Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is the next Bioware remaster

nwn-enhanced-edition

We won’t have full details until a bit later today (noon PST/8PM UK), but here’s the headline: Bioware’s 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights is next to receive Beamdog‘s Enhanced Edition treatment. What do we want to see from a tweaked and modernised take on Bioware’s first foray into 3D RPGs, and whose revered modding tools launched a legion of player-made adventure modules?

NWN Enhanced follows on from this year’s Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition, which follows shinied-up, modern OS-friendly versions of Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II and Icewind Dale. We can likely expect some graphical improvements and improved support for 2017 PCs, but what else could be in the mix? I’d like to see a slicker interface and an even more approachable editor, and better character models would be nice, but the thing with NWN is that it’s nothing like the pain in the cheeks to get working and looking acceptable that the 2D Infinity engine games were. So I’m looking forwards to seeing what ways they have found to tart it up.

As revealed by Beamdog earlier today, we’ll be able to see that in a Twitch livestream at noon PST, and all being well we’ll also be running a full reveal on the site around about that then too.

50 Comments

  1. N'Al says:

    I never asked for this.

    • Prime-Mover says:

      That’s cool. This probably isn’t for you. However, as you may be aware of, there are still people around who build and maintain player worlds from back then link to nwnlist.com who welcome a graphical update, and potentially a GameSpy replacement. Add to that, those who have fond memories of this game, and who spent many years past its expiration date, but who are unable to go back due to the horribly dated graphics.

      There really isn’t anything like this game out there, ‘cept for NWN2, which wasn’t as accessible, or stable.

      //Rovenna, Dragon Coast, and Anphillia veteran here.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        Prime-Mover, “I never asked for this” is an RPS meme from ~2010 (when the Human Revolution trailer came out) and continuing for a few years. So chill out :)

    • Janichsan says:

      Neither did I, but now I want it.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Maybe not you but it’s a godsent regardless. The time I spent on playing excellent community-made modules… exploring the countless 3rd edition character builds.
      Tee way each module had unique rules and challenges.
      I hope there’ll be a creation kit included again. The included campaign wasn’t that great though the add-ons were ok.

  2. TomxJ says:

    Backward compatibility for the bazillion mods we already have?

  3. Anonymous2000 says:

    Still waiting for Icewind Dale 2…

  4. AlexHeartnet says:

    For 15 years now the Neverwinter fanbase has been treating the editor and the ability to host a server as if it was a piece of software for creating and playing small-scale MMO’s. How will Beandog treat this aspect of the game they are remastering?

  5. njury says:

    I played this game so much. I was a god on the nordock server.

  6. leeder krenon says:

    This seems, pointless…

    • Merry says:

      The vast majority of the comments here are from people who are thrilled about this news. I think that qualifies as a “point”, making you simply wrong.

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  8. Eleven says:

    Memories of throwing fireballs into small rooms, blowing doors off their hinges, smashing all the furniture.

    Sorcerers were slightly OP in the Neverwinter Nights campaign.

  9. phlebas says:

    Mask of the Betrayer HD around the corner?

    • Great Cthulhu says:

      That’s for NWN2, so probably a few corners away.

      Hard to believe it’s over a decade old already. It’s somehow still filed under “relatively recent games” in my mind.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Yeah but why wait. They could include the NWN2 content as well with the same new engine used for the NWN remake.
        No point in waiting some five years. They could sell it as DLC also.

        • iviv says:

          True, though while in some ways that would be better for the consumer (2 games for the price of 1), you would have the potential issue of one of the games running on 3e and the other on 3.5e which could potentially cause problems or misunderstandings.

          Personally I didn’t actually play NWN, only the sequal (mostly because I was only familiar with 3.5e) so I’m looking forward to trying this one out finally.

    • Anonymous2000 says:

      …Hopefully with a new ending where we can Tear Down That Wall and marry Kaelyn the Dove.

  10. J Arcane says:

    Wow I am all in for this. The original was always the best of the two, but even for its time the visuals were never remotely top-notch and it had performance issues with some of the AI and perception-check code.

    I would buy this almost no questions asked.

  11. Halk says:

    >NWN is that it’s nothing like the pain in the cheeks to
    >get working and looking acceptable that the 2D Infinity
    >engine games were.

    Not sure what you mean.

    2D graphics generally age very well, as they were usually “handcrafted”. They are usually a manmade thing, the technology just limits the quality of the transmission, not the artistic value of the material itself. For example, the old LucasArts adventures still look extremely beautiful, despite the low VGA resolution used.

    3D graphics on the other hand generally age very poorly, because they are made by technology operating at its current limit.

    The old Infinity Engine games still look great, and accordingly hi-res support was the main addition in the EE’s (where hi-res does not improve the graphics quality, but just shows more of the map at the same time).

