An early beta version of Neverwinter Nights Online was available for play during PAX East 2012, and Massively’s Eliot Lefebvre got his hands on it and wrote a very informative article.
There’s a few takeaways from the post I’d like to point out:
- Lore-wise, Neverwinter takes place about a century after the previous installments in the franchise, after several convenient cataclysms have altered huge chunks of the world outside the city of Neverwinter — and even inside the city limits. Players, as a result, will start at the center of the city, which serves as a common gathering area, and then move out from the core slowly while trying to help rebuild the city to its former glory.
- Cryptic is putting just as much effort into character customization as you find in other titles from the studio, and user-generated content is similarly being integrated from the ground up.
- While the final class list has yet to be released, the classes are more finely divided from the usual Dungeons & Dragons setup. You don’t just play a Wizard or a Rogue; you play a Control Wizard or a Stealth Rogue or an Archery Ranger or something similar. They’re builds evocative of certain common playstyles with classes; your Control Wizard doesn’t share the abilities of other types of Wizard.
- Players have access to a primary and secondary attack, two “special” attacks with short cooldowns, and an ability that has to be charged via Action Points before being unleashed. You also get one last Utility ability such as a quick dodge, a shield block, and so forth… and that’s it.
- Cryptic says that the game should be into beta sometime this year.
If you’re interested in the full post, head on over to Massively and read it. Hopefully my TLDR version satisfies your curiosity for now.
Below’s a gallery with a few NWN screenshots as well.