Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Interview NWN 2 interview at RPG Vault, part 2 & 3

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Vault Dweller, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,394
    Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment

    <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com>RPG Vault</a> has posted the <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/677/677736p1.html>second</a> and the <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/678/678028p1.html>final (third)</a> parts of the <a href=http://www.atari.com/nwn2>Neverwinter Nights 2</a> interview with <b>Ferret Baudoin</b>. Here are some different bits and peaces:
    <br>
    <br>
    <blockquote>As far as replayability, there are a lot of choices - some major ones - that lead to very different play experiences. Beyond that, I still play through Hordes of the Underdark for - err - research because playing through D&D games as a Wizard is a very different experience than a Monk. (I call that the Duh! moment - VD)
    <br>
    ...
    <br>
    As far as interactions with your companions, they're the equivalent of fellow players at a gaming table to some extent. They'll chime in, make objections and have their moments. We had a lot of fun doing those sorts of things in Knights of the Old Republic II, and it's something we definitely wanted to continue in NWN2. We also use the influence system we developed on KotOR2 because it builds in incentives to treat your companions like real people. If you want to get on their good side, you have to figure out what makes them tick. (Sadly, that didn't work very well in KOTOR 2, so let's hope they will tweak it a bit - VD)
    <br>
    ...
    <br>
    The system is a blend of real-time and turn-based, which makes it relatively forgiving.
    <br>
    ...
    <br>
    One of the challenges was adding prestige classes that advance a spellcaster's casting ability as he gains levels in that class. It took our gameplay programmers some serious work to make it so that as you swap between Wizard and let's say the Arcane Trickster - and still be progressing in spell levels you know and spells per day. What used to be a fairly static table - "Oh, I'm third level, so now I get access to second-level spells" now becomes a much more complicated "I'm third level in Arcane Trickster, but to know what spells I get, I have to consider a bunch of rules on other classes." It's not as easy as it sounds, and the result of the hard work is that divine and arcane spellcasters get access to some tasty prestige classes.</blockquote>
    <br>
    Edit: The original conclusion has been proven, well, inconclusive, and thus removed in the interests of this fine and unbiased community.
    <br>
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    5,752
    Location:
    Monkey Island
    The guys I play D&D with are mostly dopehead dropout reprobates who couldn't get a grip on high school math, but they still have a pretty clear understanding of D&D's multiclassing rules. When you're working with a system as simple and "user-friendly" as D&D 3.5, you don't need to dumb down anything.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,394
    I don't understand what's complicated about class-switching either, but apparently there are some really dumb people out there, and Obsidian is targeting them. Add to that MCA's ideas that dialogues shouldn't get in the way of hawt akshun, and you get a nice picture of Obsidian design direction.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Psilon Erudite

    Psilon
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,018
    Location:
    Codex retirement
    Aren't most of the spellcasting prestige classes some form of "+1 to original class every [other] level" anyway? I mean, worst case you associate a counter with each spell list, give each caster class an inherent "+1 to <caster type> spell selection," and then increment every time you hit that perk.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. nakanja Novice

    nakanja
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Re: NWN 2 interview at RPG Vault, part 2 & 3

    Where are you seeing the signs of dumbing down in that? It looked to me like they were just saying "it's complicated, but the hard work is worth it" rather than "it was complicated, so we changed it".
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,394
    Hmm, you are probably right. I blame it on Ferret who was very long-winded in his explanation. I shall fix the news post shortly. Thanks.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Balor Arcane

    Balor
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    5,166
    Location:
    Russia
    Wow! VD changed his mind about dumbing down! (Well, at least admitted his mistake:))
    ExMonk must go and hang himself from joy! :twisted:
     
    ^ Top  
  8. LlamaGod Cipher

    LlamaGod
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    3,095
    Location:
    Yes
    VD has lost his edge.

    He is like a lion without claws or teeth, or something.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. aboyd Liturgist

    aboyd
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    843
    Location:
    USA
    I thought it was a great interview. In some other topic here at the Codex, we were talking about the difficulties of scripting dialogue to account for many, many different character states. So it was nice to read about the improvements to the dialogue engine, it looks like it should be easier to accomodate more open-ended gameplay.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Deacdo Liturgist

    Deacdo
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    585
    It sounds better than NWN1...but what worries me is their situation and philosophy. This feels like "condenced RPGing". A game being made in a short amount of time meant to appeal to the masses and include as many bullet point features (ones that appeal to the former) as possible.

    Essentially NWN1 on a smaller budget.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. aboyd Liturgist

    aboyd
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    843
    Location:
    USA
    I agree that they're appealing to the masses. But condensed time frame? Far as I can tell, by the time the game goes gold, it will have been 3 years since they started on it. Do I have the timeline wrong?
     
