Nights (NWN) is a new Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)
roleplaying game from BioWare, the developers of Baldur's
Gate. Neverwinter Nights has not only been designed
specifically for the online, multiplayer environment and the
latest in 3D technology, but it also allows you to
experience all the magic of pen-and-paper Dungeon Mastering
on your home computer. Don't confuse this game with the AOL
game of the same name, that game was created by Stormfront
Using NWN's powerful and user-friendly Solstice Toolset, you
can create and populate entire, new, modular worlds and
stories for others to adventure in. Even better, enter a
multiplayer module as a Dungeon Master and you can alter the
plot, possess characters, and manage combat from behind the
scenes, all in real-time.
The Neverwinter Nights
story takes place in the northern Sword Coast region in
TSR's Forgotten Realms, running from Neverwinter in the
south, to Luskan in the north. However, the areas that can
be created using the toolkit tile sets have no real bounds.
They will include everything necessary to create two
distinct cities, a great variety of forest and grassland
terrain, numerous types of dungeons, two intricate castle
styles, rural hamlets, and vast subterranean caverns.
It's Scheduled for release in Early 2001
real-time voice communication including whispering.
- Play in
either single-player or multiplayer mode.
player killing on or off at the start of every gaming
your character by selecting clothing/armor, hair, and
skin colors as well as importing your own character
portraits and sounds.
PC, Macintosh, and Linux platforms.
your own modules with the Solstice Toolkit.
- Act as a
live Dungeon Master controlling Non-Player Characters
and monsters in real-time to dynamically adapt to
4-hour adventure modules to play, plus tons of
unofficial modules created by players like you!
official modules will follow the initial release
chock-full of new story and game play in addition to new
tilesets, items, monsters, spells, classes and races.
& Dragons Role-Playing
- Set in
TSR's legendary Forgotten Realms, the game takes place
in the northern Sword Coast region, running from
Neverwinter in the south, to Luskan in the north.
- Uses new
3rd edition D&D rules, allowing nearly any
combination of 7 races, 12 classes, and 9 alignments.
two weapons simultaneously.
- Over 200
reach up to 20th level (to be expanded with future
- Over 200
monsters to fight - everything from lowly Orcs to mighty
your character from Baldur's Gate.
- Use the
"Character Vault" to secure your characters or
choose to keep your characters locally.
- Uses a
variant of the Bioware 3D "Omen" engine,
developed for MDK2.
a huge number of character moves for smooth 3D
person, 3/4-down, isometric view.
camera rotation around characters.
- Zoom in
FACTS PAGE (FAQ v2.0)
The Big Picture…
How do I play Neverwinter Nights? Is there a single-player
There are many different
ways to enjoy Neverwinter and we encourage you to try them
all. In its simplest form, you can play Neverwinter Nights
right out of the box as a Single-Player Game. The story,
which represents 60-100 hours of gameplay, is rich and epic,
full of complex characters and surprise plot twists that
will keep you glued to your screen until the wee morning
For all the strength of our
single-player game, the world of Neverwinter shines as a
deeply engaging Multiplayer Game. We are including numerous
competitive modules, from simple arena matches to treasure
races to team-based castle stormings. More importantly, each
and every module in the Neverwinter Nights story is written
and structured to encourage the cooperative, party-based
gameplay that makes Pen and Paper AD&D so rewarding. But
remember: just because you've finished our story doesn't
mean the game is over.
You can always continue
your adventures by downloading exciting new Player-Designed
Modules from fan and guild sites on the Internet. Whether
you prefer single- or multiplayer games, Neverwinter Nights
represents a near-infinite amount of solid, AD&D gaming.
Should you ever tire of
these more traditional playing styles, there are still many
fascinating new ways to enjoy our game: take on the role and
responsibility of Dungeon Master and shape the gaming
experience of your players on a fundamental level. Bring
forth words of wisdom from a dragon's mouth, create entire
new quests on the fly, or simply throw an orc tribe in the
party's way to buy time.
Best of all, create your
own worlds, tales, and adventures with our user-friendly
Solstice Toolset and either make them available for download
over the Internet or establish them as part of a larger,
persistent world where people can experience your handiwork
around the clock.
How will Neverwinter Nights differ from other online games?
