Questions de la communauté francophone à Rob McGinnis (version anglaise)

Afin d'en savoir un peu plus sur Mask of the Betrayer, la première extension pour Neverwinter Nights 2, le futur du jeu, Laban s'est porté volontaire pour collecter les questions de la communauté francophone et les transmettre à Rob McGinnis, le responsable communauté de NWN2.

In the gamespot video we can see some dust cloud effect over the land, will MotB include some environmental special effects (rain, fog, low and dark clouds) and can we use them with scripts directly in game ?

Rob McGinnis : We are making improvements to environmental systems all the time. For instance, we have added snow effects in MoTB and we have had rain in the NWN2 OC for a while now. Other weather effects, I am sure, will come with time.


MotB's events occur in Boo and Minsc's homeland. Will we ever cross their path or even have a chance to recruit them ?

Rob McGinnis : Unfortunately not. Minsc and Boo, while they were great characters, were created by Bioware developers. As with every character, a lot of the writer's personality went into Minsc and Boo. For us to try to bring those characters back, we wouldn't be able to give them the same "feel" and don't think it would be right to attempt it.


Are we going to have, detailed if possible: New types of weapons ?Two weapons fighting ?New weapons and armours ?New appareances (faces, hairs etc.) for actual races ?New emotes ?

Rob McGinnis : We will have a lot of new things in MoTB.


MotB will provide two new base classes (Favored Soul and Spiritual Shaman). Why have magical base classes been favored compared to martial classes ?Have those new classes been difficult to insert into the system ?

Rob McGinnis : Part of it is because they are a bit more fun to implement:)?, but a lot of it has to do with trying to give variety to those classes which are so important to the high magic Forgotten Realms world.


Some prestige classes are limited by a 5 lvl cap (like the Invisible Blade), will this lvl cap remain the same in Motb ?

Rob McGinnis : Yes.


Why has Obsidian chosen Rashemen as action place instead of continuing action in the North, or heading to Cormyr, Moon Sea etc. ?

Rob McGinnis : It gives us a chance to give the community some great content for building. It's also been less used in other games and lets players have a bit of diversity in their game settings. Not to mention we get to have the Red Wizard of Thay!


I heard that the new add on will be more hack n slash, is it true ?

Rob McGinnis : Combat is always important in a Neverwinter title, but we have also spent a lot of time on dialog. Many of our less important characters in MoTB have twice as much dialog as the most important characters in the NWN2 OC.


What would give to a player disappointed by Neverwinter Nights 2 the desire for playing the add-on Mask of the Betrayer ? I do not speak so much in term about aspect D&D, because I think the game do have what it need on this side, but I speak on the GUI level, graphics (the game is not frankly the elite of the graphic beauty, and requires a war machine) and musical. Overall, is MotB intended to provide more than just custom content ?

Rob McGinnis : I could point to the improved performance and graphics in the 1.07 patch and I could point to the number of patches we have, and continue to release. But I think the greatest thing about NWN2 is that Obsidian is genuinely concerned with making NWN2 a great game. We scour through the forums daily, reading the criticisms and looking for the great suggestions and ideas that would make NWN2 better.


Actually, Obsidian looks convinced that pwc and files updates are a problem and that online playability can be enhanced. One could have the feeling that you are thinking - or already trying - to make the file update part of the system, not requiring updaters like Audolo or Lyncya team client. Could you tell us more about this ?

Rob McGinnis : We would very much like to make applications such as Audolo or Worldgate obsolete.


Some PW like Althea use custom updaters not Audolo or likewise clients. Their custom clients are apparently required by the (future) use of the portal function. Has Obsidian heard of this ?With a future integrated solution, how might be managed the portal question ?Could custom updaters still exist aside of the ingame one ?

Rob McGinnis : It's hard to say. These custom updaters would have to be able to work with whatever file structure gets implemented with an autodownloader.


Could you give us an image (or at least a sketch) of the incoming improvements concerning Persistant Worlds/modules, heart of nwn online multiplayer gaming ?

Rob McGinnis : Our first concern is stability at this point. We would also like to take care of the downloading of the PWC files, but stability seems to make maintaining a PW difficult.


