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Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the taking-the-first-m-out-of-mmorpg dept.

Role Playing (Games) 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

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4th Ed. (3, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352006)

You got your WoW in my D&D!

or

Can haz EZ-Mode?

Re:4th Ed. (2, Interesting)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352176)

4th Ed... Oh please no. Just no.

Same advancement tree for everyone ... content-free books ... no non-combat skills ... made for raiding ... no risk to die, at all, ever ... healing surges are like a zillion reserve HP ... second wind, half-health? poof! full health! ... every class plays the same way ... no longer D&D ... playing a bard makes you crazy ... so much less versatility ...

Re:4th Ed. (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352960)

...and every time theres a D&D story in Slashdot, the edition war veterans come in again...

C'mon guys, its been two years and D&D is as much D&D as it was before.

Ignore the rules you don't like (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352990)

The beauty of D&D is one is free to ignore the rules. I've never DM'd or played a campaign that didn't pick and choose and even customize with house rules.

Haven't played in awhile but when we do it's usually 2nd Ed + house rules.

That being said, I have seen nothing good at all about the 4th edition, and frankly no, it's not really D&D anymore other than the name. IMNSHO.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (1, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353600)

Well, we're talking about 4th Edition here, and I doubt that the game under discussion will have a "Use 2nd edition plus house rules" mode, so your crusty old reminiscences are about as relevant as elves-as-a-character-class - when y'all played D&D the first time it was called D&D, you get to yell at kobolds to get off your lawn.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354030)

What's wrong, someone shit in your cereal this morning? I was merely pointing out that in the pen and paper game one is free to use what rules one wants. Relax :)

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (3, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354464)

That being said, I have seen nothing good at all about the 4th edition, and frankly no, it's not really D&D anymore other than the name. IMNSHO

The great things about 4E are:

1) It's extremely DM friendly, especially for making up adventures on the fly. To crunch out the stats for a fight that would be interesting and challenging to veteran 3/3.5E players would easily take an hour. 1/2E didn't have that level of complexity, but it was really easy to guess wrong about how tough a fight would be. (And sure, you could fudge it from there if you wanted -- *rolls behind the screen* "Damn, the terrasque rolled all 1s... again." but that's not particularly fun for anyone.) 4E makes it ridiculously easy to throw together an encounter on the spur of the moment that's actually interesting and balanced.

2) It's actually pretty balanced. Earlier editions are fundamentally imbalanced even with just the basic books. For example, in 2E, dual classed humans are ridiculously more powerful than any other kind of character you could make. In 3E, wizard/cleric/druid are ridiculously more powerful than any other kind of character you could make. (People like to say that those caster classes were weak at first and grew strong over time, but as your players have a stronger grasp of the game, the level where the pure casters are equal to anyone else gets lower and lower. By the time we stopped playing 3E, it was about level 3.)

And sure, you can just sort of agree amongst the players that you're not going to play anything especially powerful, but how fun is that? I think it's perfectly reasonable to say, we're not going to pick one level each of 10 different prestige classes from 8 different books, but how fun is it to say, no one can play a spellcaster?

People sometimes turn that criticism into a strawman that I think D&D is about building the strongest character you can and how that's not the way the game's not meant to played. And that's true, it's not -- it's a team game. Team games are fun if everyone in terms of character strengths has something to contribute. It's not fun to be the 3.5E fighter in a party with a 3.5E cleric, who's a much better fighter than you and can cast a ton of spells. (On the other hand, you can have a lot of fun with 2E/3E/etc. until the point when the players start figuring these things out.)

The bad thing about 4E is this:

Sadly, it turns out that a rigorously balanced version of D&D isn't all that much fun to play if you're used to previous editions. Balance is achieved by making each character class fairly similar in, not every way, but a lot of ways.

Additionally, the non-combat abilities of your character are drastically reduced. In a sense, this was necessary, because again, who wants to play a fighter (who has basically nothing other than a couple skills maybe to contribute mechanically outside of a fight) when there's the druid who's not only a much better combat character but also has 100 creative things he can do outside of combat.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (2, Interesting)

Thangodin (177516) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355220)

I have to disagree with just about everything you've said here... with the exception of 4th ed being not much fun.

1) It's a drag for DM's because you can't do anything with the system but frustrate the players. Monster powers are arbitrary and often completely out of line with their challenge ratings, and there was often no logical or systematic reason for what monsters could do. At the same time, you couldn't actually tell an epic fantasy story in it because the high level free form magic was all gone, so even if you gave those abilities to your NPC's there was no way for the players to respond.

2) Wizards have not ruled the game since 2nd ed, and clerics have never been other than a support class. Druids still kick ass, but everyone gets their moment to shine. Are you sure you played 3.5? A cleric who spends five full rounds buffing himself can be a mediocre fighter, but still can't beat a fighter two levels lower than he is (we put this to the test.) But a similar range of buffs on the tank can turn him into a Dragon slaying god. Spellcasters are good at taking out hordes of grunts, but for bosses, there's no saving throw against a good axe.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355432)

2) Wizards have not ruled the game since 2nd ed, and clerics have never been other than a support class. Druids still kick ass, but everyone gets their moment to shine. Are you sure you played 3.5? A cleric who spends five full rounds buffing himself can be a mediocre fighter, but still can't beat a fighter two levels lower than he is (we put this to the test.) But a similar range of buffs on the tank can turn him into a Dragon slaying god. Spellcasters are good at taking out hordes of grunts, but for bosses, there's no saving throw against a good axe.

