and some RBNwN thoughts
This new section to the RBNWN Guide will cover many important
aspects of multiplayer gaming, including mechanics, philosophy,
and some initial thoughts on how RBN might handle this. It's
a long post, so grab a cup of coffee.
earlier post covered how to run a game for yourself, here
are some other notes, more in "faq" format than
How do I join a MP game?
Launch NWN, choose Multiplayer, then "Join LAN",
then "Direct Connect".
Give the i.p. address of the server and password. Next you're
prompted to create a new character or use an existing (pregenerated)
Make your choice, load your character, and join.
What happens if I "drop" from a game?
The host will keep the character in-game for a little extra
time, allowing the DM to remove any items that should not
disappear. After that, or after a character chooses to leave,
a 'server copy' of the character is made.
How do I rejoin a game?
The returning character will choose their character on re-entry,
and will asked if they want to use the game on the server
"savefile" or the local one "character list".
The former will pull the character out of the server save
file, and the character will show up exactly where they left
off. If they choose to use their local character, they will
show up at the 'starting point' for the module (e.g. Sanatorium).
How do I host a server?
In the NWN directory, launch nwserver.exe and you'll be presented
with a number of choices. Choose the module or a save game,
set the game password, set level limits, whether to allow
local (user) characters, etc.
If I host a server do I need a CD ?
No! Neither CD nor CD-Key is needed. A copy of the game will
be needed to install of course. Each client needs a copy of
Note this can be used by people with home-LANs to easily xfer
How do I transfer items between characters?
Use nwserver and run a game, any game. Make sure that the
box to "reload game when empty" is NOT checked!
Fire up your main NWN game, select Multiplayer, Join LAN,
and join with the "source" character. Drop the item(s)
on the starting location. Exit the game.
Choose MP, LAN again and now choose the "destination"
Legit players will choose 'Yes' when prompted to save local
character on leaving with the first character.
Can't you use this to dupe?
Well... yeah. You can also hand create a module to make yourself
level 20 and rich and have legendary weapons in a matter of
minutes, what's the point? Go home, don't bother me.
Won't this lead to exploits?
There are just a ton of ways to exploit the game. It's designed
for DM's and players to do what they want with their characters,
not to set up some kind of hack-free fortress. You can start
new game chapter one, load your character, go straight up
to Arabeth and get your 100 gp supply gift. Save. Quit. New
(Similarly, you could do 'Lorax runs' whenever you need adamantite.)
Doing this to generate bogus cash to buy things way out of
your league is ridiculous. You really don't get the point
of this RPG thing do you?! Actually, limited use of exploits
like this can countermand poor design, like losing your henchman
when you switch games. That 200 gold is a ton to a new character
who paid for their services legitimately, and it could be
're-couped' this way.
Are 'henchmen' saved? How?
Henchmen are hooked up to characters for the life of the game,
and saved with the server game. So if you come in with a local
character and not one from the server savegame, you'll have
no henchman. If you leave a game and do not release your henchman
from service, no one else can hired them. And no, the "tokens"
mean nothing, if you enter a game and think you'll get her
back for free because you have the token, you're mistaken.
I have a character I like in the Single Player game, can I
take them to Multi?
Yes, no, and maybe! You 'export' the character to a 'local'
copy by choosing "Save Character" on the options
dialog. When creating or joining any multiplayer game you
can then choose this character. In the MP game they can gain
exp and items. When done, you must again "Save Character".
This time the character name will get appended with (2), (3),
etc., in the pre-generated character list. After doing one
MP game, they can easily continue on to another. The question
is... can they get back into the SP game with the same quest
status as before ??
I need to test that out. You can get them back in, indirectly,
but I'm not sure yet of the quest status. Why indirectly?
Well there is no "Load Character" or "import"
command in the single player game! Here's the key bit of info...
Game = Multiplayer Game. Identical. Same savefiles and characters!
to get the character back in, you would launch the server
(or MP, Load) and load the single player savegame file. Then
it will ask what character to use. Select the character save
file with the highest number. You'll get prompted with:
"Server savegame" or "Character List?"
The host recognizes that you're trying to use a character
that exists in the save file (your "old" one, as
far as you're concerned now) and offers to use that instead
of the newer 'Character List' one. Choose the character list.
Then save the game (perhaps with a new name, to be careful.)
You can now run SP and load this newly saved game, with the
new character. Question is, will he/she have her quest status
ok? My guess (I need to check) is that the game state will
be as you left it, but the journal might be offbase. Testing
is needed here.
If I join a game can I save it or reload it?
No, the server is the only computer that can save the game.
So make that a 'yes' if you're the host machine. Note that
saving the character is different from saving the game, they're
independent operations. Also, how and where the character
is saved depends on whether the server is allowing "local"
characters or a "server vault".
What's a "server vault", what's a "local character"
It's not unlike open and closed realms on Diablo. With a server
vault, characters are stored server side, and can not be modified
by the player. It's a good choice for tournaments, and for
untrusted parties. For many of us, having our characters stored
locally is a MUCH better choice. (For example, every one of
my D2 characters is now gone, poof, due to character expiration.
I'm done with the game pretty much, but I don't appreciate
Blizzard policy making that an irrevocable decision.) Think
of "local" characters as more like Classic Diablo.
If you play with friends, especially with ones who are not
power-crazed munchkins, the lack of security is a non-issue.
