Neverwinter Nevermore

E. T. Brooking

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Neverwinter Nevermore

Players made BioWare's classic RPG special, not the other way around.

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Jeremy Monken

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Amazing how, in a few short years, $60 went from buying you a full game with more content and tools than you could ever hope to experience to just purchasing in-game currency that could easily be burned through in a month or two.
 

Breywood

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I have some really fond memories of this game and a module that sits half-done to this day. It is one of the only games that the devs actually encouraged you to tinker with everything about it and a community that would never fail to give you a straight answer to any problem you had as long as you asked it clearly. I was never a big multiplayer user, but many of the single player modules were awesome.

The dated graphics and dull campaign were fine with many, it was the potential to build decent D&D adventures easily even if I never did finish writing one. Thanks for the little nostalgia trip, and it was only ten years. :)
 

carpathic

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You know, I always meant to play neverwinter nights, but never got around to it.

Makes me sad to think that when I had time to do it, I did not. Now that I have no time to do so, I am drawn toward an experience like this.

The game described sounds a little like Eve but with less abstruse controls and odd rules enforced by the publishers.
 

JuliusMagnus

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Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
 

Aeshi

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I think back when I played NWN I had about 7-11GB of custom maps, which should really say something about the game.
 

Albino Boo

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I never got into Neverwinter nights, I was wanting a new Baldur's Gate. The game never garbed me at the start with big characters, like Minsc, and only having one other party member in single player caused me to lose interest. Reading your article sort makes me wish I had gone online a lot more than I did



Jeremy Monken said:
Amazing how, in a few short years, $60 went from buying you a full game with more content and tools than you could ever hope to experience to just purchasing in-game currency that could easily be burned through in a month or two.


For a start to make a AAA game these days you need at least twice as many poeple to finish a title. Inflation over 10 years means in real terms the $60 then would be worth about $80 now.
 

Lyri

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I really want to install NeverWinter back on my laptop now.

Who would be down for running an online campaign together from Neverwinter to Hoardes of the Underdark?
 

Seneschal

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Jun 27, 2009
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Awww, nostalgia. I was blown away when I first realized what the Aurora toolset was. While I wasn't confident enough at the time to join multiplayer servers, I was neck-deep in user-made modules. The game's single-player campaign pales in comparison to some of those - I, in particular, was a fan of a series of short, expertly-crafted horror modules made by a guy by the name of (if I remember correctly) Chris Huntoon. They were very subtle, atmospheric and immersive, something few games of that generation were; though the modules needed these traits because of the engine's limitations; art from adversity, I suppose.
 

RandV80

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Yeah I spent a good bit of time playing this game back when I was in college. I wanted to comment on the article though, in addition to the 2 expansion packs Bioware did release a couple of smaller $10 campaigns for the game.
 

Littaly

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Oh so that's what people mean when they say they love Neverwinter Nights. I played through the single player campaign a year ago and thought it was dull as sh*t. I had heard the multilayer aspect was what made it good. but I never realized the scope of it.

I'm almost a little curious to check it out now, is it still alive? Is it still any fun?
 

Gitty101

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Memories. Recently re-bought this game for £2.50. Nostalgia lane, here I come!
 

Blunderboy

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Ah sweet nostalgia.
I really enjoyed my time in NWN. The single player wasn't great after Baldur's Gate with the party of two people, but the multiplayer, oh the multiplayer.
 

Braedan

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I always liked NWN. Never beat the campaign and only played a bit of the online but I really liked it. Now I want to reinstall my copy and try to find one of these amazing sounding servers. Are there many still around?
 

snekadid

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Mar 29, 2012
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NWN was great, undertide was bad but UNDERDARK WAS AWESOME.

I remember playing a player made copy of diablo 1 which was better then the real diablo.

I always loved the NWN series and 2 wasn't bad, but the bugs and the fact obsidian made it which means the game was only half finished kept it from keeping my attention.

I'm actually looking at my copy of NWN platnium edition right now siting on the self above my computer right next to the folding box copy of fallout 1 & 2, all of which I'm tempted to replay.

CAPTCHA edit: Choose DISH, get out of my CAPTCHA commercialism!
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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JuliusMagnus said:
Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
Definitely Minecraft, but we should also remember Warcraft III. The editing software Blizzard included for free with the game spawned a huge online community dedicated to creating games of all different kinds, and the free multiplayer and dedicated servers of Battlenet kept it alive for ages. Game styles like MOBA were really born once the potentials of Warcraft III's editor were realised and the RPG elements of the game mechanics were fully utilised. Then there were racers, tower defences, top down shooters - even the vague skeletons of MMOs showed up from time to time with maps that utilised shared save systems where you could import a character from a different map you had played.

