New Neverwinter set for 2011

Atari and Cryptic are working on a new not-quite-massively multiplayer online game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.

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In May, onetime Cryptic Studios chief creative officer Bill Roper confirmed that the massively multiplayer online role-playing game studio would push ahead with new projects beyond Champions Online and Star Trek Online. With the industry veteran promising a late summer announcement for Cryptic's next project, many speculated that the Atari-owned studio would soon bring a Dungeons & Dragons-themed online game to market.

Neverwinter's gates will open to gamers next year.

Speculate no longer, as Atari and Cryptic announced today Neverwinter, an all-new online game based on Wizards of the Coast's D&D brand and set in the fantasy universe's iconic city. Neverwinter is expected to launch for the PC in late 2011.

Though it shares the name and many of the locales seen in BioWare's acclaimed role-playing game Neverwinter Nights, Cryptic's MMORPG will tell an alternate story, one in which the once mighty city has been decimated by a century of hardship. The land is plagued by civil war due to an unclear succession, a matter complicated by an actual plague that claimed the lives of many of the land's denizens.

While Neverwinter will require players to connect to an online server to play, Cryptic stopped short of calling it a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. In the game, players can choose from five traditional D&D character classes. Gamers can then join five-man squads composed of other online players to venture forth into the city's dungeons, completing quests and gathering items along the way. Neverwinter also offers a single-player component, in which players can recruit computer-controlled allies to accomplish the same missions.

True to the D&D experience, Neverwinter will also let players craft their own in-game storylines and quests by way of an in-game content-generation system currently known as "Forge." Additional details on Forge have not yet been revealed.

The game will launch alongside a new trilogy of novels written by fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, which are also set in the Forgotten Realms--the books will touch on the game's main characters, monsters, and storyline. Also planned for the launch of the online game is a new tabletop game from Dungeons & Dragons license owner Wizards of the Coast.

The game's announcement will likely agitate a lawsuit filed by Dungeons & Dragons Online creator and recent Warner Bros. acquisition Turbine, which sued license holder Atari in August 2009. In its suit, Turbine claimed that Atari deliberately underpromoted the relaunch of D&D Online under its new free-to-play business model as part of a licensing-agreement "termination" strategy. The suit claimed that the termination strategy was being pursued in bad faith, as Atari planned to launch its own competing product.

For more details on the game, read GameSpot's exclusive interview.

Discussion

173 comments
oflow
oflow

MMOs should have done this a long time ago. The Forge is a great concept and maybe can push MMOs away from the on rails design they have be using and stagnating in the for the last 10 years.

Majkic666
Majkic666

100 bucks that is going to be delayed for 2012

gix47
gix47

as long as the camera isn't garbage like it was in 2 then ill play it

Soulaf
Soulaf

its only 5 classes because its 4th edition... im actually waiting for this one to come out. hope and wish they dont screw up.

xanthewolf
xanthewolf

Online? Only 5 classes? Neverwinter is dead to me now. NWN3 from Bioware pls. ;_;

yongkuan
yongkuan

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed playing nwn more than nwn2 including the expansions. Very disappointed to know that the new Neverwinter will be an online game... any hope that it can be played like the the role-playing format for single player?

flashn00b
flashn00b

Okay, now i have to ask this: Does Cryptic have any former BioWare employees?

zaphodbblbrox
zaphodbblbrox

I don't see Cryptic getting any better. This game will suck. Bargain bin after a month, just like every other Cryptic game. Why would anyone give them another chance? I wish I had millions to just throw away on obviously bad investments. Also, I wonder how many Cryptic employees actually have faith that they are creating a quality product. I'm totally boggled.

King_Wii
King_Wii

Wow what a vicious turn of events. I like Cryptic a lot but yah Turbine got shafted in that deal. DDO didn't do as well as Atari wanted so now they're trying to bury it.

monktheking
monktheking

I hope this game is good. As someone who has played the paper and dice game for many years I've been waiting for a solid game adaptation of the D&D universe. Please let this be it.

slimskelter
slimskelter

@ Sorciere_basic In the future, does every game have a MMO counterpart?

spoonOFknife
spoonOFknife

the original nwn is one of my favorite games, when i saw the title i was hoping for some awesome nwn prequel from bioware or something. oh well

Sorciere_basic
Sorciere_basic

I'm from the future...this game (pseudo-MMO) will suck...hard.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

desperate moves by Atari.. why they didn't put this IP for CDProjekt

nightwing2000
nightwing2000

Who know? Maybe it'll return us back to the days of long, long ago when the REAL original computer version, which was also the REAL original online version, of Neverwinter Nights was popular! You know, the one played on AOL, made by Stratigic Simulations (SSI)? The one you could buy the "Gold Box" edition of?

