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Farcaster
09-19-2006, 01:11 AM
So, Neverwinter Nights II comes out in less than a month -- we hope! I've got my preorder box sitting here in front of me, while I anxiously wait to be able to download the pre-order toolset. I'm excited and nervous at the same time, because while the screenshots from the game (http://www.atari.com/nwn2/gallery.php) leave me in awe, I am worried about the lack of a Obsidian commitment to produce a DM Client.

All the same, I'm ready for the game to come out. The first Neverwinter Nights was by far the closest approximation of the table-top AD&D that I have ever seen. With NWN2's update to 3.5e rules, the enhanced graphics and tools, I think it has the potential to be an AWESOME game.

What do you think? Will you be picking up a copy?

Inviktus
09-19-2006, 02:39 AM
I happen to be a DM on a current NWN persistant world and I'm more excited about CEP2 than I am about NWN2.

I've been burned by too many shoddy releases of video games to buy anything until it has had at least a month or two shake out time to prove itself.

Farcaster
09-19-2006, 09:50 AM
I know what you mean about the CEP. I used the CEP v1.xx in one of the modules I built for my group and it made a world of difference. It was such an awesome improvement that brought so many features together, and it made the module a lot easier to create -- triggers for secret doors come instantly to mind.

I hadn't kept up with what was happening with the CEP. I'll definitely go check out what's new in version 2.

BTW, what is the persistent world you GM on? I always just ran modules with my group, and never really did much with PWs, but I wouldn't mind trying one out. I guess without a DM Client you guys aren't planning on upgrading to NWN2 anytime soon?

Inviktus
09-19-2006, 04:18 PM
It's web page is here, http://www.worldoftalus.com/

With the ability for customized content each NWN server has a hugely varying game play experience.

Talus has strong PnP roots that are enhanced by special DM tools that Lanthar has built for us. It really lets us put the "wow" on compared to some other worlds.

You haven't really played NWN until you've been in a live DMed event.

For some of the best one shot live role-playing in existence you can also check out http://www.neverwinterconnections.com/.

Moritz
09-21-2006, 11:40 AM
Yes, I'll be picking up a copy of the game. Just cause I really dig NWN and figure it'll be a new avenue to build and create with. I'm totally into the video game having the aspect which you can build stuff and make your own modules.

I have built a few modules in the past, ran them, the players hated them, so I gave that up. I currently play on a place called Tornado of Souls. It's an uber mod, but well balanced. You may have a +8 sword of wholy godlyness, but there's still gonna be an epic badger that's gonna kick your ever lovin butt.

I prefer modules where you struggle to get stuff, and there's a lot of lower level slow xp getting going on. But ToS is where some of my RL friends play, so eah, it's something to do.

I'm also with Inviktus on the CEP2.0 thing. I beta tested it, and it rocked. CTP/CEP2.0 and things like the PRC are amazing. I suspect that NWN2 will have some great adaptions to 3.5, and better graphics. But the CEP/CTP/PRC stuff can probablly beat it out in content.

AsmoTiC
09-21-2006, 02:08 PM
I'll probabaly end up getting a copy. System requirements are the only thing that might keep me from getting it.

I run a Macbook Pro, with about 20Gig dedicated to WinXP on a seperate partition. So given that, there is some concern on if my ATI x1600 video card (128Meg) will have the power to run the game.

I may sucker a buddy into letting me install it, just to see how it runs, if all is good, then i'll definitly be picking it up.

Skunkape
09-26-2006, 11:40 AM
I'm going to have to research it a little more before I decide if I'm going to get it. I liked the last NWN, but have yet to play online with others. It's a great concept and I tried to get a group project going, but I could never get enough of my fellow computer geek friends to commit!

I'm hoping that NWN2 will be better and from what I've seen, it does look that way.

Farcaster
09-26-2006, 11:35 PM
It's a great concept and I tried to get a group project going, but I could never get enough of my fellow computer geek friends to commit!

I could get them to commit.... Jut not to create one. That has ever been my problem is that creating a module takes a very long time. I worked on a NWN module for over 80 hours scripting only the necessities and devoting the rest of my time to designing areas and NPCs. I even ad libbed all the conversations and possessed NPCs as needed while on a conference call with my players, and still it was only about 6 hours of content. I could have easily added another 40 hours of design if I had put in conversations and NPC scripting for quests. So, 120 hours for 6.. OUCH!

Double ouch is that was part one of a very long campaign arc I wanted to do, and ultimately decided to run table-top instead. In fact, that's what my group is playing now.

