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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Dec 11, 2001.

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

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

    Trent Oster, Producer:

    Spiders and Placeable Objects:
    Spiders cannot climb walls. We compensate for the reduced mobility by giving them a faster movement rate. The goal is of course to have spiders able to quickly descend on a party and attack with surprise. Using movement speeds and perception distances we can quickly re-balance the spiders for a more accurate feel.

    With placeable objects, we might not have two visible states, but you can place a trigger anywhere you wish, so having an area transition on a placeable object is very possible. You could even script the transition so it requires a greater than 19 strength to open it the first time and then it remains open.

    In short, NWN will not support everything one might desire natively, but with a little creativity scripting almost anything can be simulated.

    The Server: The server can be set to log a great deal of information. We have logfiles in excess of a Gigabyte at one time due to message appending. When the server is in debug more it spits just about everything out.

    Storyline: The single player story in NWN is also the multiplayer story. You can play solo, or with a group of other players and enjoy plot driven multiplayer adventuring. The story has undergone some very heavy revisions, and continues to be reworked on a daily basis. We are trying to include many of the play forms from our previous games, such as the open exploration of the original BG, the interesting subplots and cities of BGII while implementing a much more flexible rules system behind it all. The story will be an enjoyable one, I'm sure of that.

    Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager:

    Weapon Making:
    A complete BG type weapon effects system. We'll show a little of this at E3, but the possibilities are amazing and too vast to go into in detail in a demo

    o Weapon : Bastard Sword
    o Ability Bonus: Constitution +2
    o Damage Immunity: Bludgeoning
    o Improved Saving throws: Reflex
    o On Monster Hit: Ability Drain Strength by 3
    o Use Limitation: Chaotic
    o Use Limitation: Evil
    o Damage Bonus vs Racial Type: Gnome 1d6 acid damage

    I now have a Bastard sword which gives me:
    o +2 to my constitution
    o Immunity to bludgeoning damage
    o A +2 bonus to my reflex saves
    o A weapon which drains 3 points of strength / hit
    o A weapon only useable by Chaotic Evil characters
    o A weapon which does an extra 1D6 of acid damage to Gnomes

    I scuttled down to Keith's office to ask about this. I don't believe that the true strike spell is in the game, however, the toolset can create swords that are very similar to your two examples. The toolset is designed to be very flexible.

    3E Rules: Through my own experience using the 3rd edition rules, I found they took great care in making each ability useful. It is ultimately up to players and their DM to encourage role-playing- if that's the desired result. NWN uses the 3rd edition rules and thus is open to any sort of playing but does not ENFORCE certain styles of playing as there is no consensus as far as what constitutes a good game.

    Destroying Objects: All placeable items and doors will be breakable within the game. The placeable items will have settings for making smashing them harder or easier based on what hit points, damage absorption etc the DM places on them. For example a DM could have a steel trunk that absorbs the first 20 hit points of damage a hit and has 100 hit points to make it a very hard item to smash open. This also prevents a very persistent house cat from bumping into a steel trunk for 2 weeks and eventually smashing it. It will never generate enough damage with a hit to do the trunk harm. DMs can make an item invincible within the game- but the default is breakable. You cannot break weapons a la Sunder, except by a scripted event.

    NWN and Rules: If you are unfamiliar with the 3rd Edition rules the first thing you notice about them when playing is how quickly you move up your first few levels. My guess is that the developers wanted you to get a few levels under your belt to gain a few abilities and skills that separate you from your fellow party members. In addition, you also gain enough power and experience to relax a bit about your character ‘staying alive' which seems in question initially as you have very little defensives against you enemies. When you hit 4-5 level however that leveling-up process slows considerably. It's very true that 3rd Edition was designed to have much shorter campaigns with a quicker turnaround BUT that all depends on the DM in PnP. A DM can have far fewer experience encounters and concentrate more on some other aspect of gaming.

    That holds true for NWN. Since the experience is based on those 3rd rules you will experience the same quick leveling-up initially which will slow down as you gain your first few levels. As for how quickly you get to 20th level? That's still up to the DM in how he sets encounters, gives experience etc. The Official Campaign will take you as long as you like to finish, as there is a wealth of detail to explore.

