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Old 08-31-2007, 06:48 PM   #27
Pavlos
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We have a so-called "premonition" (but not the actual thing) of what's coming for 1.07 and the future of NWN2.

Quote:
Neverwinter Nights 2 - Premonition (Version 1.07) Beta Patch Notes
August 28th, 2007

Developer Note

Hi Everyone!

There’s a word I’d like you all to keep in mind – by the end of this note, you’ll understand why. That word is Premonition.

We here at Obsidian have been working on Neverwinter Nights 2 for just over three years now. The biggest milestone in our three years working on Neverwinter Nights 2 was last October’s launch of the game. It was great to get the product out to people, so they could see the campaign we’d developed and check out what the new engine and toolset were capable of.

As with any undertaking of the scope of NWN2, there have been many challenges – but we’ve always dedicated ourselves to resolving them, pressing ahead and looking forward to the potential of what we felt a great sequel to Neverwinter Nights should be. As exciting and rewarding as it was to release the game, and as proud as we are of it, we certainly understood and in many cases agreed with some of the complaints. Even at launch, we wanted to improve the game in several ways. And so we pressed ahead, always driven to achieve that potential – driven by the vision of what both we and the community could make of Neverwinter Nights 2.

Update 1.03 saw massive performance improvements, and now Update 1.07 will include a second set of performance optimizations. We’ve worked with the community to improve some of the walkmesh and AI issues with the game, and our dedication to supporting our scriptable, customizable graphical user interface (GUI) has paid off with the community developing UI modifications that allow people to customize the game’s UI to their liking. The DM client you’re getting with this patch is a full featured tool for running multiplayer games.

Additionally, we knew when we released the game that while the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset was much more flexible and powerful than the original game’s, it would have a steeper learning curve. Additionally, some of us were worried about whether the community would step up to the plate with the new functionality we’d given them. For instance, we knew the UI scripting we introduced was powerful – but would people take advantage of it?
I’m pleased to say that, while there certainly has been a bit of a learning curve while the community has been mastering the new engine, new toolset and new functionality we’ve provided, looking back at the past year I can point to lots of fantastic things that the community has generated – many of which were impossible in the old game. For examples, check out our NWN2 Blog, where each week we highlight some of the cool things the community has made. But, here’s a short list of examples of cool community creations within the last year:
  • The NWN2 DMFI, with its strong integration into the user interface and its own custom GUI.
  • All of the cool community generated stuff up on NWVault, including the custom Modules, prefab areas, custom GUIs, and much more.
  • The extremely useful toolset plugins, which extend to the community the ability to generate the tools that they want or need.
  • TonyK and evenflw’s AI improvements.
  • All of the entrants into our Module contest.
  • Several very cool, active persistent worlds.

All this – and people haven’t even had the new toolset and engine for a full year!

And so, we’re going to continue looking forward. This October, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer will ship, a little bit shy of NWN2’s first birthday. And, in anticipation of Mask, we’re delivering the largest, most feature rich update to NWN2 yet.

Remember when I mentioned Premonition earlier? A premonition is a sense of the future; an anticipation of what is to come. In many ways, Mask was designed to anticipate the things that you guys would like to see improved in Neverwinter 2 – better performance and new creatures, area textures, placeables, races and classes and more.

We here at Obsidian are very excited to get Mask to all of you. And, we’re excited to see what the community will do with the new stuff we’ve provided. This update contains many of the core game changes that we’ve made during the development of Mask of the Betrayer. It even contains a sneak peak at one of Mask’s new creatures. We felt that this update was big enough to warrant its own title – and so we decided on Premonition, as this Update gives you, the community, a chance to anticipate some of what you all are going to see when you pick up Mask.

Premonition is a fitting title for another reason, too. This update is a preview of our future plans to continue to improve the level of support and dedication we’ve given to the game - to continue to look forward and make Neverwinter Nights 2 the ultimate computer D&D role-playing experience.

From all of us here at Obsidian, we hope you enjoy Premonition and Mask of the Betrayer. And, as always, we’re looking forward to seeing the awesome and creative content you guys develop with the new tools we’ve provided.

Thanks,

Nathaniel Chapman
Assistant Producer
Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.


NEW FEATURES IN PREMONITION

General

Character Mode and Strategy Mode – In advance of the release of the Mask of the Betrayer expansion pack this September, we’ve included one of the major new revisions we’ve made to the camera and control modes. Now, the four camera modes (Top Down, Chase, Driving and Free Camera) have been consolidated into two modes that are more configurable and clearer to use than the old modes – Character Mode and Strategy Mode.

