Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • 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.

Mod News Neverwinter Nights: Siege of Shadowdale module gets an Enhanced Edition after twenty years

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
96,185
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: Beamdog; BioWare; Luke Scull; Neverwinter Nights; Neverwinter Nights: Siege of Shadowdale

Back in 2019, a completed version of the unfinished Tyrants of the Moonsea premium module was released as a DLC for Beamdog's Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, thanks to the efforts of original creator Luke "Alazander" Scull. Working on Tyrants seems to have motivated Luke to revisit some of his other early work in the NWN modding scene. Last summer, he announced on his blog that he intended to create a new episodic module series called The Blades of Netheril as a sequel to the original Neverwinter Nights campaign (and more broadly to the official expansions and Luke's own modules as well). Such an ambitious undertaking has naturally taken longer than originally expected, so in September Luke decided that he would start out by producing enhanced edition remakes of the first two modules in his original trilogy, 2002's Siege of Shadowdale and 2005's Crimson Tides of Tethyr. After a couple of missed deadlines, Siege of Shadowdale: Enhanced Edition was finally released on the Neverwinter Vault last night as a free module for NWN:EE. Here's its trailer and description:


"Like a tide of darkness they came, butchering the folk of the Dale with wanton glee. Many are the foes I have battled in my long life but were it not for the actions of one brave adventurer I fear even I would have been undone that fateful day..."​
Elminster of Shadowdale, 1372 DR.​
20 years after the original release, author and game designer Luke Scull is delighted to present a remake of the classic Hall of Fame module Siege of Shadowdale for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! This new version features rewritten and expanded dialogue, new quests, new areas to explore, and the addition of several henchmen, as well as a new world map and completely overhauled graphics.​
A huge thank you to all the folk whose generous contributions helped make this module possible! Please visit https://www.patreon.com/lukescull to keep up to date with development of The Blades of Netheril: an epic, seven-part campaign that serves as a mega-sequel to all the game's official content including the original campaign and expansions.​
Good stuff, and another new record in revisiting old Neverwinter Nights content (Tyrants of the Moonsea was a mere 13 years old in 2019). Additional details about Luke's plans for the Enhanced Editions are available here. Naturally, the original version of Siege of Shadowdale for legacy NWN remains available as well.
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,836
Good stuff, and another new record in revisiting old Neverwinter Nights content (Tyrants of the Moonsea was a mere 13 years old in 2019).
Not quite the same thing, TotM EE wasn't polishing up a completed module like DoD, the "original" TotM's development was abandoned midway through, it stopped around Hillsfar.

They will pull you in with better graphics and performance then the next thing you know you are getting browbeaten by the

Expanded and Rewritten Dialogue
New Companions
Dude, this is Luke Scull remastering his own module.
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,836
20 years is a long time. People still idolize game devs of ages ago only to end up disappointed at their new takes, dude.
It's one thing to be cautious, another to be Debbie Downer. Sure, people change over the years, but it seems overly pessimistic to assume that even an original author expanding his own passion project for free would necessarily muck things up. For what it's worth, the completed version of TotM came out just a couple of years ago - I didn't care for this one "humorous" companion, but the campaign's writing was otherwise quite straightforward and competent, so until I see otherwise, the man has some credit in my book.


Infinitron, I tried tagging the guy in here but he's not showing up in the autofill. Bug or is there like a new forum feature to make ourselves untaggable?
 

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
96,185
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
20 years is a long time. People still idolize game devs of ages ago only to end up disappointed at their new takes, dude.
It's one thing to be cautious, another to be Debbie Downer. Sure, people change over the years, but it seems overly pessimistic to assume that even an original author expanding his own passion project for free would necessarily muck things up. For what it's worth, the completed version of TotM came out just a couple of years ago - I didn't care for this one "humorous" companion, but the campaign's writing was otherwise quite straightforward and competent, so until I see otherwise, the man has some credit in my book.


Infinitron, I tried tagging the guy in here but he's not showing up in the autofill. Bug or is there like a new forum feature to make ourselves untaggable?

It's probably because Luke Scull hasn't logged in since we switched to XF2.
 

Luke Scull

Ossian Studios
Developer
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
67
I never went away. I lurk occasionally but I've been extremely busy.

The companions are more like henchmen: they're not the focus of the module and their purpose is mainly gameplay-driven. I was a spotty 21-year-old when I first released the module. Now I'm a professional author published in nine languages with several games under my belt. You'd hope my standards have improved.
 

AetherVagrant

Arbiter
Patron
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
518
They will pull you in with better graphics and performance then the next thing you know you are getting browbeaten by the

Expanded and Rewritten Dialogue
New Companions
Are you speaking from firsthand knowledge? Please, if you've played the new edition and have complaints, illuminate us as to the details.
Bitching about games you haven't even played would be a useful skill as a games journalist, so....Incline.
 

