Eurogamer provides quotes from Jack Emmert indicating that aspires to be ""a co-op Dragon Age with a touch of Oblivion's exploration". That's one way to phrase design goals.
"Dragon Age was a very personal experience, and the Neverwinter project is more about exploration and learning about Neverwinter. You're an adventurer, you've been called here [Neverwinter] and you want to seek your fame and fortune like any true D&D adventurer would.
"The focus is a little bit different," he added, "but in essence yes, we have the cinematics, the NPCs, the voice acting and the so forth and so on."
Emmert went on to tell us that Neverwinter was "certainly a sequel" to BioWare's Neverwinter Nights and Obsidian's Neverwinter Nights 2. "The biggest difference" will be the setting, as Cryptic's new game is based on Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. And, of course, it's an online-only game.