First was an interview of Obsidian guru Chris Avellone by Neverwinter Nights Chronicles. Here's the question by the NNC community, along with Chris's response:
NNC: You'll be asked this much times before but will the next expansion be setWe've definitely heard news that they're working on content before, but this would seem to be the fairly clear statement that news of an expansion is forthcoming.
in the Neverwinter lands and the North? Or maybe we'll travel again trhough
the planes? You'll be in charge for the future expansions, isn't it? (I
hope it so and I'd truly love a gothic story as Planescape)
C.Avellone: Can't comment on this at this time, unfortunately, but you should be hearing an announcement soon. ;)
Further stoking the fire is this post by Rob McGinnis on the Obsidian General Forums:
So, we have been receiving some e-mails about wanting a contest. We have talked about it a bit here and think it could be a lot of fun.The reason that this latter news is so interesting is that there was a contest leading up to the release of the second expansion for NWN1, Hordes of the Underdark. In that contest, community members were challenged to build modules that "bridged the gap" between SoU, which ended around character level 12, and HotU, which began at level 15. Lariam's idea is that, perhaps, this upcoming contest will be associated with the upcoming expansion for nwn2. :)
Basically, it will be a module building contest.
More information will be coming soon, as we get closer to April. Basically, you will have a limited amount of time to build something... that something will have a theme... and Obsidian (probably) will decide the winner.
Prizes will, of course, be given.
Stay tuned for more details.
Of course, these two pieces of info could be completely unrelated. It is hard to see how a community module project could play a "bridge"-like role with the upcoming expansion, as the official campaign ends at level 20, while the expansion's campaign seems likely to start right at level 20 and allow epic-level adventures. Perhaps the best that could be done would be to flesh out an NPC's backstory or the story of some event related to the completion of the official campaign.
Nevertheless, even if it has nothing to do with the expansion, this contest is good news. It might serve to help builders focus for a short time on getting some good quality, short modules out into the community. A lot of builders are working on projects right now, but many involve very large projects that will take upwards of a year to complete. There have absolutely been some notable releases, but a surge of short, high quality modules that might be produced under an Obsidian-sponsored contest could be a great thing for our hungry little community. And it would serve as fantastic feedback for builders who are working on larger nwn2 projects. We'll be watching this one. :)