Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate - All News
Thursday - August 12, 2010
NWN2: MoW - Retrospective Blog
Ossian's Alazander has kicked up a blog post that looks back at Mysteries of Westgate, with a year having passed since the release. It's an interesting and frank piece, along with welcome hints of some sort of new development coming soon. A snip:
If I detach myself from the controversy and unfortunate circumstances surrounding the game's release, what I see what I look at MoW is a solidly designed campaign that has some great quests and characters but a somewhat patchy story and mixed production values. It's always tougher to present a constant narrative when designing a wide-open city adventure and I don't think we did a bad job of it, but there were things which could have been improved.
Firstly, the game started slow. It's quite possible to play an hour or more without a single combat scenario. Some players will love this, but in the main, it's not conducive to drawing a player into the game. Ideally, an opening action sequence should itself help advance the narrative -- the two are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps stepping off the docks and stumbling instantly into a gang war would have been better than just handing the player a license to roam.
Sunday - August 09, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Interview @ Bitmob
Alan Miranda has popped up at a site called Bitmob to talk about Mysteries of Westgate. Since we all know the game so well, here's a different snip:
Bitmob: Mysteries of Westgate received better review scores in Europe than in the United States. Is the U.S. market more critical of RPGs, or do single-player RPGs have a larger following in Europe than in the U.S.?
AM: I've heard several opinions on this from people in the industry, and it likely boils down to cultural taste differences with regard to new game features. What this means is that the features North American gamers expect from a new RPG are different from what European gamers expect, or Asian gamers for that matter. Unique cultural tastes are well known among publishers, although I hadn't expected to see it with MOW. As far as I can tell, North American reviewers are more expectant of flashier features for a new RPG product, whereas European reviewers are not.
We focused on making a fun game using what already existed in NWN2 in the spring of 2007 since that was the directive from Atari in order to release the game before the first expansion. So MOW had no new "real" features to speak of, like the typical bullet points you see on expansion packs with new races, classes, spells, or game mechanics that require engine code changes. So apart from some great new art and an intriguing story in a new setting, the city of Westgate, North American reviewers saw it as "more of the same" with no additional coolness factor. Europeans didn't have a problem with more of the same, as long as it was good.
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - June 30, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Alan Miranda Interview @ RPS
Kieron Gillen has an interview with Ossian's Alan Miranda.
We’ve written a little about the Neverwinter Nights 2 adventure pack the Mysteries of Westgate before. But not enough. We grasped the chance to talk to Ossian’s Ex-Bioware head man Alan Miranda about all things to do with the Mysteries of Westgate. Candid and expansive, he expounds about the long route from Darkness over Daggerford, the DRM situation which delayed Mysteries of Westgate’s release for getting on for well over a year, the problems of creating RPGs as a small team, their love for the genre and how audiences differ from country to country. And it all starts below…
Sunday - June 28, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Mysteries of Westgate Review @ Games Radar
Describing it as "decent, if inconsistent", Games Radar has a review of Mysteries of Westgate with a score of 6/10:
The pacing problems carry over into the action: early confrontations quickly hit walls of difficulty that it can take an irritating degree of mid-battle party micro-management to scale. Later scraps, on the other hand, become strangely easy, with your foes unwilling to unload their best merchandise on you for fear of breaking it. Basing the action in a technically safe city, Ossian have also reduced the number of combat opportunities, making it harder to get a feel for the battling abilities of your cohorts. This, plus a willfully disobedient camera, ensures frustration hits regularly, detracting from the engaging main quest.
Tuesday - June 16, 2009
NWN2: MoW - DRM Limited Install Removal
Ossian Studios is pleased to announce that there is no longer a 3-activation limit on NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate. The activation limit has been removed by Atari after Ossian highlighted to them how many fans were not happy with it. You can now install MoW as many times as you like on your computer. Here are some quick facts about this change:
- Q: Do I still need to activate MoW to play?
