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After attending the developer chat, which was hosted on the Neverwinter Nights 2 News IRC server, I obtained permission to post the logs that I recorded of the developer chat. And here it is!
Okay folks, welcome to the NWN2 Dev chat... Hi everyone and welcome to the Neverwinter Nights 2 developers chat! we would liek to thank you all for joining us and for your patience while we get everything going. Fell free to join us in #nwn2-chat for discussion during the chat and to submit a messgae use /msg mayseth with thta I will turn it over to our guests for intorductions :)
<[OEI]nchap> Hi, I'm Nathaniel Chapman, Line Producer on NWN2. And official Chipotle-burrito-bringer. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Eric Fenstermaker. Designer/Scripter. Hungry. <[OEI]AdamB> Hello, and welcome! Thanks for coming. My name is Adam - I'm a programmer. Hi Im Shane DeFreest Community Manager and Im also hungry. <[OEI]AdamB> Also, sorry for the poor dev. turnout tonight. We are awfully busy finishing up the game. <[OEI]AdamB> Special Guest Charles Mead! <[OE]CharlesM> indeed
ok and now on to the questions! Q: Question: You devs have been saying how Bards are getting some extra love in NWN2. How about sharing some of that love?
A: <[OEI]nchap> We've got new inspiration songs, which should make them a lot more effective and fun. Also, they can now cast spells in light armor, and have their own "bard bar" on the interface that makes switching between their various songs much easier. <[OEI]nchap> General increasing of awesomeness :) <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> There's also some OC-specific content here and there that will make you glad you were a bard for it. <[OEI]AdamB> Bard Bar! <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Lots of opportunities to roll perform checks ;)
Q: Question Are the ceilings in any of the interior tiles sets adjustable/varied? Or are we stuck with 10' ceilings.
A: <[OEI]AdamB> No, they can't be adjusted. <[OE]CharlesM> But they aren't just flat ceilings either. <[OEI]AdamB> We have varied ceilings in caves and castle tilesets. They look really cool <[OEI]AdamB> But they are pretty static in terms of height.
Q: Will the server support plugins or extensions of any kind?
A: <[OEI]AdamB> Right now we don't plan on doing this. We do have the same database stuff from the first game, and NWNX should work with NWN2 as well. <[OEI]AdamB> We haven't tested it though - but I see no reason why it's not dooable. <[OEI]AdamB> But sorry, no plugins for the server. <[OEI]AdamB> However, we do have a plugin system for the toolset, complete with a API.
Q: Although you devs have hinted that NWN2 would have more limited support for PWs, would you please indulge us in some specifics? Is their auto hak downloading? Must the client download the walkmesh? How is the module size going to effect development and hosting? Basically this is an open question, im just wondering (as im sure most of the people here are tonight) what limitations on PW development and hosting should>>
A: <[OEI]AdamB> This is a pretty long question, so let's break it down a bit! <[OEI]AdamB> We are still working on the details on how and when the client needs the walkmesh data. You will probably need to distrubute your walkmesh files with some other stuff like your Haks in a separate download say on nwvault or a similar site. As for auto downloading it - we are working on a solution for it, and as soon as we know what the final decision on it is, we will let you guys know. <[OEI]AdamB> So PW world development will probably be different than NWN1 that's for sure. I think you guys need to adopt a different approach to your Module distribution. <[OEI]AdamB> Like a more MMO approach - monthly patches with a larger download. <[OEI]AdamB> Also I think something like bittorrent might be interesting for distribution purposes.
Q: Q: Will there be a dedicated server? If not, when? A :<[OEI]AdamB> Yes, the dedicated server application will ship with the game.
Q: Q: Will the dedicated server be able to load multiple modules at once? A: <[OEI]AdamB> No, sorry, we aren't supporting that feature.
Q: Question Is every placeable used in the outdoor settings, placable in the interior tilesets, ie walls, buildings rocks.. A: <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Yeah. If it's in the placeable list, you can drop it in any area. You can even paint water indoors if you want. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Of course some of them won't fit so well if they're say, building placeables. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> but knock yourself out.
Q: Will the Survival skill only show Hostile creatures on the minimap? Does it account for the hostile's Invisibility and other stealth abilities/effects? Are there any script hooks to control what shows/doesn't on the player's minimap?
A: <[OEI]AdamB> Yes... survival shows only hostiles and it accounts for invisibility. <[OEI]AdamB> However there are no scripting hooks for this :( Will line of sight come into what parts of the map become visible as you explore an area? <[OEI]AdamB> Yes! The fog of war is per pixel - kind of like a volumetric fog. It gets burned off in the areas that you can see and have already explored. <[OEI]AdamB> Also, this makes exploring dungeons a whole lot more fun than the first game. The minimap is centered on your PC, so you can't tell how large an area is the moment you enter a dungeon.
Q: <[DMFI|CSF]Pentane> In NWN2, what is your favourite monster, spell, and special abillity?
