Friday, April 13, 2007

NWN2 EXP: Mask of the Betrayer

Well, today came the biggest news we've had about NWN2 since it's release: there will be an expansion, due Fall 2007, of NWN2. An excerpt from the press release:
Set in harsh, spirit-rich Rashemen, near the powerful nation of Thay, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer will present players with an exciting new campaign; epic levels; dozens of new feats and spells; new races, base classes and prestige classes; new companions; new weapons, armor and crafting options; hordes of new monsters; and enhanced modding tools.
Lots in there to be excited about. As expected, epic levels will appear in this expansion, which might make a second expansion pack less likely. Still, it will be nice to have that flexibility, and I'm sure that feature alone will sell a lot of boxes. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with in terms of new spells, feats, races, classes, etc. NWN2 included pretty much everything that had been done in NWN1 save for the epic stuff. Including a host of new monsters is also very welcome news, and is something that is desperately needed by

The campaign setting also looks interesting. We've pretty much been stuck along the sword coast and its northern and southern borders since the initial release of Baldur's Gate, and this moves into a rich and uncharted territory. The Red Wizards of Thay are a sister bunch, and Thay's proximity to Rashemen makes it likely that we'll see them make an appearance.

As for the story itself...well, here's the hook:
In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, players are transported back to the Forgotten Realms shortly after the events detailed in the original Neverwinter Nights 2. Following the climactic battle against the King of Shadows, the player awakens alone and stranded deep beneath the earth. Surrounded by a horde of evil spirits, the player embarks on an epic adventure that reveals his true destiny.
I'm sure it makes good business sense to allow players to use their characters from the OC (even though they are not exported!!) and continue that story, though I personally had hoped for a novel story. When I character gets as absurdly powerful as ours did (my character is a lv. 20 Aasimar Cleric), it's hard to tell a convincing story--especially one set somewhere in terrestrial Faerun. I imagine we'll see a lot of planar travel or something to allow there to be believable combat opponents.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with this announcement. I'm a bit surprised that there isn't a website with some graphics and such to go along with the announcement, though I'm sure we'll see that in time. Congrats on Obsidian and Atari for being in a position that they can make this announcement--nothing will bring players back to the community like the release of an expansion.

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