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Neverwinter Nights Preview
PII 450, 128MB RAM, 16MB Video Card, 1.3GB HD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jun 16, 02 (released)
|» All About Neverwinter Nights on ActionTrip|
After the notorious Baldur's Gate series, BioWare and Interplay will hit the market with a new RPG. And not an ordinary RPG this time; Neverwinter Nights (NWN) is an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) RPG with 3rd Edition rules. It has been designed specifically for online multiplayer environment using latest 3D technology. It also allows you to experience all the magic of pen-and-paper Dungeon-Mastering on your home computer.
Being supposedly THE supreme Dungeon Master (DM) game, Neverwinter Nights will let you alter the plot, possess characters, and manage combat from behind the scenes - all in real-time. The game will bring some completely new, and never before seen, features to the FRP genre. It preserves the atmosphere of pen-and-paper DM, and merges the massive multi-player on-line gameplay with the numerous approaches to single-player RPG playing. In reference to single playing in NWN, it will be possible to come up with your own storyline and use your imagination for preserving the world you created by yourself (in other words it's not necessary to connect to an official Dungeon Master server, you can do everything on your own).
The game's inventory is designed in a trouble-free form, quite like the one we saw in Diablo. A single weapon will take up more than one square-space. And there won't be amazingly unrealistic occurrences, like your character carrying twenty-five armors and six swords in his pocket. The developers would also like to avoid jamming and muddling the screen up with all sorts of redundant items. A well arranged inventory and a smooth toolset for generating worlds are crucial for any decent RRG (or AD&DRPG for that matter). BioWare has introduced a few small, but very important factors that can assure the easy and manageable user interface so that the players would be able to enjoy the ambiance more; while creating their worlds without too complicated character options, camera usage, and similar related aspects. The info that surprised me the most is that the game is supposed to instate innovatory characteristics to computer RPGs in general. This will include compelling things like arrows sticking into objects and environment details (like trees, building walls etc.), and into individual players (finally someone thought of this important realistic point). It also means that you will see enemies with armor and shields that have arrows sticking out of them from previous encounters and duels - nice one guys! Way to go!
You will be able to choose characters from seven separate races; each of those will be of 11 distinct classes, and approximately 200 monsters and NPC's. We will see enormous collection of famous, well-known fantasy races, and of course a lot of new ones. Aside from the traditional Humans, Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings, Wizards, Priests, Paladins, Druids, Rangers, Fighters, Rogues and Bards you can also play the powerful new Half-Orc. In further character customization, you will receive the opportunity to choose from a broad selection of skills and heroic features. Experience points are going to be upgradeable to the 20th level (I think we could maybe use a bit more). The details continue with the selection of the character's appearance. The color of the skin, weight, height, and clothes, all depend on your preference (you may even select the color of the hair). Such an impressive magnitude of elements requires a well-balanced graphic 3D engine, which doesn't burden the computer system it is used on. The developers have decided to take a practical and simple pattern. Sticking to the traditional, less demanding isometric 3D engine, BioWare will leave lots of space for potential Dungeon Masters that have the intention to create vast worlds and countless races. At the same time this engine will allow more creatures and monsters on the screen, through a lower polygon count. With this commendable methodology, BW intends to relieve the players of the limited terrain conception (in the sense that they can assemble worlds as large and as they like), so they could entirely grasp the benefits of AD&DRPG's.
It was announced that some of the weaponry would be two-handed while other weapons may be manageable in various ways. For example, you get to use two distinctive weapons at the same time, one in your left hand, the other in your right (like Diablo II - Barbarian's unique skill). Wizards, clerics, and mages will have over 200 spells. Moreover, a deceptively simple-seeming "wish" spell is going to be usable, which will need to be arbitrated in real time by the dungeon master. All schools of magic would be able to learn spells up to the 9th level. In addition, the developers will incorporate a way of deflecting spells, as well as the possibility of dodging certain incantations and melee attacks. In multi-player, we are to expect several of these features. Internet and LAN modes have been included, without the necessity of playing under an official DM server. Also, to make the on-line gameplay more bearable, BioWare has promised to institute a special Internet "character vault" to prevent cheating for characters used in online sessions
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