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Obsidian developing Neverwinter Nights 2


Romier S
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Yep you read right, Bioware has handed off another one of its previously developed series to Obsidian Entertainment. Work on Neverwinter Nights 2 has begun with Bioware consulting and providing its Aurora Toolset. You can read more here:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/neverwinter...ws_6104090.html

 

For a company that is barely a year old, Obsidian Entertainment is awfully busy. In May, the fledgling studio inked a deal to develop the sequel to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare's award-winning Xbox and role-playing game. Today, Obsidian announced it is taking the reigns of another of BioWare's flagship RPG series, Neverwinter Nights. As with its predecessor, Neverwinter Nights 2 will be published by Atari, with BioWare providing its Aurora Toolset and creative consulting.
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  • 1 year later...
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Some screenshots are finally starting to make it out for NWN2. Obsidian has a good range of shots and render art available. Take a look:

 

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More shots can be found here:

 

Neverwinter Nights 2 Screenshots

 

It looks like Obisidian gave the Aurora Engine a nice visual upgrade, though there are some small oddities here and there. Still, I'm liking the look of it. Now, I'd love some news as to what gameplay changes we can expect.

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The screenshots look promising.

 

Considering how they botched the sequel to KOTOR, which was a better game in the first place, I'm somehow unenthusiastic.

 

I wouldn't go that far. I honestly think they were rushed with KOTOR2...it came out so soon after KOTOR. They were pressured to get it out there which is why the last quarter of the game or so suffered. Up until then I thought it was awesome...and they improved on the dark/light stuff with how it affected your party members.

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I wouldn't go that far. I honestly think they were rushed with KOTOR2...it came out so soon after KOTOR. They were pressured to get it out there which is why the last quarter of the game or so suffered. Up until then I thought it was awesome...and they improved on the dark/light stuff with how it affected your party members.

 

I could buy the "rushed" excuse if it wasn't for two other things:

 

A) I hated the influence system, at least as implemented. It prevented me from getting to know my crew members like I could in the first came since opportunities to gain influence were too few, and you never knew where they would be either. To gain enough influence to get the full story from a character, you'd have to play with them the entire game, and make descisions based off of what they would like rather than what you wanted to do.

 

This was important by itself, but when you combine this with the fact that it was the only real innovation from the first game, it doesn't speak well of Obsidian at all.

 

B) While being rushed didn't help, the story was a mess from the start. Keira was never given any believable motivation that would fit her actions throughout the game. They were also obviously trying to put in some kind of twist like the first game had, but could never figure out what they wanted it to be. The result was a great deal of build up in all sorts of directions that led nowhere. A good example is how they built up the question of "what was said by the council after the video stopped" and the answer turned out to be, "oh, nothing." The basic fundamentals of the story should have been written a lot earlier in the development process. If they show signs of being rushed, it means that they were making it up as they went along, which means it probably would have sucked anyway. Another problem was your character's strength: he was supposed to be an older jedi who was already a veteran. He was never anything special then, but by the end of the game he was more powerful than Darth Revan. This never fit in the story.

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  • 3 months later...

Updated preview of the game here. Looking better and better! I like this quote especially:

 

Now fans of Neverwinter Nights will remember the party system, which, if we?re honest, left a little to be desired. Your fellow adventurers were pretty much autonomous beings outside of your control. In a fight it was almost like you were having a scrap with some other people who just happened to be in the same scrap with you, even though you were all fighting a common enemy. That?s all changed now as you have complete and total control over anyone who joins your party. You can do everything to any party members that you can do with your own character, from choosing which weapons they have ready to deciding what they do in battle.

 

Sounds like they are incorporating a party system closer to KOTOR than the original NWN, where you can equip each character and decide their action sequence in a fight. I never played the KOTOR sequel that Obsidian developed but I was a big fan of the combat system in the first Knights game and if that's what they are shooting for here I will be happy.

