Neverwinter - Interview @ Gamasutra
Jack Emmert has been interviewed at Gamasutra, again spending a fair bit of time explaining what Neverwinter isn't and not so much explaining what it is:
So was Neverwinter originally conceived as a co-op RPG, or as an MMO?
JE: Neverwinter was, at least initially... I'll be honest, my initial version is far different. My initial version was a flat-out MMO that would essentially be different zones in Neverwinter, and there would be various entrances and critters scattered throughout. And my initial idea -- and again, we flushed this down the toilet because this was a while ago -- but it was essentially going to be a dungeon that would be instanced between you and your friends. Any real story, per se, was all about exploration.
And there would be stories you would stumble upon, like, "Oh hey, these goblins are trying to relocate the tribe," or "Oh hey, these bandits are trying to look for a particular artifact." But you wouldn't go to a contact to get a mission, per se, as you would in World of Warcraft or Champions Online or whatever. It would be more exploration. But we decided that it would be something else, and I'm entirely for that, because it makes sense.
Thanks, Lucky Day!