NWN versus NWN2

Been flipping around the NWN2 boards and reading through the two NWN threads here. Finally finishing up the 2nd NWN expansion with a friend and enjoying it quite a bit. The original really had legs. It now offers a solid toolset with plenty of content, a DM client, epic levels, prestiege classes, and an almost infinite amount of play.

NWN2 is one of my most anticipated games, a first day purchase for me. But it will lack a DM client, Obsidian is already dropping the money excuse, Atari seems on shaky ground financially, and I’m getting the feeling that NWN2 will be a fun game but not something that actually can replace the original NWN.

NWN just got its latest patch, 5 years after release. Bioware did a pretty excellent job providing their own content to keep the game going (Witch’s Wake, 2 expansions, Premium Modules) and obviously the fans have embraced the game.

Assuming the worst, NWN2 can come out, Atari can not support the game financially, Obsidian can cut ties, and we end up with a game that does not have epic levels, no patch support for the long haul, no expansions, no DM client, and no long term following… a Temple of Elemental Evil if you will.

Arguably, NWN can provide a reasonable online D&D experience covering most of the rules (whether they are covered well is another argument). It can basically supplant the PnP experience if you needed it to.

Will NWN2 ever accomplish this the way the original has? Will the masses still be playing NWN in 5 years or will NWN2 become the online D&D tool of choice?

If enough tools are released, I think NWN2 will be the defacto standard eventually. Thats a big if though

I’ll agree that the game will probably not have the same level of support Bioware was able to give it, but I’m not really sad about not having a DM client. I doubt that many people really used it. To get effective use required a very good DM who was willing to learn the toolset so most people either played solo or in MP without a live DM anyways.

Given that KoTOR2 sucked when compared to KoTOR, and when factoring in the money issue, it’s a given that NWN2 will pale in comparison to NWN, and will be forgotten within a year.

However, KoTOR2 was a fun game, if inferior. Perhaps NWN2 can still be that.

At most 10 per cent of buyers actually ever used the client themselves - maybe 20 per cent had an experience with a live DM, and very few regularly.

I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if a lot of the modded content came from people who used the DM client - people who had a sense of pacing, an idea of what worked in a game and what didn’t. Tool development, tile sets, monster packs…a lot can be traced back to people who wanted to do cool stuff for a campaign they were running.

Not to mention the improbable “persistent” worlds that grew up around NWN.

You certainly shouldn’t cater development towards the hardcore audience, especially if it intrudes on core development. And the DM client would have been much more successful if Bioware had done anything to document it in the early going.

But I think that the client had spinoff effects for the entire community. (Plus it has kept my wife amused for years now.)


Considering NWN’s offical campaign is terrible, I’m expecting NWN2 to be MUCH better right out of the gate in terms of single player.

I’m expecting that as well. I hope I’m not setting myself up for dissapointment.

I definitely agree in hoping that the single player will be better right off the bat. Also, from what little I’ve seen, the technology of NWN2 has real potential for the long run. I love a lot of the changes to the toolset, but I do feel a DM client is necessary for really long-run success.

I want a single player experience akin to BG2. I dont care about anything else.

I’m expecting an excellent single player too but I seriously doubt that NWN 2 will have the legs that the first game had. Obsidian just doesn’t have the same resources that Bioware had and Atari is useless as backup here. I kind of wish that Bioware would have maintained the community management with Obsidan subcontracted out for the coding and content.

Boy are we on different pages. KoTOR2 easily out did the first, even with it’s broken end game. The story was interesting and engaging. As were the characters.

That’s what I’m hoping for from NWN2.

Bioware already hosts the official forums for NWN2, so maybe… just maybe that is the plan. Of course, that’s mostly just wishful thinking.

One of the things Obsidian has said is Atari needs to pay for X and Y. Does Atari still send checks to Bioware for all the NWN work or does Bioware somehow self-finance with premium modules or something?

NWN just got its latest patch, 5 years after release

4 years, actually, but thanks for the bonus year!

I smell another Temple of Elemental Evil. Horribly buggy and the dev not working on patches because they aren’t getting paid. It probably doesn’t help that I’m constantly getting Obsidian and Troika confused, though.

I’m on a big NWN kick right now, anyway, so I don’t mind. Have a lot of modules to catch up on.

I am concerned about the DM client
I am concerned about multiplayer (possible server upload requirements beyond home broadband capacity)
I am concerned about the area limit within modules
I am concerned they made the toolset to difficult to use, and too slow to use.
I am concerned about Atari’s commitment to the product post-launch

So I keep DMing my weekly NWN campaign and playing a few NWN mods, but I will wait and see how things work out for NWN2. I will not be buying on Day 1, however.

That’s it exactly. I’ve never used the DM client, but it seems like the people slaving away at their modules tend to use it a lot, and I do end up playing their work.

Anyone know the answer to this? Bioware has one such a good job – is it just because supporting the game keeps selling copies?

I got to mess with NWN2 at GenCon and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get into. I think as long as it doesn’t ship with tons of minor bugs it should be a solid seller as a single player game.

I am deeply worried about the long term prospects for it though. NWN was perhaps the first internet age game of it’s kind. It embraced moddable content like no other game before it, and the abiility to share and play that content over the internet with the full blessing and support of the creators has given it a longevity that is unrivaled. There is a large and seriously commited fanbase for NWN, and it could easily be transferred to NWN2 if (and it’s a BIG if) the tools and developer support are there.

Unfortunately, I get the feeling that NWN2 is seen as a money making short-term bailout for Atari, and that unless Obsidian steps up and does a grass-roots support for modders, NWN2 will not see the longevity of it’s parent game.

What is NWN2 offering over NWN? Just better graphics and a chance to re-buy the tile sets again?

Or have they handled epic levels better, have more classes, etc…?

I can’t comment too much on this, but the NWN2 core feature-set is definitely an improvement over the first game. At first blush, my impression is that NWN2:NWN as Fallout2:Fallout. The editing tools are also really powerful (basically what Obsidian used to make the game). However, since I didn’t do much with the NWN tools, I can’t speak to their comparative ease-of-use.

  • Alan