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[Column] Neverwinter: Big Shoes to Fill

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,609MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We're starting yet another new column, this time devoted to Cryptic's Neverwinter. In our initial look forward at Neverwinter's potential, we take a look back at its roots. Check it out and then add your voice to the discussion in the comments.

I had been playing Diablo and Diablo 2 for a long time and had gotten a good taste of what role-playing in video games could be. Granted, neither of those titles are truly RPGs but they were enough to whet my appetite for the genre. In looking around, I stumbled onto Bioware’s Neverwinter Nights. I wish I could say that I was an old-fashioned tabletop gamer but, sadly, I was (and am) not. Still, I played through the first game and the fires were lit.

Read more of Suzie Ford's Neverwinter: Big Shoes to Fill.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member

    Nice comments. Thank you for sharing them. My wife went through breast cancer last year -- surgery/chemo/radiation therapy, and she is doing OK now, but I know first-hand that it is not an easy thing. I myself have spent a lot of time in the hospital with heart issues and ultimately had heart valve surgery, and I spent a lot -- A LOT -- of time playing WoW during long stays in the hospital. People would think I was "on the phone" when they tried to call me, but I was actually usually my bedside phone line to play WoW on my laptop. :-)

    I have high hopes for Neverwinter, too.

    For me, the make-or-break issue will be my ability to play solo when and if I want. The original direction of this game (before PW got involved) was to make it a co-op game, allowing players to play with other players and/or with AI companions. I found the AI companions in NW2 to be quite humorous and entertaining pals along for the ride (yay, Bishop!), so I was really hoping they'd be retained in the Neverwinter now-turned-MMO.

    I hear a lot about The Foundry and, yeah, it's great and all, but it's the option to adventure with AI companions AND/OR other players that is of fundamental importance to me. Since PW took over, I haven't heard anything more about this. Still keeping my fingers crossed, though.

  • MyzRainMyzRain Raleigh, NCPosts: 43Member
    That was a pretty inspiring read, Suzie. Thanks.

    ---
    What is forgotten is forever immortal.

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    First, I'd like to say I'm glad everything turned out well for you, Suzie.  It's true, games, or other leisure activities, can really help take one's mind off painful reality, at least for a while.

    I started playing paper and pencil D&D in 1980, as both a player and DM, and I've been hooked on tabletop and computer RPGs ever since.  One of the great things about paper and pencil games was the ability to create gameworlds and adventures for your friends, while it also  served as a social event.  Now that I think back on it, gaming was often just a pretense for getting together with friends.

    As I got older (oh, so much older), it's almost impossible to get together like that anymore, which is why I enjoy games like Neverwinter Nights or STO, and am excited about the upcoming Neverwinter.  As an old GM at heart, I still like to create adventures and tell stories, and these are some of the few games that give players the power to do just that.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    This is the number one game on my radar for 2013. Looks like you associate with survival, and thanks to your personal story we can associate it with a survivor, thanks for the article, let's hope these shoes are filled with ease and the survival theme is something we talk about Neverwinter with in a good light as well.
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,641Member Uncommon

    I have great memories of the original NWN as well! Just like you, I played through the game and then got into PWs and weekly games through NWC.

    I met two of my best friends during that time, people I've met IRL later and still game with these days. While I doubt the "Foundry" will be as good as NWN's toolset + DM client combination, I'm still looking forward to it.

    When playing City of Heroes our roleplaying supergroup (AKA guild) made extensive use of the "Architect Entertainment" system, which let players create their own missions with scripted dialogues, custom (and standard) enemies and many other similar options.

    Definitely looking forward to Neverwinter!

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • health001health001 league city, IAPosts: 54Member
    let me into beta already !!!!
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,717Member Uncommon

    Neverwinter is on top of my waiting list as well, and I agree with Suzie, the Foundry could be it's make/break point. (my first Neverwinter-related post in August was also a Foundry praise :) )

    While I'm not familiar with 4th edition since we stopped playing when 3rd ed D&D started, and the combat looks a bit too action-focused for my taste, I'll be more than happy if we receive a lore-fitting game backed up with folks from NWN who jumps into the Foundry... Based on STO's Foundry (and the infos Cryptic already released) Neverwinter has every chance to be a terrific game.

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    It's really tough to riase ones expectations pre-launch on any mmo. Neverwinter mmo could be great, but there is a lot that Cryptic can do to thumble this ball. 
  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    Ill pass.  D&D has always been about problem solving in group format.  The DM poses some type of problem and the players come up with a solution.  The rule books were there only to guide the players imagination, never to enforce.