Starcraft II unfortunately killed off that potential by limiting the number of maps each person could create and adding fees for downloading certain maps. Personally, I view Warcraft III as the high water mark for Blizzard - from that point on it was less about "How much value can we give you for your money" and more about "How much of your money can we squeeze out of you."
 

Dwarfman

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E. T. Brooking said:
Neverwinter Nevermore

Players made BioWare's classic RPG special, not the other way around.

Read Full Article
Amazing. What your article has described to me is a TRUE RPG experience on computer. People keep telling me that wow and it's ilk are RPGs but they aren't because the players and DMs are not the people creating and nurturing the world, it's the game developers. Because of this, wow and such are static, boring, glorified hunting games with little aspects of what role play gaming is about. Damn shame I never played Neverwinter Nights.
 

The Madman

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I've always been in the minority that prefers Neverwinter Nights 2 over the first, but that's also because I've always been more of a fan of singleplayer than multiplayer and as even the article points out; the singleplayer in the first NWN game was mediocre at absolute best.

Still if there's one thing that's ensured NWN 1 and 2 both always have a place on my hard drive it's the community modules. I've had more memorable and fun singleplayer rpg experience from those various modules than I have from any full-blown AAA rpg in years. And that the community for both NWN 1 and 2 continue to thrive and produce new content is testament to how good the games are as well as just... well, let's be honest here, how poorly the majority of newly released rpg support any sort of fan content.

Pity so few seem to know about the community however. Brilliant module like The Maimed God's Saga or Misery Stone I've always thought deserved more attention, they and many many others really are fantastic pieces of work.
 

Gather

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Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 still make a profit; a small one but it's a profit. Through word of mouth of these unique experiences friends and casual onlookers buy the game to see what all the fuss is about. While it is highly unlikely; interacting with the world to the level of depth NWN series offers can be such a captivating experience. Making unforeseen changes to the game world or actually becoming a "big bad" are two things that are almost impossible in the modern day MMO.
 

Caffiene

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Just reinstalled NWN the other day, in anticipation of a particular NWN persistent world server some friends are just about done creating.

Sigh. I wish NWN2 hadnt so completely missed the point of the multiplayer.

The article mirrors my own thoughts. There just hasnt been an RPG with that degree of freedom since, and its a real shame. The way I phrase it is that everybody rushed headlong towards the profits they saw in MMOs... and completely forgot to look at simply "MOs". We have multiplayer, but only on a tiny scale - nowhere can you find a multiplayer RPG that will allow you to have 32 / 64 / 100 players. You play 2 or 3 person co-op, or play an MMO with thousands of strangers - those are your options.

Many of the mechanics that make up the appealing aspects of NWN seem to have become inextricably linked in the minds of developers with MMOs, when theres actually no need for it to be that way. "Persistent" play is seen as an MMO trait - you log in and the world is already happening around you; play continues round the clock after you leave, and the world keeps turning - but all it really needs is a basic server app with a small database system to save player variables, not some vast MMO server farm. More than a few players - we see it all the time for simple round based FPSs, and the communities that can be formed around them. Ive seen plenty of Call of Duty and Team Fortress servers which allow dozens of players at a time, where the players get to know each other; they hang out on forums and discuss up-coming ranked/clan matches, coordinate when theyre going to be online to catch up, and generally have a common community - you can drop in to the server at any time of day and see somebody you know. Again, theres no reason that needs to be unique to an MMO, yet for RPGs thats the only place youre going to find that situation.

It saddens me... its almost enough to get me to try and develop my own game along those lines, but I know how big of a task building an RPG is (especially solo).
 

LackofCertainty

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I still play on the Neverwinter Nights persistant world servers from time to time. Prisoner's of the Mists. (PotM for short) is still my favorite by far. Gothic horror, heavy rp, with around 20 players online during the "bad hours," of EU/AU time zones. Active updates from devs to this day.

It's a shameless plug, but PotM deserves it. nwnravenloft.com for anyone who's interest I've sparked


And for anyone who's curious about how much the community has contributed to the game over the years, just take a look at CEP. (the Community Expansion Pack for NwN) It's sitting at around a Gig now, and it's packed full of... okay this is sounding too shameless even for me, but it's pretty darn amazing if you ask me.
 

Madgamer13

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Greets!

I used to play on several NWN persistant worlds, true. The article is right about the sheer complexity of the multiplayer, all the worlds I played on were completely different from eachother in both in-game systems, lore and function.

I've played as a half-dragon, a heavily armoured arch-bishop of rightious death, a druid, a warlock, several vampires, a fallen angel and my greatest pride, but also greatest shame, a catgirl demon that shifts genders between herself and her captive host.

Oh the years I spent, the stories I've written, most of them lost with the passing of the NWN worlds. While I know many still exist and have players, I just dont have the will to form such stories and play in such worlds, not now, not after losing so many characters I have invested in.