The approach taken with
Neverwinter Nights is to mirror the Pen and Paper model of
Role-playing. We want to get a group of friends together,
give them a great story to play through and have a Dungeon
Master to moderate the gameplay. We are taking advantage of
the great party-based adventuring experiences that are made
possible by massively multiplayer games, and giving our
players a gripping and immersive story line in which they
can be full and important participants. We are blending the
best of single-player and massively multiplayer games, as
well as the classic experience of Pen and Paper roleplaying,
to create the best of all possible worlds. Neverwinter
Nights is all the beauty of D&D 3rd Edition, brought
Will I have to pay a monthly fee to play Neverwinter Nights?
No. For the retail version
of Neverwinter Nights, there will be no monthly fee to play
online. While value-added persistent worlds requiring some
form of payment may be established at a later date, these
will not interfere with the free services already provided.
How will playing Neverwinter Nights in single-player mode
differ from playing in multiplayer mode?
The single-player mode for
Neverwinter Nights consists of the same game as the
multiplayer version. There are a number of automated
features to help balance the game, including the dynamic
scaling of combat encounters according the size and relative
strength of your party. We are also studying the possibility
of having the player acquire henchmen of one sort or
another. These henchmen, while computer-controlled, will
still be responsive to a variety of commands issued by the
player. Don't forget, if you have an internet or LAN
connection, you might enjoy having a live Dungeon Master
moderate your single-player game.
Will there be special deathmatch modules?
A variety of competitive
multiplayer modules, deathmatch among them, will be included
for those players with an eye for bragging rights. Other
possibilities include castle stormings and dungeon races,
among others. ;-)
Why does everyone keep talking about Neverwinter Nights as
if it has been around forever?
We are actually not the
first game to have this name. In the early 1990s, America
On-Line (AOL) launched a game called Neverwinter Nights: a
500-player, persistent online game based on the AD&D
license and the 'gold box' games developed in the 1980s by
SSI. Our project Neverwinter Nights is a 'spiritual
successor' to this classic Dungeons & Dragons game.
In what area of the Forgotten Realms will Neverwinter Nights
Our Neverwinter Nights
story takes place in the northern Sword Coast region in
TSR's Forgotten Realms, running from Neverwinter in the
south, to Luskan in the north. However, the areas we can
create using our tilesets have no real bounds. They will
include everything necessary to create two distinct cities,
a great variety of forest and grassland terrain, numerous
types of dungeons, two intricate castle styles, rural
hamlets, and vast subterranean caverns.
Can you tell me about TSR's new AD&D 3rd Edition rules?
Unfortunately, no. We are
currently under a non-disclosure agreement with Wizards of
the Coast (TSR's owners) and are unable to discuss any
aspects of it that have not been publicly addressed in the
FAQ available at their website. Suffice to say that we
really enjoy playtesting with the new rules and are in full
support of the directions in which TSR is taking them. The
first of the 3rd Edition rulebooks will be released to the
public in August, 2000.
Are there dragons?
The system is Dungeons and
Dragons 3rd Edition. There will be dungeons, and there will
also be dragons. We intend to make them among the most
impressive creatures ever featured in an RPG.
How many monsters will there be?
We are expecting to include
approximately 200 monsters in Neverwinter Nights, built from
over 50 unique base models. A wide variety of changes to the
statistics, textures, sounds, and AI of the creatures will
make up the difference. Our bestiary ranges from the lowly
orc to the mighty dragon and, as we release expansions,
further base models and variations will be added to the
How many spells will be included in the game?
We are currently planning
on implementing in excess of 200 different spells. All of
the spells will remain true to the new 3rd edition AD&D
The Player Character…
How many different races and classes can I play?
In full accordance with the
new, 3rd Edition AD&D rules, Neverwinter Nights allows
you to play any combination of 7 races and 11 classes. Aside
from the traditional Humans, Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves,
Gnomes, and Halflings, you can also play the powerful new
Half-Orc. Wizards, Priests, Paladins, Druids, Rangers,
Fighters, Rogues, and Bards abound but are they any match
for the new Sorcerer, Barbarian, and Monk classes? We'll
leave you to find out.
