Neverwinter Nights 2: Warcry at Obsidian Part II: General Info, PWs & the DM Client

After lunch, we returned to the Obsidian offices and found lead developer Josh Sawyer all alone in his office, a lucky happenstance for us.

Before going further, I want to quote Josh Sawyer that I found incredibly interesting coming from a developer and that is illustrative of the care that these folks are taking to create a game that everyone can play:

“Frame rate is the gateway to fun.”

Now how’s that for cool? A game developer who cares whether or not an area has an overabundance of placeables so as to make it unplayable for the Average Joe. What a refreshing attitude, to my mind.

At any rate, we spent the next two hours talking with Josh about all aspects of NWN 2 and even flew off on exotic tangents. He was a gracious host and answered every question I could think of and more and spent time letting us view the game. Sadly there just weren’t enough hours in the day to actually play the game ourselves but others ran through it highlighting the things that were of most interest to us.

Again, here are some of the questions and answers in random order:

Persistent World Issues:

  • Will a local copy of the module be required?
    • At this point, yes, at least the walkmesh portion. Walkmeshes will be version stamped and a check will be performed on log in to determine if the versions match. Brian Lawson and Adam Brenneke later confirmed this fact.
  • Will it be possible to encrypt the files players download in order to make them secure and avoid spoiling secrets?
    • Unknown at this time though it -seems- like it would be something that can be accomplished. It is something the developers are still considering and working on.
  • What about a dedicated server?
  • [/ul][li]Is it possible for one computer to host more than one module?
    [ul][li]Maybe if it’s a super computer according to Adam and Brian. [/ul]

The DM Client:

  • Were any features dropped from the NWN client?
    • No though enhancements have been made to some. For example, entire parties can be jumped from one spot to another rather than one character at a time.
  • Any other enhancements or improvements?
    • There is now a free roaming camera for DMs so that their avatar doesn’t necessarily have to be in the immediate vicinity of a party. Their avatar can be at a distance yet follow the party or individuals with the camera. The DM avatar doesn’t have to move with the party.
  • Are any of the DMFI functions going to be part of the DM client?
    • Not at this point.
  • Can DMs rename their avatars and/or NPCs/monsters in the game?
    [ul][li]Using the set_name function it is possible.
  • [/ul][li]What about the improvements to the client that were made in the last patch version released by Bioware?
    [ul][li]Work began on the DMC before the latest additions implemented in the 1.67 patch so those features will not be in the new client though other enhancements/improvements are being made. [/ul][li]Will the DM client be ready for download on the day of release?
    [ul][li]Simply put: Yes. [/ul]

The main thing readers NEED to know is that these men are passionate about this game and they believe in what they’re doing. They face incredible pressure on all sides yet can sit down and calmly and intelligently discuss the game. They are patient and gracious people and their dedication to this game is outstanding. People NEED to know that about them.

Again, the time with Josh Sawyer, Adam Brenneke and Brian Lawson was terrific. In fact, this article really only skims the surface of what we learned from them. Saturday’s article will reveal some more of our two hours’ conversation so stay tuned.

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