These modes affect both the function of the camera and the controls for each mode, and are designed to be most efficient for the two primary styles of play – controlling a single character, and controlling a full party. Note that while the information given here refers to the default function of each mode, these modes are highly configurable. Please check out all of the options in the newly updated Options Menu. You can toggle which mode you are in by pressing the * key by default.
  • Character Mode: In Character Mode, the camera follows behind and over the shoulder of the currently controlled character. This mode is useful for getting a good look at your surroundings and exploring an area while focused on controlling an individual character. While in Character Mode, by default, holding the Left Mouse Button down and moving the mouse to the left or right will turn the character. You can also turn by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen. Holding down the Middle Mouse Button or pressing the Arrow keys will allow you to rotate the camera around the currently controlled character.
  • Strategy Mode: Strategy Mode is a top down Play Mode that is intended to make controlling a full party easier. This mode is most useful for controlling combat situations involving a full party of characters against a large number of enemies. In Strategy Mode, by default, you can click and drag to select multiple party members. You can rotate the camera either by holding the Middle Mouse Button and moving the mouse, by moving the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen, or by pressing the Arrow Keys.
  • New Options Menu – Patch 1.07 also introduces a new options menu that gives you access to consolidated and clear options for each camera mode, and better organization of the already existing options.
  • Marquee/Multi-Selection Revamp – Marquee and Multi-selection have been dramatically improved to make controlling a full party much easier. You can see the new improvements to Marquee and Multi-selection in the new Strategy Mode.
UI Improvements
  • Party AI On/Off Button – There is now a button on the main game UI, next to the rest button, that will toggle the entire party’s AI on or off.
  • Player Chat List – A list of all players on the server is now available on the Player Menu (the NWN2 “Eye” button in the lower left corner of the screen). You can select any player from this list to send them a tell.
  • "Handles" have been added to the chat windows to allow them to be moved more easily.
  • A logcommands console command has been added that allows you to dump all of the console commands to a text file.
  • Console commands are no longer case sensitive.

Gameplay Improvements
  • Darkvision and Low-light Vision are now modes that can be toggled on or off using the Mode Bar. They also have new visual effects to accompany this change.
  • Bronze Dragon - New Creature! The Bronze Dragon creature has been added to the Toolset, so expect him to show up in new community content as well as Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Stealth Improvements – Some improvements have been made to stealth to make it more effective in a Multiplayer environment. Among these, characters who are hidden will no longer show up when detected by any party member, and hidden characters should be hidden properly regardless of faction.

Toolset
  • A "Find a Resource" Plugin has been added to the toolset.
  • A Creature Appearance Wizard has been added. This will allow you to change the appearance of spawned creatures and creature blueprints, including race, gender, armor and armor attachments. This feature can be accessed by right clicking on a creature or blueprint entry. NOTE: This feature is currently in Beta, and there are plans to improve its functionality.
  • A Texture Swapper has been added that allows builders to swap the textures in a tileset. This feature can be accessed from a tile’s properties pane, visible by right clicking on a tile.
  • A new custom skydome system has been added to the toolset, allowing users to replace the NWN2 skies with skydomes of their own creating.
  • Areas now have additional settings under their Day/Night Stage Properties that allow builders to “de-saturate” an area – that is, remove a percentage of the color from an area, all the way to black and white.

DM Client
  • A UI feature has been added to allow DMs to adjust player/creature alignments using a slider bar.
  • Comments from the toolset (comments within the {} brackets) will now show up in the Creator.
  • The distance a DM can zoom out has been greatly increased.
  • A filter feature has been added to the DM Client player list. This will allow DMs to select specific players and filter their list down to only show those selected players.


BUG FIXES IN PREMONITION

General
  • The PC model during level up should be scaled to match the scaling in game
  • Module Debug text should now display properly.
  • The Dwarven Defender Defensive Stance ability now functions properly.
  • The game will no longer crash if a player presses the + key on the number pad in a multiplayer game.
  • Fixed an issue that was resulting in corrupted save games.
  • Typing // will now make it so that the rest of the string is not treated as a command input, allowing the character to speak the rest of the string without any changes.
  • Character AI should now respond to all attacks, not just attacks that result in damage.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to increase their CON.
  • Neutral players should now be able to select Akadi as a deity.
  • The Improved Defense feats should now replace each other.
  • Mouse camera panning and tilting are now options in the game.