Will I be controlling an individual character or an entire
The issue of assuming
control over multiple characters in a single-player game is
still under discussion. In multiplayer games, you will never
control more than a single character at any given time. In
certain circumstances, such as a mage's use of a familiar,
however, it will be possible to transfer control from one
creature to another. Will we also provide you with some
limited control over summoned creatures and charmed
non-player characters. Your party members will be other real
players from around the world. Within the context of a given
module, it may be possible for a player to acquire different
types of non-player followers and freelancers but they will
always remain under the control of the computer… or a
Dungeon Master with a trick up his or her sleeve. ;-)
Can my character wield two weapons at the same time?
Yes. Wielding a second
weapon adds one extra attack per round and is a skill that
must be learned. In order to enhance the excitement of
combat, we are also adding a variety of special abilities
including the ability to parry attacks, make called shots,
and disarm your opponents. These additions should make
playing a high level fighter or thief an enjoyable and
Can I play evil characters?
Yes. When creating your
characters, you can choose from any of the nine traditional
AD&D alignments. We leave the choices between law and
chaos, good and evil, in your hands.
Can I play as a monster?
As the Dungeon Master of a
game, you will be able to possess any creature in that game
world, including monsters, wildlife, and all of the
non-player characters (NPCs).
To what degree can I customize my characters?
You will be able to create
any type of character you want from those available in the
new 3rd edition AD&D ruleset. You will be able to
customize six different colors on your character (hair,
skin, and major and minor clothing/armor colors). Further
colors will be modified according to the armor and clothing
you choose to wear. You will be able to either select a
character portrait from our extensive library or import your
own. You will also be able to customize and import your
character sounds in the same way. Your choice from our wide
selection of hats, helms, clothing, armor, and weapons in
the game will also significantly impact the appearance of
your character. As for the question of Guild or Adventuring
Company badges, we intend to support custom graphics that
will appear alongside the portrait and text description
associated with your character.
Can magic-users have familiars?
Yes, familiars will be
available for magic-users. You can let them rummage around
in the relative safety of your backpack or let them follow
you around under the control of the computer. You will also
be able to control them directly but be forewarned: in doing
so, you surrender control of your character, who will enter
a trance-like state until control of the familiar is
surrendered. In other words, familiars are powerful allies
and useful scouts but, like all things magical, they are a
How many levels can my character gain?
In the initial release of
Neverwinter Nights, you will be able to develop your
character to 20th level. Unlike many other RPG systems, a
20th level character in AD&D is a force to be reckoned
with and reaching such a level is quite the achievement. In
future expansions, the level cap may be raised even further.
Can I carry over items and experience between modules?
Yes. Neverwinter Nights
will ship with an epic story in which your character will be
able to grow and develop in very real and substantial ways.
Or, if you are more interested in playing custom modules and
persistent worlds, feel free. In all cases, your character's
progression is tracked and maintained over the course of his
or her adventuring life. Keep in mind that, for story and
gameplay reasons, some Dungeon Masters may choose to
disallow certain types of items or direct their modules
towards characters of certain levels.
Can I import my character from Baldur's Gate?
You can import primary
characters from any game in the Baldur's Gate franchise as
'unofficial' (ie: non-Vault) characters. The character and
items will be modified to fit within the Neverwinter Nights
rules framework but will remain essentially intact. If you
want the imported character to have 'official' ranking and a
space in the Character Vault, please realize that, for
balancing reasons, they must be stripped of all their
experience and belongings and return to a Level 1 state.
Core attributes will also be screened and modified to ensure
that they conform to Character Vault standards.
- How will I communicate with players and non-player
characters in Neverwinter Nights?
non-player characters (NPCs) is based on a keyword-based
text parsing system. Communication with other players will
take on a number of forms. It will be possible to type in
text messages, as you would to an NPC. We also intend to
support a wide range of customizable, hot-key-based
quick-text options in order to facilitate rapid and precise
communication in combat situations. Most exciting, however,
are our plans to support real-time voice communication
between players, thereby freeing your hands for other tasks.
How will Neverwinter Nights' real-time combat system work?