The dev team working on NX1 being bigger than the patch one, is the first one helping the second to handle bugs during the extension development ?

Rob McGinnis : We helped each other out during development. Also, ultimately, many of the things implemented for MoTB were released in the patches along the way.


Does Obsidian think about having Premium mods like Bioware used to ?

Rob McGinnis : Yes, we think about it. But this is more of an Atari question.


What is the patch creation process: the different stages, how is decided their content, release dates and so on ?

Rob McGinnis : This is always a hot topic in the forums. The selection process has to take many things into account. Some of the things that help us decide is how easy/difficult it is to make the fix, what the community wants, what programmer(s) or designers we have available, what other changes are expected later, what has the community made available, and how many hours people have worked already. It's rarely an easy decision.


What will you do with the gathered suggestions for making the toolset more user-friendly (cf. your thread on the off. boards) ?Will you include some of them in patch 1.08, or MotB, or both ?Could you give us a hint at wich ones you plan to realize ?

Rob McGinnis : We are making some changes to the way we do patches. We are looking at the possibility of having themes to the patches. For example: the next patch may be focused on PWs, where the following patch may be focused on scripters. It doesn't mean the that entire patch will focus on one area, but much of the effort for that patch may be dedicated to that area.


Lot of people are complaining about characters apparence because they look a little all the same. Are you working on new character creation systems to make them trully differents (weight, muscles...). Will you add more details on the character ?(they all look the same, and we really need to modify them more precisely) Will you increase the number of face and haircut, because in online one resembles oneself all, especially for the races more played like the human one, Elf and half-Elf.

Rob McGinnis : We are adding some new appearances in MoTB and, with the release of Granny, we hope to see some new appearances from the community.


Will new animal forms be available for the druid ?(spider, panther...) with poisoned attack, sneaking attack.

Rob McGinnis : Yes. Dragon form will be made available to druids in MoTB.


Some druid feats/skills (Oaken Resilience or Elephant's Hide) offer a mighty protection against warriors. The Swamp Lung spell, who goes through mage protections, permits to get easily rid of these. Will Obsidian do something to limitate druids power or expect modders to do so ?

Rob McGinnis : We haven't done much with balance since the release of the game. There is always something bigger to be worked on. Since these are easy changes for modders, we tend to work on the things they can't.


Shall we expect some surprises concerning NWN2 from OE?Could you tell us more about this ?

Rob McGinnis : You never know; )


Will you create an OFFICIAL tutorial with concrete showcase and useful tips ?(please think that beginner don't know what is a 2da, hak, and the only manual they find is the bioware's one, that is obsolete especially with 2da)

Rob McGinnis : We are actually working with some community members to make something available for this.


Will you add the abilities to jump and fly ? Not in the foreseeable future.Did you give up with horses ?

Rob McGinnis : Nope. We have put non-rideable horses in MoTB.


Do you plan to add the prestige classes spell's list ?

Rob McGinnis : We are looking into some options for this. We would really like to put in the ability to make custom spell lists. Only time will tell.


Do you plan to correct the balance of clerics domains, which are overpowered ?

Rob McGinnis : Perhaps in a future patch.


Will you modify the GUI ?(it's really painfull to have to open "player chat" only to send a private message.)

Rob McGinnis : You should be able to right click on a character name in the chat window to send that player a private message.


Will you add character animation during fights (strafe, dodge), instead of having chars waiting patiently the next action ?

Rob McGinnis : We are looking into this. It all depends on the time we have available.


Will you add the possibilities to multiclass up to 5 classes ?

Rob McGinnis : Probably not any time soon, if we do at all. If we were to this, undoubtedly, people will start asking for a sixth class.


Will you fix the descriptions and comments from the NwN2's scripts ?

Rob McGinnis : Once we know which ones are incorrect, and as time permits.


On your blog we see a capture with birds, what happening about that ?(we see that's included into the extension due to a screenshot but if you have anymore information:) )?

Rob McGinnis : That video was created by one of the people beta testing the Granny plugin. It just shows what is possible for the community to make.


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