With all due respect, your players are not very good at playing spellcasters. (You should be happy about this -- seriously, their incompetence makes the game more fun than it actually is.) Hell, if your clerics are even wasting rounds buffing they're not very good. One round of buffing (usually while closing in anyway) is pretty standard at the low-mid levels but that phase doesn't last very long, level-wise. You fix the buffing problem in a number of ways -- for example, spells that last either all day or plenty long to clear a dungeon or whatever, possibly with extend spell to turn hour/level durations into 'all damn day', quicken spell to get short-turn combat buffs out fast. Pearls of power allow throwing the 10 minutes/level spells like barkskin (plant domain as one example -- there's good stuff for other domains as well, of course) as many times as you need to. Bead of karma and other casting-level mods to jack up the casting level of buffs, increasing their bonuses, increasing their duration, and making them harder to dispel.

It only even matters so much what items you even choose to let the players have because of craft wonderous item.

That's all out of the core PHB/DMG. If you allow other books into play, it gets even worse fast. Divine metamagic is probably the most broken feat in the whole edition and drastically increases the cleric's ability to throw out big buff spells or combat spells while full attacking. Divine spell power makes the aforementioned casting level problem worse. Sudden metamagic feats make all of the above worse.

A fighter is a better fighter than a cleric at very low levels. Get into the midlevels and it's over -- if your cleric gets into any fight without about 10 buff spells already up, he is doing something seriously wrong. Get into the high levels (16ish) and throwing out 500 melee damage in a round as a cleric with no combat feats, no magical weapons or especially combat-focused magic items, and a 10 strength is very possible with no prep time (outside of spells that last literally a day or longer.)

I give you, the fighter always has feats on the cleric -- but that's about it. Divine power fixes the base attack deficit, and that's out at level 7. Past that point, it's not very satisfying to be the fighter when the cleric puts out twice the melee damage you do AND has the full wack of cleric things to do.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (2, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355616)

Add to that giant rant:

1) If a 3/3.5 druid is not the toughest character at the table at level 1, he is doing something wrong. It will just get worse from there. By level 7, the druid, played competently, is tougher than the other 5 guys in the party put together. The game devolves to watching the druid do everything.

A genuinely well-played druid is even worse. I've seen a ~ level 10 druid (this is in regulation/tournament play -- no weird house rules in play, etc.) respond to the appearance of a pit fiend in an adventure that the players were clearly not meant to fight by grappling it and pinning it before it even got to go.

2) 3/3.5E wizard is weak at level 1-2. By 3, it's pulling its own weight as a party member and it only gets stronger from there. One hint is: if your wizard is doing damage in combat, you're probably playing it wrong. Level 2 wizard damage spells kind of suck. Conversely, blindness (to pick one malediction/debuff style spell) is hugely crippling and permanent. A properly built wizard will already be throwing out spells at that level that will almost never have their saving throws made.

Re:Ignore the rules you don't like (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355734)

It's actually pretty balanced.

You're saying that is if it's a good thing. For role playing, it isn't.
The challenge is to work with the lack of balance, protect the weaknesses and capitalize on any strengths, and really live the character and do the best with what you have -- especially when it's not fair.
The 18/92 barbarian really is overly strong, and it's up to the 13 strength fighter to find a way to bring him down, through teamwork, outwitting him, making the story so good that even the gods get moved, or plain luck.

Re:4th Ed. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353678)

Yup, all I'm reading here is "Just like WOW, except only 5-man instances, which will be fine, because nobody will play it anyway."

Re:4th Ed. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353854)

Just like WOW, except only 5-man instances, which will be fine, because nobody will play it anyway.

I know I can't. I don't have 4 friends who are interested in doing this stuff. That's the main reason I never get to play any co-op games. My friends are all a bunch of old stiffs.

Healing surges (0, Troll)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352030)

Gay as hell. The best part of D&D was the Slay Living spell on the front door handle to every dungeon. And the illusory floor/spike pit at the end of the first hallway. bring back that and stop letting character heal themselves for no damned reason!

Re:Healing surges (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352178)

Hmm, illusionary spike pit...

Might have to do something with that idea.

Re:Healing surges (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352318)

Yep. You fall into one and you die.
And it's not the pit that's illusory, but you'll wish it was.

Re:Healing surges (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352510)

I meant to do something with the idea of the pit being illusionary. Or the spikes. I'm not saying the players wouldn't die, just that it wouldn't be straightforward :)

Re:Healing surges (3, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354840)

I meant to do something with the idea of the pit being illusionary. Or the spikes. I'm not saying the players wouldn't die, just that it wouldn't be straightforward :)

We had a DM that loved fake traps. His best was a room where the ceiling was coming down towards the party, the door slammed shut behind us and wouldn't open, and there was a button next to it on the wall. Every time the button was pushed the ceiling would reset and start coming down again. It took about an hour and a half for everyone to figure out the solution. Turns out there was an invisible ledge with a pressure-sensitive switch that opened the door; the ceiling came to rest on it just outside everyone's reach. Every time someone hit the button they delayed getting out of the room.

Re:Healing surges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352520)

Gay as hell.