Neverwinter Nights is a
real-time game with a strong tactical focus. That said, the
Dungeon Master will have the power to pause the game at any
Our focus, however, remains
on developing a tactical real-time combat system. The last
thing we want is a 'click-fest' where the player with the
highest ping and fastest reflexes wins. One way we are
minimizing the amount of mouse-clicking is to create a
'single-click' combat system: your character will repeat
basic attack actions until either you or your target is
slain or you give other orders. Special combat actions such
as spellcasting, parrying, disarming, or called shots will
A wide variety of skills,
spells, and items, if used judiciously, will help turn the
tide of combat in your favor. Successful tacticians must
also learn to take advantage of their environment. They must
learn to make use of the nuances of terrain and of light and
shadow, as well as the potential interference of other NPCs,
animals, and monsters. Bards will need to inspire their
companions in battle and fighters will need to place
themselves in the way of harm to protect the vulnerable
wizard. Clerics must show wisdom in who they heal and when
and thieves must be willing to act as scouts, assessing the
foe and recommending a means of approach. Party members can
talk with each other and trade taunts with their opponents,
either through our highly customizable hot-key system or,
even better, by making use of the voice communication
software we will be integrating into the game.
What happens when my character dies?
There are many ways of
handling character death and Neverwinter Nights allows you
to choose the one that suits you best. The host of the game
will be able to choose from a wide variety of possible death
scenarios ranging from an unpenalized, immediate respawn to
having that character permanently removed from the server.
Other possibilities will include a reliance on Raise Dead
and Resurrection spells; penalties to statistics,
experience, and inventory; the need to find your corpse; and
countless others in between. In short, we know that there
will be a wide diversity of modules and styles of gameplay
created using our Solstice Toolset and we want to ensure
that important game mechanics such as character death can
take enough different forms to be suitable for all of them.
Is player killing allowed?
Player killing will be set
by the game's host at the start of the gaming session to
fall into one of the following categories: 'Player Killing,'
where all players can be a potential target; 'No Player
Killing,' which means that players will be actively
prevented from injuring each other; 'Party vs Party,' which
prohibits friendly fire while still allowing player from
competing teams to target each other; and 'Area-Based,'
where player killing options are set on an area by area
basis within the larger module. Should further needs arise
during our development cycle, we will develop the necessary
settings to accommodate them. We are very aware of both the
positive and negative aspects that can emerge from player
killing in an online game, and are therefore putting a lot
of thought into this issue.
Can I pause the game?
Yes and no. We have given
DMs the ability to pause the game in case they need time for
adjudication. As it is a real time multiplayer game,
however, players will not be granted access to the pause
Can I customize the hotkeys and controls?
Yes. We will do our best to
make our control system as customizable and as streamlined
Do I need a Dungeon Master in order to play Neverwinter
No. All modules produced by
BioWare will be fully functional with or without a Dungeon
Master. We cannot promise anything with regards to
player-created modules but we intend to build the Solstice
Toolset in such a way that encourages modules suitable for
both forms of play.
- Is the Dungeon Master there just to dump monsters in the
players' path or is there something more to it?
The Dungeon Master role is
whatever you make it. If you want to run a simple dungeon
hack, you're more than welcome to. However, the tools at
your disposal are far more powerful and evocative than
simply plopping down monsters and treasure. We give you the
ability to interact with your players on a one-to-one basis,
to truly *be* the character they are talking to. Tell a tale
of love lost, have a feared orc chieftain sheathe his sword
in the midst of battle when he learns that it is his half-orc
daughter who opposes him, breath life into everything. We
envision the Dungeon Master as a master storyteller,
bringing wit and emotion to the gameworld and enriching the
roleplaying experience of the players. We want to challenge
you, as DM, to have a deep emotional impact on your players.
Possess the game's characters and fill them with drama.
Build mood and atmosphere in everything you do. Your players
will love you for it and spread word of your campaigns
everywhere they go.
Can I DM my friends through a module that I have created?
Yes. We intend to make the
module creation process as simple as possible. Feel free to
locate your story in Medieval France, the city of Waterdeep
within TSR's Forgotten Realms, or a nameless haunted forest.
When it's ready, launch it on either a LAN or, better yet,
on Neverwinter.net, our dedicated matching service, and let
players from around the world enter into the one dominion
where you have absolute control.