Sure, I do ocassionally write the odd story nowdays, but never daily updates like I did years ago for these worlds.

Unfortunately for me, indulging in nostelgia with NWN now would only remind me of the years past and make me very sad, knowing that such games really are no more with the way gaming is developing.
 

Joos

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ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
Thanks mate.

Funny I should read this article while I'm installing NWN2 to rejoin my old buddies at ALFA [http://www.alandfaraway.org/] again after a lengthy hiatus. ONWARDS!!!
 

E. T. Brooking

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I only got into NWN a few months ago when some friends were playing it, and I have to say, the depth of creation ability really is stunning.

I just know that the new baldurs gate will have nothing near it.
 

vxicepickxv

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Littaly said:
Oh so that's what people mean when they say they love Neverwinter Nights. I played through the single player campaign a year ago and thought it was dull as sh*t. I had heard the multilayer aspect was what made it good. but I never realized the scope of it.

I'm almost a little curious to check it out now, is it still alive? Is it still any fun?
The game is I think 10 bucks at Gog.com, and there are still several multiplayer servers available.

I'm going to go ahead and plug 12 Dark Secrets, which I am a DM on.(It wouldn't be proper for me as a DM not to plug it). I started playing on that server late 2005 or early 2006 because it wasn't a PVP server. The servers(yes it sounds odd, but the game world is so large it's mapped over 3 servers) are still up and running, and the code does the best it can to overcome RAM limitations imposed by a 32 bit game system, and other limitations that were added via patches.
 

Ross Tuddin

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I never played the first NWN and when i di buy the NWN2 the only way to get it to run was i had to physically disable the sound card on my computer. I never got more than an hour into the game as not having sound really spoils an experience for a game.
 

The Random One

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JuliusMagnus said:
Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
Yeah, that's the problem, isn't it? There was a time when a dev could put a toolkit for creating new worlds in their game system and it would just be another bullet point, just a cool thing for the hardcore fans. Nowadays we only have Minecraft, a world where you need tens of mods to turn it into anything other than a pointless faffing around simulator, and while the mod support is admirable it does mean that there is no central game you can work on, mods can enter in conflict, and you need to understand programming to do anything anyone will notice, unless you're wasting time by creating a giant sculpture that can only be seen on a computer.

We used to get excited because we could create brand new things, now we get excited because we can slap blocks together. We embrace less and less freedom - magic crayons made of shit [http://www.bogost.com/writing/shit_crayons.shtml] - because the alternative is developers locking out mods so that they can sell you four weapons for fifteen dollars.

How far we've come.
 

Evil Smurf

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I love retro gaming, I bought Sid Meier's Alpha Centuri + expansion pack on ebay and love it heaps. I always had it on my computer, but lost the discs D:
 

TallanKhan

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Im still very fond of Neverwinter Nights. It was far from a perfect game but it was a game that always tried, and where you could tell the developers had really pushed the enevelope to deliver an experience. Maybe it was wishful thinking but i felt like it really mattered to BioWare that i enjoyed the experience, not just that i brought the game and thats something that has been sorely lacking in recent titles across the industry.
 

Albino Boo

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The Random One said:
Yeah, that's the problem, isn't it? There was a time when a dev could put a toolkit for creating new worlds in their game system and it would just be another bullet point, just a cool thing for the hardcore fans. Nowadays we only have Minecraft, a world where you need tens of mods to turn it into anything other than a pointless faffing around simulator, and while the mod support is admirable it does mean that there is no central game you can work on, mods can enter in conflict, and you need to understand programming to do anything anyone will notice, unless you're wasting time by creating a giant sculpture that can only be seen on a computer.

We used to get excited because we could create brand new things, now we get excited because we can slap blocks together. We embrace less and less freedom - magic crayons made of shit [http://www.bogost.com/writing/shit_crayons.shtml] - because the alternative is developers locking out mods so that they can sell you four weapons for fifteen dollars.

How far we've come.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/browse/?appid=72850&browsesort=toprated

Hmm there seems to be 9610 entries there.

http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/categories/

Even if all the files on steamworkshop are duplicated there that is still another 9128 entries there.



http://fallout3.nexusmods.com/mods/categories/


http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/mods/categories/


Pretty sure modding RPGs is alive and well
 

Blarkuntvhite

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I actually spent a lot of time playing Half-Life 2: Deathmatch because of the role-playing maps that some servers used. After a while you start making friends, and enemies.

It wasn't quite the experience described here, but it still felt special.
 

