for his NWN2 mod, The Black Hound.  You probably thought the project to recreate Black Isle's abandoned development as a NWN2 mod was dead but Josh seems to have been waiting for Storm of Zehir to add some useful features.  Development still looks to be in a very early stage but head over to The Herald of Archenbridge for some recent entries.

Saturday - January 10, 2009

NWN2 - Third Expansion Possible?

by Dhruin, 10:45

The latest NWN Podcast includes an interview with John Mamais and Raphaël Boyon from Atari Europe.  Among the questions asked are the release of Mysteries of Westgate, to which the response is "we're currently reworking our online strategy" but that "could be subject to change and we could release it sooner than later".

On the subject of another NWN2 expansion pack, John responds "We don't have anything signed but we are discussing doing another expansion pack with the team.  And I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen."  Presumably the "team" is Obsidian.

Finally, on more Adventure Packs / Premium Modules, John says "noone's proposed or approached us about doing more Adventure Packs" (not surprising, because any potential developers have seen what happened to Mysteries of Westgate).

Head over to listen to the full podcast (~26Mb, 51 mins).  The interesting bits with Atari Europe can be found around the 26 minute mark on.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - December 31, 2008

NWN2 - Beta v1.22 Patch

by Dhruin, 23:30

This goes back to before Christmas but it got lost in the holiday shuffle.  Lucky Day sent word of a NWN2 Beta 1.22 patch - head over to the official forums for Rob McGinnis' post, which includes full notes.  As usual,  there is a large list of changes, including a bunch of fixes for the Storm of Zehir campaign.

Saturday - December 06, 2008

NWN2 - Euro Voice Patch

by Dhruin, 04:05

Avantenor writes of a patch for German, French and Spanish owners of NWN2 (and NWN2 + MotB) that fixes a long outstanding voice problem with those versions.  Word is this 445Mb multilingual file isn't required if you have purchased Storm of Zehir (and English versions are unaffected).  You'll need to grab the file from the link above, because it won't be distributed via the autopatcher.

Originally spotted at www.neverwinter-nights2.de .

Monday - November 17, 2008

NWN2 - v1.21 Patch Released

by Dhruin, 19:54

As promised, Obsidian has released v1.21 of NWN2 just before Storm of Zehir ships in some areas.  Rob McGinnis posted on the official forums that the file is available from NW Vault and the autopatcher will go live soon (and may have by now).  The file list at NW Vault is enormous and Rob McGinnis advises those installing SoZ should install first, then patch, so probably best to hold off manually patching.

Read the notes here.

Tuesday - November 11, 2008

NWN2 - v1.21 Sneak Peak

by Dhruin, 21:08

Rob Ginnis has kicked up preliminary patch notes for NWN2 v1.21.  It's way too long to post, so here's just a taste:

New Features

General
* Playable races now have a proper stealth animation.
* Added in the AI functionality from TonyK's AI.
* In a peer-to-peer multiplayer session, the hosting player may now unpause the game unconditionally.

Wednesday - October 29, 2008

NWN2 - v1.21 Beta Testers Needed

by Dhruin, 21:07

Movement on the NWN2 front...Rob McGinnis earlier this week called for 1.21 beta testers for the weekend:

Hello everyone...

It's that time again! 1.21 is just around the corner, so I need some Beta testers.

The initial test would be this weekend. Participants would have to have the English version of the game.
NWN2 owners and MoTB owners can participate.

This round of testing will be pretty busy, so please only sign up if you are serious about spending your weekend beta testing. We have a short period to make fixes so your help is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to participate in the beta, please create a forum account on Obsidian's forums (http://forums.obsidian.net/), then send me a PM on those forums.

Thanks,

Rob

Friday - October 24, 2008

NWN2 - NWCon4 Highlights

by Dhruin, 10:57

Marc sent over these highlights from the recent NWCon4:

Starting several years ago, the NWCon is a series of online conventions showcasing some of the best talent in the Neverwinter Nights world. Events ranged from DMed game sessions, in game contests and tours to IRC chats with special guests and community builders sharing their talent and creations with the rest of us. Neverwinter Connections (NWC) has been an important part of NWCon since its inception and continues to serve the community as a player matchmaking service allowing players and game hosts to communicate and coordinate game sessions. Some of the features include a forum for communicating with other players, the ability to set one’s time zone and the ability to schedule games and manage them. A number of Dungeon Masters (DM) from the site used the service to host various campaigns and gatherings for both players and other DMs. The latest convention, NWCon4, was sponsored by Obsidian Entertainment, Atari Europe, the Neverwinter Nights Podcast group, cartoonist Scott Johnson of My Extra Life fame (http://www.myextralife.com), along with members of the NWC community who gave their time and effort to the convention.

Events at the convention fell into a range of categories from high fantasy and futuristic sci-fi game sessions, Internet Relay Chat round table discussions and in game seminars. Highlights of these events include game sessions and IRC round table discussions with the custom content group D20. D20 has created "total conversion" of the NWN game system for games set in a modern or futuristic setting.

A group from RPGModding.com, known as the Community Tileset Project (CTP), hosted a bug testing session where participants got to experience a new tileset in game while still in development. The CTP team utilized a very simple error tracking system that marks location needing attention and then transmits this information, along with notes, back to the team via their website. A contest was ran where the three players who discovered the most bugs were awarded a Box of the RPG game "The Witcher", provided by Atari Europe. RPGmodding.com is also host to groups that create custom content for "The Witcher", "Dragon Age", and both Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2.

Bioware employee Georg Zoeller made a guest appearance in one IRC sessions and was quickly inundated with questions about the upcoming Bioware game "Dragon Age". George answered each question one by one creating excitement in future community module builders.

Scott Johnson spoke about his Podcast show (Extra Life Radio) and talked at length of the process of creating online comics.

Community members Ayrik and Scorpio hosted an online session teaching its participants the techniques of role playing using the NWN 2 engine in an online game. Hallmark of a role play based game the players become their characters and experience the game as their characters would. This is something that can be very difficult to achieve in a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG).

Module builders were also on hand to chat with fans of their work, such as Lance Botelle, who recently won a Debut Author Golden Dragon Award from the Academy for Modding Excellence (AME) for his creation called "Soulshaker".

NWN2 persistent world (PW) Dasaria held a large arena battle where the winners could claim prizes. Other PWs offered tours of their impressive game worlds to showcase their detailed area designs and scripting talents.

The next convention is already being discussed, and the staff is looking forward to creating an even more exciting weekend the next time around. We hope that you will be there to enjoy it with us. Special thanks go out to all the community members that worked so hard to pull this all together. Karvon, NWCon Organizer, Skunkeen and Dane Bramage, Public Relations / Advertising and all the sponsors that made the Con possible – we hope to see you next September. NWCon: the possibilities are endless.
www.neverwinterconnections.com www.nwcon4.info

Thursday - September 18, 2008

NWN2 - Mac Review @ IMG

by Dhruin, 23:11

A review of the Mac port of NWN2 is online at Inside Mac Games.  The author isn't overly impressed, with platfrom issues ranging from performance to the missing toolset, as well as gameplay issues like pacing and challenge.  The score is 6/10:

Slogging through the 45 minute introduction was fine, and allowed me to get to the meat of the game. Well, okay. Mostly the meat of the game. Since Neverwinter Nights 2 is scaled up a bit from Neverwinter Nights 1, the rat grinding for initial experience has been replaced with Githankyi and Grey Dwarves grinding, but whatever works. The game does start slowly, as most RPGs do. A slow start is fine, but it can be argued that perhaps game 2 in a series may not have to start as slowly as it does. Even the most lop-sided character generated in character creation will have very little trouble or tactical challenge with the combats well into Act II. Note to readers- if you have any experience with this type of hybrid real-time play common in Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Knights of the Old Republic, then play on Hardcore from the start!

Thursday - September 04, 2008

NWN2 - NWCon4 2008

by Dhruin, 23:33

Marc from NeverwinterConnections.com dropped us a line to say their annual NWN and NWN2 convention is coming up:

Neverwinter Nights

Neverwinter Nights 2

"NWCon4: 2 Games, Infinite Possibilities"

The Neverwinter Nights online community is holding its fourth online convention to showcase the greatest talents of the NWN1&2 community. The con includes in-game and chat-based seminars where experts will share their NWN knowledge on DMing, gaming, building, and more. And, of course, there are games. Lots of games! New players and experts alike are welcome to join in and share the fun.

NWCon4 dates: Friday-Saturday-Sunday Sep 26-27-28

www.NWCon4.info

www.NeverwinterConnections.com

Thursday - July 31, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate - Release Date Comments

by Dhruin, 09:06

Thanks to dte for pointing out some comments on Mysteries of Westgate by Atari rep "Herk" on their forums.  Apparently "early to mid September" is the current guess:

Hi everyone,

I haven't gotten the details for the MoW Key distribution program, but I did get confirmation that Atari will be implementing such a program.

Regarding a release date for MoW... whether it's IGN or Gamespy or any other third party--those sources are not official Atari sources. Those sites are merely speculating without any proof or authorization from Atari. We apologize for any confusion or frustration this has caused. Obviously, we can't control what information other parties put on their sites. We will ask them to remove those dates because they are incorrect.

We have been unable to nail down a release date for MoW because of the variables that are involved with (1) completing the new authentication system, and (2) timing the release of the new authentication system with a NWN2 update/patch (most likely 1.14) so that everyone can download the new system necessary to play MoW.

I think early-mid Sept is the time period we are targeting.

Thanks,

-herk

2010? 

Wednesday - July 30, 2008

NWN2 - Patch v1.13 Released

by Dhruin, 23:26

Only one more to go and then Mysteries of Westgate can be relea-...oh, forget about it.

Head over to the official boards for Rob McGinnis' announcement of v1.13 for NWN2 and full patch notes.

Sunday - July 06, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Intro Movie @ Voodoo Extreme

by Magerette, 18:14

Voodoo Extreme has posted the intro video for Ossian Studio's NWN2 adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate. You can view the streaming version   here.  It's well worth a look.

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - July 05, 2008

NWN2 - On the Gold Pack and no MoW

by Dhruin, 01:05

I guess any statement is better than nothing but it's hard to imagine Atari doing a worse job of communicating about Mysteries of Westgate...Atari rep "Herk" has posted a belated reasoning for the sudden withdrawal of Mysteries of Westgate from the NWN2 Gold package prior to release:

Hello NWN2 fans,

Sorry for the delay on this post. It was meant to go out weeks ago, but got stuck in clearance. It's actually not even completely cleared yet, but I'm going to post it anyway because you deserve a response.

Those of you who bought NWN2 Gold will not be receiving a free code for Mysteries of Westgate. The reason for this is, we felt that releasing Mysteries of Westgate as part of a bundle would diminish the value of the Adventure Pack. We've always stated that our goal is to ensure that Mysteries of Westgate receives all the attention it deserves and the best way to do that is to release it as a separate product.

As a result of NWN2 Gold not including MoW, we actually reduced the price of Gold to reflect the reduction of content in the bundle. This is something we should have announced before the release of NWN2 Gold and apologize that it is coming out after the fact.

We sincerely regret any confusion that we may have inadvertently caused regarding NWN2 Gold and Mysteries of Westgate. We are proud of both of these products and hope that you will appreciate each of them in its own light.

Thank you,

The Atari Team

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

NWN2 - Golden Dragon Winners

by Dhruin, 02:47

NW Vault hosts the annoucement of the winners of the 2007 Golden Dragon Awards for NWN2.  Head over for a dozen categories including Best RPG Module (Dark Avenger Ch. 1), Best Adventure Model (Dark Waters) and Best Multiplayer Mod (Tomb of Horrors Revisited).

Monday - June 23, 2008

NWN2 - 'Mod makers won't tolerate poor toolchains'

by Woges, 15:27

Develop have a short piece with Josh Sawyer on the NWN2 toolset at GDC in Paris.

"BioWare's approach to the Neverwinter Nights toolset was to go for ease-of-use, so that people could get small things running quickly and then expand from there," said Sawyer. "Obsidian's approach was to cater for the hardcore, though - dramatically increase the level of control, meaning that more things could be altered. That would make the barrier to entry higher, but we thought that would similarly raise the quality of what was produced."

Saturday - June 14, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Dev Chat

by Dhruin, 10:00

Avantenor sends word of a European community chat with Alan Miranda from Ossian on Mysteries of Westgate.   You can listen to a podcast version or read the transcipt and a German transcript is also available.  Here's a snip to get you started that hints at further modules:

Q: If you have the chance to work on another adventure pack, what would you like to see in it?

A: Well we have some great ideas that we've been discussing for a while. Without giving too many details, there will be more creatures, more tilesets, and more great adventures. The rest is a surprise!

Wednesday - June 11, 2008

NWN2 - Storm of Zehir - Official PR and Date

by Dhruin, 23:25

Well, the official press release for NWN2: Storm of Zehir has reached us and the anticipated date is Q4 08:

Neverwinter NightsTM 2: Storm of Zehir' Brings Bold New Adventures to The Forgotten Realms®


Second Expansion for Atari's Renowned Role-Playing Opus Scheduled for Worldwide Release Q4 2008

NEW YORK, June 11: Atari, Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: ATAR), one of the world's most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher and distributor, alongside Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) announced today that Neverwinter NightsTM 2: Storm of Zehir is currently in production. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, one of the premier independent development studios in the world, the second expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2 will deliver an engrossing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® experience in the tradition of the Neverwinter Nights franchise and is scheduled for worldwide launch Q4 2008.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir hearkens back to the days of the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale franchises by including full party customization, dungeon crawling, and free exploration of a non-linear game world via an Overland Map. The gripping storyline foreshadows the events that will take place in the Forgotten Realms with the coming release this June of the Fourth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game.

In the aftermath of the defeat of the King of Shadows, the Sword Coast is in the midst of an uneasy economic recovery. Trade syndicates have sprung up to exploit the post-war confusion for their own ends and the players' party will wade into this uncertain environment. In order to increase their own fortunes, they can either ally with a syndicate to create a trade empire, or cut their own path through Faerun by preying upon caravans and selling the goods on the black market. As they attempt to extend their influence, players will become aware of a new faction working behind the scenes: the evil, shape-shifting, serpentine Yuan-Ti.

In addition to trading and economic manipulation, the Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Overland Map allows players to explore the Chultan Peninsula and Sword Coast in a non-linear manner never before seen in any of the Neverwinter Nights games. Exploration will take players from well-known locations, like Neverwinter and Crossroad Keep, to more exotic areas, such as the xenophobic jungle nation of Samarach. Groups of highwaymen and monsters populate the Overland Map and the farther from civilization the player roams, the more difficult the encounters become. The 15-hour campaign in Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir is also packed with new classes, spells, creatures, and playable races.

Fans of the compelling multiplayer features of Neverwinter Nights 2 will also be able to take advantage of new improvements to the multiplayer experience, while modders will be able to take advantage of the power and flexibility of the Overland Map and Trading System features along with other world-building enhancements.

Game Features:

  • Travel the Sword Coast and Samarach using the open-ended exploration of the new Overland Map. Use skills like Spot and Survival while on the Overland Map to avoid ambushes and even find hidden locales and lost artifacts.
  • Create your own full party of adventurers. Devastate your foes with a squad of fireball-flinging Sorcerers, form a solid wall of steel with a party of Fighters, or strike the perfect balance in your party by spreading out the classes you choose for your characters.
  • Improved party gameplay including streamlined party conversations, a new Teamwork Benefit System, and powerful party feats.
  • The world's economy reacts to your adventures and choices. And, through trading and quests, you can expand your merchant company into a massive trading empire.

More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at www.nwn2.com .

Monday - June 09, 2008

NWN2 - Storm of Zehir Expansion Pack Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:33

Yep, a second official expansion pack for NWN2.  Atari Europe seems to have jumped the gun on this, with Spanish site Neverwinteros first breaking the news.  NW Vault contacted Obsidian and had the news verified by marketing/PR producer Matthew Rorie and KazikluBey writes in to point out a thread at RPG Codex with Anthony Davis answering some questions.  So, a translated description courtesy of NW Vault:

Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir hearkens back to the days of the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale franchises by including full party customization, dungeon crawling, and free exploration of a non-linear game world via an Overland Map. The gripping storyline foreshadows the events that will take place in the Forgotten Realms with the coming of release this June of the Fourth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game.

In the aftermath of the defeat of the King of Shadows, the Sword Coast is in the midst of an uneasy economic recovery. Trade syndicates have sprung up to exploit the post-war confusion for their own ends. The players’ party will wade into this uncertain environment; in order to increase their own fortunes, they can either ally with a syndicate to create a trade empire, or cut their own path through Faerûn by preying upon caravans and selling the goods on the black market. As they attempt to extend their influence, players will become aware of a new faction working behind the scenes: the evil, shapeshifting, serpentine Yuan-Ti.

In addition to trading and economic manipulation, the Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Overland Map allows players to explore the Chultan Peninsula and Sword Coast in a non-linear manner never before seen in any of the Neverwinter Nights games. Exploration will take players from well-known locations, like Neverwinter and Crossroad Keep, to more exotic areas, such as the xenophobic jungle nation of Samarach. Groups of highwaymen and monsters populate the Overland Map and the farther from civilization the player roams, the more difficult the encounters become. The 15-hour campaign in Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir is also packed with new classes, spells, creatures, and playable races.

Fans of the compelling multiplayer features of Neverwinter Nights 2 will also be able to take advantage of new improvements to the multiplayer experience, while modders will be able to take advantage of the power and flexibility of the Overland Map and Trading System features along with other world-building enhancements.

Game Features:

· Travel the Sword Coast and Samarach using the open ended exploration of the new Overland Map. Use skills like Spot and Survival while on the Overland Map to avoid ambushes and even find hidden locales and lost artifacts.

· Create your own full party of adventurers. Devastate your foes with a squad of fireball-flinging Sorcerers, form a solid wall of steel with a party of Fighters, or strike the perfect balance in your party by spreading out the classes you choose for your characters.

· Improved party gameplay including streamlined party conversations, a new Teamwork Benefit System, and powerful party feats.

· The world's economy reacts to your adventures and choices. And, through trading and quests, you can expand your merchant company into a massive trading empire.

Anthony Davis isn't able to say much in the RPG Codex thread linked above but does confirm Storm of Zehir is not an epic-level campaign and adds:

I will say this about the game, the very first time I saw the new over land map stuff, it FELT like a completely different game than NWN2 and NX1, in a good way.

We'll let you know as soon as the "real" official announcement comes.

Friday - June 06, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Update - July?

by Dhruin, 12:40

Last we heard Atari's DRM scheme would be added to the 1.13 NWN2 patch (after failing to make it into v1.12). Today Atari's keehwan_her posted an update for Mysteries of Westgate with another delay:

Dear NWN2 fans,

As you may have heard Atari, Obsidian, and Ossian have been working together to create a new security system to protect games that don’t have an .exe file. NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate is our first product to utilize this new system, and consequently its release has been delayed until we can effectively implement this important aspect.

The good news is, the new security system is nearly complete. Obsidian has just recently completed work on the client side of this system and Atari is currently setting up the production servers in preparation to go live in the next few weeks. Our priority is to get the security in place for release with NWN2 Update 1.14 in July and shortly thereafter Mysteries of Westgate will be released.

We sincerely apologize for any frustrations these delays may have caused to Ossian, Obsidian, and especially the D&D community. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate is a fantastic adventure that should be properly evaluated independent of Atari’s security system delays. We appreciate and thank you for your continued patience and enthusiasm for Neverwinter Nights products.

Thank you,

The Atari Team

Wednesday - June 04, 2008

NWN2 - v1.13 Patch Preview

by Dhruin, 23:07

Rob McGinnis from Obsidian has kicked up a pre-beta preview of the v1.13 NWN2 patch.  Much of it looks aimed at mod builders, so head over if this is you.

Sunday - May 18, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #11

by Dhruin, 13:28

The very, very last Spotlight for Mysteries of Westgate is up with Tiberius209 relating some of their thoughts from the recent press event. Here's a bit on the playstyles of the attending press:

However, there were several things we noticed that may interest only us:

1. Of the seven attendees, the classes that were played were: 3 fighters, 1 barbarian, 1 paladin, 1 wizard, and 1 sorcerer. Melee-heavy to be sure, but none of the seven seemed to have that much trouble... and those that had the most trouble were actually the melee characters that had a “smash first and ask questions later” mentality.

Saturday - May 17, 2008

NWN2 - Podcast

by Woges, 15:08

NWNP Episode 55 is out here's the summary:

Here it is!! The one you’ve been waiting for!! Episode 55 of the one and only Neverwinter Nights Podcast!

This week we captured the elusive and very popular Rob Mcginnis from Obsidian Entertainment . Joining him, fresh into his new PR job with Obsidian is Matt Rorie . Michelle and Trey had a blast talking with these two.

Rob was also very gracious and has let us announce the two winners for Obsidian’s latest NWN2 Area Contest that wrapped on May 12th! Both winners will receive a Matrox TripleHead2Go Surround-Gaming module. You have to listen to the show to hear them!!

Up Next: In Episode 56 we will have the folks from Robinson Workshop.

Until next time,

Get in game and level up!

Thursday - May 15, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 11:24

I thought we'd seen all the Mysteries of Westgate previews but IGN has popped up with another - penned by the well-known Tom Chick.  It's one of the more detailed articles but it could be considered spoilery.  Here's a taste:

You can jump into the module with one of your favorite pre-existing character, and your equipment and powers will be entirely intact. However, the encounters are built for a character starting out at level 8. You can select a pre-built character, or roll up a new one, who will be provided with the appropriate gear. There are three companions in Mysteries of Westgate. The first you'll meet is Rinara, a former member of the Night Mask, an underground organization linked to the cursed mask. She drives away a hostile dwarf before offering to tag along. Up next is your tank, Mantides. He's a fallen paladin hanging around in The Black Eye, a tavern that will serve as your party's base for the first section of the game. At the Temple of the Lantharites in the Arena District, you'll encounter the cleric Charissa for some much-needed healing.

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Preview @ Just RPG

by Dhruin, 23:10

A short article from the recent Mysteries of Westgate press event is online at Just RPG, the last of the attendees if I recall correctly.  No quote, because it is quite short.

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #10

by Dhruin, 01:39

The final Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight has been released, covering the church of Lathander and their response to the underworld of Westgate:

Throughout the two decades of the Night Masks’ brutal reign of terror over Westgate, there have been few concerted efforts to stop them. And such should not come as a surprise, for anything that even hinted at breaking their stranglehold on the city would be swiftly and efficiently quashed; the Masks are nothing if not brutal. To be sure, there are several organizations within the city that might at first glance be good candidates to come to the defense of the city’s beleaguered merchants. The church of Lathander is centered close to the grand arena in the magnificent cathedral known as the Morningstar Haven. The church of Ilmater also has a strong presence in the city, though in keeping with its clergy’s mantra of suffering, it has no quarters as grand or plush as the Lathanderites. Sadly, even combined, for the two groups often act together in the same harmony as the two deities they represent, they have not the forces to counter the insidious threat posed by the followers of the Faceless. 

Tuesday - May 13, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Preview Roundup

by Dhruin, 14:13

A range of previews for Mysteries of Westgate based on last week's press event have popped up today.  First, let's go to WarCry:

Shady hucksters, annoying beggars, threatening folk and comic relief aside, walking around the city of Westgate is a treat in and of itself. There is lots of eye candy and the small touches truly bring the city to life. Plan to spend time doing this before launching into game play. In a very cool and innovative touch, Ossian has reached out to the "tourists" who will play MoW. Visiting such city locations such as the Dragon Statue will not only reveal lore about the city and past events, but, eventually, if one visits ALL of these monuments and locations, a reward is forthcoming. The city is highly interactive in this manner and Ossian has also given the 'door openers' something to do by allowing 30-40% of the city's buildings to be explored.

...and Thieves Guild.Net:

The attention to detail doesn't stop with the visual effects.  The writing and dialogues are extremely well done with liberal doses of humor and sarcasm thrown in, and show the same attention to detail found throughout other aspects of the game.  Some of the dialogue exchanges are simply inspired while others had me almost convulsing in laughter.  Dialogues frequently offer more than just the simple "yes, no, let me think about it, let's fight" options with some branches  showing 7 or 8 possible choices.  Various Skills, beyond the simple "talk" options of diplomacy et al, can open a number of potential dialogue paths.

...finally, Neverwinter Nights Podcast has a podcast-y interview and thoughts from the event.

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ Gamespy

by Woges, 14:09

Interview with Alan Miranda at Gamespy.

GameSpy: Can you give us a quick background on Ossian Studios? How did you get started and what's the studio all about?

Alan Miranda: Ossian Studios was founded in early 2003 after I had left BioWare -- not long after we shipped Neverwinter Nights. When my wife Elizabeth and I returned to Vancouver from Edmonton, we decided to start up a game company because we felt that we could develop high-quality RPGs or RPG-hybrid games. Ossian's goal has always been to weave players into tales of epic adventures in faraway fantasy places and to that end we develop games with a great emphasis on story. The name Ossian comes from the legendary Celtic warrior-bard who sung tales of epic adventures. We thought it was a perfect fit for what we were attempting to do. My own design philosophy is summarized by "the four 'E's," -- aesthetics, exploration, experimentation and empowerment. When it comes to developing an appealing game, I think those four elements are essential to have. A beautiful environment where you have room to explore and interact with objects or characters and meaningful choices to make that allow you to steer to different outcomes or impact the world.

Monday - May 12, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Press Event Preview

by Dhruin, 23:00

The recently foreshadowed press event for Mysteries of Westgate has apparently come and gone with a handful of sites attending.  NWVault is the first to get a preview up and according to them, the release should be in June:

The game itself has been completed since last September but the delay in getting it released is due to a new online digital store that Atari is setting up to sell the game. It should be similar to what BioWare did to sell their Premium modules both in terms of functionality and DRM restrictions, meaning you'll need an Internet connection to validate the game before playing it. The BioWare site took more than seven months to create, so it's not a simple project but Atari is confident the store will be ready early June and the module will sell for $9.99US.

Tuesday - May 06, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Release Date Hints?

by Dhruin, 14:06

Poking around sites associated with Ossian's Mysteries of Westgate, I noticed Alazander's blog suggests all will be revealed soon for a release later this month:

Two more spotlights have been posted recently: Rinara's Travel Guide and The Rise of the Ebon Claws. The tenth spotlight is due soon and it'll be the last: we've pretty much run out of material, and the game will, fingers crossed, be released later this month. There's a MoW press conference in LA in the next couple of days, and I expect things to ramp up then in preparation for release. Hopefully we'll see a few reviews from the major gaming sites over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday - May 04, 2008

NWN2 - Interim Community Update

by Dhruin, 11:25

It's been nearly a month since the last NWN2 Community Update, so Rob McGinnis has kicked up an interim update to look at the v1.13 patch.  The fixes mentioned are mostly toolset and scripting related (and, of course, the security additions for Adventure Packs, although that isn't explicitly listed).

Saturday - May 03, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight # 9

by Magerette, 17:04

This week's  spotlight on Ossian Studios' adventure pack for Neverwinter Nights 2 , Mysteries of Westgate, focuses on the rise of the up and coming theives guild, The Ebon Claws:

The origins and hierarchy of the Ebon Claws are obscure; they are still too new for much solid information to yet be widely known, but it is obvious that even the Night Masks are unsure. Their agents, normally discreet in their pursuit of information, have become ever more insistent in their interrogations, and large amounts of reward money are offered to any with solid information. The rumors circulating the local beer halls are mostly fantastic, for it is argued that only a fantastic origin could have taken the Masks – masters of stealth, spying, and intrigue – so completely by surprise.

There is, however, one persistent rumor circulating regarding the Ebon Claws. There have been enough sightings of their deformed agents to suggest that it is a guild heavily – if not completely – plagued by the disease of lycanthropy, though the specific variety of the infection is not that of the more legendary werewolf, but is instead that of the more common – in cities, at least – wererat. If true, it would explain their success against the Night Masks. Extremely agile and aided by preternatural strength, a squadron of wererats would make tenacious foes dangerous even for the hardened rogues and thugs employed by the Masks. However, such stories, as yet, are still just rumors...

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - May 02, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ Thieves Guild

by Dhruin, 13:11

Ossian's Alan Miranda and Brian Dunn have spoken to Thieves-Guild.net about Mysteries of Westgate.  A large batch of screens showing the new sewer tileset and the toolset accompany the article and here's a taste:

Given their backgrounds, it would appear that Mantides and Rinara, or Mantides and Charissa might have "issues" being in the party together. Will having all three characters in the party at the same time potentially open up new dialogue branches or even additional subquests?

Alan: The three companions are definitely very different in character, and as such, they won’t see eye-to-eye on many things. It can make for a rather interesting time when you have all of them together in a party, and you will see dialogues that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Each companion has their own optional sidequest that doesn’t depend on the presence of the other two companions.

Sunday - April 27, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #8

by Dhruin, 00:27

Ossian's eighth Spotlight on Mysteries of Westgate is Rinara's Travel Guide:

So... you’re going to Westgate. As a former resident in poor standing, I know the city well. If you’ve come this far, you’ve probably learned a thing or two about it from sages and scholars. Unfortunately, none of that will serve you when you’re floating facedown in the sewers. What all those detached observers don’t tell you is that the city is as greedy, dangerous, and quirky as the unpronounceable wyrm’s name upon whose lair it was founded. If you want to survive Westgate, you could use some advice from a woman who’s lived in its shadow and seen how it swallows up its prey.

As usual, there's a new screen on offer. 

 

Sunday - April 20, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #7

by Dhruin, 00:25

Another week, a new Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight (and another week with no release date).  This time Ossian reveals a gladitorial arena called The Quivering Thumb:

The newest addition to Westgate’s parade of novelties is a gladiatorial enterprise named the Quivering Thumb, which fled from the collapse of Unther to the city whose rulers would pay the best for bloody circuses. The new sandpit arena is popular with nobility, merchants, commoners, and even with slaves, because the Thumb promises freedom and a thousand gold pieces to any slave who can survive a year in the pit.

Of greatest interest to those who pride themselves on their fighting ability are the two most prestigious events run in the arena: the Individual and Group competitions. Both can offer princely rewards to those chosen few with the prowess to rise up and climb the rankings.

A single new screen is on offer, as usual. 

Tuesday - April 15, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 14:15

WarCry catches up with Alan Miranda from Ossian to discuss Mysteries of Westgate, with much of the conversation covering the foundation of Ossian and the process of developing MoW.  Here's a snip that suggests Ossian might be working on a second Adventure Pack:

WarCry: What was the original philosophy with regard to development of adventure packs for NWN 2? Has it changed since the studio's founding?

Alan Miranda: The philosophy behind the NWN2 adventure packs was to make larger and more complex downloadable role-playing games than what had been released as the NWN1 premium mods. We really wanted to make an expansion-quality adventure but on a smaller scale. This viewpoint hasn't changed since finishing Mysteries of Westgate (MoW), except for the fact that we continually like to challenge ourselves at Ossian, so to that end, we would like to create a larger amount of content for the next adventure pack.

Underlying that philosophy, which is specific to the adventure packs, is simply the directive that all our games be games of the highest quality. Our goal is to always give fans epic adventures to play, and we succeeded in this with both of our games, Daggerford and Westgate. In their May issue, PC Gamer said MoW was "top-notch" and "a real gem," which is fantastic to hear because that's exactly what we strive for. The fact that it took the RPG reviewer (Desslock) around 20 hours to play, instead of our official 15 hours, further reinforces our adventure pack philosophy of larger, more complex downloadable games, because it puts MoW in the same gameplay length and quality category as an expansion.

Saturday - April 12, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #6

by Dhruin, 15:11

The sixth Mysteries of Westgate spotlight deals with the city's lore:

One can barely discuss any aspect of Westgate without tangentially mentioning some detail of its mythology, for in the largest and oldest city on the Coast of Dragons, the line between mythology and reality is blurred at nearly every turn.

For example, well documented is that the monarchy was first established in -349 DR by the Halruuan wizard Saldrinar of the Seven Spells after he destroyed Kisonraathiisar, the draconic ruler of the area. But legend has it that Westgate was then expanded and built over the dragon's lair, a tale which, if true, leads to thoughts of a lost dragon hoard buried somewhere beneath the city's foundation and seventeen hundred years of dirt and debris.