Skunkape
09-28-2006, 04:51 PM
Yeah, I understand the time involved with making the modules. I had toyed with the idea of making a module that contained just an inn and then linking it to other peoples persistant worlds, so that people could come and go as the wanted, but couldn't devote the computer to running the module, so that's as far as it went.

Grimwell
09-29-2006, 02:06 PM
That time commitment is the single largest reason I didn't get on the bus for NWN and won't for NWN2. The volume of learning and work to make it happen in the computer game would translate to exponentially more adventure options and hours in a pencil and paper game. There is a reason those video games take two years or more to make, and need to sell a million copies to break even. It's a big, nasty task!

Farcaster
09-29-2006, 02:48 PM
Definitely agreed, although their toolset makes it drastically easier to make a pretty decent module. There are a lot of things you can use wizards or pregenerated material for, but nonetheless, if you want to do some of the really cool stuff, you're going to have to code for it. And that is where I think it breaks down a bit, because it immediately eliminates an entire swath of very creative people who just aren't coders or super technical.

Skunkape
09-29-2006, 03:30 PM
Although something comes to mind for tool set use. You could use it to create scenes for your game. Meaning artwork to use for showing your players. I've created a few really quick areas using the tool set that you could then load up on your computer and have a character run around in them to take screen captures with.

Then you just print out the screen captures and use them during your PnP game.

Yoshiro
10-03-2006, 07:37 AM
i'll be getting a copy just for the extended play.

Farcaster
10-13-2006, 10:33 AM
I haven't had a whole lot of time to mess with the pre-order toolset, but from the little bit I did get a chance to play with it, I have to say that we're going to be in store for a pretty good looking game. Its definitely a step up, and the toolset made creating a height-map relatively easy, assuaging my worst fears. I'm really looking forward to this game!

Moritz
10-14-2006, 08:14 PM
The developer of the module that I frequenly play on had this to say about NWN2 Toolset. (figured i'd share since it's on topic even though some references he lists are situational).::::

I have had some time to sit and play around with the NWN2 toolset for the past couple weeks. I have very mixed feelings about how things are going to turn out in NWN2 for PWs. Until widely dispersed technology catches up with NWN2, it will not be the same as NWN1. At this time, the negatives far outweigh the positives. However, it was the same when NWN1 came out. NWN1 was not made to be able to handle persistent worlds. NWN2 is following the exact plan. Focusing on the OC and small multi-player community.

Is this Obsidians fault? Not really. They are giving us what the masses want. Better graphics. They now have heightmapping for exterior areas. This is where the main problem comes in for large PWs such as MT and ToS. While looking beautiful. it is a hog. For example, ToS is around 100mb with well over 500 maybe 600 areas. 1 exterior map in NWN2 can be 20-50mb. Interiors are still about the same size as they are using tile technology similar to NWN1. So, several outdoor maps will equal the size of ToS as a whole. However, 1 map in NWN2 appears to look to be the size of a couple in NWN1 due to scaling. Additionally, NWN2 requires the server to hold the WHOLE NWN2 mod in memory.

To alleviate the size, NWN2 will require the players to download walkmeshes (walkable areas of the exterior maps) from NWNVault or other place that the modder wants to post it. This way, as I understand it, the size will be shared between the server and the client. The downloads should end up being a couple hundred MBs. For those with a high speed connection, this will not be much of a problem. However, this will force mod makers to be sure that the mod is almost complete before releasing it as to not force multiple downloads for the players each time a change is made.

With respect to the size of the mods, PW builders are also being forced to cut all the fat out of the mods. We have to completely re-think how PWs are going to be set up. You will not see worlds with 500+ maps unless they are running on multiple servers like WoW is. As a matter of fact, I doubt you will find worlds with over 250 maps anytime in the next year or two. At this time it looks like it will end up being around 150-200 maps on the high side.

One feature that will help with this is a World Map. If you played Baldurs Gate you may remember that a world map popped up each time you tried to leave a map, where you could choose where to go. Well this has been implemented in NWN2. So, there will be no more filler maps that add, IMO, size to the worlds. I say IMO, as a number of people hate the filler maps. They would rather a direct line from point A-B. Congestion could be a problem at each map point with this new world map feature.

So, what I expect to see from NWN2 are worlds that are much much smaller. More focused on questing, crafting, RPing (if in to that), and much much more story driven. For the next couple of years (if NWN2 lasts that long) I do not see large PWs where you will be "grinding" levels to get to the high levels (lvl 20 now) so you can then begin to have fun doing the high end stuff. I do believe each world will be a lot of fun throughout the 20 levels. However, I also think that replayability MAY be an issue, unless you are there to socialize and be active in the server community. We will have to wait and see though.