Kahani

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E. T. Brooking said:
Instead, modern MMOs have hewed to the example set by Blizzard's wildly popular and profitable World of Warcraft. That game, released in 2004, sent shockwaves through Neverwinter Nights' comparatively pint-sized online community. Those who investigated the realm of Azeroth returned describing a slickly professional space teeming with endless players and quests. The experience was diligently policed and controlled. There was none of Neverwinter Nights' barely bridled chaos; in World of Warcraft, any such dynamism was developer-produced.
So, how exactly is this different? A small number of people create a world that a bunch of other people play in. It's exactly the same as for NN, except done by professionals instead of hobbyists. I think where you go wrong is in calling WoW a single world. Sure, WoW is, but WoW is equivalent to just one of the mods for NN. If you want something different then you just play a different game, just as you could with NN. Far from taking anything away, MMOs are simply the logical extension of what people were trying to do themselves with the limited tools NN had to offer.
 

Blood Brain Barrier

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Damn, this has once again reminded me how much Bioware has declined. Everyone should stop buying anything from Bioware until they make Neverwinter Nights 3, or something similar.
 

E. T. Brooking

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E. T. Brooking said:
Neverwinter Nights 2 failed to capture the spirit or accessibility of its predecessor. Today, the first Neverwinter Nights still boasts a stronger online community than the sequel that was meant to replace it.

Wrong. The NWN 2 roleplaying scene is thriving very well, actually. I may be a bit bias because I'm currently part of a team developing a roleplaying server based in Amn. A lot of the technical issues have since been fixed either by Obsidian or by player generated patches. There's a huge amount of custom content and several servers that consistently have full population at peak hours (usually around 80 players). Anyone who hasn't roleplayed on NWN or NWN 2 has missed a huge opportunity in the game, though it's never too late to pop in.
 

piinyouri

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This is always going to have a special warm place in my memory because it was my first computer RPG, and really the first computer game I ever played.

I was learning how to play the game, and how to play with a mouse and keyboard at the same time.


*tears up*

Goddamn I love this game.
 

Albino Boo

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Blood Brain Barrier said:
Damn, this has once again reminded me how much Bioware has declined. Everyone should stop buying anything from Bioware until they make Neverwinter Nights 3, or something similar.
They don't own the D&D license any more so they can't make NN3.
 
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This article has made me really want to dive back into the Arelith servers again, but I'm so used to 3.5 now...

Nice read, E.T.
 

Caffiene

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Bentusi16 said:
I just know that the new baldurs gate will have nothing near it.
Probably not... But its worth pointing out that the head developer behind Baldurs Gate: EE was Project Director for NWN, and hes made mention of the flexibility as something hes especially proud of. From some comments hes made on twitter, I think if he could he would.
 

Susan Arendt

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Boudica said:
ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
No way. Really? I never thought about the person behind the stuff I downloaded for that game... That's really cool.

Susan Arendt said:
ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
Showoff. :)
Someone's jealous :p
No, he's a friend of mine, and I'm teasing him. Unlike most game journalists, I have no aspirations to be a developer.
 

SoulSalmon

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Damn...
Playing this with a group of 3-5 friends? fucking priceless.

Loads of memories where we'd all come out barely alive after a tough encounter, and try to rest, but one guy just HAD to try and break open the chest first (despite the fact we had people with the unlocking spell), which was usually trapped and got us all killed >.>

Edit: To clear up the chest breaking, that was some RP we injected, he made a warrior and didn't put much onto intelligence, so he couldn't speak properly. It caught us by suprise and he just kinda decided on the spot to roll with it.

I may not support Bioware anymore, but they did do a lot right at one stage...
 

E. T. Brooking

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Susan Arendt said:
Boudica said:
ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
No way. Really? I never thought about the person behind the stuff I downloaded for that game... That's really cool.

Susan Arendt said:
ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
Showoff. :)
Someone's jealous :p
No, he's a friend of mine, and I'm teasing him. Unlike most game journalists, I have no aspirations to be a developer.
I joke, I joke!

Either you've just arrived at work and are still sleepy, or my joking attitude is bad.

[sub][sub]Must be the first one.[/sub][/sub]
 

Mouse_Crouse

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JuliusMagnus said:
Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
I don't know... games like Little Big Planet, and Trials HD actually offer a stunning amount of tools. I don't know about LBP, but the Trials creation engine is exactly what the devs used to make the levels themselves. Effectively anything is possible, people have made puzzle games and FPSs in the Trials engine.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Sseth said:
E. T. Brooking said:
Neverwinter Nights 2 failed to capture the spirit or accessibility of its predecessor. Today, the first Neverwinter Nights still boasts a stronger online community than the sequel that was meant to replace it.
Wrong. The NWN 2 roleplaying scene is thriving very well, actually. I may be a bit bias because I'm currently part of a team developing a roleplaying server based in Amn. A lot of the technical issues have since been fixed either by Obsidian or by player generated patches. There's a huge amount of custom content and several servers that consistently have full population at peak hours (usually around 80 players). Anyone who hasn't roleplayed on NWN or NWN 2 has missed a huge opportunity in the game, though it's never too late to pop in.
You can't fix that module size hardcap

