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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Jan 27, 2002.

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

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

    David Gaider, Designer:

    Fire Giants:
    Fire giants are in...and they look cool. So do the hill giants, frost giants, mountain giants and ettins. :)
    Do they have proper flesh tones? I believe so. It's a dark, coppery red... I think that's right. Very intimidating-looking, too. No giant Scotsmen, here.
    The fire giant model is tall... about 2.5 times the size of the human model... but I wouldn't say he's overly squat. Much more monstrous and muscular than the BG2 model, I think. His skin isn't black, but it is a very dark, coppery brown. Not sure what color the hair is...he's wearing a helm with giant horns on it. His snarl shows teeth that certainly look ivory (or, at least, dirty) to me. Whether you think that's a good fire giant or a bad fire giant is hard to say. I like it, though.
    Well, the fire giant looks like it does...regardless, it certainly looks a lot better than those horrible drawings from the 2nd edition Monster Manual. It's also easily recognizeable as a fire giant, I'm sure. If you think that a fire giant skin has to be black and not dark copper, than you're free to change the color. If you want to crab because the models don't look exactly the way you think they should, then go right ahead. This is the place to do it, after all. (Might want to wait until you actually see the model...but I'm sure that won't stop some.)

    Birds in NWN: Actually, I must be hallucinating. There are falcons and ravens, not falcons and hawks. Although I imagine the graphical difference between a falcon and a hawk to be minimal enough so as not to matter. So, yes...ravens are in. And chickens. But I don't think anyone wants a chicken familiar. Except for those more perverse halfling sorcerer types, but we won't mention them.

    Placeable Objects: Placeable objects aren't moveable by the PC's, no...not in the way that you can select them and put them in inventory and then take them out and put them elsewhere. A PC also can't 'push' them about or anything similar. Once they are placed, there they stay.
    As for scripting involving placeable objects...the objects have individual tags, so you should be able to destroy them and move them about and such with the appropriate scripting...but I've never seen it done, so I'm not 100% positive about that.

    Wraiths: The wraith is in.

    Torture? If it was called for in the official campaign to use torture, we could certainly script something. This is very do-able, depending on what you intended.
    There is no specific animation for torture is all I was saying. As far as ratings go, graphic depictions of torture would certainly be objectionable...the mere presence of the obejcts is not. And you guys who make your own uses for stuff don't need to worry about ratings, I'm sure.

    And are torture devices usable? Depends on what you mean by useable. If you mean being able to apply a script onto the object so it has an effect...or placing an inventory or dialogue onto the object...then yes, of course. If you mean useable as in animation that shows gory scenes of torture, screaming elven maidens on the rack and so on...then no, naturally not.

    Could you script a player to perform an action when no person, or certain type of person, is looking? Very easily
    You could, for instance, have a script which says 'go ahead and destroy-respawn'...but upon the occurance of the OnPerceive() event, don't do that. Or upon the occurance of the OnPerceive() event and the LastPerceivedBy() is a PC or of Race R or Class C, then don't do that. Or only do it then (after all, in-game scenes where you come across people talking or other events happening have to 'detect' the presence of the PC's, right?).
    You can control the perception range of creatures, so if you had a creature with a small-range perception, you could also alternatively determine if a PC was, say, within a certain range...and make that the condition that excludes the re-spawn.
    Since the scripting language is very much like C++, adding conditions and if-thens and so forth is very, very easy to do.

    Animals: The shadow has passed. The Dagaider is pleased. (Lots of champagne has that effect).
    In celebration, I'll just say that both hawks and falcons are in the game (though these are the only birds I've seen), and while both of them are either familiars or animal companions, I'm not sure which is which.
    Just as an aside, though: it is not necessary to address questions to me, specifically. If I know the answer, I'll generally respond. If I don't, or it's something I don't want to talk about or a part that isn't very settled, then even asking me won't get you much of an answer...and you'll miss out on having some other more knowledgeable Biowarean pop up.

    Will NPCs have way-points, or will they wander aimlessly throughout a map? Either.

    Squirrels Attacking: I never said that. Someone else might have, though.
    As for squirrels, I've yet to see one. Very small animals are hard to do (or just don't look good...I'm not sure which is which).