A: Yes. The DRM activation limit has been removed but you still need to activate MoW online for each new installation on your computer. After the one-time activation for each installation, you don’t need an Internet connection to play. Activation is necessary to prevent serial numbers from being posted to the web where hundreds or thousands of people can access it.
- Q: So, I don’t have to worry about changing my hardware and not being able to re-activate MoW?
A: No. You can change the hardware configuration or operating system on your computer as often as you like and can re-activate MoW as many times as you like.
- Q: Is it okay if I install the game on more than one of my computers?
A: Yes, that’s fine.
- Q: Are the MoW resources still encrypted?
A: Yes, the MoW resource files are still encrypted. However, we have provided most of this content for free from the Mysteries of Westgate page on the NWVault:
Sunday - May 24, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Interview @ GameZone
GameZone has an interview with Ossian's Allan Miranda on Mysteries of Westgate and related topics:
Q: What will Ossian be working on next?
Alan: People are going to have to wait before hearing what we’re working on. Given that we’re an RPG developer, it’s a good bet that it’ll be an RPG.
Q: Do you think the fantasy RPG/RTS genre is stagnating in repetitious ideas (like the release of several Diablo-esque games of late), or do you think the industry is still tickling the edge of what is possible?
Alan: There will always be developers in the game industry that will push the edge of what is possible. It won’t necessarily be a lot of people, and it won’t be constant, but the drive is always there. I’ve seen and played my share of generic fantasy games and think that the advantage of trying to do something new and unique is that you have the potential to surpass all the clone games. I don’t see RPGs or RTSs ever stagnating for overly long for that reason.
Monday - May 18, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Review @ RPG Codex
Vince D. Weller has written a positive review of Mysteries of Westgate for RPG Codex. The article might be considered a little spoilerish, with VD supporting his points with examples:
When the game introduced me to a fallen paladin, I expected another Carth. Maybe Aerie. With a lot of whining and frowning. Instead the ex-paladin paid attention and learned from me. At some point he made a choice, inspired by my actions, and accepted an offer to became a champion of Shar, a truly evil and remorseless killer. He was given nice evil armor and an even nicer, evil two-hander. (Alternatively, you can help your ex-paladin to regain his paladinhood). Needless to say, I liked this development a lot. Well done, Ossian.
What I liked even more is that I told him "don't do it" in both cases (the above mentioned choices), but my influence was low and he rejected my opinion, especially since it contradicted with my gameplay choices.
Monday - May 11, 2009
NWN2: MoW - DRM Commentary @ Alazander's Blog
Luke 'Alazander' Scull, Lead Designer on Mysteries of Westgate, has penned a request on his blog for players to weigh the pros of supporting MoW versus maintaining an anti-DRM line:
I don't like DRM much. I like limited activation DRM even less. When it comes to limited activation DRM used on a game I designed and am counting on to sell enough so that I and a lot of other talented folk actually get a chance to make another, I am positively frosty. I know the arguments for and against it; I know which way my allegiances lie. That, though, is not what I'm going to expatiate about. Instead, I'm going to talk about why MoW needs to be supported. Not on the BioWare forums, because that way lies madness and a swift thread-locking and probably some mild discomfort that the Lead Designer on the project caused such a furore. No, here will have to do.
I've been following the reaction to the details of MoW's DRM on the net, you see. A worryingly large number of users have posted claiming they won't be purchasing the game based upon its DRM. Truly, I don't blame them. They're taking a principled stand and, you know, it seems to be working. Publishers are beginning to back down. Point proved. The problem is, and you knew this was coming but it's worth saying anyway, the only ones that will be harmed in MoW's case will be Ossian Studios and the community.
Source: NW Vault
Friday - May 08, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Review @ Gamespot
Brett Todd's 6.5/10 review is here and concludes:
Admittedly, that is a lot of negativity. But even despite its many flaws, Mysteries of Westgate offers a reasonable stopgap for NWN2 fans desperate for new content for an even more reasonable 10 bucks. It also finally includes the downloadable adventure-pack program for the D&D franchise, which at least offers the promise of bigger and better modules to come.
