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Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Officially Announced


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#1 Pain Elemental

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:22 AM

Well. what do you know, a new expansion for Q4 2008. I can't wait, I loved MOTB.
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#2 Bluenose

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:51 AM

Yes, I just saw it on the Vault. Looks like it might be quite interesting, and some of the things they'll need for Chult and Samarach will be very useful to me. But 15 hours? That's too short, unless that's the time to complete the main quest and there's a lot of other things to get involved with. If you can do something interesting with the trading syndicates that should be fun.

I wonder if there'll be some more classes or prestige classes. Also, I wonder if yuan-ti might make it as a playable race. They'll certainly be in.

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#3 Tempest

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:37 AM

More info can be found here.

Some highlights:

-You create the party of four now, including histories and personality quirks based on statistics. There's still a main character, but no more pre-set party members.

-Yuan-ti are in, as are the new Bahari (jungle goblins), and the titular Zehir, a new god of snakes, poison, and darkness.

-New "living map" system.

-New classes: swashbuckler and doomguide.

-Level range is to be early/mid teens.

-Seldom-used skills now have applications. Survival, for example, can let you find hidden ruins and treasure.

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#4 Lysan Lurraxol

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:15 AM

Sadly it looks as if NPC development and interaction is taking a back seat for this one. :mellow:

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#5 berelinde

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 07:42 AM

Well, NPC development has been low on their priority list for all of NWN2, IMO, and declining. I'm going to wait to see what others say about it before spending the money. If it's lame NPC interaction and no romances, I won't buy it.
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#6 Lysan Lurraxol

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:15 PM

I don't know, MotB had some of the best NPCs that I've seen in a CRPG, who were both relevant and connected to the brilliant main plot. Even the romances, whilst short, were much more interesting and original than anything Bioware have ever done.

Then again Bioware do like to recycle the same characters and plots over and over again and get incredibly snotty when called up on this. At least Obsidian make the effort to try new things and be different, I guess.


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#7 berelinde

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:53 AM

According to the interview on the BioWare forums, the NPCs for SoZ won't have much personality and will not be romanceable. Unless this changes, I won't buy it.

I don't know about MotB having the best NPCs. While I liked every one of them (unprecedented for any CRPG, by the way), I just never bonded with any of them. They all still felt like just people along for the ride. In the OC, at least, I developed very strong opinions about the NPCs. I loathed Qara, disliked Zhjaeve, was ambivalent about Grobnar, loved Sand, Bishop, Neeshka and Khelgar, and simply adored Casavir (but then, I'm weird). Or I had strong feelings about they way they could have been, I should have said. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't think they would benefit from a couple more bucks spent on character development. I'm currently working on an enhanced romance mod for Casavir so maybe some other people can see in him what I see in him.

But I suspect that NWN2 will turn out to be Obsidian's BG2: that's going to be all the character development we're going to get out of them. Just like IWD2 was beautiful, but lacked the RP opportunities of BG2, I suspect that SoZ will fall short when it comes to characters.
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#8 Solar's Harper

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:12 AM

Hmm,way it currently looks, it could either be classed as a "money-grab with no substance", or "daring attempt at change with faulty ways of coming across".

Personally I think I'll reserve final judgement for the day it's released - although if a lack of character development is made, whether due to time constraints or some other reason, then to be quite honest, I don't think I could ever look at it with the same touch of neutrality.

Honestly, the NWN series in general has been abused enough by failing standards for the most absurd reasons, graphics and flashy combat scenes alone, certainly don't make a game of this genre, never has. -_-

If anything, I hope the developers pay keen attention to what the general public fanbase are saying about their current progress, and take considerable care this time not to try and rush together the pieces and actually provide something with good quality (even if not ground-breaking), that can be considered to the very least: stable and memorable.

Something that feels less artificial in its transitions and language would be a good start to making this happen - and racial stereotypes for each character, no matter their role, is best avoided when it comes to the extent the Official Campaign of NWN2 adopted.

That's my opinion and possibly unheard advice to the developers - Essentially this may very well be the last stand NWN2 can make before it just becomes too much and might as well end production of anything else in the series.