Konjad

Patron
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
3,024
Location
Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
For NWN modules, are there any reasons to get enhanced edition editions instead of original ones?
 

luj1

You're all shills
Vatnik
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
11,219
Location
Eastern block
Perhaps Neverwinter Nights was ugly and looked desolate, but it had a ton of charm for a 3D game. Character building is second to none. The ruleset was ported superbly. And this is the game's biggest strength. The art was excellent. The music was excellent. The UI is excellent. The OC is railroaded, but its overall criticism is blown out of proportion in my opinion. It has plenty of peripeteia, interesting characters, optional content, good writing, changes of scenery. Aurora is one of the best toolsets of all time, it's powerful and easy and flexible, leaning to one of the most active modding communities at 20 years.
 
Last edited:

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,836
For NWN modules, are there any reasons to get enhanced edition editions instead of original ones?
This new version features rewritten and expanded dialogue, new quests, new areas to explore, and the addition of several henchmen, as well as a new world map and completely overhauled graphics.
:M

There aren't actually that many modules that have gotten the EE treatment, at least not that I know of. Luke's got SoS EE out now, obviously, and CToT EE still to come. His TotM got published as an EE DLC but, like I said, that wasn't really enhancing the old module so much as it was finishing an incomplete project. DoD also got an EE published by Beamdog with bugfixes and a polish pass (VO, portraits, etc.), a commercial release that Ossian really deserved after the Premium Module program got yanked out from under them twenty years ago.

Edit: Man, just as I'm writing this, someone goes and publishes Almraiven Enhanced Edition on the Vault. I'm telling you, these module builders are making cool updated content just to spite me.
 

Crescent Hawk

Cipher
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
642
Perhaps Neverwinter Nights was ugly and looked desolate, but it had a ton of charm for a 3D game. Character building is second to none. The ruleset was ported superbly. And this is the game's biggest strength. The art was excellent. The music was excellent. The UI is excellent. The OC is railroaded, but its overall criticism is blown out of proportion in my opinion. It has plenty of peripeteia, interesting characters, optional content, good writing, changes of scenery. Aurora is one of the best toolsets of all time, it's powerful and easy and flexible, leaning to one of the most active modding communities at 20 years.
Absolutely NWN is for me peak Bioware. Everything is great except maybe no big party. And who can forget Aribeth low poly tit jiggle.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,754
Codex Year of the Donut
after watching this video, all I have to add is:
hard shadows looked so much better than modern 'soft' shadows in games with a million filters/bullshit applied, only exception is MAYBE a photorealistic game
 
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
2,372
Location
The Present
Those were some barebones areas. One thing that annoyed me about NWN is that creators treated every building like it's a Dr. Who Tardis. Outside a humble tudor dwelling, inside a sprawling palace.
 

luj1

You're all shills
Vatnik
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
11,219
Location
Eastern block
The art was excellent

LOL

it was the ugliest fucking game on the market the year it released

Accoring to reviews it was not. Blocky meshes were noted however reviews praised textures, shadows, animation, spell effects, post processing.

Overall graphics was praised.

Gamespot:

The graphics engine is solid, but it isn't drop-dead gorgeous, like it would have been by the standards of a year or two ago. Many of the enemies you'll face look great, especially some of the larger ones. However, some of the character models look blocky, though the smooth animations and good-looking shadows make up for this. Likewise, some of the game's environments don't look as good as others, particularly the caverns and catacombs, which are rather generic. There aren't that many types of environments overall, but the game's cities and especially its dense forests, where rays of sunlight cut through the canopy above, look excellent.

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/neverwinter-nights-review/1900-2872002/

IGN:

Neverwinter Nights looks really amazing, with some of the best use of lighting and shadows I've ever seen in a game. The real-time shadows are really incredible, and it's little touches like this that are going to be making me wish that it was in every game. This is the stuff we all expect when we hear "real-time" shadows...they dance on the walls, wrap around solid objects, stretch as you get further away from a light source, and are cast from actual objects in the game, like individual slats in windows and the ribcage of a skeleton. Textures are crisp and clean as well, and look particularly nice and 3D with bump-mapping enabled video cards.

While the character models themselves are a little blocky, every item you find in the game will appear on your body if you're wearing or holding it, and this gives you a lot of variety in your appearance. The animations in the game are also very nicely done, with some class and move specific ones, like the monk's kick attack, really adding to the overall atmosphere of the game.

https://www.ign.com/articles/2002/06/21/neverwinter-nights

Game Chronicles:

Well, to sum it up in one word: “Wow!”. Graphics for a Bioware game have never looked better. The reflections in the water, the fog on the docks, and the spell effects are truly breath-taking. I would highly recommend a high-end video card if you are planning on purchasing this game and playing it for any amount of time. The game does require a DirectX compatible 3D accelerator, but nothing less than a GeForce 3 will really do this game the justice it deserves.
The feature that really caught my eye was the ability that the player has to zoom in and zoom out using the roller on a Microsoft Intellimouse. When you zoom in on the player you can see all of their clothes in the exact detail as what is in their inventory. The weapon that your character carries is also the exact replica of the weapon in their inventory.