How would you know? And so what if it is?

Action points (1)

riding_qwerty (1885348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352040)

Only played 4th Edition briefly, but I believe action points are used for an extra move, minor or standard action...

Re:Action points (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352202)

Extra standard action, which can be substituted for a move or minor action as per the usual rules. Though you normally get some other effect with it, like temporary health, and some abilities allow for spending them to cause other effects (IIRC).

I tend to play without them, because people always forget about them anyway, and it's hard to explain exactly what they're supposed to be.

Re:Action points (1)

Hardolaf (1371377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353536)

My weekly group doesn't forget about them! Our group mostly uses them to get the hell out of combat.

Re:Action points (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354392)

Indeed, the action points they describe are pretty much identical to the original action points introduced in 3rd edition's Eberron (or possibly Unearthed Arcana? Whichever came first...). I don't recall them officially allowing you to reroll, but they were definitely used to add +1d6 to any roll (after you make the roll but before the DM tells you the results).

3.5 rules 4th Ed == MMORG. oh wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352090)

As far as tabletop 3.5 rules and 4th Ed feels like a MMORG ie all the classes are the same every class has a special ability that basically does the same thing but with a different effect, no characterization all the classes can do most things so whats the point in playing other classes.... all fighters, need a heal cast a spell... I'm so disillusioned by wizards and 4th ed

Re:3.5 rules 4th Ed == MMORG. oh wait (5, Insightful)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352288)

Try Pathfinder, it's basically what 4th should have been.
The classes maintain their flavor while gaining options.
They streamlined what needed it (NOTE streamlined what was needed. NOT made stupidly dumb everything)
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG [paizo.com]
95%+ compatible with 3.5
    I've been playing since 1982 and pathfinder is the best version of AD&D I've seen yet, not perfect, but it's never been perfect.
      AD&D has a cycle to it, version, add on rules till it gets to be a mess to track them, then new version, lather rinse repeat. But it's still a lot of fun.

Mycroft

Re:3.5 rules 4th Ed == MMORG. oh wait (4, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352426)

I completely agree and really wish I had mod points to add to this. While I have a few balance gripes with anything d20 related, any tabletop RPG will inevitably have one thing that is 'better' than another in most situations. And when you really start to play a game with a competent GM and group of people you can call 'friends', balance should be maintained through social contract. Not through rules so simple that they cripple a character's ability to be unique.

pdf problems? (3, Funny)

nten (709128) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353142)

Are your gripes related to the PDF of a d20? I liked rolling three d6 etc. The combination was decently close to a normal distribution which seems more realistic. And realism in simulating my attacks on gazebos is important to me.

4e as a computer game - Yeah Right (3, Interesting)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354136)

4e may copy the feel of WoW, but it's Magic: The Gathering at it's heart. As a foundation for a computer game it's a hopeless joke. Over a third of the powers in the game "interrupt" another power. That's great for a table top game, but every one of them will have to be rewritten for a computer game in real time. By the time they are done with it they're going to have a new system in place entirely.

4th Edition? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352110)

I read most of the 4E documentation - I feel that DnD went down a few notches, jumped down the ladder...

Standard races include 3 'elves' and a creature which is recommended if "You want to look like a dragon".

They pandered too much to the 'I like WoW' crowd.

Re:4th Edition? (2, Insightful)

borizz (1023175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352134)

On the other hand, 3rd ed was about "How much jerky did you bring when you went on this hike?", "Well, that's not enough jerky".

4th Ed is the first one I can play with my friends where we spend more time playing than looking in damn books. Also, if you don't like Eladrin (basically High Elves) or Dragonborn, don't play them.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352194)

On the other hand, 3rd ed was about "How much jerky did you bring when you went on this hike?", "Well, that's not enough jerky".

I figured 'daily rations' were simple enough to calculate.
-

I dunno, I found the 4E documentation to be in a worse state than the 3E - they tried to make it more appealing to more people, and they kinda ruined its appeal. There are some rules which are just plain wierd (Astral Diamonds???), and the LIST of 'artifacts' or whatever in the player documentation is just a nono. And they removed druids - I'll never forgive them for that.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352214)

I'll forgive the Elves. And over look the Dragonborn. But if I want to play-by-the-book D&D as I've done for years, I can't play my goddamned drunkard Gnome fighter. And that irks me...

On a somewhat more serious note, it's a hell of a lot easier stream-lining rules in 3rd than it is in 4th simply because of all the clunky rules that have been added. They did a good job getting rid of the roleplay, though. Which I guess is incentive to play 4th if that's what you're looking for.

Re:4th Edition? (5, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352730)

Roleplay isn't something you can really put in or take out of the rules. Whether you get roleplay or not depends more on the group you're playing with. For example, one of the (4e) encounters I set up for a group recently went something like this:
Party is doing the usual killing thing in a ruined keep, and finds a note in a chest revealing that someone is to meet with a cultist that night to hand over an artifact (elsewhere in the ruins was an excavation, down into a room below that was now empty. Hint hint.).
They decide that the best way to proceed is to make a fake artifact (not knowing what it looks like didn't stop them), go to the meeting, and try to get some more information out of the cultist guy. They even try to get the reward for handing over their fake, but narrowly avoid being stabbed instead. Then they tie the cultist guy up, borrow his cloak and pretend to be him when the guy with the real artifact comes.