PS: EFU Represent. We made Ed Greenwood sad.
1:44:31] I've been giving Ed shit for inventing Realms swears for months now
[21:44:51] I keep telling him he should use shit like "Banes Black Balls" or whatnot
[21:44:56] NoooOOOooOOOooOoo
[21:45:00] I do that!
[21:45:05] He has to make up words like "Stlarn"
[21:45:13] "Smells worse than H'bala's armpit down here"
[21:45:17] He's a stlarning idiot, if you ask me
[21:45:21] whose Ed?
[21:45:29] Greenwood, he and I chat on FB
[21:45:30] I like what the Star Wars EU writers did:
[21:45:31] "Fierfek"
[21:45:34] Good god that's awkward to say. "stlarn"
[21:45:38] Just a slight variation of "fuck".
[21:45:38] <Gotham|Away> tell him his books are lousy
[21:45:43] I have
[21:45:53] <Gotham|Away> seriously i read falconfar and was like fuck
[21:45:54] wait you for realsies Mag
[21:45:56] I also told him that he needs to put Elminster away for once and for all
[21:45:58] <Gotham|Away> is this a fantasy book or porn
[21:46:01] <Gotham|Away> PICK ONE
[21:46:03] <Gotham|Away> AND MAKE IT BETTER
[21:46:10] and I thought he had
[21:46:10] <Gotham|Away> seriously though just fuck the winged chick goddamn
[21:46:20] then he BRINGS HIM BACK AS SMOKE
[21:46:28] <Gotham|Away> thats pretty pimpin
[21:46:37] <Gotham|Away> Wizards can now summon Elminster by tokin
[21:46:38] I'm like "Ed. Just let it go"
[21:46:50] <Gotham|Away> ask Ed if he can kill off Drizzt for us
[21:47:04] He's going to ride that pony for as long as he can make a best seller list somewhere in the world
[21:47:06] <Gotham|Away> how does he feel about whats happened to the FR setting these days, btw
[21:47:12] <Gotham|Away> I guess I can't blame him
[21:47:14] <Gotham|Away> i'd do the same thing
[21:47:20] <Gotham|Away> fuck gotta make a buck somehow
[21:47:22] His words - If the paychecks keep coming in, they can do as they like
[21:47:30] <Gotham|Away> haha
[21:47:42] <Gotham|Away> thats amusing and slightly depressing at the same time
[21:47:53] Crim - Check the efu FB page, find me, check my friends
[21:48:11] he's on there, which dosnt necessarily mean anything, but at least its something
[21:48:16] You're friends with Ed Greenwood?
[21:48:19] tell him to play efu
[21:48:25] Magister sighs
[21:48:27] <Gotham|Away> too low level
[21:48:29] Ok, for once and for all
[21:48:34] HE HAS
[21:48:35] oh shit
[21:48:39] it's ed greenwood
[21:48:44] magister is ed greenwood?
[21:48:44] <Gotham|Away> please someone tell me he got ganked
[21:48:49] He did
[21:48:49] <Gotham|Away> Ed Greenwood logs on
[21:48:51] <Gotham|Away> he gets YEESSS
[21:48:52] i wonder
[21:48:53] <Gotham|Away> AHAHAHAHAH
[21:48:55] if i should post his page here
[21:48:56] and he QUIT
[21:49:00] lol
[21:49:01] <Gotham|Away> Someone put that onto a fucking poster
[21:49:07] <Gotham|Away> EFU: We Fucked over Ed Greenwood
[21:49:14] why did he quit Mag?
[21:49:17] <Gotham|Away> oh shit wait did he play that order sorc?
[21:49:20] Magister: like, seriously played it, or like, played tourist for an houro r two?
[21:49:22] his drow app got denied
[21:49:41] He played it for a few weeks
[21:49:55] then he fell into his Elminster mindset, and pissed off a Caddies pc
[21:50:00] <Gotham|Away> rofl
[21:50:02] BAM
[21:50:03] lol
[21:50:05] XD
[21:50:07] haha this has got to be a joke
[21:50:10] <Gotham|Away> has anyone told Caddies
[21:50:26] when was this?
[21:50:27] LOL
[21:50:27] Next thing he knows, he's getting familiar with the death system, and the notion that he wont be an Archmage after all
[21:50:36] Yeah, I'm not sure whether to believe you or not, Magister xD
[21:50:38] I swear to god, I thought he was going to cry
[21:50:39] <thomas|mIRC> He played during EFU
[21:50:47] http://www.facebook.com/ed.greenwood.142
[21:50:51] <thomas|mIRC> Not EFU:A or EFU:M
[21:50:55] <Gotham|Away> ahahah aww\
[21:50:58] EFU:A
[21:51:04] <Gotham|Away> thats funny though
[21:51:07] <Gotham|Away> we've all been there Ed
[21:51:13] <Gotham|Away> we've all been there :\
[21:51:16] what was his PC?
[21:51:17] <thomas|mIRC> Caddies has only killed one of my PCs
[21:51:51] I cant recall the name anymore, it was flighty and frivolous, something most of us would hate
[21:52:05] that's pretty awesome if you're serious
[21:52:07] <Gotham|Away> Ed mostly does high magic high adventure stuff anyway
[21:52:09] I like flighty and frivolous
[21:52:11] <Gotham|Away> I can't imagine EFU being his bag
[21:52:15] I remember this vaguely
[21:52:16] Oh no
[21:52:20] You speaking about this
[21:52:22] He really liked EFU
[21:52:27] <Gotham|Away> what, really?
[21:52:31] <Gotham|Away> until Caddies killed him anyway
[21:52:33] yeah i also remember you mentioning this before, but i thought it was a joke
[21:52:34] <Gotham|Away> fucking caddies
[21:52:35] He said it was a lot closer to the way the realms were when he DMd them
[21:52:51] Darker and more dangerous
[21:52:52] <Gotham|Away> Caddies confirmed for Canon
 