    Aasimars: The aasimar model looks very cool. I love the silver eyes, especially.

    Undead Models: The skeletons and zombies in the game are based on human/humanoid models...although there are a couple of unique exceptions. There are no dwarven or orc skeletons specifically. I suppose you could make a zombie version of one of the playable races by adjusting their skin color...but otherwise the only way to get it would be to edit the existing models/textures.
    Naturally we'd love to have every monster out there in every version available (esp. the new template monsters like lycanthropes and undead), but that's just not going to happen in the initial release.

    Any giant undead? There is a bone golem animation which could pass as a giant skeleton, I guess, but beyond that no...there's no giant-size undead. The exception I was thinking of was the skeletal version of the intellect devourer. There might be one or two others, but they don't leap to mind...and certainly aren't giant-size.

    Altering the Combat-System: That would be like asking for a toggle that allows you to turn the game into some other game completely. Unfortunately, stuff that is hard-coded into the game is something that can only be changed with extreme effort. Lots of effort is going into making NWN customizeable for the end-user, but altering something as fundamental as the combat system probably won't be an option.

    NWN Scripting: The online community is going to produce a lot of scripts...and going through them all to find something close to what you need might sound like a big chore. Most likely, however, this is something that Jay has already thought of, and having scripts organized into a fashion that will be a bit easier for browsing and finding is, no doubt, on his list.

    I will tell you, though, that I was not eager to learn the NWN scripting language at first, either. I am not a C+ programmer and it all looked very complex. It is very EASY, however, to learn the basics of the scripting...stuff that will get you through 75% of all the dialogue and basic stuff that you will have to do. Things like setting globals and playing with inventory and xp/gold rewards will become second nature within a few days.

    A lot of the more complicated stuff is handled by the Default scripts that come with the game. These scripts are also well-documented and designed to be easy-to-use insofar as tinkering with them goes.

    Don't believe me? Let me give you an example.

    The default script for a characters OnSpawnIn() script has a whole list of commands and instructions. All the commands are commented out...so they do nothing as they stand. But...the instructions say "in order to do this with your character" you simply un-comment that particular command.

    So you'll see this:

    // SetSpawnInCondition(NW_FLAG_SHOUT_ATTACK_MY_TARGET);
    // This will set the listening pattern on the NPC to attack when allies call

    If you take out the '//' and uncomment the command, the character will then listen for shouts from allies and attack their enemies if he does (based on the Default scripts being used elsewhere...though these are so complete that I think 95% of the users will end up modifying them for their purposes rather than making whole new behaviorial scripts).

    Want your creature to do something special when he sees a PC? Or maybe when he sees a specific NPC? Use this:

    //OPTIONAL BEHAVIOR - Fire User Defined Event 1002

    Un-comment the command...and then go to your UserDefined() scripts and make a simple script that basically says "when Event 1002 occurs and Last_Perceived is X, do this..." ...and these are not hard to do, either.

    I know it may look a bit strange, but once you've got the basics down you literally start to read these lines like English. Like everything, though, there is a bit of a learning curve.

    Your last option: change your plot to conform to your scripting ability. We do it. Not the funnest way, but sometimes you just have no other option...and rather than find or make some really complicated script that will enable your character to do some small thing...you do have the option of taking that small thing out. And that's just being realistic.

    Derek French, Assistant Producer:

    Importing into NWN:
    As Vanor says, things, and rules, were a lot different back when we were working on BG2. Importing into NWN seemed like a simple thing. The rules are so different between 2nd and 3rd that the current "import" is basically name, race, and almost class. Nothing else would come over, plus, it wouldn't work, plot-wise for the Official Campaign, if we allowed more stuff to come over. I will have to get back to you on the Official Status about importing.

    More on importing from BG: 3E rules weren't finished yet. BG2 was still being finished. Since we already had importing of BG1 characters into BG2, we thought it would be great if you could import your BG2 characters into NWN. So we added a line into the loading messages about importing your character. That was done about 1 year ago. Now we had no concrete ideas as to the scope of this import, but we wanted to try and do it. It was kind of a pet feature of one of the programmers. At this time, it doesn't look like this feature would be that useful in the final version of Neverwinter Nights, but I can't give you a definitive answer until Monday or so, when I can ask the guys responsible for it.