They could have handled it several other ways, including attacking him to get the artifact, or following him back after he gets the artifact and stealing it, etc. but they chose the roleplaying route and it worked out amazingly well for them. The fact that it was 4e wasn't a barrier to the roleplaying at all, despite what people say about d&d having been made into a hack&slash.

Re:4th Edition? (3, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353242)

I wish I still had people like that to game with.

Every group I've been part of in the past decade or so (before I finally threw in the towel) would have just killed the cultist, stashed the body, and then killed the contact.

And then demand extra XP for being "clever."

Re:4th Edition? (5, Funny)

woopate (1550379) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355300)

Most of the time my party defined insanity in finding solutions. I recall one "boss" that we tried to avoid peacefully, and the resulting situation involved his horde of minions singing him Happy Birthday as he chased us out of his palace with a rather large hammer.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352244)

And you don't have to look at a dragonborn and think "well they're only good for being a stupid fighter type", the classic "race that can only really be one class". I played a dragonborn wizard for a while, a character who could do as much damage hitting someone with his staff as he could with most of his spells. At one point he was chained up, and escaped by breaking the chains holding him through a sheer feat of strength. Not many wizards can claim to have done that XD

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352310)

And you don't think that being able to so easily create a character that is equally good at everything is a bad thing? I really hope you're being sarcastic.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352590)

It's pretty good if you want to play a team of superheroes. Or rather a group of superheroes, since apparently teamwork is not even needed.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352596)

Equally good at everything, but not equal to other adventurers of the same level. He probably lacks quite a few stats and maybe a level or two because of his choice of race, but he has some cool gimmicks from being physically strong.

Re:4th Edition? (2, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352604)

Equally good at everything != Awesome at everything.

He absolutely sucked at a lot of non-combat skills, his AC wasn't great (wizard, can't use metal armour, though thick dragonborn skin helped) and combat wise he was much better used against swarms of minions than against stronger individual enemies (typical wizard). When I say hitting with his staff was as strong as most of his spells, that's ignoring the range and area effects on the spells, and I should be clear that hitting with his staff comes nowhere near what a true fighter is capable of.

He wasn't some kind of super do-everything-awesome character, I'm just saying he had flavour, and you don't have to stick to the expected class for a race to get a good character.

Re:4th Edition? (2, Insightful)

Enderwiggin13 (734997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354248)

Agreed. I always like trying different combinations that may not be best suited for each other. For the last campaign I was in I rolled a minotaur bard - the DM normally doesn't allow monster classes but he made an exception since it wasn't a typical combination. The roleplay element alone made the character more than worth it.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352648)

On the other hand, 3rd ed was about "How much jerky did you bring when you went on this hike?", "Well, that's not enough jerky". 4th Ed is the first one I can play with my friends where we spend more time playing than looking in damn books. Also, if you don't like Eladrin (basically High Elves) or Dragonborn, don't play them.

That damnable old school D&D forcing people to read and remember things written in books! How very dare they!

P.S. you could have taken your own advice with regard to ration rules if they annoyed you so much -- don't use them.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

borizz (1023175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353368)

Ration rules were just an example. 4th Ed is streamlined in such a way that we're actually playing the game more than we are looking up rules. It's not about having to read, I've read it. It's about being tied up in details everytime something remotely unordinary props up.

Sure, 4th ed has its faults, but at least its a lot easier for new guys like my group to pick up and, you know, play.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354080)

Ration rules were just an example. 4th Ed is streamlined in such a way that we're actually playing the game more than we are looking up rules. It's not about having to read, I've read it. It's about being tied up in details everytime something remotely unordinary props up.

You're not describing my experiences playing tabletop D&D using 1st ed. rules -- that's for sure:

More time looking up rules than playing? Never had that experience. Sure, things have popped up from time to time that required a minute or two leafing through a text, but more time doing that than playing? -- has never happened to me.

Being tied up in detail everytime something remotely unordinary happens? Again, can't say I've had that experience -- yes, sometimes unordinary situations require a reference or a minute or two of thought by the DM, but not all that often and not when something only somewhat out of the norm occurs.

These things are part of the process of playing -- they're not necessarily antithetical to "play."

Re:4th Edition? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353248)

4E is the first one I could read since AD&D. 3/3.5 should go into the design and readability hall of shame. That said, most of the gripes I hear about 4E are similar to the gripes I heard when 3 came out.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352198)

They pandered too much to the 'I like WoW' crowd.

They made the game hoping to expand the range of people who would play the game. Personally, the split class, split race, items and skills picked from a dozen different expansions mentality of the 3rd ed groups I met meant I'd beat myself to death with my own arm before playing. I have however had a great time playing, then DMing in 4th. None of the people I played with were 'veteran' roleplayers, and half hadn't roleplayed before. Finally, I can't stand WoW, it doesn't mean I can't appreciate the ideas that Wizards pinched.

Re:4th Edition? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353258)

Unfortunately the character from multiple splats is back. With 3 PHBs, 3 Martial Powers, Arcane, Divine, two race books and several others we're back to the problem I had with 3 and 3.5. Oh well, 4.5 is out next month, so we can start the treadmill again.

Re:4th Edition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33353320)

They pandered too much to the 'I like WoW' crowd.

