NWN: Hordes of the Underdark Details

There's a NWN: Hordes of the Underdark preview on GameSpy with the first details on the upcoming NWN add-on since its existence was first revealed (story). Here's a bit:
Other new goodies include six new prestige classes, 16 new creatures, over 40 new spells, over 50 new feats, new weapon types, new voice sets, new music tracks, and a new item-crafting sytem [sic]. As good as Shadows of Undrentide was, the additions to Hordes of the Underdark look even sweeter. For several reasons, people love playing and reading about all things drow. This expansion pack attempts to offer a thrilling Underdark adventure and allow module makers to craft their own dark-elf tales.
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21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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21.
 
Re: Whoa!!
Aug 12, 2003, 09:14
21.
Re: Whoa!! Aug 12, 2003, 09:14
Aug 12, 2003, 09:14
 
Thanks!
I'll go over there and check it out

20.
 
Re: Whoa!!
Aug 12, 2003, 03:34
20.
Re: Whoa!! Aug 12, 2003, 03:34
Aug 12, 2003, 03:34
 
Jup, nwvault.ign.com there is a "hall of fame" wich includes the most popular modules.

19.
 
Re: Whoa!!
Aug 12, 2003, 02:20
19.
Re: Whoa!! Aug 12, 2003, 02:20
Aug 12, 2003, 02:20
 
Is there some "top list" of mods worth playing somewhere?

... Just bought the game the other day, downloaded the (1.2+GB) linux client and reading the (pretty big) manual.

18.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 12, 2003, 00:18
18.
Re: NWN Aug 12, 2003, 00:18
Aug 12, 2003, 00:18
 
Stin: "Sooo, would that be D&D, AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition? Which one? If it's D&D, then Elves and Dwarfs are classes are not really races, right?"

I pretty much agree with you, but in the original D&D (I have a first printing box -- 1974) Elves and Dwarves were races, not classes. You're mixing up the original game with that simplified post AD&D version that came later...

Having said that, I am an old time D&Der (first played in late 1974) and I think, for a CRPG, the rules implementation in NWN is pretty good. A paper and pencil game is, in many ways, far more complex than a CRPG. They'll get it all in place one day, but for now, NWN is pretty good.

This comment was edited on Aug 12, 00:18.
17.
 
Re: Whoa!!
Aug 11, 2003, 20:39
17.
Re: Whoa!! Aug 11, 2003, 20:39
Aug 11, 2003, 20:39
 
I'll second the mention of the Shadowlords / Dreamcatcher campaigns. I mentioned them a few days ago as well. Adam Miller is one absolutely awesome module designer, and quite frankly I fail to understand why Bioware hasn't already signed this guy for a few hundred grand a year, since he is obviously about a billion times more talented than the grubs they've got designing modules right now.

The downside of doing such amazing work as Adam Miller is doing, is that it takes an AWFUL amount of time to do so in the NWN engine / toolset. His modules really aren't all that long, an hour or two at most per chapter, but the last 2 in the dreamcatcher series took him well over 2 months just to make, much less test and perfect. This isn't what Bioware intended, and it's THIS precise fact that is keeping many more people from going out and making a (quality) module.

Well, that, and the fact that you have to be a fucking Carmack'esque scripting genius to do even the tiniest thing. Anyone remember the whole blabla that Bioware spouted off, a year or so before release, how there was going to be NO scripting in the toolset, just a bunch of pulldown menus that would enable you to do everything you wanted? Falls a bit in the same category as their promises for the second expansion...

That said, I still like NWN alot, and have played through most of the modules on NWNVault's hall of fame. It just could have been so much more. As always, though, here's hoping for the future. NWN sold a shitload of copies, so there really is no reason for Bioware not to do a Neverwinter Nights 2.

Creston


Avatar 15604
16.
 
TOEE
Aug 11, 2003, 20:16
16.
TOEE Aug 11, 2003, 20:16
Aug 11, 2003, 20:16
 
I am looking forward to TOEE but it is not exactly like the module. Not sure where you got the idea. They have added quite a bit... I know that from just a bit I read on their forums or in an article, thou I don't visit or hang out in their forums everyday so things may have changed, again.