    Importing High-Level Characters: True, but that is only if you are talking about importing into the Official Campaign. What about using the import for bringing a character into a high-level campaign? What if you wrote your own BG3 module continuing the story? Then the import would be useful. For the most part, since the DM can create/modify any player character, I think that most DMs will do their own importing, into their own modules.

    Content: We have tons of content, documentation, interviews, etc., etc., all that have been on hold with the legal stuff. Now that its clear, we have to get it all up and running again. We have no dates for this other than that we have to balance continual development of the game and the need to get you all information. Please bear with us as we get back on track.

    Neverwinter Nights and Faerun: Nothing has changed, its still Neverwinter Nights (we own the trademark) and its still in the Forgotten Realms. Rejoice! :D Nothing has changed. We have the Trademark on the Neverwinter Nights? name: You can see the little TM in the graphic. :)

    Adding Music: Yes, while we haven't finalized the music format yet, you will be able to add your music through the Toolset very easily.

    Weapons at the ready! Yes, you will need to equip/unequip weapons to use them, and it is even easier than what you describe. You can set a hot key (Function Key) to a weapon. One tap brings out the weapon (with the accompanying animation) and another puts it away.

    Weapon Animations: There is a basic attack animation for all weapons. Weapons don't usually get animations themselves.

    Parrying Attacks: You must put your character into Parry mode, then they will stop attacking and attempt to block all attacks.

    Bob McCabe, Writing & Design:

    NWN Rumors:
    :D Doesn't that just *scream out* "do not believe me!"? I wonder if our breakfast delivery people are trying to start something :) It could be a conspiracy! Hee hee. As usual, don't even try guessing at a release date; you're just going to hurt yourself. :) And, as usual, we'll let you know as soon as there is one.

    Items Scripts: Actually...It was me that said it - and the script writer was Brent. When we first started testing the scripting language, everyone was obsessed with getting the wererats (the only model aside from humans and dwarves, I think) to run around picking up objects that were lying on the ground. At the time, we didn't even know if it worked because we couldn't test the creatures' inventory for a while yet. Eventually, we had it so that the creatures would pick up AND drop items, so we were all impressed with ourselves. Then Brent showed off his hunter script, and we all bowed our heads in shame.

    Unconsciousness and Stalking: I'm not sure how much "fun factor" there would be in watching your character knocked unconcious, and then spending the next hour or two waiting for him to wake up. But whatever DMs are a crazy breed.

    Yes, you can stun a player so that they can make no actions. You can do this with a special item that has this special effect, you can do it, I presume, with a DM flick of the wrist, or you can do it with an item like the sap.

    Yes, you can transition the player to a new location by using a jump to location type command. Dragging a player... I can't seem to think of a script-around on that count, but there might be one. Who knows? There definitely isn't the animation for one person to drag another person around, and a stun wouldn't last long enough to get the PC more than 20 yards away.

    Once transitioned to the new location - a cell that cannot be escaped by any means (just a quick toggle on the door to make the lock indestructible and non-pick-able) - the NPC can then stalk the next PC and repeat the process.

    To stalk PCs, you can have the stalker cheat by determiningg the PC's location, jumping to that map, and then move to that PC's current position (constantly updated). Or you could have the NPC wait at a choke-point and simply make spot and listen checks. Or you could have the NPC make random number checks, and everytime he gets one right, he moves to the exact location where the PC was, and continues this until he gets it right. Could be more ways, too Whatever you can think up, I'm sure.

    Once all PCs are in the inescapable cell, a global can be set that triggers the appearance of a mysterious, shadowy, black-robed figure at the other side of the gated prison, and he can then say, "muhuhuhuhahahaha... you're probably all wondering why i've locked you in this cell. muhuhuhuhahahaha - it's because i can!"

    Hope that answers the question.