Good for them. They know how to run a business by targeting the largest possible market to make money from. Otherwise, goodbye to D&D.

I'm not a particular D&D fan, I am playing 4E right now and I have a lot of issues with it. First, they've tried to make it "less complicated" but actually made it more complicated by having far more things to have to remember in a given round that I recall from 3rd edition. Marked, debuffed, on-going damage, buffed, range of buffs, end-of-next-turn powers, etc. etc. You really do need a computer to keep track of all the states in this game. Second, it really has taken a bit out of the "natural" feel of the game. Druids can shapeshift into any animal but with no difference because it's all based on the power you use.

Anyways, WotC made a smart business move in targeting the much larger market that WoW has created for fantasy RPG games. It gives them the ability to make much more money and keep the franchise alive. But I think they still made it a little too difficult to pick-up-and-play. And I don't know now successful the strategy of having so many books will be. That'll come off as more price gouging than anything else, despite the nature of said target market wanting to "collect" things.

Regardless, the criticism that just because the PHB1 has dragonborn and 3 elf-like races is a weak argument for comparing it to WoW. There's so many other, stronger, comparisons you could have pointed out.

Re:4th Edition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33355260)

I read most of the 4E documentation - I feel that DnD went down a few notches, jumped down the ladder...

Standard races include 3 'elves' and a creature which is recommended if "You want to look like a dragon".

They pandered too much to the 'I like WoW' crowd.

Actually...the wanting to look like a dragon type pre-dated WOW. Had plenty of players wanting to play Dragon-like characters, with choices like the Half-Dragon or the Draconian. Or who just read certain fantasy books.

Plus with the PHB2 and 3 out, not to mention races in the Realms, Eberron and Dark Sun, if you don't have enough choices...then eh, send Wizards a letter, because I can't help you. I tend to have human-only worlds anyway.

Re:4th Edition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33355632)

4th edition was hastily created when 3.5 edition was leaked in pdf format, and they were afraid no one would buy it.

Hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352126)

Hope they don't manage to screw it up the way turbine has screwed up DDO lately. Turned into a money grab WoW wannabe.

BUT.... atari is involved.. that's not a good sign.

At least it's not sony i guess.

Already an RPG with that name? (1)

Bad Ad (729117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352172)

Surely bioware have reason to be annoyed with their Neverwinter Nights game being in the same genre?

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (1)

Bad Ad (729117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352180)

Should read the article :(

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352220)

expanding on this guy (since I was curious too)

Neverwinter Nights Reborn

Continue the critically acclaimed adventure! The #1 best-selling Neverwinter Nights series of PC RPGs returns with an epic Dungeons & Dragons storyline, next-generation graphics, a persistent world, and accessible content creation tools.

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352256)

accessible content creation tools

If true, this one's the really big deal - it's what made NWN stand out originally. Its singleplayer was only so-so, but the ability for a relative newbie to easily create your own worlds and then DM a party (or just a bunch of randomly wandering players) in them was what made the game worthwhile.

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (2, Insightful)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352344)

I didn't know Neverwinter Nights even had single player. Oh wait. You mean the remake of NWN from Bioware? I don't know why everyone has so little imagination that they have to keep reusing the same name. It doesn't bode well for the games themselves.

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352620)

Meh. The Reborn toolset will probably be easier to use and add some genuine innovations. I am not as quick to believe that it will be nearly as powerful as the Aurora toolset; I think only Bioware, Blizzard, Obsidian, or similar studios (SP-plus-big-content RPG developers) have the needed experience. Bioware had many years of prior history working with the predecessor to Aurora, Infinity. The underlying content support for both engines was nearly the same. The big difference with NWN was that Bioware released most of their internal tools, combined into one highly-polished toolset.

I think the persistent world claim is interesting. Does this mean that Reborn will be a MMO-RPG hybrid? Multiplayer, 60-120 players, persistent? Groups that can travel anywhere in the world in isolation, players that can log on/off at any time, with a world that keeps on running? It's the best of both worlds: moddable servers, large player support, group oriented, but not fixed to one particular world area. I love the idea. NWN had (and still has) many fun PW servers.

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (2, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355022)

What made NWN 1 a game where I bought multiple copies of (one per computer) were seven things:

1: The DRM or lack thereof. The CD protection got patched out, and a valid and unique CD key was needed to play multiplayer. This by itself made the game worth installing and buying multiple copies of, because they actually considered gamers as (WTF) paying customers, and not potential thieves. What a concept that is unheard of these days. I use NWN1's implementation of DRM and its exceedingly low piracy statistics as an example of how a game should be shipped. Why spend time on local DRM when that will be cracked anyway? Just have a valid/unique key for the network stuff to ensure people who paid their tickets can access that and spend the money that would have gone for DRM on making the game better.

2: The forums were not just active, but Bioware reps were very common and extremely helpful. Had a question about scripting? It was answered immediately with well thought out answers.

3: The sheer amount of very well done player written modules. There were easily thousands of modules worth playing.

4: Persistent worlds. This reminded me of the MUDs of yore, where they had a relatively small player base, but everyone knew each other and actually roleplayed. Newcomers were always welcome, and if they had any ability to interact with others, they usually found a place in the world.