I liked NWN and SoU and I will probably buy the add-on for $30 but anything over that forget it...

As far as TOEE I am buying it just because I like CRPGs and turn-based games... so even if I never finish it I will still love playing the tactics of turn-base.

Avatar 11537
15.
 
Re: Whoa!!
Aug 11, 2003, 19:34
15.
Re: Whoa!! Aug 11, 2003, 19:34
Aug 11, 2003, 19:34
 
Screw the original content, check out some of the player made mods, like the Shadowlords/Dreamcatcher series. The fans can take risks when it comes to content, because even if it doesnt pay off, its just their free time, not some major corps paid for time.

In Adam Millers case, he expands the boundaries of this game in ways nobody thought was possible, the mods are simply amazing, and beat anything released by Bioware by miles.

Bioware supplied the tools, the fans supplied the game.

14.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 18:48
14.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 18:48
Aug 11, 2003, 18:48
 
>They are bound on strict order by WOTC to follow 3rd
>edition 3.5 rules, unlike the utter crap that bioware'
>tries to pass off as a causal gamers D&D as they rape the
>system.

Really? So if I choose to play a Paladin, I'll have my mount that I can summon as needed, choose to case spells simultaenously both of us, as well as share an empathetic link?

Realistically, some of this stuff is too difficult to implement, or doesn't work well in a CRPG - you live with it. Look how long it took Bioware to implement two handed fighting in the BG series (didn't do it in BG1 or the expansion pack) - the reason was that the way they'd setup the engine required them to add a tonne of new animations to display dual wielding properly. I'm sure there's stuff that's being modified in the game rules simply because it just doesn't "work" when ported to the CRPG environment.

>If you played REAL DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS when you were
>younger, like us older fans did,

Sooo, would that be D&D, AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition? Which one? If it's D&D, then Elves and Dwarfs are classes are not really races, right?

>the developer said that
>this game is EXACTLY like the module.

I'm sure content wise it is, but that's content not the engine. I've seen far worse translations of the various D&D systems, and I'd have to agree with a previous poster's link to J.E. Sawyer's comments - trying to rigidly implement the rule system of D&D ignores the differences between pen & paper vs. a CRPG environment.

Edited - subject line was wrong (damn Mozilla and the remember password option!)


This comment was edited on Aug 11, 18:50.
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Stin
13.
 
hmhmhm
Aug 11, 2003, 18:05
13.
hmhmhm Aug 11, 2003, 18:05
Aug 11, 2003, 18:05
 
say, all you people wich say the DM client sucks.. have you actually tried it? Its one of the BEST features of nwn right after the very powerfull toolset. Is the DM client made for running a PW? no neither is NWN. It is made for a group of 4-6 players with a DM. About the same amount an average PnP group has. With this it is unbelieveably great and easy to actually DM a game Online and have a great roleplaying experience. Can you just hop on any server out there and expect it to be great? no. Play with your friends or people you know a while, just like in your standard PnP group. Of course it takes some time to learn the DM client. But generally i am quiet happy with it.

Personally i could not care less about the OCs. if they are good fine, if they are mediocre or bad, fine. they are not more then a showcase for NWN content for me and many others anyhow.

No other game has such an easy and powerfull editor with wich you can build your own content for others to play. NWN is NOT a pure single/multiplayer game like BG or BG2 was. It is foremost a toolset with a scripting language, models, Area tiles with an OC to show what you can do with the toolset. Could you create a game like BG2 with the NWN toolset? Propably. Was this what bioware wanted to do? no!

So is NWN a perfect game for me? far from it. Is it the first good "RPG Game Toolbox" yes. Is it perfect at that? no but really close. Is the scripting language perfect? no but they add constantly new features to it. I have yet to encounter a barrier in NWN that prohibits me from doing something i want to do. Is it always easy? no i have to do workarounds qiet often. ah well its to hot here i should stop my useless rambling. I just want people to consider if they talk about NWN they are not Talking a bout a simple multi or singleplayer game, they are talking about a whole bunch of tools and content. :0

Tegyr the mad

12.
 
