IGN has posted a short preview
of Storm of Zehir
which details the new party dialogue system and overland map but does contain some spoilers for the beginning of the game. A more in-depth and spoiler-free (but unofficial) explanation of the dialogue system can be found here
Since you're in charge of a four-person party now, you can use each member to access different dialogues. The fighter in our party, for instance, intimidated a soldier into giving up his sword, while our rogue used diplomacy to convince another survivor to hand over her bow. This is all part of the developers' efforts to make your characters' skills more meaningful throughout the game. Another extension of that thinking is the ability of craft-trained characters to create weapons out of the wreckage that has washed ashore.
Gametrailers has uploaded an interview
about Storm of Zehir
with the mysterious Matthew Rorie, Obsidian's new(ish) press manager. Perhaps most interesting is the screen behind Mr. Rorie's head which shows Storm of Zehir
live and in action. If you keep an eye on it you should catch a clear view (especially if you're watching in high-def) of the overland map.
The map certainly appears to do what they say: open up the environment to player exploration, extending the use of Spot as a skill beyond finding ore deposits in the OC. We shall have to wait and see. Keep up the good work, guys.
Every time I close our news management page, I come across a new piece of Storm of Zehir
news. Anyway, a French site, La Bibliothèque de Neverwinter Nights
, has managed to get its paws on some new snaps
I'm not sure if the area design is of as high a standard as MotB
but I suppose we will have to play the game to find out.
With the emphasis placed on exploration, I would imagine that they have less time than they did on NX1 (a game with an emphasis on a tight and short plot) to craft areas as breath-taking as Ashenwood. I have this horrible feeling that the world map will simply end up the same way as Mass Effect
's unexplored worlds: generic maps with a smattering of combat. Time will tell...