5: NWN1 did not feel as it was rushed out the door unlike modern games which feel like early betas. The campaigns were of a decent length, (although I miss the detailed story of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2,) the tools to build modules and/or a PW were well documented and very good, and it was easy to add "hackpacks" or additional models or tile sets. The expansions were well worth getting.

6: NWN1 ran not just on Windows, but Mac and Linux. I had a PW server happily running on a Linux box for a long time. To boot, all three were patched at the same time, rather than having one platform languish. Other than Blizzard, every other game company gives lip service at best to Macs and just laughs loudly if asked for Linux support.

7: NWN1 was constantly updated, even years after the expansions. These days, you might see *one* update to a game, then it is scooted to the wayside and all development effort put into making another sequel.

My hope:

Maybe I'm wishing on a star here, but I hope Neverwinter harkens back to NWN1 in being a game that is timeless in the sense that even years down the line, people still buy the game for the player written modules or the persistent worlds.

If Neverwinter came out with only a CD key as copy protection, a good way to find player modules to download, a strong multiplayer server finder network, top notch editing tools for PWs and modules, vibrant game forums, and perhaps even some contests to get people to write modules, I'm sure it will do quite well over a long period of time, where other games would be long forgotten.

Re:Already an RPG with that name? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352874)

Surely. [mobygames.com]

Not that excited (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352320)

I wish I could work up much interest in this announcement, but to be honest, I'm finding it hard.

What is it with everybody going for a multiplayer focus these days? I mean, sure, I've no objection to having a co-operative mode in the game (indeed it's a positive boon), but I'm getting sick to death of games where the singleplayer campaign is rendered unnecessarily hard or boring due to pandering to co-op. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is probably the most recent example (there are sections which are a nightmare on any difficulty if you're on your own), but it's just one of many.

Once upon a time, I'd have been more positive, I guess. Back when I was a student, or newly started working (and still relatively junior, at the point where I was working fairly sensible hours), myself and a bunch of friends would routinely play online co-op. But even then, it wasn't that easy, for a game that demanded a substantial number of people and a good chunk of time. I remember a theoretically 6-player co-op run we did through Baldur's Gate 2 and its expansion, where in reality, after the first session or two, we never seemed to have more than 3 or 4 people in-game at any one time (which BG2 was thankfully very good at adjusting for). We ended up running the first NWN with a 3 person party (as NWN was much less resilient if your group was missing a player) and felt like we were missing out on a lot, since you couldn't really get a properly balanced party with just 3 people. These days, after going through a MMORPG phase (which does help with the problem somewhat by increasing the pool of available players, at the expense of basically needing to devote 30+ hours a week to it to play sensibly) we just don't seem to bother. With the people I actually know and like well enough to want to play online regularly with all in the same situation as myself, working jobs with substantial degrees of responsibility and erratic hours, getting people together on any kind of schedule is just too difficult. Co-op gaming for me has basically come down to the odd Gears of War mission on a Sunday afternoon.

Maybe it's just me being a Grumpy Old Man (TM). Maybe there is a huge market out there for games where the developers have cut loads of corners and justified it by saying "but it's multiplayer focussed". Oh well, at least Bioware still seem to be on my side (now when's Dragon Age 2 out?).

Re:Not that excited (1)

idle12 (1871570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352780)

I'm the other way. Every time I load up Witcher, Oblivion or Dragon Age I say to myself "this would be so much better if it had multiplayer". Specially co-op.

Re:Not that excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33352914)

Did no one pick up the Oblivion multiplayer hack [csu.edu.au] project?

Re:Not that excited (1)

pandaman9000 (520981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355008)

I did. After trying to play it for over 8 hours, my daughter and I decided that it was horrible, and a complete waste of time. We could not interact, and frequently had collision issues, client crashes, and AI issues. The hack was god-awful to implement, and insufferable to play.

What happened to v1? (3, Insightful)

Lord Cronos (1398015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352400)

What happened to the days when all you needed were three books, (The DM's guide, player's handbook, and monster manual) and some imagination to play DnD? I'm not ever from that generation but I can see how v4 has taken all the creativity and original thought out of DnD. Instead of think up scenarios, worlds, and campaings for players. All DM's have to do is roll dice until their twenty-some books have told them what to say. The massive amounts of rules don't add to the gameplay, they just limit what you can do both as a DM and a character. I used to run v1 campaigns and can't do it anymore because any new players I get, (and most of them are older than me since I was born in 1993) can't understand its simplicity. I hope that at some point people will get fed up with having to keep track of tons of little things just to keep their character alive and go back to just making sure you had enough hit points kill the dragon before it cooked you and ate you for lunch.

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

Lord Cronos (1398015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352424)

By the way, I am aware that this is a video game. However with the release of the newest campaign setting and now this, it's really making me see how far DnD has fallen.

Re:What happened to v1? (4, Insightful)

homb (82455) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352966)

Well I do have the 3 books of 4e and I don't think there's anything else that's necessary to have fun. Just ask my kids. Now of course considering that it's human nature to want more, people will flock to the additions and newest stuff that comes with more rules. But you really don't need it, and as you said in many ways just having HP, AC, To Hit and a couple of spells is more than enough to have a lot of fun with a well crafted story.

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

pandaman9000 (520981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355060)

Actually, many of the other books include spells, rituals, and powers from level 1 on up. New classes and paths are also included.

Oh, and just to make it more enticing, the added books of course will contain the "cool" (read as over powered) abilities and features.