Toolset
  • The 2DA editor in toolset should now handle rows where the row # is 4 digits.
  • When viewing a 2DA in the toolset, sorting by any column other than the # will no longer renumber all the entries when saving.
  • Changing a placeable's OpenState property will no longer yield an Unknown.
  • Swapping textures in the toolset should no longer result in solid black textures.
  • Opening the toolset after having set the TreeLeaves option to false in the View -> Options -> Graphics menu should result in leaves not being rendered.
  • Builders can now select male or female model previews on the Armor Tab in the creature properties window.
  • Manually entering a value in the Pressure's text field should now affect brushes.
  • When you run the toolset a prefabs folder should be created, which becomes the default location for saving Prefab objects. Exported Prefabs will not get added to the blueprint list until the Toolset is restarted.
  • Ctrl-Z will no longer set height-lock in the toolset. The Z key is used now.
  • Turning the On? property of a light OFF and ON will toggle the light source OFF and ON.
  • Pasting encounter triggers with spawn points no longer crashes the Toolset.
  • All the effects associated with an air elemental are played in the proper place.
  • The name of the last conversation will no longer be missing from the conversation dropdown in the properties list.
  • Adding a new entry in the journal, when another entry is currently selected, will add the new entry to the parent category of the selected entry.
  • Red conversation nodes now show "[END DIALOG]" if they have no response nodes under them.
  • The DELETE key will now work properly when manually entering color values
  • Glow maps stay on the creatures for which they are intended.
  • Map hotspots will now appear in the same position in-game as they do in the World Map Editor.

DM Client
  • On the DM's Context menu, if you are controlling the DM avatar the non-DM heal skill will not show up. If you possess another creature, the non-DM heal skill will show up.
  • DM commands listed in the Keymapping tab will now function properly.
  • Dead players will no longer disappear from the chooser.
  • Possessing/Unpossessing Creatures will no longer play the creature's possession sound.
  • Players will no longer see the floating text from DMs unless the DM is visible.
  • Changing the resolution in the DM client should no longer cause the text to disappear from the chooser and creator.
  • DMs can change the faction of a creature using the dm_setfaction command.
  • Players will no longer hear the footsteps of hidden DMs.
  • The disable AI button in the chooser will now work properly.
  • DebugMode will no longer need to be active for a DM to use console commands.
  • The last entries in the Chooser or Creator lists will no longer be blank.
  • The chooser will now focus on the current area when opened.
  • DMs can now select dead PCs from within the chooser.
  • The Chooser and Creator will no longer require double-clicks on the buttons.
  • The + key on the number pad will now jump the DM to the location of the mouse pointer.
  • The toggle trap/trigger display button will now work properly.
  • DMs will now be able to join a server that is full, even if that puts the player count over the limit. DMs will still count against the overall player count.
  • When a DM saves his avatar, the custom shortcuts in the quickbar should no longer become unuseable at next login.
  • Player portraits in the player list will no longer be blank if a player is in a different area.
  • Player portraits in the player list will now have the correct portraits and names.

Scripting
  • EffectDeath() now has a new parameter that will make it so that any visual effects on the creature aren't purged (With the exception of mobility imparing effects, like stun, paralysis, etc).
  • The "GetGroupNumKiled" script within ginc_group has been renamed to "GetGroupNumKilled".

Spells
  • Melf's Acid Arrow will no longer be stopped by spell resistance.
  • The combat log will now report Disintegrate as a ranged touch attack when cast.
  • Disintegrate will now gain bonus damage when Empowered.
  • The targeting circle for Horrid Wilting has been changed to 30 feet.
  • Fixed a spelling error for the Glyph of Warding spell description.
It does look something of a mammoth - multiplayer seems to have gotten a lot of attention... but then that aspect of the game was apparently gimped so hopefully that should fix a lot of complaints. Kudos to Obsidian, I say... though I wonder how many bugs this one will introduce . But this whole confession of mistakes they made throughout the hyping of MotB and now for patch notes is heartening - for me, at least.

In other news: I like the "Character Mode" camera. Sounds like a much more flexible version of KotOR's already terrific camera . And "woo!" we have a Creature Appearance plugin for the toolset (finally).

Edit: And hurrah for more performance improvements - hopefully I'll be able to turn on shadows now...


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