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Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Preview

publisher: Atari
developer: Obsidian Entertainment
genre: RPG

PIV 2400, 512MB RAM, 4.3GB HDD, 128MB video card
ESRB rating: T

release date: Nov 18, 08
» All About Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir on ActionTrip

AT: Wizards of the Coast already released the 4th Edition D&D rule set. Are some of the changes going to make it into the game or are you still clinging to the 3.5 rule set?

KS: Storm of Zehir is a 3.5 Edition game and will not use any of the 4th Edition rule set. However, we do have some major 4th Edition story tie-ins.

As you well know, with 4th Edition, D&D is switching from Oerth to the Forgotten Realms as the primary setting. The 4th Edition world is set many years after the events of Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir and in SoZ, we foreshadow events of the future. In fact, if you read the new Player's Handbook carefully, you'll notice that Zehir is one of the new gods created for 4th Edition.

AT: The economic aspect of gameplay (i.e. trading), obviously, plays an important role. Explain how it works in this expansion pack?

KS: Some quests tie directly into the trading system, but how much you want to partake in it is up to you. The core of the trading system in Storm of Zehir is to buy low, sell high, and pay attention to trends and events that impact the economy. There are different trading factions whose goals you can choose to support (or oppose). Ultimately, SoZ is a role-playing game, not an economic sim. The trading system's role in that regard is to add to the world's reactivity, with your trading endeavors potentially opening up new options and impacting story events. It also felt like a natural extension of the Overland Map gameplay.

AT: What is the Teamwork Benefit System?

KS: We'll talk more about this in the future, but Teamwork Benefits in SoZ will be similar to how they work in D&D as described in Player's Handbook 2. Basically, these are "feats" that benefit an entire party but have to be earned. We felt this addition from the D&D rules would be very applicable to our emphasis on party-based gameplay.

AT: The inevitable question: does the game allow players to transfer their Epic-level avatars from Mask of the Betrayer or NWN 2?

KS: Nope. You'll be creating a brand new party of adventurers. (Well, there's nothing that will prevent you from importing your 30th level character into SoZ, but it's not how it's meant to be played.)

AT: I'm sure you guys are really busy with several projects (NWN 2: SoZ, Alpha Protocol, etc.). Don't know if you've even considered this, but I have to ask. Is there a chance we'll be seeing Neverwitner Nights 3 some time in the future?

KS: Many of us at Obsidian have a deeply rooted respect and love for all things D&D. We would certainly enjoy working on a 4th Edition D&D game. Atari holds the license for any D&D electronic games, so they and Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are the ones who would decide what D&D games are developed.

AT: We appreciate your time and patience. Feel free to add anything else you'd like our readers to know about Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir.

KS: While definitely still a Neverwinter Nights game, Storm of Zehir deviates quite a bit from the typical Neverwinter gameplay. We think, of course, that you'll enjoy the change in direction we've taken.

Important note: We apologize for the lack of media. Unfortunately, Obsidian isn't quite ready to reveal any shots or artwork at this time. We're in contact with them, of course, and will post any media when it becomes available.

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