NWN : How is the multiplayer?

How is the multiplay in NWN ? Has anyone tried it ?

LATER :

LOL! Just read the specs - minimum of 56Kbps and that only supports 2-players. A non-event for me on my 28.8K connect.

Actually, I’m interested to know if the so-called DM feature really works. I watched the video review with that guy Greg on GameSpot, and he said that you could really play nothing else but this game for months. But months? Man, I’m thinking YEARS, Greg! I mean, if people can play Everquest for so long, wouldn’t they spend even more time if they could get their friends together online and actually play co-op D&D adventures? Because if it really works, I’m seriously thinking I may not ever play another computer game. But I’m not buying this game yet because it seems like 1- it will take too long to make adventures with the Aurora Toolset, since you can’t just sketch em out in general and and wing it like you can with pen and paper plus you gotta be a code monkey programmer and 2- actually BEING a DM in-game must be a huge pain in the ass. I mean, instead of just talking, you gotta type, move stuff, watch whats going on… sheeeee-it. Has anyone actually seen this stuff in action for real? Or are all these reviews going on peoples EXPECTATIONS of how it will all turn out???

I just said “months” in the video, huh? My mistake; in the text review I mention that people will more than likely be playing this game for years to come. It’s true, Neverwinter Nights is one of those games, like the original Quake or Starcraft or something, where five years from now you’ll still be hearing about how people are playing it and doing new stuff with it.

The multiplayer’s pretty laggy right now, even on a fast connection. I’m sure that has a lot to do with the host server, though I bet we’ll see some more patches. The lag hasn’t stopped a bunch of people from already making their own modules, though. I’ve already seen lots of reports of some great experiences in DM’d multiplayer sessions (and had some fun myself). I think the most important point to be made about NWN multiplayer is that it’s not really the sort of thing where you can just jump right into an open game and have fun… maybe not everyone’s assuming it’s like that, but I think a lot of people are. You need to get together with people you know, and be ready to put some real time into it… a lot like pen-and-paper D&D. It’s kind of too bad that there’s no Diablo II-style multiplayer mode in the game, where characters are stored server-side and monsters just keep getting tougher. I think the core combat gameplay of NWN is really fun.

Man, this site is the BEST! You just mention somebody’s name and editors and game review guys show up and answer you! That’s so cool. Anyway thanks Greg, I didn’t read the text review so maybe it was my bad. Yeah I could definitely see playing this game for a long time. But it sounds like making adventures is really tough and takes bunches of time. If Bioware is smart they will get people working on premade modules pronto, so that people like me and my friends (were not coders or anything) can just buy something like Vault of the Drow and hop in and play! I’d pay another sixty buxks (cost me $59.99 at Best Buy) for another campaign as long as the one in the game, that I could play with my friends. We would get somebody to DM, and we’d just join and play. THIS COULD BE THE SWEETEST!

Greg, you are probably right about the servers. Just like with any big new release, I’ve been trying to hit servers that are low ping & say what connection they are in the name (OC-3, etc.) on a gamble that they are a rack server somewhere and not some pinhead’s desktop. I have had good results with low lag from that practice, even in an 8-player game this evening.

Guest, this thing is freaking D&D on your computer. It will last for years & years because of that. Make your friends buy copies, and schedule regular times for play just like the pen & paper version. My clan is already planning to set up a private server with a persistent world pub in it, just so we have somewhere to hang out and organize expeditions. Keep an eye out for people with much more dedication and time than I have to produce downloadable modules - they are already working on them. This is one of the games I’ve been waiting for.

NWN would be better served having a Diablo mode… for those who DONT have DnD dudes to DM them! I’ve played the last three days some NWN online … and let me just say, pray you can find a good online dm… I didn;t find any. Well, I did find some ok semi persistent servers that had a dm play a merchant and who spawned increasingly difficult mini quests… was pretty cool. But it felt like playing Diablo… when I could have been playing Diablo. My point is that since people WANT to play Diablo NWN style… they should make some modules like it. imo that is. Actually, deja vu, the solo campaign does somewhat play like diablo when you dont roleplay it. nevermind im rambling.

etc

A few friends and I had a NWN LAN party last weekend. We played without a DM, just running through the first chapter and part of the second over the course of about 15 hours :)

I’ll say one thing: don’t play a thief if the rest of the people in your party are impatient, as you won’t get a chance to use your find traps/unlock abilities much. Well, until they figure out that after 10 hours and multiple respawn penalties from setting off traps that they are now two levels behind you, and that it might be a good idea to let you lead from now on :)

Our party composition, however, was sub-optimal. . . 1 elven sorc, 1 dwarven fighter, 1 dwarven barbarian/cleric, and 1 rogue. It is possible to fill out missing slots by using henchmen, but they only support the person that hired them.

