Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NWN - Without Roper

After two years, Chief Creative Officer, Bill Roper has left Cryptic to pursue something else (apparently to start a new company).

Now, for the past year, they've been working on Neverwinter Nights, and since they are starting to do interviews, I'm guessing that its starting to reach fulfillment. Now, Bill Roper was heavily involved with Champions Online, but he said he only barely touched on Star Trek Online. So how much involvement did he have with NWN, and if not enough, could that be why he left? Was he suddenly feeling stifled by it all?

Depending on how involved he was with this game, will decide for many people how much they feel they will like or dislike this game. Now, apparently I'm a big fun of Bill Roper (I may be the only one!?), so how sure can we be about the quality of this game? Who is involved?

So, I found an interview that Gamespot recently did with Jack Emmert (chief operating officer). Some points from the interview are as follows:

The game is not massively at all. It is simply an online multiplayer game. Imagine logging into (unmentionable MMO) and only using the Dungeon Finder. Some zones will be public, and some will be for teammates only. But not in the concept of a "hub world".

They are translating D&D4e rules into computer lingo, so, even though the starting classes are only five or so (fighter, wizard, rogue, ranger, cleric), we can expect that many can be showing up further down the line.

With how they break down the abilities, they translated D&D4e's, at-will, encounter, and daily powers into any-time, each encounter, and every few hours. This means that you would log in, play through a session, and log out for a few hours.

They are investing in including flanking, positioning, and tactics into the gameplay (not sure how it will be implemented, but in D&D4e, flanking makes it easier for you to hit).

The character editor, will be similar to CO and STO, and they will have Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and a few mysterious others (Drow, Eladrin, Warforged, Teifling, what? Honestly, being mysterious about this now is just stupid). It might mean that they are currently incomplete.

The storyline is tied into R.A. Salvatore stories (though not necessarily written by him). The adventures will occur within Neverwinter, and just outside of it, at least in the beginning. They have plans to expand after release. The game will take place 100 years in the future.

Players will be able to create stories, maps, and create quests for the map. Emmert specifically made the effort to point out that people will easily be able to tell they are using User Generated Content versus in-game content. So, that is almost a guarantee that "Forge" (their ingame creator) will be pretty lame.

It is set to be released in tandem with the R.A. Salvatore book, Gauntlegrym, which is being released October 5th, 2010.