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Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition gets more graphical upgrades

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Beamdog are really starting to put the Enhanced into Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and showing just how much they care about the classic RPG experiences as a studio.

A fresh development build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition went up recently with a brand new Lighting Engine and the difference it makes is quite ridiculous. They said their aim with this is to "allow much higher quality future content, but also in large to enhance the visual quality of existing content" and since pictures say more than a thousand words they showed quite a few examples. Here's one to save you a quick click:

Left old / Right new. See a bigger comparison on this dedicated page.

What the feature will come with:

  • Physically based rendering (PBR), with emulation of specular reflection, surface “roughness”, Fresnel-effects and gamma correction. All in all, this gives a more realistic and “natural” look.
  • Tone mapping that prevents color distortion of bright lights and enables overbright.
  • Per-pixel lighting rather than per-vertex of the old setup, yielding much more precise light illumination levels relative to distance.
  • Full dynamic lighting, supporting up to 32 dynamic lights (previously NWN effectively only supported 6).

Plus, it is of course fully optional. It's heavier on GPUs, so you can tweak it and turn it off.

Additionally, Water Rendering also had something of an overhaul in the same way. With full configuration and the ability to turn it off: water now renders full dynamic light reflections, including sun and moon. Water will also show wave displacement based on area wide and local wind sources (such as explosions) much more realistically than the previous water did. They put up some comparison shots again but here's one below to save a click again:


Left old / Right new. See a bigger comparison on this dedicated page.

Even more is coming like improved Grass Rendering, which is sorted by distance and they fixed transparency issues so it looks denser and more natural. Grass Rendering was also "heavily" optimised. Pathfinding has also be drastically improved, so you should no longer get stuck on random objects. There's also tons of modding improvements with more access to the internals like the SQLite databases for various parts of the game and plenty more of the game has been put into scripting so it's no longer hard-coded like walking animations.

Beamdog said they intend for this all to go live "in the coming weeks". You can see the full breakdown of everything coming to the next build here. Sounds like some really amazing stuff.

You can pick up Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition from GOG and Steam.

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randyl 11 Aug, 2020
Quoting: DrMcCoyTechnically, NWN uses (slightly modified) D&D 3e rules, not 3.5. NWN2 was (again slightly modified) 3.5.

And yeah, that pretty dates when those were released :P
I like the modified 3.0 because it allows for so much variation and customization in a multi-class build. A lot of that went away with 3.5 in the way of consolidation under feats and such.
TheRiddick 11 Aug, 2020
They should apply tessellation and bump mapping to certain objects, like rock pillars etc..
oldrocker99 11 Aug, 2020
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The AD&D 3.0 ruleset works very well for the NWN system, AFAIC. Plenty of character design options, and it's the game I've been playing since 2002, the game, over the years (especially since I got the Linux client installed in 2008) has been my Most Played Game of all the games I have played, with DOMINIONS #2.
nuudlz 12 Aug, 2020
They still kept the "fists of doom" tho' :D
melkemind 12 Aug, 2020
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: ArehandoroAmazing! Tempted getting this.

How's the player base nowadays? Is it based on e3.5 or e5? Is the game, and community, welcoming for a new inexperienced player? How easy is to implement mods and player content in Linux?

Can't really comment on the current community, as I generally don't play multiplayer except with people I personally know (not just for NWN, but in general). But it uses 3.5 edition. Even 4th edition wasn't around when Neverwinter Nights was released.

Back when I played the original, I never even knew there was multiplayer, mostly because I wouldn't have been interested in it anyway.
oldrocker99 12 Aug, 2020
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NWN multiplayer is very much alive; there are lots of persistent servers.
slaapliedje 14 Aug, 2020
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Quoting: oldrocker99NWN multiplayer is very much alive; there are lots of persistent servers.
The cool thing is you can play the Switch and Linux version multiplayer. Can even install mods on it.
There is an 'offical' persistent world installed with it (a Ravenloft one, can't remember the name). But it is perfectly playable on the Linux version too. Though I only got as far as making a character...
Sadly the newer D&D races annoy me, so anytime I see Dragonborn or Tiefling I stop playing... I can't remember if they are included there or not.
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