    ^ Top  
  12. gromit Arcane

    gromit
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,773
    Location:
    Gentrification Station
    Influence was an AWESOME idea, and having that system hanging over my head whenever I talk to one of my party members forces me to think about what I'm saying to whom. I think the only problem with its implementation in KotoR II was how one-sided it was; you get bonuses and backstory for properly manipulating your companions (Mwa-ha-ha! Kreia's so proud of me) but neglecting or slighting them has no effect other than NOT getting bonuses and backstory.

    If I piss all over Atton while siding with Kreia, why doesn't he, being the shunned puppy he is, make a move against her, revealing his jedi-killing past, longing to return to it for this one "jedi witch?" If I violently murder everyone in sight with Bao-Dur in my party, and he gets ornery on me, why not present me with a chance to reason him into a killing machine, playing on his "follow the general" routine? If I fail at that attempt, then have him start up a little sabotage... or, his fragile psyche snaps, and he plays "silent treament" like he does for most of the game anyway.

    Something, anything, of more consequence than not having a fifth jedi on the ship, and hopefully something that replaces / changes the context of content, rather than removing it entirely. With NWN2, the companions will be those you choose to keep around, and you can boot them out of the party / surprise them with an axe to the noggin (?) anyway, so there's very little reason to not have something severe happen when you push them to the breaking point.

    Negative influence, ladies and gentlemen; it's what keeps rewards for positive influence from becoming one of those thoughtless, through-the-motions, FAQ-checkin' "What am I supposed to do" pissaways.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. obediah Erudite

    obediah
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,051
    a religous fanatic with a working brain?

    - actually I don't think that's far off. VD obviously has an agenda that he vigorously defends. I think he sometimes pushes a minor point for dramatic effect and doesn't give every situation the fair shake it deserves - probably because extremes sell (as greenpeace, FOX news, and al queda all know). It's good to see that there is still critical thinking behind the vitriol. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  14. gromit Arcane

    gromit
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,773
    Location:
    Gentrification Station
    That makes them MORE dangerous, because then they can rally the weak-minded, who lack critical thinking skills. BTW, don't get confused and think that the evil men in this world wouldn't use ANY common belief, value, or system for their own purposes.
     
    ^ Top  
  15. TheGreatGodPan Arbiter

    TheGreatGodPan
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,762
    Newton spent most of his time dabbling in alchemy and studying the bible. His science work, calculus and so on was just stuff he did in his spare time. He was also rather loony.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. tilting_msh Formerly Judas Patron

    tilting_msh
    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    102
    Codex 2012
    LOL maybe you should work on your REEDING COMPRHENSHUN there buddy.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,394
    Maybe you should go and fuck yourself. Just a thought.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    21,319
    "It sounds better than NWN1...but what worries me is their situation and philosophy. This feels like "condenced RPGing". A game being made in a short amount of time meant to appeal to the masses and include as many bullet point features (ones that appeal to the former) as possible."

    According to Obsidian, NWN2 will have as much development time as BG2 if not more - not exactly being rushed.

    Moron.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    6,983
    Yeah, that was the big problem with the influence system. I recall playing KoTOR2 "naively", not knowing that the influence system was essentially a content hurdle rather than a continuous interaction (so that, either way, something happens) and I had a lot of roleplaying fun pissing off some of the party members I agglomerated... up until I had no access to their sidequests and the deep parts of their conversation trees with no interesting strife or backstabbing to show for it. I think having a one-dimensional influence system is a bit simple, also - you could have business, romantic, esprit de corps, etc. A lot of Bioware (and thus Obsidian, to date) stuff has been about your party, that's part of what has made them stand out from the other RPG companies, and that's a direction I'd like to see them go (although obviously the system could be extended outside of traditional "party" NPCs) . That's a shitload of hard-to-pimp-in-screenshots work, though.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Drakron Arcane

    Drakron
    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    6,113
    The influence system was pretty wasted on KotOR 2, the idea was to turn people into the light side or dark side but because they lacked the time and/or resources they only implemented a few paths ... the end result was NPCs influenced the player since for some rather stange idea they decided it worked both way and affected player convertations with NPCs leading to being unable to unlock certain NPCs "Jediness", having the one-dimensional characters because they would simply shut up and lossing powers and abilities since they would not offer.

    Jade Empire had a far more effective character system with both closed fist and open palm options,of course BioWare been working on it since BG2 (and so we can find it in NWN and KotOR besides JE) ... saying NwN 2 will feature it as well means we either get the "get influenced system" or something we already seen (in Jade Empire).

    The problem of a influence system is that it either leads to a Virconia/Anomen scenario were the NPC actually changes depending on how the player have infuenced it or we end up with just a slider saying he is less "something" and more "other thing" because we gone down a certain convertation tree path.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)