Wednesday - April 09, 2008

NWN Series - 2007 Module of the Year @ NWVault

by Dhruin, 00:58

NW Vault has announced their 2007 Mod of the Year winners for both NWN and NWN2.

For NWN, the award goes to The Aielund Saga Act IV - The Fall of Aielund Pt3 v1.03a and for NWN2, Harp and Chrysanthemum.  Well known names populate the runners-up on both sides, such as The Layonara Team, Alex "Hugie" Hugon (Ossian Studios) and Adam Miller.

Saturday - April 05, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteres of Westgate Spotlight # 5

by Magerette, 18:27

Ossian Studios posts a fifth spotlight on their Mysteries of Westgate adventure pack here, this one looking at the murky history of the city of Westgate: 

 In 286 DR (the Year of Foul Awakenings), the city fell at night to a cadre of elite mercenaries who emerged from the catacombs beneath the city. By morning's light, the king and his family were dead, and Orlak, calling himself the Night King, was crowned in his place. The new king held court only after the sun had set, was never seen during daylight hours, and always kept his entire face (except his eyes) shrouded behind a black-and-white-hatched porcelain mask. The reign of the ageless monarch ended one hundred and fifty years later when a company of paladins in the service of the Morninglord revealed him to be a vampire after which they destroyed him and established their commander, Dawnknight Gen Soleilon, as the new king. The so-called Radiant King would rule for many years with his most notable accomplishment being the erection of the city's first stone walls and the construction of the extensive sewer system.

 

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - March 30, 2008

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 22:13

Rob McGinnis has kicked up the latest NWN2 Community Update with highlights on various projects plus a sneak peak for v1.13:

While we are still nailing down the 1.13 patch - the MoW Security work makes this difficult - I thought I would just give you a sneak peek at some of the fixes already planned for the 1.13 patch:

  • The toolset and game will load haks in the same order
  • Ability to tint multiple tiles while multi-selected
  • Allow GetNextItemInInventory to work with stores
  • The dm_setfaction command will no longer cause servers to crash
  • Light and sound sphere sizes will be correct in the toolset
  • Add get and set functions to access the ItemPropertyActivationPreference flag on items
  • The Chat channel selected will remain persistent through area and module transitions
  • Skills.2da will now allow up to 100 rows of data

Friday - March 28, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #4

by Dhruin, 23:38

Ossian has kicked up their fourth Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight while we wait for Atari's super-duper DRM.  This one looks at the Night Masks:

The Night Masks are active throughout the western Inner Sea region, from Sembia down to Erlkazar, and from the Caravan Cities to the Pirate Isles. However, the guild's activities are focused on the cities of the Dragon Coast and, in particular, the ancient port city of Westgate, which serves as the seat of their power and influence. Unlike other major rogue guilds, such as the Shadow Thieves of Amn, the Night Masks have no central guild house within the city walls. Instead, their activities are spread across a wide range of ever-changing locations throughout Westgate, forestalling any attempt by the City Watch to mount a full-scale assault against the group.

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Delayed for Security Reasons

by Magerette, 23:06

As stated in this little exerpt from the Bioware Neverwinter Nights 2 forums , apparently the reason the completed Mysteries of Westgate, Ossian Studios' adventure pack for NWN2, remains unreleased is due to a security issue:

My name is Keehwan Her and I am the Atari producer for Mysteries of Westgate (MoW) among other D&D products. Most of you know that the release of Mysteries of Westgate has been delayed because of ongoing development of a new security system. Near the end of MoW’s development last year, we realized that the traditional protection of the .exe file would not work with it so we scrambled to find a reliable commercial method that would do the job. At the time, there was no solution that met our requirements. That is why, since the end of 2007, Atari has been working hard to develop a new security system that can be used not just for MoW but for all Atari products that need protection for data files without using the traditional route of wrapping the .exe file. Unfortunately, developing this system has taken longer than we anticipated and MoW’s release has suffered as a result, because it is the first product that will use this new system.

Atari has been working closely with Obsidian and Ossian to try to integrate the new system with NWN2 and MoW specifically. Although we wanted the security modifications to go out with Update 1.12, it simply was not ready in time so we unfortunately had no choice but to push it into Update 1.13.

I realize that many of you are anxious to get your hands on Mysteries of Westgate, and I know from firsthand experience that it is a fantastic adventure. MoW has been ready to ship for a while now and we are close to finalizing the new security system that will ensure that it has its proper day in the sun...

 

Source: Sorcerers Place

Friday - March 21, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #3

by Dhruin, 22:35

Ossian Studios has kicked up the next Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight, this time looking at the merchants in the city. As usual, there are a couple of fan questions answered as well. Here's one that gives a status update and reveals we're now waiting for the next patch from Obsidian:

Developer Questions
Question (conan2005): So, what is the current estimated release date for the upcoming NWN2 Adventure Pack: Mysteries of Westgate?

Alan Miranda, CEO: There is no official release date that has been announced by Atari yet. The game itself has been finished for quite a while and Obsidian is continuing to work on integrating the code to make it available through the 1.13 patch (these changes unfortunately didn't make it in time for 1.12). We know the delay is frustrating, but we think the game will be well worth the wait, as was indicated in the recent Games for Windows review of MoW (April/May issue). It's also going to be included in the upcoming NWN2 Gold edition. Please hang in there... and stay tuned!

Anyone want to bet it will be held over for the Gold release?

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate in GfW

by Dhruin, 12:43

I don't normally link scans but this comes via Ossian Studios' Luke Scull and his blog, which has a scan of a "review" of Mysteries of Westgate in Games for Windows.  It's only a paragraph long and doesn't say anything you couldn't get from the PR but the verdict is "well worth the $10 download".

Thursday - March 20, 2008

NWN2 - Patch 1.12 Available

by Magerette, 02:40

Avantenor writes in to tell us that the latest Neverwinter Nights 2 patch from Obsidian is now available via the autoupdater, bringing the game to version 1.12. There's a long and detailed changelog you can view here at the Bioware forums.

Lucky Day also mentioned this on our NWN board. Thanks to both.

Saturday - March 15, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #2

by Dhruin, 11:16

The second Mysteries of Westgate spotlight has been posted at the official forums, with the city itself described, a new screenie and a handful of forum questions answered:

Welcome to Westgate, where it isn't the color of your skin that matters - it's the color of your coin. The city's 29,000 plus inhabitants are enough to make it the largest center of trade on the Dragon Coast, though its population is still barely a quarter larger than Neverwinter's and less than a quarter as large as Athkatla's. Nevertheless, Westgate is brimming with opportunity, a place where "anything goes and everything has a price." What makes Westgate truly unique, though, is not so much its lively economy as those who are allowed to take part in it: Westgate welcomes creatures large and small, fanged and tentacled, furry and scaled alike; all that matters is one's ability to produce coin. It's not unusual to find ogres or bugbears putting their enormous strength to good use as dock workers or to encounter the occasional lizardfolk shaman making a living as a witchdoctor, selling tribal remedies to any adventurous enough to do business with them.

Tuesday - March 11, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Trailer @ IGN

by Magerette, 16:54

IGN has a short article up for Ossian Studio's NWN2 adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate, featuring a streaming video which shows off some of the plot and graphics. You can view it here

Here's an excerpt from the article itself:

Coming in at just under two minutes, the new intro video sets up the story nicely, showing a bit of both the illustrated into and some in-game action. When a treasure found in a dungeon turns out to be more trouble than it first appears, it draws players towards the rather unpleasant city of Westgate and its thieves guild, the Night Masks. Since they're the only ones who can uncover the secret of the treasure and find a way to break its hold on the player, you'll be forced to join sides in the guild war that's spilling out into the streets of Westgate.

The video shows off some of the reasons that Westgate has the unsavory reputation that it does, from things happening at the docks to other, more dangerous things lurking in the nearby waters.

Saturday - March 08, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight #1

by Dhruin, 09:32

The promised first Mysteries of Westgate Spotlight has shown up at the official forums in short order, offering a story (and linked screen) called The Legend of the Qelzarn.  A handful of reader questions are also answered.  Here's a snip:

The mages of Faerûn say the race of gigantic eel-like serpents known as the quelzarn are of magical origin, perhaps the result of long-ago experimentation by the mages of Unther; certainly, the beasts were hunted there. Between 30 and 40 feet long, the quelzarn are rapacious, agile, and skilled hunters known to be willing to eat anything, even carrion if desperate. Highly resistant to the foul waters of busy harbors and vast swamps alike, they are adept at using the cover given by intense pollution to mask their approach until the moment of strike.

Thanks, Avantenor. 

Wednesday - March 05, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Diary #4

by Magerette, 19:49

 RPGVault  posts the fourth entry in their developer diaries from Ossian Studios on their adventure pack for NWN2, Mysteries of Westgate. This one takes a look at story and gameplay elements:

...the player must make an early decision about which faction to join. This isn't a small matter, as a large chunk of the critical path plays out completely differently depending on whom the player allies with. There are also a large number of side quests throughout the city, most of which have two, three or more ways in which they may be solved. And lastly, we have a couple of endings that are determined by a monumental decision made by the player, each of which will provide a radically different experience for the final two hours of the game. From a design perspective, it's understandable why developers often choose to funnel a player down a single path. However, I saw the opportunity for us to do something different here, so I grasped it. I hope players like it.

One of the things I really like about our story is that it's almost like a puzzle. To find all the pieces and view the complete picture in its entirety, you would need to replay the game two or three times. While a single playthrough might take 15 hours, I honestly view this as more of a 25- to 30-hour product, simply because it has a replayability value that goes far beyond skin-deep, and demands a second, completely different viewing.

The article also notes the title is approaching release, possibly as early as next month though no date has been set. 

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate "Spotlights"

by Dhruin, 12:25

If you'd like to know more about Mysteries of Westgate while we wait for the release (or even a release date), head to this thread on the official forums to place your request:

Hey all,

To help ease the anticipation a bit, we have decided to release a few "Spotlights" with small nuggets on a variety of topics about Mysteries of Westgate. These will include new screenshots, some information about the setting, and a couple as yet undetermined goodies. As part of these features, we will include an "Ask the Developer" Q&A section where we will answer a selection of submitted questions.

So we'll use this thread as the place to post your queries and comments. They can be anything about the game itself, the plot, the quests, the features, behind-the-scenes info... basically whatever is on your minds.

Now for the caveat. Obviously we will not be able to answer everything that could conceivably be asked, but that doesn't stop you from asking.

Sunday - March 02, 2008

NWN2 - Community Update with Q&A

by Dhruin, 10:23

This week's NWN2 community update from Rob McGinnis has news of an area design contest:

I am happy to announce the next contest for the Neverwinter Nights 2 Community. This contest will be an area design contest. You do not have to put in creatures or encounters, this is simply a contest for the most beautiful areas.

All work must be your own and the areas must be built and useable in the NWN2 Toolset. No plagiarism will be allowed. You can submit UP TO THREE (3) areas, packaged in a single module. Entries are to be submitted on the NWVault, under Area Prefabs for NWN2. There is a NWN2 Area Contest category you can submit them under. Areas can be any size, but they must be exteriors (larger areas are better, but not necessary). You can use custom content that is currently on the vault, or you can use custom content that is on the vault by the time the contest ends.

...and a community Q&A with some interesting questions but - unsurprisingly - limited answers:

Q: What is the current estimated release date for the upcoming NWN2 Adventure Pack: Mysteries of Westgate?
Ossian Studios is working on this project. They would have the best information available to answer this.

Q: Atari's business release seems to have hinted at plans for a second expansion pack to NWN2. Any comment?
We would love to work on a second expansion.

Wednesday - February 27, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Diary #3

by Dhruin, 22:20

The third NWN2 Mysteries of Westgate diary is available at RPG Vault with Alan Miranda and Kevin Smith talking about the new art and tools included:

In deciding to do a city-based adventure, we quickly realized that a system of sewers would be absolutely necessary to fill out the areas below ground. Unfortunately, unlike NWN1, there wasn't a sewer tileset in NWN2, so we had to create one ourselves. We decided to be somewhat adventurous in our scope in order to give our level designers a greater amount of flexibility to create some very unique-looking areas. So, the sewer tileset has round tunnels, large open areas, small-sized rooms, and pits with bridges, as well as hallways with and without floors (so the pits and chasms can be flooded with water). Topping this off is a set of placeable pipes that will give areas that traditional sewer-like quality.

NWN2 - Mac Version Shipping

by Dhruin, 09:55

Aspyr is now shipping the Mac version of NWN2 in NA for those who like their gaming Apple flavoured. 

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - February 22, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Diary # 2

by Magerette, 22:19

RPGVault has posted their second in a series of developer diaries for the Neverwinter Nights 2 adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate and the devs at Ossian Studios have provided a few details about some of the factions and  NPCs in their upcoming title: 

  Major Players and Companions in a City Where Anything Goes

The Night Masks are a powerful thieves guild that operates out of the city of Westgate, although in actuality, thievery is amongst the least of the group's activities. Most commoners believe they are a nuisance the ruling council of the city manages to keep under control, but the truth is far more disturbing than that. The Night Masks have their fingers everywhere in Westgate, and no less than three of its 10 ruling noble houses are directly controlled by the evil organization.

The rulers of the Night Masks are an enigma, and all that is known by those not part of its upper hierarchy is that the undisputed leader of the organization is simply known as the Faceless. Who or what the Faceless may be is unknown, but rumor has it that several different beings have held the position over the years.

Recently, a rival guild calling itself the Ebon Claws has arisen to challenge the Night Masks' dominance of Westgate's illegal activities. Springing up remarkably quickly, this new faction has so far managed to get the better of its rivals. On several occasions, gang warfare has broken out in the streets, particularly in the Harbor Loop. This has not gone unnoticed by Obid Teltas. The acting high priest at Morningstar Haven, he is a blustering man who, despite his position, has the general manner of a used ox-cart seller. He has made a public vow to rid the streets of the evil "festering in its bowels", but as yet, his actions seem to have amounted to little more than attempting to convince a few hired mercenaries and adventurers to probe around.

Monday - February 18, 2008

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 21:05

Rob McGinnis has a new NWN2 Community Update at Obsidian, very much concentrating on community projects with a short v1.12 update at the end:

Well, we have hit the lockdown phase for the 1.12 patch. You can find a discussion and preview of the patch notes here, on the NWN2 forums.

From here we go into the localization and testing phase of production. We have already been testing the fixes and changes as they were implemented - making tweaks along the way. But we will be testing the patch in more depth and we will be starting the closed beta very soon. If you signed up to help, expect that you will be involved. I should either be PMing you or sending you an e-mail this week with instructions. After testing, we will enter the finalization phase where the patch is fully built and released.

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 10:16

NW Vault has a short interview on Mysteries of Westgate, asking about custom content and NPCs among other things.  Unfortunately the current status isn't raised:

How interactive are the companions. NWN1, NWN2, or MotB level?

Luke Scull: We identified the companion interaction in the NWN2 OC as being a little lacking in some regards, particularly the contextual relevance of some of their responses. Therefore, we determined that a) Companions needed story-contextual things to say rather than introducing themselves two-thirds of the way through the story, b) They needed to voice their opinions and provide input according to their personalities, and c) They should each have an interesting story that develops during the course of the overall plot, which the player can influence in some way.

Thursday - February 14, 2008

NWN2 - v1.12 Patch Notes Preview

by Dhruin, 22:27

Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has kicked up early patch notes for their upcoming NWN2 v1.12 patch.  It's too long to print here but head over to check it out - there are a long list of spell and class fixes, and custom portraits are finally in.

Wednesday - February 13, 2008

NWN2 - 2nd Expansion Revealed?

by Dhruin, 19:20

Thanks to Avantenor for writing in with an article at Eurogamer.de that suggests Atari is planning a second NWN2 expansion.  Digging a little further leads to Atari's Q3 results (pdf) and this quote:

Titles we plan to release during the next fiscal year of 2008-2009: the opus in the company’s Alone In The Dark franchise, for XBox 360, Wii, Playstation 2 and PC,
Legendary PS3, Xbox 360, PC – Airborne Rangers PS3, Xbox 360, PC -
NeverWinter Night 2 Expansion Pack2 PC - Alone In The Dark PS3, Panoramix Brain Trainer NDS - Hogs of War 2, NDS, WII, PS2, PC - Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques
Xbox 360 - Lucky Luke: Daltons NDS - My Horse & Me 2 NDS, WII, PC, PS2, X360

It's possible this refers to Mysteries of Westgate but we'd expect that to be a NWN2 Adventure Pack.

Monday - February 11, 2008

NWN2 - for Mac and Gold Edition Info

by Magerette, 18:17

Gamebanshee has a small factoid posted about upcoming versions of NWN2:

Amazon.com is now accepting pre-orders for both the Macintosh version of Neverwinter Nights 2 and an as-of-yet unannounced Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold bundle pack. According to the product pages, the Mac version is expected to ship on the 25th of this month and the bundle pack (which includes "exclusive downloadable content") is expected to ship on April 29th. 

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

NWN2 - Information on Patch Updates

by Corwin, 06:36

Lucky Day sends us this information from Rob McGinnis about possible content for any upcoming patches.

Off the top of my head, here are some goals from our next three patches:


Eliminate transition crashes.
Add a checkbox to the dedicated server to disallow the override folder.
Allow Haks to load before character generation.
Integrate the DM's Player List with the Chooser.
Implement Multi-Server/Portal Support.
Allow DMs to interact with player inventory
Integrated Content/PWC Autodownloader
Implement stealth animations for player races
Implement numerous spell fixes


It's
important to recognize that these are goals and not set in stone - nor
is it an exhaustive list of our goals. Technical issues, contract
issues and higher priority bugs can change this.

In this post he reiterates his 6 week time table and one week is already down.

Here's the links: Here

and there's more here. 

 

 

Sunday - February 03, 2008

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 11:06

Rob McGinnis' latest NWN2 Community Update focuses on the progress with v1.12, with bit over half of their goals having passed QA. 

Thanks Lucky Day and Dark Savant. 

Friday - February 01, 2008

NWN2 - Walkthrough @ Sorcerer's Place

by Dhruin, 11:55

Sorcerer's Place writes they have finished an "exhaustive" walkthrough of NWN2 complete with maps, screens, item lists and an attempt to cover as many paths through the quests as possible.

Monday - January 14, 2008

NWN2 - Continued Support

by Magerette, 19:16

In NWN2 news, Lucky Day writes in with a forum post regarding proposed regular patches and updates, from Rob McGinnis, Community Coordinator at the Obsidian Forums:

Once we start the new patch process, the goal is to release a patch every six weeks. So, after 1.12 comes out, they should be coming out every six weeks.

This would seem to confirm Obsidian's earlier statements that they would continue support of the game on a six week schedule. You can read the full thread here.

Thanks, Lucky Day. 

 

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Forum Tidbits

by Dhruin, 09:01

Lucky Day sends word of some Mysteries of Westgate forum updates as we await a release date for Ossian's apparently completed Adventure Pack.  In this thread at the official forums, two team members express some frustration when someone asks about the release. Alan Miranda responds with an update of sorts here:

Hey folks. I wouldn’t paint Atari out to be the Christmas Grinch in this. It really boils down to working through technical issues as well as the time it takes to modify the NWN2 engine code. I can guarantee that Atari is just as anticipatory at releasing MoW as Ossian is (I talk to them almost every day), and if we could have released it earlier we definitely would have. We’ve actually taken the opportunity afforded by the delay to listen to some of your posts concerning distribution (specifically authentication), and are seriously considering implementing them. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a definite release time available. Again, sorry for the wait.

In addition, Alan answers a question about languages, saying that English is the only planned release at the moment.

Atari may not be the Christmas Grinch but someone sure isn't helping build anticipation for this. 

Saturday - January 12, 2008

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 21:37

A very short update on NWN2 at Obsidian from Rob McGinnis, mostly about the progress of the v1.12 patch:

The patch is technically in a pre-production phase right now. We may need to do some work to prepare for Ossian's Mysteries of Westgate Adventure Pack and that is delaying the shift into full production phase. In the meantime, some progress has been made. 

Friday - January 11, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Gallery @ Sorcerer's Place

by Dhruin, 21:14

Sorcerer's Place writes they have a new Mysteries of Westgate gallery article with a handful of screens and pieces of art and accompanying blurbs for Ossian's upcoming Adventure Pack.

Thursday - January 10, 2008

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Video @ IGN

by Dhruin, 20:18

IGN has upped their second video for the NWN2 Adventure Pack Mysteries of Westgate, titled Attack of the Quelzarn.

Tuesday - January 08, 2008

NWN2 -Mysteries of Westgate Videos @ IGN

by Magerette, 19:03

IGN is offering a week's worth of videos from Ossian Studio's upcoming NWN2 adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate, and an interview is also mentioned as being in the works.

From the description:

The new game features loads of new content for the NWN2 crowd, including new companions, a new sewer environment, loads of new monsters, and all the usual bells and whistles that made the presentation of the previous game so compelling.

In this adventure Ossian Studios takes the Neverwinter Nights 2 experience to the notorious city of Westgate where players will find themselves drawn into a bitter battle between rival groups within the city, including the mysterious criminal organization known as the Nights Masks. As the players try to find their way through this battle and uncover the secrets of a powerful but cursed treasure, they'll have the option to explore many side quests and decide which of the factions really have their best interests at heart.

We'll be bringing new videos to you all through the week and will also bring you an interview with the team, so keep checking back!

Saturday - December 22, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 00:46

Yep, time for Rob McGinnis' regular NWN2 Community Update.  This week he touches on new additions to the Rogue Dao Purgatorio team, more v1.12 patch news and tilesets from Robinson Workshops.

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ GameShark

by Dhruin, 00:33

Alan Miranda from Ossian pops up again at Gameshark for the latest interview on their NWN2 Adventure Pack, Mysteries of Westgate:

Back to the game itself. Since the players will need to choose between allegiances, how drastically will their choices affect the outcome of the game?

Alan Miranda: Some choices will be very drastic indeed (saying more would spoil the story). Just know that our goal was to provide an adventure where players were offered a lot of choices, so based on how they choose their allegiances, it will change both how the game plays out at the start, as well as towards the end. In terms of gameplay time alone, different choices will alter half of the core storyline for the player.


The site also states a January release date, which I think is new.

Source: NW Vault

Thursday - December 20, 2007

NWN2 - Mystra's Blessing Feat @ Thieves-Guild.net

by Dhruin, 11:09

Cal1s from NWN/2 fansite Thieves-Guild.net let us know they have Mystra's Blessing - one of three original bonus pre-order feats for NWN2 - available for download. 

Wednesday - December 19, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ Sorcerers Place

by Dhruin, 09:29

Thanks to Sorcerer's Place for letting us know about their new interview with Ossian Studios on Mysteries of Westgate.  Here's a confident response that we can only hope holds true:

SP: One of the things some members of our team were most disappointed with in the NWN2 OC was the lack of replayability. How replayable is MoW going to be?

Luke Scull: Massively replayable. Mysteries of Westgate is probably the most replayable D&D CRPG since Baldur’s Gate 2. And that’s from the perspective of someone who’s played and analyzed every single one, including all the NWN1 premium modules. The huge number of sidequests with many different resolutions, combined with a branching critical path and multiple endings, ensures that players will be getting a ton of bang for their buck.

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

NWN2 - v1.11 Patch Released

by Dhruin, 23:14

Rob McGinnis has announced the availability of the latest v1.11 patch for NWN2, which clearly concentrates on bug-fixes, including a bunch for Mask of the Betrayer.  Here's is the General section and follow the link to the official forums for the full notes:

- Stealth was previously not functioning properly. It is now functioning as designed.
- Opening the Game Options window will no longer reset the camera focus of Strategy Mode.
- The Dwarven Defender’s Defensive Stance should now function properly.
- An exploit was fixed that allowed players to increase their CON by unequipping and re-equipping items.
- A message will now be displayed if a character cannot equip an item due to being Frightened.
- The “Enable Buy/Sell Confirmation” option will now properly retain its state when you exit the game.
- Duergar are now properly ECL +1 rather than ECL +2.

Sunday - December 09, 2007

NWN2 - New Purgatorio Trailer

by Dhruin, 00:58

RPG Codex has picked up a new trailer for Rogue Dao Studios' NWN2 Planescape mod, Purgatorio.  The 122Mb file doesn't seem to be mentioned at the site but project lead Monty Markland explains this trailer focuses on the look and feel, rather than gameplay (direct link to the file).

Source: RPG Codex

Friday - December 07, 2007

NWN2 - v1.11 Preview & v1.12 Peek

by Dhruin, 22:56

Rob McGinnis has kicked up the notes for the next NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer patch, which they are hoping to release Monday.  The whole thing is too long (and the MotB bit has potential spoilers), so here's the General section only:

Here is a quick look at some of the fixes and features in Patch 1.11. Happy reading.

Neverwinter Nights 2 - Version 1.11 Patch Notes
October 30th, 2007


Bug Fixes in 1.11

General



  • Stealth was previously not functioning properly. It is now functioning as designed.
  • Opening the Game Options window will no longer reset the camera focus of Strategy Mode.
  • The Dwarven Defender’s Defensive Stance should now function properly.
  • An exploit was fixed that allowed players to increase their CON by unequipping and re-equipping items.
  • A message will now be displayed if a character cannot equip an item due to being Frightened.
  • The “Enable Buy/Sell Confirmation” option will now properly retain its state when you exit the game.
  • Duergar are now properly ECL +1 rather than ECL +2.

Meanwhile, Rob has also posted a new Community Update with the usual coverage of community projects and news about a change to their patching policy, along with a peek at v1.12:

We have been making some changes to the way we will be handling patches moving forward. While I can't give you full details yet, I will let you in on some of the changes: We will be working on a six week schedule for each patch, starting with 1.12. This is a tighter schedule and that means that the number of fixes and features included with each patch will be reduced when compared to the average patch in the past. This, however, does mean that you should be seeing patches more often and at a more predictable rate. We are setting our goals pretty high with this new plan. We will be attempting to address some pretty important, but very risky fixes and features as well.
As part of the new plan, I hope to make our patching process more transparent. I would like to tell you much earlier what we plan to work on in the patches and keep you much more up to date as to how the patches change as we go through each phase: from production, through testing and, finally, to release. I will start this process by posting our primary goals for each patch in this blog. These lists will not be complete lists of what we plan to address as we would still like to put a few surprises in and we will still be keeping exploits a secret so as not to make PW Admins' lives more difficult. The lists will start out pretty general in nature and, as we discuss each patch internally, the lists will become more refined as we add and remove fixes and features from the goals list. Eventually, I would like to be able to post a plan for up to three patches out, so you have a general idea of where things are heading.

Head over for the v1.12 sample. 

Finally, this update includes news that Rogue Dao Studios' lead Monty Markland has joined Obsidian but Purgatorio is apparently unaffected:

Well, I've been the public face of the Planescape Trilogy project for the past 15 months. I felt like it was important to let everybody know that my arrival at Obsidian doesn't threaten the completion of Purgatorio or the rest of the Trilogy at all. There are 23 incredibly talented ladies and gentleman currently working on Purgatorio, folks such as: Kevin Chow, Scott Douglas, Johnny Taylor, Courtney Keene, Ryan Placchetti, Daniel Haas, Andrej Bartulovic, Heather Kirk, Jason Ng, Michael Cipriano, Will Sprinkel, Bruce Hayles, Matthew Roeder, Sampo Narhi, Gabor Valasek, Robert Fletcher, Atte Laitenen, Marko Radojkovic, Ryan Farnsworth, Andres Cruz, Johnny Ree, and Kris Hammes. I also continue to work on the project in my own time.

Wednesday - December 05, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate, Diary#1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 01:26

Alan Miranda and Luke Scull have both contributed to the first Mysteries of Westgate diary at RPG Vault.  This entry looks at the city and its four districts and offers four news screens:

If anywhere embodies and embraces the cutthroat, "anything goes" nature of the Dragon Coast, it is the most powerful and infamous settlement in the region. One of the major trading powers of the Realms, Westgate revels in its status as an open city. No race is prohibited and no faith is outlawed, and on any given day, one might find drow mingling with ogres, pirates and worse in the city's dingy taverns, or else see exotic creatures that wouldn't be tolerated elsewhere hawking their wares in broad daylight.

Despite this recipe for anarchy, open conflict is not as common as one might imagine. Most of the influential and powerful citizens of Westgate are too wrapped up in their own plots or schemes to draw unwanted attention. And the endless pursuit of coin tends to keep the wheels of the city turning despite everything.

Tuesday - December 04, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview

by Dhruin, 12:25

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.

Thursday - November 22, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Story Interview

by Dhruin, 21:20

Community rep Shane DeFreest has kicked up Mysteries of Westgate update that takes the form of an interview on the story:

Question: How much of an impact will character class have on the story, or will the story change much if I play primarily as a caster v. sneak v. basher?

Mat Jobe, Writer (aka Nemorem): This is one area where we went all out. Your choices have a major impact on what content you see in the game - starting with your choice of allies when you first arrive in Westgate. And while other games boast "multiple endings," Mysteries of Westgate offers a completely different experience depending on your choice at one key moment in the story. We don't want to give too much away, but we're confident that players will be impressed with the amount of exclusive content that is determined by your character's choices.

Naturally, you'll also find that your choices have an impact on the myriad sidequests in Mysteries of Westgate. When we sat down to design the game, one of our guiding principles was that quests should have multiple resolutions, or at least play differently depending on the PC.

Suffice it to say, you'll need to play Mysteries of Westgate at least twice to get the full experience.

Thanks, Lucky Day.

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 21:16

Rob McGinnis' latest Community Update for NWN2 is up, looking at several community efforts including the Community Content Compilation (3C), the Sands of Solvheil II: Beneath the Hearlfone module, Dasaria II persistent world and more.

Saturday - November 17, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Forum Tidbits

by Dhruin, 09:41

Also from Lucky Day is a couple of snips from Ossian's Alan Miranda on Mysteries of Westgate from the official forums. First, Alan addresses Atari:

The news post about Atari’s CEO stepping down and pulling back on internal development does not affect MoW or NWN2 for that matter. Those issues are with Atari Inc. Keep in mind that there is a difference between Atari Inc. and Atari Interactive Inc. (check out wikipedia for more details). Anyhow, we developed MoW internally at Ossian, so this wouldn’t have been affected regardless.

As for an exact release date, there are always a number of factors to consider. We’ll let you know when we have a more firm date.

...and on using assets from MoW in the toolset:

The areas from MoW wouldn’t be available to use elsewhere (i.e., opening MoW up in the toolset and exporting them as erfs). The BioWare premium mods were encrypted, if that’s any indication. Other more easily distributable content from the game would be made available to the community, which is what both Ossian and Atari would like to do.

Friday - November 09, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ RPG Codex

by Dhruin, 10:20

RPG Codex has a great interview with Alan Miranda and Luke Scull about Ossian's Mysteries of Westgate premium mod for NWN2:

5) The setting is, basically, a metropolis, which is a bold and brave choice. Why the urban setting? How do you keep it interesting for the mass market? How big is it?

Luke: We chose an urban setting because at the time we began planning the game, there was a distinct lack of them around. While the OC had Neverwinter, it was more like a shell than a fleshed-out city.

We felt that the team of excellent writers we assembled would be eminently suited to writing a complex, intrigue-laden story in a city environment and we wanted to choose somewhere shady enough so that we could allow characters of all classes and alignments to express themselves. Westgate fitted the bill.

How do we keep it interesting for the mass market? I’m not 100% sure what this question means, but our market is the existing NWN2 fan base, which we have a lot of experience with. The game opens with a bang and there’s never a shortage of things to do from the moment the player steps foot into the city.

The city is divided into four large districts, each of which is very distinct and packed with quests and encounters. The player also gets to travel outside the city on a few occasions. There’s a good 15 hours of gameplay there in any one playthrough.

Wednesday - November 07, 2007

NWN2 - Academy for Modding Excellence

by Dhruin, 23:12

Lucky Day writes about an initiative with a home at RPG Vault called the Academy for Modding Excellence:

The Academy for Modding Excellence is a voluntary organisation dedicated to finding and recognising the best community built content for Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2. It is our vision for the Academy’s “Golden Dragon” Award to be the gold standard for recognition of excellence in module-making and custom materials design for NWN and NWN2.

Read on for their goals, criteria and how to join.