Thursday - April 30, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Interview @ NW Vault
Luke Scull and Alan Miranda from Ossian have been interviewed at NW Vault about Mysteries of Westgate. The conversation starts with the release delays but then delves into the gameplay itself:
While folks can play Mysteries of Westgate any number of times, what is a realistic number of variant characters class-wise that you could run through it? Is it a tank/caster/rogue type of scenario where the player will only really see a major difference with three character types, or is it more in depth than that? Will one type of character have an easier time than others?
Luke: In my opinion, players will have a significantly different experience based upon alignment – both good or evil and lawful or chaotic – as well as character class. It’s not quite so simple as tank/caster/rogue, because many quests have different options depending on certain ability scores or skills. Unlike many CRPGs when you see different outcomes mainly through dialogue, there are entirely different gameplay sections depending on choices made. All classes should have a roughly balanced experience (on the understanding some wacky builds will always have a tougher time with combat than others).
Wednesday - April 29, 2009
NWN2: MoW - Reviews @ GameBanshee, Sorcerer's Place
GameBanshee and Sorcerer's Place both have their Mysteries of Westgate reviews up. Here's a snip from GameBanshee, who awarded a score of 6.8/10 and called it "more disappointing and frustrating than it is bad":
The campaign structure in Mysteries of Westgate is disappointingly similar to the campaign structure of Storm of Zehir. That is, there isn’t much going on with the main storyline (you don’t really learn anything about the cursed mask until the very end of the game); you just need to complete a bunch of side quests on your way to the parade of final boss battles. The side quests are fun enough, and they involve vampires, pirates, spiders, and of course hamsters, but they’re all short, and they only rarely have anything to do with the main storyline or your companions. They just felt like random filler to me, which is sort of sad coming from a developer who likes to mention Baldur’s Gate, which linked together characters, quests and plot as well as any game ever.
Sorcerer's Place is much more positive, calling it a "joy to play" and awarding 8/10:
The plot itself is derivative of several well established cinematic genres. This reflects a deliberate effort to steer away from truly high fantasy, and instead achieve a remarkably successful realism in the setting. You won’t find any Mary Sues and Marty Stus in Westgate. Indeed, more than one criminal faction is vying for power, while agents of good-aligned deities have an apparent interest in containing the chaos, or even benefiting from it. Everybody in this town is looking out for number one, even the ones who are ostensibly on the side of law and good. The degrees and specifics by which everyone’s self-interest finds expression is what sets them apart from each other. In a sense, this pervasive sense on literally being on your own against a hard-bitten world made me compare some of the story arcs to classic crime dramas like Heat, the French Connection, and The Corruptor.
In other MoW news, Ossian has a new look for their website.
RPGWatch Feature: NWN2 Mysteries of Westgate Review
The drama leading up to the release of Mysteries of Westgate can finally get left behind as we take a detailed look at this 'hot off the presses' Adventure Pack for Neverwinter Nights 2. Here's a snippet from our review:
In terms of writing, you will find something interesting at every turn. The main plot is interesting and full of twists and turns, some of which are fairly predictable and others are surprising. The characters you encounter are fully drawn and provide both insight and color into the world around you. There are sixteen side quests aside from all of the quests associated with completing the main story. Some of these quests are pretty straightforward, but others will stay with you for much of the game, at times making you wonder if they will tie into the main quest. There is a great mix of humor and pathos, of witty party banter and more serious over-arching exposition.
NWN2: MoW - Now Released [Updated]
NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate is due for release on the 29th, which is already here for some territories as I write. The first site to actually release the game (as far as I can tell) is European (only) site DLGamer - the NA Atari shop and Direct2Drive will obviously open as we move along.
Having some time up my sleeve, I thought I'd give DLGamer a go. The 314Mb download went smoothly and everything worked with my mix of Australian and UK retail discs (I bought NWN2 and expansions from different countries) - so it appears a mix of online, retail and different countries works fine, at least with my specific setup.