JuliusMagnus

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Mouse_Crouse said:
JuliusMagnus said:
Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
I don't know... games like Little Big Planet, and Trials HD actually offer a stunning amount of tools. I don't know about LBP, but the Trials creation engine is exactly what the devs used to make the levels themselves. Effectively anything is possible, people have made puzzle games and FPSs in the Trials engine.
True,

But in this case I was looking at the persistent world capabilities of a game like Minecraft to mimick what was done with Neverwinter Nights.

I could have also talked about Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3/NV creation kits but sadly they don't offer persistent worlds out of box.

The reason why this is less common than LBP/Trials/TES is that there is the serverside of the equation. It's increasingly rare for developers/publishers to allow you to set up your own servers for free.
 

Mouse_Crouse

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JuliusMagnus said:
True,

But in this case I was looking at the persistent world capabilities of a game like Minecraft to mimick what was done with Neverwinter Nights.

I could have also talked about Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3/NV creation kits but sadly they don't offer persistent worlds out of box.

The reason why this is less common than LBP/Trials/TES is that there is the serverside of the equation. It's increasingly rare for developers/publishers to allow you to set up your own servers for free.
Very true hadn't considered the persistent worlds part.
 

ThriKreen

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Boudica said:
No way. Really? I never thought about the person behind the stuff I downloaded for that game... That's really cool.
The NWN mod scene was VERY active, as unlike modding for most games which usually involved a lot of programming or 3D modeling work, there's an aspect with writing that allowed aspiring DMs to write adventures for people to take part in.

A handful of modders even got hired at Bioware (like yours truly) among other places.

Susan Arendt said:
No, he's a friend of mine, and I'm teasing him. Unlike most game journalists, I have no aspirations to be a developer.
Don't make me bring my trout along to the Expo!

Also I'll repost from elsewhere:

So many fond memories of modding NWN and playing in DMed games and PWs.

A far cry from MMOs where the focus seems to be just on leveling up and gaining more power. Since one could just use the toolset to make yourself uberpowerful, the desire to "beat" other players is lowered, so games tended to be more on the character interaction and having fun with everyone in the party.

My favourite role-playing incident was having a pacifist airheaded cleric who loved everyone and tried to heal them, deciding the Big Bad must be anemic since he wanted our blood, so she casted Heal on him. He went up in flames, who knew?

The best non-rp incident was a random player in a PW joining our party, but then trying to be a munchkin and killing the deer in the area for their measly 1XP. But then some bug happened and the whole deer faction went hostile to him.

Nothing beat watching the poor guy run around the level with this horde of deer chasing him. "Help me!" he would cry, but as I was playing my airheaded pacifist cleric again, her response was along the lines of "That's what you get you big meanie!"

I wonder if I can create a NWN-like editor and engine with Unity3D? There were a couple things that NWN did right that games nowadays still don't, but Unity comes really close and with some set up, I could make that DragonLance PW environment I've been designing.
 

E. T. Brooking

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Aug 22, 2012
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JuliusMagnus said:
Not to be 'that' guy (or kid more likely).

But the only game that has done the same giving up servers and multiplayer content creation to fans while not asking money beyond initial purchase is Minecraft.

