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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. NewsPro Gems: 30/31
    Latest gem: King's Tears

    May 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    (Originally posted by Tiamat)

    Brent Knowles, Co-Lead Designer:

    Multiple Targeting for Magic Missiles:
    There is no functionality for multiple target magic missiles built into the engine.
    That functionality is NOTHING like the functionality required for fireball. Fireball does a radius check at point of impact and damages all people in the radius. Magic Missile is not an area of effect spell.
    Magic Missile is incredibly useful as is. Adding a custom interface for a couple spells (i.e., Magic Missile, Flame Arrow) is a waste of resources that can be better diverted to improving the general gaming experience.

    Templates: Several 3E templates are in. They modify stats & properties when applied to a creature. Additional templates are fairly easily added and will likely appear post release.

    Rapid Shot: Rapid Shot adds an extra attack per round when using ranged weapons. Both these attacks are taken against your current opponent.

    On Cleave: Actually Cleave is in the game for sure -- it already works.
    Auto target switching is simple and this is what Cleave does. If you kill an opponent and there is another opponent nearby you get your 'cleave' attack against that opponent.

    Journal: The journal system leaves it up to the module creator as to how journal entries are given out.
    In our official campaign most journal updates will be applied to the entire party, regardless of where they actually are. Some will apply only to the individual actually completing the plot.

    Quick-Chat: Yep, we already have those. When you make a character you'll be able to choose a voiceset (which influence the actual verbal component that you hear when you press the hotkeys).

    Casting Spells on Objects: Yes, this is possible.

    Multiple-Targeting: You can only aim at one target per round.
    If you kill that opponent and you still have attacks available (or you have the Cleave feat) you automatically take the rest of your attacks for that round against the nearest opponent.
    This works in both melee and archery.

    How NPC's Work: Unlike the Baldur's Gate series of games, most of the player's involvment in the campaign revolves around NPCs who are not actively adventuring with him. In some regards, this is more like Zelda than Baldur's Gate (although, it is really more like playing Baldur's Gate with only one character).

    Also (unlike BG again) combat scales dynamically to the number of players involved in it. Hence, you don't *need* henchmen to defeat monsters.

    Neverwinter Nights does away with the micromanagement aspects of the BG series. This is intentional on our part. We want a game where the player focuses and develops his or her character and not a party of 'stats & items'.

    Since we don't have a party management system, all henchmen/followers/animal companions/summoned monsters/familiars rely on their AI to assist the player. Although the AI is good, too many of these creatures flocking around the player would make the game unplayable and unenjoyable.

    Basically, we have a limit of one type of associate (this is our blanket term for these creatures). So you can have one henchmen, one animal companion, one familar, one summoned monsters and one dominated creature at any one time (5 creatures total). But no more than one of each.

    These numbers are, of course, subject to playtesting.

    The NPCs you encounter in the game (i.e.,the ones who give you quests et cetera) are more detailed than in any of our previous games. Your involvement in their story arcs, and they in yours, is one of the major strengths of Neverwinter Nights.

    I don't believe that micromangement = strong story. A strong singleplayer game is independent of whether or not you have party members (again, Zelda is an example).

    Summoned Allies: Summoned monsters will be much more powerful to compensate for only getting one of them.
    The definition of NPC is Non Player Character. There are many NPCs in the world.
    Henchman are joinable NPCs. You are limited to one of them at a time in your travels.
    Most 3e PnP summoning spells give you the option of choosing ONE powerful monster (or higher level spells let you choose instead to summon in several weaker creatures). Neverwinter has removed the second option to improve performance and gameplay. This does not go against the grain of pen and paper D&D nor contradict our advertising policy.

    Party Control: Nope, no BG style party control. The game -- and interface -- is not setup to accomodate that kind of gameplay.

    Not having a 'party to control' is another thing people are complaining about. In pen and paper D&D you commonly control one character (sometimes two or more if you don't have enough players to form a large enough playing sesssion).

    If it happens that one player is separated from the rest of the party and must adventure on his own, the game master doesn't force him to control '6 other characters'. The game master balances the game to the single character.

    This is what Neverwinter Nights does very well. When there is only one character, the challenges faced are scaled to the character. If more people join in -- say in a multiplayer game -- more creatures appear in encounters.

    On every level, Neverwinter Nights captures the 'gaming experience' of pen and paper D&D. This does not mean we translated every rule literally, but everything we've implemented has been done to give the player an experience, we believe, as close to that delivered in pen and paper roleplaying as is possible.

    Neverwinter Nights has *never* been about joinable NPCs or full party control. We have never said we were going to implement a party system. I am sorry you are now disapointed in Neverwinter Nights, but obviously we are not going to satisty everyone.

