Neverwinter Nights 2 Community Update #11

Obsidian's public relations manager Shane DeFreest has once again stopped by the official Neverwinter Nights 2 forums to provide us with an eleventh community update for the game.
Well its been a crazy few weeks since E3 in NWN2 land. We'd hoped to get these out a bit more regularly but as with the team working away at the game itself we're still a little behind on the Q&A. But we have had time to provide some new fun things for the community in the meantime. If you have not had a chance to check it out the first of a series of Dev Diaries is now up at Gamespot and it looks great. Creative Designer, Chris Avelone gives some great insight as to what fans can look forward to when the game releases in September.

Gamespot Dev Diary:

Also for those of you that missed last weeks chat NWVault has posted a transcript for your reading pleasure. If you missed this last chat dont worry our next chat will be hosted by our friends over at NWN2 News later in June. Date and time will be forthcoming.

NWVault Chat log:

Lastly before we get to your questions those of you who live in or near the Dallas, TX area will be in for a special treat this weekend as NWN2 team members Chris Avelone, J.E. Sawyer and Tramell Issac will be attending A-Kon. For more information on A-Kon check out their website:

And now NWN2 Senior Producer Ryan Rucinski Serves up some answers to your questions this week.



1) Will the encounters be scaled to the players level or of static difficulty?
RR: The ability to scale the encounters is there much like NWN1. For the single player campaign, though, we know how much experience the character could possibly have and make sure encounters are the appropriate level.
If the player wanted to play the single player campaign again from the beginning with a level 20 guy.Well, I feel sorry for the Goblins because they will get a fast trip to the hurtlocker.
However, if someone wanted to change the module in the ToolSet and have it scale accordingly it would take into consideration the level of the character(s), the size of the party, etc.

2) What about shipboard combat? The city of Neverwinter is a major port, often in conflict with several other ports in the northern part of the Sword Coast. In NWN1, we had pirates, but they were all on land, or worse, in sewers. So my question is... Will NWN2 finally give us shipboard combat scenes to play through?
RR: Alas, no shipboard combat. There are some events that have ships involved, but nothing where you are driving a ship trying to jockey for position or on a ship getting waylaid.

3) Also: Will the XP and level gaining be more realistically progressioned as closer to a PnP experience or are we going to have a rehash of the "mad dash" approache that NWN gave us in order to "showcase" all the different level abilities? Will we have the option to (*as someone else also mentioned) bully, bluff and intimidate our way through an encounter and still recieve some XP for it, based on the RP concept as opposed to just slaughtering all the baddies in a group?

RR: There is a metric ton of abilities and feats in the game. We are definitely offering the players different ways to garner experience using these abilities other than just skull-bashing their way through the game.
Sometimes people just aren't chatty and you have to fight (if you can't use one of your abilities to get by them).

4) Will spells be scripted for being used in conversation? Such as if you have spells with Death Effect on them, you get a conversations option to cast it before the enemies manage to react to it, Charm/Dominate as a conversation option, different other effects?

RR: As with the previous expansions, the usage of Spells/Feats/Abilities/Scrolls and the like can alter a conversation sometimes with deadly effects. I still giggle at an early part of the game where you can choose to do a very bad thing (especially if you aligned as such).

Now, on our end, it is up to the designers if they wanted to implement this in their section of the game. So the only way you will see it in the single player campaign is if you have the proper trigger and the designer wanted the player to be able to do it.

5) How will the AI be different from NWN + expansions? Is the new AI going to be like an 8th grade soccer game? Will they all just start running towards the PC when they detect him? How will the AI act/react to the PC? Are NPC monsters, especially Magi, going to cast defensive spells in a "realistic" manner? Will big bad guys know that the PC is coming and cast defensively beforehand instead of wasting time once the PC is within melee range? Will lesser bad guy actions be scripted or will they be "let loose" and be able to attack via generic AI?

RR: It is nearly all script related. In the ToolSet you have the ability to set certain behaviors like Ambush, Cowardly, Ranged, etc. to the creatures. You can do them all separately or you can set them up in bulk.
For Special Events we can set it up it so Boss Badguy to do very specific things by reacting to a trigger. So if we wanted (or anyone with the Toolset for that matter) we could set it up so that when the player enters the Boss' room he is quite prepared for them.