A Chat With Bioware
FS: Most of our readers are of the First Person Shooter ilk - for their
benefit, give us an overview of what Neverwinter Nights is. **cue
G: Hereís my best marketing-speak description: Neverwinter Nights is a D&D game with four significant features Ė itís got a 60 hour single player campaign that is as epic and enthralling as anything weíve ever done in the Baldurís Gate series. Itís got cool multiplayer features, including the ability for players to host their own servers and link them up via portals in the game world. Itís got a Dungeon Master client that allows you to mess with people playing the game in real-time, and itís got very powerful tools that let you create practically anything weíve ever made in the game. Overall itís a lot of game in one box.
FS: The biggest "hook" of Neverwinter Nights is the ability to play a
Burn baby burn!
Dungeon Master and create an adventure for your friends. This may be
difficult to describe in words, but how exactly does it work? Can you
generate monster encounters on the fly? Or do you create an entire
module offline before jumping into a game with your friends? What about generating places/settings - how does that work? Can I "paint in" a new room on the fly if the party I'm DMing for takes an unexpected turn? Perhaps a screenshot or two of the interface might help in describing? =)
G: There are two parts to creating an adventure Ė creating the area, and populating it. Using the toolset you can build an area and fill it with monsters and treasure, as well as make special creatures, items, and objects that you donít place, but later access as the Dungeon Master. As a Dungeon Master you canít create full areas, but you can place objects in existing areas, you can drop single monsters or encounter groups into areas, and you can drop treasure into the world. As a DM you can also run scripts and execute higher level commands. The gist of it is you need to make your area in the tools, but then you can practically do everything but manipulate the actual physical structure of the area using the DM client.
FS: For our readers who are not well versed in D&D, what are the niftiest features of the 3rd edition rules that you've incorporated into NWN? In other words, how does using the new ruleset make NWN a better, more fun game than it could have been with 2nd edition?
That's a mean looking red glow
G: The D&D 3rd edition rules are a little more straightforward than the previous sets of rules. One of the coolest things about Neverwinter Nights is that it exposes you only to as much of the rules as you want because the game has the power to take care of the rule-based decisions for you. For example, if you donít know what stats to give your character you can hit the Recommend button, and the stats appropriate to your race and class will be assigned. The same is true for skills, spells, feats and practically everything else in the game. If you want get down and dirty with the rules you can custom tune your character to your heartís content Ė we donít limit that at all either.
The coolest thing about the 3rd edition rules is they allow for extreme customization of characters using the skills and feats. No longer are all Wizards or Rangers the same Ė you can now totally customize everything about your character.