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Page 2 of 2GB: How many new classes, races, spells, and feats do you intend to introduce in SoZ? Any examples you can give us?
Matthew: Well, we can say that we've been working on the Doomguide of Kelemvor, a specialist in fighting the undead, as a prestige class. It's perfect for anyone who harbors a particular hatred for skeletons, and they're handy to have in your party when you come across a necromancer's crypt.
GB: What tweaks and additions will SoZ introduce to the game's toolset and DM client? Is there anything in particular that you think modders will be happy about?
Matthew: The main boon in the toolset will likely be the ability for modders to use the Overland Map tools to create their own non-linear adventures, and there'll also be new enemies and tilesets to work with, as well.
GB: Why did you decide to go with full party customization in the expansion? What sort of challenges did you run into while implementing the change?
Matthew: One of the strengths of Obsidian's games have been their character customization, so the full party customization feature was designed to give the ultimate amount of control to our players, allowing them to design a group of characters to their exacting specifications. This level of customization was also a great way to bring back some memories of old-school D&D CRPGs, as well.
GB: With the new party-based gameplay, will skills like Spot and Listen have any practical purposes this time around? Any chance we'll finally see secret doors implemented?
Matthew: We're hopeful that the Overland Map will allow players to use some of the previously underutilized skills, like Spot and Listen. Survival will also come in handy for avoiding roaming enemies.
GB: Does Storm of Zehir share any new content or other assets with Ossian's Mysteries of Westgate, or are these add-ons being treated as two completely independent projects? Will SoZ also utilize Atari's new security system?
Matthew: Storm of Zehir and Mysteries of Westgate are completely separate projects, and no content is being shared between them. Since Storm of Zehir will be a retail product it will likely utilize the traditional cd-key protection instead of Atari's security system. That system was developed specifically for Adventure Packs like Mysteries of Westgate, which can't use the cd-key system since it's a digital download.
GB: What's next for Neverwinter Nights 2 following Storm of Zehir's release? Is it possible we might see more adventure packs or expansions?
Matthew: Anything's possible. :) The existence of Storm of Zehir directly follows from the great reception that Mask of the Betrayer received from the press and our fans, but for the moment we're focusing on making Storm of Zehir the best game it can be.
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