     

    Once 3rd edition came out, that was basically the end of D&D as we once knew it.  It ceased to be about the players and instead was about rolling the dice and looking at all the nice, shiny skills you collected.'

     

    3rd edition was basically the WOW of PnP games.  Easy to play, get in grab the loot and rinse and repeat.  4th edition was more of the same.

     

    Neverwinter will be a lobby fest, instanced "MMO" where you really do not need to talk to anyone.  Sound familiar?  Sounds a lot like a stripped down version of Guild Wars 2, if you can actually strip down that game anymore.

     

    The Foundry....yea.  That is there way of saying "you deal with it".  The thing about player created content is that the VAST majority of it is farming maps meant to get you your shiny new loot and skills as fast as possible without any risk.  For every one great player mod, there will be 1000 horrible ones. 

     

    Plus no one will do any developer content, and they will just do player mods.  That is what sunk City of Heroes.  They put out their foundry and 95% of the rest of the game suddenly became empty.

     

    The Forgotten Realms is a huge world, with literally thousands of volumes written about it.  But if you played any Cryptic game (STO or CO) you know exactly what Neverwinter will be.  It will have an excellent character creation system, a massive Cash Shop, and the rest of the game will go down hill from there.

     

    Crypic butchered the Star Trek world and turnded it into an instanced, lobby grind fest where your federation Captain is basically a mass murdered.  Once PWE got involved, it got even worse.  Their idea of "content" is to stretch out the end game barter fests until you have run them hundreds of times.  LOTRO in space.

     

    Neverwinter will be another overhyped game that you play for three weeks then one night you will just stop logging in.  Like LOTRO, or SWTOR, or GW2 or TSW or The Elder Scrolls online....etc.

     

    But darn it, I'll buy the damed thing...lol. 

     

  • Chivalry1978Chivalry1978 Vandergrift, PAPosts: 184Member

    Im hoping never winter will at least be something I enjoy. I was so let down by DDO and how the game mechanics and loot system was just kinda blah...What was worse about it was the story telling element was garbage. I mean part of what I loved about Swtor was the story and its interactions I got the feeling of forging my own destiny.

     

    What Im hoping for is not class or race restrictions that can only be unlocked by paying a small fee..That just ruins the feel and then people scream about op and needing nerfs....

  • skydiver12skydiver12 burgundPosts: 432Member

    Thanks for the nice Column :)

    As someone who spend his most time in late Fall 2002 to the begining of 2006 in NWN and 40% of his "NWN"time scripting dialogues and encounters as well as designing maps with aurora - My biggest memories of "proper" MMO are with some persistent Servers of NWN. 60 to 128 dedicated players are more than i interact in a typical mmo today over months.

    The CEP made all those custom worlds and rulesets even greater. And having the ability to not only change dialogues but freely create new spells and gameplay methods through wild combining of FX effects and 2da file mods and scripts made all those worlds to feel almost what all those "WoW Clones" try to archieve, still the same combat mechanics, but some have 1 shot weapons others don't need you to level, others gave out 1 XP with permadeath, In one world magic was strictly to the way D&D works, in others creators tried to mimic "mana bars", and in others there was no magic at all, only swords and armor.

    The toolset combined with the central gamespy server browser, made NWN more like "STEAM" rather than just some minor world differences where npcs got shuffeled around and some buildings randomly placed.

    There where servers which allowed all npcs voicesets, races at character creation. You always wanted to play the goblin farmer? There you go (no i didn't, never)

    NWN's Aurora toolkit allowed you to make an almost whole new game even with new Textures and items (models and meshes) and sounds.


    The foundry can handle missions but not new Persistent worlds.

    Having expirienced the foundry in STO and other Cryptic games, i would say even remotely comparing the extended NW Foundry to NWN Aurora is not only doing Cryptic's NW a huge disfavor but created almost expectations which can never be fulfilled.

  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member

    My first memory of Neverwinter goes waaaaaay back before Biowares.

    NeverWinter Nights Online, back in 1991. I remember because I held off on buying it when it first came out because I was still playing a couple of the D&D Gold Box games and wanted to finish them first...my friend however got it the day it came out and got his first phone bill a few days before I was going to buy it.