As a DM, can I alter a character's dialogue while in the
Even better! When
'possessing' a character, you can not only control their
actions but also speak through them in real-time. Drop a
clue for a player in need, respond to an unanticipated
question, or heighten the dramatic tension of the moment. Do
so using our real-time voice communication technology or
keep the players on their toes by using text and disguising
yourself as any other NPC. As we use a 'keyword' dialogue
system, it will be difficult for a player to be able to
discern whether or not a DM has taken control of a
Can I log in as a Dungeon Master from a remote (ie:
Certainly. The Dungeon
Master does not have to be the host of the game. It is
possible, for instance, to establish your work computer with
a nifty T1 connection as a weekend Neverwinter server. The
DM role is always password-protected so you can be sure that
it's ready and waiting for you to jump in and manage once
you get home.
Can there be multiple Dungeon Masters in a single game?
Definitely. The Dungeon
Masters can be on equal footing but the initial DM will have
the ability to modify the abilities and permissions of the
other DMs if he or she sees fit. A good DM team could enact
complex scenes between non-player characters, manage
intricate multiparty battles, or even go head-to-head in
some strange new form of adversarial DM contest.
The Solstice Toolset…
How easy will it be to create my own module, and how
powerful will the editors be?
Very easy. Very powerful.
We are dedicated to making our Solstice Toolset as intuitive
and easy to use as possible. You can draw from our extensive
libraries of pre-existing content or feel free to create
your own. All buildings, terrain, and dungeon spaces, for
instance, can be painted down using intuitive and
context-sensitive tiles. At the same time, our powerful,
in-house scripting language allows you to weave your stories
and create characters that behave in an intelligent fashion
(this includes engaging in fully customizable conversations
and dialog chains that you create). You will even be able to
create new creatures and items based on templates provided
for your convenience!
Can I translate my favorite Pen and Paper module or homemade
campaign into a Neverwinter Nights module?
Yes, we expect the Solstice
Toolset to be powerful enough to recreate most home
campaigns and classic modules. While you may not be able to
faithfully recreate every trap in the Tomb of Horrors and we
may not have models for this or that exact monster or
terrain type, the Solstice Toolset should be able to create
an easily recognizable facsimile of that special tale or
imaginary world you've grown to love, whatever it may be. We
hope to release additional art content once we have shipped
the original game, thus making more and more things possible
over the course of time.
What kinds of tilesets will I have access to via the
We have a few surprises
we'd like to keep secret so as not to give away the story
but here's a basic list of what you'll be working with:
(each terrain tileset includes suitable buildings, streams,
waterfalls, coastlines, impassable chasms, forests, and
bodies of water, on three traversable height levels)
Urban Tilesets (each urban tileset includes
curtain walls, defensive walls, buildings, docks, water
channels, bridges, etc.):
Castle Tilesets (each castle tileset includes
interior and exterior tiles, with numerous variations on
a general architectural theme - library, throne room,
personal chambers, guard room, etc. Castle tilesets can
also double as subterranean tilesets)
Subterranean Tilesets (each subterranean tileset
includes a variety of passable and impassable tiles
suitable to its theme.)
Beyond these, Neverwinter
Nights will include a wide variety of buildings and
structures of both a unique and a generic nature, a number
of special tiles, a large number of variations on basic tile
models, and, of course, some plot-related tilesets that we
want to keep secret.
Do you intend to release new monsters, tiles, modules, etc.
after the initial game ships?
We definitely want to.
We're not sure exactly what form such a release would take
(a sequel with a new full-length story, an expansion that
adds a new cluster of modules, a free download file with
just art, etc.) but we are definitely committed to the
longevity of Neverwinter Nights.
Can I link my world to someone else's?
Yes. Servers can be linked
through "Portals." Portals are created when one
server operator requests a link and another server operator
accepts. This will form a two-way transfer between the two
servers, allowing players to travel between the two worlds
simply by stepping through the Portal. Once a Portal is
created, it remains until removed by one of the server
operators. If the server on the other end is currently not
operational, the Portal will appear closed. Players can view
a wide variety of information about the server on the other
end by inspecting the Portal. If the character does not meet
the requirements of the new server, the player is not
teleported and re-appears beside the original server's
Portal. Servers can support multiple Portals.