Tuesday - November 06, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 10:30

Ossian Studios' Alan Miranda has been interviewed at GameBanshee about their Mysteries of Westgate premium NWN2 project:

GB: Mask of the Betrayer had less of a focus on combat than the original Neverwinter Nights 2 did. Would you say that Mysteries of Westgate will follow in this same direction or can we expect a lot of confrontation in the adventure pack?

Alan: I think we’ve done a very good job balancing between both the role-playing and combat aspects in MoW. We definitely don’t focus “a lot” on confrontation, and I would have to say that things are scaled a bit more towards role-playing, with lots of interactions with NPCs and objects. There are many instances where players are given choices of how to deal with challenges, not all of which require combat, such as sneaking past a confrontation or talking your way out of it. However, we have plenty of challenging battles with nasty creatures that players have never seen before in a Neverwinter game, so don’t put away that sword just yet. :) 

Friday - November 02, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 21:39

Rob McGinnis has posted his latest NWN2 Community Update, covering community projects such as Playable NPC Heads, Prefab Ritual Sites and Custom Classes for the Masses.

Saturday - October 27, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview #2 @ Warcry

by Dhruin, 01:20

 As promised, Part 2 of the joint NW Vault / Warcry interview with Ossian Studios and Atari on the Adventure Pack, Mysteries of Westgate, is now up:

11. How many gameplay hours will the adventure pack offer and how linear will it be?

Luke Scull: The adventure pack was initially planned to be between 6-12 hours in length, but it's grown somewhat from that estimate. A bare-bones core path play-through may be achievable in about 8 hours, but to complete most of the sidequests and explore the module thoroughly could take 15 hours or more. After that, players will want to play the game again with a different character, enjoying a completely different path through the story - and perhaps a different ending. So, to answer the question of how linear it is: it's about as non-linear as it can be while still delivering a top-drawer and well-paced story. We expect players to be replaying the game and discovering new things for months to come.

Alan Miranda: One of the things we did well on Daggerford, and that we wanted to replicate with Westgate, was to develop many intriguing sidequests for players to come across. Having approximately 7+ hours of optional, non-linear adventures goes a long way in making the world feel like a busy place.

In related news, the official forums at BioWare now have a dedicated Mysteries of Westgate forum

Thursday - October 25, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Interview #1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:43

RPG Vault has the first part of an interview with Ossian's Alan Miranda and Atari's Luke Scull on the recently announced Mysteries of Westgate NWN2 Adventure, with Part 2 to follow at NWN2. Warcry.  Here's a snip:

6) What is the basic storyline for NWN 2: Mysteries of Westgate?

Luke Scull: The storyline begins with the player seeking to rid themselves of a cursed object, one that haunts their dreams and threatens their very sanity. After learning from an old sage that the object is inextricably linked to the nefarious organization known as the Night Masks, the player catches the next ship to Westgate in the hopes of uncovering the cure to the curse. Soon afterwards, the player is drawn into a vicious street war between factions. Players must choose their allegiance in order to break the curse and ultimately uncover a plot that threatens Westgate itself.

Thanks, Lucky Day!

Tuesday - October 23, 2007

NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Announcement

by Dhruin, 13:09

We've already reported on Ossian Studios' Adventure Pack for NWN2 but Atari sent us an official (expanded) press release, so here we go:

Atari Announces Neverwinter NightsTM 2 Adventure Pack

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate Available Fall 2007



NEW YORK, Oct. 22: Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world's most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, today announced the development of the first Neverwinter NightsTM 2 Adventure Pack to be available exclusively by digital download. Created by Atari and some of the most prominent members of the Neverwinter Nights 2 communities, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate provides hours of additional entertainment with all new engrossing storylines, professional voice acting, enchanting musical scores, new in-game content, and much more. Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS). DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro.

Developed by Ossian Studios, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate is the first full featured Adventure Pack available from Atari. Set in the infamous Forgotten Realms city of Westgate, players find themselves in possession of a powerful but cursed treasure that threatens to destroy them. Linked to the underworld organization known as the Night Masks, the treasure will draw players into a city-spanning clash between warring factions. Players must choose their allegiance in order to break the curse and ultimately uncover a plot that threatens Westgate itself.

"Our premium module program for the original Neverwinter Nights was an enormous success due to the sheer amount of new, high-quality content we provided in each adventure," said Hudson Piehl, Vice President of Product Development, Atari, Inc. "With our new Adventure Packs, such as the upcoming Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate, we are evolving the premium module: fans can expect higher production values, deep storylines, and lengthy new campaigns they've come to associate with Neverwinter Nights."

From the creators of the critically-acclaimed Neverwinter Nights module, Darkness over Daggerford, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate will feature a non-linear, open-ended single-player campaign with numerous side quests covering more than 15 hours of game play. Atari's new Adventure Pack will also feature 3 new companions; an entirely new underground sewers tile set themed after the seedy underbelly of Westgate; a host of new monsters to do battle with, including some truly epic foes; an exciting new and original musical score; as well as thousands of new lines of professionally recorded dialogue.

The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than three million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of UndrentideTM, Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the UnderdarkTM and Neverwinter Nights 2, have created more than 5,000 modifications to the original game using the award-winning toolset included with the full game that allows players to create their own universes, quests and storylines.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate is scheduled for release in fall 2007. The new Mysteries of Westgate, as well as future adventure packs, require the original game and will be made available for purchase and download directly from Atari. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at www.nwn2.com, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.

Thanks also to Lucky Day for a similar submission. 

Monday - October 22, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:18

Rob McGinnis' latest NWN2 Community Update looks at a new community site aimed at content builders called The NeverWinter Citadel and some community content due soon from Robinson Workshops and others.

Saturday - October 20, 2007

NWN2 - First Adventure Pack Mod Details @ NWVault

by Magerette, 19:40

NWN2 Vault has posted news of Atari Europe's announcement of a new 15 hour module for NWN2 from Ossian Studios (Darkness over Daggerford)called Mysteries of Westgate:

 Neverwinter Nights 2.FR have reported that Atari Europe have announced the imminent launch of their Neverwinter Nights 2 Adventure pack! This adventure pack will be available exclusively via digital download -so we're talking bigger in every way than Premium Modules folks! The first Adventure Pack is developed by Ossian Studios and titled "Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate" and offers 15 hours of gameplay set in the Forgotten Realms city of Westgate. With an all new storyline, professional voice acting, musical scores and new in game content, this sounds like it is going to be a smashing NWN2 adventure!


You can read the full press release here (in English--just scroll down) at the French Neverwinter Nights fansite, Neverwinter Nights 2.FR.

Thanks, Lucky Day! 

Thursday - October 11, 2007

NWN2 - Safe to Patch

by Dhruin, 23:47

Rob McGinnis has the welcome but rather ridiculous news that it's now safe to fire up the NWN2 Autopatcher:

It is ok to run the autoupdater and patch up to this interim patch.

This is not a "full-blown" patch. But it should streamline your install process.

Basically, now you will be able to install NWN2, then install MoTB, then patch.

Remember: NWN2 -> MoTB -> Patch.

Wednesday - October 10, 2007

NWN2 - Problematic Patch

by Dhruin, 00:31

Now they tell me.  From Rob Mc Ginnis on the NWN2 forums:

Hello Everyone,

There is currently a patch available on the Autopatcher. DO NOT INSTALL THIS PATCH!

If you do, it will overwrite your CD Key(s) and cause you much havoc.

Edit
If this patch has already been installed, you will need to manually open the file "nwncdkey.ini" and replace the CD key(s) with the original keys you entered at the time of installing the game. The file can be found in the NWN2 install folder.

If you have a backup of nwn2cdkey.ini from after you installed MotB, you can instead just restore the file from your backup.

Monday - October 01, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 00:36

Rob McGinnis has popped up on the Obsidian forums with a new NWN2 news update.  This one discusses the v1.10 patch, the Mask of the Betrayer release in Europe (and a hotfix for those with missing text), some community works and an upcoming patch inclusion that will see custom portraits:

So many of you have seen we have talked about the ability to use custom portraits instead of the default 3d portraits of NWN2. For those with MoTB installed, you can see that we have used this for the companions and other creatures.

Right now, there is no easy way to set the portraits for characters as you could during character creation in NWN1, so we started work on a system to allow this. But, after some discussions we felt that Persistent World Players needed something more. For those of you that don't play on PWs, it's important to understand that characters evolve on PWs, as well as the world around them. As such, we felt it would be great if you could actually change your portrait during play. So, once the feature is released in a patch you will be able to double-click on your portrait in the character screen and a portrait selection dialog (shown below) will appear. You will be able to change your portrait as often as you like and, as long as other players have your portrait in their portraits folder (My Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\Portraits), they will be able to see the change as well. If you ever want to go back to your 3d game-generated portrait, just click the clear button.

Saturday - September 29, 2007

NWN2 - v1.10 Released

by Dhruin, 00:43

Obsidian has released the v1.10 patch for (vanilla) NWN2, previously known as 1.07 with some minor tweaks. Those trying the 1.07 Beta will need to revert back and then the Autopatcher will take it from there.

Thanks, Dark Savant.

Wednesday - September 26, 2007

NWN2 - Patch 1.10 and "Reversioning"

by Dhruin, 22:59

News from Rob McGinnis on the official NWN2 forums about some difficulty they are having with the different code versions in NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer, hence, v1.07 will be renamed 1.10 and a further patch for vanilla NWN2 will follow after the release of MotB:

With the MoTB release imminent, we have been taking a look at the 1.07 patch and how it interacts with MoTB.

Many of you have seen already that we have been slowly bringing the code forks together now, so that the NWN2 patches are compatible with MoTB.

Patching the game is always a difficult process. When one thing is fixed, other things break. So, with that in mind we had to make a decision about how to handle the 1.07 patch with the MoTB release.

What we have decided is that, the 1.07 final patch will be "reversioned" to become 1.10. The 1.10 final patch will contain only data fixes from 1.07. It will not contain any programming fixes that are not already in 1.07. This means that some things, such as stealth, while they are fixed for us, may not be fixed in 1.10 for you. This is to make sure that when you have your copy of MoTB installed, the patch won't break it unnecessarily.

Now, for those of you that purchase and install MoTB, you should see all the fixes right away - including stealth - as they are "native" to that code. But for those of you that don't have MoTB, the fixes will be finalized in the patch after the MoTB release.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but feel this is the safest course of action for all players.

And some further clarification:

Basically, unless it is a data issue (2da or TLK files), things that are broken in the 1.07 patch will remain broken in 1.10. We will not remove features from 1.07.

Players that have MoTB installed should be able to play on NWN2 PW/MP servers, but NWN2 players will not be able to play on MoTB servers.

MoTB contains all the patches from 1.00 to 1.10. You can install MoTB on top of a fresh NWN2 install and it will bring you current.

Speaking of v1.07, WarCry has a list of the DM Client fixes in this last patch.

Thanks, Lucky Day!

Tuesday - September 18, 2007

NWN2 - Obsidian Visit @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 12:40

WarCry's Kalia has penned a report on a recent visit to Obsidian to look at NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer.  They also had the chance to look at Rogue Dao Studios' Purgatorio and some other major projects:

There is no question that Rogue Dao has raised the bar considerably for other community created modules and custom content creators with Purgatorio. Already sporting twenty custom creature models, the module, if fully explored, will treat players to twenty hours or so in the gorgeous Sigil environs. There is the main quest and over fifty side quests that players can use as an excuse to completely discover Purgatorio in its entirety.

Sunday - September 16, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 01:30

Rob McGinnis has kicked up the weekly Community Update, with a look at the Sacred Fist prestige class from Mask of the Betrayer, a look at two PWs and some other community efforts plus a quick note about recently seeing Rogue Dao Studios' Planescape work:

Now, being the vindictive gamers we are, once we caught the Rogue Dao guys, we tied them to a chair and made them watch old episodes of Manimal until they showed us Purgatorio. All I can say is I can't wait to get my hands on this mod. You guys should be proud of what you have achieved. As a note to the Community: even if you don't normally like Single Player modules, you should play this mod.

Sunday - September 09, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 00:10

Rob McGinnis' weekly NWN2 Community Update has news of the beta release of 1.07 Premonition, coverage of several community projects and a look at the Arcane Scholar prestige class from Mask of the Betrayer:

Arcane Scholars seek to raise the study of magic to the level of an academic discipline. Their interest is not in researching new spells or finding more specialized uses for their craft, but in understanding the fundamental processes of magic and the inner workings of the Weave, which is the fabric that underlies all magic.

The first Arcane Scholars emerged from the dusty libraries of Candlekeep, where they pored through the writings of a thousand long-dead mages, seeking the unifying principles that underlie all magic. But even the archives of Candlekeep have their limits, and not all practitioners of magic have the means or desire to record their experiences with the Art. So Arcane Scholars dispersed into the wider world, observing and recording all the various expressions of magic they could find. Their tradition has gradually spread, and some mages who have never set foot in Candlekeep have adopted their disciplined and systematic approach to magic. [more]

Saturday - September 08, 2007

NWN2 - Mac Version Confirmed

by Dhruin, 13:36

The rumoured Mac version of NWN2 has been confirmed by Aspyr, with an announcement having slipped under the radar:

AUSTIN, Texas (August 24, 2007) – Aspyr Media, Inc. announced today they will publish NeverWinter Nights™ 2 for Mac, the computer role-playing game set in the fantasy world of the Forgotten Realms, one of the popular campaign settings of Dungeons & Dragons ®, produced by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc (NYSE: HAS). NeverWinter Nights™ 2, licensed to Atari by HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro, Inc.,is expected to hit stores for Mac in December 2007. The ESRB rating of the game is T for Teen.

About NeverWinter Nights

Rise from a peasant to a full-fledged hero as you defend the Realms against one of the greatest threats of the age!

Build a character that suits your style of play – good or evil, chaotic or lawful, with any number of skills, feats and professions available at the click of a button. Whether lobbing fireballs and researching forgotten spells as a powerful Wizard, hacking a trail through legions of orcs as a Fighter armed only with a battle axe and your courage, or taking on the role of a Rogue that can slip into the shadows at a moment’s notice, the choice is yours. Choose your alignment, your allies, your companions, and how you want your character to develop… design the character you want, role-play the way you want, and carry the battle to the enemy.

NeverWinter Nights™ 2 will soon be available for preorder through Aspyr’s website for only $49.99. For more information, fans can also visit the official Website, http://www.atari.com/nwn2/US/index.php.

The ESRB rating of the game is T for Teen.

Thanks, Lucky Day. 

Wednesday - September 05, 2007

NWN2 - v1.07 Premonition BETA Release

by Dhruin, 23:43

News via the NWN2 forums that the beta version of Premonition has been released:

The 1.07 patch has been released, but is currently propagating to the mirror sites. Once that is done, it will be ready to download.

It is configured as an executable file that will install the patch. There is also a revert patch available that will revert your game from the patched 1.07 Beta back to 1.06.

A quick look doesn't actually reveal any mirrors at this moment but we'll update later when we get the chance. Feel free to throw any links you find into the comments here.

Update: Get it from NWVault.

Saturday - September 01, 2007

NWN2 - v1.07 "Premonition" Preview

by Dhruin, 00:50

Rob McGinnis and Nathaniel Chapman have posted a preview and pre-release notes for v1.07 of NWN2, which is apparently so significant they have given it a title: Premonition.  This update is essentially the engine improvements for Mask of the Betrayer and the additions and changes are extensive.  The post is simply too long to reproduce in whole, so here is part of the intro and a portion of the patch notes:

Update 1.03 saw massive performance improvements, and now Update 1.07 will include a second set of performance optimizations. We’ve worked with the community to improve some of the walkmesh and AI issues with the game, and our dedication to supporting our scriptable, customizable graphical user interface (GUI) has paid off with the community developing UI modifications that allow people to customize the game’s UI to their liking. The DM client you’re getting with this patch is a full featured tool for running multiplayer games. [...]

NEW FEATURES IN PREMONITION

General


Character Mode and Strategy Mode – In advance of the release of the Mask of the Betrayer expansion pack this September, we’ve included one of the major new revisions we’ve made to the camera and control modes. Now, the four camera modes (Top Down, Chase, Driving and Free Camera) have been consolidated into two modes that are more configurable and clearer to use than the old modes – Character Mode and Strategy Mode.

These modes affect both the function of the camera and the controls for each mode, and are designed to be most efficient for the two primary styles of play – controlling a single character, and controlling a full party. Note that while the information given here refers to the default function of each mode, these modes are highly configurable. Please check out all of the options in the newly updated Options Menu. You can toggle which mode you are in by pressing the * key by default.



  • Character Mode: In Character Mode, the camera follows behind and over the shoulder of the currently controlled character. This mode is useful for getting a good look at your surroundings and exploring an area while focused on controlling an individual character. While in Character Mode, by default, holding the Left Mouse Button down and moving the mouse to the left or right will turn the character. You can also turn by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen. Holding down the Middle Mouse Button or pressing the Arrow keys will allow you to rotate the camera around the currently controlled character.
  • Strategy Mode: Strategy Mode is a top down Play Mode that is intended to make controlling a full party easier. This mode is most useful for controlling combat situations involving a full party of characters against a large number of enemies. In Strategy Mode, by default, you can click and drag to select multiple party members. You can rotate the camera either by holding the Middle Mouse Button and moving the mouse, by moving the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen, or by pressing the Arrow Keys.
  • New Options Menu – Patch 1.07 also introduces a new options menu that gives you access to consolidated and clear options for each camera mode, and better organization of the already existing options.
  • Marquee/Multi-Selection Revamp – Marquee and Multi-selection have been dramatically improved to make controlling a full party much easier. You can see the new improvements to Marquee and Multi-selection in the new Strategy Mode.


UI Improvements



  • Party AI On/Off Button – There is now a button on the main game UI, next to the rest button, that will toggle the entire party’s AI on or off.
  • Player Chat List – A list of all players on the server is now available on the Player Menu (the NWN2 “Eye” button in the lower left corner of the screen). You can select any player from this list to send them a tell.
  • "Handles" have been added to the chat windows to allow them to be moved more easily.
  • A logcommands console command has been added that allows you to dump all of the console commands to a text file.
  • Console commands are no longer case sensitive.



Gameplay Improvements


  • Darkvision and Low-light Vision are now modes that can be toggled on or off using the Mode Bar. They also have new visual effects to accompany this change.
  • Bronze Dragon - New Creature! The Bronze Dragon creature has been added to the Toolset, so expect him to show up in new community content as well as Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Stealth Improvements – Some improvements have been made to stealth to make it more effective in a Multiplayer environment. Among these, characters who are hidden will no longer show up when detected by any party member, and hidden characters should be hidden properly regardless of faction.

Wednesday - August 22, 2007

NWN2 - Mac Version Coming

by Dhruin, 14:24

Online retailers have apparently let slip that Aspyr is working on a Mac version of NWN2According to MacWorld, the toolset won't be included but it will still be possible to play user modules from the PC community.  No release date has been revealed. 

Source: Bluesnews

Sunday - August 19, 2007

NWN2 - NWNX4 Released

by Dhruin, 01:10

Lucky Day wrote in to point out the release of NWNX4 for NWN2.  Here's the description from the RPG Vault announcement and hit the link for additional details:

NWNX adds extra functionality such as SQL database support, additional scripting functions, performance monitoring and many other features to the games Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2. It supports a plugin architecture which makes it easy for third party developers to extend the game even further.

NWNX enhances the dedicated server with new functionality.

It achieves this with a neat trick called instrumentation. What this means is, that NWNX attaches itself to certain scripting functions and is able to manipulate their results. It thus creates a well defined interface between the closed NWN world and countless external systems, which can be used to do things like accessing SQL database servers, use other programming languages, connect to web services, and many others.

Right now, you can use MySQL and SQLite databases for your persistent variables. SQLite is one of the databases that will be supported by NWNX4, which requires no installation or configuration. It doesn't get easier than that. 

Wednesday - August 15, 2007

NWN2 - Dev Profiles @ NWN2 Chronicles

by Dhruin, 00:59

Italian site NWN2 Chronicles has a series of dev profiles and photos for a number of Obsidian staffers.  A quick grab from Josh Sawyer:

1) What are your favorite games from the past?

Josh Sawyer:
The ones that stick out most are Darklands, Pool of Radiance, and the original Fallout. Three very different RPGs, but all great in their own way. I love studying history, so Darklands might always have the edge over the other two. I also think its RPG system was very fresh. It's a shame that more wasn't done with the franchise.

I predict junior designer Annie Carlson will have her own fan club in short order.

Monday - August 13, 2007

NWN2 - Rogue Dao Studios Interview

by Dhruin, 23:40

An interview on the major NWN2 Planescape Trilogy project by Rogue Dao Studios is up at Clan Dlan:

Speaking of Planescape and roleplaying games, we have a question we must ask. Everyone has in mind the mighty Planescape: Torment, and might of course compare your work to that game. How are you planning to create something equally original and of high quality?

Hippo: It's important to keep in mind that this game isn't P:T. We aren't trying to 'recreate' P:T. P:T was a brilliant game, made by brilliant people, and most of us have played it and absolutely adore it. But that's not the game we're making here.

It's inevitable that the game we make will be compared to P:T, and that's both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because, frankly, at least some of us are of the opinion that P:T is the single greatest role-playing game ever created, and we enjoy being held to such a rigorous standard - but on the other hand, it's a bad thing, because people who are expecting to play a sequel to P:T are going to be sorely disappointed. We're doing our own thing over here, and we'd like to think we're doing it pretty damn well.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - August 10, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:52

Rob McGinnis' latest Community Update for NWN2 includes a sample of the opening theme music for Mask of the Betrayer, some community mod efforts such as bridges and the release of Expotron (NWN2 animation plugin for 3dsMax) and the Dedicated Server Creator.

Saturday - August 04, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 09:26

Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has tossed up a new NWN2 Community Update, informing of a new custom skybox feature for v1.07 plus news for Mask of the Betrayer such as new spell chant voicesets and more camera/control options, such as a "strategy" mode and a "character" mode.

Monday - July 16, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:48

Rob McGinnis has kicked up a Community Update for NWN2 with coverage of things like an art contest, BG2 gui mod and other community stuff.  I also noticed there is a hotfix for those experiencing startup crashes with v1.06 that we missed last week.

Tuesday - July 03, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:26

Rob McGinnis has tossed up another NWN2 Community Update, with info on the v1.07 patch, camera changes in Mask of the Betrayer and more.  Here's a bit on a subject close to my heart - multiselect:

The Multi-select system is going through a simple overhaul. The first part of which, that you should see, is that now, multi-selected parties should be able to perform their default actions. This means you will be able to open doors, pick locks, etc. without having to de-select your group now. Other changes will be forth-coming, but so far, this is the big change.

Wednesday - June 27, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:24

Rob McGinnis' blog at Obsidian has a new Community Update for NWN2.  The first part is an introduction to the Genasi race from the Mask of the Betrayer expansion and them Rob looks at some community projects, as usual:

With Mask of the Betrayer, Genasi will be making their debut. Many people have been wondering exactly what Genasi are. Hopefully I can answer some of that here.

As a playable race, per the FRCS: "Genasi are descended from elemental-related creatures, such as efreet, dao, djinn, jann, and marids, among others. Most of them have had no direct contact with their elemental forebears, but the signs of their heritage are apparent. Genasi take great pride in their distinctive features and abilities.

Saturday - June 23, 2007

NWN2 - CD Projekt Launches PW

by Dhruin, 03:11

We usually discuss CD Projekt in terms of their Red studio and The Witcher but they are, of course, a significant Polish publisher.  As the local publisher of NWN2 they have released an official Polish Persistent World server called Aeris, based on a location near Candlekeep.  Might be worth watching to see if they consider an English version.

Thanks, Luck Day.

NWN2 - Toolset Criticisms

by Dhruin, 03:04

Lucky Day pointed out that the July PC Gamer criticises NWN2's toolset, apparently saying "The NWN franchise was once the gold standard for the modding community, but now people are abandoning it in droves".  The text isn't online but Obsidians's Rob McGinnis responded in this thread:

 Speaking as a community member:

I will not address the article, but I will address the mods and the potential of the game.

Is the toolset more difficult to use? I think by the very nature of increasing the flexibility of the thing the difficulty naturally becomes more apparent. But I would say it is no more difficult to use than any of its peers and far easier to use than many of the other toolsets out there.

If your total experience in game modding consists solely of creating mods for NWN1, then I think your frame of reference is extremely limited and you are not prepared for the complexities of modding in today's world, unless you can work through the concepts of modding in your mind - without the interface. The NWN1 toolset was made to crank out cookie-cutter areas quickly for a small group adventure. It was made for the lowest common denominator user and, while it was an excellent solution for what was needed, it does not compete with toolsets or tools for today's modder.

As far as quality goes, I think the bar has been raised. The work you would accept five years ago is nowhere near what you expect now. Much of that comes just from our own maturation - Many of us were in our teens and twenties when NWN1 came out where we are now in our twenties and thirties. Some of it comes from the change in technology as well.

With this in mind, many of the modders are working hard to create modules that are "perfect." At the very least, that's a difficult thing to do and takes a lot of time. We demand engrossing stories now. We want characters with character. We don't want to suffer through amateurish attempts anymore - we did that with NWN1, we want better in NWN2. This puts a lot of pressure on the modders. the criticisms dished out make many modders think twice about publishing.

So I don't think it's necessarily the act of making the mod that's difficult. I think it's making a mod that is acceptable that is difficult.

For me, I enjoy them all, amateur and semi-professional alike.

Thursday - June 21, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 22:44

This week's NWN2 Community Update from Rob McGinnis focuses on the 1.07 DM Client updates:

One of the areas we have spent considerable time on for the 1.07 patch is the DM Client. In this first pass we are trying to get the DM Client to be useable for DM-led events and adventures. For 1.07 you should see console commands accessible, a new UI for changing players' alignments, and notes will be visible in the creator (The stuff between the {} brackets in the toolset) among many other changes.

Thursday - June 14, 2007

NWN2 - Interview @ Neverwinter Chronicles

by Dhruin, 23:52

Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has been interviewed at Italian site Neverwinter Chronicles, with English translations provided.  It looks like the questions came from their community and here's a sample:

20) NWN2 has exceeded your expectives? and where it seems to you it could have been done better? Maybe you've been done something in a different manner? Willl you improve the Artificial Intelligence?

Rob Mc Ginnis
There are two areas I think NWN2 has exceeded my expectations: First, even with the bugs and the steeper learning curve, I think the toolset is much more powerful. The things you can accomplish with it are truly amazing and I have seen some fantastic areas built by community members. The second thing that impresses me is how much Obsidian listens to the community. When we start talking about the next patch version, a large part of that conversation is about what the different communities want and need. We have even gone to the community to get their input on the DM Client and held a small online meeting with some of the community members to draft a short list of improvements.

As far as doing things better or different, there are a lot of areas where we feel we could have done better. We continue to improve our processes and methods so that the community will see improvements in quality.

Wednesday - June 13, 2007

NWN2 - v1.06 Patch Released

by Dhruin, 03:18

The v1.06 patch for NWN2 has officially been released.  You can read about it (and the patch notes) in this thread by Obsidian's Nathaniel Chapman.  As far as I can see, the changes relate to the toolset and scripting, so I won't print them here.

In other NWN2 news, The Grimm Brigade won Obsidian's recent mod making contest:

The module had some great writing, area designs and a very original concept. Thanks to all those that participated. We had a great time judging this contest and playing all the modules. Stay tuned for a new contest kicking off in the very near future!

Monday - June 11, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: NWN 2 MP and DM Client Review

by Dhruin, 10:30

Corwin takes a look at multiplayer gaming in NWN2 and expresses some frustration at the state of the DM Client:

Unfortunately, my experience with the DM client has NOT been a pleasant experience. I can think of only one small thing it does better than the original, and many things it does FAR worse. In its current form, it is worse than useless and the word ‘pathetic’ is the kindest adjective I can think of.

Read it all here.

Thursday - May 24, 2007

NWN2 - Team Q&A #2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:20

RPG Vault's second NWN2 Team Q&A again asks a handful of questions to several team members:

Jonric: What are two or three of your favorite locations in the game? What makes each of them especially notable, interesting or otherwise special enough to choose it?

Tony Evans:
Neverwinter City is much larger than people may remember from the original Neverwinter Nights. There are so many interesting characters to interact with, and quests to choose from, many of them completely optional, and open-ended enough that no two people will have the same experience. If you are a completion fanatic who simply must do everything, you should know that it will take a long, fun time, and multiple play-throughs to suck the marrow out of this location.

Crossroad Keep is the place to be after you claim it in Act 2. You can have as much or as little control of your Keep as you wish. You can build towers and churches and battlements, train and upgrade the weapons and armor of your troops, and send them on special missions, resolve the disputes of people living on your land, either diplomatically or forcefully, and much, much more.

Brock Heinz: I'll leave this for people who have played through more than I have.

Andrea Bobick: Going by spell effects, music, lighting, creatures and interesting gameplay, Ammon Jerro's Haven wins, hands down. Mt. Galadrym would definitely be the next runner-up.

NWN2 - Community Update @ Official Blog

by Dhruin, 00:07

Rob McGinnis has posted a NWN2 Community Update with coverage of a new fan-made sewer tileset and discussion of the shortfalls in the DM client and their plans to improve it, including a preview of the 1.07 patch:

As many of you know, the DM Client has been a weakness of NWN2. When we released the game, we released it as a beta with the intention of working with the community to give them a DM Client the way they want it. We wanted to fill the gaps that DM had with NWN1 and incorporate some of the features that were made available through the use of the DMFI tools. In essence, we wanted to create a more fully functional DM Client with NWN2. Obviously we ran into a few roadblocks. The release of the game didn't quite go as we hoped as compatibility issues came roaring at us. So, unfortunately, that left us dealing with some serious issues in the game. We knew the DM Client needed work, but there was just never enough time to actually focus on it. We tried to give some other small fixes that would not require a full review of a system, as the DM Client would, in the meantime.

Monday - May 21, 2007

NWN2 - Team Q&A @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:11

RPG Vault has kicked off a new Team Q&A series with Obsidian staffers answering the same set of questions about NWN2.  The questions aren't hugely exciting but here's a snip:

Jonric: As a Neverwinter Nights 2 player, what is your favorite type of character, and what's particularly notable about it? In addition, are there any others you haven't tried yet but would like to?

Tony Evans:
I always play female characters, and I typically name them after my wife so she feels better about it when I am up until the wee hours of the morning playing games... "But honey... you are trapped in Bonegnasher Lair! I have to get you out before I can come to bed."

My favorite race / class combination is an Aasimar Monk. I like the racial traits and bonuses of playing an Aasimar. I favor Monks because they whoop butt without the aid of fancy, shmancy armor and weapons. And with abilities like Adamantine Ki Strike and Perfect Self, high level Monks are so awesome they could take on the King of Shadows naked... not that Obsidian endorses nakedness in Neverwinter Nights 2, or any mods that may be used to make characters in the game naked. ;-)

I am somewhat of a class purist, meaning I usually stick to the same class as I level up. So, I haven't much delved into prestige classes or multi-classing. One of these days, I'm going to make the leap and play the diametric opposite of my goodie two shoes Lawful Monk, an Assassin.

Wednesday - May 16, 2007

NWN2 - Planescape Trilogy Interviews

by Dhruin, 10:49

Rogue Dao Studios who are working on the Planescape Trilogy series of mods for NWN2 has been interviewed over the last week at Warcry and NWN2 Worlds.  Here's Warcry:

WarCry: For those new to the Planescape Trilogy, please give an overview of the three planned modules, Purgatorio, Inferno and Eschatologia.

The Planescape Trilogy takes place in the Planescape campaign setting (surprise ;)), starting the player off in the Hive Ward of Sigil, the city at the center of the Multiverse. The Cage as it is affectionately called by some is connected to the Multiverse through a countless number of doors, or portals, that lead off to different planes of existence.

Recently, a series of grisly murders within the Hive has brought the iron fist of the Harmonium, a strict law-enforcing faction, down upon the ward, and the less noble factions situated in the Hive are becoming restless. Tensions are rising between the fifteen factions of Sigil, and it doesn't help matters when there is a murderous psychopath on the loose.

Purgatorio will clock in at around 10-20 hours depending on how you play. If you rush through the main plot and don't touch any optional side quests the module will be significantly shorter. There will be a good mount of custom content available, such as: Mortuary and Gatehouse exteriors/interiors, new helmets, weapons, newly designed UI, epithet feats, a wide range of tilesets, new creatures and NPC's, and even some animated placeables.