    On the other hand, a NWN remake will look horrible if they don’t remake all the 3D models, textures, etc.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Pretty sure he meant to actually get the game running on modern OS. Weren’t Infinity Engine games 16 bit? They’re a hassle to run without wrappers and stuff.

      Plus the games don’t always look great scaled up to modern resolutions, hand-crafted pixels or not.

      • Halk says:

        We just completed IWD1 and IWD2 in the non-EE versions on Windows 10. The modding was some work, but getting them to run was not a problem at all.

  12. Hensler says:

    The online community for this game was so amazing, I’d love to see this breathe some life back into it. I think everybody remembers it for it’s mediocre campaign now, but the big selling point when this was released was the mod tools and Dungeon Master options. And it really delivered – I played this for years with persistent worlds, a regular party, and a DM; more so than any MMO I’ve come across. Just this past year, Divinity 2 has been the only thing to come close to replicating that. I really think NWN was ahead of it’s time and most people that bought it were expecting Baldur’s Gate 3. NWN2 improved the campaign but left most of the multiplayer advancements behind.

  13. Shaun239 says:

    Yeeeess.

    A return to small, player-led narrative based mmo’s. Great news.

  14. Menthalion says:

    Count me in for NWN1, 2 and expansions if you only patch in standard hotbar and WASD with camera controls.

    NWN2 had 3 different control sets, but none that just mirrored your bog standard 3rd person MMO (WoW) control scheme.

  15. Lobotomist says:

    First of all NWN is best RPG ever made. Not because of how good it was, but because of its editor, making it literally next best thing after Pen & Paper RPG.

    However this “remaster” , judging from video they posted, i can not see any change. Not even higher resolution texture. It is indentical to NWN simply run at high resolution.

    I would expect higher fidelity models, now textures, bump mapping at least. Whats up with this ?

  16. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    But do we get modern bioware ‘romance’ with Aribeth?

    • mitrovarr says:

      I think you can sort of do that in Hordes of the Underdark. Although, the writing is pretty good and they manage to make it kind of make sense.

  17. Zenicetus says:

    Nope, although I loved NWN for the many wonderful player-made modules my wife and I played in co-op, I can’t get interested in an enhanced edition that just ups the resolution. The point was made above in the thread, but just to repeat it:

    The 2D infinity engine games can look good in a modern enhanced edition because every scene is drawn by hand. But NWN was the first (or one of the first?) full 3D isometric RPG games. It had a very limited set of 3D assets, repeating over and over. Probably due to limited space on the distribution disks. You could color the tiles with lighting effects, but the limited 3D assets were painfully obvious. We ignored it back then because the player modules were so good, and there wasn’t anything else like it (yet).

    I know there is still an active community involved with NWN and this will be great for them, but I’ve been too spoiled by the variety and 3D artistry of more recent games like Pillars and Divinity Original Sin. If they actually are adding new assets, I’d be interested. But it doesn’t look like that’s what they’re doing.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Masked Dave says:

    NWN was my first ever RPG (which I bought to play a friend’s mod!)

    I’m just feeling old that the Remakes have finally caught up to me.

  19. Stone_Crow says:

    Awesome news.

  20. malkav11 says:

    Updating the multiplayer functionality to something modern and, you know, still online (unlike Gamespy, which was bad at the time and nonexistent now) is probably the biggest single change needed to NWN. Oh, you can hack your way around it with something like Gameranger, but it’d be nice not to have to.

    It was fugly as hell at the time and hasn’t aged any better than you’d expect, so improved graphics, UI, controls, etc would all also be good but I wonder if that would break compatibility with the giant trove of fan modules that are the main reason to play the game in the first place. (Or I guess the persistent world servers if that’s your thing, but it never was mine.) The official campaign was awful, easily the worst Bioware’s ever put out, and while the expansion OCs are significantly better they’re still nowhere near as good as the fan content.

  21. PancakeWizard says:

    As a long-time BG fan, I loved the EE editions for their enhancements and fixes (merely tolerated the new characters though). Quite excited about this a I never really got into NWN. Tried to a little, but felt I’d missed the boat somewhat. Happy to give this a go again!

  22. DocRickShillstein says:

    I sure hope they keep identity politics out of this one. I gave Siege of Dragonspear a hard pass because of it.

  23. Someoldguy says:

    I’d want them to do a lot more with it than they’re probably going to do. I haven’t bought into most of the EE because fan mods did almost all that earlier and sometimes better anyway. With NWN people have never stopped making it bigger and better.

    About the only thing that would spark my interest would be a full overhaul to 5e ruleset. I can’t see that happening.

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t think that would be desirable because it would break compatibility with the main reason to play the game: i.e., the vast library of excellent fan modules.

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