Re:What happened to v1? (4, Insightful)

homb (82455) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355200)

Nothing is overpowered when you're playing against a live DM whose intelligence and creativity are on par with the player.

Re:What happened to v1? (2, Insightful)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353228)

I hate to tell you this, but I have well over 50 books for AD&D 2nd Edition, and there are at least as many in 1st Edition.

There have ALWAYS been a zillion supplements for D&D/AD&D. It's how the publisher makes money. They make more books. If all they sold were the PHB, Monster Manual, and DMG no one would ever need more than those three volumes.

There have _always_ been published adventures, campaign settings, and more optional rules than you can shake a quarterstaff at. At least with 3.5e/4e they tend to be reasonably consistant. (anyone remember when non-weapon proficiencies were introduced and one book said you had to roll _over_ the number and one said you had to roll _under_?)

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

pandaman9000 (520981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355148)

Let's see:
DM Guide
Player's Handbook
Monster Manual
Monster Manual II

Yep, that's it.
The rest are modules, or TRULY optional, like Deities and Demigods.

I don't know what 1st edition YOU played, but there weren't even 6 books in the first five years of the one I played's existence. Not sayong you are lying, but, well, okay, I AM saying you are lying. There were never 30 BOOKS for first edition, much less 50. GTFO.

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355628)

What, you never had the Wildnerness Survival Guide, or the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, or the Manual of the Planes, or Oriental Adventures, or the Fiend Folio, or Unearthed Arcana?

I never said there were 50+ books not counting adventures and flavor texts.

Like most of the books for 4e are adventures and flavor texts.

You know.

Optional.

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353624)

For 4e I use the 3 core books, and the adventurer's vault for magic item ideas (the core books are a bit lacking on this). I got the first campaign (keep on the shadowfell, before the 4e core books were released?), but we never finished it. It's so much more satisfying to play a free-flowing campaign that the DM makes up, than a pre-written one.

What would be really nice though, for when I run a minatures-based game, would be being able to buy a pack of e.g. "10 zombies", instead of those damn random packs. Especially with the "minion" monsters in 4e, that encourage larger encounters.

Re:What happened to v1? (1)

samael (12612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353766)

You do only need the three books. Nobody is forcing you to buy any other books if you don't want them.

And you can have just as much original thought and creativity in 4th edition as in any of the others.

Re:What happened to v1? (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354352)

Forget books, I used to routinely run RPG sessions in school with nothing but myself (GM), five or six friends, an empty room or space, pens and paper. No dice, no books, nothing.

I ran the game and made the decisions, and because I was fair doing it no one ever complained about the lack of dice or adherence to rules - I made it fun to play and that is all you really need.

NWN + 4th edition = fail (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352500)

The best NWN was number one, and the Horde of Underdark expansion.
NWN2 was Ok I guess.

This new one promises to be just another beat them all a la Diablo, with its 4th ed rules.

Magic system (2, Interesting)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352866)

I like the way the combat system works for magic, as it alleviates the players trying a fight/rest/fight/rest type of dungeon crawl. Outside of that I much preferred 3.5. I was thinking of trying a hybrid campaign where we used the 3.5 rules for everything except magic, which would use the 4th ed turn/combat/daily magic use.

Hurray linux! (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33352978)

If its "neverwinter" then it will be released for linux! Hurray!!!

Re:Hurray linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33353068)

Hope so!

Cooperative D&D game? Yay! ... Ohwait... (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353108)

I was pretty excited at the opportunity to have another D&D-based PC game to play w/ my wife and friends...

I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that

Then I read that... :(

My edition is superior to your edition (2, Interesting)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353182)

OD&D - The perfect dungeon based roleplaying game, with dungeons. Just where the hell can I buy Chainmail?!
BD&D - Pandering to the Rogue-like crowd. Also, when my DM's in a bad mood with me and make up biased rules.
AD&D - Pandering to the Dungeon Master crowd. Also, can we not start at 5th level and I play a Wizard? With psionics?
2D&D - Pandering to Diablo crowd. Also, whoo, this all tastes a little Vanilla.
3D&D - Pandering to the Ultima Online crowd. Also, while I've spent 40 hours perfecting my NPC liche, it's too complicated to actually run.
4D&D - Pandering to the WOW crowd. Also, it's only fun when actually, you know, playing the game.

Now T&T, there is a game.

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (4, Informative)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353264)

2D&D - Pandering to Diablo crowd. Also, whoo, this all tastes a little Vanilla.
      ---> 2nd Edition D&D (1989) predates Diablo (1997) by at least 7 years ...

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353346)

Your wrong in my revised world view. I have a point to prove and therefore can twist history as much as I need to make it. ;)

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33353668)

and it makes you an asshole

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353738)

Can you cut and paste this into all those forum comments who do this routinely. I was making a point about making a point.

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33353348)

Heh, now that you mentioned it: AD&D originally came out ten years before Dungeon Master.

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353476)

If you mean the Amiga / ST game "Dungeon Master" in reference to your comment about AD&D, suffice to say AD&D came out 1979, and Dungeon Master was what, 1988?

Not sure exactly what you're trying to describe here but you're a decade out in many of them.

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353634)

AD&D - Pandering to the Dungeon Master crowd. Also, can we not start at 5th level and I play a Wizard? With psionics?