Inferno is going to be smaller than Purgatorio in terms of game play and will contain a much darker storyline. While Inferno's gameplay will be half or less of Purgatorio there will be a much deeper storyline and the player will come to find out the motivations and desires of the characters he or she met during the first installment.

For Eschatologia we would like to recreate all the wards of Sigil, as well as a good portion of the Inner and Outer Planes, and allow the player to explore these areas in a non-linear free roaming fashion. So it would basically be an open world, and would also be about twice the size and scope of Purgatorio. This is obviously very ambitious, and something we're considering.

...and NWN2 Worlds:

What content can the community expect to be your first release? Do you have a ETA?

Monty: Right now, we're shooting for releasing Purgatorio sometime between the third week of June and the last week of July.  That's always subject to change, but we're still making steady progress and if things go well, we'll make that timeframe.  As for content, the following things are definite: 300 custom placeables (some of which are animated); 3 -hours- of custom music; 20 custom tiles and meta tiles; 12 custom weapons; 12 custom helmets; a few custom heads and clothing sets.  Tentatively, we could have as few as 2 and as many as 6 full custom creatures.  The meshes and textures are done for those creatures, and now its just a matter of animating them to a high enough standard in time to include in Purgatorio.  We may, or may not accomplish that last bit.

Thursday - May 10, 2007

NWN2 - PRC2 v1.0 Alpha Release

by Dhruin, 22:16

The first Alpha for the NWN2 PRC2 Pack (Player Resource Consortium) has now been released:

As usual, the content list is long, encompassing all of the work of the PRC over the last three years. The PRC now stands at 125 classes, 300+ new spells, several hundred new feats, 60+ new races, Psionics, Truenaming, PnP Crafting, Spellbooks, Domains, and a host of other goodies for players and builders alike. As time progresses, we will continue our goal of bringing NWN2 closer to PnP, with more of the options available there, as well. This will include correct the Warlock's invocations, Spells, and other areas, as well as adding the new content for which we are known.

Hit the link for the full details on the NWN2 forums.

Wednesday - May 09, 2007

NWN2 - Beta v1.06 Released

by Dhruin, 00:07

For those that like to live dangerously, you can grab the NWN2 beta release v1.06.  Head here to read Rob McGinnis' post with the patch notes and links to the file and rollback.  As far as I can see, this patch will mostly affect toolset users.

Thursday - May 03, 2007

NWN2 - Icewind Dale Remake

by Dhruin, 00:22

NW Vault is highlighting a planned German remake of Icewind Dale as a series of NWN2 modules and making use of original assets such as movies, music and voiceovers if I understand correctly.  The original details are all German but Sorcerer's Place has an English summary:

The Iwd-Remake-Modules will include the complete stories of Icewind Dale, Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster (and a new additional story). All characters, voicesets, music and dialogues will be implemented to the IwD-Remake. We will also be trying to update Icewind-Dale-Remake into the D&D Version 3.5 rules.

Source: Sorcerers Place

NWN2 - Blue Dragon Render @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 00:13

NW Vault has what they describe as an exclusive screenshot of a blue dragon from NWN2.  It looks more like a render to me but fans should take a look whatever you call it.

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

NWN2 - Community Update

by Dhruin, 23:25

Rob McGinnis' NWN2 blog has a community update, covering a number of issues.

The Grimm's Fairy Tale mod contest has closed with 16 entrants that you can check out yourself at NW Vault, there's good news on the Granny exporter for modders and a sneak peak at the 1.06 update, which appears to focus on toolset issues.

Head over to the blog to read it all.

Tuesday - May 01, 2007

NWN2 - Official Site Redesign

by Dhruin, 23:21

NWN2 Community Manager Shane DeFreest has announced on the forums that NWN2.com will be redesigned to change the focus and they are calling for input:

So this is one of those times where we are going to reach out to the community and ask for some serious feedback and suggestions. Atari is in the process of a site re-design for NWN2.com. The idea is to make it more functional as a community site and less of a "marketing" site. With this in mind we'd like to hear what types of functionality the community would like to see on the site. Feel free to give details and specifics. This is one of those times where your constructive feedback will be heard, and passed along.

So please, serious replies only.

-Shane

Sunday - April 29, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: NWN 2 OC Review

by Dhruin, 10:31

Our latest feature is a review of NWN 2, with a focus on the Original Campaign. This game has been widely reviewed by other sites before us, so we've taken a more direct approach with this critique on the assumption that most of our readers are familiar with the basic features. In addition, we also have opinions from multiple editors. Here's a snip:

More frustrations: I played a caster and in one section had with me a tank, a druid and a second caster. Imagine my horror when we entered an area where magic wouldn’t work, without prior warning. I could have reloaded with a different group, but that’s not how I play. Tactics; what tactics? I enjoy tactical combat, as opposed to hack and slash. So what happens with NWN 2? You set up your tactics; casters to the rear, tanks up front, with your tanks held so the casters can drop in a couple of ‘softening up’ area of effect spells, and what happens? Up pops a cutscene that destroys all your work and when it’s over, your casters are in the front line and you’re surrounded by enemies. My screams of anger and frustration could be heard far and wide.

Read it all here and we'd love to hear your comments on both the review and the format.

Saturday - April 28, 2007

NWN2 - Interview @ RPG Codex

by Dhruin, 00:51

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).

Wednesday - April 25, 2007

NWN2 - Blog Update

by Dhruin, 23:32

A minor item but since this is one of my personal bugbears, I'm going to post it. ;)  Rob McGinnis' NWN2 blog at Obsidian is this week looking at community efforts, with the latest covering a new AI module by Jasperre that offers formations.  Hit the link for a description of the project and a link to a video at NW Vault.

Wednesday - April 18, 2007

NWN2 - v1.05 Patch Re-Released

by Dhruin, 00:04

Obsidian has re-released the NWN2 v1.05 patch (this version is 1.05.912 vs the 1.05.910 that was pulled) after hitting problems with the previous release late last week.  The Autoupdater should take care of everything or you can grab the manual patch from NW Vault.  Read the patch notes and comments in this thread at BioWare.

Sunday - April 15, 2007

NWN2 - Dark Waters 1 Mod Released

by Dhruin, 22:38

There isn't a huge number of quality adventure mods for NWN2, so I thought it might be worth highlighting the recent release of Dark Waters 1: Highcastle, the first of a new series from Adam Miller (Hall of Fame, Shadowlords).  The comments at NW Vault include some criticism, so they might be worth a read:

Dark Waters is set in a world on the edge of change, recovering from a war that flooded all but the highest peaks. The Gifted that once ruled with the power of their minds are long dead, leaving the ordinary folk to struggle to survive. Where once only science held reign, now magic and faith seep into the world, changing everyone they touch.

The story begins with a simple islander and their friends, coming of age in the shadow of an old mountain keep. When they find themselves trapped within, plans laid long ago are set in motion, memories of the past coming to life. They must find their way to freedom, though their journey will not leave them unscathed.

Thursday - April 12, 2007

NWN2 - Mask of the Betrayer Officially Announced

by Dhruin, 22:19

It didn't take long for this announcement on the official boards:

ATARI ANNOUNCES
NEVERWINTER NIGHTS ™ 2: MASK OF THE BETRAYER

Expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2 Features Engrossing New Campaign; Epic Levels; New Companions and Much More

NEW YORK – April 12, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world’s most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, today announced the development of the next chapter in the Neverwinter Nights saga – Neverwinter Nights™ 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the expansion to the award-winning Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS). DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro. Neverwinter Nights™ 2: Mask of the Betrayer will be available in North America in Fall 2007.

In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, players are transported back to the Forgotten Realms shortly after the events detailed in the original Neverwinter Nights 2. Following the climactic battle against the King of Shadows, the player awakens alone and stranded deep beneath the earth. Surrounded by a horde of evil spirits, the player embarks on an epic adventure that reveals his true destiny.

“Atari’s commitment to the Neverwinter Nights franchise and the enormous community is strong,” said Nique Fajors, Vice President, Sales, Marketing, Atari, Inc. “We are on track to release the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion pack this Fall, less than one year since the launch of Obsidian’s outstanding sequel, and are confident the new features will deliver a role-playing experience that further engages and satisfies fans.”

Set in harsh, spirit-rich Rashemen, near the powerful nation of Thay, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer will present players with an exciting new campaign; epic levels; dozens of new feats and spells; new races, base classes and prestige classes; new companions; new weapons, armor and crafting options; hordes of new monsters; and enhanced modding tools.

“Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer’s engrossing campaign will conclude the storyline that began in the original Neverwinter Nights 2 and focus on combat, exploration and classic D&D dungeon-crawling,” said Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment. “We’re also making new advances in story and character development as well as improving upon the acclaimed companion Influence System used in both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2.”

The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than three million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide™ Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark™ and Neverwinter Nights 2 have created more than 5,000 modifications to the original game using the award-winning toolset included with the full game that allows players to create their own universes, quests and storylines.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer is scheduled for release in Fall 2007. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at www.nwn2.com, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.

NWN2 - Expansion News, Take Two

by Dhruin, 15:09

This second NWN2 expansion story looks to be on firmer territory than the EB Games listing from the other day, with Eurogamer.de talking to Atari Germany PR rep Michael Roeder who confirmed the title NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer for release in Autumn 2007 -- and they have some screens to back it up.

Helping us with the German, reader Avantenor writes "It's directly connected to the original campaign, improvements: new races, techniques (?), spells, base and prestige classes, companions, weapons, armors, crafting, monsters and better modding tools".

NWN2 - v1.05 Patch Dramas

by Dhruin, 11:32

Obsidian released the (supposedly) Final v1.05 patch for NWN2 earlier but pulled it almost immediately when users complained the toolset no longer started.  Unfortunately, the standalone version of the patch remained on NW Vault for a little while, so users continued to patch.  We'll let you know when the fixed version is reinstated but here's the latest from Rob McGinnis in the meantime:

Well, it appears there was an issue with the build process on the 1.05 patch. Our systems here didn't have a problem running the patch but, within minutes of the patch being available, people started reporting problems with the toolset not starting.

Shortly after this, a well-meaning community member published a work-around. Unfortunately the work-around may cause issues when it comes time to patch again later.

So, rather than cause a bigger issue, we have pulled the patch from the servers.

We will have a new patch available as soon as possible. The new patch should be able to be applied over the beta and today's version of 1.05 if you happened to patch already.

We apologize for the delay and any inconvenience this may cause you.

Wednesday - April 11, 2007

NWN2 - v1.05 Final Next Week?

by Dhruin, 00:15

Rob McGinnis has posted in his blog at Obsidian that the NWN2 v1.05 patch (which includes UI improvements such as multiple select and rubberbanding) should "seriously, really, probably, maybe, should be coming out early next week ".

Tuesday - April 10, 2007

NWN2 - Expansion Revealed?

by Dhruin, 06:35

Of course, we all know Obsidian is working on a NWN2 expansion but EB may have revealed the title. Our reader dowon spotted an entry at EBGames for NWN2: Legacy of the Gith with a November release date.

Monday - April 09, 2007

NWN2 - Obsidian Mod Contest

by Dhruin, 22:43

Obsidian has announced an official ongoing NWN2 mod contest, based around specified themes.  The first theme is Grimm's Fairy Tales and runs to April 30th:

Obsidian Entertainment is pleased to announce its first Community Mod-Making contest:

For each mod-making contest there will be a theme, such as "The April Fool." Each mod entered into this contest will involve the theme in some way. For "The April Fool" you might make a module about a court jester or a comedy. Maybe you might just make a silly mod, or perhaps you will make a dark mod about someone being fooled into giving up their fortune, their love or their soul.

For this first contest, the theme will be "Grimm's Fairy Tales." The final day to submit modules will be Monday, April 30th at noon Pacific Time.

You can remake one of Grimm's Fairy Tales or do anything else as long as your mod has something to do with the theme. Read all of the details here!

Thursday - March 15, 2007

NWN2 - Beta v1.05 Patch

by Dhruin, 20:05

A beta version of the upcoming v1.05 patch for NWN2 has been released, which includes a much welcome multi-select / rubber-banding and AI improvements.  RPG Vault has the full notes and links and here are those two items:

  • Multi-Select is now available as an option in both the DM Client and main game client. By default, Mouse 4 will select the entire party, and Mouse 5 or holding CTRL+Left Click will enable lasso selection of party members.
  • Many substantial improvements to the AI scripts provided by community member evenflw have been integrated into the game. Additionally, revisions were made to AI to make both friendly and enemy characters be much more intelligent with feat use in combat.

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - March 13, 2007

NWN2 - Interview @ NWN Chronicles

by Dhruin, 22:09

An Italian site called NWN Chronicles (which appears to be hosted at Mulitplayer.it) has an interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone, covering a little background and history before moving on to NWN2.  Much of the territory has been covered before but here's a nice teaser:

3)You'll be asked this much times before but will the next expansion be set in the Neverwinter lands and the North? Or maybe we'll travel again trhough the planes? You'll be in charge for the future expansions, isn't it? (I hope it so and I'd truly love a gothic story as Planescape)

C.Avellone
Can't comment on this at this time, unfortunately, but you should be hearing an announcement soon.

Thursday - February 22, 2007

NWN2 - Walkthru at Game Banshee Now Complete

by Corwin, 12:14

Game Banshee's excellent and very detailed walkthru for NWN 2 is now complete, so if you need help, head Here

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - February 14, 2007

NWN2 - The Black Hound Interview @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 00:41

GameBanshee has a great interview with Josh Sawyer on his NWN2 project The Black Hound, with a little bit of introductory background on The Black Hound / Baldur's Gate 3 / Jefferson when it was in development at Interplay.  There's a lot of interesting stuff but let's start with an overview:

GB: What is the premise surrounding The Black Hound? What will the overall objective be for the player and what areas of the Forgotten Realms will we travel through along the way?

Josh: The Black Hound catches the central character in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case, the wrong place is south of White Ford, Archendale and the wrong time is the night when a woman tracks down and kills a black hound. The protagonist is a witness to this strange event and becomes entangled with the woman, May Farrow, through association. Many people and groups want information on May and they believe that the protagonist can help them get what they want.

The player has a pretty broad long-term goal: find May Farrow and deal with her. This can be accomplished with or without factions in the area and it can be accomplished by helping or hindering May in various ways. There are also numerous side stories and faction plotlines that have nothing to do with May Farrow's plot directly. Over the course of the game, the protagonist is likely to visit many points of interest in Archendale, Deepingdale, and Battledale. For the Realms-impaired, these are three of the southernmost regions of the Dalelands. They sit north of Sembia, southwest of the Moonsea, and northeast of Cormyr.

Tuesday - February 06, 2007

NWN2 - Chat Log @ Thieves-Guild.Net

by Dhruin, 22:59

A log is now up for yesterday's NWN2 dev chat with Obsidian at Thieves-Guild.Net .

Tuesday - January 30, 2007

NWN2 - 1.04 Final Patch Released @ Official Forums

by Kalia, 13:10

Nathaniel Chapman announced in this forum thread that the final version of patch 1.04 and auto-updater 1.07 have been released:

Hey everyone, the v1.04 patch for Neverwinter Nights 2 has been released and is available via the Autoupdater. English, French, Italian, German and Spanish versions of the patch are available. Note that you will also get a new version of the updater when you attempt to update your game.

Head to that thread for a list of patch fixes and new features.

Source: NWN 2 WarCry

Monday - January 29, 2007

NWN2 - Review @ GG Mania

by Kalia, 04:35

Gameguru Mania has reviewed NWN 2 and scored it at 81%. Here's a portion of the write up:

The party system has changed considerably from the original game. Instead of giving you full control of your main character and relegating the rest to the AI, you now have complete say as to what they do in every round of combat. Yeah, these companions can be directly controlled in combat and have their inventories manipulated by the player. Unfortunately, the game lacks any kind of global inventory management system, so every time you go to switch a character out of an active party, you need to spend a significant amount of time swapping around items to make sure everyone's ideally equipped.

 

Friday - January 26, 2007

NWN2 - Review #3 @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 21:26

The third in what turns out to be a series of five reviews of the NWN2 official campaign and toolset is now up at NW Vault.  This time, the score is 7.85/10 and here's a grab:

Overall I am a happy bunny with regards to NWN2. Sure I had problems with the UI at first, but Obsidian actually fixed many of my gripes in the first patch. The small things that bug me now can be fixed with plug-ins/Tools from the community, such as larger icons so I don't go entirely blind squinting at my inventory trying to figure out what that tiny square is actually holding. I dislike that if I want to use one of my companions to speak to a certain NPC, my main PC will be brought up front and centre. This can be mighty annoying when I have left my whole party with the instruction to 'stand your ground' while I use a rogue companion to sneak about, or if (gods forbid!) I play a namby pamby mage and decide to use my 'tank' companion to talk to what will soon become a hostile NPC. This is where the game lets me down, because when I do want to manage my party, I am suddenly railroaded into actions totally contrary to my desire.

Thursday - January 25, 2007

NWN2 - Reviews @ Maximum PC, NW Vault

by Dhruin, 22:12

Obsidian's site is pointing out a handful of new NWN2 reviews today.  Let's start at Maximum PC, who awarded a score of 8/10:

Like the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 modules it emulates, this slab of latent addiction is crafted as elaborate forking fiction rather than free-roaming alternate reality. While there are plenty of optional side quests, travel is restricted to markings on the world map. There’s tremendous freedom in building and leveling your avatar, thanks to an array of races, character classes, and abilities, but the world your party is thrust into isn’t so easily manipulated. What you lose in freedom, however, you gain in meaning. The main story might begin too traditionally—a foster child raised in a small burg becomes the unwitting target of powerful unseen forces—and it takes its time gathering a head of steam, but the authorial control that guides more than 60 hours of gameplay gives your actions weight, whether you tirelessly serve justice, exploit the weak, or vacillate from one extreme to the other. Every character has its own attitude, ambitions, and approach; and keeping the gang happy is sometimes more challenging than keeping everyone alive.

...next to NW Vault, who have posted two reviews of the official campaign. The two articles score Obsidian's RPG at 7.71 and 7.64 respectively and here's a snip from the first:

Obsidian wanted the player to have to build up his or her reputation in the world gradually to make the climb to a hero of Faerun a more realistic process, rather than handing the player the key to the city in the first half-hour of gameplay like in NWN1. This sounds good in principle, but the result, at least as it was executed in this game, is that the epic story doesn't really progress for most of the first act. For me, this was 20-25 hours of game time, and for a while it seemed like anything that was done to improve matters would be too little, too late. Further compounding these problems were a series of glaring plot holes and consistency problems in some of the quests along the main path of act 1, which were frequent enough to become really frustrating.

Act two, however, kicks off with a really inspired sequence of events that instantly got me back into the game. To be frank, it was astonishing how much better the story was structured and executed in the second act. It's hard to not expect more consistency from an experienced set of people like those employed at Obsidian. Act three was even better, with a series of major plot twists that kept me on my toes, ultimately climaxing in a fantastic series of battles and, in my opinion, a fine end to the story. Therefore, my recommendation to players is to smash your way through the first act as quickly as you can and then settle back to enjoy the latter two acts--they're definitely worth experiencing.

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

NWN2 - Interview @ NWN2 News

by Dhruin, 20:34

An interview-cum-dev profile with NWN2 Junior Designer Annie Carlson can be found at NWN2 News, with the article covering  her background and some industry stuff:

If you could re-do any past CRPG with today’s technology which game would that be and why?

The Eye of the Beholder series, no question: I played Eye of the Beholder II a preposterous amount with my friends and my older brother – and when I found out that a group is actually doing a NWN2 mod of it, I shrieked with glee and emailed them instantly expressing my joy at the prospect. Second to that, I might enjoy an update of the super-obsure game Phantasie, which I spent a great deal of my childhood playing and seriously, I honestly had gotten to the point of thinking I’d lost touch with it entirely and that I could not possibly ever locate it again until I found it on MobyGames. I don’t even know if it’s worth remaking anymore, but man, I had fun with it.

NWN2 - Review @ AceGamez

by Txa1265, 15:00

AceGamez has posted their very positive review of Neverwinter Nights 2.  They award the game a score of 9/10 in an article that also has a small discussion about the possible impact of the 'big role-playing games of 2006' on the future of the genre:

Neverwinter Nights 2 looks to make advances in all of the same areas as the original - strong single player content, solid multiplayer experience, excellent toolkit and support for all aspects of the user community. t is very successful as a game and as a sequel. As a game it is solid and fun, delivering dozens of hours of interesting and challenging role-playing. The role of a sequel is to feel at once new and familiar, fresh and accessible. Neverwinter Nights 2 does an excellent job of bringing new things to an existing and well-established genre - you get the same action-packed turn-based combat, interesting story and characters as before, but the roles of the party members are much greater than before.

 

Monday - January 22, 2007

NWN2 - Review @ Gameplanet

by Dhruin, 20:48

Gameplanet.nz has reviewed Obsidian's NWN2.  The score is 4/5 and here's an excerpt:

Many of your in-game decisions and responses will affect your character's alignment, as well as your standing with other party members. Just as in real life, you will never be able to please everyone all the time, and to save on excessive intra-party bickering you may have to juggle party members around to find the most harmonious blend of races, classes, alignments and personalities. Occasionally the storyline dictates that you enlist the aid of an 'unsuitable' companion, such as a chaotic evil character in a mostly lawful good party, but we considered this a good opportunity to venture outside our comfort zone.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - January 20, 2007

NWN2 - Review @ Just RPG

by Dhruin, 23:26

It's been a long time since we linked Just RPG but they have now kicked up a review of NWN2.  The score is 80% and here's a clip:

The environments are pretty vast and as each mission inevitably comes with its own set of smaller quests, there’s plenty of dungeon crawling to do. Enemies are, in best RPG tradition, plentiful, and none of them too tough. So one can actually hone one’s (and one’s party’s) skills as one goes along. The ‘party’ factor adds an element of strategic planning during battles as you can actually control how your companions behave in battle – allow them to run amok or tell them to preserve as much of their resources as possible. And if you are an item collector, I guess you will be holy ecstasy barely a third of the way into the game, for goodies abound. From swords to cloaks to wand to sundry items of a hero’s wardrobe -- you will find them hither, thither, and just about everywhere. And as you have plenty of inventory space (just like in the original game), you can lug most of it around. The problem, unfortunately, is that you seldom get a chance to use most of the items you pick up and generally just end up selling them to the first person who offers you a price for them. In fact, I even stopped looking at the kind of items I was picking up midway through the game because I simply wanted to get a move on, instead of sitting making inventory records! Shades of Revenant (EA’s Diablo-esque action RPG of the nineties)!

Friday - January 19, 2007

NWN2 - Post Release Interview

by Dhruin, 23:25

GameBanshee has a NWN2 interview with Producer Ryan Rucinski looking at the game and support post-release.  The answers are fairly short but the broad point is clear:

GB: Aside from bug fixes, do you plan on adding any new content (equipment, feats, spells, etc.) in future patches?

RR: We have been doing a bit of that already. It is mainly features though. I don't want to get expectations too high, but we are still creating content, now it is a matter of how and when we want to get it out there.

Tuesday - January 16, 2007

NWN2 - Interview @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 22:11

NW Vault has an interview with Obsidian's Robert McGinnis, who "floats between QA and Community relations".  The interview covers a little of his background and some broad stroke stuff about their community and future development plans:

What is your opinion on the biggest issues with NWN2 players and what's being done about them?

Well I can't go into too much detail about current or future development, but I can say that we take the issues the community reports very seriously; hence the Community Representative program we have put in place. We are focusing a lot on the needs and wants of the community and I think they will be pretty happy with the results. I mentioned a partnership between Obsidian and the community before. We realize that NWN is much more than your average video game and the success of the game is closely tied to how well the community and Obsidian can integrate and contribute to the entire package of NWN.

Monday - January 15, 2007

NWN2 - Review @ Game Industry News

by Dhruin, 20:20

Scoring 4.5/5, Game Industry News has a review of NWN2:

It takes a while before you actually get to Neverwinter city proper, but that is where the plot really gets interesting. You will meet some traveling companions along the way to Neverwinter and if you want you can ask them to join your party. If you do, they will chime in and offer opinions on how you should proceed. Ignoring their opinions might just cost you their loyalty, but if nothing else some of the things they say are likely to make you chuckle.

Thursday - January 11, 2007

NWN2 - v1.04 Beta Patch Released

by Dhruin, 13:00

A beta version of the NWN2 v1.04 patch has been released  - download links and the full notes can be found in this thread on the official forums.  Here's a snip of the general section:

General
• Voice Menu
Users can now press the Voice Menu key (‘V’ by default) to activate a menu from which they can quickly access frequently used voice commands and emotes. Users can drag these to the hotbar, as well.
• Added support for bindable keys to change the hotbar pages.
• You can now drag and drop buttons from the Mode Bar and Quick Cast Menu onto the Hotbar. This will also work for Spontaneously Converted spells.
• Players now have the option to turn on a second horizontal hotbar and 2 vertical hotbars.
• You can now drag and drop buttons from the Mode Bar and Quick Cast Menu onto the Hotbar. This will also work for Spontaneously Converted spells.
• Players now have the option to turn on a second horizontal hotbar and 2 vertical hotbars.
• Users can now select in the options menu whether or not they want left click and hold in Driving Camera to move the character or mouselook.
• All combat modes can now be triggered instantly, except for Parry, Rapid Shot, and Flurry of Blows, which are deferred until the beginning of the next round.
o Your pending combat modes are now displayed on the action queue UI, with a countdown ticker, tooltip, and mouse click support.
o You can now toggle of and off a pending combat mode.
o Combat modes are no longer turned off for party members at the end of their combat round.
• Trees throughout the game should look better as many of the tree textures and models have been revamped to be more visually appealing.
• Localized versions of the NWN1 sounds used in the game have been added to their respective languages.
• Several new loading screen tips have been added to v1.04.

Wednesday - January 10, 2007

NWN2 - Module Updates

by Dhruin, 22:31

The first "major" NWN2 module efforts are starting to appear with Phoenixus' Hall of Fame remake Tragedy in Tragidor the obvious one to point out and Avendale attracting good word of mouth.  There is also an alpha version of Pool of Radiance Remastered and beta Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - this thread on the official forums provides a nice list of available modules (thanks to posters on Octopus Overlords for this link).

Finally for the moment, the xUI enhanced user interface mod might be worth a look with multiple toolbars, including a separate command bar ("Stand Ground", "Guard Me" and so on).

Tuesday - January 09, 2007

NWN2 - Review @ Bit-Tech

by Dhruin, 22:14

We missed this review of NWN2 a few days ago...Bit-Tech's fairly lengthy review results in a score of 8/10 and a cryptic conclusion:

Is NWN2 a bad game? Absolutely not. Is it a good game? Not really, at least in its current form. Is it worth your hard-earned dosh? That depends. Cryptic enough? I wish I could elucidate better, but I'll try to sum it up.

The game's premise is good, its framework is excellent, and its execution is mediocre. If you're looking for the splendid storytelling of Baldur's Gate 2 with better graphics, this misses - but not because of the story. The basic ingredients are all there - a well-done battle system, a party system that feels comfortable, even well-written dialogue between party members. Voice acting can be very good in places, and the actual play (bugs notwithstanding) is genuinely fun. The game also includes a tremendously successful community and wonderful developer support. That's something I can't even say about a lot of games that were nearly perfect right out of the box.

Source: Sorcerers Place

NWN2 - Episode #8 @ NWN Podcast

by Dhruin, 21:41

Neverwinter Nights Podcast has released Episode 8:

Happy New Year! The NWNP Team are excited about the future and hope the next year will bring us lots of NWN fun. This week we get some exclusive info from Obsidian, we have an open discussion about camera modes including a tip to stop the camera from floating away in NWN, Site and community content updates…

NWN2 - J.E. Sawyer & The Black Hound Mod

by Dhruin, 13:20

In a thread on the Obsidian forums and posting as rope kid on Something Awful, J.E. Sawyer has revealed he is working on a private NWN2 mod project to recreate The Black Hound (aka Jefferson, aka Baldur's Gate 3).  Here's a taste:

I'm going to pretend this is a toolset/custom content thread! I've been working on a personal project in recent free time (mostly spent recovering from wisdom teeth being removed). In addition to learning a lot about mapping, I'm starting to get involved in scripting (which I've actually never done much of) and creating custom icons.

Today I worked on aspects of the epithet system for the campaign I'm building. Epithets are specialized reputations that are built over time across the campaign. Unlike local reputations that may only affect interactions with NPCs within a set of maps, epithets draw reactions from characters all over the campaign -- though they are very spread out.

The system itself is pretty simple. Each epithet has a global variable that is incremented in coversation (and occasionally outside of conversation). When the character has increased that particular variable enough, they will be "awarded" with the epithet, which takes the form of a feat. The feat has no statistical bonus, but is occasionally checked in NPC conversations.

Anyway, I made a bunch of icons for the feats today and I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

In typical Sawyer fashion, he doesn't directly announce the project but gets straight to discussing the mechanics, with plenty of hints on offer.  A shot of the aforementioned icons labelled The Black Hound can be found in either thread, along with a shot from the first town.  Answering a question on the Obsidian forums, Josh goes on to say:

I might wrangle a few assets out of some people if I can convince them to help me. Other folks are contributing advice on level building and scripting and generally just offering encouraging comments.

The only assets I can use from the original game are the design docs I wrote and the dialogues I wrote.

I don't really want it to become a premium module. I'd rather work on it by myself as a personal project with all of the inherent benefits and limitations that come with that. I think it will probably take me between 1 and 3 years to fully build.

Head over for more.

Thursday - January 04, 2007

NWN2 - Updated Walkthrough @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 20:47

GameBanshee has added new content to their NWN2 Walkthrough section with Act I now complete, a dozen locations from Act II and updated to the Companion section.

Tuesday - December 26, 2006

NWN2 - Reviews @ GamingTrend, PALGN, Plain Games

by Dhruin, 23:04

A trio of NWN2 reviews made it to the 'net just before Christmas - let's start with GamingTrend who awarded 85% but kick off with this dodgy opening:

Neverwinter Nights was created by some of the biggest names in the industry – Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, Trent Oster, and Feargus Urquhart, all of Bioware fame at the time. Almost 10 years later, we see the release of Neverwinter Nights 2, but this time it is handled by Obsidian – a company formed by Feargus Urquhart. So while it seems that Neverwinter Nights has been handed to another company for development, it is actually right at home with Obsidian.

PALGN is less impressed.  Describing it as "an absolute mess" and suggesting the game has a limited lifespan because "where else do you go from there since the game is linear and provides very little in terms of side-quests", the score is still 6.5/10:

Oh boy - what have you done this time Obsidian? Are your games just a reflection of a poor development studio or are you really stuck with bad luck; what with your constantly rushed games? Knights of the Old Republic 2 felt like a stake to our Star Wars-loving hearts with its unfinished ending – and now we have Neverwinter Nights 2 which is fitted with incredibly poor gameplay decisions and is released in what can only be described as a ‘untested’ state.

...and finally, Christian gaming site Plain Games awarded 4/5:

An interesting element to any role-playing game is character alignment (a character’s basic sense of morality); though, Obsidian takes character interaction a little further with the addition of character background, an element that has not surfaced before in electronic gaming. Characters may be aligned as good, neutral, or evil, with three degrees to each set (lawful, neutral, and chaotic). A character’s alignment impacts how non-player characters (NPCs) interact with your hero. Alignment also impacts what classes you may play as certain classes, like the Monk, require a certain alignment, in this case, lawful. Players are asked, during character creation, to select a background from six different choices, with the additional no background option, which slightly impacts how the people who know your character view him, and also grants special bonuses and penalties to your character’s skills.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - December 22, 2006

NWN2 - International Patch & Updater Version @ Official Forums

by Kalia, 01:50

According to Darren Monahan, the v1.03.840 international patch is now available.

We are pleased to announce that v1.03.840 is now available for the French, German, Spanish and Italian versions of Neverwinter Nights 2.

In addition to the fixes listed in the patch notes, the French and German versions include localized sound files for the NWN1 soundsets.

To update, simply run the updater from the launcher (or manually by double-clicking NWUpdate.exe in the game directory) and click "Update".

Happy Holidays from all of us at Obsidian!

Darren Monahan also announced on the forums that the update version is now available in v1.06:

There is a new NWUpdate.exe available (v1.06 - not to be confused with the game proper, which is currently at version 1.03.).