    Official Campaign and DM Client: The DM Client wasn't worked on until recently because we needed to base it off of the Player Client as was mentioned.

    An interesting and distressing bit that has appeared with alarming regularity in various forms is the idea that the Official Campaign- the adventure that ships with the game- is a tacked on, 10 hour tutorial used only as a gateway to online gaming. This is completely wrong. The Official Campaign has been in development for over a year with the writers working on an adventure on par with what gamers have come to expect from BioWare. Brent and Rob the lead designers would both have very large pulsing veins appear in their foreheads if they read that all their effort for the past year has been to create a ‘tutorial'. We cannot give an exact figure on the final Campaign but it should run around 60 hours.

    Taking the Official Campaign story and implementing it into the game structure could only come about when we had the Toolset and Player Client in useable shapes. We cannot create a game if no tools to build it and no tools to test it exist. We have had those tools for some time now and are hard at work on implementing the epic story that already exists in great detail outside the computer medium.

    While that work is being done the DM Client has begun to take shape. For the DM Client we again needed the Player Client to be in a near complete form as any DM stuff would be based on the Player Client. The DM should have all powers of a player, of course, but have a range of additional powers that allow the control of the adventure as a PnP DM has.

    We are receiving news on the progress of the DM Client now on a regular basis and so more answers should become available pretty quick.

    As for what's the point of NWN- is it a Single Player Game with extra fiddly-bits added to include Multi-player or vice versa? Since it's initial inception the idea was to bring Pen and Paper role-playing to the computer and that means multi-player. The single game has been referred to as a multi-player game with only one player, playing on his own server. He can just as easily hook up to a LAN or the Internet and play the single game with his buddy in the next room or with complete strangers in different countries.

    I hope that gives you some idea where all this crazy NWN stuff came from developmentally, and where it will be when you load it into your computer.

    Stealth and Traps: You can search, use stealth and disable traps all at the same time. You cannot, however, also chew gum.

    The Tarrasque: Not to unnecessarily complicate this discussion of the eternal question as to whether the Great and Terrible Tarrasque's presence will be felt in the initial release of NWN with long theoretical reflections on the nature of a living embodiment of Chaos and Destruction I will cut my response down to…


    No Tarrasque. No Tarrasque's Mamma. No guys in paper costumes running around dressed as Tarrasques. No village festivals involving dancing ‘round the May Pole with Tarrasque colored ribbons and lastly, no Big Fuzzy Tarrasques surrounded by children singing, "I love you, you love me" will be featured in NWN.

    Thank you and goodnight.

    Scripting Q&A: Here is a list of questions we received recently and answers prepared by Preston Watamaniuk, a Designer/ Writer for NWN to some pretty specific code-related items, that I thought you folks who are interested in the scripting aspect of the game, would find interesting:

    Q: Can I draw my own invisible trigger areas on the map/screen/tiles, and have it on fire when it is entered? - I want to have a number of thieves/muggers spawn in notorious alleyways, but only at night if the PC (or NPC?) is alone, and the nearest other party member is further away than a minimum distance.
    A: Yes

    Q: Also, could you tell me, will I need to write my own functions like
    IsDetectable(), to see if a char entering said trigger is invisible or
    hiding in shadows?
    A: No - We have done this for you with script commands.

    Q: Will there be an option to 'decorate' a tile or corridor with dead bodies, or some such?
    A: Yes - We have a wide assortment of placeable objects to put in the game.

    Q: Like a kind of 'customize tile' option, in which you can add from a
    pre-defined list of 'decorations' to a standard tile, and include that?
    (all nicely blended with the lighting and shade of the tile, etc),
    A: You can change the lighting and tile specific animations on an
    Individual tile

    Q: Would tooltips on these custom tile decorations be pushing it?
    A: No we will have context sensitive help within the toolset.

    Q: Is the development environment of NWN structured in such a way that I will be able to script for NPC tooltips to display 'Commoner', 'Adventurer', 'Hired sword' etc (i.e., NOT the characters name) until the NPC has introduced him/herself, or been intro'd some other way, and THEN then have the ;help flag that appear over a selected person reflect their actual name?
    A: No.