AD&D 1st edition had magic users, not "wizards". Ego Whip to the max, bitch.

I'm kidding, you're all right. We should crawl out some time - I'll bring my elf. What character class? I said "elf".

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353750)

Only if I can be a fighting-man?

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355402)

Wasn't elf/halfling/dwarf as a class in the original D&D, as opposed to the Advanced rules? The original D&D came as boxes with softcover books, while the AD&D rules were hardbound. Then between 1 and 2ed AD&D, another release of the D&D rules came out that split things up into basic (levels 1-3), intermediate (4-6), etc.

The way to tell the difference between D&D and AD&D was alignment. If someone was lawful, that was D&D. If they were lawful-good, or chaotic-neutral, that was AD&D.

I still have the 1st ed AD&D books (somewhere), and there, other races could have classes, except there were level caps on everyone but humans, and half-elves.

The cool thing about 1E AD&D... there were no punches pulled. Death was common, and pretty much, death was permanent [1], and stupidity was lethal. You would be lucky if you "just" ran into a basilisk and the cleric could drag the statues out and then cast stone to flesh. Each room you advanced into, you had the thief scan for traps (using a mirror to check first for the gorgon). One mistake here and everyone would end up dead or captured (and the DM fires up his "party is captured" campaign.)

[1] Unless everyone was high level and had either a magic-user that could cast wish or alter reality (aging that magic-user a year or two), or a high level cleric that could cast resurrection. The wish was better because it meant no permanent loss on the CON stat, but one had to be VERY good at wording the wish spell, especially with a DM who would twist it any way possible.

Re:My edition is superior to your edition (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353706)

What you're referring to as BD&D, if you mean the Basic through Immortals boxed sets (or the Rules Cyclopedia compilation + Wrath of the Immortals) catered to those who preferred High Fantasy High Magic Worlds with balanced high-level play.

It's the only variant that included mass-combat and dominion rules in the main ruleset. It's also the only variant with a world that's understandable and accesible to players because Mystaran cultures are based on ones in our history. Unlike say Greyhawk which had a bunch of funny names with too many consonants masquerading as names of people and places. Can you explain what Furyondy is like to a newbie? I can explain Karameikos in a minute: Medievalized Byzantine Greek ruling class of expatriate Thyatians running a nation populated by Romanian-ish Traladarans

Ugh.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353280)

I really wish someone would take the code to Neverwinter Nights (Orig + SoU + HotU), clean it up, spruce up the graphic detail a bit and not change it completely, and re-release it with a whole new campaign. Outside of college Friday night lan fests, NWN1 was the best fun I've had both gaming as well as creating content.

Re:Ugh.... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33355778)

I was thinking the same thing, but adding a couple things as well, other than sprucing the graphic tiles up:

1: Ability to have a central character server and area servers. This way, a PW could be spread out on multiple machines, each serving up a lot of areas. This sort of can be done, but it essentially means exporting the characters to another PW, as opposed to being on the same PW and chatting with people, but in a different area.

2: Ability to use a SQL backend natively. This was sort of grafted in, but it would be nice to have the ability to use dedicated MySQL or PostgreSQL servers for ease of backups, as well as ease of recovering in case the server crashes.

3: Better control of doors. Once a door gets destroyed, it stays that way and can't respawn. Ideally, it would be nice to be able to repop items like that.

4: Better ability to offer downloads and updates, such as custom tiles, movies, and such, while making sure to filter any content which could be turned into executable code for an exploit.

5: A standard way of packaging client info for a PW in a non-executable format, preferably a ZIP file with an XML manifest, with the ability to PGP/gpg sign it. This way, the game can take the client data and store it without having to rely on potentially damaging executables.

This should've come earlier (1)

murpium (1310525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353352)

Won't this just conflict with Diablo III? If I had this game now, I'd have something to hold me and my friends until that came out.

nwn (1)

Knyterage (1365183) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353526)

My THAC0 is 18, can I get some dorritos and Mountain Dew??? Please????

Strong pass (2, Interesting)

Samy Merchi (1297447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33353538)

4th Edition killed my interest in D&D. It's a shame that I will apparently never have a new D&D computer game to play ever again, but I'm sticking with 1st-3rd Editions and Pathfinder which feels far more D&D than 4e ever will.

Forgotten Realms was one of my favorite fictional settings, but 4e killed that too, with the Spellplague and jump forward in time and everything, so again, 4e ruined not only D&D but also the Forgotten Realms.

Furthermore, Cryptic is one of my least favorite developers. They make very simplistic games that are all about combat mechanics and hack and slash, with no good story or intriguing characters anywhere in sight.

This is a strong pass. I'd *love* a good Forgotten Realms D&D game, but this provides for none of that. "good" is negated by Cryptic, "Forgotten Realms" is negated by 4e, and "D&D" is negated by 4e.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33354226)

sounds just like NWN!!!! now let me get back to slaying the damn beholders here!

Big deal. Another announcement of a Cryptic flop. (1)

rlp122 (1204980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33354756)

Honestly, I feel that it will end up like half of the games Cryptic announces. Dead in the water. Emmert has too big of an ego and wants everything his way, regardless of what the playerbase wants. Citation: City of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Trek. Atari needs to wake up and fire this clown or at least move him out of the development process and put him in sales and marketing where he belongs.
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