Neverwinter Nights 2 Community Update #3

Obsidian's public relations manager Shane DeFreest has once again stopped by the official Neverwinter Nights 2 forums to provide us with a third community update for the game. The full post:
So we had a lot to report last week. This week is a bit lighter. I know many of you would like an update on whats going on with So in an ongoing effort to keep the lines of communication open all I can say is please continue to be patient. Trust me when I say I want it back up as fast if not faster than anyone. I'm hoping to get some word from Atari today about when we can all expect it. In the meantime I'd like to extend my thanks to all the fan site/PW World web mangers who sent in the correct contact info I requested in last weeks update. I appreciate the prompt responses.

The only other thing of note before we get into your questions is expect new posting guidelines specifically for the NWN2 Forums in the near future. We very much appreciate getting constructive feedback (good or bad) but due to the increased amount of developer/publisher bashing and hostile negativity that I've seen on these forums in recent days its time to clean that up bit. We're also going to be looking at getting a couple more moderators. Vulcano is doing a fantastic job but we're going to be getting him some help.

Lastly, and I'll go into this in more detail later when we publish the forums guidelines but I want to touch on it here. As many of you know the development team is very, very busy. When they have time they to participate in the forums they are here to talk about the game itself and the development process. Lets try and keep the discussions on the topic of the game. As I've stated before if anyone has questions or comments about non game development related issues such as marketing, pr, the community etc. please contact me personally via PM or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have your issue(s) addressed.

And now onto your questions...

1) The biggest thing I can think of is are they base creatures that you can equip armor on? For example Orcs, Hobgoblins, etc. In NWN1 they had specific models. Do we have that or a nude Orc that we dress?

Ferret: Creatures work differently from the PC in NWN2. You don't start with an orc in loincloth and put any piece of equipment on top of him and he looks just like the PC. Creatures have a variety of their own base armor types which look more appropriate to their nature more orcish in this case. It's not just the base armor variations for the creature you can play with, you can also mix and match creature specific attachments to provide a lot of variation in your orcish armies and they don't look like PC clones with different skin they look like a vicious, wicked, and barbaric (and smelly) orcish army.

2) Will there be better options for controlling the behaviour of individual monsters. Currently you would have to change the onspawn or similair script for each monster as I understand it to get them to behave in unique ways, or use a 3rd party AI. Something like a clickable list of possible behaviours and a "use this spell first" type option would be ideal.

Ferret: We'll be announcing more specifics about AI improvements later on. There are some real goodies the scripters (and specifically Dan Rubalcaba) have been working on. But we're going to hammer on them more in QA before announcing the specifics.

3) Are the monsters limited to 4 classes like the players or does it work differently?

Ferret: Nope, the monsters are limited to 4 classes just like the player character. I've been told they use the same code, so a change to one is a change to another.

4) Will monsters have the same (full) animation and voice sets as PCs, or will they have limited subsets like in NWN1?

Ferret: Voice sets works the same way as the original game. Animations depend on the monster. If the critter is humanoid a lot of times it'll use the human animations as a base, which means they'll have access to a ton of animations. Non-humanoid critters have their own animation sets which don't have the same depth as the human animations but they are specific to them. Non-humanoids are primarily built to look awesome in a fight.

5) Will we be able to 'negotiate' with monsters, as in use Intimidate or Persuade to do something with them other than (repeatedly) rack them up as kills?

Ferret: There are times in the single player campaign you can use your silver-tongue to get out of a fight. But there are critters that just can't be reasoned with (like an Umber Hulk, who aren't particularly known to be conversationalists) and situations where it's just not tenable. I don't think passive resistance would work too well in the Forgotten Realms, there are just too many perils that would bulldoze right over a would-be good samaritan. Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff definitely come up, though. And for user made mods, certainly they can make and script options like this.