GPOW dupers need not apply. In NWN, unlike other games, there
is the concept of a DM, who can take away items, enforce level
limits on good items, or otherwise "correct" such
bad behavior. There is also ability to boot a person, CD,
or i.p. address.
Are Realms Beyond Neverwinter games going to use local or
Both, no doubt. It's up to the module creator and/or host
server. There may well be special circumstances where a server
vault is used (e.g., a tournament), but I would guess the
'norm' would be local characters, and an atmosphere of trust.
What's really important is not server or local, but: "Are
the players in this game appropriate for each other?"
Having a player hack is character is going to lead to imbalance
that just won't work. This is not a moral judgement on whether
players should alter their characters in any way, it's a practical
concern. If someone wants his beastmaster to 'trade down'
from some excellent magical plate mail he finds so he can
wear "in-character" wolf hide armor, who am I to
say no? If he wants to do that, or thinks his character should
have a vorpal blade, in the middle of a campaign I'm DM'ing
however, that's another matter.
Where is the status of your quests kept? With game? Server?
The quest status is maintained with the server and saved in
the game save file, NOT with your character. (The typical
DnD campaign (or NWN) is meant to be a once-through experience,
not repeat runs or farming like other games.) Yes, this is
painful if you do run through it again, and have to talk to
everyone again. Then again, you can do as few or as many quests
as you like. (Like in D2, joining a game in Act III does not
mean you HAVE to go a chase down all the parts. You can head
straight for Kurast or Mephisto.) Also, Chapter Two has many
more hairy-combat zones, which are mostly lacking in Chapter
What's the difference between a scenario, a campaign, and
a "persistent world"?
A scenario is a small module with an emphasis on action, not
dialogue. Typically called a "dungeon-crawl", there
are few if any quests or NPC interaction, just enough to get
to the battle zones and have some fun. A campaign is something
a little grander, with a story line, a longer expected game
time, and will involve more quests and RPG interaction. A
persistent world is an on-going epic of several campaigns,
where things flow together and characters go from birth to
very high levels, in a world where the geography, history,
and atmosphere are constant. For such a world, or a realm,
there will typically be a DM whose word is law, who decides
what characters (and/or items) are appopriate. Still confused?
Let me give some examples from PnP DnD back in the old days...
Several guys plus a guest or two have an evening they want
to play. They would pull out characters of comparable power
and level, the DM would wing a random world on the fly, and
off they would go. Lack of prep and story line meant that
it was mostly combat, and the hunt for exp and goodies. That's
a short dungeon crawl scenario. The group has fun and wants
to meet next Fri and Sat night for a pre-made scenario (which
you could buy for a few bucks), which has more of a plot and
is better thought out. There's a longer RPG scenario. They
have such a good time they decide to meet weekly for a while
and try out the new campaign their DM has been working on
for a while. During the duration of this campaign, the characters
are expected to play in this campaign only. They are inspected
at the start, any over-powerful items removed and 'returned
at the end'. If the party really lacks something, the DM will
make sure there is an NPC available to fit their need. By
the end, the players are quite attached to their characters
and want to continue with them. One of the players has wanted
to try DM'ing, and he creates a campaign for this set of characters,
and they shift over to this new campaign. But the 'setting'
and town names all stay the same, to enhance the feeling of
continuity. They're now living in a persistent gaming world.
We had two such worlds going. DM 'A' had a very anti-munchkin
attitude and if you found any magic items on a given night
it was cause for celebration. DM 'B' worked hard for balance,
but did so by giving players nicer items and making the monsters
harder (this accelerates character leveling, btw). Both styles
are fine, but a character from world A would be hopelessly
out of place in a world B game. DM 'C' comes along with a
new campaign, notes that it's designed for not-too-powerful
characters, and so invites the 'A' players to play the campaign.
Stop writing, my head is hurting, can you put this in Diablo
Scenario = "Laz run" or "NM/Hell clear"
"Bring your early lvl 30 characters" Campaign =
"Let's take these three Amazons of similar level through
all of NM, and finish our Champion quest there"
Persistent World = "Legion of Greiz group". Characters
start here, and die here, are unlikely to play elsewhere,
and have a very well defined goal and worldview.
NWN (and DnD), the "campaign," with medium to heavy
RPG emphasis, is much more the norm than a quickie combat
scenario. In the DnD world, such scenarios work, once in a
while, when you have only a short time or "just want
to grab a level" with your character, but if this what
you want all the time, you're simply playing the wrong game.
(That's by no means a slam or judgement, but an accurate observation.)
is "fundamentally" geared toward the player and
mindset who really liked the "Team Variant" games,
not for the Mephy run lover.
Will RBN have any scenarios, campaigns, servers, or worlds?
Too early to tell! If after a week or two of playing everyone
hates it, the answer will surely be no. If instead it's evident
this game has legs, then I would think we would see some servers
set up, running re-spawning combat based scenarios all the
time, while the creative among us get busy learning the toolset.
Someday I can imagine a persistent RBN world where you can
take one portal to Charis' Amazon homeland, another
to Lemmings Rodent Hamlet, and yet another to Roland's Castle
of Doom, with interwoven plots and not-too-dissimilar views
on what is appropriately powerful for characters. I can imagine
group projects, where KoP works on a set of towns and buildings
and scenery, Charis does some geeky scripting, Cy adds some
flavorful dialog and fun NPC's, and Griselda hosts. We'll
call it "The Asylum" and have BNM like quests :P
Or, again, the conclusion might be that the game is too tedious
and slow and we wait for Diablo 3 to come out.
and corrections are welcome,