    Random Insanity and Explanations: Actually, it's more like standing there with little birdies flying about your head.
    I'm thinking of a few ways to go from here... you get hit, you see birdies, you transition to a black room, a text pop up appears and says "ow! your head hurts! you wish you could wake up!" and then you transition again to the cell.
    While the guy is standing there with birdies, the npc says, "muhuhuhahaha! now that the pc is unconscious, i will drag him back to my evil and mysterious lair!" and then you get the transition to the cell, followed by a "I see that you have awoken. i hope your enjoy your new... comforts. muhuhuhahaha! i'll be back with some friends. muhuhuhahaha!"
    Or maybe even you can make an item that forces a pc to play an animation and become stunned. in this case, the animation would be the "dead" one.
    Or maybe when you get dazed, you will hit the ground, but because nothing is final yet, i have no clue.
    Or maybe it's something else?
    I'm taking extra liberties at being verbose since jay says spam is now legal

    Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager:

    Weekly Designer Update:
    I was doubtful of a weekly Designer Update specifically, as that did require a couple of weeks of rewrites and approvals, but I am expecting that we can have something to post every week that is informative and interesting about NWN. Occasionally, things get snagged in editing etc. until I can get the final form up here but I should be able to get something up in a timely fashion. We are working the kinks out for the eventual community site features and how such features get looked at by all the folks that should take gander at stuff before it hits the airwaves.
    I am veeeery close to getting a go status on the next Top 10 Questions. They are quite specific, and may help with some module makers and Persistent World people. I am really pushing for today on those...

    Arrows: As of today that animation is still in. It looks very cool too. You keep fighting (hopefully) with two or three arrows sticking out of you. Reminds me of the death of some guy in movie that recently came out...hmmmm....

    Release Dates and Rumors: I'm a little surprised someone bothered to post that. Someone claiming to be working for BioWare that can't be named? Wow. And just in case you missed it:

    We have no release date. Which means that no release date has been set. Which means to me even with my rudimentary English skills that IF we HAD a release date that I could NOT say "We have no release date". Which further means, that if you hear we have a release date from someone other than BioWare they are guessing. Which is great, but not a solid, steely fact you can set your watch too.

    If you could have a conversation with me, say over a hot chocolate, about the release date it would go like this:
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: So...do you have a release date?
    Jay: No.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: Really?
    Jay: Yes, really. We have no release date.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: I'm not sure I understand you...you have no release date?
    Jay: That's correct- no release date.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: If I were in some other country besides Canada and asked if you have a release date, what would you say?
    Jay: I would say that we have no release date.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: If I was a retailer of fine computer games and said you did have a release date and was just being coy, what would you say?
    Jay: I would say you are incorrect because we have no release date.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: If I was an advanced Alien race with amazing powers of telepathy due to thousands of years of genetic tampering and vastly superior technology and forced you to tell me when the release date was, what would you tell me?
    Jay: I don't know. We have no release date.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: Even if the Aliens turned hostile and threatened to destroy the planet?
    Jay: Even if they threatened to destroy the planet, yes.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: So what your saying is, that you have no release date?
    Jay: That's right.
    Normally Rational and Intelligent Game Player: But...
    Jay: (Boots him in the head)

    For those fans who are in our international community:
    No tenemos ninguna fecha del desbloquear.
    Nous n'avons aucune date de version.
    Wir haben kein Freigabedatum.
    Non abbiamo data di emissione.
    Nσs nγo temos nenhuma data da liberaηγo.
    BioWare wa release date ga arimasen. Gomen Nasai.

    Jay "Be Super Clear or Die Trying" Watamaniuk

    Trent Oster, Producer:

    More on animals:
    The birds in NWN don't hop, though they do fly quite low most of the time. The largest benefit to the low flight is the high speed with which they can move about. No Rabbits. No cute fuzzy things in NWN besides the badger. There is a rumour of a penguin though. I wonder how a rumour of a penguin got started? I bet it was one of those shifty artist types.

    Funniest Moment: The funniest thing for me so far in NWN happened just recently. I was playing a multiplayer session with another person. The other character was a elven rogue and I was a halfling sorcerer (don't ask). We spotted a group of troll ahead so we prepared and then attacked. My first spell was Gate. The spell looked awesome, huge rock pillars rose from the ground, fire belched forth and a flaming Balor appeared. I began casting my second spell and the Balor truned to the nearest troll. He began casting a spell and I waited with bated breath. My huge, monstrous, powerful other planar servant cast his spell. I was expecting fire to rain from the heavens or trolls to explode. He instead summoned in a badger. A freakin' badger. So this little badger goes ballistic and attacks the nearest troll. The badger quickly kills the troll and moves on to the next. For some reason my Balor just stood there. I was outraged. If I wanted a badger I'd have summoned a damn badger. That is the joy/pain of game development. Just when everything is starting to seem right everything falls apart.

