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The Ironworks - Neverwinter Nights Area

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  About the Game

Click Here for Behind the Scenes Stuff



Neverwinter 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 Studios.

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

Gameplay

  • Uses real-time voice communication including whispering.
  • Play in either single-player or multiplayer mode.
  • Toggle player killing on or off at the start of every gaming session.
  • Customize your character by selecting clothing/armor, hair, and skin colors as well as importing your own character portraits and sounds.
  • Supports PC, Macintosh, and Linux platforms.
  • Create 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 players decisions.
  • Official 4-hour adventure modules to play, plus tons of unofficial modules created by players like you!
  • New 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.

Dungeons & 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.
  • Wield two weapons simultaneously.
  • Over 200 spells.
  • Initially reach up to 20th level (to be expanded with future installments).
  • Over 200 monsters to fight - everything from lowly Orcs to mighty dragons!
  • Import your character from Baldur's Gate.
  • Use the "Character Vault" to secure your characters or choose to keep your characters locally.

Incredible Graphics

  • Uses a variant of the Bioware 3D "Omen" engine, developed for MDK2.
  • Resolution independent.
  • Dynamic lighting.
  • Supports a huge number of character moves for smooth 3D animation.
  • 3rd person, 3/4-down, isometric view.
  • Allows camera rotation around characters.
  • Zoom in and out.

 

NEVERWINTER FACTS PAGE (FAQ v2.0)



I. The Big Picture…

1.01 - How do I play Neverwinter Nights? Is there a single-player mode?

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 hours.

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.

1.02 - 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 online.

1.03 - 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.

1.04 - 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.

1.05 - 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. ;-)

1.06 - 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.


II. The Gameworld…

2.01 - In what area of the Forgotten Realms will Neverwinter Nights take place?

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.

2.02 - 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.

2.03 - 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.

2.04 - 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 fold.

2.05 - 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 rules.

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III. The Player Character…

3.01 - 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.

3.02 - Will I be controlling an individual character or an entire party?

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. ;-)

3.03 - 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 intriguing experience.

3.04 - 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.

3.05 - 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).

3.06 - 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.

3.07 - 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 mixed blessing.

3.08 - 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.

3.09 - 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.

3.10 - 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.

3.11 - How will I communicate with players and non-player characters in Neverwinter Nights?

Communication with 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.

3.12 - 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 time.

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 be non-repeating.

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.

3.13 - 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.

3.14 - 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.

3.15 - 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 function.

3.16 - Can I customize the hotkeys and controls?

Yes. We will do our best to make our control system as customizable and as streamlined as possible.

3.17 - Do I need a Dungeon Master in order to play Neverwinter Nights?

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.

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IV. The Dungeon Master…

4.01 - 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.

4.02 - 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.

4.03 - As a DM, can I alter a character's dialogue while in the game?

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 character's dialogue.

4.04 - Can I log in as a Dungeon Master from a remote (ie: non-server) location?

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.

4.05 - 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.

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V. The Solstice Toolset…

5.01 - 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!

5.02 - 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.

5.03 - What kinds of tilesets will I have access to via the Solstice Toolset?

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:

Terrain Tilesets (each terrain tileset includes suitable buildings, streams, waterfalls, coastlines, impassable chasms, forests, and bodies of water, on three traversable height levels)

  • Grassland
  • Deep Forest
    Urban Tilesets (each urban tileset includes curtain walls, defensive walls, buildings, docks, water channels, bridges, etc.):
  • Neverwinter
  • Luskan
    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)
  • Good Castle
  • Evil Castle
    Subterranean Tilesets (each subterranean tileset includes a variety of passable and impassable tiles suitable to its theme.)
  • Sewers
  • Caverns / Mines
  • Dungeons
  • Crypts

 

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.

5.04 - 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.

5.05 - 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.

5.06 - 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.

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VI. Neverwinter.net…

6.01 - How do you expect the Neverwinter Nights community to form? Will there be some sort of centralized place where people can meet?

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.

6.02 - 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 description.

6.03 - What is Neverwinter.net's "Character Vault" technology, and what will it do?

The "Character 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.

6.04 - What does the existence of the "Character Vault" imply?

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.

6.05 - 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.

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VII. The Technical Stuff…

7.01 - What kind of computer will I need to play Neverwinter Nights?

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.

7.02 - 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.

7.03 - 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.

7.04 - Will there be a Mac/Linux version?

Yes. We are developing simultaneously for PC, Mac, and Linux.

7.05 - 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.

7.06 - 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 out.

7.07 - 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 screen.

7.08 - What kind of real-time voice communication will Neverwinter Nights support?

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.

7.09 - 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.

7.10 - 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, quality.

7.11 - 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.

7.12 - 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.

 

 





 
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