    I imagine some people who played the BG series of games did so because of party control. BioWare will continue to produce party control games, but Neverwinter Nights is not one of those.

    I hope you give Neverwinter Nights a chance, and I think you'll find that it is indeed a fun game (in my opinion, as much fun as any Infinity Engine game I've played).

    Jonathan Epp, Quality Assurance:

    Battle Chess Script:
    I've made one already. Well, I haven't finished the 'battle' part of it yet, but the chess part is completely working. Currently when one piece takes another the taken piece just disappears and the other just walks over and takes its place. But its still cool. When I get some time I am planning on making the pieces fight and stuff. Then it will be super-cool.

    Time Limits According to Game Days: Shouldn't be too hard to do. We have functions that allow you to get which day, month and year it is. There are also functions which allow you to get the time of day - this includes specific functions that give you the exact hour/minute/second, as well as more generic functions which can simply tell you if it is day, night, dawn or dusk.

    David Gaider, Designer:

    Why Bioware Can't Give Out Information....
    Legal stuff aside (which we can't comment on, period), we'd love to be able to talk about everything in the game at length. The big trouble is with the specifics...there's a very large crew working on the game, and many things in the game are constantly being changed or tweaked as we get feedback and as we discover what is working and what isn't. This means that the specifics are never guaranteed.

    And the great majority of the questions that are being asked here are very specific. You guys aren't simply gamers with a casual interest who are satisfied with being informed on the general points behind the game...you have hard and fast questions about the exact mechanics. Those are hard to discuss, however...in addition to Jay's comments about the prevalent 'glass-half-empty' mentality we sometimes encounter, you also run the risk of shooting yourself in the foot if the specific thing we're talking about ends up being changed later. C'mon, guys...you know yourselves. If we said 'the rule is X', we could add 'but that could change' all we wanted until we were blue in the face...if and when we finally said 'the rule is no longer X' for whatever reason, there would be all kinds of cries of 'but you said!'. Not everyone comes to the boards that often, either, so someone could have been satisfied long ago with seeing a clear 'the rule is X' only to be quite jarred upon discovering it not to be so much later.

    So we have to be careful with what we comment on. All of us know you guys are impatient...and we're impatient to show you our baby, believe me. I know the feeling is it's overdue...but you all know that terrible feeling of something being released too soon, right? We want this to be as right as you do, because we're gamers just like you are.

    Hope that all made sense. Gotta go back to work, now.

    Putting Coats of Arms on Objects:If you know your way with 3D Max, you would be able to take a model out of the game, put another texture map onto it and shove it back into the game - no programming required. That would do it. Quite easily, too. Only limitation is that the new texture-mapped item would be a new resource...and would have to be d'loaded by everyone who wanted to see it. (So if you had the item present in a module, all players would have to have that resource on their machines in order to see what you had made). This is true of all player-made stuff, though.

    Item Hardness and Hitpoints: Not sure about the hardness...but I've definitely seen HP on the placeable items, myself.

    Shining Light Into Areas: Certain areas can be set to the day/night cycle...while you can set others to permanently day or permanently night. In an area that is permanently night (or otherwise dark), I don't think that you can add daylight into just a part of that area. We have placeable objects which are different-coloured 'columns of light'...don't know if that's the effect you're looking for, though.

    User-Made Voice-Overs: Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure this won't be hard to do. You have the ability to add sound files to lots of things, including dialogue, so as long as you had the proper sound file in your resources that shouldn't be a problem. You can very easily add it onto dialogue via a drop-down menu to make your own voice-overs.

    Alignment Scripting: Yes, there is scripting in the game to cause a shift either towards Good/Evil or Law/Chaos. You can script something to be a small change (ex: such as threatening someone with bodily harm to cough up more money for a quest reward) or a big change (ex: selling some innocent little girl in your charge to obviously depraved slavers). A big change you might notice right away. As was said, small changes you likely will not. When making your own modules, you can put these commands in as often or as seldom as you like.
    OK, just to reiterate: when writing your own modules, you can use the scripting commands that adjust alignment as often or as seldom as you wish. This is not 'hard-coded' into the game, forcing the characters to change alignment whether you wish it or not.

    Can you can make the land to look like obsidian, trees to be burned black or having eerie glow and the deep rift to have lava on to bottom or eerie raindow glow? Err...not without editing the tilesets, no. Lighting effects will only take you so far.

    Long Bridges: Well, I didn't try going across a river, but I did create a large area in the forest tileset...then used the 'pit' tile to eliminate everything but a small island in the middle (so it looks like it's floating in the middle of no-where). And bingo, the bridge can be extended out right to the edge of the area. It doesn't have to be straight, either. I assume going across water, instead of a big pit, would work the same way.

