Please join Ben AKA Aroen, Mark AKA Madmage999 and Brian AKA Sir Brian as they conduct four awesome interviews for the last episode of the Neverwinter Nights Podcast. They are joined by the insanely talented CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Shane Hensley, Public Relations Director and Community Manager of Obsidian Entertainment, Shane DeFreest, Fantasy novel author of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga and Everquest Next story writer, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Community/Support Manager of Trapdoor Technologies, Rachael Bowen.
NWN Community News
( Provided by The Amethyst Dragon )
The Old (IGN) Vault: The old NWN Vault (nwvault.ign.com) has been offline for a couple of months now as IGN was working on switching to a wiki format or something. They ended up disabling the entire NWN Vault site…initially just the pages (which could be worked around via a hosts file DNS modification by visitors), then the file system itself stopped working.
The New (Community) Vault: The new Neverwinter Vault (www.neverwintervault.org) has been online for quite some time, but since the old one went down multiple community members have been mass-migrating old content to the new Vault. Rolo Kipp lent an external hard drive with all of the data (as of July 2013) to The Amethyst Dragon, which was then uploaded to a read-only FTP server. Community members are encouraged to pull the data from that drive in order to get older content available again.
The NWN Community Site: The Amethyst Dragon is in the process of updating links on the community site (www.neverwinternights.info) to account for the loss of the old Vault. As more and more content is migrated to the new Vault, all “broken” links (marked with handy red Xs) will get updated. Luckly all such links to the older BioWare Social Network forum are automatically being redirected to the newer BioWare Forum copies of those threads.
Custom Content Challenge: The CCC continues on! Since the last time it was mentioned on the podcast, the community members making new things completed May’s “technomancy” theme, June’s “artifacts and relics” theme, and July’s “deities and demigods” theme. For August, the theme is a combination one, “African adventures and/or tileset expansions”. New and experiences contributors are always welcome (check out www.neverwinternights.info/cc_ccc.htm for all the info).
Community Expansion Pack (CEP): Work is still progressing on the first update to the CEP in over 3 years, with version 2.60. The newest version of the CEP will be released by September 8th of this year, with fixes for some older content, overhauls of select older models, and a ton of newer content made by the NWN community over the last few years (including most of the content from the CCC). Smaller, more frequent updates (2.61, 2.62, etc.) should be expected as time goes on (instead of having to wait long periods of time for bigger updates).
Please join Ben AKA Aroen, Mark AKA Madmage999 and Brian AKA Sir Brian as they get ready to ride off into the sunset of pod casting. They discuss the future of the NWN Podcast and the Realms of Trinity. After that they recap their tenure of the NWNP and much more!
Stay tuned for episode 200, Gen Con 2014 coverage and interviews!
Where are they now?
Up/Down status of Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 PWs that we interviewed:
Ep 132, Dasaria – Up!
Ep 133, Dark age of Britain – Down
Ep 136, Wulverheim – Down
Ep 137, The Known lands – Down
Ep 140, 173, & 190, Realms of Trinity – Up!
Ep 155, 171, 177, 188 & 193, World of Aenea – Up!
Ep 145, 196, Rise of Sauron/Unfinished tales – Up
Ep 146, Higher Ground – Up!
Ep 152, Dalelands Beyond – Up!
Ep 157, Border kingdoms – Down!
Ep 172, Tales of Amn – Up!
Ep 178, 181, Fallen Empire – Up!
Ep 197, Thay, Realm of the Red Wizards – Up!
Please join Ben AKA Aroen and Brian AKA Sir Brian as they are joined by the former co-creator of the hit NWN2 PW, Legacy, The Dark Age of Britain, and the creator of the upcoming NWN2 PW, Engines of Ascension.
What is NWN2, Engines of Ascension?
The year is 1763, and you take a trans-oceanic airship ride from Azure City to Calidor, the so-called world’s capital. Instead of enjoying a quiet two-week journey in the clouds, you bear witness to events that could mark the beginning of a new era. On arriving you find a city where order and stability are on their last legs. To survive the coming days, you’ll need to throw yourself in to the pitched battle of corporations and politics, a war that in recent years has come to encompass everything from courts and legislatures to back alleys and cramped sewers. Meanwhile the constant infringement on the once untamed world has not gone unnoticed. In ignorance the young races break pacts older than even the most ancient legends, and in doing so risk retaliation in kind.
The campaign will be released in parts, and as a result of the live server implementation accessing campaign updates is as easy as logging in. Designed to support multiplayer at every stage in the campaign, you’ll find a mix of open world dungeons, single player instanced story areas, and party instances for bosses and important events.