This update is automatically downloaded and installed when running the Update program from the NWN2 Launcher.

This version corrects the following issues:

- Patching from versions sold by BigPond/Testra are now supported. Patches to v1.03 will be available shortly.

- The updater no longer relies on the Registry for version checking. This should address issues people have reported with not being able to update from an erroneous version 0.95.

- Some folks with Direct2Drive copies reported issues patching to v1.03. This should also be corrected.

Source: NWN 2 WarCry

Wednesday - December 20, 2006

NWN2 - Chat Log @ Xfire

by Dhruin, 22:39

log for the recent NWN2 developer chat held by the Xfire folks is now available:

[Obsidian-Kevin]: Question: blagger: Q: Why such a linear game for an RPG? It's one of the few RPG's where i never needed to consult the book or the web for help

Answer: It's a matter of priority and game style. There are major trade-off between linear and non-linear gameplay. To tell the epic story of NWN2 and to emphasize the companions and character interactions, we felt a more linear story was best.

NWN2 - Review @ Yiya.de

by Gorath, 16:45

Yiya also reviewed Obsidian´s NWN 2 . They like it a lot. The game receives a B+ and a clear recommendation. 

NWN2 - v1.04 Sneak Preview @ Official Forums

by Dhruin, 06:19

Obsidian's Rob McGinnis has posted a partial look at the upcoming v1.04 patch for NWN2 at the official forums.  It's a little long this is just the General section:

There are a lot of fixes in 1.04, but to give you a little insight, I have smuggled this list out and am posting it for you.. shhhhh.. don't let the rest of Obsidian know:

Version 1.04
New Features

General

• Voice Menu
---Users can now press the Voice Menu key (‘V’ by default) to activate a menu from which they can quickly access frequently used voice commands and emotes. Users can drag these to the hotbar, as well.
• Added support for bindable keys to change the hotbar page.
• You can now drag and drop buttons from the Mode Bar and Quick Cast Menu onto the Hotbar. This will also work for Spontaneously Converted spells.
• Players now have the option to turn on a second horizontal hotbar and 2 vertical hotbars.
• Users can now select in the options menu whether or not they want left click and hold in Driving Camera to move the character or mouselook.
• All combat modes can now be triggered instantly, except for Parry, Rapid Shot, and Flurry of Blows, which are deferred until the beginning of the next round.
---Your pending combat modes are now displayed on the action queue UI, with a countdown ticker, tooltip, and mouse click support.
---You can now toggle of and off a pending combat mode.
---Combat modes are no longer turned off for party members at the end of their combat round.
• Trees throughout the game should look better as many of the tree textures and models have been revamped to be more visually appealing.
• Localized versions of the NWN1 sounds used in the game have been added to their respective languages.
• Several new loading screen tips have been added to v1.04.

Source: NW Vault

Tuesday - December 19, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ Game Over

by Dhruin, 21:56

Game Over has posted a review of NWN2 that opens with a catalogue of reasons the author is unqualified and even throws in the requisite "O" word. The score is 92% and here's that opening:

Not to sound like a whiny game reviewer, but this was a tough game to review. For starters, I didn’t play Neverwinter Nights I, nor Baldur’s Gate I or II, nor Knights of the Old Republic I or II, or really any of the other games from Bioware in this vein, at least not any great amount. I own most of them, and many of them are even installed on my hard drive right now, but in the life of a game reviewer you frequently find yourself unable to find time to play games that you’re not actually reviewing. That’s my cross to bear, and it’s going to make it downright impossible for me to form useful comparisons to anything other than Oblivion. The other thing that made this game very difficult to review is that Obsidian keeps patching it, three times I think in the last week alone, one of those a monster patch of over 100MB – thank heavens for broadband. So while right out of the box I found the graphics frame rate plenty stuttery, even with many of the effects turned down, and the camera was an unworkable pain in the buns, patched as it stands now I’m running relatively smoothly on both fronts (though perhaps the camera could stand even a little more tweaking). So problems I mention that I came across while playing may well not be a problem when you go to play it because Obsidian is apparently devoted to patching it all up (either that, or they’re feverishly duct taping a game they released too early, depending upon your viewpoint). Finally, this game is big – at around the 20 hour mark I don’t even know how big but judging from the map I’m kicking around on and the percentage of it I’ve presently covered, I’m probably about the 30% of the way through. This is the Xmas gaming season, and I’ve got a stack of games to review – that 20 hours is going to have to suffice. If the game falls apart in the 21st hour, you’re not going to get to read about that here. Right around now my editor is probably looking for a teaser line that he can put on the front page to attract readers, so here it is: As a guy who played a fair amount of pencil and paper RPGs in my youth, but not many of the recently released computer RPGs, I’ve never seen a game that more faithfully reproduces that old pencil and paper feeling than NWN2. Want to read more? Now’s your chance.

Saturday - December 16, 2006

NWN2 - Game Guide & Hardware Guide @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 01:33

Gamespot has posted a good looking game guide for Neverwinter Nights 2. Popping in at approximately 33Mb, you can download the guide here.

Gamespot has also made a hardware performance guide for NWN 2. Covering settings, image quality, graphics and memory/cpu usage, it gives the user good advice about maximizing the experience.

Here's a portion:

Neverwinter Nights 2 will enthrall you with a compelling storyline and addictive gameplay, but trying to enable all the best settings could hinder your gaming experience. Neverwinter Nights 2 is a performance-guzzling monster. Quite a few game settings brought our powerful test system to a screeching halt. If you crank up all the options, you will smother your player and enemy character models in an excessive amount of lighting and shadowing effects. Combat effects and those five torches stuck on the wall add even more performance demands. We had to break out the very best PC components to run the game well, and we still had a tough time keeping frame rates up when we increased the game settings.

Tuesday - December 12, 2006

NWN2 - International Reviews

by Dhruin, 23:38

A couple of readers have written in with non-English reviews of NWN2, so I'll group them here.

NWN2 - Review @ Driver Heaven

by Kalia, 16:36

Gaming Heaven (subsidiary of Driver Heaven) has posted a review of NWN 2. They have awarded it with their Driver Heaven Editor's Choice Award and scored the game 84/100.

If I was rating the game based on its potential I would have given it 90/100 or even more. This however is a review of the game as it is, so the score of 84/100 is more than fair. If you intend to play with your friends or are willing to wait for the community modules to come out add another 5 points to the score.

Further, the editor said:

I realize that even now a lot of you still don't know if you should get this game or not. If you are willing to look past the issues mentioned in the review you will grow to love the game as much as I do. On the other hand, if you can't stand unpolished products you should veer away from NWN2 at least for the time being. In a few months the game will most likely be patched up and the issues will be gone, but right now that is not the case. And for the fans of the original: get this game, but expect a few unwelcome changes here and there.

 

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - December 11, 2006

NWN2 - Live Chat @ XFire

by Kalia, 23:50

Shane DeFreest, community manager for NWN 2, announced in this forum thread that there will be a live chat on Friday, December 15:

December 15, 2006: Obsidian chats with Xfire about "Neverwinter Nights 2" The Live Chat will be held on Friday, December 15th at 7:00pm Eastern Time.

Participants in the NWN2 Chat will have a chance to win: (10) Signed Copies of Neverwinter Nights 2!

Click http://www.xfire.com/cms/xf_nwn2/ for the full details!

This is the first major post launch dev chat!

Don't miss it!

Source: BioWare

NWN2 - Review @ Slashdot

by Kalia, 21:23

Slashdot, has reviewed NWN 2. The reviewer found a lot to like in the game but that the technical problems outweighed them.

Neverwinter Nights 2 was developed by Obsidian (of Planescape: Torment fame), using a fairly faithful version of the newer 3.5 rules. The result is a game that oozes D&D from every pore. You've got tons of spells, prestige classes, quirky-weird races (tieflings? anybody?), and a polished, functional story that gets you from point A to point B with a minimum of pain. A recipe for a nerdgasm if there ever was one. The game itself, regrettably, suffers from a fairly big problem: they rolled a 1 on their Craft(Videogame) roll. Read on to find out why they should have taken 10 in my impressions of Neverwinter Nights 2.

NWN2 - Review @ CVG

by Dhruin, 12:01

British site CVG has posted their review of NWN2.  Despite complaining of a lack of originality, the score is 8.6/10:

BioWare must be crapping themselves. There's a particular sub-race of stalker, separate from the mythical Ukrainian type, who follows his or her victim, copying everything they do. Obsidian, one-time Black Isle Studios, have followed in BioWare's footsteps, making Icewind Dale to BioWare's Baldur's Gate, making the sequel to BioWare's Knights Of The Old Republic, and now making Neverwinter Nights 2.

It's all a bit creepy. If I were BioWare, I'd have a restraining order out and a large rottweiler in the yard. Attitudes to the original, long-delayed king of RPGs varied; it was welcomed for its toolset and its accurate 3D recreation of the Dungeons & Dragons world, but the single-campaign was somewhat turgid, if unpredictably twisty and satisfyingly long. Obsidian have recreated Neverwinter Nights almost exactly for the sequel, adding in everything that was in any of the expansion packs, but not really expanding on the previous game in any way.

Saturday - December 09, 2006

NWN2 - 5 New User-Created Mods @ NW Vault

by Kawika, 19:58

Head on over to NW Vault and check out what's just been added to their Neverwinter Nights 2 files section.

Source: NW Vault

Friday - December 08, 2006

NWN2 - Dungeon Master Friendly Initiative Tools @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 23:52

I'll let NW Vault's newsbit on the DMFI do the talking:

We have great news for all you Dungeon Masters out there! The Dungeon Master Friendly Initiate (DMFI), led by Hall of Fame scripter demetrious, have released scripting packages that aim to improve the player and DM experience in NWN2 multiplayer games. There is a DMFI Developer Package for those who want to install the tools into their working modules, as well as a DMFI Player Package for players who would like to try out the DMFI Package. It's really amazing to see these tools out so soon after the game has launched and that's because of the dedication of the people who worked on it for over six months.

Source: Sorcerers Place

NWN2 - v1.03.840 Hotfix

by Dhruin, 13:58

Obsidian has released a hotfix for NWN2 that fixes a toolset crash with 1.03:

 Hey Everyone,

We have released a hotfix for version 1.03. Running the Autoupdater will update you to the a new version - while the main version number shown in the launcher will still be 1.03, the full hotfixed version will read as 1.03.840 when you run the auto-updater. The non-hotfixed version will read 1.03.835.

This hotfix is being released to fix the toolset crashing on launch for users whose Windows language settings were not English (United States).

The 1.03 patches for other languages are still undergoing finalization and will incorporate this hotfix when they are released.

Wednesday - December 06, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ RPGDot

by Dhruin, 23:34

The new RPGDot team has posted a review of NWN2.  The score is 9/10 (with 10/10 for value) and here's a snip:

The campaign is very well made and thought out, on the surface it seems to have a lot of variation as to how the storyline plays out, but if you were to delve deeper or play it again with a different character, you would still find yourself doing much the same things. Saying that the campaign is HUGE! I completely forgot the game was split into acts when after quite a way through I was suddenly on Act 2, and here was me thinking I was coming to the end! In all I would say that the campaign lasted me somewhere in the region of 60-100 hours (I lost track of time somewhere during those sleepless nights), although I am a "completionist" type of player who likes to do and get everything possible (annoyingly). So this game will defiantly last the distance in terms of length of the main campaign.

NWN2 - Planescape Purgatorio Trailer

by Dhruin, 22:25

Rogue Dao Studios is working on a trilogy of Planescape modules for NWN2 and have released a 60Mb trailer for the first, titled Purgatorio, at their site:

Rogue Dao Studios announces the Planescape Trilogy, a massive campaign set in the Infinite Planes for Obsidian Entertainment's Neverwinter Nights 2.

The Planescape Trilogy will deliver up to 45 hours of gameplay, 16 adventuring companions, an epic main plot and a slew of dynamic side quests.

"We expect the Planescape Trilogy to be one of the must-play adventures once everyone is finished with the NWN2 Original Campaign," - Montgomery Lee Markland, Executive Producer and Lead Designer.

Source: NW Vault

NWN2 - Review @ Gaming Nexus

by Kalia, 19:49

Gaming Nexus brings today's first review. Handing out an 8.5, a rather typical and very fair assessment, the reviewer said:

This isn't your average grocery list of fantasy adventure tropes to rummage through. This isn't just some been-there-slain-that-got-the-princess set of tasks, perpetuated by a traffic circle of hollow side quests. In your travels across the land you'll engage in morally perplexing scenarios: You'll encounter a misunderstood enemy, displaced from their own homelands and desperately seeking new roots; you'll mitigate or provoke police corruption within gray areas that make it hard to throw the first stone; and you'll struggle to keep your particular fellowship of the ring intact, as every decision you make will spur their loyalty, or spurn their trust -- and this is all just the warm up round in the game's opening chapter. Remember, these are the makers of KOTOR 2 that you're dealing with here. Sometimes, figuring out how to decisively tackle a chamber full of lizardkin is the least of your worries. And discovering more of who you are through your character's decisions become the meat and drink of the experience. They make no apology in forcing your to think your way through some too-close-to-call decisions.

Tuesday - December 05, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ Gamefreaks365

by Dhruin, 22:15

A rather short review of NWN2 is up at Gamefreaks365.  The score is 8.5/10 and contrary to some reviewers, the complex D&D rule useage doesn't seem to have turned off every casual RPG player:

Ever since Diablo II got over-corrupted with farmers and hacks I've been looking for a new dungeon crawler that doesn't suck and has some decent online playability. Neverwinter Nights 2 is one of the better experiences I've had. While it may not perfect, it does give dungeon masters everywhere somewhere else to go besides the basement. If you are like me and tried D&D but never got into it because of the lame factor or the fact that you can not see anything and everything gets confusing, this may actually interest you in the genre.

NWN2 - Review @ Gamehelper

by Dhruin, 21:46

Gamerhelper has tossed up their review of NWN2.  The score is 7.8/10 and this intro sets the scene:

I’m a console player at heart. About a year ago I finally got myself a decent PC and proceeded to do what any god-fearing male in his mid-20s would do upon procuring a fairly state-of-the-art piece of hardware: I hid the practical programs and applications in the bottom of the desk and bought myself a slew of gaming entertainment. Being a single-player boy in this MMO world I bought older games, the first being the well-received Neverwinter Nights. To keep this paragraph short and not reiterate information I’m sure has been said before, I’ll leave my impressions of that game to one word: awesome. Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN 2) has finally landed with a new development team in tow, some new toys to show off, and mighty large boxers to fill. Let’s rock.

Monday - December 04, 2006

NWN2 - Final v1.03 Patch Released

by Dhruin, 22:44

According to Obsidian's Nathaniel Chapman, the final NWN2 v1.03 patch has been released and should be available through the Autoupdater.  Those who tried the beta patch will need to roll back to v1.02 before updating - full patch notes and links to the rollback files are available in this thread.  Since the notes are so enormous, here's a snip of just the new features:

Neverwinter Nights 2 – Version 1.03 Patch Notes

New Features
General
• Weapon combos in hotbar: Added the ability to set up dual weapon, weapon & shield, or weapon & torch combos in the hotbar. Clicking the hotbar button for a weapon you already have equipped will unequip it.
• Camera Changes: We’ve made a series of camera changes to this version:
o New options for adjusting sensitivity for controlling the camera by keyboard, mouse, and edge of screen.
o Chase Cam adjusted to work more like NWN1.
o In free cam mode, the arrow keys now pan the camera, and holding down CTRL will zoom and yaw the camera.
o Added bindable keyboard key for mouse look / camera control. This mimics functionality of pressing down the middle mouse button for those without a middle mouse button.
• Graphics Optimizations: A number of new graphics optimizations have been added:
o Anti-Aliasing Support: Anti-aliasing is now supported and can be enabled in the Options Menu. Please note: This could significantly affect frame rate, depending on your hardware.
o Shadow Rendering: Shadow rendering speed has been improved.
o Tree Rendering: Speed improvements to the rendering of trees.
o Water Rendering: Speed improvements to how water is rendered by the engine.
• New Options:
o Buy/Sell Confirmation: You can now turn off the buy/sell confirmation dialog.
o Options menu has been reorganized to support many new camera control options.
o You can now change keybindings in game.
• Database Support:
o The database script functions from NWN1 have been re-enabled. They are now significantly faster in many cases.

NWN2 - Performance Guide @ TweakGuides

by Dhruin, 13:10

TweakGuides has a guide to getting the best performance out of NWN2.  Some of the tweaks are based on the current v1.03 Beta but the article promises updates to stay current:

All of these features make NWN2 unique, but also potentially problematic. Neverwinter Nights fans complain of issues with the interface, bugs in the AI, and importantly a real problem with getting the game to run smoothly on their systems due to its 3D graphics and engine issues. Given my fondness for D&D, and after a fair bit of research and testing, I've compiled this guide to help NWN2 players hopefully achieve better results with the game. The guide runs through clear descriptions and comparative screenshots of all in-game settings, including the new ones added as of the latest (beta) patch, as well as all the .ini file settings which allow further customization and optimization, and of course the console commands and a few neat tips to wrap things up. I genuinely believe NWN2 players will benefit from this guide, so give it a read-through to see if it can help you.

Thanks, Lucky Day!

Sunday - December 03, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ eToychest

by Kalia, 00:46

eToychest.com has posted a very nice review of Neverwinter Nights 2. Scoring the game at 91%, the reviewer, Roger Helgeson, had this to say:

Neverwinter Nights 2 is really less a ‘game’ than it is a compendium, or a collection of related items. For some, it's a a single player campaign, while others are more interested in the multiplayer component. The game also includes a world builder and campaign editor, both of which appeal to certain types of players, while others are sure to enjoy the game's dungeon master tool. Different players may want this game for different reasons, much the same way one might purchase the Dungeon Master’s Guide while another would opt for the Player’s Handbook. Both relate to interacting within Dungeon & Dragons, but one book will appeal to those constructing the adventure while the other appeals to those taking part in it. Neverwinter Nights 2 includes bothbooks, as well as everything else one might conceivably need or want while participating as any role involved in a Dungeon & Dragons campaign: you can act as dungeon master, as player, hell you can even just be the host if you want, opening your IP doors up for others to game in the comfort of your bandwidth.

 

NWN2 - Atari/Obsidian Support Interview @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 00:24

NW Vault has a welcome "official" interview with Atari and Obsidian on support for NWN and NWN2.  Here's Atari Senior Producer Jon Galloway:

There was a strong feeling in the community, when the premium module program was first cancelled, that Atari was dropping support for NWN. Could you tell us more what happened exactly?

Atari is strongly devoted to working with Wizards of the Coast in continuing support and development for the Neverwinter Nights brand, and the Dungeon's and Dragons property as a whole.

The truth is that Neverwinter Nights 2 and other games of this nature are a major undertaking to develop and produce and focusing on the release of the sequel is what is best for the fans, the community and the brand.

Continuing to manage the release of new content for a game which was originally released now over 4 years ago has some amount of diminishing return in many regards. The most simple explanation simply boils down to the launch of Neverwinter Nights 2 largely requiring a shift on our part.

In fact there are many contributing factors to the decision, but we have not discontinued support for NWN, fans and community, or many of the user created projects out there - and this was never our intent - these we hope will continue to live and grow as long as the active community is in support of them.

Thursday - November 30, 2006

NWN2 - Companions & Walkthrough Update

by Dhruin, 20:59

GameBanshee has added more material to their NWN2 walkthrough and database section:

Our Neverwinter Nights 2 subsite has been updated with a companions section and a dozen new areas in the walkthrough. Both areas are still a work-in-progress, but you'll find that some of the companion pages already contain a list of influence changes and what causes them to fluctuate one way or the other. Be sure to check back often, as we'll be adding more content on a regular basis!

NWN2 - Review @ Pro-G

by Dhruin, 20:55

A modest 7/10 is the score for NWN2 at Pro-G in their review.  There are a number of minor complaints, with the interface coming in for the most criticism:

Perhaps most disconcerting, however, is what Obsidian has done to the game's interface. The intuitive and elegant radial pop-up menu from the prequel has been replaced by a cumbersome context-sensitive menu that actually makes it harder to assign spells or abilities to your character's taskbar and is a definite backwards step. Needing to drag the mouse while right-clicking to get the menu to appear at all is counter-intuitive and an annoyingly needless complication. Worse, you can no longer hold down the Tab key to find objects that you can interact with, meaning that you have to revert to old school "run the mouse cursor over everything" tactics to prevent you missing a chest containing an important plot item. There's nothing more irksome than having to traipse all the way across two maps to pick up a pair of gauntlets that you can't complete a quest without, because the chest they are hidden in was tucked away in a dark corner...

Source: Bluesnews

Tuesday - November 28, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ Next Level Gaming

by Kalia, 15:32

Next Level Gaming has posted today's first review of NWN 2. The reviewer awards the game 92/100 and overall it is a very positive read:

Overall
Solid games are few and far in-between it seems, but this is one great game. If you liked the first Neverwinter Nights game, then you probably already have this one. If not what are you waiting for? If you have not played the series before, you cannot go wrong with either one. This one has some nice add-ons and improvements to it, but it never hurts to play as many good games as you can get your hands on, so go get them both.

 

What do you think? Have I lost my mind in saying good things about this game, or did I miss out on some of the treasures that this game has in it?

 

Source: IGN

Monday - November 27, 2006

NWN2 - Reviews @ SciFi.com, Game Vortex, RewiredMind

by Dhruin, 21:12

A trio of additional NWN2 reviews are now online.  Let's head to SciFi.com where the score is 'C':

But wait: "I know D&D, and you, sir, are no fan of D&D." Not true. I'm just not a fan of games that daisy-chain sparsely detailed areas together and require you to run from one end to the other battling enemies pulled from the tired old passive-aggressive playbook. I don't want to go spelunking in dungeons where every corner's perfectly squared and every segment's implausibly flat as a pancake. And I really don't care for situations where, for instance, you clear out a bandit camp, trigger a script and then the bandit camp's suddenly—presto—full of bandits again. It has nothing to do with D&D, but rather the collision of tortuously detailed rules with a mediocre game engine and a dog-tired storytelling approach that—in 2006—no longer entertains the way it thinks it does.

Game Vortex heads in the other direction, with a score of 95%:

You are joined most of the time with a cast of characters who are directly in your party. You can use them directly and control them by choosing their character. Depending on how you interact with the members of your party, it will determine how well or how hard they will work for you. You may find a teammate who does not trust or like you to be very handy in a fight. Besides your group of four companions, you may often be joined by NPCs (Non Player Characters) for special missions.

Now that you and your party are armed and on your way, you will encounter a rich and unique world. The official story is well done and the dialogue well thought out. Enjoy your adventure into new realms and choose your fate. Expect about 55 hours of play time to experience all that the game has to offer.

Finally, RewiredMind curiously finds the interface makes it less of an RPG and the score is 6/10:

 Quite a few things that really helped the first game as an RPG have been taken away, strangely. Two things off the top of my head that bug me about it are the inventory and the lack of the radial menu. For those of you who didn’t play the first game or didn’t use the menu, you could press 0 on the keypad, and from there you had 8 submenus, all of which could be accessed using the number pad by pressing the required direction. It was very quick, efficient and easy once you learned where things live. They took this out completely, and now you have to right click, wait for the delay (which is in the options, but you can’t turn it down to be instant) and search through the menu. This takes far too long and will probably get you killed on more than one occasion. As for the inventory, it’s gone back to single icons which are nearly indistinguishable from each other. This causes great confusion if you’re in a hurry, for example, mistaking a potion to cure serious wounds with one that cures light wounds, will almost certainly kill you if you can’t rectify your mistake in time.

Source: GameBanshee

NWN2 - Review @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 20:37

A fairly short review of NWN2 is up at GameZone.  The score is 8.7/10 and here's a snip:

The game’s central plot is delivered through text and voiced narrative. There are side quests that underscore the main plot and much of the D&D rulesets buoy the game along in a manner familiar to fans of the genre. And then there is the stronghold, which creates a new dimension to the gameplay elements. While the game itself is rather linear, players will have the opportunity to experiment with 16 races, 12 primary classes and 17 prestige classes (unlocked after conditions are met with your character) and players can dual specialize, to create unique characters.

NWN2 - Review @ Hooked Gamers

by Dhruin, 09:06

A review for NWN2 is now up at Hooked Gamers.  The score is 9/10 and here's a sample:

As a sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2 has both the dubious honor and distinct responsibility of living up to its predecessor. Bioware's Neverwinter Nights, while an excellent toolset responsible for many terrabytes of player-made content, had a decidedly weak single player campaign with uninteresting NPCs. This was a marked departure for Bioware, who is highly regarded for their memorable characters such as Minsc and HK-47. Developer Obsidian attempted to address this issue in Neverwinter Nights 2 by providing a robust, interesting campaign while not neglecting the toolset. From my personal experience, I believe Obsidian has done an excellent job of accomplishing these goals.

Sunday - November 26, 2006

NWN2 - Updated Review @ NWN2 News

by Dhruin, 21:16

NWN2 News has updated their NWN2 review, adding (as far as I can see) a couple of paragraphs on sound and music and upping the score from 8.3/10 to 8.5/10 in the process.

Friday - November 24, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ NWN 2 News

by Kalia, 13:27

NWN 2 News has popped up with their review of Neverwinter Nights 2. Sporting an 8.3/10.00 score, the reviewer said:

I can not praise the story enough, and if you are going to get NWN 2 for just the SP aspect it is worth every dime. I will go out on a limb and say it gives the BG series a run for its money story wise.

The voice acting is overall very good, some of it better then others however. Most of the major NPCs voice actors did a above average job quality wise. Several of the minor NPC’s however, their voice acting was something to be desired. In the end the big parts got the quality where it counts. As a side note I will say I noticed the same female voice actress who does Zhjaeve also did another NPC for Vampire: Bloodlines. I have a ear for voices I suppose.

Thursday - November 23, 2006

NWN2 - Reviews @ Fragland & GameShark

by Dhruin, 21:14

More NWN2 reviews continue to come in at a brisk pace with Fragland and GameShark offering the latest to offer opinions.  Let's kick off with Fragland, who scored Obsidian's game at 85%:

On top of that you can make real choices during conversations, tell NPC's and people from your party to shut the hell up or decide to follow their advise, and these decisions will have repercussions on the rest of the game, both in short (fist in your face) and long term (team mate gets fed up with you and leaves). It's been already quite some time since we've been emerged like this in the storyline of a single player campaign, one that will even cluster you to the screen for a couple of dozens of hours.

...while GameShark awarded a 'B':

It was a smart move to take the design of the sequel and back up a bit. This is an old-fashioned party based adventure, which is really what most RPG fans, and particularly what D&D fans, want to play. The original Neverwinter Nights was a focused on your lone hero. You would get an occasional brain dead henchman to follow you around but you were more or less on your own. The new game allows you to take several NPCs along for the ride from a fisticuff-loving Dwarf fighter, a Tiefling rogue, a Gnome bard (seriously) and even a farm-gal turned warrior. There's a good mix of NPCs that you meet on your adventure and best of all is that you have complete control over them in how they fight and which skills and feats they acquire as they gain levels.

NWN2 - v1.03 BETA Patch Released

by Dhruin, 20:25

Obsidian has released a beta version of the upcoming 1.03 patch for NWN2.  Here's the forum post from assistant producer Nathaniel Chapman with all the details:

Hey Everyone,

We've released a beta version for the v1.03 patch today. For instructions on how to apply it, please head over to our NWN2 beta patch website at: http://nwn2.obsidian.net/support/patch_beta.html

Additional mirrors for the patch can be found at:
NWVault
NWN2 Warcry

Additionally, the beta patch currently has two limitations:

1) This beta patch is currently only compatible with the English version of the game. Localized versions of the patch will be available soon.

2) In order to install the v1.03 Beta Patch, you will need to make sure you are currently running v1.02 of NWN2.

Also, as with all Beta software, this patch is a work in progress. It is highly recommended that you back up your "My Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2" folder before installing the Beta patch.

We here at Obsidian greatly appreciate any feedback you
can provide on this Beta Patch. We plan to have the final version of the patch (which will support all languages and will be acquired through the autoupdater) available soon.

Thanks Everyone,
Nathaniel Chapman
Assistant Producer
Obsidian Entertainment

Thanks, Prime Junta!

NWN2 - Review @ Jolt

by Dhruin, 13:16

Jolt has posted their review of NWN2.  The score is an excellent 8.9/10 and here's a snip:

The story of Neverwinter Nights 2 is a lengthy and epic one, and yes, it does return to the city of Neverwinter, which had been all but destroyed in the first game, but has now been rebuilt just in time for the next great threat. For those not familiar, Neverwinter Nights takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons world of Faerun, familiar already to thousands of fans through both pen-and-paper adventures and aforementioned games like Baldur’s Gate. As with any good D&D adventure, your travels will encompass a wide range of environments, from cities and towns, to forests, caves, dungeons and all sorts of mystical locations. You’ll now feel the impact you have on the world around you more than ever, thanks to the inclusion of your very own stronghold, which can be managed and customised with merchants, defences and other cool features.

Wednesday - November 22, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ AV Club

by Dhruin, 22:34

A short NWN2 review has popped up at site called AV Club.  Saying "navigating a tight hallway is like performing a colonoscopy on a dollhouse" the score still reaches a B- for these reasons:

Computer role-playing games fall into two camps. Fans of titles like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion want open-ended experiences and total freedom to explore an imaginary world. But the players who prefer Baldur's Gate II or Neverwinter Nights trade freedom for surprising plot twists, witty sidekicks with dark histories, and protagonists who have a personal stake in saving the world. On those terms, Nights 2 could have been a classic. The heavily scripted story livens up a straightforward premise—an ancient evil stalks the land, and only you can stop it—with strong dialogue and challenges that range from an extensive murder trial to a dueling-lutes mini-game. You can also skip the hours of scene-setting and get straight to the tactically intense battles, which follow the Dungeons & Dragons rule-set.

NWN2 - Review @ Trusted Reviews

by Kalia, 19:18

Trusted Reviews has put their review of Neverwinter Nights 2 up for reader perusal today. Scoring the game 8/10, the review is quite positive:

In other words, NWN2 is slightly old-fashioned, fairly complex and demanding, and it’s not even immediately accessible. It’ll be three or four hours in before it really registers that you’re actually enjoying it. What’s worse, there are still odd issues with crazy AI and lousy pathfinding, and – until patched – my copy had a horribly tendency to crash out during area transitions or while saving. Why bother?


For the TPG faithful, the answer’s too easy: because NWN2 is the sort of game that can immerse you in a world and hold you there for hour after hour. Even if this is the last of the dinosaurs, it sits near the pinnacle of their evolution. For one thing, Obsidian seem to understand the genre inside out. They know how an RPG should develop, starting off small and slowly offering a taste of greater powers. You hit a few dungeons, make a few friends, glimpse a few enemies, and before long you feel involved in larger affairs. Guess what – you’re hooked. What are those evil-looking shadow priests up to? What is this mysterious shard that you’re carrying? What will happen when you take it to Neverwinter? Why not carry on playing for a few more hours (make that days) and find out?

NWN2 - Review @ Game Daily

by Kalia, 04:01

Game Daily has awarded Neverwinter Nights 2 a perfect 10/10 and a "must buy this game" rating by reviewer Chris Buffa. This score will surely cause rabid fans to chuckle with glee and equally rabid critics to shake their fists in rage:

The One Minute Review

The original Neverwinter Nights is so immersive that it continues to attract new fans to this day, but the time for a true sequel has arrived and thankfully, Neverwinter Nights 2 delivers. This extremely enjoyable action RPG contains fabulous visuals, plenty of options, and incredible gameplay. Neverwinter Nights 2 is truly one of the most epic adventures found on a PC, and it should be purchased without hesitation.

 

Tuesday - November 21, 2006

NWN2 - Interviews @ WarCry & NW Vault

by Dhruin, 23:17

Another two NWN2 post-release interviews have hit the 'net with NW Vault and WarCry joining forces for a two-part Q&A.  Off to NW Vault for Part 1:

How satisfied are you with the release of the game and how it's been received by fans and the community?

[Tony Evans] We're very pleased with how well fans have reacted to Neverwinter Nights 2's campaign and Toolset. We have been monitoring the forums, cheering on people who have already played through the game, and we're really glad that so many players are finding the campaign so fun and replayable.