    Q: If a lot of objects (monsters) take up a lot of memory or more importantly slow the game down, when they go 'out of sight' to any party members, could I save the important info about them to smaller struts (which include the monsters location), and reload/spawn the objects again based on these variables when a player approaches again?
    A: Monster currently not visible on screen do not use graphical resources but they do use scripting resources such as heartbeat scripts placed on them.

    Q: I would like to have two guards on the door to an inn, who warn the party before entering that there is to be 'no stealing or bad behavior of any kind while on the premises, or there will be trouble. (just so they know Is this possible?
    A: Yes this is easy.

    Q: Can I maintain my own custom reputations during a game, using variables, like a char who always gives money to beggars, or always runs from fights, etc, and when that reputation reaches a certain level, something happens?
    A: The reputation system would allow for checks of this nature. Though much of it would be custom scripting to get the specific behaviors required.

    Q: Can I do code for when a char/party enters a bar, lots of things happen at once, like a couple of NPC's start fighting each-other, some drunk at a table insults everyone who walks through the door, some wizard starts casting a spell in the corner to show off to his mates, in other words, create a busy hectic inn/tavern?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Can I store a lot of the above things in some way, and call upon them randomly whenever the party enters a tavern, so as to create a random atmosphere in every pub? These are things I am interested in trying, I am not confident yet that I can write a whole adventure that anyone would want to play, but I am happy to attempt things like this to start with.
    A: Yes this is possible but requires a good understanding of the scripting language.

    Q: Can I code for baddies or monsters to pursue a party across maps? Or flee across maps?
    A: Yes this is possible. The pursuit of characters across area transitions is easy.

    Proficiencies: To answer the first question, yes, the racial and class proficiencies are available.

    David Chan, Audio Guy:

    Famous Actors:
    Well known actors are a two-edged sword. On one hand you get the "instantly recognizable factor" and the "coolness" factor. On the other hand some actor's have a persona bigger than any character they play and the character becomes them instead of the other way around. Eddie Murphy is a perfect example of this. I really liked Shrek a lot, but when I heard the donkey I always saw Eddie Murphy. Mike Myers on the other hand became Shrek.

    Frame Rate: Come, come now, this is an RPG not a shooter. I will scarifice FPS for glorious eye candy any day of the year. I never have understood people that play games like Quake 3 at the lowest detail, texture and resolution settings to get 145 FPS instead of 120.

    3D Audio: We will be supporting 3D positional audio for NWN. Which API we will be using still hasn't been finalized (we are trying different options). In other words when a person screams behind your character, assuming you have the proper sound card and speakers, you will hear it behind you. Also, just for clarification EAX is an effect, not a positional API. For example EAX is like the echo in a cave, whereas Direct Sound places the sound in the audio space in front, beside or behind you.

    OpenAL for Linux Version: The problem with OpenAL is that there isn't a critical mass of support behind it yet and it's not a mature API.

    Derek French, Assistant Producer:

    NWN and Linux:
    Kylix is basically Pascal for Linux, so it doesn't help us for the Linux port of the toolset. And yes, the Linux version will ship on the same CD.

    System Requirements: The number one requirement of NWN is a video card/chipset will a fully implimented OpenGL driver. Most of the games quoted in this thread are talking about Direct3D games. Just because a Direct3D runs on your computer is no guarentee of an OpenGL game working.

    Try running Half-Life in OpenGL mode, Quake 2 (in OpenGL) or 3, or BG2's bggltest.exe program and see how that works for you. If any of those work, NWN should work for you. This includes the Toolset as well as the game.

    Server Browser and Service Provider: NWN will have an internal server browser similar to Tribes, Half-Life, etc. The matching service provider had not been decided or announced yet. We are still working on that part of the game and a final decision has not been made.

    Override Folder: Yes there will be an "Override" folder, but it is OUR override folder. That is not the location for user-created content. Part of our patching system will sanitize that directory so that only BioWare content appears there. We ran into a great deal of problems with BG2 in this regard.

    User created content is the realm of hack packs. We are actually working on some of the details of the hack pack system right now, so I don't have any more information for you at this time. We will be making it straight forward for both creators and end-users to use.