Re: Where are all the engine improvements?
Aug 11, 2003, 18:01
12.
Re: Where are all the engine improvements? Aug 11, 2003, 18:01
Aug 11, 2003, 18:01
 
Yes, I do consider NWN its own rule set and often correct people on "neverwinterisms" (their mistaking of a rule as from 3.0 D&D when it really is a NWN modified rule).

But I also see Troika's attitude as too pure. Tim Cain and J.E. Sawyer are both excellent game designers far better than I may ever be. But my thoughts are closer to J.E. Sawyer's take on translating an pen and paper RPG to the computer.
http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1535&sid=a1b6510a3d8c4d1c9f07d24f169379f2

Having played ToEE and DMed the Return to ToEE, I am curious to how Troika's project will turn out and if it will play right.

11.
 
Where are all the engine improvements?
Aug 11, 2003, 16:39
11.
Where are all the engine improvements? Aug 11, 2003, 16:39
Aug 11, 2003, 16:39
 
Damn it, wrote a long post and the stupid Internet ate it!

About a year ago, when the idea of expansion packs first started being mentioned on the NWN forums, David Gaider asked everyone what they most wanted to see. After long discussions, he mentioned that the first expansion pack wouldn't feature much in the way of engine improvements, or toolset improvements, but would be more of a "add some content" expansion. The second one, however, since it would have a bigger team working on it, would accomodate many of the requests, or at least try to.

Most notably, people wanted the ability to attach scripts to items (the lack of which is the fucking DUMBEST design decision Bioware EVER made), far better henchman interaction, being able to carry local variables between modules and tons of other stuff which are currently making module makers' lifes miserable.

Now, granted, this preview by Gamespy doesn't necessarily tell us everything there is to be in the expansion, but all I see is more classes, more spells, more feats and a "make your own potions" system. (Hello, open five chests and you'll have 1800 potions, does anybody really NEED to make any potions with the way the treasure scripts hand them out??)
In short, it just looks like "more loot" to me. A few more monsters, great, especially since quite a few of them have already been made and released by the community well over a year ago (beholders), the drider is exactly the same as those ant people you saw in the first expansion, and why is Gamespy getting excited about Drow, exactly? They're already in the game.

I think Bioware designed the engine to do something totally different than what people were wanting to do with it. Most people want to play with a large group of players in a persistent world, preferably run by multiple DMs. The NWN engine was made to create and play simple single player adventures. And despite their (well intended I'm sure)promises to add this kind of functionality, I think Bioware is just finding it impossible to add to Aurora.

I hope they'll forego making more expansion packs, and start working on NWN 2, which will hopefully deliver everything that most people were expecting from the original.

One thing that does look promising though, is the removal of the experience cap. Bioware did this before, in the excellent Throne of Bhaal expansion for Baldur's Gate 2, and it still ranks as one of the best expansions ever made in my book. So that looks very interesting.

Creston


Avatar 15604
10.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 15:28
10.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 15:28
Aug 11, 2003, 15:28
 
I have seen ToEE at Gencon and talked to the developers (HELL I PLAYED IT)

They are bound on strict order by WOTC to follow 3rd edition 3.5 rules, unlike the utter crap that bioware tries to pass off as a causal gamers D&D as they rape the system.

If you played REAL DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS when you were younger, like us older fans did, the developer said that this game is EXACTLY like the module.

NWN is a TERRIBLE translation of D&D turned HACK AND SLASH and the DM client is a joke.

This comment was edited on Aug 11, 15:33.
9.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 15:13
9.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 15:13
Aug 11, 2003, 15:13
 
"who don't understand that pen and paper role playing games like 3rd edition D&D can't simply directly translate over to the CRPG environment"

What are you talking about? The whole reason D&D has not been translated properly for so long is because of all the REAL TIME games. You cannot accurately translate the rules to a CRPG in real time. D&D is inherently TURN BASED. There are tons of rules and mechanics that hinge on that factor alone.

So, yes, it would appear that they are in fact doing it right with TOEE.