We did use the DM client at one point to recreate a character that was lost during a server crash, as we were using the “use local characters” option, but we didn’t try to DM the module.

I think the DM client would probably be best for running people through your own created stuff, so that you don’t have to spend time coding up conversation trees and whatnot. I don’t see the DM client being used on a regular basis other than in organized groups, or in the management of persistent worlds.

In any case, we found the multiplayer quite fun, having a dedicated server certainly helped though. I suspect that many of the laggy games out there on the net are the result of people running “listen” servers on shitty connections with poor hardware. . . just like any time a new FPS gets released. After a week or two, it’ll mostly be dedicated servers running on decent hardware under linux. :)

There’s no reason why you couldn’t have a Diablo-style module. Somebody just has to make it… and I’ll bet somebody will. The game just came out. Give it a few weeks, and you’ll start to see all sorts of user-created content. My own testbed module (The Great Crossroads: An adventure in tedium) is coming along quite nicely. Although considering that it’s just a disjointed series of conceptual experiments, I doubt that anyone would actually enjoy playing it.

Is anyone here DM’ing? I’d like to try that by my old D&D friends are too cheap to buy the game (a surprisingly amount of them also still live with their parents - I’m the guy who made his hobbies pay for themselves, you see).

I think I’ve probably got more practical experience with the DM client than anyone on the planet heh… seriously–even more than the guys who developed it. I’d be willing to DM a session for some people–but I’d have to make a module for it first…

LAN play rocks - I can never get into online co-op games, since it’s hard to coordinate everything via typing.

I played through Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 2 with a friend - I was a half-elven “dead walker” cleric, and he was an elven “necromancer” sorc. Had a few deaths due to some bosses - I’m a lousy tank - but his familiar helped out plus my negative avatar/shadow mastiff summons. The best bits are when you get swarmed by low level enemies - the action is so dynamic, with familiars leaping into the fray and spells going off. It’s a great visual recreation of AD&D.

The ATi issue really sucks, though. My friend’s PC is moderate - an Athlon 1.1 - but the sloppy ATi support for his Radeon 8500 makes the game crawl. Bioware/ATi really need to work this issue out, pronto.

I’d be very interested in that Tom. Let me know if it comes together. I’ve got a couple weeks before my review is due and I’m itching to try multi. An experienced DM would more than offset the random multi I’ve been trying thus far.

We’ve dabbled with LAN play at Shoot Club, but the single player campaign isn’t very well suited for dabbling. I’m looking forward to some more basic combat oriented modules for just sitting down and poking around at teamwork, leveling, spell flinging, that sort of thing in a simple co-op environment.

There really is a phenomenal amount of potential for where this thing can go in multiplayer gaming. BioWare’s Contest of Champions module is one example.

 -Tom

Speaking of contest of champions, I wouldn’t mind getting a nice Qt3 contest of champions game going… We had a little session with the CGW guys, and, at least for me, it was a total blast. Even though I was getting sick of killing Scooter…

I’m really going to stick to just Guys Who Hit things when I play multi. Spellcasting and rogueing ain’t my thing online, apparently.

Tom Ohle, I’ll play. Sign me up.

Count me in as well, although I don’t have a sense for the game’s PvP issues. It would seem like a mass of fighter whaling away at the other guys would tend to win the day, no?

BTW, does anyone know if there’s any way to crank down the player level in Contest of Champions? I think it’d be great at Shoot Club if we used 5th level characters. Making everyone do ten levels worth of leveling might bog things down for some of these guys.

 -Tom

BTW, does anyone know if there’s any way to crank down the player level in Contest of Champions?

I just realized what a dumb question that is. Of course there’s a way, this is NWN.

What I meant to ask is how easy would it be to do this? :)

 -Tom

Hmmm… I don’t imagine it being all that difficult. You’d just have to find the appropriate script… I don’t think it would be more than one variable to change, although I’m not totally sure.

Going up to level 10 takes some time, but it makes for more interesting combat–at lower levels, spellcasters get dominated, but as they level up, the playing field evens out a bit.

I’m in for a QT3 game! Although I had to promise myself I wouldn’t install the NWN I got yesterday until after we ship the next issue tomorrow evening, aaargh…