    That bill? Well...that bill was over $400. Turns out in the fine print it said there was an HOURLY charge to connect to that special game line(this was long before the idea of subscriptions).

    Needless to say, I didnt buy NWNO, not until a year later when they dropped the idea of charging people hourly rates.

    “I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • black_isleblack_isle IstanbulPosts: 239Member Uncommon

    Hey, congrats for overcoming the disease.

    When i first played NWN after Baldur's Gate series (only the best games ever made) i was a bit disappointed but then i loved it. Loved the expansions too, especially Underdark. I still have fond memories of my characters and some amazing quests and adventures. Didn't like NWN2 as much but i have high hopes for this one. I'm very hopeful that it's gonna be awesome and Cryptic will do right this time around. If not, they are in for a huge crapstorm of rarely seen before scale and probably never be able to touch anything else.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,603Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by koboldfodder
    The Foundry....yea.  That is there way of saying "you deal with it".  The thing about player created content is that the VAST majority of it is farming maps meant to get you your shiny new loot and skills as fast as possible without any risk.  For every one great player mod, there will be 1000 horrible ones.  Plus no one will do any developer content, and they will just do player mods.  That is what sunk City of Heroes.  They put out their foundry and 95% of the rest of the game suddenly became empty. 
    I went back to CoH during one of their free weekends and I met a new player that got into an AE farm group and powered to level 50 in one day. He played CoH for a week and honestly thought that Atlas Park was the entire game.


    Never played CoH again after that. The Architect player made missions had ruined the game beyond repair.


    So, player made mods may seem like a great idea for MMOs but they are very dangerous if implemented wrong.

  • fdisk81fdisk81 Miami, FLPosts: 7Member
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Ill pass.  D&D has always been about problem solving in group format.  The DM poses some type of problem and the players come up with a solution.  The rule books were there only to guide the players imagination, never to enforce.

     

    Once 3rd edition came out, that was basically the end of D&D as we once knew it.  It ceased to be about the players and instead was about rolling the dice and looking at all the nice, shiny skills you collected.'

     

    3rd edition was basically the WOW of PnP games.  Easy to play, get in grab the loot and rinse and repeat.  4th edition was more of the same.

     

    Neverwinter will be a lobby fest, instanced "MMO" where you really do not need to talk to anyone.  Sound familiar?  Sounds a lot like a stripped down version of Guild Wars 2, if you can actually strip down that game anymore.

     

    The Foundry....yea.  That is there way of saying "you deal with it".  The thing about player created content is that the VAST majority of it is farming maps meant to get you your shiny new loot and skills as fast as possible without any risk.  For every one great player mod, there will be 1000 horrible ones. 

     

    Plus no one will do any developer content, and they will just do player mods.  That is what sunk City of Heroes.  They put out their foundry and 95% of the rest of the game suddenly became empty.

     

    The Forgotten Realms is a huge world, with literally thousands of volumes written about it.  But if you played any Cryptic game (STO or CO) you know exactly what Neverwinter will be.  It will have an excellent character creation system, a massive Cash Shop, and the rest of the game will go down hill from there.

     

    Crypic butchered the Star Trek world and turnded it into an instanced, lobby grind fest where your federation Captain is basically a mass murdered.  Once PWE got involved, it got even worse.  Their idea of "content" is to stretch out the end game barter fests until you have run them hundreds of times.  LOTRO in space.

     

    Neverwinter will be another overhyped game that you play for three weeks then one night you will just stop logging in.  Like LOTRO, or SWTOR, or GW2 or TSW or The Elder Scrolls online....etc.

     

    But darn it, I'll buy the damed thing...lol. 

    Holy shit dude, so much truth in one post I can't even begin to wrap my head around it!

     

    I am currently playing Neverwinter Nights 2 fully for the first time since when the game came out I was heavily into WoW and ignoring anything else that came out.  It is an EXCELLENT game and I am now tempted to play the first one too (The only thing stopping me is the awful graphics by today's standards).

     

    Anyway, the reason I started revisiting these games is a mix between starting to play tabletop D&D, XCOM: Enemy Unknown's excellent turn-based tactical combat, and how tired I am of the new batch of "Action MMOs".

     

    What bums me out the most about Neverwinter is that the combat seems to be very TERA-like.  Back in WoW days I always complained that the combat wasn't actiony enough, now I regret that and I long for the days when MMOs had more "tactical" combat.