They did decently thus far, considering the ambition, but not always in the right area - which has been the cause of much frustration and discontent.

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#9 berelinde

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 08:21 AM

Based on the discussion on the SoZ boards, it looks like many potential players are getting what they want. It's strange, but it seems like many modern players, i.e. those that aren't IE dinosaurs, actually prefer gimmicks like flashy graphics over RP. :crying:

All I want is a game with a new plot, decent character development, and maybe some romance. I don't care if a fireball spell onscreen is enough to give me sunburn. I don't want a game with ten new races and fifteen new prestige classes to choose from. I have enough trouble deciding what PC to build as it is. I'd be happy playing with nothing but humans and the basic six character classes if it meant that the NPCs got some TLC.


I guess I should just get off my soapbox and keep modding, because it looks like the way of the future for RP addicts is actually the past.
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#10 Lysan Lurraxol

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 09:27 AM

There are a fair few on the SoZ boards who do want character interaction and so on, but they're in a minority.
Some of the powergamers get rather condescending and rude when anyone brings up the topic of NPC interaction or romances. Some of the comments made to Domi are really quite offensive.

Off topic, but the Obsidian devs who post on the NWN2 boards are much nicer and politer than the Bioware staff who do the same. Cue another reason for me preferring Obsidian.


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#11 Anaximander

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 01:00 PM

I can soft of understand why they would handle joinable NPC's this way.

One of the most common complaints about NWN2 is that the joinable NPC's were poorly developed and that you had no choice but to let them join you, so you ended up being followed by a bunch of NPC's that you really didn't like. With this new approach, Obsidian seems to be telling the players "Fine. If you don't like our NPC's, make your own."

Or maybe they intend this to be more of a hack and slash game, so they're going with the Icewind Dale model wherein the player creates their own custom party. A common complaint about the Icewind Dale series is that it was fun, but the lack of NPC interaction made it less enjoyable than the Baldur's Gate series. So Obsidian is taking the Icewind Dale model one step further and at least giving some personality to your party of custom characters.

Either way, I think it's a bad idea. Personally, I think they should try to emulte the Baldur's Gate series. That is, put a plethora of unique NPC's in the game and let us choose which ones we take with us.
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#12 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 03:50 PM

I don't think I will buy it either... without good NPC interactions and romances. But then again, even if they decide to include NPC interactions and romances, I wouldn't hold my breath. I don't think anything can beat BG2 (I liked BG2 far more than Torment and MotB). Well... to be honest both NWN2 OC and MotB was more than disappointing to say at least.

#13 RoguishLoaf

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:13 PM

I do want to get it to try it out and all, but... I'm a bit irked that Obsidian are going to be skimping on NPCs. If powergamers want to make their own full party and not bother with the NPCs, they can do that. But those of us who want good NPCs can't just ignore the lack of them.

I know I'm probably going to end up playing make-believe with my own party and talking to myself. So far my "custom character" party plan has room for a money-loving cleric of Waukeen and an Edwinesque female mage among other things. Maybe I'll learn to code and mod the SoZ campaign to stick better NPCs in, we'll see how it goes (Because let's face it, modules are fun but the base campaigns could still use some lovin').

#14 Lysan Lurraxol

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:32 AM

According to Annie Carlson one of the SoZ devs on this thread http://nwn2forums.bi...t...m=128&sp=45
there will be joinable companions with personalities, just no romances.

Which is wonderful, the lack of romance really doesn't bother me, as it was unlikely Obsidian would include same-sex male romances in SoZ and it's unlikely that Obsidian would create characters like Safiya or Gann that were so wonderful I'd romance them anyway with a straight P.

And once again, I'm impressed by the clear response of the devs that actually answers the question, unlike Bioware's endless avoiding direct questions.


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#15 Crazee

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:24 AM

Thank God for that. As interesting as the idea of Chult is, I could never buy it without some sort of character interaction/personality, even if it's only, like RoughishLoaf, to let my mind have a bit of foreshadowing when I'm imagining all the interesting arguments/conversations.