NOTES for those more interested in the meat of the toolset:

I was floored when I opened the toolset and began using it. It is in a .Net format. Lots of tabs. Some have resorted to using 2 Monitors to develop. I went and got a widescreen. It is not streamlined AT ALL. There are no wizards (encounter, merchant, item, etc). The armor and item making features are extremely unintuitive. Thats putting it mildly. In my opinion, they are complete trash. Viewing the changes you make to items is a pain. Adding features to items is a pain as well. Fortunately, Obsidian added a plugin feature. Members of the dev community are already making plugins to make life easier.

There are less monsters to work with than when NWN1 was released. However, you can armor most of the ones there and change the scale of them to make each one look a little different. For example, you can now make a Gnoll Boss larger than the other Gnolls.

Designing the outdoor areas is extremely time consuming. I will go further and say that you HAVE to have artistic abilities to do them justice. Gone are the days of punching out a bunch of exterior areas in an hour. It took me 4 hours yesterday to make a hill with a church on top. And IMO, it still looks like crap. I am NOT an artist.

There are also a lot of bugs in the toolset. Most will either be worked out by Obsidian or the community.

NWN2 has seriously raised the bar. I do not see many more hobbyist developers like myself. You need serious hardware to run a server as well as a lot of pre-planning of each world. A larger time commitment is also necessary. In addition, you HAVE to now have artistic abilities. This is very sad, as I honestly dont see as many worlds being presented. Not as many options for players. MT would have never gotten going if this is the toolset and system requirements I had to work with 4 years ago. As it is, I am now having to completely change what I had in mind for the next world. I have actually been back and forth in deciding whether to make a PW, a smaller MP world, or even a Solo mod. Whatever I decide, the next mod is going to be in development for 3-6 months before release. This is how long it is going to take to produce quality in NWN2.

If you are interested in following the latest in development talk, see this link and go to either General Discussion and/or Toolset and Custom Content. http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/index.html?viewcat=24

To be blunt, PWs are only considered about 1-2% of the market share for NWN. A very small minority. I tend to disagree with this as do many other developers. Oblivion and the publisher (Atari) only really care about the box selling. To them, it is how good the OC is that will get the boxes to move off the shelves. I see the developer community of NWN being the "Staying" factor in a long life cycle that Bioware (NWN1) has enjoyed. Long after the solo-player puts the box back on his shelf in the closet, we are supplying content and support to future sales.

In saying this, I cant blame them for focusing on the OC for initial roll-out. I want it to sell well. Why? Well, then they will want to follow the same market plan Bioware did and release expansions. It will also give the PW building community time to adjust to a new way of doing things. In this respect, I am also happy they did not include all the content (monsters, tiles, items etc) in the first rollout. They have left a lot of room for expansions and streamlining.

However, I do have several major concerns. All revolve around the sheer size of space those darn outdoor areas occupy. It's completely insane. But, I do understand why they did it. They want NWN2 to look better. I will just have to limit outdoor areas considerably for a year or so when RAM is even cheaper amd/or they support Linux. The other thing I am seriously considering is running 2 servers. One for outdoor areas and non-combat interiors and one for the dungeons areas.

Selfishly, I am also sad that I will not be able to make as many maps. I am not nearly as talented as some of the screen shot posts people are putting up, for outside areas.
http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=502490&forum=100

Shield
10-14-2006, 11:50 PM
I agree with others, I will wait a little while before I get the game to see if it is as good as it sounds.

RAMBOWOLF
10-29-2006, 06:02 PM
let me just say, yes I will be playing this game!

Farcaster
11-01-2006, 02:50 PM
Wohoo! I have my copy here in my hot little hands! Woot! Can't wait to give it a try.

:D

Moritz
11-02-2006, 08:19 AM
Wohoo! I have my copy here in my hot little hands! Woot! Can't wait to give it a try.

:D

hope your system can run it. I've heard from others that they had to update to get it to run (new graphics card mostly)

Farcaster
11-02-2006, 09:41 AM
Well, I updated my system some months ago when I heard about the hefty system requirements. I had everything in readiness for the game's arrival ;) Although, from casual observation, it seems like the game might not take advantage of the second CPU from the dual-core AMD 64. I'm not 100% sure on that. I just noted that one proc was constantly at 100% and the other was basically unused.

