Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir Q&A, Part One

RPG Vault has published the first installment in a new Q&A series with members of the Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir development team.

Jonric: What did you aim to achieve with Mask of the Betrayer, how was it related, and what were its major strengths?

Tony Evans: In developing Mask of the Betrayer, which was the first expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2, our goal was to create a much more personal tale, with a strong focus on story-based gameplay. It continues the odyssey of the character you played in the original campaign, and takes you to epic levels. You’re whisked away to Rashemen, a fascinating locale in the Forgotten Realms that has been scarcely explored in previous games and books.

Mask of the Betrayer has, in my opinion, the best story of any role-playing game since Planescape: Torment.

Jonric: How do you see Storm of Zehir building upon these two titles? What are you adding or significantly changing, and when are you aiming to ship?

Rob McGinnis: Storm of Zehir takes the franchise into uncharted waters. With the addition of the overland map feature, which we can certainly discuss in detail, it has less linear gameplay and more exploration. And especially with its party-based experience, it plays more like a classic CRPG, although we’ve learned a lot about game design since those days. Until now, Neverwinter Nights adventures have focused on single characters, while this time, you’ll craft the story of a band of adventurers.

These days, sequels tend to get darker and grittier, but we’ve gone in the other direction with Storm of Zehir. While it certainly has some such elements, overall, it’s a tale of light-hearted adventure and exploration. It’s more fun and less serious. This direction for the title can be seen throughout – finding random (and not random) goodies while searching the overland map, the addition of the Swashbuckler class, the variety of personalities in the cohorts…

Storm of Zehir will be in stores before the winter holidays.

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