The people on the board really get angry at each other, don't they? I really don't think I like the idea of my main character being able to silence the opinion of my NPCs, though.

Charcter: Um ... er, Charname? I ... I'd quite like to say something now.
Me: Bugger off. This is MY conversation, and your opinion means nothing. NOTHING.
Character: Oh ... oh, OK, then. I'll just w-wait over here. In ... silence.

I don't even understand why people would remotely consider stripping away character. Someone on the board said that there is going to be interaction and personality, but there's just not going to be streams and streams of it. What's wrong with streams and streams?

And berelinde, I'm completely with you. I couldn't care less about all these crazy choices of race, skills and classes, if only the NPCs were made with love. Enough that it shows in the game. (And my God, am I an IE dinasour? How depressing)

#16 Rastor

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:23 PM

Thank God for that. As interesting as the idea of Chult is, I could never buy it without some sort of character interaction/personality, even if it's only, like RoughishLoaf, to let my mind have a bit of foreshadowing when I'm imagining all the interesting arguments/conversations.

The people on the board really get angry at each other, don't they? I really don't think I like the idea of my main character being able to silence the opinion of my NPCs, though.

Charcter: Um ... er, Charname? I ... I'd quite like to say something now.
Me: Bugger off. This is MY conversation, and your opinion means nothing. NOTHING.
Character: Oh ... oh, OK, then. I'll just w-wait over here. In ... silence.

I don't even understand why people would remotely consider stripping away character. Someone on the board said that there is going to be interaction and personality, but there's just not going to be streams and streams of it. What's wrong with streams and streams?

And berelinde, I'm completely with you. I couldn't care less about all these crazy choices of race, skills and classes, if only the NPCs were made with love. Enough that it shows in the game. (And my God, am I an IE dinasour? How depressing)


Unfortunately, this is a trend that has been going on for many years now. BG2 was easily a 200 hours+ game. I can't think of a single game in recent memory that has been anywhere close to that (except Oblivion, but frankly even it seemed to focus more on graphics than on immersing the player than Morrowind). The average game released today can be beaten in 15-20 hours. It seems that as the gaming industry in general has developed from a niche industry serving a bunch of socially-inept nerds to a mass media, the overall quality and depth has gone down.

I could make the same argument about difficulty. The fights in BG2 were actually pretty difficult the first time I encountered them... it took me nearly two weeks playing 8 hours a day during a summer vacation to beat. A few weeks ago, I beat Civ4 in about two hours at max difficulty on the same day that I bought it. I have yet to encounter a fight in Jade Empire or NWN2 that even required a reload.

In some ways, this shortening of games is a good thing. After all, when BG2 came out, most of us were students or young single individuals just starting out. Now, those same people are harried college-educated professionals with families and very little free time. I can't even think of the last time I was able to come up with more than an hour or two to play a game - at that pace, it would take a few years to run the entire way through BG2+ToB and I am sure that many of you are in the same boat. From that perspective, shorter playtimes are desirable. I agree, though. I will not shell out $50 for a fifteen or twenty hour game, I will wait a month and get it for $15.
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#17 Kaeloree

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:36 PM

Check out this post--might be interesting. :)

#18 Tempest

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:35 PM

Some new information:

-Two new races: Yuan-Ti Pureblood and Gray Orc.

-Confirmed new prestige class: Hellfire Warlock

-Death system more in line with PnP death, rather than KOTOR-style death.

-The game is intended to be more open-ended than NWN2 or MotB: much more freedom to explore.

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#19 Kellen

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:06 PM

I admit, I am rather looking forward to this. If nothing else, I want the doomguide for the original campaign. XD

Edited by Kellen, 11 November 2008 - 01:06 PM.

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#20 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 02:49 PM

I couldnt careless about all these new classes. They are BORING. Most of classes all sound same except very little difference. They should just give a general class then let us build them the way we want, like in WoW. For example, if we choose priest, we should be able to choose what spell or skills we want to get rather than choosing this stupid subclasses like storm lord.



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