MortonStromgal
10-17-2007, 05:14 PM
Well until they have a linux installer my nwn 1 will see more playtime than nwn 2. I understand the need to go with nicer eye candy but it limits who i can play with.

Moritz
10-17-2007, 06:20 PM
In NWN2: I heard if you remove all the 'grass' the game runs a whole lot faster. Like grass takes some 100MB of RAM.

Farcaster
10-19-2007, 02:01 PM
It definitely takes some more graphics processing power to display the grass, but it does look a whole lot better than the textured pattern alone. By the by, as anyone else gotten Mask of the Deceiver? I've recently started it. I kinda like the new magic item crafting system, but so far the story hasn't really drawn me in. I've been playing it in my spare time between LotRO sessions though, so I haven't gotten very far into it.

Riftwalker
10-19-2007, 03:37 PM
By the by, as anyone else gotten Mask of the Deceiver? I've recently started it. I kinda like the new magic item crafting system, but so far the story hasn't really drawn me in. I've been playing it in my spare time ... so I haven't gotten very far into it.

Likewise. I'm hoping the story picks up a bit.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-09-2008, 11:18 PM
I have an unbelievably high end pc, and NWN2 is rendered unplayable by the way it taxes my computer and SLI geforce 7800GTXs. I can run Mass Effect with excellent framerates, but will get 15-18 fps in NWN2. This is after all the patching, optimization, etc that i could possibly do.

but its a good game.

1958Fury
11-10-2008, 04:59 PM
Wow, Total Nerd, you sure like resurrecting old threads. :)

I was a huge fan of NWN - I still play it, in fact - but I don't care for NWN2 at all. As mentioned before, the system specs are high, higher than it admits to on the box. My computer should be more than fast enough to run it, but it still stutters a bit.

Also, I don't like the interface. NWN1's right-click radial menus (similar to the interface of Temple of Elemental Evil) worked so well, I can't see why they would drop them. Aren't sequels supposed to improve upon the original? If they were going to completely change everything, they shouldn't have used the NeverWinter Nights name. There's no reason they couldn't have just made it another game in the D&D universe, and saved "NWN 2" for when they were willing to make a good game.

And finally, there's the toolset. It's quite powerful, but it is so hard to learn. NWN1's toolset was so easy - everything was drag-and-drop (or even dragon-drop), and you didn't have to be a computer expert to make a good module. Sure, an experienced programmer could still get more out of it than a newbie, but even my computer illiterate mother could have built a playable module with NWN1's toolset. Which was the point - a DM could throw in a few new areas in minutes, if that's what was needed for tonight's game. DM's shouldn't have to be programmers. NWN2's toolset is a colossal behemoth, capable of great things, but only for those who want to invest a lot of time learning it.

Though in all fairness, I should mention that I do not have the expansion pack, and I have heard that it fixes some people's complaints about the game.

nijineko
11-10-2008, 10:26 PM
i still haven't gotten around to playing nwn1, let alone considering 2. ^^ get back with me once i've played the first one. oh, i'll have to find a mac version on sale for that, btw.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-10-2008, 10:50 PM
I think 20 years from now, after settling down in my life and career, I will try to play NWN 2 again on my 100,000,000 Terahertz , GeForce 9,000,000,000 LE Quad-Turbo-FantasticFutureTechnology powered Quantum computer, and get modest framerates.
If It doesn't run Vista.
and will play my way through the game. Obsidian did a great job of taking the helm from bioware on other RPG projects, but the difference between the Kotor II handover and the NWN II handover was that the Kotor graphics engine had already been created to the exacting specifications of bioware, and obsidian could work on the story and dialogue. when bioware let obsidian program their own game engine, they totally muddied it up.
I make no pretense of being nearly as capable or handy at DX10 programming as even the least skilled programmer at obsidian, but I do know that they could have done better. just look at some of the amazing stuff they can run on the fantastically horrible hardware of the PS2! that was good programming.
what a lot of companies do not realize is that not everyone is willing or able to go out and buy a new $2400 pc/mac/linux system every time moore's law makes a show of itself. especially if it is merely to play 30 hours of a game.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-11-2008, 12:22 AM
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you can still do neat stuff in NWN 2

i wish there were more user-made voice acted modules :(

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-15-2008, 11:21 AM
I gotta be honest, not a big fan of NWN, 1 or 2. Especially 1.

D&D PC games hit their peak with Baldur's Gate for me, so I was expecting NWN to be similar. They aren't.

