Saturday, April 24, 2010

[AD] Neverwinter Nights!

Many people don't know this, but Mahal was once a die-hard player of Neverwinter Nights. I'm not sure which version it is, but it would most likely have been the AOL one, since he was talking about it when we first met, which was a few years after the AOL version closed and before the BioWare version opened. (Hahaha our age is showing! XD)

At the time I met him, there were no MMORPGs available online yet. Ragnarok Online wouldn't be available for another 3 years in the Philippines, and as everyone here knows it's the very first one we got. And to be honest, all I knew was pen-and-paper (or, in my case especially, keyboard-and-screen) RPG playing. I know my geek creds are gonna fly out the window when I admit this, but I still haven't quite mastered the art of hardcore pen-and-paper dice-rolling RPGs.

So I did my research online, and here's what I've learned about the game (thanks to Wikipedia :P):

Neverwinter Nights (NWN), produced by BioWare and published by Infogrames (now Atari), is a third-person perspective computer role-playing game that is based on third edition Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms rules. It was originally to be published by Interplay Entertainment, but the publisher's financial difficulties forced the change. Infogrames released Neverwinter Nights for Windows on June 18, 2002. BioWare released the freely downloadable Linux Client in June 2003 (purchase of game still required). MacSoft released a Mac OS X port in August 2003. Two expansion packs were released in mid and late 2003, and a third in 2005. On October 31, 2006, the sequel Neverwinter Nights 2 was released followed by its first expansion in late 2007 and its second one at the end of 2008. The game was based on the concept of building an internet-like model for a massively multiplayer game, allowing the end users to host the server. The belief was this model would create a potentially infinite massively multiplayer game framework. The game was named after the original Neverwinter Nights online game, the first graphical MMORPG, which ran from 1991 to 1997 on AOL.

More history here and here.

So apparently this was the very first graphical MMORPG in the history of EVER. It's also one of the very first multiserver MMORPGs. PLUS, apparently,

NWN game modules run as a variety of separate genres and themes, including persistent worlds (which are similar to MUDs), combat arenas (player versus player modules), whole servers dedicated to sexually oriented roleplay, and simple social gatherings similar to a chat room. The campaign included with the game can be played with friends, for example, or a team of builders can build a virtual world similar in scope and size to commercial MMORPGs. BioWare insists that these persistent worlds be free of charge, primarily for reasons of copyright law.
Because Neverwinter Nights lacks a global chat function aside from the supported Gamespy, players typically join "pickup" games through the game's multiplayer interface, or schedule games in advance with friends. Matchmaking sites, such as Neverwinter Connections, facilitate scheduling of games, and the experience is much like traditional Pen-and-Paper roleplaying games. Persistent worlds do this work for them by inviting players to visit their website and continue to roleplay there.
Neverwinter Nights ships with the Aurora toolset, which allows players to create custom modules for Neverwinter Nights. These modules may take the form of online multiplayer worlds, single player adventures, character trainers or technology demos. Additionally, several third party utilities have further expanded the community's ability to create custom content for the game. Custom content creators are known as builders in the Neverwinter Nights community.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe, was also released by BioWare using a heavily modified version of the Aurora engine of Neverwinter Nights. The sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, also used this modified engine. Because of this, modders have been able to modify these games using some Neverwinter Nights modding tools.
BioWare used Neverwinter Nights and its toolset to develop prototypes and mock-ups of various areas and scenarios for Dragon Age: Origins.

So why have I not been playing this??? DDDDDDDDDDD:

... Oh yeah, at least 2/3 of the MMORPG players in my country have not heard of this at all. XP This is a serious disadvantage when you're dependent on Japanese and Korean game developers, yes. I wanna make my own maps and not rely on one linear path to enjoy my game, dammit! (As much as I have loved Granado Espada, I've noticed that all the quests you can finish get you to a certain stage and a certain level in the game, and that if you don't do any of them you are guaranteed not to be able to enjoy any "advancement". That, to me, kinda takes the fun out of role-playing ... I'm the type who just goes along for the ride, and doesn't really care about having the best weapons/armour/characters in her stable. Well that, and I just really enjoy killing and looting monsters, tedious as that may be. XD)
Waaaaaah, I can actually be married to Mahal in NWN! I SHOULD be playing this!

Right now, I've finally found a great place to buy latest version from - GameTap! Not only does GameTap have the most current version of the game, their version also includes the expansion packs Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark! That's SO much more convenient than having to get both expansion packs separately. (It does make me sad though that GameTap no longer mentions the Kingmaker expansion pack, which was released in November 2004 and features three premium modules: the titular award-winning Kingmaker, plus Shadowguard and Witch's Wake. Does this mean there was no resolution with Atari, one of the original developers of NWN until very recently?) True to the custom content building tradition that made NWN so popular, there are also community-created expansion packs available, but again you apparently need to get them from BioWare NWN website.

It seems like NWN is closing too, which is a shame because right now I can finally, FINALLY afford it. T.T It must be all the legal problems as well as the terrible economy. But I still truly want to play, if only to get to know, through the game, my Mahal more...

Excuse me, I need to go get me a credit card now...

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