Although admittedly not an RPG out of box. Many modders are busy inserting those systems.
I gave a lot of thought to Minecraft and the Source RP scene while writing this piece. Those systems permit much more player freedom than NWN's Aurora toolset. Given enough time and effort, architects can create almost anything, at no additional cost and playable with others from around the world. That's simply awesome.

The distinction is that, in addition to its sophisticated world-building client, NWN also provided a faithful implementation of the D&D 3.0 ruleset. Just as you could spend dozens of hours finding the perfect server, you could spend dozens more hours trying to find the perfect character build or pvp strategy. NWN was intended to be a deep, heavily customizable role-playing experience. It succeeded and it didn't nickel-and-dime its players in the process.


ThriKreen said:
<- made the NWN horse system.

You're welcome. ;)
ThriKreen...now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. A long time.

Probably not since the notes from one of the post-HotU patches! Thanks, a few years after the fact, for making us all feel a bit less silly when traveling across those absurdly sized grassland areas so many servers insisted on having.


Thinking back, the NWN community really was one of a kind. There were superb writers, master programmers, and visionaries who could breath life into a 300+ area module. I'd be interested to see what they've gotten up to since.

My username was Tulin_Darkarian if anyone remembers me. I was a regrettable "eh." across all three fields of that writer/programmer/visionary spectrum.
 

Gather

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Kahani said:
E. T. Brooking said:
Instead, modern MMOs have hewed to the example set by Blizzard's wildly popular and profitable World of Warcraft. That game, released in 2004, sent shockwaves through Neverwinter Nights' comparatively pint-sized online community. Those who investigated the realm of Azeroth returned describing a slickly professional space teeming with endless players and quests. The experience was diligently policed and controlled. There was none of Neverwinter Nights' barely bridled chaos; in World of Warcraft, any such dynamism was developer-produced.
So, how exactly is this different? A small number of people create a world that a bunch of other people play in. It's exactly the same as for NN, except done by professionals instead of hobbyists. I think where you go wrong is in calling WoW a single world. Sure, WoW is, but WoW is equivalent to just one of the mods for NN. If you want something different then you just play a different game, just as you could with NN. Far from taking anything away, MMOs are simply the logical extension of what people were trying to do themselves with the limited tools NN had to offer.
Neverwinter Nights is different because of it's size; it is much easier for a player to have some sort of real change to the world (That the developer never planned to implement). This could be creating a faction that (eventually) become a permanent feature to the world. The "real" persistent worlds evolve or change according to what the player needs.

WoW is a world you play in; your path is linear with a story you "read".

A good persistent world in Neverwinter Nights becomes your world and a story you create.
----
It is the ultimate difference between a "theme park" MMO and a "Sandpit" MMO.
 

PPB

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May 25, 2009
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I always keep NWN installed on my computers and still play it semi-frequently. Some player-made modules put many retail games to shame and, as the article says, the online community was something to see.

Following NWN2's relative failure, I was hoping Dragon Age would ressurect the idea of custom modules with its toolset, but it never went very far. It's a real shame, but I guess we'll never see another game like NWN.
 

Glenn Radley

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Aug 24, 2012
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This is my favourite game of all time. I still drop in on Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mists. Still has a dedicated group of around 30 players 24 hours a day.

Unbelievable online playability.
 

beefpelican

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RandV80 said:
Yeah I spent a good bit of time playing this game back when I was in college. I wanted to comment on the article though, in addition to the 2 expansion packs Bioware did release a couple of smaller $10 campaigns for the game.
Really? Not counting Hordes and Shadows? What were they called?

(also, this dish related captcha could easily be read by a program. I think the point of the captcha is being missed here.)
 

mellemhund

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Apr 1, 2009
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That brought back memories. I spent a couple of years with NWN online and was fasinated by the depth of RPG on some servers, the worlds on others and the action packed dungeon crawling on servers.

I tried WoW afterwards, but it never was the same to me. The RPG seemed pointless and the world to generic. I hope for newer gamers, that they will have the chance to experience such a world as was NWN online.
 

ThriKreen

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beefpelican said:
Really? Not counting Hordes and Shadows? What were they called?
They were the Premium Modules, the pre-cursor to DLC.

Witch's Wake, Shadowguard, Kingmaker, which you can get as part of NWN Diamond or the Kingmaker pack.

And download only (which I worked on): Pirates of the Sword Coast, Infinite Dungeons, and WyvernCrown of Cormyr (HORSES).
 

DeathQuaker

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Funny thing, I never played NWN multiplayer and never had any interest in it. I still loved fanmade single player modules for it and NWN2. Definitely agree in giving it accolades but I never even think of it as a multiplayer game. And I find there's an interesting disconnect where single player NWNers seldom consider the multiplayer aspects, and vice versa.

And NWN2 was a fantastic experience for a single player gamer -- yeah, they borked the multiplayer, but as a single player game it was great (and I actually preferred NWN2's toolset).