In NWN 1 I don't like the camera angles and have difficulty adjusting the camera, I find the NPCs are difficult to control, and it is just slightly too cartoony for me. By cartoony I mean open up the inventory screen and look at the items there, cartoonish.

In NWN 2 the camera is even more difficult to control, so I have to leave it zoomed out most of the time, again the NPCs are just as difficult to control, but better than NWN1. However, the story and graphics and non-cartoonyness of it makes up a lot.

I still rather play Baldur's Gate though.

tesral
11-16-2008, 02:44 AM
i still haven't gotten around to playing nwn1, let alone considering 2. ^^ get back with me once i've played the first one. oh, i'll have to find a mac version on sale for that, btw.

I think it's one of them there video type games.

Talmek
11-16-2008, 03:14 AM
A bit of irony, seeing this thread. I just so happened to dig NWN2 out of my CD case full of computer games and installed it on my newly replaced hard drive. I hadn't played it in over a year...and just couldn't bring myself to play completely through the tutorial/introduction.

I found that game lacking in many, many areas much unlike the original Neverwinter Nights. I played NWN completely through twice, and through all the expansion packs they came out with. Without going into detail about a computer game on a Pen and Paper Games site (Like how I worked that in, don't you) I just found NWN2 requiring far too much graphically to be enjoyable and had severe difficulty regarding camera control.

I guess you could say my vote is, "No".

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-16-2008, 04:14 PM
A bit of irony, seeing this thread. I just so happened to dig NWN2 out of my CD case full of computer games and installed it on my newly replaced hard drive. I hadn't played it in over a year...and just couldn't bring myself to play completely through the tutorial/introduction.

I found that game lacking in many, many areas much unlike the original Neverwinter Nights. I played NWN completely through twice, and through all the expansion packs they came out with. Without going into detail about a computer game on a Pen and Paper Games site (Like how I worked that in, don't you) I just found NWN2 requiring far too much graphically to be enjoyable and had severe difficulty regarding camera control.

I guess you could say my vote is, "No".

Lol. Absolutely. The story in NWN2 was uninspired and failed to interest me from the getgo. The prologue was particularly a turnoff.
And the graphics... don't get me started.

I know I couldn't even program a blank black screen in DX10 if my life depended on it, but If you are going to apply for a job in the industry these days, you should know your way around a vertex buffer and pixel shader. A simple demonstration of how poorly NWN2's engine was programmed, is how I need to set the graphics etc. on my high end, Bi-x64CPU, Dual-geForce7800GTX, 2 gig-RAM, system.

In order to make the game merely playable, I have to set the graphics such that It ends up looking WORSE than NWN1.

It is painful to think that there will never be another Baldur's Gate I/II.

at least that runs on one of my computers.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-18-2008, 02:59 PM
Lol. Absolutely. The story in NWN2 was uninspired and failed to interest me from the getgo. The prologue was particularly a turnoff.
And the graphics... don't get me started.

I know I couldn't even program a blank black screen in DX10 if my life depended on it, but If you are going to apply for a job in the industry these days, you should know your way around a vertex buffer and pixel shader. A simple demonstration of how poorly NWN2's engine was programmed, is how I need to set the graphics etc. on my high end, Bi-x64CPU, Dual-geForce7800GTX, 2 gig-RAM, system.

In order to make the game merely playable, I have to set the graphics such that It ends up looking WORSE than NWN1.

It is painful to think that there will never be another Baldur's Gate I/II.

at least that runs on one of my computers.
I, for one, would love to see Baldur's Gate redone and updated, may it :rip:.

Now, :focus:

Farcaster
11-18-2008, 11:33 PM
In order to make the game merely playable, I have to set the graphics such that It ends up looking WORSE than NWN1..

Just FYI, I believe NWN2 takes some configuration to get it to use more than once processor -- at least as I recall. You may want to look into that to see if you get better performance out of it by tweaking your settings. I have a basically average system (AMD 64x2 3800+ w/ 4 gigs and a GeForce 7950 gt) and it runs just fine.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-19-2008, 01:29 PM
Just FYI, I believe NWN2 takes some configuration to get it to use more than once processor -- at least as I recall. You may want to look into that to see if you get better performance out of it by tweaking your settings. I have a basically average system (AMD 64x2 3800+ w/ 4 gigs and a GeForce 7950 gt) and it runs just fine.

thanks farcaster! I will look into this. I too have a AMD64x2 board, and know that the game is particularly desirous of cpu horsepower.

I heard somewhere that the game engine attempts to arbitrarily factor products of large prime numbers in the background, to make it even less playable.:laugh::D