The Engines System
Engines of Ascension uses a game system that takes a significant departure from the standard dnd engine. Combat is still primarily d20, but values for health and damage are significantly higher and armor is based around damage reduction rather than avoiding hits. Instead of uses per day, abilities rely on a stamina bar that regenerates over time, and instead of magic characters use technological means to attack at range or produce special effects. The entire system uses a heavily modified UI, including an extremely simple character creation process (which includes no gameplay decisions that can’t be reversed later) and a character sheet that supports levelling and ability selection.
Skills: Instead of relying on levels and classes for determining what a character can do, you progress skills by using them. Armor is progressed by resisting damage, weapon skills by dealing it, stealth by sneaking, mercantilism by buying and selling, etc.
Levels: Experience is earned by progressing skills and completing quests. When a level is gained a character selects to increase one of health, stamina, or carrying capacity by 10. In some sense carrying capacity functions as a spell pool because consumables are heavy.
Abilities: Characters who advance in level earn an ability point. Ability points can be spent on passive or active abilities, many of which are similar to those used in the Legacy engine, ie. full combat abilities with special animations and effects.
Items and Creatures: Engines features a script system for generating creatures and equipment, allowing for an effectively unlimited variety in loot drops and enemy encounters.
A full document describing the Engines system will be made available before the beta launches. The campaign is also designed to be playable from scratch, with an inbuilt tutorial system that introduces game mechanics in digestible parts.
Please join Ben AKA Aroen and Brian AKA Sir Brian as they interview the long time Neverwinter Nights PW creator and runner of Thay, Realm of the Read Wizards. In this interview they cover the massive amount of features and history on his Persistent World.
What is Thay, Realm of the Red Wizards?
Thay – Realm of the Red Wizards, is a long-running NWN persistent world which launched over 6 years ago and went live on January 1, 2009. Throughout that time, it has been continually updated and improved by many contributors over the years.
The Thay persistent world follows official 2nd and 3rd edition source material very closely. Experience the Salamander Wars. Survive the Time of Troubles. Thwart Szass Tam’s plans to rule Thay using the Runes of Chaos. In short, if something, someone, or some event could be found in Thay according to official lore, the odds are that he/she/it exists in game.
Being widely considered an “evil” place, Thay is definitely slanted in that direction. Good PC’s may face additional in-game challenges or hardships, as Thay isn’t the sort of place that has much interest in being saved by would be heroes. Things like slavery, drug use, prostitution, torture and betrayal all exist. While the themes are mature, they’re not presented in an overly graphic manner. You’ll find slavers (or they’ll find you). You’ll find brothels, drug dens, and countless other things that offer all of the vices an aspiring Thayan needs.
Please join Ben AKA Aroen and Brian AKA Sir Brian as they interview the folks from the very long running and outstanding Tolkien inspired world, Middle Earth – Unfinished Tales. In this interview they cover the all the latest updates and development on their Persistent World. In the news segment, Ben and Brian cover their upcoming appearance at GenCon 2014 and new Neverwinter MMO updates.
What is Middle Earth: Unfinished Tales?
This is a J.R.R. Tolkien inspired, Middle Earth based Gameworld with many alterations and customization to the standard NWN2 game. Every attempt has been made to keep it as true to the Tolkien setting as possible while balancing gameplay for difficulty, interest and enjoyment.
Although the emphasis and major focus is on immerse Role Play, there is action, danger and intrigue for all.
This is a dark and dangerous time in Middle Earth. Soloing is extremely difficult, and you are advised to travel in parties at all times. Intelligent use of battle tactics will greatly increase your survivability. It is a Low Magic, Low Treasure Server. It is Quest intensive, and you will find specific quests for Regions, for your Race, Alignment or Classes, as well as quests open to all. There is a unique and fully enabled crafting system for your enjoyment, as well as the opportunity to just relax and go fishing while your wounds heal. Character vs. Character (CvC) will NOT be allowed in this World, but make sure to read the rules.
DM’d events are held regularly, and specific events for your character or party will be made available following discussion.
(Redwood City, CA) July 15, 2014 – Perfect World Entertainment’s “Season of Dragons” continues with a brand new trailer showcasing the potent new class coming to Neverwinter in the new module, Tyranny of Dragons – the Scourge Warlock! It has never been a more perfect time to jump in and play Neverwinter!
Watch the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1WkFF4zjYk
Wielding dark eldritch powers, the Scourge Warlock comes free to all players when Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons launches on August 14, 2014. Introducing the powerful new Curse mechanic, the Scourge Warlock focuses on summoning dangerous Soul Puppets, debuffing enemies, and dealing major damage to their foes. They need these powerful skills, as the new dangers brought by new dragons and the growing Cult of the Dragon challenges players of all levels in the world of Faerûn.
“Season of Dragons” continues on the Neverwinter official website with further exciting announcements in 2014, including more information on the Scourge Warlock, new races, and new regions coming to the world of Faerûn through the end of 2014.