Beyond that, we are extremely eager to see more of what the community will create with the Neverwinter Nights 2 Toolset. They have the same tools that we used to create the official campaign. In fact, they have even more tools, since fans have already created some nifty plugins for the Toolset. So I expect great things to come from the community.

...and then to WarCry with Kalia for Part Two:

When do you expect the next update for the DM Client to come out and what features can we expect?

[Rich Taylor] The next update will be in the 1.03 patch due out very soon. That will add context menu DM commands that existed in NWN1, the ability to drag commands from the chooser to the hotbar, among other improvements. This is not the final update to the DM Client, and more improvements and additions will be coming in future patches.

NWN2 - Walkthrough & Spells Database @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 23:12

GameBanshee has kicked off their NWN2 walkthrough and well as adding a Spell Database to the previously available Equipment Database.

NWN2 - Interview @ Mania

by Dhruin, 22:16

A number of Obsidian developers have spoken to Mania.com in a NWN2 post-release interview.  Here's the first question:

Captain Gordon:] What would you say is the most innovative addition to the game over the last? 

    [Eric Fenstermaker] Two changes, I think, really separate this title.  The first is the party system.  In the previous game, the player either adventured alone or with a single companion.  In Neverwinter Nights 2, the player brings along an entire party, which completely changes the feel of the game.  Your companions develop as they travel with you, and they make friends and have conflicts with one another as well.  Most games of this genre, of late, are relatively lonely experiences – one lone hero against the world, quietly trotting along the road en route to some evil place to kill some monster.  With a party, the player becomes a lot more emotionally invested in the story.  Players will come to love some of their party members and despise others, but ultimately their involvement will increase drastically as their companions make great sacrifices or commit heinous acts of treachery along the way.  And of course combat becomes much more strategic as the player has to decide who to bring with him and what sort of role they’ll fulfill in the party. 

    The other is the toolset, which we rebuilt from the ground up.  It provides a dramatically large set of new features with which our online community can create new content.   It’s become a lot more powerful across the board, and the content we’re seeing out of the modding community is already pretty spectacular.  Aside from our new terrain editing capability, of particular interest is our new cinematic cutscene system, which puts builders in a role not unlike that of a film director.  They’ll set up camera angles, block out their characters’ movement and animations, assign them dialogue, create and place special effects, and then watch their scene play out letterboxed in-game, telling their story with a degree of precision and detail that would’ve been prohibitively time-consuming in the original.

NWN2 - Reviews @ Gameworld Network, GameDaily

by Dhruin, 22:01

88% is the verdict for NWN2 in Gameworld Network's review:

One of the main features that has been added to NWN2 is that your companions are now fully controllable. You can easily switch over and control one of your other characters at any time (with a max party size of four, although you can "store" extra characters at a tavern you come across fairly early on in the game). In addition, you have full control of what skills and stats to increase when your companions gain levels, and each has their own inventory, so you can use them to store some of the loot you find. Fans of the first Neverwinter Nights will remember that none of these features was available.

...meanwhile GameDaily has scored NWN2 a perfect 10/10.  Here's a snip:

In a game that is the perfect evolutionary step between Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate, there's little to complain about. Sure, the load times can get a little long (especially when saving), and there are some visual errors in the cut scenes, but when the game really sucks you in, none of that matters. The control scheme is definitely different, but not so much so that it gets in the way of playing. And it's not as streamlined and casual as the original Neverwinter Nights, but is that really a bad thing? Sure, the menus aren't quite as nice, and the text boxes might have even gone back a step. However, Neverwinter Nights 2 is becoming one of the new classics of the role-playing genre... a couple of problems that will probably be fixed in a patch before the month is out aren't grounds to punish the makers.

Monday - November 20, 2006

NWN2 - Patch 1.03 & Live Team Updates

by Dhruin, 20:56

Darren Monahan has posted an update on the NWN2 forums on the status of the 1.03 patch and some changes with the Live Team personnel:

Hello everyone,

I wanted to give you guys a few updates on things going on here at Obsidian:

Patch 1.03 News: First off, we're hard at work putting the finishing touches on the v1.03 patch. This is a big patch in terms of bug fixes, optimizations, and additional features such as the return of database support, and more DM Client additions. We're going to release a public 1.03 BETA this coming week (of course including a revert patch ), and then wrap up the public 1.03 release early the following week. In my next post below is a preview of what's coming in the patch.

Personnel Changes: Secondly, I'm sadly going to be moving to one of Obsidian's new projects, but I would like to announce a few of the members of our Live Team - the folks here at Obsidian who will be carrying the torch for all things NWN2:

Nathaniel Chapman - Assistant Producer. He's going to be taking over the work I was doing in forums, specifically the technical support forums, as well as getting issues posted here into our tracking database and into the developers hands.

Tony Evans - Senior Designer. Tony was the designer of Crossroad Keep and the lead for Act 3. He's going to be working on some very special projects in the coming months, so you'll be hearing from him as well.

There are also some other team members (programmers, etc.) whom we'll announce in the future.

Thanks,

Darren Monahan
Executive Producer
Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.

His next post then proceeds with some lengthy patch notes - here's the General section:

General
• Weapon combos in hotbar: Added the ability to set up dual weapon, weapon & shield, or weapon & torch combos in the hotbar. Clicking the hotbar button for a weapon you already have equipped will unequip it.

• Camera Changes: We’ve made a series of camera changes to this version:
o New options for adjusting sensitivity for controlling the camera by keyboard, mouse, and edge of screen.
o Chase Cam adjusted to work more like NWN1.
o In free cam mode, the arrow keys now pan the camera, and holding down CTRL will zoom and yaw the camera.
o Added bindable keyboard key for mouse look / camera control. This mimics functionality of pressing down the middle mouse button for those without a middle mouse button.

• Graphics Optimizations: A number of new graphics optimizations have been added:
o Anti-Aliasing Support: Anti-aliasing is now supported and can be enabled in the Options Menu. Please note: This could significantly affect frame rate, depending on your hardware.
o Shadow Rendering: Shadow rendering speed has been improved.
o Tree Rendering: Speed improvements to the rendering of trees.
o Water Rendering: Speed improvements to how water is rendered by the engine.

• New Options:
o Buy/Sell Confirmation: You can now turn off the buy/sell confirmation dialog.
o Options menu has been reorganized to support many new camera control options.
o You can now change keybindings in game.

• Database Support:
o The database script functions from NWN1 have been re-enabled. They are now significantly faster in many cases.

Sunday - November 19, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ GCC

by Dhruin, 21:20

The latest review of NWN2 comes from GameClubCentral.  The text concetrates on the graphics and interface issues more than the gameplay but the score is 8/10:

While the graphics aren’t Oblivion, they sure as hell demand a lot of computing power as if they were. My machine is no powerhouse but it’s nothing to sneeze at either and things crawl for me even at low settings. God forbid some baddie in game cast’s an area effect spell like ‘web’ which grinds everything to a halt for a few seconds. Maybe this doesn’t happen on high end machines but from what I’m hearing it’s not the case. This was a complaint I heard back in the beta stage of the game. Maybe it’s because of the toolset design ability? Whatever it is, it can limit who can play NWN2 and that no one wants.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - November 18, 2006

NWN2 - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 22:28

MMORPG.com has kicked up an interview with Obsidian's Annie Carlson on the subject of NWN2 appealing to MMOG fans:

MMORPG.com: Your game is not an MMORPG by any stretch. Why do you believe traditional MMORPG players will be attracted to your title?

Annie Carlson: Aside from the actual meat of the game - robust character creation system, a compelling and diverse array of character classes, a solid ruleset (a system that many MMORPG players might be familiar with, as a lot of modern RPG systems are derivatives of the Dungeons & Dragons system), and the ability to play the game online with up to 4 players - it's not just about the single-player campaign. Neverwinter Nights 2, like its predecessor, is shipping with a fully-functional toolset designed to allow players to create their own adventures. Even if your average player is not as attracted to making their own campaign, there exists a gigantic community - which grew and flourished from the time of the original Neverwinter Nights release - who are committed to creating outstanding adventures and releasing them for public use. But wait - there's MORE! In addition to stand-alone adventures, communities of players are creating "Persistent Worlds," which are basically miniature MMORPGs, games with their own storylines, quests, and areas, created from the toolset and populated by a vast number of players from all over the world.

So, basically: in addition to a large, robust original campaign (which includes a multiplayer component), a versatile toolset for creating your own adventures, a vast number of downloadable modules and adventures, and access to a large number of Persistent Worlds to play in, there's a tremendous amount of variety of gameplay a player has access to within this one single title. I think there are elements within each aspect to draw the eye and win the heart of any gamer, including the most fickle of MMORPG players.

NWN2 - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 22:27

MMORPG.com has kicked up an interview with Obsidian's Annie Carlson on the subject of NWN2 appealing to MMOG fans:

MMORPG.com: Your game is not an MMORPG by any stretch. Why do you believe traditional MMORPG players will be attracted to your title?

Annie Carlson: Aside from the actual meat of the game - robust character creation system, a compelling and diverse array of character classes, a solid ruleset (a system that many MMORPG players might be familiar with, as a lot of modern RPG systems are derivatives of the Dungeons & Dragons system), and the ability to play the game online with up to 4 players - it's not just about the single-player campaign. Neverwinter Nights 2, like its predecessor, is shipping with a fully-functional toolset designed to allow players to create their own adventures. Even if your average player is not as attracted to making their own campaign, there exists a gigantic community - which grew and flourished from the time of the original Neverwinter Nights release - who are committed to creating outstanding adventures and releasing them for public use. But wait - there's MORE! In addition to stand-alone adventures, communities of players are creating "Persistent Worlds," which are basically miniature MMORPGs, games with their own storylines, quests, and areas, created from the toolset and populated by a vast number of players from all over the world.

So, basically: in addition to a large, robust original campaign (which includes a multiplayer component), a versatile toolset for creating your own adventures, a vast number of downloadable modules and adventures, and access to a large number of Persistent Worlds to play in, there's a tremendous amount of variety of gameplay a player has access to within this one single title. I think there are elements within each aspect to draw the eye and win the heart of any gamer, including the most fickle of MMORPG players.

Friday - November 17, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ GameZilla

by Dhruin, 21:33

Rating it "Fans Only", GameZilla's micro-review of NWN2 bemoans the complexity and spends one of four paragraphs on the toolset without knowing anything about it:

If you’re familiar with the first Neverwinter Nights, you’ll recall that it had a robust toolset built specifically to cater to the mod making community. Since NWN is in essence a DnD simulator, being able to publish user created modules really helped extend the value of the game. Regardless, I’m unfortunately a poor judge of character. I never played around with the original toolset, and can’t tell if this new one is really good. That said, it is obvious that a great deal of work went into the NWN2 toolset and I have a feeling that it’ll follow in the footsteps of the original.

NWN2 - Equipment Database @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:20

GameBanshee has released an equipment database for NWN2.  Here are the details:

After spending two weeks compiling data, we're pleased to announce the availability of a fully searchable equipment database for Obsidian Entertainment's Neverwinter Nights sequel.

Browsing the database can be done via our advanced search page or our categorized search page, with all item icons, statistics, special properties, descriptions, and even resource names listed. There are still a few item descriptions missing at the moment, but we will continue to work on the database on a daily basis. Enjoy!

NWN2 - Review @ Uncompressed

by Kalia, 20:14

Uncompressed has posted a review that is quickly becoming very standard: Love the story, hate some of the technical aspects but can rate the game highly regardless. Scoring NWN 2 with a 3.5/5.00, the reviewer said:

After reading all of this, it’s probably hard to imagine how I could possibly give this game a positive overall rating – but the fact is, it’s fun to play. It makes me sad to think that if Obsidian has just taken another couple of weeks to fine tune things, this could have been a tremendously good game. The built in campaign is entertaining with solid pacing, character customization is deep enough to be engaging, and the toolset allows for limitless multiplayer fun. I am hopeful that after a couple of patches Neverwinter Nights 2 will be what I had envisioned after hearing that a sequel was announced.

Even taking the product as it is now, I can hardily recommend it to RPG fans, but the causal RPGer might want to stay clear until some of the bugs get worked out. I mean come on; it’s not as bad as Pool of Radiance…

Thursday - November 16, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ Geekworld

by Kalia, 13:25

Geekworld has the latest posted review of NWN 2. They scored the game 8/10 and anticipate raising that to 9/10 when multiplayer issues are fixed. Overall it's a 'standard' yet VERY comprehensive article and  is a fair review:<blockquote>Neverwinter Nights 2’s first impression is pretty bad, mostly because of the horrid performance. Once you get past that and start playing, you’ll find the game to be highly enjoyable. The Official Campaign is simply so much better than Neverwinter Nights 1 that it puts the designers of the later to shame. Other than that, the game is Neverwinter Nights 1 updated by a generation. Really cool graphics - if you have the hardware for them - and many features that should have been in NWN1 and were at best only added later, in expansions, or patches.</blockquote> 

Source: NW Vault

NWN2 - Interview @ Killer Betties

by Kalia, 01:26
The Killer Betties have posted a seemingly belated Q&A with the Obsidian Entertainment folks. Covering characters, prestige classes, the toolset and the campaign, the 'ground' is unsurprising but it's a good reminder of all the things that -did- make it into the game.
8. What are all the user interface changes have been made to the game? And can you talk more about the new control scheme that allows for a more RTS approach and how it is incorporated into the game and used?

[Anthony Davis] First of all, the GUI is modifiable and skinnable. The community has already released several modified versions of the GUI, including bigger hotbars and vertical hotbars.

The radial menu was replaced with a context sensitive menu. This is very similar to a regular Windows™ context sensitive menu. In other words, when I bring up the context menu on a game object, my only options that are allowed are the ones that are actually applicable for that object.

Wednesday - November 15, 2006

NWN2 - Reviews @ UGO & JustPressPlay

by Dhruin, 21:15

A lengthy review of NWN2 at UGO sees a score of 'A-' and this intro:

There's been a movement afoot in the world of computer role-playing games to make things more accessible, to hide the stats-based rules and turn-based combat under a shiny veneer that would almost make the unsuspecting mainstream gamer think they were playing an action game, or at the most, Diablo. Neverwinter Nights 2 proudly and boldly extends a middle finger to this movement, and then waves it around for good measure. This Dungeons & Dragons-based sequel from Obsidian Entertainment may look fancy and 3D and all that stuff, but at its heart, it's a cantankerous nerd possessed of the Dungeon Master's Guide and a full compliment of multi-sided dice. And, that, for this fan of the Baldur's Gate series, Planescape: Torment and the old-school gold box games, is glorious.

...meanwhile, the score at JustPressPlay is 8.3/10 (although interestingly, their readers' rating is just 5.75/10):

They did put something into the game that made it much more worthwhile to play than the storyline. That little thing is your very own keep. This is something they've been hyping up for a rather long time now, and I must say, I truly enjoy this feature. With the keep, you'll get to make all sorts of choices. Such as whether you'd like to set your soldiers out to patrol, recruit, or even do special assignments. It doesn't sound like much, but when you're trying to tame the world with fifty men, your choices count.

Tuesday - November 14, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ Game Pyre

by Kalia, 20:11

Game Pyre has awarded their Gamer's Choice Award to NWN 2 with an overall score of 92 out of 100. Written by an acknowledged fan of NWN 1, the writer said:

Obsidian, Atari, and Bioware score another hit with Neverwinter Nights 2. As a fan of the original Neverwinter Nights, I am not disappointed in the slightest. Everything I was hoping for from a sequel, and so much more.  This game has an excellent story that pulls you in from the very beginning, great graphics, and tons of races and classes make this game have excellent replay value.

 

Source: Shack News

NWN2 - Review #2 @ 1 Up

by Kalia, 02:12

In a new review of Neverwinter Nights 2, 1 Up has rated the game 6/10. Citing the game's many technical glitches and hang ups, reviewer Jeff Green said:

All of this is great -- and if the review ended here, we could all sing "Kumbaya" together in happy harmony. But the sad truth is that NWN2 shipped in a pretty messy state, and even after a couple patches (as of this writing), the biggest problems remain. In general, and depending on your system and your tolerance, you're going to spend a lot of time upfront basically doing the job the developers should have done before shipping the game: fixing the weak A.I., futzing around with the graphics options and camera controls, and resetting basic gameplay options until the thing is playable. And good luck with all of that, because not all of it is easily done (or even possible).

 

Sunday - November 12, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ GamerNode

by Garrett, 18:26

GamerNode has also reviewed Neverwinter Nights 2, rating it 8.4 and coming to this conclusion:

For RPG lovers, picking up NWN2 is a no-brainer. The game has the story, the characters, the action and the lore behind it to make it an enjoyable piece of work. Even better, the community-orientated projects will launch in full force soon, which will easily tack on several more hours (hundreds more, most likely) to the replay time. Even before the community embraces the module creations, you can replay the game with other characters and classes for a new experience. For you newbies to RPGs or D&D in general, Neverwinter Nights 2 is a good way to be indoctrinated in the genre. For years, I've been waiting for another Black Isle RPG -- if you're like me, NWN2 is probably the closest you'll get.

Source: RPGDot

Saturday - November 11, 2006

NWN2 - Developer Comments

by Dhruin, 22:53

NW Vault has some NWN2 forum highlights, including this interesting snip on future support from programmer Rich Taylor:

There's a lot of good points in this thread.

The voice command system is scheduled to go in.

A few issues mentioned are bugs that will be fixed (Mini-map not staying closed on area transitions for example).

Some of the other issues have come up in meetings here and I am going to see what can be done about getting them in. Being able to hotkey more things, more control over the chat window, and the HP Status over the head are all things I strongly agree with getting into NWN2.

We're also trying to do what we can to make the camera controls feel more comfortable. The patch coming in the very near future will try to address camera controls in response to feedback we have received from the community and from internal testing.

I will be the lead programmer in charge of the post-release support for NWN2 going forward. I have a background in making and administrating persistent online multiplayer games and I understand some of the frustrations people are encountering. I feel good about the potential NWN2 has and am looking forward to improving on the groundwork that has been laid by NWN2 so far.
[...]

I didn't comment on the inventory situation yet because I'm still trying to figure out what our options are for improving on it. The '1 slot, 1 item' interface won't be changing, but I would like to make the way you interact with it smoother. Auto-sorting, inventory category tabs, or something along those lines, are ideas I would like to look into.

From this thread on the Bio boards if you'd like to sift through the whole conversation.

Source: NW Vault

NWN2 - Game Diary @ GameDaily

by Dhruin, 22:11

In Search of Light is the title of a NWN2 in-character game diary at Game Daily.  Here's a sample:

The light. It consumes my body in all of its power and through me it channels its will. Its wishes are fulfilled and I serve my purpose as a servant of Tyr, a warrior of justice. At least, that's what I'm supposed to say, right?

 

Paladins are supposed to be the shining image of all that is good and true. They're supposed to be noble, self-sacrificing, honorable, and generous, not to mention know how to put some big holes in beings vile enough to not know how or when to change their evil ways. I should be a paladin, or rather I am. I completed basic training in Neverwinter Nights 2, hours on end doing combat exercises, studying scripture, learning every law of nearly every society within five hundred kilometers... yet how can I act as a Paladin -- a holy knight, in a town with no evil. West Harbor is a town where not only do no evil deeds occur, in fact nothing ever happens, period.

Friday - November 10, 2006

NWN2 - Toolset Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 21:09

Kieron Gillen takes an entertaining layman's approach to a review of the NWN2 toolset at Eurogamer - here's the opening:

The map won't scroll.

Normally admissions of complete incompetence are something to be avoided when writing about games, in favour of cultivating an aura of general infallibility. Obviously I completed the game on Expert, blindfolded, while having Rossignol flick my earlobe in an attempt to distract me from the task at hand. Do you think I'd dare write a review of Totally Average Ultra-Hyped Big Franchise Game Which Has All The Fanboys In The World without having done that? This is a little different. We're having a look at the toolset that comes with Neverwinter Nights 2, which we deliberately didn't consider. Here incompetence is absolutely key to my qualifications in writing this.

NWN2 - Review @ Game Banshee

by Kalia, 19:56

Game Banshee has posted their review of NWN 2. It's a well-written review. The bottom line is that the game scores 8.7/10.00.

If you’re not sure what to take away from my review of Neverwinter Nights 2, then take away this: the engine is fantastic. I’ve heard people complain about bugs and performance issues (you should definitely check your computer against the minimum system requirements and the supported video cards), but the game ran perfectly on my six-month-old computer, and I didn’t have any problems with it. Plus, Neverwinter Nights 2 looks great, and with all of the options for character development, I could see re-playing the campaign multiple times just to try out a few. And if the toolkit is as easy to use as it was before, then no doubt we’ll see a ton of user created modules eventually, and so Neverwinter Nights 2 should have an extremely long shelf life.

 

NWN2 - Review @ Game Revolution

by Dhruin, 12:32

Game Revolution has posted a review of NWN2 with a score of 'B' and finding it all pretty straight forward:

You may wonder why I’ve waited so long to discuss the gameplay, but there’s not much to talk about. The point and click interface works almost identically, and you still use the spacebar constantly to pause and unpuase the game in order to perfect your strategy. Henchmen have become full party members, making Neverwinter Nights 2 pretty much a sequel to Baldur’s Gate as well.

Thursday - November 09, 2006

NWN2 - v1.02 (809) Patch is now live

by Txa1265, 18:32

According to a post from producer Darren Monohan at the official forums :

I'm pleased to announce that v1.02.809 is now live! Just a reminder, this version is just a hotfix to address the issue with companions wreaking some havoc on cutscenes and scripted events. This also includes updated multiplayer applications to the same version. We did fix one issue with the Server Monitor Console, where it would be possible for it to not run properly on Athlon XP's.

Stay tuned for more news on our 1.03 patch - that one includes a lot of bug fixes, improvements and even some new features (particularly on the DM Client side... database support, anyone? )

I would also like to take a moment to invite you to check out our mirror sites who have been helping to distribute the patches!

NWVault
WarCry Network
Sorcerer's Place
Neverwinter Nights 2 HQ
To update, simply run the game from your Start menu or Desktop, and click the "Update" option, and you should be on your way!

Source: Obsidian Entertainment

NWN2 - Review @ Gameplay Monthly

by Kalia, 13:41

Gameplay Monthly has the second of today's reviews for reading pleasure. Scoring what seems to be the standard at this point for NWN 2, the reviewer gave the game a B+. Highlighting the story, the reviewer said:

Amongst the best parts of the game are the fact that your party members continue to play a significant part in the story long after they join you, and for pretty much any of the innumerably side-quests you do, no matter who you bring they are likely to contribute their own take on the situation. The influence system from KotoR makes an appearance here, and seems to be much improved. While it can be annoying to lose influence with a character for making certain decision, the fact is that there is enough interaction with your party to make the influence system an interesting game in itself. The dialogue is very well written for the most part as well, and it ranges very witty, to humorous, to dark. Obsidian did not dumb down the conversation, or censor the evil characters in order to make this game more appealing either. The maturity of this game is a welcome change from the puerility of most of the recent RPGs.

 

NWN2 - Review @ Action Trip

by Kalia, 13:35

Action Trip sent along word that they have reviewed Neverwinter Nights 2. Scoring the game with a "very good" rating of 84/100, the reviewer said:

There's more to the game, of course, than the single-player campaign. You'll have plenty to do once you start fiddling around with the newly implemented toolset. Obsidian has left the field open for users to experiment and use their imagination to come up with diverse and exciting new adventures. We have yet to experience NWN 2 from the perspective of sharing modules and enjoying an endless choice of challenges.

With all this on offer, Neverwinter Nights 2 will surely keep RPG fans busy for a long time. You won't regret buying the game, especially if you've played through the original as well as the expansion packs. On the other hand, Obsidian obviously hasn't made any real breakthroughs, which is a bummer, really, seeing as the original brought quite a lot of fresh ideas to the RPG scene.

 

Source: ActionTrip

NWN2 - New Review from Computer Games Romania

by Corwin, 01:03

Bossman from Romanian site Computer Games  has written the latest review of NWN 2 and it's 12 short pages with lots of screen shots. Considering what's been happening with reviews of this game already this week, he finds an interesting way to begin:

  I'll say this right of the bat: I’m not much of a fan of the first Neverwinter Nights. I won't argue if the game was bad or a masterpiece, there are countless discussions on the Internet in this regard, but for me, NWN lacked that je ne sais quios which would keep me glued in front of the monitor right until the end of the game. Therefore, you can imagine my “enthusiasm” when someone started yelling in the office: “Neverwinter 2 is out! / Do I look like someone who cares? / Well, you should / Why? / Because you’re going to write the review… … … Well, this should be fun. 

You'll find it all right here.  

Wednesday - November 08, 2006

NWN2 - Interview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:01

IGN has a followup interview with Josh Sawyer on NWN2:

IGN: All of the prestige classes from the original game have been included in NWN2, with the exception of the Shifter class. Why is this?

Josh: The Shifter class relies entirely on polymorph effects, which were complex to implement and often broken during the development process. Also, all but one of the old Shifter's forms from the original game were absent from NWN2. We would have had to replace every form, rebalance them, and debug them. However, our polymorphing issues have been worked out, so I'm confident such a class could be implemented in the future -- whether by us or the community.

NWN2 - Comprehensive Review @ Gamespy

by Kalia, 03:17

Gamespy has updated last week's quick review with a much more comprehensive look at the game. Scoring Neverwinter Nights 2 with four out of five possible stars and a "Great" rating, the review is accompanied by several screenshots.

Obsidian has very effectively drawn on its legacy to make Neverwinter Nights 2's packaged single-player campaign worthy of its exhaustive pedigree. The game's story is epic in scope and far-reaching in magnitude, making up for its relatively slow start with a handful of surprises sure to excite fans of D&D's venerable mythology. Your character starts out as a simple orphan from a backwater village, though once the story gets going, you'll find yourself flirting with royalty, foiling inter-planar assassination plots, and ultimately locking horns with foes of nigh-divine proportions. And that's only half the story -- built into the game's intricate dialog system are plenty of moral choices for you to make, many of which radically alter the factions you end up allying with and determine how well regarded you are by those close to you.

 

Tuesday - November 07, 2006

NWN2 - Patch News

by Dhruin, 09:11

Obsidian's Darren Monahan has posted news of a NWN2 v1.02 hotfix that was subsequently pulled following some problems, however, the comments still provide some insight on upcoming patches:

Hi everyone!

We just released the English v1.02 of Neverwinter Nights 2 to our web servers. This hotfix addresses issues when playing as companions where cutscenes would not fire, display black screens, or no longer allow you to talk to characters within the game.

To update, simple run the launcher from your Start Menu or desktop shortcut, and click the Update button.

Non-English versions will be posted within the next 24 hours.

Up ahead, the NWN2 team is busy working on v1.03 which we're planning to release before Thanksgiving (Nov 23rd.) We're going to try and wrap up as many fixes as we can by midweek and then get the build into QA for testing. With any luck, we'll have it online by the end of next week.

This version will include a number of fixes for issues reported since release as well as a number of continued improvements to the DM Client. We'll have more info on that soon.

Thank you for all of the feedback we've been receiving - I want to assure everyone that we at Obsidian and the folks at Atari are actively recording issues we find here on the boards and through Customer Support, and we plan to continue supporting the game for the long haul.

Sincerely,

Darren Monahan
Executive Producer
Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.

Followed later by... 

Hey guys, I'm going to go ahead and pull 1.02 until we've had a chance to look into some of the issues reported here.

If you've already patched and are having problems, the safest solution is to reinstall and use the updater to go to 1.01.

Will keep you guys posted.

NWN2 - Latest on 1 Up 'Review' Being Pulled

by Corwin, 02:20

Our readers might be interested to read the full story on why 1 Up pulled its controversial review of NWN2. Here's an introductory comment:

The comments I've read have been pretty much everything I expected, given that people either don't have all the information (because we haven't shared every minute detail), they have preconceptions of how the press works, they are predisposed to either hate us or praise us no matter what we do, etc. Everyone has a take on what happened here: We sold out to Atari. We sold out Matt Peckham. We did the right thing. We did the wrong thing. We compromised our integrity. We increased our integrity.

 

Reading all these opinions, and contemplating this throughout the day myself, I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop second-guessing what we did. I do think I will tell you a little more of what went down, so that maybe you can come to your own conclusions a little better.
You'll find the entire interesting article plus reader comments Here.

Thanks Abaaon for the headsup. 

Saturday - November 04, 2006

NWN2 - Reviews @ IGN & Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 22:34

Both IGN and Eurogamer have published their reviews for NWN2.  Let's kick off with IGN, who scored it at 8.5/10:

From the starting town of West Harbor, it'll be a little while before you reach the city of Neverwinter. Once there, the plot picks up as your various adversaries are unmasked and you can choose a number of paths to move the story forward. The plot manages to stay interesting, buoyed by generally strong writing for conversations and the occasional witty quip. Neverwinter Nights 2 features a large amount of voiced dialogue, most of which will pass over your eardrums without inducing a cringe, and occasionally make you laugh along.

Kieron Gillen takes over the keyboard for Eurogamer's critique, with a score of 8/10.  Here's a late snip:

Seven or an eight, seven or an eight...

There's a nagging sense that - perhaps - we're reaching the end of the road of the Black-Isle/Bioware model western-style role-playing game. Jade Empire reviewed well, but disappeared almost immediately from public discourse, dismissed as a Knights of the Old Republic in wushu clothing. Yeah, it was good, but it was good in the same old way. Whatever Bioware do with Dragon Age will be very interesting. In that way, while hugely improved over the original Neverwinter Nights' campaign, this is essentially Baldur's Gate. Shouldn't we be looking for...

Rewind that. This is essentially Baldur's Gate.

Thanks, Melvil.

NWN2 - 1 Up 'Review' Pulled & Recanted @ 1 Up

by Kalia, 00:41

1 Up posted a review yesterday scoring NWN 2 a paltry 5/10. After an internal meeting with magazine and online review editors, it was decided to pull the review and recant the score:

We have made a mistake.

The 1UP Network review of Neverwinter Nights 2, authored by Matt Peckham, has been officially retracted from 1UP.com and will not appear in the January issue of Games For Windows: The Official Magazine.

Upon further review of the author's text, listening to the feedback from our community and others, and after internal discussion between the 1UP and GFW editors, we have determined that the text of the review did not live up to our editorial standards. We respect the opinions of Mr. Peckham and all of our writers, but we felt that this particular review of Neverwinter Nights 2 did a disservice to fans of the RPG genre.

We have commissioned a new review by a different author to be published next week on 1UP.com, and in the January issue of Games For Windows.

We truly regret our error, and apologize to you, our readers.

 

Andrew Pfister
Reviews Editor, 1UP.com

 

Friday - November 03, 2006

NWN2 - Review @ GameDaily

by Dhruin, 21:01

Full of praise and describing it as a classic in the making, GameDaily's review of NWN2 carries a score of 5 stars:

One of the biggest elements in any role-playing game is the plot, and its presentation. The storylines in Neverwinter Nights 2 are solid. They have a few familiar moments, but the majority of the plot is powerful, captivating and original. From the silly side quest of shrinking an enchanted pig early on to the major plot materials in defending your own fort from siege and battling many great monsters along the way. The individual's reactions and responses to you are all determined on the spot, by that character's prejudice towards races, sub-races, particular deities, dress, and alignment. A character's alignment shifts over time, allowing for radical changes in behavior to be noticed by others. These factors and a great deal more make NWN2 one of the best written games in history, both in code and in the English language.

Thursday - November 02, 2006

NWN2 - Patch Problem Comments

by Dhruin, 21:17

Atari senior producer John Galloway has responded to the problems applying Patch 1, particularly with the D2D version.  Here's a snip courtesy of Sorcerer's Place, who have the full text as well as other responses:

Hello everyone,

We have a breif update fropm Atari and Obsidian for you concerning issues you may be seeing regarding Patch 1.

Box Retail: The English v1.01 patch is now available via the in-game autoupdate utility.

Direct2Drive Customers: For those of you who purchased the game via Direct2Drive, we have identified the issue with the autopatcher failing to complete the install for the patch, and are working diligently to resolve the problem. We do not anticipate this taking any longer than end of the day Wednesday, November 1st, Pacific Standard Time and apologize for any inconvenience.

In the interim, we invite you to fire up the single player game and start playing!