    Fog: There's a slider for fog control. Not sure how dense it is at its maximum, though. No, there's no ground fog that I've seen.
    I can respond. Not being an artist, however, I don't know what the answers are to your questions.
    There have been pretty detailed walk-throughs made for players that are considering making 3D models and tilesets and such...many of those have already been released. (I forget where they are, though...GameSpy? Maybe someone can help me out here and direct you.)

    Summoned Monsters: Let me tell you this. I don't know the exact list of summoned monsters in the game, myself, though I do know the one in the rulebook. And there are two things that come to mind that I think I can re-assure you with.
    1) The people doing the spells are very dogmatic about doing them as closely to the book as the engine will allow.
    2) The list of creatures that the game comes with (and yes, I know there will always be some monsters that you like that won't make it into release) has some, what I thought to be anyway, pretty obscure creatures. A lot of ones that you find on the creature summoning list, especially. I still remember doing a double-take the first time I saw the Lantern Archon.
    Whether all these things make it to final release remains to be seen, but there's a lot there already. As far as Monster Summoning and Summon Nature's Ally go, especially, there's a whole assortment of animals which will supply the normal/dire/celestial slots...not to mention the familiars and animal companions...that already exist.
    Hope that puts your mind at ease.

    Animal Companions:Last time I saw they had both animal companions as well as the familiars in. The animal companions are pretty tough. Having a druid or ranger in your party with their dire wolf or mountain lion (or whatever the case might be) is pretty effective. Don't know how much specific information you're going to get at this point, though. How it works is still being tweaked as people are trying it out.
    Animal companions are summoned. You get to choose from a list. The animals also level up as you do.

    Domain Spells: Sorry...don't know about Clerics getting anything with regards to animals or domain spells. I doubt it, as it's meant to be a class feature for the Druids and Rangers, but I could be wrong.
    Domain abilities are perfectly legitimate and no, not incredibly difficult to put in. However, we still may not have time to do it. There are numerous other things related to the rules we simply will not be able to put in the game right now, either...no matter how much we'd like to.
    I think the idea is to get in as much as possible, and make it work and be stable and be fun. Once we've got that accomplished, we can worry about getting in all the details.
    I don't know what the situation with domain powers is, personally...but somehow I think Clerics will still be quite well-off so long as they get access to their domain spells and auto-substitution of cure/cause spells. Those are, by far, the Cleric's bread and butter.

    Animal Summoning Figurines: I haven't seen any figurines of wondrous power, myself, but I'm pretty sure they'll be in. We have the animal summoning and plenty of animal animations, after all (including a mountain lion)...so attaching the effects to an item is quite simple.

    Druids With Scimitars: Yes, they're in the game because they're canon. Sort of like dual wielding Rangers.
    I was also thinking that it might be a lame attempt at play balancing, because 1e Druids did have a pretty weak selection of weapons, from a powergaming point of view.
    Unless there is a good reason for it, they should have changed it back in 3e. If someone really wanted a scimitar weilding Druid, they could have used a feat to gain proficiency...
    If I remember right, I think the scimitars were given to Druids to make them more like the Celtic druids. Or was that the scythe? Do 3rd edition druids use scythes? Hmmm...if not, they probably should.
    Animal companions are a big plus for druids, too, don't forget that. The ability to carry on a coversation with the local fauna that's in-the-know is not to be underestimated, either.
    It's not foreshadowing. Both those abilities are in, or I wouldn't have mentioned them. If I knew exactly how the druid shapeshifting worked, I'd discuss that.

    Instruments and Performing: Do we have different musical instruments? (Or any, for that fact.) Can you play them?
    There's no musical instruments in the way that I think you're asking. There's no animation of using an instrument, at any rate. A regular item could be created that was an instrument, and it could be 'used' to make a variety of effects (and even play music, if the sound file was available). In fact, you could also make a check vs. Perform in the script lead into different effects or sounds.
    Again, though, there's no animation for actually wielding the instrument. That would be nice, but there's no plan for it currently. Bard Song ability is, of course, something else altogether.
    Is there a Perform skill, and if there is is it available to all classes?
    Yes. It's available to those classes which have it in-class at regular cost, anyway, and to the others as a cross-class skill.

    Toad Familiars: No toads, I'm afraid. Nope. No frogs or toads, period. Maybe in an expansion, if there is one.

    Can the color of the fog be changed? And this raises the follow-up question: can it be changed while the module is running or only when the module is created in the toolset? The color of the fog is changeable, yes. As to whether or not fog or colors are changeable on the fly...not sure about that, myself. I'd say probably, but I haven't seen the actual commands.