Please join Brian AKA Sir Brian as he interviews the author, Kev Balmer, of the hit Neverwinter Nights 2 Module, Untold Tales of Tolkien, The Indanthrine Price. In this interview they cover the genesis of the module’s creation and all the success that was had since it’s release, as well as upcoming releases to the campaign!
Please join Brian AKA Sir Brian as he interviews the former director of Project Gaming and creator of the upcoming NWN2 PW, Alien Evolution, DukeVega! In this episode we discuss his new Aliens inspired PW and a whole lot more.
Alien Evolution Video Trailers
Please join Mark AKA Madmage999, Ben AKA Aroen, and Brian AKA Sir Brian, from NWN2 Realms of Trinity, as they catch up with the Neverwinter Nights community legend, The Amethyst Dragon. They discuss all the goings on in the Neverwinter Nights community since the last update and the NWN Podcast staff discuss their upcoming trip to GenCon 2014 and much more!
The old Vault is pretty much abandoned. IGN is keeping it up as an archive site, but they do not have anyone updating it anymore. You can still go there to download content and vote and/or comment on stuff, but the site is having issues with new images (for screenshots and site ads) that likely won’t get fixed.
The community (mainly due to the effort of Rolo Kipp) has a new Neverwinter Vault now online at neverwintervault.org. New content for NWN (and NWN2) is being uploaded there, and should the old Vault ever go offline, a backup of the data has been made and that content will show up on the new Vault.
The new Neverwinter Vault includes things like active admins, forums, and the monthly polls for the CCC theme.
Custom Content Challenge:
New content every month with a different theme! New creative people are always welcome to join in.
November: Dr. Who
December: Dark Sun
March: Catacombs, Crypts, and Tombs
April: Orcs & Half-orcs
Current Theme: Technomancy
Community Expansion Pack:
The CEP had not been updated since version 2.4 was released in March 2011, and there had not been any contact with the community by the last remnants of the old “CEP Team” in over a year and a half.
I (The Amethyst Dragon) have taken over the Community Expansion Pack (CEP), and with community input and help I’m working on adding new content, getting some bugs fixed, and finally getting a new version out to the community.
I’m keeping the updated version backwards compatible. All those modules built with version 2.1 or newer will still work as they always have.
The new version will be version 2.60, with smaller upgrades anticipated over time (2.61, 2.62, etc.).
I’m getting input on the new new BioWare forum (yes, BioWare moved to new software again, but at least this time they copied over all the old posts). I also set up a CEP wiki for easy organization and community input. People can suggest new content and vote on inclusion of content that CEP has permission to use.
As far as suggesting content, we’re talking specific content here, not general. “We need more placeables” or “CEP should have more portraits, creatures, and tilesets” really aren’t helpful. Links directly to specific Vault pages are what’s needed. I don’t plan on adding “CEP-made” content, just incorporating more of the most useful things from the community at large.
CEP 2.60 Wiki: http://nwncep.wikia.com/
While it appears that most major development of Project Q has slowed as most of the team members have moved on with life, Pstemarie released version 1.8 in mid-April. He is also posting content updates every week via a small updater program (the Project Q Live Updater). You can get the latest information from the new Project Q website and the latest content by downloading version 1.8 and then running the 1.9 updater..
Project Q 1.8 and the 1.9 Updater: http://neverwintervault.net/project/nwn1/hakpak/combined/project-q
New Project Q Site: http://q.neverwintervault.org/
General NWN Links:
BioWare NWN Forum (new address and software): http://forum.bioware.com/forum/43-neverwinter-nights/
NWN Community Site: http://www.neverwinternights.info
xoreos is an ongoing FLOSS project to reimplement BioWare (and derivatives) as used in their 3D games, beginning with Neverwinter Nights. The goal is to have a portable program to play those games even on operating systems those games were never meant to be played on, such as GNU/Linux and Mac OS X.
How is it licensed?
xoreos is free software and licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 or later (GPLv3+).
A note about piracy
To use xoreos to run the games, you have own the original game media. We do not endorse piracy in any way, shape or form.
What does currently work?
In its current state, xoreos is still far away from its goal. At the moment, we are able to load resource archives and read basic file formats. Video and sound playing works, models are partially supported, and for earlier games, areas are shown and even some very basic gameplay exists.
What is left to do?
A lot of work is still left to do. We are actively looking for developers interested in joining our efforts in taking apart BioWare games and reimplementing them. If that sounds something you would find exciting and feel capable of, please contact us. We are always happy to see new faces.
The most pressing matter, however, is finding a person with knowledge of OpenGL: The current graphics subsystem is barebones and was quickly hacked together without much deeper understanding. If works for what is shown right now, but is far from being anywhere near adequate. There are a lot of features missing, and the performance is nothing to be proud of. Again, we would be very glad to welcome you in our still small team!