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If you're going to play BG, I'd recommend also picking up BG2 and installing a mod called BGTutu. It's a mod that makes the BG2 engine use the BG1 data instead of the BG2 data. That way, you can play Baldur's Gate 1 with Baldur's Gate 2 rules and graphics. BG1 is only at a resolution of 640x480, so the mod converts BG1 to 2 (hence the name Tutu, helps if you say it out load).

 

You can take the same character through both games, thus starting BG2 at the same level you finished BG1 with. Although, with the BG2 rules, your character can get quite powerful by the end of BG1, and it kind of ruins the final battle by making it too easy.

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Although, with the BG2 rules, your character can get quite powerful by the end of BG1, and it kind of ruins the final battle by making it too easy.

BG2 wasn't too bad as far as the high levels are concerned. If you install the expansion (Throne of Bhaal) was ridiculous. You could push up past level 40 or some ungodly number. I consider Baldur's Gate II the better game though. BGI has it's place, but II is just pure RPG paradise.

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Well, if he finds BG1 it will probably be one of those packages that comes with BG1, BGII, and the expansions to both. They're all worth playing, so it's good times.

 

There are two things that made me like BG1 better than BGII:

 

First off, BG1 lets you have more freedom to explore the gameworld. It was fun to just head off into an area that had no relevance to any major quest and just see what kind of neat mini quests or encounters were out there.

 

Second, BG1 had more options in terms of your party. BGII had too few joinable NPCs, and a lot of the ones that they did have were a bit... annoying.

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First off, BG1 lets you have more freedom to explore the gameworld. It was fun to just head off into an area that had no relevance to any major quest and just see what kind of neat mini quests or encounters were out there.

True, but I also found the original had a distinct lack of visual variety for the most part. There was a lot of "sameness" to the towns and outlying wilderness. That's one area Baldur's Gate II really wins me over. The game just has such a wonderful sense of art direction and the variety of cities and locales you visit really helps the experience.

 

Second, BG1 had more options in terms of your party. BGII had too few joinable NPCs, and a lot of the ones that they did have were a bit... annoying.

The reduction of NPC's was a bit disappointing, yeah. As long as Minsc is in the party though, all is well.:D

 

As you said though, if you pick up the first you'll more than likely be getting the second game regardless. All is good. If anyone is looking for something more action oriented, the Icewind Dale series is definitely worth looking at. It uses the same engine as Baldur's Gate (the Infinity Engine) and thought not as strong in the story department, both Icewind titles are really fun.

 

(...and you didn't think I'd go through a thread without mentioning Planescape Torment did you?;) )

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  • 2 months later...

Bump

 

I've just now heard that NWN2 will let you control your whole party. I assume ala Baldur's Gate II? BG2 is one of my favorite games EVER. Probably in my top 3. Of course I never seem to finish it, 'cause it's so damn long. I think I was on chapter 6 or something last time I stopped playing.

 

I'm all ears for this, all of the sudden.

 

Now all they need to do is bring back Minsc!! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Delayed from September to October...

 

http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/static/EEVFkFZZZVZnpqFwJq.php

 

“Given the sheer size and scope of Neverwinter Nights 2 and its 50 to 60-hour single player campaign, it was decided to move the global release date of Neverwinter Nights 2 out a month to late October. This extra time is invaluable as it allows fine tuning and polishing of both the single and multiplayer experiences to ultimately deliver a game that exceeds the tremendous expectations of the Neverwinter Nights fanbase.”

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  • 2 months later...

Planescape Trilogy for NWN2

 

O.k. if you were even thinking of getting Neverwinter Nights 2 - you now have No Excuses left... :) This is Oustanding news as far as I'm concerned and I have to say - I'd buy it for the Planescape modules alone... The fact that I get a nice Neverwinter Module with it is icing.. Heheheh

 

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/10/12/planescape-trilogy-planned-for-nwn2/

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  • 3 weeks later...

So - Anyone know of any specials in-store for this title? Should be out next Tuesday and I'm looking to pick it release day. I don't mind the $49 - I'm not really looking for a sale (although that would be nice) but, I'd like to get something like the free t-shirt with Nightfall or the faceplate with GoW. Anyone know of any freebies with this one...?

