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Mysteries of Westgate Community Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by chevalier, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    We've received word from Shane K. DeFreest, Atari/Obsidian's PR guy for Neverwinter Nights 2, that the first community update regarding the upcoming premium module Mysteries of Westgate is ready. Here's the brief initial presentation:

    This is the first Community Update for the upcoming Adventure Pack. To start things off Russ Davis, Mat Jobe, Alex Hugon from Ossian Studios, and Keehwan Her from Atari we're put on the hotseat to answer inquiries regarding the story and the future of the Adventure pack program.

    Enjoy!


    And here's the content:

    Question: Will the story be a classic format where a ragtag group of adventurers gather and ultimately battle a great evil of some sort like the Official Campaign? Or will it be more of a personal journey similar in structure to Mask of the Betrayer? If the focus is on neither, what kinds of themes or concepts will this adventure touch upon?

    Russ Davis, Writer (aka Tiberius209): Well, they're not exactly "ragtag," but a group of adventurers does come together to fight a great evil. However, there are personal journeys as well. Not only does the PC have the mystery of the cursed mask to confront, but each of the companions have figurative "curses" of their own to face. Luckily for all involved, it just so happens that each of the individual journeys leads to the same source for answers.

    As for the feel of the game, the principal sources of inspiration were Darkness over Daggerford and Baldur's Gate II much more than NWN2 or MotB (MotB wasn't even out during MoW's production cycle). As has been mentioned elsewhere, if you liked the feel of exploring different districts in Athkatla and stumbling onto sidequests of all shapes and sizes, then you'll probably like Mysteries of Westgate.

    Question: How much will we see in terms of different paths in terms of the main storyline? Just how much can the game progression change from playing a good character, to playing an evil character?

    Russ Davis, Writer (aka Tiberius209): The game is specifically designed to be playable with all classes. While there are no major diversions for any class, the designers worked hard to provide multiple solutions to most of the quests, many of which depend on ability or skill checks. Naturally, these options will lend themselves more readily to some classes than others. Rogues may find a need to sneak through houses, mages may find it useful to brew potions, and fighters... well, cracking skulls is often a viable option too. Lastly, even though Westgate is a city-based adventure, the nature-based classes like rangers and druids have not been forgotten. You never know when talking to a stray dog might prove useful.

    Question: Someone is going to ask so I might as well included it. Will the story involve at least one romance?

    Mat Jobe, Writer (aka Nemorem): We know you're talking about PC romances, so the answer has to be "no." When we started development, we didn't feel an adventure pack was suitable for a fully developed romance, and we didn't want to short-change players with anything less. That's not to say we won't include romances in any future games - we like them, really!

    That said, love does play a major role in the Mysteries of Westgate story. Some of the main characters do what they do for love (and it doesn't always work out well for them - go figure).

    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.

    Question: How crucial to the story outcomes are our relationships with our companions? Will they just be like Henchmen in a supporting role ? Will they have their own agendas and side quests?

    Mat Jobe, Writer (aka Nemorem): The companions are fully integrated into the story. They not only speak up at key moments to express their feelings, but on occasion actually act on those feelings. In some cases, you may be surprised at how they act, and you may not always agree with their behavior. However, in the end we think players will be satisfied that the companions come across as free-willed, independent characters.

    In addition to the role the companions play in the main story, they also each have an associated sidequest. Actually, "sidequest" probably doesn't quite cover it. They're more like character arcs that play out over the course of the game and culminate in some event. (Teaser alert) One of these storylines has the potential to change a companion in a fundamental way - and your PC is in the middle of the decisions that lead up to this change.

    Question: Will our chars be in any significant danger at the start of the game as Level 8 chars? Will they come into contact with NPC's who are significantly higher level and more important than them?

    Russ Davis, Writer (aka Tiberius209): Westgate is a dangerous city, and the curse affecting the player is very real, but the game doesn't start in the midst of a battle if that's what you mean. You do have time to get your bearing. There are several NPCs in the game of higher level than the PC and therefore more powerful. Some are even especially Realms-bending powerful, but this doesn't mean they are enemies... necessarily. As far as important NPCs, the PC regularly interacts with high-ranking members of various street factions and at times even mingles with the political elites of Westgate.

    Question: Will the "Curse" that we are under affect our Abilities/ Game Stats for a large or significant part of the game, until the storyline has "Played Out"?

    Mat Jobe, Writer (aka Nemorem): Purely in gameplay terms, the curse isn't such a bad thing - in fact, you actually gain new abilities from it (at a certain cost). It's really up to each player to decide how much he or she wants to use these abilities.

    This was a conscious decision on our part. We didn't want to apply penalties to the PC that players wouldn't find fun, or introduce a cumbersome new game mechanic. So we decided the really bad effects of the curse should manifest themselves through the story (as well as the player's imagination).

    Question: Westgate? I've never heard of that place in NWN2... what significance to that play in the story so far then? Or is it away from the main events in NWN2 and MotB?

    Alex Hugon, Writer (aka Hugie): Mysteries of Westgate is a new, self-contained adventure which is in no way, shape, or form related to the storylines of the NWN2 OC or MotB. No familiarity with the main plot events of the OC or first expansion is required in order to enjoy MoW. :)

    Question: Will the numerous side quests be just an extra source of XP and items, or do any of them impact/impinge on the main Storyline to change the direction/ending that you are seeking to acheive by your alignment and choices in the main Story?

    Russ Davis, Writer (aka Tiberius209): Simply put, there are sidequests that fall into both categories. There are mechanisms whereby certain sidequests or a certain number of sidequests will need to be completed to progress, but in most cases, there is some latitude to determine which ones you actually complete. Obviously, with all the talk about different factions in the game, you can assume that some sidequests will not be open on any given play-through, so choices in the main path will certainly affect your experience. Interspersed with this first group of quests are a wide variety of sidequests that are independent of the main storyline completely, and yes, they will provide XPs and mongo goodies.

    Question: Why was it decided that this expansion should exclusively be sold as a downloadable pack?

    Keehwan Her, Associate Producer (Atari): From a financial perspective, digital distribution makes a lot of sense. It allows us to sell the Adventure Pack at a lower price point while still providing players with the same high quality gameplay and content that they've come to expect from NWN2 products.

    Question: How many other Adventure Packs can we expect in the future?

    Keehwan Her, Associate Producer (Atari) The answer to this partially depends on how well the first Adventure Pack sells. The bottom line is, we will continue to support NWN2 with Expansion Packs (like Mask of the Betrayer) and Adventure Packs (like Mysteries of Westgate) for as long as there is interest and demand from the community.

    Question: Are there different endings, and if so, how many?

    Alex Hugon, Writer (aka Hugie): A player's decisions in-game can lead them down several different paths and, ultimately, to several different endings. Role-playing choices lead to *extremely* meaningful in-game consequences throughout Mysteries of Westgate - the main quest's multiple endings are a prime example of this aspect of the adventure pack.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2007
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Reformatted for easier reading.
     
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