NWN2 - Review @ Yahoo! Games

by Dhruin, 20:59

More praise for NWN2 with a 4.5/5 in Yahoo! Games' review:

Play Obsidian Entertainment's latest role-playing game, and if you can look past the distinctly up-to-the-minute graphics, you might be forgiven for thinking the golden age of computer fantasy role-playing games like Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment had returned. Neverwinter Nights 2 bears far more resemblance to these greats of the genre than it does to its predecessor, and that's entirely to its credit.

NWN2 - Review @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 20:57

Another strong review for NWN2 with Games Radar awarding 9/10 in their short review:

The skilled role-playing gamesmiths at developer Obsidian have taken their spotless pedigree (Planetscape Torment, Fallout 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II) and extended it even further in NWN2. Compelling and often hilarious dialogue choices actually have a great effect on both the loyalty of your traveling companions and the eventual outcome of the game (40 - 60 hours later).

NWN2 - Review @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 13:23

GameSpot has posted their review of NWN2, describing the story as "compelling" and awarding a score of 8.6/10:

To say that the expectations are high for Neverwinter Nights 2 would be a massive understatement. Not only is it the sequel to one of the best role-playing games ever to bear the Dungeons & Dragons license, but it's also been developed by some of the creative talent behind such other revered role-playing games as Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. The good news is that Neverwinter Nights 2 lives up to its pedigree by delivering a captivating story full of exciting twists and characters who you'll grow attached to out of fondness or, perhaps even better, complete loathing. It's not without a few frustrating technical shortcomings, but overall Neverwinter Nights 2 is a great role-playing adventure that just about anyone can enjoy.

NWN2 - Review: 9/10 @ Worthplaying

by Kalia, 02:02

Worthplaying has posted a very nice review along with a ton of screenshots. Scoring it 9.0/10.00, an "Editor's Choice", the reviewer said:

There's something inherent about Neverwinter Nights 2 that makes it more difficult to review. At the basic level, this is not a game you get in the box. Sure, it comes with an excellent module, but you are purchasing the engine, assets, and toolkit, thereby granting you, the player and more importantly the adventurer, access to what may well be an nearly infinite buffet of sessions, both online and off. It's hard to deny the value of a kit of that nature, particular given its wide range of future possibilities. That's also a hard product to sell at the concept level: You're paying for a framework and tools and a sample of what this thing can do in the hands of a professional team of designers.

Based simply on the pack-in module, I can't recommend Neverwinter Nights 2 enough to RPG fans and those who follow the table-top gaming systems. Many other players will want to wait patiently for the mod scene to develop, but unless you're a complete no-RPG kind of guy or still enamored of your MMORPG of the week, you'll want to snag NWN2 eventually.

Source: Worthplaying

Wednesday - November 01, 2006

NWN2 - Designer Diary #6 & Movie @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 07:03

Rather than impressions or a review, GameSpot has a sixth and final NWN2 Designer Diary with executive producer Darren Monahan offering final thoughts and comments on the first patch, as well as movie with senior designer Tony Evans showing off fortresses:

By Darren Monahan
Executive Producer, Obsidian Entertainment

Hi folks! First off, thank you for taking the time to read the final developer diary for Neverwinter Nights 2--at least the last one before the game is available in stores (which is tomorrow morning at the time of this writing!). We're wrapping up our first patch, which goes live in a few hours for a same-day release with the game.

This first patch has a number of new goodies in it. First up is our initial release of the new Dungeon Master Client (DMC). The DMC is a powerful tool BioWare created in the original Neverwinter Nights that allows one or more players to act as a dungeon master, or DM. As a DM, a suite of tools are available for you to rapidly change content in a game, all while players are busy adventuring. The DMC being one of the multiplayer and persistent-world communities' most popular features, we're planning to continue to add more to it over the next couple patches, including interface refinements and even a few new features. With this patch, we've also included some new druid spells and fixed up a lot of things our community beta testers and quality-assurance folks have discovered along the way. For those of you picking up the game in the next few days, I highly recommend nabbing the patch.

NWN2 - First Impresssions @ IGN & GameSpy

by Dhruin, 06:59

Both IGN and GameSpy have first impressions up for NWN2.  Let's take a grab from IGN first:

Playing Neverwinter Nights 2 is more akin to playing Baldur's Gate II or Planescape: Torment than the original Neverwinter Nights. Fully controllable and equippable party members make a return, which makes a big difference for the single player portion of the game. We'd been told a significant chunk of developmental focus was being given to making NWN2's solo campaign more involved and after playing it for around 20 hours, it's proven to be a more entertaining experience.

...and then GameSpy:

 Fans of games like Baldur's Gate and KotOR will be happy to know that the depth of character interaction found in those milestone RPGs is present in Neverwinter Nights 2 in top form. Through the expansive dialog options available in most interactions, you're able to role-play your character in a variety of ways -- principled, miscreant, reserved, rambunctious, or what have you. Also, depending on what "social" skills you choose -- such as bluff, diplomacy, or intimidation -- you can change the outcome of certain scenarios, to the extent that you can even bypass combat in many situations. What's more, most of the characters that you can enlist have stories and conflicts of their own, and depending on how much work you put towards nurturing your relationship with them, you can experience encounters and scenarios unique to them.

NWN2 - Review @ JeuxVideo (French)

by Dhruin, 01:41

French site JeuxVideo is one of the first with a review of NWN2.  The score is 16/20 and thanks to Giiizmo who wrote in, here's an overview: "They found the campaign to be lacking in comparison to the Baldur's Gate series but it's still better than the original NWN campaign. The reviewer wrote that the greatest forte of the game is its replay value, thanks to the NWN toolset. Unfortunately, they found the eye candy to be lacking in the design department, lacking in originality."

Tuesday - October 31, 2006

NWN2 - 2 Minute View @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:14

RPG Vault has a 2 Minute View of NWN2:

The sequel incorporates a substantial amount of new D&D content such as eight playable races including sun elf, wood elf, drow, gold dwarf, duergar, svirfneblin, tiefling, aasimar, and strongheart halfling. Some other noteworthy additions are a half-dozen or more prestige classes, a four-member party, a crafting system, and a stronghold. As a still somewhat early impression based on around 12 hours of play, the story, characters and overall writing appear first-rate. The narrative seems suitably epic in scope; you rise from humble beginnings as an ordinary citizen of a remote village to become a mighty champion. An initial look at the editor suggests that we can probably expect to see lots of modules from the user community before very long.

NWN2 - Review @ GameInformer

by Dhruin, 22:46

GameInformer has a (very) short review of NWN2 with a score of 8/10:

The included campaign blows the first game’s story out of the water with a gripping tale of an evil cult that seeks Neverwinter’s destruction along the path to domination of all of Faerun. Players even have a decent amount of input, through the choices they make, over how the plot unfolds. However, the gameplay has a tendency to feel disturbingly similar to the original’s clunky framework. The interface is noticeably improved, but the odd way the engine assigns attacks of opportunity, as well as the horrid pathfinding and AI for both allies and enemies, are entirely unchanged. Under the hood, NWN 2 is almost identical to the original. While that’s not the worst thing in the world, asking for a little evolution in gameplay for a five-years-in-the-making sequel isn’t exactly unreasonable.

NWN2 - Shipping Updates

by Dhruin, 12:59

NWN2 should be turning up in NA stores today - we'll add the official announcements as soon as we get them.  Alternatively, those in NA can grab the Direct2Drive version now, which apparently is compatible with the standard retail patches according to a FAQ at NW Vault.

On the official forums there's news that the Australian release has been delayed a week to Nov 16th and another thread with the v1.01 patch notes.  This patch includes a beta version on the DM client, nine new spells for druids and a fix for lagging controls.  At this stage there don't appear to be any mirrors for the file but we'll update as they come to hand.

Update: Here's the official news:

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News) and Obsidian Entertainment today announced that the highly-anticipated Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2 has shipped to stores nationwide. Neverwinter Nights 2, the sequel to BioWare Corp.'s best-selling and genre-defining role-playing game, is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS - News), and will transport players back to the embattled city of Neverwinter. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro. Rated "T" for Teen, Neverwinter Nights 2 is available for Windows platform at a suggested retail price of $49.95.

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, Neverwinter Nights 2 features a new, extensive single-player game with deep character development and a powerful new toolset that provides players with unprecedented ability to create their own universes, quests and storylines. A limited edition of Neverwinter Nights 2 is also available at retailers nationwide for $59.95. Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition features a robust array of collectibles including exclusive in-game content such as a powerful new feat called Blessed of Waukeen that will grant a bonus to all saving throws, two special items, access to a unique weapon, and a magical golden aura that surrounds players' characters. A detailed cloth map showing in-game locations, a book of art depicting characters and scenes from the game and two silver antique rings (Good & Evil) are also included.

"Obsidian has delivered an outstanding sequel to one of the most beloved RPGs of all time," said Nique Fajors, Vice President, Sales, Marketing, Atari, Inc. "Neverwinter Nights 2 offers a deeply satisfying role-playing experience and a robust toolset that together will extend the life of the Neverwinter tales and bring more members to the community."

The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming.

More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at www.nwn2.com, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.

Source: NW Vault

Monday - October 30, 2006

NWN2 - Screens @ Sorcerer's Place

by Dhruin, 21:03

Sorcerer's Place let us know they have seven new NWN2 screens on offer.

Sunday - October 29, 2006

NWN2 - Screenshot diary @ PC Games

by Garrett, 09:40

German printmag PC Games has posted a screenshot diary of their first hours of NWN2. If you don't mind spoilers, continue to Diary entry #1 (Turorial, Chapter 1) or Diary entry #2 (still chapter 1).

Saturday - October 28, 2006

NWN2 - Sneak Peek #3: Crossroad Keep @ RPG Vault

by Kalia, 01:11

RPG Vault has a new sneak peek available regarding the locations of the Neverwinter Nights world. This time, the focus is Crossroad Keep:

There is more to the Keep than just the surface, however. Tunnels are said to run beneath it, an escape route for those inside should battles turn against them. Whether they had a chance to be used in the last war against the King of Shadows is unknown, but whatever devastated the Keep may have laid waste to what lay below as well.

Source: RPG Vault

Friday - October 27, 2006

NWN2 - Screenshots Aplenty!

by Kalia, 19:42

NWN 2 WarCry, NW Vault and Game Banshee all have scored exclusive screenshots for Neverwinter Nights 2. You can view them at the links listed. Enjoy!

NWN2 - Direct 2 Drive Preload Begins

by Kalia, 01:37

Direct 2 Drive has started preloading Neverwinter Nights 2 for preorder customers. The files can be downloaded any time between today and release day, October 31, but will be inaccessible until that time.

Source: NW Vault

Wednesday - October 25, 2006

NWN2 - Developer Chat @ NWN 2 WarCry

by Kalia, 02:33

NWN 2 WarCry announced the next developer chat with Obsidian Entertainment, developers of Neverwinter Nights 2 . The list of attendees will be announced in a day or two, but in the meantime, set Release Day Eve aside for an hour's discussion with the OE developers.

Get the IRC and/or java client details and times at NWN 2 WarCry.


Source: NWN 2 WarCry

NWN2 - Toolset Preview @ NWN 2 News

by Dhruin, 01:26

NWN 2 News dropped us a line to point out the first part of their NWN2 Toolset Preview:

The first time I ran the toolset I was struck by a sense of awe. On both the positive and negative sense of the word. On the positive side of things, the raw amount of new options you see from the start is amazing. Certainly the experienced custom content community and module builders are going to shout with excitement I have little doubt.

However, on the negative side of things, this is going to be a challenge for those new to NWN, and those that are not as well.

For those that used the previous toolset there are some steep learning curves to overcome. With no real wizards to speak of it just adds that much more complexity to the situation. I have little doubt there are going to be many casual builders who will be put off by this.

Part Two will apparently cover "monsters, stores, creating new blueprints, NWScript 2 and our final thoughts" and you can also grab new screens here.

Monday - October 23, 2006

NWN2 - Manuals Available for Download

by Dhruin, 23:12

Atari's German reps have pointed out the German NWN2 manual is available for download.  After experimenting, Avantenor let us know several others can also be accessed:

English

German

Spanish

French

Italian

Thanks, Avantenor!

NWN2 - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 23:05

CRPG.ru has their second batch of NWN2 screens from the final version they managed to get their hands on.  The screens show lots of interface elements, inventory, character screens and so on.

Sunday - October 22, 2006

NWN2 - The Enemies of Neverwinter @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:28

Ever read a love poem to a balor?  No? IGN's The Enemies of Neverwinter can fix that for you with a look at the balor in NWN2 and a bizarre poem to go with it:

What good is an RPG if there are no enemies to fight. What good is a battleborn hero without battle? No good we tell you! Thank the gaming gods for enemies that make the battle to save the planet fun and interesting. Obsidian Entertainment's Neverwinter Nights 2 takes these enemies to heart. So much to heart that they seem to have a love affair with a select few. Today, we bring you one of these loves and a poem inspired by his firey spirit. Neverwinter approacheth. Prepare yourself for battle.

Saturday - October 21, 2006

NWN2 - First Print Review @ GameStar.de

by Dhruin, 01:15

German mag GameStar seems to be the first to get a NWN2 review out, scoring 85%.   We can't tell you much about it but you can view thumbnails at GameStar where you can just make out the score.

Thanks to Avantenor and this thread on the Atari German forums.

Friday - October 20, 2006

NWN2 - Designer Diary #5 @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 04:05

Gamespot has another Designer Diary from Tony Evans, senior designer with Obsidian Entertainment. In this article, he gives his top ten list of features included in the new Electron Toolset:

2. Conversation Editor - There are enough cool things in the conversation editor that it could easily fill a developer diary of its own, so I will briefly describe a few or the more revolutionary things:

You can specify parameters on action and condition scripts. This means that many users can avoid having to write custom scripts of their own and can instead take advantage of the hundreds of multipurpose global scripts provided by Obsidian.

Instead of laboriously copying and pasting individual links in a conversation, you can use the "link to main question node" feature, which creates a set of several links that can be copied. The link will automatically update if you add or delete nodes in your conversation.

And if you need your NPCs to cycle through random lines of dialogue, you can use "make bark cycle" and it will automatically fill in the scripts for you.

1. Customizable Layout - If you don't like the way the toolset is laid out by default, you can change it however you like. Almost all of the windows in the toolset are mode-less, which means that you can, for example, have an area (or two or three), conversations, and scripts all open at the same time. Customizing your toolset is as simple as drag and drop. If you prefer a more streamlined appearance, you can easily hide window tabs and bring them back again with a single click.

Accompanying the article is a movie with Obsidian lead environmental artist, Tim Donley, who talks about the work that went into the environments - or you can dowload it from NW Vault who say "Scenes include dungeons, caves, castles and the docked boats which look really impressive."

Wednesday - October 18, 2006

NWN2 - Peek #2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 03:04
RPG Vault's latest NWN2 Peek visits "Old Owl Well, the only source of water along part of a major trade route":

This well is the only source of water for three days in any direction in the Sword Mountains, and has been a critical stop for merchants who trade along the east / west route between Yartar and Neverwinter City. No one has ever been able to discover the seemingly endless source of water that this well provides, encouraging rumors that its origins were less than natural.

Seven new screens accompany the article.

NWN2 - Location Peek "Old Owl Well" @ RPG Vault

by Kalia, 02:31
RPG Vault has kicked up the second installment in a series chronicling the places of importance in the Neverwinter Nights 2 world. The visit today is to "Old Owl Well", the only source of water along a major trade route:
This well is the only source of water for three days in any direction in the Sword Mountains, and has been a critical stop for merchants who trade along the east / west route between Yartar and Neverwinter City. No one has ever been able to discover the seemingly endless source of water that this well provides, encouraging rumors that its origins were less than natural.

Tuesday - October 17, 2006

NWN2 - GOLD!

by Kalia, 16:11

Atari and Obsidian Entertainment have announced that NWN 2 is finally gold!

Tuesday October 17, 8:00 am ET

- Highly-Anticipated Sequel Set to Ship October 31 in North America, November 3 in Europe -

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News) and Obsidian Entertainment today announced that the highly-anticipated Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2 has gone gold and is on schedule to ship to stores nationwide on October 31 in North America and on November 3 in Europe. Neverwinter Nights 2, the sequel to BioWare Corp.'s best-selling and genre-defining role-playing game, is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS - News), and will transport players back to the embattled city of Neverwinter. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro. Neverwinter Nights 2 will be released for the Windows platform.

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, Neverwinter Nights 2 features a new, extensive single-player game with deep character development and a powerful new toolset that provides players with unprecedented ability to create their own universes, quests and storylines

"Neverwinter Nights 2 has been an incredible game to produce, as we have aimed from the beginning to develop an immersive gaming experience that will satisfy both the RPG and modding communities," said Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian Entertainment's CEO. "Now that Neverwinter Nights 2 has gone gold, we are proud to say we are delivering a game that should exceed fans' expectations."

The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide(TM) and Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark(TM), have created nearly 4,000 modifications to the original game using the original, award-winning Aurora Toolset. A more robust toolset will be included with the release of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Monday - October 16, 2006

NWN2 - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 23:32

CRPG.ru let us know they received a final build of NWN2 from the Russian publisher and have posted the first batch of exclusive screens from their time with the game.

NWN2 - New PrC: The Warpriest

by Kalia, 17:12

NWN 2 WarCry has received some information about one of the new prestige classes for Neverwinter Nights 2. Warpriests are:

fierce, earthy clerics who pray for peace but prepare for war. Their strong wills, powerful personalities, and devotion to their deities make them fearsome combatants. Warpriests are most useful as members of parties fighting large battles, where their terrifying and inspirational abilities can have the greatest effect. Though clerics are the most likely characters to become warpriests, militant druids often follow the path as well. It is not unheard of for dedicated paladins and rangers to become warpriests, but it is quite rare.

Sunday - October 15, 2006

NWN2 - Toolset Troubles

by Corwin, 02:28

Seems there's plenty of problems with the much touted pre-release of the NWN2 toolset. First up, the official forums are running hot with many people complaining about major difficulties actually downloading the toolset. Part of this is due to it coming in nine separate files which frequently fail to download properly. Several took me three attempts before I had success.

Having finally overcome that hurdle, many, including myself faltered at the installation. Repeatedly the programme is having trouble loading and it took me several hours of reading forum posts and trying various solutions before I managed a successful install.

As if this wasn't enough, there are even more forum threads discussing the crashes which eventuate when people attempt to actually use the toolset to create content.

Unfortunately, the developers are too busy getting the actual game ready for release to be of much help, so for now, my advice is to wait till after release before facing the frustrations of the toolset.

Wednesday - October 11, 2006

NWN2 - Official Trailer #3 @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 21:29

Gamespot has another movie for your viewing pleasure. This time it is enticingly titled "Official Trailer #3". You can download and view the 17Mb (lo-res) movie here.

Source: GameSpot

NWN2 - Designer Diary #4 @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 08:19

Obsidian's Josh Sawyer has penned a new NWN2 diary for GameSpot, recounting his "top 10 coolest things in the Neverwinter Nights 2 official campaign":

2. Role-Playing - When I made my character, Sass Afrass, I gave her the tale-teller background trait. I decided to role-play this by "bluffing" (lying) any time I had the [LIE] or [BLUFF] options in dialogue, regardless of how terrible the results of failure might be. I had a lot of opportunity to do this! Also, I had a lot of opportunity to fail my bluff checks because I didn't put many points into bluff. Often, people got mad at me and attacked me with magic missiles, and my character slowly started telling the truth. I think my character learned a little something about honesty and I learned a little something about life!

NWN2 - Movies @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 01:31

Gamespot is featuring two new official movies, scintillatingly named Official Movie #4 and Official Movie #5. You can download them for free in low-resolution here.

Number 4, an interview with Chris Avellone, is approximately 25.5Mb in low res. He speaks to the visual ability of the game and customization of a player's companions. It's not a terribly long interview but it's interesting. Additionally, he speaks to the political and non-combative elements of the story and the monsters of Neverwinter and the Forgotten Realms.

Number 5 weighs in at about 15.5Mb and is an interview with lead scripter Charles Mead and scripter Brian Fox. The speak of the scripting involved with NPCs both in the game and using the toolset. They also speak some about the ambient light system and give a nice nod to the NWN 1 community and its advancements in the field. Placed waypoints also get some time on film.

Source: GameSpot

NWN2 - DragonCon Preview @ GamersInfo

by Dhruin, 00:01

Rounding out this batch of NWN2 news is a DragonCon preview at GamersInfo we missed last week. The article provides a general first-hand overview and here's an excerpt:

In fact, at one point you’ll even have the opportunity to get a stronghold. You can work on it, and the improvements you do to it will be reflected in how it looks and how it defends itself – because, of course, it’s not interesting to have a large stronghold if it’s not attacked!

This was one of the sample battles Chris showed me. From afar, there was the battering of siege engines up against his stronghold while his character and companions manned the walls, reinforcing the defenders and issuing orders. Large siege towers would push up against the walls and let out swarms of attackers to be dealt with. The sheer overload of the spells going off and other effects made the battle amazing to behold.

Tuesday - October 10, 2006

NWN2 - Diary Movie @ 3D Gamers

by Dhruin, 23:58

3D Gamers has a hi-res NWN2 dev diary. Here's their description:

Atari has released a new movie trailer for Neverwinter Nights 2 to show more of the 3D fantasy role-playing sequel being crafted at Obsidian Entertainment. This high-res diary movie runs for a bit over two minutes to cover the story telling features, the companions and more, complete with commentary from creative director Chris Avellone.

NWN2 - Peek #1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:57

RPG Vault kicks off the first of a series of Peek articles for NWN2, with this first offering an in-character story view of the city of Arvahn:

City of Arvahn

From the writings of Tarmas Wode, wizard of West Harbor.

Slumbering beneath the boughs of the Neverwinter Wood lies the fallen city of Arvahn, a place of carven stone and unspeakable secrets. I reached those tumbled ruins on the tenth day of Marpenoth, portaging up the Neverwinter River with a small band of hired Luskans. My companions were little more than cutthroats, but they were handy with their blades and spoke little... and of course, common Luskans are notoriously respectful of wizards.

Friday - October 06, 2006

NWN 2: Weapons & Armour Diary @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 00:44
Obsidian's Annie Carlson has penned a <a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/editorials/nwn2diary1.php" target="_blank">diary</a> for GameBanshee on using the NWN2 toolset to "create weapons and armor for two would-be heroes":<blockquote><em>Salutations! I come before you today to talk a bit of random nonsense, and possibly drop some info as well about the weapons and armor within the upcoming excellent game Neverwinter Nights 2. Having used our toolset to put together the majority of our weapons and armors, I feel I can say with a high degree of confidence that things are super-awesome. Which is to say: Obsidian has crafted a system wherein one can quickly learn how to make a really impressive weapon or armor in a very short amount of time a  an item that looks as plain or as fancypants as you want.</em></blockquote>

Thursday - October 05, 2006

NWN 2: Beta Toolset Screenshot Competition

by Dhruin, 23:42
NW Vault has the winning screens from a recent impromptu NWN2 closed toolset beta screenshot competition, which was judged by Obisidian employees and might give some tiny insight into what the community will be creating down the track.

NWN 2: Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 01:38
Nine new NWN2 screens are on offer at Worthplaying.

NWN 2: Tiefling Elite Class Preview @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 00:22
NW Vault has the first in a series of brief overviews of the Elite player races available in NWN2. This first one starts with the Tiefling and includes several in-game shots from character creation:
What the aasimar is to celestials, the tiefling is to demons. Spawn from evil outsiders, tieflings are often persecuted by the ignorant. They are not necessarily evil, though many are, and their supernatural abilities and power cause the weak to fear them. Like the aasimar, they lack a cultural identity. Tieflings can be identified by demonic physical features, such as horns or a tail.

Wednesday - October 04, 2006

NWN 2: The Baddies of NWN @ IGN

by Kalia, 03:51
IGN is the latest site sporting some exclusive material from the upcoming release of Neverwinter Nights 2. This time, IGN focuses on the bad boys and girls that will be found in this incarnation of Neverwinter City and environs:
Torio

How do you like your femmes? I bet a lot of you out there are saying "fatale" right now. A few of you are saying "not fatale, because that's overdone," but I don't see you coming up with any better ideas. Torio Claven, a manipulative Luskan diplomat skilled at rhetorical swordplay who bears no relation to the lovable Cheers character of the same last name, puts the "femme" into "femme fatale." Or the "fatale." Maybe both. Whereas Lorne would antagonize the PC by tearing off his or her head and dribbling it like a basketball (angrily), Torio's style is more to rip off the PC's head and dribble it like a basketball, but with words, and only figuratively.

Source: IGN

NWN 2: Designer Diary #3 @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 01:30
Gamespot has a new designer diary by Chris Avellone, Senior Designer with Obsidian Entertainment. He speaks of the incredible amount of flexibility in one's character creation and the ability to direct that character in any way imaginable:
One of the initial goals of Neverwinter Nights 2 we had here at Obsidian was to create an epic, cinematic storyline to drive you forward--to make you realize that you are not only advancing in level over the course of the game, but taking on increasingly advanced political and tactical challenges, as well. We wanted your decisions to prove important for not only yourself and your party, but also other prominent non-player characters and factions in the game, to the point where you can even change the balance of power within the city of Neverwinter itself.

Source: Gamespot

Tuesday - October 03, 2006

NWN 2: Preorder Toolset Available

by Dhruin, 12:48
After a messy interlude, the official NWN2 Preorder Toolset offer has now launched and those with preorder codes can download the NWN2 toolset. The launch itself was marked with delays and technical problems, including the preorder site countdown timer looping infinitely, file and authentication errors but now appears to be on track.

Posts on the various issues from community manager Shane Defreest can be found here and here and some user impressions of the toolset here. Thanks, Lucky Day.

NWN2 CE galore

by Garrett, 12:38
This NWN2 Wiki offers a nice overview which country's NWN2 CE offers what content...

Friday - September 29, 2006

NWN 2: Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:37
Worthplaying let us know they have five new NWN2 screens on offer.

NWN 2 Toolset Statement @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 09:40
From Atari's official NWN2 site comes a statement on the delayed toolset release:
Atari and Obsidian would like to address the delay of the toolset ship date. As many of you know, the beta tests for both the game and the toolset are interlinked. We are happy to say that both beta tests have been *VERY* helpful for us. The dev team is making a number of changes that the community has brought o our attention and has therefore pushed both the game and the toolset launch out by a couple of weeks. The idea behind our pre-sell toolset release was to get people excited, not frustrate people. It has been something of a bumpy road, but we're almost at the end, so your continued patience and support is much appreciated. Please expect the toolset to be available on October 1st and the game to be available on October 31st.

Thursday - September 28, 2006

NWN 2 Screens @ Shack News

by Kalia, 01:42
Shack News picked up six new screens released by Atari today. You can see them at the link above.

Source: Shack News

NWN 2 Dev Interview @ NWN 2 WarCry

by Kalia, 01:30
NWN 2 WarCry had the chance to submit a very extensive series of interview questions to NWN 2 Senior Producer Ryan Rucinski. The first part of the interview is presented above. Focusing on builder issues, Ryan said:
16. There was mention of the mini-map being able to be zoomed in or out. How far out can it be zoomed (per "tile" or can it show the whole area)?

RR: -RR: It won't show the entire area of a huge map. It has the approximate maximum of around 40 meters and zooms into about 10 meters.

Source: NWN 2 Warcry

Wednesday - September 27, 2006

NWN 2: Australian Release Date @ NW Vault

by Dhruin, 00:34
For our Australian readers, NW Vault has posted confirmation that the Australian release of NWN2 is November 9th - this is a street date, so it should be in stores on that Thursday.

Saturday - September 23, 2006

NWN 2: Sawyer on All Games Radio Podcast @ Official Forums

by Kalia, 00:52
Here's the official post from Shane:
And now for something completely different...

Bobby Blackwolf from All Games Radio conducted an interview with Josh on Monday morning at Dragon*Con. It aired this past Sunday night on All Games Radio, and is available on their podcast feed.

The episode page is here.


The direct download to the episode is here (06.mp3).

The interview starts at the 22:10 mark.

Enjoy!

-Shane

Source: Bioware

Friday - September 22, 2006

NWN 2 Toolset Prerelease Delayed @ Official Forums

by Kalia, 02:01
A post on the offial NWN 2 forums indicates that the "countdown" timer for the prerelease toolset download has been reset again. This time, there is no specified date mentioned in the text but the timer shows over nine days. You can see it here.

Source: Bioware

NWN 2 Companion Descriptions @ PC IGN

by Kalia, 00:54
PC IGN has a new article describing three of the possible companions one might find while journeying through Neverwinter.
Much like other RPG titles in the vein of Neverwinter Nights 2, many different traveling companions can be found over the course of the RPG adventure. They'll each have specific personality traits that govern what they're willing to take part in and what they're not. It'll also dictate how they react to certain situations and sometimes their reactions are out of the player's hands.

While these characters do have a personality of their own, they can be influenced. Much like the system in Knights of the Old Republic 2, players can nudge these characters in certain directions, including those that are counter their initial inclinations.

Source: NWN 2 Warcry

Tuesday - September 19, 2006

NWN 2 Delayed @ NW Vault

by Kalia, 01:51
NW Vault is reporting that Atari has confirmed NWN 2's delay to October 31, 2006. The game had previously been scheduled to be released on October 17, 2006.

Additionally, NW Vault has a new look and a counter in anticipation of NWN 2. Head over for a look.

Source: NW Vault

Sunday - September 17, 2006

NWN 2: Preview @ BytePress

by Dhruin, 22:41
Bytepess is the latest site with a <a href="http://www.bytepress.com/neverwinter-nights-2-preview-17092006.html" target="_blank">NWN2 preview</a>, with this one covering the history and build-up rather than new information about the game itself:<blockquote><em>Looking at 2006 as a whole, making note of what has come to pass and of what is expected to arrive, one can deem it a very good year for the CRPG market.<br><br>Be they pure-breeds or cross-overs, games like Gothic III, Oblivion, or Neverwinter Nights 2 have definitely allowed themselves much in the way of making fans wait. And while wea "!ve already seen what the latest Elder Scrolls installment is capable of, there is still the question of the rest.</em></blockquote>

Source: Blue's

Saturday - September 16, 2006

NWN 2 Toolset Prerelease Delayed @ NWN 2 WarCry

by Kalia, 02:54
NWN 2 WarCry has discovered that the advanced toolset download originally scheduled for Sunday, September 17th has been delayed to Friday, September 22nd.
"The NWN 2 Toolset will be available on Friday, September 22nd. In an effort to provide the best quality product possible, we have decided to delay availability by a few days."

Source: NWN 2 Warcry

Friday - September 15, 2006

NWN 2: Interview @ UGO

by Dhruin, 01:53
Here's an overlooked interview with Chris Avellone on NWN2 at UGO. It's fairly short with no new info, but Chris' answers are always worth a read:
UGO: What is it with you guys and BioWare? Are you, like, totally gonna get married or something?

CHRIS AVELLONE: Obsidian and Bioware have a wild, passionate relationship. We don't like to use conventional labels like "boyfriend" or "girlfriend," nor are we ready to date each other exclusively. We sometimes chat or call each other late at night if we're bored and want to go out for a drink, then maybe come back to each other's rooms for coffee, then... well, you know, we do a "sequel," if you catch my drift.

Seriously, Bioware's been really good to us. Our CEO, Feargus Urquhart, worked extensively with Ray and Greg - it's amazing how much I feel like I am referring to one entity every time I say "Ray and Greg" - when we were at Interplay, and we have a long history of using their engines in games at Black Isle. So doing both Neverwinter Nights 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was a great way to build Obsidian from a starting company to what it is today. We're very grateful to them, and they've been helpful throughout the process, and the vote of confidence they've given publishers in regards to us.

Source: NW Vault

Wednesday - September 13, 2006

NWN 2 Limited Edition Announced

by Dhruin, 23:27
Atari has announced a Limited Edition of Neverwinter Nights 2. Here's the press release:
Atari Announces Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition
Wednesday September 13, 9:00 am ET

NEW YORK, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News), one of the world's most recognized brands and leading third-party video game publisher, today announced the special limited edition version of the highly-anticipated Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2. In development by Obsidian Entertainment, Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONSA Forgotten RealmsA universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS - News), and will transport players back to the embattled city of Neverwinter. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro. Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2 Limited Edition, which includes various collectible items that further transport gamers into the Forgotten Realms universe, is available for pre-order at participating retail stores nationwide.

Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition includes a robust array of detailed collectibles such as:

  • A powerful new feat called Blessed of Waukeen will grant a bonus to all saving throws, two special items, access to a unique weapon, and a magical golden aura that surrounds players' characters.
  • Detailed cloth map showing in-game locations
  • Book of art, depicting characters and scenes from the game
  • Two silver antique rings: Good & Evil

    "The Neverwinter Nights 2 Limited Edition offers consumers extremely rich and unique collectibles that will further enhance the Neverwinter Nights experience," said Stephen Baer, Senior Product Manager, Atari, Inc. "Atari is pleased to include these specially-crafted items, such as the exclusive book of art, in the limited edition."

    The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide(TM) and Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark(TM), have created nearly 4,000 modifications to the original game using the original, award-winning Aurora Toolset. A more robust toolset will be included with the release of Neverwinter Nights 2.

    Neverwinter Nights 2 is scheduled for release in October 2006. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at http://www.nwn2.com/, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.
  • Tuesday - September 12, 2006

    NWN 2: Preorder Details - Early Toolset Access

    by Dhruin, 12:00
    Atari and Obsidian have announced the preorder offer for Neverwinter Nights 2, with early access to the Toolset the big drawcard. Here's the press release in full:
    NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2 TOOLSET AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AS PART OF ATARI'S PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN WITH SELECT RETAILERS

    NEW YORK - Sept. 11, 2006 - Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world's most recognized brands and leading third-party video game publisher, today announced that the Company will support a pre-order campaign for Neverwinter Nights 2 with Gamestop and Best Buy. In development by Obsidian Entertainment, the highly-anticipated Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Forgotten Realms universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), and will transport players back to the embattled city of Neverwinter. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro. The pre-order offer is available now and will give participating gamers exclusive access to the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset one month before the game is available. Additionally, the pre-order offer will include The Merchant's Friend, a special feature enabling players to obtain powerful items crafted especially for each of the 12 classes.

    "The Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset is groundbreaking software that provides players with the unprecedented ability to create their own universes, quests and storylines," said Stephen Baer, Senior Product Manager, Atari, Inc. "The Neverwinter Nights 2 community has been extremely supportive of the upcoming game and with this pre-order offer we hope to reward those who are particularly excited to experience the next installment of the Neverwinter epic tale."

    "Atari has certainly set the stage for a very exciting Neverwinter Nights 2 launch," said Hasbro Properties Group Senior Licensing Manager Jerry Chu. "The pre-sell toolset gives the millions of fanatic Neverwinter Nights players a jump start on the next epic tale and the keys to create new storylines with limitless quests and endings. The level of customized mods will be phenomenal."

    The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into 10 languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide and Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, have created nearly 4,000 modifications to the original game using the original, award-winning Aurora Toolset. A more robust toolset will be included with the release of Neverwinter Nights 2.

    Neverwinter Nights 2 is scheduled for release in October 2006. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at http://www.nwn2.com/, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.
    Thanks, Lucky Day.

    Wednesday - September 06, 2006

    NWN 2: DragonCon Report @ NW Vault

    by Dhruin, 23:34
    This one slipped by yesterday...NW Vault has a DragonCon NWN2 report with the writer presenting the answers to several questions in a Q&A-like format:
    Any info on what kind of additions are in store for the DM Client that weren't in the original Neverwinter Nights?

    Josh informed me that the DM interface will contain new features not included in the original Neverwinter Nights DM client, such as various Jump party capabilities, including Jump party to module. The DM client will also have a free camera mode, where the camera will be moved independently from the DM avatar. Josh added that a "Search" utility will be available in both the toolset and in the DM Client's Chooser.

    Wednesday - August 30, 2006

    NWN2: Cinematic @ CGSociety

    by Dhruin, 03:33
    Obsidian is pointing out an <a href="http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=3720&page=2" target="_blank">article and movie</a> at CGSociety that discusses the creation of NWN2's cinematics by Act3animation:<blockquote><em> Not many studios were able to produce the level of complexity in FMVs like what was done in a UNeverwinter Nights 2a "! (NWN2). To Act3animationa "!s credit, they won the contract and produced the NWN2 teaser for game publisher Atari over many US-based studios. <br> <br>Obsidian Entertainment (the game developer) and the Wizards of the Coast (the license owners of the Dungeons and Dragons universe) gave Act3animation fully detailed descriptions of the many elements of the game. Deciding what elements of the gamea "!s story to place in the trailer, and what could be left out, was the most difficult part of generating the production. The pressure to optimise the a Ubang for the bucka "! was motivated by budget constraints, the limits of what the characters can and cannot do, keeping to the story narrative, staying inside the a Ugame universea "!, and holding to what the crew could afford to do technically within the timeframe of the job.</em></blockquote>

    Sunday - August 27, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ 1 Up

    by Kalia, 22:43
    Another very standard preview of NWN 2 has popped up at 1 Up. Still every bit of news that is released is a good thing for the community.
    But the real delight of the game for most RPG fans will be the single player mode, which bears more resemblance to Baldur's Gate than to NWN. Gone are the bland henchmen-for-hire, and back are companions who have their own motives and alignments. Through the influence system of KOTOR II, the player character will please, surprise, and sometimes piss off her companions, and they may offer enthusiastic support, indifference, desertion, or perhaps even betrayal. Be careful, then, whom you party with.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    NWN 2 Developer Diary #2 @ Gamespot

    by Kalia, 18:57
    Gamespot has posted both an official movie and Designer Diary #2. You can download the movie here. Read the article here and download the accompanying video here.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    NWN 2 PAX Report @ NWN 2 WarCry

    by Kalia, 18:54
    NWN 2 WarCry staffers had a chance to sit down with Community Relations Manager Shane DeFreest and NWN 2 designer Annie Carlson.
    I freely admit, that my initial impression of NWN2 was that it was going to be primarily SP and there would be some token support for MP and little to no support for PWs. After this weekend, my opinion has drastically changed. Obsidian is most certainly supporting the MP/PW community and have been from the beginning. Actually, it seems to me, that this game was designed almost totally opposite to the norm. It looks as though they built the game to support MP first and as a byproduct to support a kick-arse SP campaign.
    Read it all at NWN 2 WarCry.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    NWN 2: Preview @ Worthplaying

    by Dhruin, 00:37
    Worthplaying has kicked up a <a href="http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=36523" target="_blank">preview</a> of NWN2, providing a general overview:<blockquote><em>The singleplayer campaign was built with an eye towards making the player feel like theya "!re part of an epic storyline. You can take various starting feats, such as Flirt, Troublemaker, or Wizarda "!s Apprentice, to determine your charactera "!s role in the village where you start and allow you to feel like youa "!re really a part of the world as it stands. Your alignment is determined fluidly by your actions, moving along an axis of Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos.</em></blockquote>

    Friday - August 25, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ Action Trip

    by Kalia, 18:28
    Another "no new news" article has turned up at Action Trip. Here's a portion of the write up:
    Near the end of the presentation the really good stuff was shown. Chris loaded up a level with a druid character and her party. The mighty female druid would use powerful spells to obliterate monsters and shapeshift into a giant bear near the end of the fight. The boss creature was an even bigger bear, which made the final fight quite spectacular.

    In the second massive single-player encounter, Chris was leading a high level mage and his party in the defense of fortress walls. The scene had a very epic feel to it. Not because it was loaded with polygons, but because the artists did such a great job with the background scenery - fires were burning in the distance and what looked like burning boulders were being hurled into the air.


    Read the rest at Action Trip.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    NWN 2: GC Screens @ Worthplaying

    by Dhruin, 00:05
    Worthplaying let us know about a handful of new NWN2 screens from the Leipzig GC.

    Sunday - August 20, 2006

    NWN 2: Preview @ Game Chronicles

    by Dhruin, 22:33
    A new <a href="http://www.gamechronicles.com/previews/pc/nwn2/nwn2.htm" target="_blank">preview</a> of NWN2 is up at Game Chronicles and covering standard territory. Here's a snip:<blockquote><em>In addition, companions in Neverwinter Nights 2 take full advantage of the gamea "!s complex influence system, which dramatically alters the player charactersa "! alignment and the worlda "!s reaction to the player based upon the actions and choices made during the course of game play. Just as the world will change based upon the playera "!s actions, companions will also react directly to the player charactersa "! alignment and the decisions they make. The more a companion trusts the player the more likely it will share its history, fears and even secrets. Likewise, the more divergent the playera "!s point of view is from a companion, the greater the potential for loss of influence and, in some cases, may even lead to the companion abandoning the player during gameplay.</em></blockquote>

    Source: Blue's

    Friday - August 18, 2006

    NWN 2: Interview @ GameDaily

    by Dhruin, 00:39
    GameDaily has quizzed Obsidian's Chris Avellone about NWN2 in an article format feature:
    The question of companion control came about, and Chris was ready to answer. "The fact that you actually have companion control directly allows you to approach situations much more tactfully than you did in the first game. You have to pay very close attention to the spell queue for your companions and who you want for them to attack. Because you have that sort of control over them, it makes your decisions almost three times as important as they were in the first game. Alternately, if you prefer not to take control of your companions, we do have an AI option for each of them, and the AI tends to be pretty smart as well."

    NWN 2 Interview @ Game Trailers

    by Kalia, 00:18
    Game Trailers has a new interview with Atari Senior Producer, Jon Galloway. No new information is in the video though there is a rather amusing scene with Atari personnel ostensibly playing NWN 2 with game controllers. They are NOT supported. LOL!

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Wednesday - August 16, 2006

    NWN 2: Preview @ Games Radar

    by Dhruin, 22:26
    Games Radar is the latest site to write up the recent viewing that revealed full details of the Stronghold in NWN2. Here's a snip from their preview:
    We've already covered some of the basics of this Dungeons & Dragons -themed RPG. Now, we've explored the character-creation system, which will offer 12 starting classes (fighter, cleric, ranger, etc.), plus 17 "prestige" classes - more specialized jobs that can be adopted later. A mage, for example, might become a necromancy-focused Pale Master, while a thief could become an assassin.

    We also got a look at the new Warlock class, which apparently comes with kickass destructive spells (we only saw one, but it involved laying down huge walls of flame, and that's cool by us).

    But probably the biggest change from the first Neverwinter Nights is that this time, you get a stronghold. About halfway through the game, you'll be given domain over your very own castle keep, which you can build up by recruiting specialized workers, soldiers and other hirelings. To help direct their energies, train them and generally keep things running smoothly, you'll give orders to a steward, who also looks after the place when you're away.

    NWN 2: GenCon User Toolset Report @ Official Forum

    by Dhruin, 02:48
    We don't often post user comments from forums but Sorcerer's Place pointed out a rather nice report from 'Lord Niah' who spent quite a bit of time with the NWN2 toolset at GenCon:
    First of all, I would like to thank the helpful folks at Obsidian entertainment for answering my questions and allowing me to play with the toolset. They were all very approachable and were even gracious enough to allow all comers to play with the game.

    As such, I had the great fortune to be able to spend extensive time with the toolset over my two days at GenCon. In fact, I was there so much that senior producer Ryan Rucinski joked that I was helping them demo the toolset.

    Here is my report, starting with the bad (though that is probably too strong a word for some of the issues) and ending with what I really liked about the toolset.

    Monday - August 14, 2006

    NWN 2: Official Gameplay Trailer @ Worthplaying

    by Dhruin, 22:33
    Head to Worthplaying for a 33Mb gameplay trailer for NWN2.

    NWN2 Collectors Edition Contents

    by Garrett, 21:17
    Speaking of Collectors Editions, Gamestop has the content of the Neverwinter Nights 2 Collectors Edition:
    * Limited Edition Content:
  • A powerful new feat called Blessed of Waukeen, which will generate +1 bonus to all saving throws,
  • Two special items
  • Access to a unique weapon
  • A magical golden aura which lights above your character
  • Cloth map showing in-game locations
  • Book of art, depicting characters and scenes from the game
  • Two silver antique rings: Good & Evil
  • NWN 2 Preview @ IGN

    by Kalia, 13:38
    On the heels of the fan storm of information, 'big' news sites are beginning to release previews of NWN 2. IGN is one of the first out the gates with their write up:
    There's certainly more going on in Neverwinter Nights 2 than dungeon crawling. We haven't even scratched the surface of the intricately detailed toolset that lets players replicate anything in the game for their own mods. Expect more before this title hits stores this October.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Sunday - August 13, 2006

    NWN 2 Dev Interview @ NWN 2 WarCry

    by Kalia, 00:30
    NWN 2 WarCry has posted an interview with Feargus Urquhart with a basic discussion of the upcoming release of Neverwinter Nights 2.
    We then went into battle where Feargus pointed out the Mode Bar. Here in the right hand corner of the screen are the special abilities of a character such as bard skills or rogue's stealthing. Spell casting effects were looking amazing, especially those of a few area of affect spells such as fireball and ice storm (I believe that was what it was). Druids and the shapeshifting ability was a feature I had not seen before and was quite cool. I really do believe I would consider running from a Druid that came in looking like one mean Dire Wolf.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    Saturday - August 12, 2006

    NWN 2 Updated Impressions & Movies @ Gamespot

    by Kalia, 19:12
    Gamespot has uploaded four gameplay movies from a demo at GenCon and updated their impressions article.
    And those who enjoy a good story with memorable characters to go with their hacking and slashing will likely spend a great deal of time exploring and enjoying the adventuring party system in Neverwinter Nights 2's single-player game. You'll be able to create an adventuring party with up to four characters (your original character plus three companions), and you'll have full control over each one's actions if you care to take it. Though you can control only one character at a time, in battle, for instance, you can pause the game and switch control to a different character whenever you like. You can also control your characters' advancement by choosing different feats and skills as they gain levels, manipulate their inventories, and equip them with different items.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    Friday - August 11, 2006

    NWN 2 Site Updates, Screens & Movies @ NWN 2 WarCry

    by Kalia, 22:14
    NWN 2 WarCry has been updated with several general Neverwinter Nights 2 newsbits. First, NW Vault has posted an interview with the developers from GenCon. Secondly, the official NWN 2 site has been updated with a picture and description of the Dire Boar. Last, Austicke from NWN 2 Wiki has attended GenCon and has posted some videos and a BUNCH of pictures of the demo he played during the conference.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Thursday - August 10, 2006

    NWN 2: Screens @ NWN2 News

    by Dhruin, 22:49
    NWN2 News let us know they have posted a large gallery of apparently new NWN2 screens.

    Friday - August 04, 2006

    NWN 2 MP & Toolset Beta Tests @ NWN 2 WarCry

    by Kalia, 03:15
    NWN 2 WarCry is reporting that both a multiplayer beta test and a toolset beta test have been announced on the official forums. Head over for the details and the system requirements.

    Source: NWN 2 WarCry

    Tuesday - August 01, 2006

    NWN 2 Urquhart Interview @ C&VG

    by Kalia, 00:23
    Once again, NWN 2 news hound Spinoza dug up an NWN 2 interview at Computers & Video Games. Feargus Urquhart must have been quite busy last week as he is again the subject of the interview. Here's a piece on the strongholds:
    ROCK AND BONE
    So far, so impressive, but what's really moistening our lips is the game's all-new Stronghold System. Starting off with just a smallholding, you'll soon find yourself presiding over a burgeoning fortress that can be upgraded in a variety of aesthetic and military ways. You'll also be able to bolster its defensive capabilities by recruiting new warriors to your cause, which is just as well given that your stronghold will become Neverwinter's last line of defence against the tide of darkness that threatens the city's very existence. "Who you meet, how you treat them and how you solve their problems determines what recruits you can gather to help defend your stronghold," remarks Avellone. "You can also have miners, farmers and architects join your ranks to improve your home base."

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Monday - July 31, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ Firing Squad

    by Kalia, 13:44
    Firing Squad has posted an interiew with Feargus Urquhart.
    FiringSquad: How hard is it to develop a game that not only has the D&D franchise behind it but also a previous game developed by BioWare?

    Feargus Urquhart: The funny thing is that we don't really worry about those two things as much as you'd think. That may sound arrogant, but it's because we have one other thing that is WAY more looming to us and that is the community. The NWN 1 community is something that we talk about pretty much every day and they really impact almost every decision we make. You could say the same about D&D and Bioware, but we've worked with both of them for so long that knowing what to do there is somewhat second nature. The community on the other hand have an incredible number of good ideas an expectations. Knowing we have to live up to so many of those expectations can be pretty stressful.


    Read the rest at Firing Squad.

    Source: Shack News

    Friday - July 28, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ Gamespy

    by Kalia, 02:28
    Gamespy has posted a preview of NWN 2. The writer, Li Kuo, got a chance to get a look at a demo and Gamespy has updated their 'first look' at the game. Here's a piece:
    When gamers bring the camera in tight to the main character, they'll see the individual links in his chain mail, the ornamental carvings on his helmet and the texture of his boots. When players walk indoors, they'll see the weave of a rug or the stones that make up a humble fireplace. When they walk outside, they'll see trees with individual leaves and grassy plains that'll make them want to take off their shoes and run barefoot like a little kid. But all that is nothing once they start casting spells. The Shield of Faith spell results in a transparent bubble that surrounds the player, and it looks as if you could reach into the screen and pop it with your finger. Eye-popping 3D effects will turn any magical spell-slinging battle into a fireworks display straight out of the 4th of July. I can't name all the snazzy particle and lighting effects being used, but I can tell that they're spectacular.

    Source: Gamespy

    Thursday - July 27, 2006

    NWN 2: Preview @ 1Up

    by Dhruin, 01:04
    A rather short preview of NWN2 from Comic Con is up at 1Up:
    Further, the party system is being expanded, allowing up to four characters to join your quests, and up to seven summoned creatures to be under your control, in addition to specific story based characters which will pop up from time to time. The game will utilize the Knights of the Old Republic 2 character influence system, which will affect how the party members will work with you.

    Sunday - July 23, 2006

    NWN 2 Summer Tour

    by Dhruin, 00:03
    From <a href="http://www.obsidianent.com/nwn2_tour.html" target="_blank">Obsidian</a> comes news of a NWN2 roadtrip:<blockquote><em>Atari, Inc (Nasdaq: ATAR) and Obsidian Entertainment today announced plans to visit and demonstrate the highly-anticipated Neverwinter Nights 2 at several consumer conventions this summer. Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONSA Forgotten RealmsA universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and will transport players back to the embattled city of Neverwinter. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro. <br> <br>The Neverwinter Nights 2 Summer Tour will include guest appearances, speaking engagements and product demonstrations at several popular consumer conventions, including San Diegoa "!s Comic Con, Gen Con in Indianapolis, Seattlea "!s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) and Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Attending fans will be treated to in-depth demonstrations of the Neverwinter Nights 2 single-player campaign, its multiplayer capabilities, as well as tutorials of the immensely powerful toolset that will ship with the game this fall. <br> <br>Obsidian Entertainment attendees will include founders Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone, and Darren Monahan, as well as senior producer Ryan Rucinski and designers Josh Sawyer and Annie Carlson. Fans will receive the opportunity to interact with the Obsidian team a  the video game developers behind some of the most well-known role-playing franchises of all time a  including Baldura "!s Gatea c, Neverwinter Nights, Planescape: Tormenta c, Icewind Dalea c, Fallouta c and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic IIa c.</em></blockquote>Hit the link to read the schedule details.

    Wednesday - July 19, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ Gaming Nexus

    by Kalia, 21:35
    <a href="http://www.gamingnexus.com/Default.aspx?Section=Article&I=1121">Gaming Nexus</a> has posted a preview of NWN 2 (thanks Spinoza!). There's not much new information:<blockquote><b>GamingNexus: There have been some great modules developed by the community with the first game. How excited are you to see what the people out there will do with your game? Do you think you'll be able to release some toolsets before the official game is release so some modders can start generating content for the game?<br><br>Ryan Rucinski</b>: I am actually very excited about see what the community can do with our Tools. Every time we do a demo or a behind the scenes sort of thing we always get a SHoly Jeeza ? type of response. We arena "!t holding anything back from the public. Everything that we used to create the game will be included in retail. You will have the exact same ToolSet we used to make our levels and the content within.<br><br>As for the release of the ToolSet, that is unknown at this time. So that is a maybe.</blockquote>

    Source: Official forums

    Tuesday - July 18, 2006

    NWN 2 Shipping Delay @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 17:24
    According to NWN 2 Warcry (via Eurogamer):
    In an not-so-unexpected announcement, Atari revealed that NWN 2 will be slightly delayed to facilitate a simultaneous worldwide release. The game will be released on October 20th rather than the expected September 19th. Neither good nor bad news really, just unsurprising.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Friday - July 14, 2006

    NWN 2 Developer Visit Pt. 3 @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 21:14
    Part three of the NWN 2 Warcry visit to the offices of Obsidian Entertainment is posted. This time it covers tinting in the toolset, combat animations and races/classes/PrCs.
    The ability to change colors and apply highlights right "out of the box" is huge and available right off the bat. The color palette is broad and the interface for choosing colors is very easy to use and apply to creatures and objects. As environmental artist Scott Everts told us at the beginning of the day, the toolset is the same one that the developers use. If it looks good in the game as created by the developers, it can be done by 'casual' users as well.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Thursday - July 13, 2006

    NWN 2 Developer Visit Part 2 @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 01:10
    <a href="http://nwn2.warcry.com/#55942">NWN 2 Warcry</a> has posted the second installment of their visit to the Obsidian Entertainment offices, developers of Neverwinter Nights 2. <blockquote><em>The main thing readers NEED to know is that these men are passionate about this game and they believe in what theya "!re doing. They face incredible pressure on all sides yet can sit down and calmly and intelligently discuss the game. They are patient and gracious people and their dedication to this game is outstanding. People NEED to know that about them.</em></blockquote>

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Tuesday - July 11, 2006

    NWN 2 Developer Visit @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 21:22
    NWN 2 Warcry had the opportunity to visit the Obsidian Entertainment developers at their offices. They are currently working on Neverwinter Nights 2. Here's a portion of today's article:
    Scott showed us concrete examples of each of the above using the toolset. He is a very articulate teacher and very passionate about his craft (and coffee!). The impression he left me with is that the toolset is a highly polished piece of software that is going to open the floodgates of creation. Yes, the learning curve is high but once mastered, it should give modders and builders an incredible opportunity to create professional modules and worlds for players.

    Wednesday - July 05, 2006

    NWN 2: Two Collector's Editions?

    by Garrett, 16:09
    Acc. to this Italian website, there will be two collector's editions of Neverwinter Nights 2, a "Chaotic Evil" and a "Loyal Good". The site says, the install and start screen will also be different and the game contains a good or an evil figurine from the D&D universe. Other content included in both editions:
  • Game DVD
  • Manual
  • 2 CDs with Soundtrack & Artworks
  • A Ring (?)
  • A sketchbook
  • A Poster
  • NWN 1 incl all extensions
  • 10 day trial D&D Online client
  • Click the above Link for the Covers but please note, that neither of the above info has been approved nor denied by Atari yet!

    Source: Gamestar

    Wednesday - June 28, 2006

    NWN 2: Mini-Preview @ Armchair Empire

    by Dhruin, 22:35
    The Armchair Empire has a very short preview of NWN2 that looks to summarise existing material:
    One of the few complaints players had with the first game and its expansions was the generic look of many of the levels. Because the game used tile-based level construction for both indoor and outdoor levels, things tended to look blocky and similar. Of course, this limitation was by design as Neverwinter Nights was meant to be very mod-friendly and the tile-based level design meant throwing together a scenario for a group of friends to play through was a simple process. To give the new game a more dynamic look, Atari is implementing the use of height maps for the outdoor levels which will allow for more creativity and variety without affecting the mod scene adversely.

    NWN 2 Sound Studio Interview @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 19:41
    89077">From the official forums</a>: Site user Adam Miller posted a link to Gamer's Info and an interview they conducted recently with <a href="http://www.heavymelodymusic.com/">Heavy Melody Music</a>, the people in charge of the sounds, voice acting and music for NWN 2. <br><br>Here's a portion of the interview:<blockquote><b>GamersInfo.net: How many voice actors are contributing to NWN2? Anyone we know from TV, movies or other games?</b><br><br>Heavy Melody Music: Wea "!ve hired between 50 and 60 actors to play approximately 200 characters a  and thata "!s no small task. The great thing about doing this in New York City is that there is a wealth of theatrical talent from the big Broadway productions to choose from. We even auditioned some Tony Award winners. Thata "!s very important for a game like NWN2 because those actors are accustomed to the dramatic Shakesperian style deliveries that it calls for. Whereas in LA and other cities, the actors in the talent pool often focus on TV and film and are used to much quicker, snappier deliveries that dona "!t work as well. </blockquote> Read the rest at <a href="http://www.gamersinfo.net/index.php?art/id:1182">Gamer's Info</a>.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Tuesday - June 27, 2006

    NWN 2: Interview @ NWN2HQ

    by Dhruin, 01:43
    NWN2HQ has interviewed a straight-to-the-point Chris Avellone on a variety of NWN2 items:
    What can we expect in terms of a single player campaign? Will it be a vastly open experience, best likened to Oblivion? Or will there be more linear, story-driven gameplay?

    Avellone: The single/multiplayer campaign does have branching in parts, but there are a number of chokepoints throughout the game the player must pass through to progress.

    Source: NW Vault

    Saturday - June 17, 2006

    NWN 2 Developer Chat Announced @ Official Forums

    by Kalia, 00:04
    From the official forums:

    NWN 2 News is proud to host the June NWN 2 developer chat. It will be held Thur. June 29th @ 1800 PST (2100 EST) on the irc.nwn2news.net IRC server in #NWN2

    Also located via Java client http://www.nwn2news.net:8000

    Source: Bioware

    Friday - June 16, 2006

    NWN 2 - Urquhart E3 Interview @ g4mers

    by Kalia, 16:09
    RPG Dot user, McDoomer, sent along the following newsbit:
    There's a new dev interview of NWN2 around.

    Feargus Urquhart Interview


    Thanks, McDoomer!

    Tuesday - June 13, 2006

    NWN 2 Developer Clarification for PWs @ Official Forums

    by Kalia, 17:44
    As revealed by Papermonk during his recent visit with Obsidian Entertainment developers, certain aspects of a persistent world's module would need to be stored locally on a player's machine. This caused quite a bit of concern on the official forums as pointed out by RPG Dot reader, Lucky Day. In response to the concern, OE executive producer, Darren Monihan had this to say:
    We just wanted to clear up some rumors and/or misconceptions about what a client will need in order to play a multiplayer or persistent world game in NWN2.

    We are making every effort to prevent the need for the server(s) to distribute scripts, dialogs, or any other proprietary data to the client so that it can be examined or reverse engineered.

    The key thing we need to distribute to the client is the walkmesh for the level, which is data that tells the game how and where people can walk, as well as pathfinding information. This doesn't include scripts or any other text assets.

    Hope that clears things up a little bit.
    Read the community response here.

    Source: Bioware

    Saturday - June 10, 2006

    NWN 2 - Two Prestige Classes Revealed @ NWN 2 Warcry

    by Kalia, 02:10
    Papermonk, staff member on assignment for NWN 2 News at A-KoN, had a chance to sit down and talk with NWN 2 developers. In the discussion, two new PrCs were revealed:
    • Eldrich Knight
    • Warpriest


    And I'll give more detail later about the whole thing - but, wow. Just.. wow. The videos, the shots - none of that begins to do the game justice and it will rock your world.
    Read it at Warcry and participate on the official forums. More will be forthcoming as well at NWN 2 News in the near future.

    Source: NWN 2 Warcry

    Friday - June 09, 2006

    NWN 2 - 5 New Screens @ NWN2.fr

    by Kalia, 02:18
    NWN2.fr has scored five new screenshots from the upcoming RPG, Neverwinter Nights 2. You can see them here (with French text).

    Source: NWN2.fr

    Monday - June 05, 2006

    NWN 2 Preview @ Total Video Games

    by Kalia, 21:44
    Another preview has popped up, this time at Total Video Games, interviewing Chris Avellone, senior designer. Nothing terribly new but still a good read, as are most of the interviews. Here's a bit:

    Could you also go into a little detail about the creatures through Neverwinter players can expect to come across?

    We've chosen monsters not only for their involvement in the story, but for their usefulness to the mod community. If I were to cite a specific creature, I guess I would point to the Succubus, since it has popularity hereto unseen by most denizens of the monstrous manual. This is probably because they "attack" most victims through a means they find pleasurable. If you have to die, it's a hell of a way to go. You may not even mind seeing the death screen as long as you took screenshots of what happened shortly before your character's death, who knows.

    Source: NW Vault

    Saturday - June 03, 2006

    NWN 2 - Community Update #11 @ Official Forums

    by Kalia, 03:03
    <a href="http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=483585&forum=95">Community Update #11</a> has been posted on the official forums. <br><br>Questions answered by Senior Producer Ryan Rucinski:<br><br><blockquote><em>1) Will the encounters be scaled to the players level or of static difficulty?<br><br>RR: The ability to scale the encounters is there much like NWN1. For the single player campaign, though, we know how much experience the character could possibly have and make sure encounters are the appropriate level.<br><br>If the player wanted to play the single player campaign again from the beginning with a level 20 guya Well, I feel sorry for the Goblins because they will get a fast trip to the hurtlocker.<br><br>However, if someone wanted to change the module in the ToolSet and have it scale accordingly it would take into consideration the level of the character(s), the size of the party, etc.</em></blockquote>

    Source: Bioware

    Friday - June 02, 2006

    NWN 2 - Developer Diary #1 @ Gamespot

    by Kalia, 02:13
    Gamespot has uploaded the video previously leaked out this morning as part of beginning their developer diary series for NWN 2. Along with the video, which incidentally has some VERY nice animations, etc., are other screenshots and a text article as well.

    Here's a snip, this installment written by designer Chris Avellone:

    The creatures aren't the only thing we're showcasing in the game, though. Few models have received the same amount of attention as the player character models themselves, and we allow a broad spectrum of character visual options for you to adjust as you see fit to get the type of character you want. You can select hair color, highlights, skin tone, eyes, and even more with each player character and customize them until they look and feel like your character. But the visual look alone is only half of it. We also allow for a number of new base classes (warlock) and a range of prestige classes (among them Shadow Thief of Amn and Arcane Trickster) to define your character the way you want and choose the career path you want. In addition to the warlock, we have the classic range of D&D professions, such as the fighter, ranger, paladin, rogue, druid, priest, wizard, sorcerer, and more, and even familiars and animal companions to accompany you on your adventures.

    Source: Gamespot

    Thursday - June 01, 2006

    NWN 2 - Developer Chat Log @ NWVault

    by Kalia, 03:50
    The NWN 2 developer chat is now complete. Hosted by NWC and NW Vault you can view the chat log here. Here's a snip:
    sidefx: Will HiPS work the same as NWN1 or can you give us details of what the changes might be?

    [OEI]JESawyer: We are currently re-working our stealth mechanics and HiPS is tied up in that. Sorry I can't give specifics right now.

    [OEI]AnthonyD: what we can say about HIPS so far is that when you attempt to use HIPS, it will force anyone who has LoS on you to re-perform their detect stealth check.

    Source: NW Vault

    Wednesday - May 31, 2006

    NWN 2 Chat Reminder @ NW Vault

    by Kalia, 04:40
    A reminder about Wednesday's developer chat with the developers of NWN 2:
    If you missed the chat last week where we tried to chat with Obsidian about NWN2, you're in luck! Due to a technical problem we're going to hold it this week on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 at the same time, 6pm PST / 9pm EST / 1am GMT. Here's the connection info:

    IRC server: chat.neverwinterconnections.com
    Channel: #NWVAULT_NWC_CHAT
    Date: Wednesday, May 31st
    Time: 6pm PST / 9pm EST / 1am GMT

    If you have no idea on how to connect to IRC you can use the web chat client at NWC which only requires you to log in.

    Bring your questions and we hope to see you there!

    Source: NW Vault

    Information about

    Neverwinter Nights 2

    Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

    SP/MP: Single + MP
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: RPG
    Combat: Pausable Real-time
    Play-time: 40-60 hours
    Voice-acting: Partially voiced

    Regions & platforms
    World
    · Homepage
    · Platform: PC
    · Released at 2006-10-31
    · Publisher: Atari