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This game is one of the reasons I decided to upgrade my computer. IGN has favorable first impressions, and I was delighted to read that

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.

 

While I did enjoy the first NWN and its expansions, BG2 is one of my favorite games ever. Needless to say, I am so excited to play this sequal. I drove around my lunchbreak, hitting all the electronics stores near work. The clerks at Circuit City and CompUSA had no idea what I was talking about, and wouldn't even check their stock rooms to see if they had it, but just had not put it on the shelves yet. (To be honest, I probably would have been annoyed by a guy like me too). However, the Gamestop guy immediately looked it up and said that they should have it. He looked through the entire overnight shipment, but could not find it. He said their regular shipments usually come in around 3pm., so I'll stop by again after work. Not sure if they'll have the collectors edition though.

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I got the DVD version on my way home yesterday, and agree that it took forever to patch. It also took a while to even connect to the server, but I figure that there were probably a lot of people trying to get the patch at the same time.

 

So after waiting over an hour to patch the game, I got started, but then spent a lot of time creating a character. These are always such tough decisions for me! I ended up with a halfling rogue, with the hope to be able to go for the Shadow Thief prestige class (and Shadow Dancer). In all my time playing these Bioware-type RPGs, I have never chosen a thief as a main character, so thought I would try something different. I was thinking about a multiclass fighter type, and copying a character build from the NWN1 expansions, but noticed that there is no longer a discipline skill for fighters, so I'm not sure how character builds will translate between NWN1 and NWN2.

 

So with all the time spent on the patch and the character creation, I was only able to get past the tutorial section and barely into the first part of the game. I had to stop when something bad happened to one of my party members...I hadn't saved, so may have to play the tutorial over again. I don't mind though because I was spending too much time fiddling with the graphics settings and not concentrating enough on the story, so it will be good to go back and see what I missed.

 

During the tutorial, I notice that when I leveled up, all 3 of the other party members leveled up at the same time, and I had full control of what skills, feats, and spells to give them. I really liked that, however I wanted to get on with exploring the game, so I just took the recommended additions. I also liked that when I made a chaotic action, the goody-two-shoes fighter would voice his disagreement with my choice.

 

So far the graphics are nothing spectacular, and I spent a lot of time fiddling with them, but can't quite get it right. I'm not sure what it is, but I guess I was hoping for that "buttery smooth" gameplay, and I haven't found the right settings yet. And I was very frustrated with the camera. No matter how I placed it, I just couldn't get the right feel. And the zoom is either too close or too far, it reminds me of Age of Empires III.

 

That's all I can add about my limited experience so far. I think fans of Bioware's games will be happy with it. But if you are expecting the latest and greatest in graphics like Oblivion, you will be disappointed.

 

One more thing...the Gamestop clerk gave me the pre-order code even though I hadn't done so. He said they still had a lot of the cards behind the counter. So I was able to download the merchants friend feat. There's not a lot to this download, so I expect that it will soon be available to the non-preorders (if its not alreadY).

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I too have the DVD version but it was not a big issue for me and the patch took about 9 minutes start to finish so maybe it was server load. I find the biggest issue (for me) is the camera system. It is as if no other game has ever done it before and gotten it right so they took a stab at it. The fact that you can't lock the camera in position or there is not a "smart camera" aspect to it really detracts from the game itself. I spend a lot of frustrating moments trying to pause and spin the camera in a room so I can see what is going on. There also seems to be some graphical slowdowns at some points in the game. I have spent some time tweaking and don't get what is causing it. I am well within the recommended specs (AMD64x24400+, 2gig ram, 7800gt) and the game seems to play choppy at moments. I turned off a lot of the shadowing and that seemed to speed things up a little but I can't help but think it is code related. The game is pretty good but it is more like KOTR2 was to KOTR. It is still well worth the purchase and hopefully they can iron out the camera piece of the game.

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