    Multiplayer: BG2 multiplayer was created using DirectPlay, thus all the problems with firewalls, etc. NWN is using custom, multiplatform networking code that will work just fine with routers/NAT/IPMasq/etc. If you can play other internet games on your system, you should be able to play NWN.

    Downloading: In Windows and the strict sense of your question, it will be a manual download and install. This is because we cannot control where your web browser's default download directory. Some times its your desktop, sometimes its "My Documents", etc.

    But, we are planning to make the downloads from our Community site come with a mini-installer that will extract the files and put them in their proper place, similar to The Sims, Need For Speed, etc.

    Modules: For modules, clients do not need the modules installed on their computers to play. No downloading occurs.

    Information Transfer:Nothing is downloaded if you the client playing on a NWN server. Information is streamed to the client, but it is not a file that is being sent.

    Single-Player Download Modules: Well, we are even trying to make that a one step process, too. I can't comment any more on it right now, but we hope to have something for the solo module authors to make it easier for their users.

    Stanley Woo, Quality Assurance Ninja:

    And Some Light Comic Relief:
    Okay, so the storyline goes like this: Aribeth is on a giant ship, and she sees dead people--ALL THE TIME!--so she asks these recently-fired actors for help, thinking they really are the characters they play (the "Three Compatriots," or some such). These guys show up amidst a war between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and are beset by a series of costumed fighters who wear funny armour. Throughout the ensuing battle, which is strangely one-on-one, with Aribeth crying "Excellent" and "Flawless victory" now and again, the ship sinks and the Empire's battle station is destroyed by a farm boy. The farm boy and Aribeth hook up, and the three actors join them in their quest to find a Goblet of Everlasting Youth within the confines of a maze that David Bowie built.

    With the aid of a bunch of puppets, the heroic group discovers who Kaiser Soze is, the secret of the "Game of Tears," and the secret of a bunch of animated field mice named Brisby. The developing romance between the farm boy and Aribeth is interrupted by the boy's father--played by David Prowse, James Earl Jones, and Sebastian Shaw--and the actors' mysterious clockwork agent--played by George Lazenby.

    The father and the agent (who was orange) release giant robotic salt shakers, giant sand worms, and a giant robotic singing woman with a big nose. Aribeth summons a rose-coloured panther, who is quickly dispatched. The farm boy fights valiantly with a light sabre and two clockwork automatons. The actors summon an invisible swordsman, whom they accidentally destroy by opening an Ark, and must rely on a plan they used in one of their shows. Quickly, they get all the neighbouring villagers to play a magical game and attack their enemies with the death blossom attack.

    Their first wave defeated, the father and agent unleash the mighty army of clones and hellhounds with bees in their mouth and when they bark at you they shoot bees at you. Our heroes use their dual-wielding ranger powers to form Unicron, who eats the planet and saves the day, but killing the Three Compatriots, maiming the farm boy, and running the titanic ship into a monolith in the process, breaking it into 2001 pieces.

    Then, a group of red-tunicked explorers appears, an begin to poke around. They wake a nearby bulette, who attempts to get into buildings by posing as a harmless woodland animal. The farm boy and Aribeth stow away on a fantastic flying citadel, where a visiting musician is to give them four stones with which to navigate the maze and find the Goblet. The citadel is attacked by an army of blue-faced, skirt-wearing men. The musician is fatally wounded, but not before directing the farm boy to open her up and take the puzzling stones, which were stored in her body. Aribeth accidentally solves one of the puzzles, which releases grotesque Cenobites into the world.

    Elminster appears in the nick of time, and restores things to their rightful place, but not before regressing to a young, bespectacled, hairy wizard-wannabe who smokes marijuana. The farm boy and Aribeth proceed past the blind, deaf, and dumb god who sure played mean against Bhaal, past a dozen Brazilian monkey bandits, and over a river, and through some woods. They traverse the labyrinth, defeat a minotaur at the centre, wake a slumbering princess, and spin straw into gold before finally reaching the Goblet.

    And then they find out that they were siblings all along, and that Aribeth is really a man! And that they have both been dead clockwork automatons, who have been living a waking dream courtesy of Kelemvor, who simply just bored.

    I demand you smile, everybody!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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