A: <[OE]CharlesM> Meteor Swarm rocks! <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> I just saw meteor swarm for the first time the other day. Amazing. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Also, I don't know if you realize this, but Charles' pun on "rocks" was completely intentional. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> I am a fan of the horned devil. Looks super sweet. <[OEI]AdamB> All the spell effects are jawesomely cool - my favorite is enlarge person. The scaling features of NWN2 rock! <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Yeah you can totally just enlarge a random townsperson if you want.
Q: Can we know anything about poly counts so we can start doing CC? <[Citadel]Papermonk> What are the limitations on a basic humanoid's size there, Adam? NPC's - 10 ft? 20? etc?
A: <[OEI]AdamB> There are no limitations on scale PM :) <[OEI]AdamB> Ok, now to the poly count question... <[OEI]AdamB> Basically we have rules at obsidian for the artists not to exceed 150,000 polys in any given scene <[OEI]AdamB> We don't have hard limits on poly counts on creatures or on placeables because things very so much in NWN2. For instance, you have a huge Red Dragon who needs a whole lot more polys than a kobold.
Q: When playing in the OC, will there be any subraces with an ECL of +1 or higher possible to start with or are they just for NPCs and online play?
A: <[OEI]AdamB> So, I guess the general rule is don't go overboard. Try to keep stuff under control. <[OE]CharlesM> Yes, in fact we have Drow, Duergar, and Deep Gnomes.
Q: My Question: I want to know if bashing chests/doors is still as good as picking locks and if detect trap now works as intended (*detecting* traps, not disarming them) A: <[OE]CharlesM> Bashing chests may break stuff inside, so not quite as good.
Q: My question is, will it be possible to create a heightmap as a grayscale in an external program such as Photoshop, then import it and have the toolset render it as an area, such as in SimCity 4? A: <[OEI]AdamB> No, sorry, that's not something that we support. That's something that I would have loved to have supported in the Terrain tools, but our artists didn't have a need for such a tool.
Q: any new functions you can tell us about, like "OnCriticalHit" or any functions no longer ingame A: <[OE]CharlesM> We have a lot of new functions. One interesting one is DisplayInputBox() which pops up a dialog box for entering input.
Q: Question: Will we be able to pull the camera back as far as in NwN1, and if yes, what happens to the ceiling? Will it be in the way, or just visible if you use a "follow" mode for the camera?
A: <[OEI]AdamB> Yes, you should be able to pull that camera back further than in NWN1. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> ceiling fades out. <[OEI]AdamB> We have special ceiling code that will make ceilings dissapear when the camera pulls outside of the room. This is so that backfacing polys don't get in the way. <[OEI]AdamB> So the game looks good in both isometric and in behind the back views! <[OEI]AdamB> Super cool!! :)
Q: What area in the OC are you particularly proud of?
A: <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> We have some really breathtaking exteriors. There's a badlands exterior in Act 2 that has a killer view. <[OE]CharlesM> There are so many great areas - The Blacklake district is probably one of the most beautiful. Crossroad Keep is really interesting just because of all the stuff that goes on there. <[OEI]AdamB> The Badlands look totally different than most of the outdoors areas you guys have seen. <[OEI]AdamB> I like the last area in the game! <[OEI]AdamB> It looks very cool, and it shows off the power of the Electron Engine. <[OEI]AdamB> Chipotle has arrived! <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> omg
Q: What are some of the benefits of purchasing the Collector's Edition from the standard copies?
A: We will be announcing what comes in the CE very shortly. We're working with Wizards on some content. But expect to hear details on what it entails soon.
Q: when creatures like skeletons wear armor, will this armor then be visible in the game?
A: <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> Yes! <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> it's not for all creatures, but some of them -- orcs and skellies, certainly have customizable armor <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> others too <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> those are just the two that come to mind <[OEI]AdamB> You can customize creature appearances. So skeletons can wear different types of armor. They don't have as many variations as the base humanoid classes, but you can mix and match armor pieces just like PCs. <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> we also have big clubs for the ogres and giants. No more billy clubs, awesome as those were.
Q: <[Citadel]Papermonk> Is the creature's armor based on the creature's appearance or the armor equiped? And if it is equipped and dropped, will the PC be getting something similar? A: <[OEI]AdamB> Creature's appearance.
ok guys we will be taking one more question! Sorry to all of those who we could not get to tonight. Q: Baldurien: I was not excited by the music in NWN1; recently I hear that Metal Melody Music will do NWN2's music, could we have a sample of their work in NWN2?
A: <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> I could hum a few bars. Eric hums well <[OE]CharlesM> Trust me... no... <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> they have sample work on their website <[OEI]EricFenstermaker> nothing from nwn2 though I'll look into getting some music samples out to the community.
ok guys than you all for coming and for the great questions! We will have the logs posted soon. A special thanks to the Developers for joining us tonight and answering all of our questions!
<[OEI]EricFenstermaker> i can also do vocal percussion, btw <[OEI]AdamB> Thanks for coming!
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