We'll let you know when we see the NA stores go live and our detailed review should be up shortly.
Update: The Direct2Drive download appears to have gone live for NA buyers.
Wednesday - April 22, 2009
NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate DRM Details
Ossian's Alan Miranda has posted specific details on the official forum of the DRM system that Mysteries of Westgate will use:
I wanted to clarify for you what Atari is intending with regard to the 3 activations for MoW. So I’ve consulted with them to get some specific details and prepared a list of clarifications.
Firstly, please note that entering your serial key when installing MoW is NOT the same thing as MoW automatically authenticating with the Atari server in order to activate.
- With 3 activations you can install MoW on 3 different PCs.
- If you reinstall MoW on the same PC with unchanged hardware (see below for details), you can do this an unlimited number of times. You can do this on 3 different PCs.
- If you uninstall MoW and reinstall it, the westgate.key file (generated from the authentication) in your NWN2 folder won't have been removed, so your new MoW installation will not count as an activation.
- If you uninstall MoW and NWN2 (on the same PC), and then reinstall them, you can either have backed up your westgate.key file (to copy back into your NWN2 folder so MoW doesn't have to authenticate again) or not backed up the key at all and let MoW authenticate again (in this case, it will detect that this machine has activated before). In either case, this will not count as an activation.
- If you change your RAM or video card (and likely sound card too) and play or install MoW, this will not count as an activation. I don’t have 100% confirmation from Atari on this next part, but I would expect that changing your CPU, motherboard, or hard drive where MoW is installed would count as an activation.
- If you reformat your hard drive and reinstall your OS, NWN2, and MoW, but without changing your hardware configuration, then this “normally” shouldn’t be another activation. I say “normally” because that is the wording that Atari told me.
- Apparently, for some retail games, a user can revoke their usage of it in order to resell it, so that the slate is wiped clean for a new user to install and activate (I think this is termed an “installation reset”). Atari has said that can’t be the case for a digitally-distributed title like MoW.
- If you surpass 3 activations, then you can contact Atari tech support in order to get another activation.
I hope this has helped answer your questions about activations.
Friday - April 17, 2009
NWN2 - Mysteries of Westgate Official Release Date!
The NWN2 Adventure Pack Mysteries of Westgate will be released on April 29th by digital download for $9.95.
The official announcement is below but Avantenor writes in with the following additional but unconfirmed details (German link) from Atari France Product Manager Arnaud Staebler:
- Copy Protection: Online Activation, one-time per installation
- Installation limit: Allowed to install on three different PCs
- Installation Limit Reset: not possible
- Available at: AtariSHOP, Metaboli, IGN, Steam, most likely others will follow
Ossian's Tiberius is unaware of the DRM restrictions and posted on the official forums that he would check further - we'll follow up if he posts again on the topic.
Also, Borutnik had previously let us know Poland will get a disc-based release through CD Projekt.
Here's the official PR:
‘NEVERWINTER NIGHTS™ 2: MYSTERIES OF WESTGATE™’ Adventure Pack confirmed for WORLDWIDE RELEASE ON 29 APRIL 2009
- First Neverwinter Nights™ 2 Adventure Pack Available Exclusively via Digital Download -
Atari today announced that the first Neverwinter Nights™ 2 Adventure Pack entitled Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate will be available exclusively via digital download for the Windows platform on 29 April 2009 at a suggested retail price of €9.99 / £9.99 /$9.99. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate will be available for digital download at the Atari store by visiting www.atari-store.eu in Europe or www.atari.com/us in the US.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate provides over 15 hours of additional entertainment with all-new engrossing storylines, professional voice acting, enchanting musical scores, new in-game content, and much more. Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Forgotten Realms® universe created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS). DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from Hasbro.
More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found at www.nwn2.com, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.
Information aboutNeverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate
Developer: Ossian Studios
Combat: Pausable Real-time
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released: 2009-04-29
· Publisher: Atari