And I think NWN2 teaches a lesson there...

The thing about NWN is that it was in development for a looong time. It was actually originally going to be an Interplay game before Interplay collasped--you were originally going to be able to import your Baldur's Gate characters into it (so said a loading screen in BG2). They had lots and lots of time to figure out what was an extremely complex gaming engine, beyond just making a single game.

NWN2 comparatively was made in a much shorter timeframe, by an at-that-time new company that was forced to use someone else's by-that-point aging game engine and upgrade it and add new things to it--oh, and convert the mechanics from D&D 3.0 to 3.5. Trying to make it do all the stuff that NWN did plus update the graphics and game mechanics in a couple years was a ridiculously tall order. Hence the borked multiplayer and other things. (I still loved the game, but again, I don't play multiplayer, so I didn't get burned like the multiplayer players felt they did.)

And the thing is, to develop a game--or rather software system like NWN---that can be a comprehensive single player game, toolset, GM tool, and persistent world provider--in this day and age with current tech and getting everything right would take way, way, way longer than most developers are given time to create. Maybe in the era of Kickstarter and indie projects it would be possible but for now I'd be skeptical it could happen again for awhile.
 

beefpelican

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ThriKreen said:
beefpelican said:
Really? Not counting Hordes and Shadows? What were they called?
They were the Premium Modules, the pre-cursor to DLC.

Witch's Wake, Shadowguard, Kingmaker, which you can get as part of NWN Diamond or the Kingmaker pack.

And download only (which I worked on): Pirates of the Sword Coast, Infinite Dungeons, and WyvernCrown of Cormyr (HORSES).
I am intrigued...Not yet sure if i'm intrigued enough to find my old NwN install disks, but then again I did always like the way it handled more than NwN 2.
 

Cloud_comp

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Aug 27, 2012
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Holy Crap! No one here knows that there are over 100 persistent worlds run by the NWN2 Engine currently via the games MP function?! Really!?

It's a whole new NWN2 and we built it!

For the last eight years hordes of die-hard NWN fans from around the world have been building entire worlds and server clusters of worlds via the NWN2 toolset. We have been running eight year long D&D campaigns with live dungeon masters. Our worlds now have all the features of MMOs that we as a community programmed in.

I personally come from a series of four interconnected servers based naturally on D&D Faerun. We run the Moonshae's Isles, Baldur's Gate, Western Heartlands, and The Silver Marches. We run live games and we run in hardcore 3.5 rules with Roleplay standards of total immersion and PERMADEATH rules according to the manual.

Our servers were built by a host of international players who all got together originally to host 15 different Faerun based servers back on NWN called A Land Far Away (alandfaraway.org) I am a builder and a past Dm and through my contributions via creating areas and worlds I have learned and taught others to create naturally realistic gaming environs via using new unique content you will not see in single player.

Our servers have engendered international friendship, vacations, mini-cons, and even marriages. And we are just ONE group of a hundred servers that are run in all different languages. NWN2 have three adult RP servers, a game of thrones based server, and even a space-travel based server all created through content shared in the creative commons via NWN2vault.com.

Sure we don't own a lick of this content via Hasbro/Obsidian/Atari, but we love what it brings to us, a world under OUR control, with live Dms that care, plus static content and all the professions and customization that MMOs offer.

We took that so called piece of crap NWN2 and used as fertilizer to grow an entirely different world. Contact me on our A Land Far Away facebook group page for more info.
 

Phoenix8541

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Sep 10, 2012
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With the constant integration of technology into our daily lives, I'm confident that a day is coming soon when a group of young adventurers set out to defy the system, will create a new world online that will put the status quo to the test. We must always remind others around us of the past, and an age when freedom in life and online were side by side.
 

likalaruku

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Nov 29, 2008
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I solo through MMOs & treat them like massive open world single player campaigns overrun with useless NPCs. I play lots of them, provided they're FTP with optional cash shop or a one-time payment, & don't have open PvP. I'm not antisocial & am interested in tabletop gaming, I just really dislike playing video games with others. & I do put money into the ones I like, I just rotate between MMOs every 2 weeks, rendering even a one month subscription pointless.

It's nice to know there will be another Neverwinter game, even if I already have ::checks:: 6 other upcoming MMOs I'm excited about. 2013 is going to be awesome. I'm especially hopefully that it will be very story heavy, like LotRO & NWN & BG. Well, my biggest hope is really that playing it reminds me of playing NWN & not something else.

Oh man, NWN had the BEST premium mods. The stories were good enough that I almost ripped my hair out when I remembered that some of them were left unfinished. While NWN2 & it's first expansion were great, the other 2 expansions were quite disappointing. I tried to enjoy them; I shouldn't have to try,