Overall, you can tell that the graphics are a bit dated and are not the same caliber as the graphics of Dungeon Siege. This tends to happen when a game is in development for five years. As I stated before, however, a Bioware game has never looked this good.

http://www.gamechronicles.com/reviews/pc/neverwinter/nights.htm
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,754
Codex Year of the Donut
The art was excellent

LOL

it was the ugliest fucking game on the market the year it released

Accoring to reviews it was not. Blocky meshes were noted however reviews praised textures, shadows, animation, spell effects, post processing.

Overall graphics was praised.

Gamespot:

The graphics engine is solid, but it isn't drop-dead gorgeous, like it would have been by the standards of a year or two ago. Many of the enemies you'll face look great, especially some of the larger ones. However, some of the character models look blocky, though the smooth animations and good-looking shadows make up for this. Likewise, some of the game's environments don't look as good as others, particularly the caverns and catacombs, which are rather generic. There aren't that many types of environments overall, but the game's cities and especially its dense forests, where rays of sunlight cut through the canopy above, look excellent.

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/neverwinter-nights-review/1900-2872002/

IGN:

Neverwinter Nights looks really amazing, with some of the best use of lighting and shadows I've ever seen in a game. The real-time shadows are really incredible, and it's little touches like this that are going to be making me wish that it was in every game. This is the stuff we all expect when we hear "real-time" shadows...they dance on the walls, wrap around solid objects, stretch as you get further away from a light source, and are cast from actual objects in the game, like individual slats in windows and the ribcage of a skeleton. Textures are crisp and clean as well, and look particularly nice and 3D with bump-mapping enabled video cards.

While the character models themselves are a little blocky, every item you find in the game will appear on your body if you're wearing or holding it, and this gives you a lot of variety in your appearance. The animations in the game are also very nicely done, with some class and move specific ones, like the monk's kick attack, really adding to the overall atmosphere of the game.

https://www.ign.com/articles/2002/06/21/neverwinter-nights

Game Chronicles:

Well, to sum it up in one word: “Wow!”. Graphics for a Bioware game have never looked better. The reflections in the water, the fog on the docks, and the spell effects are truly breath-taking. I would highly recommend a high-end video card if you are planning on purchasing this game and playing it for any amount of time. The game does require a DirectX compatible 3D accelerator, but nothing less than a GeForce 3 will really do this game the justice it deserves.
The feature that really caught my eye was the ability that the player has to zoom in and zoom out using the roller on a Microsoft Intellimouse. When you zoom in on the player you can see all of their clothes in the exact detail as what is in their inventory. The weapon that your character carries is also the exact replica of the weapon in their inventory.

Overall, you can tell that the graphics are a bit dated and are not the same caliber as the graphics of Dungeon Siege. This tends to happen when a game is in development for five years. As I stated before, however, a Bioware game has never looked this good.

http://www.gamechronicles.com/reviews/pc/neverwinter/nights.htm
As I stated before, however, a Bioware game has never looked this good.
How much did they pay them to publish this?

According to reviews that mattered, it looked like shit.
https://rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=8
Since it's tile based, you also have the problem of nearly every part of a city looking just like every other part. Unlike their Infinity Engine, everything looks like the Forgotten Realms version of a 1950s prefab suburb. All the caves look the same, all the towns look the same, all the outdoors look the same. If you've been in one forest, you've pretty much seen it all. For those used to other 3D CRPGs that came out this year, NWN just doesn't look up to code.


Codex correctly shat on the game when it released, and it should be shat on now. Terrible, terrible game. And I will not change my mind until someone refunds my purchase.
Oh, and yes, and the reviewers were called shills.
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/best-role-playing-game-on-pc-at-gamespot-nwn-horror.644/
 

thesheeep

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
9,805
Location
Tampere, Finland
Codex 2012 Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Early age 3D will always be ugly and this game is no exception.
Everything looks too shiny, too polished, too clean, soulless and lifeless, all areas are completely empty because you couldn't have a lot of 3D on the screen for GPUs at the time... it's always been ugly.
The only thing adding actual atmosphere to NWN in the graphics department are some occasional setpieces and the portraits. And some of the spell effects do indeed look nice.

But everything else is just "coders figured out how to do reflections so every surface now needs to reflect everything" and repeat that for a bunch of other shading effects that were "hot new stuff" at the time and wowed people easily impressed by tech over actual design.

Comparing the game to its own peers, there's no way a person with eyes in their head would claim it looks better than eg. Baldur's Gate.
Gaming magazines praised the graphics at the time, because they were full of shit and "3D! Much wow! Such progress!" no matter how terrible something actually looked.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,754
Codex Year of the Donut
Early age 3D will always be ugly and this game is no exception.
nwn was not 'early age 3D'

These games released within months of each other:
image.png

image.png
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom