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To give you a sense of what I mean, allow me to set up a brief scenario for you: that of Frederico and Gretchen, twin children of the illustrious McProtagonist clan, as they set out to slay whatever mighty evil happens to be in the area this week. It is fortunate for them that they come from a prestigious line of adventurers, and have excellent equipment passed down to them: we just have to craft it first.
First up: weapons. Patient Frederico is a ranger, and is a longbow-usinâ€™ kind of guy. With complete weapons like bows â€“ where bits and pieces canâ€™t really be swapped out â€“ there are usually multiple models to swap between, and basically EVERY weapon model in the game is tintable. This means that for longbows, I have no less than five models to choose from, and three tints to play around with on top of this, allowing you to set the appearance of your bow in just a handful of clicks.
For valiant Gretchen the fighter, her greatsword works a little differently. Certainly there are multiple models to choose from: but multi-part weapons such as swords and axes can actually have multiple models in one weapon, allowing the user to put together different heads/hafts/grips for their hackinâ€™ instrument of choice. Gretchenâ€™s greatsword started out all using the same model set, then the blade and pommel models were swapped to create a new look for the weapon. Tints were set after this, and in just a few moments one has a sword fit for hacking all kinds of various and sundry critters, and looking crazy impressive whilst doing so.
Finally, to round out their appearances and to provide that ever-popular protection from the elements, the McProtagonists need some suitable armor. After selecting a base armor type (padded, leather, scale, plate, etc), one can then set specific armor attachments from a wide array of pieces, stretching from a small padded kneepad to a massive full-plate pauldron. In addition to the base armor attachments, specific gloves, boots, helms, belts, and cloaks can be added onto an armor set. Finally, one can drop tints onto the base armor and propagate them throughout all of the attachments with a handy â€œApply to Allâ€ button â€“ or you can tweak the tint of each individual attachment to look precisely how you want it. So whether one wanted to spend five minutes making armor for the McProtagonists or an hour, the tool is handy both for making something neat with little time investment, and giving the means for those who want to make something very specific to create precisely what they want.
So now Gretchen and Frederico are fully armed and outfitted for their adventure â€“ a task which took me maybe 25 minutes to set up entirely. Sure, Iâ€™m familiar with the toolset, and I didnâ€™t go in for extreme detail: but the design of the toolset itself makes this an easy task to pick up and go on to populate a world with, giving outfits to main characters that are crafted in meticulous detail, and even the most generic of lackeys a variation in armor and style that takes a nearly negligible amount of time to put together. And even if youâ€™re not the modding type â€“ hereâ€™s your little window of insight into a bit of the work I did on NWN2, which will hopefully lead to thoughts like â€œGee, look how awesome this sword is, I bet Annie worked really hard on this one,â€ and â€œWow, this armor is amazing, I should totally send Annie a check right now for making my character look so very great.â€ And then, my friends, I want you to take that weapon or that armor out into the game and slay stuff, and smile, because thatâ€™s our business: making smiles. And weapons. And armor. And games. And stuff. You know what I mean.
Thanks for reading, and I hope when you buy the wonderful game Neverwinter Nights 2 that you will enjoy messing about making weapons and armor, and look back fondly on the legendary McProtagonists, and their illustrious name. Enjoy!