What are some ways I can make use of Portals?
The implications of this
Portal system are pretty mind-boggling. By distributing the
different areas and population load over a number of home
computers with decent Internet connections, your game world
can know no boundaries. On a smaller scale, a player guild
or adventuring party can link a chapter's worth of BioWare's
story-based modules to each other, allowing them to
adventure freely through the larger story environment by
passing from Portal to Portal. Freewheeling MUDs and MUSHes
could also emerge where people cobble their different
creations together into a larger, cosmopolitan world of
adventure. Neverwinter Nights is all about getting people
together and Portals allow that to happen on a grander, even
more exciting scale.
How do you expect the Neverwinter Nights community to form?
Will there be some sort of centralized place where people
All players wishing to play
over the Internet will do so through our dedicated matching
service on Neverwinter.net. This will include a central chat
room (with the option to enter and create smaller rooms off
to the side) where people can roleplay their characters,
find Dungeon Masters and adventuring groups, discuss
different modules and servers, etc. We are designing
Neverwinter.net to be a robust and centralized forum where
the larger Neverwinter Nights community can gather and grow.
We are taking this chat room approach because it allows us
to bring the *entire* Neverwinter Nights community together
in one place.
What kind of role do you see for guilds?
We are planning to support
"Adventuring Companies" as part of the matching
service, so players can form identifiable groups and
adventure together. This feature should form the basis for a
strong community, though we want to leave as much of guild
creation and management to the players as possible, as this
will serve to augment them with in-game identification. We
are intending to display a customized Guild badge in
association with your character's portrait or text
What is Neverwinter.net's "Character Vault"
technology, and what will it do?
Vault" is a means for players to protect themselves
against cheating and character imbalances. The Vault works
like a library: you create an 'official' character on
neverwinter.net and, when you enter a game module, that
character is automatically checked out of the Vault. Upon
your completion of the module, your character is checked
back in and processed through a series of filters.
Drawing on fair,
pre-determined standards of advancement, these filters
monitor the amount and quality of treasure the character
brings back, any changes in the character's core attributes,
the power of their magical items, and the experience they
have gained, comparing them to the length of time that the
character has been absent from the Vault. If any of these
standards are exceeded, the player is faced with a choice:
they can maintain their 'official' status by dropping items,
restoring statistics, or cutting experience points; or they
can opt to lose that 'official' status by saving the
non-filtered character locally for use on servers willing to
permit 'unofficial' characters. It will be possible to
maintain 'official' and 'unofficial' versions of the same
character, if you so choose.
Player and Dungeon Master
hosts will have the means to police their own servers and
can choose to admit only those characters that bear the
official "Character Vault" stamp of approval. With
the "Character Vault," being an officially
sanctioned 10th level mage will really mean something.
What does the existence of the "Character Vault"
The Vault is all about
helping you connect with people that share your gaming
philosophy. Its existence implies two things: On the one
hand, it implies that you, as a player, can protect yourself
from exploitation by cheaters and hackers. If you want your
gaming experience to be balanced and fair, play on servers
that don't allow 'unofficial' characters (if you can't find
any, host the game yourself and set the toggle on the server
options panel). On the other hand, it implies that those who
like to experiment with cheats, hacks, god-like characters,
and Monty Haul campaigns are more than welcome to do so. By
opting to play on servers that accept 'unofficial'
characters, you know that you are in an environment where
your experiments will be accepted for what they are. On a
related note, DMs who want less or more ethical control than
the Character Vault provides, can host 'unofficial' games
where friends and strangers alike will have to play under
their own house rules.
Where are 'official' and 'unofficial' characters saved?
All 'official' characters
are saved in the Character Vault database. 'Unofficial'
characters can be saved in either of two places, however.
They can be saved locally on the player's own computer for
use in single-player or in most 'unofficial' multiplayer
games. 'Unofficial' characters can also be saved and
modified on the server(s) they were created on. This is
useful for people wanting to build persistent worlds or DMs
running long-term campaigns with the same adventuring party.