Avatar 15151
8.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 15:06
8.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 15:06
Aug 11, 2003, 15:06
 
If they want to know how to do it right simply go here:

http://www.troikagames.com/toee.htm


What?? A game that has no multiplayer from designers who don't understand that pen and paper role playing games like 3rd edition D&D can't simply directly translate over to the CRPG environment. I still have hopes for TOEE because some of the developers @ Troika came from BIS plus they were the essentials of Fallout & Fallout 2. But with some of their recent Q/As and previews, I am afraid it might not be what I am hoping for.

I too was disappointed with Neverwinter Nights. It failed at trying to bridge P & P RPGs to CRPGs. The stories in NWN and SoU were both bland and the the games were simply too easy (Actually the Undead Monk in SoU gave me and my 3 friends quite the fight of our lives). And most of all, these games fell quite short in terms of game time (and yes we did try to be do all the quests and talk to every NPC).

The good old days of BG, BG2, IWD, Fallout, Fallout 2....

This comment was edited on Aug 11, 15:07.
7.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 14:24
7.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 14:24
Aug 11, 2003, 14:24
 
> What exactly have they DONE with the game thats so great?

Well, since you asked . . .

They're doing what iD has done for years with the Doom and esp. the Quake series: created a great engine (in this case for RPG's) that is quite extensible, included a decent editor, and spawned a community that's creating a number of very neat and interesting modules for the game including features which Bioware has later decided to incorporate.

It's a very accessible implementation of D&D's 3rd edition rules, and obviously not 100% but close enough to make it worthwhile.

There's a lot of good modules on the NWN Vault, but I've yet to see one as polished as this one. Very well implemented, with some neat features and interaction. Quite a few modules that come out a basic hack&slash types.

I can't speak for the online DM system because I haven't tried it yet, but this is the first RPG product I've yet to see where I think I could DM/GM a group of players through a computer system and actually enjoy the time.

As for toee - I notice it's not due out until mid-Sept, so it's a bit premature to say they're doing it right. I tried Arcaanum(sp?), thought it had some interesting ideas but quickly got bored. It just wasn't all that impressive of a game. NWN by comparison has great replay value (to me at least, I still play it and it's been out for a year I think). They may do a more "faithful" rendition of the rules, but I doubt it'll be more fun. But hey, that's just me.
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Stin
6.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 13:50
6.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 13:50
Aug 11, 2003, 13:50
 
"I must say, I'm really impressed with what Bioware has done with NWN."

LOL? What exactly have they DONE with the game thats so great?

It is still a mediocre game if that.

and 50 dollar expansions dont really float my boat for features that should have been in the first one, you are basically paying for a patch and a scripted, linear module that you could have downloaded from NWN Vault.

Its really a joke if you think about it, even the online DM system sucks ass and the games combat system doesnt lend to roleplaying at all.

If they want to know how to do it right simply go here:

http://www.troikagames.com/toee.htm

5.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 13:39
5.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 13:39
Aug 11, 2003, 13:39
 
I'll probably pick it up as well, but a lot of the new feats were just +2/+2 skill bonuses - not really my idea of a very useful feat, but good maybe as a DM-given bonus to add a bit more character and benefit to a PC's bacground.

I wonder what new classes they're adding? Some useful Wizard & fighter classes would be nice (the last one had classes favoring thief types mainly), as would a module that starts off at level 13/14, where this last one also ended.

I must say, I'm really impressed with what Bioware has done with NWN.
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Stin
4.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 11:36
4.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 11:36
Aug 11, 2003, 11:36
 
According to a posting by Darcy Pajak on BioWare's new forums for Hordes of the Underdark, there will be over 200 new feats...

So lots and lots more of the same

Yeah I'll buy it too...
3.
 
Re: ...
Aug 11, 2003, 11:06
3.
Re: ... Aug 11, 2003, 11:06
Aug 11, 2003, 11:06
 
Where the fuck are those things they promised to make HoU "more like BG" "more RPG" less usual NWN SP crap...

2.
 
Re: NWN
Aug 11, 2003, 10:13
2.
Re: NWN Aug 11, 2003, 10:13
Aug 11, 2003, 10:13
 
According to a posting by Darcy Pajak on BioWare's new forums for Hordes of the Underdark, there will be over 200 new feats...

Check out the pertinent forum posting http://nwn.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=246353&forum=77&sp=0

(2nd message).

Nessus

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