     

    Anyway, great post man.  I too will be playing Neverwinter as soon as I can but my expectations are so low they just went past James Cameron in the Mariana Trench.  Action Combat MMOs are a lot of fun the first few levels, but then they just become very tiring and repetitive.

     

    Also, Cryptic's track record is awful.

     
  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    One thing that interests me about the foundry in this game. Is they are allowing NPCs and mobs to be tapped in the open world for player content. So it doesn't just have to be instances. 

    image
  • abyss404abyss404 Lemont, ILPosts: 67Member Common

    I've DMed, scripted, and run NWN PWs for the better part of the last decade. The most influential was the PW based off of my username here, Abyss 404 which made it to the NWN Vault Hall of Fame. http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=gameworld.Detail&id=27

    Yes, that 27 at the end indicates how old it is. It was the 27th PW to be listed on the Vault.

    Most recently I DMed on a couple of Planescape servers (World Serpent Inn and Sigil Planar Legends) and am currently taking a hiatus from DMing and playing to run tsw-rp.com which I founded some time back.

    Regardless I still take time out of my schedule to build for NWN as it's one of the grestest joys I have in gaming. Most recently I finished building a subterranean pirate lair for the fun of it, don't really have a server to add it to http://imageshack.us/a/img715/7961/cave1w.png

    Is anyone here still playing NWN? I've been getting the itch recently and have been considering returning for some RP.

     

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member

    I am another old school pen-and-paper gamer who played NWN and NWN 2 and enjoyed them quite a bit.  I have to say that any excitement I would otherwise have is tempered by the fact that this is being made by Cryptic.  I have followed their games at release with interest and the consistent outcome seems to be outraged players raging about cut corners and shallow gameplay.  Their reputation as far as I have gleaned from the forums seems to be the worst in the business.  I would be surprised if this game was the exception to their track record.

     

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • spookydomspookydom BristolPosts: 1,782Member Uncommon

    Pretty moved by that story Suzie. Lost my oldest freind to that heap of crap disease just over three years ago and she is always very much in my thoughts. Congratulations on beating it. I have seen first hand the damage and disruption it can do.

    As for Neverwinter, like a lot of people here I hjave some reservations, but am looking forward very much to test driving it myself. D&D online never really cut it for me. Fingers crossed for something that does the I.P some justice. Anyway, enjoyed the article.

    image

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by health001
    let me into beta already !!!!

     PC Gamer has a beta code in the Feb issue. At least for subscribers, can't swear if it is in the OTC magazine.

    image
  • FilburFilbur Posts: 83Member Uncommon
    Another instanced/zoned "MMO". I can't stand them anymore.
  • Silverthorn8Silverthorn8 LondonPosts: 489Member Uncommon

    I concur most wholeheartedly, I played on the world of amon cluster of pw's for around 2 years prior to world of warcraft's release.

    The friendships I formed on these servers were much closer than any subsequent ones in any online game since. i also played on the neversummer servers for a short while and also silvermarches (which was absolutely amazing).

    I'm strongly hoping Cryptic can pull this off for the new game, like a lot of folks though, I have my reservations.

    Looking forward to the games release later this year :)

  • W1LDM0NGR3LW1LDM0NGR3L BCNPosts: 5Member Common
    IF this new NWN game has ANY TINY speck of resemblance to the Bioware original it is already a winner... The memories i have from the two PWs i used to play back are just irreplaceable. Neverwinter Nights was for my online experience what Mass Effect trilogy was for my solo player experience, it cannot be descrived in words.
  • W1LDM0NGR3LW1LDM0NGR3L BCNPosts: 5Member Common
    Originally posted by Silverthorn8

    I concur most wholeheartedly, I played on the world of amon cluster of pw's for around 2 years prior to world of warcraft's release.

    The friendships I formed on these servers were much closer than any subsequent ones in any online game since. i also played on the neversummer servers for a short while and also silvermarches (which was absolutely amazing).

    I'm strongly hoping Cryptic can pull this off for the new game, like a lot of folks though, I have my reservations.

    Looking forward to the games release later this year :)

     

    So true! Silvermarches, City of Arabel and The Vast are the best PW i have ever played in.

  • DrakadenDrakaden Quebec, QCPosts: 133Member
    Neverwinter Nights 1 was -the- game i played the most in my life, god knows i invested in that game purchase, the amount of time i spent on it was crazy, but it was also a grand experience, and it got me my life-long friend (God knows those kind of friends are rare as heck)
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