Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Interview

The guys at CVG were able to sit down with Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir lead designer Tony Evans for a fairly informative interview about the expansion pack.
SoZ seems to be catering for the neglected hardcore role-playing fans. Is this a case of casual players need not apply?

Tony Evans: Though many elements in Storm of Zehir are a "return to roots" which we think hardcore role-players will appreciate, we're also adding refinements that help make the game easier to play and more accessible to casual gamers.

The end result will be a blending of traditional RPG gaming and sandbox-style gameplay.


You've mentioned full party customisation, dungeon crawling, and free exploration. Can we therefore expect it to be light on role-playing?

Evans: To the contrary, Storm of Zehir will feature more role-playing than our previous games. One example is party customization itself.

Players can design a full four-person party, each with their own individual attributes. The party can be customized further with a party name, motto and bio. We'll also be including several premade characters and parties to select from.

As the player advances in Storm of Zehir, their party will gain fame and reputation as a group, which will attract the interest of cohorts. Cohorts are interesting characters that can be recruited to shore up any weaknesses the party may have. The party can also earn Teamwork Benefits, which are special feats that affect the entire party.

Don't those questions contradict each other?