The Technical Stuff…
What kind of computer will I need to play Neverwinter
Our minimum system
specifications will likely be a Pentium Pro 200 or Power PC
of greater than 200 mhz, with a Riva TNT or Voodoo2 class 3D
card and 32 MB of ram. An internet or LAN connection will,
of course, be required for those wishing to play multiplayer
games. A 56K modem should allow any such computer to support
at least 8 players. A cable modem will be able to support
significantly more. We are currently unsure of maximum
numbers, but we are aiming for a maximum of approximately 64
players on most home-based servers. With dedicated and more
powerful systems, the maximum number of players on the
server could increase even further.
What is a server? Does this mean that I have to have a
special kind of computer to host a game?
Not at all. Anyone with the
minimum system specs and a decent modem can host a game and
become a server. 'Server,' then, simply refers to the
computer that launched the gaming session. Remember, while
most Dungeon Masters will run their own servers, you don't
have to be a Dungeon Master to do so. Anyone, including DMs,
players, and spectators, can use their computer as a server.
What type of server will be necessary to house Neverwinter
Nights' world and players?
Any home computer
conforming to our minimum system specs will be able to act
as a Neverwinter Nights server. The number of players that
your server can support is primarily limited by your
bandwidth. A basic 56k modem will support a minimum of 8
players while we're aiming for approximately 64 players on a
cable modem. LANs and dedicated servers with faster modem
lines will likely be able to support even more. If we find
we can increase these numbers, we will.
Will there be a Mac/Linux version?
Yes. We are developing
simultaneously for PC, Mac, and Linux.
What graphics engine will be used in Neverwinter Night?
Neverwinter Nights is using
a variant of the Bioware "Omen" engine, initially
developed for "MDK2." "Omen" is a fully
3D engine with a ton of amazing features, including
resolution independence, a powerful particle system, and
dynamic lighting. The animation system supports a huge
number of character moves and takes advantage of the ability
to smoothly interpolate between them. Using the Bioware
"Omen" engine has allowed us to create an
amazingly rich world, populated with impressively detailed
creatures and environments.
What is the game's viewing perspective?
Neverwinter Nights uses a
3rd person, ¾-down, isometric view, similar but different
from that of Baldur's Gate. The main difference is that the
engine used for Neverwinter Nights is fully 3D, allowing you
to rotate the camera around your character and zoom in and
How far can I zoom?
You will be able to zoom
out until your character is 1/15th as tall as the screen,
and zoom in until your character is 1/3rd as tall as the
What kind of real-time voice communication will Neverwinter
At this time, we are still
evaluating the state of real time voice technology and the
different software packages currently in development. We are
aiming, however, for some form of full duplex communication
software. This means that you will be able to send and
receive messages simultaneously (as opposed to the CB Radio
model where you can only either send or receive at any given
time, not both). We believe that interpersonal communication
is integral to the building of community and the D&D
roleplaying experience. We want to provide an environment
where party members can act in a cooperative manner,
planning strategies in mid-battle and recounting cherished
exploits in a seedy tavern with equal ease. With this in
mind, we will do everything in our power to make
communication in all its forms as easy as possible.
Can I join into a Neverwinter Nights game as a spectator?
Yes. A spectator is
essentially a Dungeon Master who lacks the ability to modify
or interact with the world.
When will Neverwinter Nights be released?
We are currently aiming for
a tentative release date of 1st Quarter, 2001. However, as
BioWare is firmly committed to developing only the highest
quality in computer entertainment, we will reassess this as
development progresses. Our goal is, first and foremost,
Will modules be supplied beyond the initial release?
We certainly hope so. We
are interested in supplying future modules that are not only
chock-full of new story and gameplay but also contain
all-new tilesets, items, monsters, spells, classes and races
to the libraries of the Solstice Toolset. And don't forget:
the fun of Neverwinter Nights never ends. Once you play
through the game that we've provided, you can always
download new modules created by friends and fellow players
around the world.
Is there a public beta test that I can participate in?
We currently have no plans
in place for a public beta of Neverwinter Nights, as the
vast majority of our beta testing is done in-house at
BioWare and Black Isle Studios. However, we do expect to be
entering a new phase of our development cycle within the
next nine to twelve months and may benefit from launching a
public beta at that point. Should this be the case, we will
notify you via the message boards and on our websites:
www.neverwinternights.com and www.bioware.com.