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Beamdog have released the latest development updates to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition for everyone, and it comes with some wonderful upgrades.

As we reported on before during the Beta, several noteworthy graphical boosts have been added to it. These can really change and improve the RPG experience found here. Beamdog are absolutely comitted to making it the best it can be, with this update being the biggest since the Enhanced Edition release back in 2018.

What's inside? For starters, a whole new lighting engine 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).

Check out a quick example of the difference some of it can make:

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

Plus new water rendering, new grass rendering, plenty of other smaller graphical fixes and improvements. There's also some huge pathfinding improvements, getting stuck on random objects should be a thing of the past. Big improvements to modding once again, like access to the full SQLite API to get into campaigns, modules and the player. Loads more to be found in the patch notes.

Really great to see Beamdog continue to make such a great RPG constantly better. Will be very fun to see what else they have cooking up for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.

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

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DrMcCoy 17 Sep
Ah, no, "OpenKnights" is a loose group consisting of several projects and people. Neveredit is a part of that

(And yeah, I mirrored one of their repos that contain command line tools, mainly to get their NWScript compiler nwnnsscomp compilable again with a recent Bison. And then I also put in support for the new opcodes found in Dragon Age into their disassembler, because why not.)
mos 17 Sep
Quoting: DrMcCoyAre you done whining?
you're hearing things.
Quoting: mcphailI think it is fair to say that if you don't like D&D mechanics and real time with pause combat, you're not going to like a game employing D&D mechanics and real time with pause combat. I'm not so sure why you feel so compelled to rain on everyone else, though.
not an unexpected reply tbf. btw Infinity (and probably NWN too) aren't real-time. they're turn-based (it's dnd after all) twisted into the active pause nonsense - turn-based is viewed as a death mark on sales.

btw not that I don't like DnD - all systems suck to a degree. It's OK I think, it's coming from a strong PnP background too. And many other proprietary CRPG systems suck more I guess. It's just the (non-ancient) CRPG implementations... look it's always about the competition. I mean the comparison. Let's take IWD and Diablo 2 (the two incidentally came out almost simultaneously). Both pursue the same goal - hardcore tactical isometric action in a fantasy setting. D2 doesn't try to do what it can't. There are no 6 chars to take care of and no silly back-and-forthing around to do, with little or no "plot" justification. No established system (DnD) that is supposedly real-time. As a result it comes on top in almost everything. Sans the prerendered map backgrounds in infinity looking like oil paintings (which makes things hard to distinguish but look amazing on the map overview). Infinity can't even into pathfinding in a 2D world... A mess.

Not that DnD is the culprit, just D2 system is much more sensible for a CRPG where there's no real role-play since there are no humans in front of you. That's where NWN could do well better than average - online coop with those custom modules. But THAT is pretty niche I guess you won't argue with that.

Last edited by mos on 17 September 2020 at 5:30 pm UTC
mcphail 17 Sep
Quoting: mosInfinity (and probably NWN too) aren't real-time. they're turn-based
I'd take the advice of DrMcCoy on that one. I agree that there's the concept of combat rounds which affect the attacks, but movement doesn't follow that closely (in or out of combat). I'd read that it would be impossible to properly alter NWN to have a turn-based mode because of this. Don't get me wrong: I'd much prefer that as there's not even a decent autopause system in NWN.
DrMcCoy 17 Sep
Quoting: mosLet's take IWD and Diablo 2 [...]. Both pursue the same goal

mos 17 Sep
Quoting: mcphail
but infinity even uses the term "turn" like on every corner. turns and rounds. which results in that combat is a pixelated mess where combatants for large periods of (real) time stand in front of each other doing nothing only shaking nervously)) Don't know about NWN - unfortunately even having completed it I remember it very vaguely.
Of "proper" turn-based implementations I can remember only Pool of Radiance (not the ancient one) and Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil. Can't judge on them having played neither. The former was thoroughly panned, the latter kinda praised somewhat. There's even a fan made port of ToEE, python-based of all things, but sadly still windoze-only. Thus can't be bothered.
I've tried Pillars (think even backed it) but lost interest v. quickly since it reminded of infinity/NWN (just sans DnD) way too much. Seems that was the authors' goal too((( Amusingly they've tried to hack TB as a bolt-on into Pillars 2)) Go figure.
mos 17 Sep
Quoting: DrMcCoy
Quoting: mosLet's take IWD and Diablo 2 [...]. Both pursue the same goal

memes are nice. reality is that its true. IWD is just a clunky rusty broken D2. With I'll admit some nice "flavor" touches. With even those quickly disappearing for macguffin-lead action. Thus largely the same as D2.
DrMcCoy 17 Sep
Icewind Dale and Diablo 2 have two completely different goals and design decisions. You're comparing apples and oranges.
14 18 Sep
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Quoting: rcritI know that work ain't free but I'm not really up to buying NWN for a 3rd time. I have a boxed edition somewhere, I bought Diamond from GoG already and now another version...
Well, you get to keep that version as-is ;)
slaapliedje 18 Sep
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Quoting: DrMcCoyIcewind Dale and Diablo 2 have two completely different goals and design decisions. You're comparing apples and oranges.
Ha, I know I posted a rant about this comparison this morning, but now I can't find it.

Anyhow, yeah the two games (and even game types) are completely different. One is a Computerized version of a Role-Playing Game, modeled after a Dungeons and Dragons campaign world called the Forgotten Realms.

The other being an Action Role-Playing Game light... not much role-playing it at all, and is basically a hack n' slash fest with semi-random dungeon generation and an absurd amount of random loot.

Though one issue I have always had with either are, why can't we see what weapon we're going to get when we fell a beast? Video games irritate me so much in that regard, then again so does D&D, as most DMs generate the treasure AFTER the monster is defeated. Shouldn't their random treasure be generated BEFORE? I mean if I'm an orc and I'm carrying a +1 Short Sword of Hero Slaying, I'd be damn sure to be using it in combat. Diablo is especially bad at this though, with showing these cool flaming / lightning swords that the demons are clearly carrying, then they drop a low quality bow.
mos 20 Sep
Quoting: DrMcCoyYou're comparing apples and oranges.
bravo you're just defeated your own point. apples and oranges have quite a few things in common you know. It's debating whether one is unequivocally better than the other is silly.
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