Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Neverwinter is (still) coming

Rumors of Neverwinter's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Or so it would seem, based on the fact the Cryptic just launched a fancy website and teaser trailer for the game.

To recap, Atari recently divested of interest in Cryptic, which was then purchased by Perfect World Entertainment. Nobody knew exactly what this meant for Neverwinter, but the new website seems to indicate it's still on. Right now Cryptic has no comment on whether Atari will still be the publisher.

In addition to the trailer, the website includes forums and a section on The Foundry, the toolset that will allow modders to create adventures to share online. As I reported previously, The Foundry is the name of Star Trek Online's toolset, which was always thought to be the basis for the Neverwinter version. However, Cryptic formerly referred to the Neverwinter toolset as Forge. I'm not sure what significance (if any) to attach to the fact that the Neverwinter version no longer bears its own name. Anyway, here's an interesting quote:
Easy to use, The Foundry also features a dynamic rating system that allows players to rate and highlight the best player-designed adventures.
As always, features can change. However, this strikes me as promising because Cryptic seems to be planning to make mods an integrated part of the game, rather than just a tack-on. As much as I appreciated the Neverwinter Vault site, I always wished the Neverwinter Nights games had a built-in "mod market." The audience for mods would have been much larger.

Anyway, the big question for Forge The Foundry is, how powerful will it be? Will builders be able to craft unique adventurers, or will it just be a lot of tinkering around the edges? Perhaps I'll head over to the STO forums to see if I can find some clues.