    Server Crashes and Items: This is currently an issue, as the server would indeed keep every item and every creature exactly as they were when the game is saved. The savegame is really a complete snapshot of the entire game which is restored verbatim upon load. The issue is garbage collection. I think we will have to implement a gnomish garbage detail who sweep the area periodically and pick un non-magical or non-plot items. Afterall, gnomes have to be good for something, right?

    International NWN: We'll do everything we can to ensure the various langauge versions of NWN are top notch. Our tools department have outdone themselves on the translation tools, so everything is in place.

    Changing attributes on the fly: The change is made using a console command. You just have to type in SetSTR and your cursor goes into action->target mode. You click on the creature you want to change the strength of and the strength is changed. You can also add console commands to the quickbar, so this becomes damn handy.

    Targeting while chatting: The mouse and chat are not linked, so while chatting you could still click on a target to attack. We discussed having your character perform intelligently without your control, but in testing we found it bad enough when familiars and summoned monsters go berzerk on any nearby creature that having a character do the same would be very bad. If you character is attacked without your input they will go into a defensive mode and try to defend against the attacker, that is all a character can do without your input. In my experience you rarely have any difficulty targeting any creature.

    Weapon Customization: You can add a speed (haste) effect to a bow to gain an extra attack with it. You cannot make a bow look like a longsword, as the bow is a basetype and the bow appearance is linked to the bow base type.

    Controlling multiple creatures: Yes, you drag on the ground to group select and then they run with you where you click and attack what you want them to.

    Save and Load Scripts: It is not currently supported, but we are interested in the concept.

    DM-ing: Dialogue tree parsing in real time would be a little too difiicult for us to implement in time for release. I have done some time as a DM-Lite and it works quite well. During dialogue I possessed another nearby NPC and added some commments after the dialogue had completed. I then stayed with the players as they moved into a dungeon and then began controlling the monsters they encountered. I feel I enhanced the experience while playing in a completely reactionary mode, with little preparation.

    Noel Borstad, Programmer

    Currently there is, in my opinion, too much blood in the game... One little stab and there's blood everywhere! (Lets just say that there's more blood on the floor after a few rounds of combat, than is conceivably in either of the combatants...) I expect this will get toned down a bit before release or else it will have to ship with warnings not to play while, or before, eating.

    Nathan Frederick, Quality Assurance

    Thoughts on Armor Class:
    It's harder to hit a guy wearing fulplate male than a guy in studded leater for exampel. Wouldn't it be better that armor affected two things, chance to hit and damage reduction. Hitting a fullplatemale should be very easy due to the fact that you can't move much in a piece of armor like that. But it might have a damage reduction of 10. All damged below 10 doesn't affect that person, unless thet score a critical or the like (hitting a soft spot on the armor). A man wearing no armor should be harder to hit due to the fact that he has nothing to encumber him and can move more flexible, but if you hit him, he goes down bad. How does that sound. I think it gives a more realistic armorclass, and perhaps more variation on warriors types of armor.
    It's an interesting concept, and has been used in many games, however, it's not how the D&D3E rule system works.
    As NwN is a 3E game, we will be using the usual form of AC.

    Treetop Modules: Well, one way of simulating what you want would be to use the forest tileset, use pit for the majority of the tile, place a few "big tree" tiles (which also have a bit of land around their bases) for the platforms, and link them all up with bridges. Play with the lighting to your tastes, and you have a pretty convincing tree-top map.

    Stanley Woo, Quality Assurance Ninja:

    Knives vs Daggers:
    My take on this issue jibes with others that have already posted. For me, knives have always been just tools, sturdy one-sided blades with a simple handle designed for cutting (or spreading (mmmm.... butter...)). Daggers are double-sided weapons, usually with a hilt (and usually a small crossguard), balanced and lightweight enough for quick thrusting, slashing, or throwing.
    Throwing knives/daggers are much slimmer and would have no crossguard, and are not really designed for melee combat. They are more piercing weapons.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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