    It has been mentioned that when creating a module in the toolset you can specify its Ambient Light, Sun Light, and Moon Light. Can these all be altered independently of each other while the module is running? If so, does this pose any significant performance hit on machines? If there are commands to change the types of light on the fly (you forgot Diffuse Light in that list, btw), then you will be able to change each one, I'm sure. No, it does not cause much of a performance hit.

    Polygon Count: I don't think modem speed has as much to do with the polygon count as processor speed does (although a slow connection on a chugging machine certainly wouldn't help matters insofar as playability goes). When we make our final count of the number of players, NPC's and placeable objects that you can have in an area, it's going to have to be playable by a machine with the minimum specs. And we want the game to have as much as content as possible for those min spec machines.
    There is going to be adjustable detail...but you can only take that so far. You can take away grass effects and other cool but performance-hogging things...but you can't reduce the polygon count of models on the fly (at least, as I understand it you can't...I'm not an artist). You can be sure we'll be making all efforts to enhance performance as possible.
    If we were to raise the min spec requirement a la Luclin (and just what is the min spec requirement for World of Warcraft, anyway? I don't think they've announced that, yet), then certainly...I expect a lot more could be done.
    Should we do that? I don't know, personally. Right now the range in processing speeds out there is so wide. Is it reasonable to expect people to upgrade in order to play? There's a can of worms for ya.

    If I add 50% more polys per scene in my mod, will the engine run it? If so i can just have a higher minimum spec for my mod? I will go and ask, but I'll tell you this: when we say what the basic limitation is regarding the number of players/NPC's/placeable objects will be in the game, that is primarily an official number. Meaning that if someone meets our min specs and comes to us saying that they're experiencing crashes when they meet those numbers, that's something we need to look into right away.
    Even with Vampire:Redemption's MP capability, the 'maximum' number of players was set at 4...but if your computer had a greater capacity, you could include more. I saw games that have 6 or even 8 players going in them in the brief time I played the game.
    So I expect that if you included models with higher details in your resources, that shouldn't be a problem so long as it meets NWN's other standards. You just have to keep in mind that anyone who's going to play the game has to a) download those resources from you and b) have an equivalent or greater system in order to run it with any degree of playability.
    I may be wrong, though, so I'll go check.

    Doing Open and Closed Beta Tests: Actually, we just never have in the past. That doesn't mean we won't in the future. Our QA guys are great, but they can only do so much.
    There's no promises being made, but I don't think Bioware has ever tied itself down by saying absolutely not. More likely we'll see what our needs are when the time comes

    Monsters: If you create a monster, you can put whatever name to it that you like.
    Putting in a script that changes the name from 'monster' to 'Hutteroid', or whatever, after the players find out what the creature is actually called (setting the appropriate module global), might also be kind of cool, no?
    With 3rd edition, players shouldn't expect too much when encountering even the lowly goblin. If you look at the system, there's a whole big thing in there for the HD-ranges of monsters...never mind using humanoid creatures and adding classes to them. The first time my low-level party encountered a 5th-level Sorcerer kobold and his 4th-level Warrior kobold chieftan they learned to be wary.
    (and, yes...putting these classes on monsters is easy to do, especially with the Creature Wizard.)

    Indicating a Monster's Strength Using Color: No, there's nothing like that in NWN. If your party of 5th-level characters encounter a huge Black Dragon and decide that they can take him...well, they're always free to roll up new characters, aren't they?

    Campfires: Yes, actually. I believe a campfire is one of the placeable objects. If not, I'm positive that there's a 'pile of wood' object and a seperate 'small fire' object to place on top of it.
    If you want to be detailed, you can also spread around some blankets.
    Once placed, these objects are only moveable/destroyable by the GM (unless they aren't marked 'indestructable' and are given HP...then the players or maybe monsters can destroy them, as well).

    More on Placeable Objects: Yes...all placeable objects may have HP's, if you wish. Or you can make them indestructable (by checking off the indestructible button). As I understand it, though, unless there is a seperate 'destroyed' object that replaces it. destroying an object just makes it disappear.
    I don't know about walls...but gates are handled like doors, which is a different function. They, too, have HP's.
    As for stacking placeable objects...yep, you can do that. You can have, say, a stack of placeable crates blocking the way down a passage. One fireball and WOOMP...the coast is clear.

    Character Interactions: Consider, for a moment, the possibility that the idea is not to have deep interactions only with people that travel with you. Is it not also a decent idea to have deeper interactions with some of the NPC's you encounter? Why, to have a romance, must the person be tagging along with you everywhere you go?
    Think about it. Perhaps what you're reacting to is that it will be set up differently from BG2. I can't speak to your confidence on our abilities...but we know how important good interactions is. We just don't think that it HAS to come from other party members.
    There might be different stuff in NWN you'll enjoy just as much, if not more. At the very least that's what we're striving towards.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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