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Neverwinter Nights 2

Atari Announces Neverwinter Nights 2 (thanks Frans) is the press release that makes good on recent hints (story) that the inevitable announcement of a sequel to the hit RPG was imminent. The announcement, which tabs Obsidian as developer on the project, heralds the coming of the game in 2006, plenty of time to check out the Neverwinter Nights 2 Project Page, which includes a link to the Neverwinter Nights 2 Forums. There is also a bit of concept art on the Neverwinter Vault, and here's a bit from the announcement:

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2004--Atari Interactive, Inc., Obsidian Entertainment and BioWare Corp.(TM), under license from Hasbro, Inc., have announced plans for Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2, the sequel to BioWare Corp.'s best-selling and genre-defining role-playing game set in the popular Dungeons & DragonsŪ Forgotten Realms(TM) universe created by Wizards of the Coast. Atari, Inc. will publish the title. Originally developed by BioWare, Neverwinter Nights has set a new standard in the role-playing genre with a deep and engrossing storyline; immersive character development; stunning graphics; and, an expansive multiplayer experience like none other.

"Neverwinter Nights is one of the most beloved RPG's of all time and we're pleased that Obsidian has taken on the challenge," said John Hight, executive producer, Atari. "Feargus and his team at Obsidian Entertainment are the best people on the planet to take up where BioWare left off and bring this great game to new levels. They are intimately familiar with what makes Neverwinter Nights special, they know what it takes to make a great game and they have the respect of the RPG community."

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38. Re: No subject Aug 5, 2004, 12:47 Creston
 
Let's flip the script: You give money to the character, and return later to find that character has become a great merchant. Tyrannical or Benevolent, these are meaningless things to begin with, but they can blossom.

This is scripted, and completely meaningless. In fact, the FF series has been using this gimmick for years, and it always plays out the same way :

1) You give him money, he becomes a massive merchant and gives you shit for cheap.
2) You give him money, but not enough according to the insane arbitrary standard where giving 1,999,999 gold pieces is not enough, but 2,000,000 is, and so you're fucked, AND out of your 2mil-1 gold.
3) You tell him to get a job, and nothing happens.

The only way this would become something impressive is if it becomes emergent, and can happen at random to random characters, EVEN characters that are deemed critical to a plotline. (and then there has to be a way around).
In this aspect, Morrowind almost succeeded, because they DID give an alternative to finish the main storyline in case you fucked up somewhere.

To give an example of what I'm talking about, I'd like to see an RPG where as a kid I cut someone's leg, and when I come back 15 years later to that same village, the guy has a limp, has not been able to get a job because of that, is now a beggar, and hates your freaking guts, and refuses to lead you to the cave of the Mountain Troll King, on account that he can't walk that far.
Alternatively, you are just rude to the guy as a kid, and he'll still take you to the cave, but demands a share of the loot for it.
Or you're really nice to him, and he shows you a shortcut to get to the Troll King himself (which nobody would ever take anyways, MUST KILL STUFF!!!)
Or you're really nice, but still steal his purse, so he'll take you to the cave if you pay him his gold back, and he just show you the main entrance.
Now, all of this has to be programmed for, you can't expect an AI simulation to be able to do this on the fly, but it would be more fun to do this based on, for example, reputation. The character takes your global reputation into account, then your personal reputation, and decides based on that. Then special factors such as you chopping his leg off as a brat come into effect.
THAT would be impressive.

This standard A / B crap we're getting in today's RPGs is just contrived, and quite frankly, I could do without it.

Emergent behavior in RPGs is presumably still half a decade away though...

I personally like what Bioware is doing. KOTOR was great, and Jade Empire looks like it will be good fun too. So does Dragon Age (a seeming next version of the engine that drives KOTOR and Jade), although it's too early to tell. However, Bioware being able to design its own IP and a set of computer rules that evolved around that design, rather than a port of P & P rules to a computer has me filled with giddy glee.

Sure, it's not as heavily involved as Baldur's Gate 2 was, but I think there is a market for both type of games.

Morrowind was generally critically acclaimed, and sold like hotcakes, so it's obvious that there are gamers who prefer the KOTOR style of play, and who prefer the Morrowind style of play.

I'm still wondering, however, why no PC developer ever seems to be able to combine the two. A great example is Vice City. Completely open ended, but ALSO with a good storyline and a good set of missions in that storyline. If the fucking PS2 can do it with its 32megs of memory, why can't my damn five thousand times more powerful PC?

Somewhere in another thread, someone said that over the past few years, all the PC gaming industry has done is churn out sequels and new engines, and all the true innovation lies on the consoles. I'm sad to say that this is mostly very, very true.

Creston

This comment was edited on Aug 5, 12:56.
 
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