Bashers79
Bashers79

I'm probably going to get slayed for this but, I really didn't like the first NWN. It really pee'd me off that you didn't have 6 players in your group like in the Balders Gate games. It took all the tactics out of combat and I felt the whole game was dumbed down. I was so put off the franchise that I didn't even bother buying NWN2. If this new installment goes back to its routes and is more like Bauders Gate then I may well be interested.

coorta
coorta

Something else I have just realised, is if cryptic uses their own engine on this game, people will be even more angry about it. The Aurora engine used by bioware has been used to create so many amazing games starting with the original Neverwinter Nights, but cryptics engine just doesnt cut it one bit. A whole lot of people for a 3rd time are going to be left disappointed and cryptic's reputation will be screwed permamently. Of that I have no doubt. They already have a bad reputation for the 2 pieces of garbage they have already released. And one is of a VERY popular brand, aka Star Trek. If they destroy NWN too, then they have no hope to survive. I can guarantee not a single person will EVER purchase a cryptic product again.

sylvaedawn
sylvaedawn

D&D... Forgotten Realms... Neverwinter City... R.A. Salvatore... WOW, simply WOW... Though being it Atari and Cryptic is making me a tiny bit worried... And it must be played on-line and is not MMO? Hm...

Lazay727
Lazay727

The original NWN did and still does have a great online community. Back in the early 2000s I loved to play to play on DUNGEON ETERNAL X. It was cool how everyone had their own world and the pvp was superb. NWN2 was a disappointment. If there isn't player created areas where more than a couple people can quest I will be disappointed as it was the best aspect of the original NWN.

Deano
Deano

been quite a NWN fan though i'm really more interested in the single player story, guess i'll see what it'll be like

coorta
coorta

Well, what can I say about this other than I wont be touching it with a ten foot bargepole. Anything recently that has the name Cryptic on it is seldom worth paying money to play, because you end up paying to play trash. STO, CO, need I say more?

Ychi
Ychi

Why oh why did it have to be Cryptic? I guess they keep making just enough money or is it they keep getting more money sink funding? Champions Online was a testbed project so they could get the Paramount Star Trek license.   Now with the news of Roper "going to other projects" I am worried they will put that loser on this game. If they do watch out for all the glorious promises of "how great/awesome its going to be". History repeats itself over and over. Hopefully this time the gaming community will stop handing out the $$$ and vote with some sanity. On a positive note for D&D stuff, Dungeons and Dragons Online has made some decent improvements and are hanging in there. They need to do a UI rewrite and add some more classes and they should be in pretty decent shape. The free to play option at least gives people a chance to check them out to see if its worth investing the time and money.

jawwadpak
jawwadpak

hi iam very happy to this anouncement of sassion thanksssssssssssssssssssss byeeeeeeeeeeee

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

D&D is what gave a lot of us early gamers our start on this adventure in the 1970's, and early 80's. Other that NWN, there has not been any other successful adaptations of this franchise on the computer in an MMO version that I know of. "Dungeons and Dragons" should be right up there with Everquest and WoW. But it's not. What a shame.

wpmiller78
wpmiller78

What's the point of even getting this game? Don't these companies know that people liked the ROLEPLAYING elements from the D&D games? We don't want to just pick an elf rogue and roll stats that go to 18 and crawl through dungeons all the time with random people. If there's no roleplaying, there's no point to using the D&D franchise. It sounds like the decision to make this game was made by a bunch of empty suits.

blackfray
blackfray

Even if it's gonna be good; which i'm sure it won't, lets face it: MMO= WASTE OF TIME

eynonz
eynonz

*sigh* another MMO which will flop, ohhhhh how so many MMO's have fallen over the past years.....

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

I guess we will all see if it flys or sinks when it does come out or even if it passes through the door.Sometimes a bad company will lay a golden egg if they are focused.

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

I believe Neverwinter went all down hill after the original NWN. I didn't find the expansions to my liking, at all. Especially HotU. Then NWN2 came out.. and I don't even consider it a continuation. Just a buggy mess of a tried-sequel that didn't hold my interest. The original NWN, vanilla online, had this genuine feel to it. Something hard to explain to other players. It just felt right.

jcsadone
jcsadone

Chain of reactions in my head: Neverwinter! - Yeeeaaay! Not quite mmo, but still online- greeeeat! Cryptic - WTF?! Cryptic - once again please... Cryptic - ok, I'll pass. Not iterested. Cryptic - stop it! Cruptic - stop it please!! where are my pills?! ;)

DrEvilKoala
DrEvilKoala

What a shame. Obsidian did a great Job with NWN2, I was somewhat hopeful that they would make a new SP sequel in the future. That probably won't be the case now (and Obsidian's got their hands full at the moment).

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

Small team based online only game eh? Sounds like the original PS:O for the Dreamcast back in the day.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Instead of getting all excited for a new Neverwinter game all this has done is disappoint. No thanks to Cryptic working on a classic series like this.

jhcho2
jhcho2

@demonoid42 So basically, a 'brand new' Forgotten Realms means they share the franchise's name but doesn't have to adhere to any of its lore... Great...just great. And here I was hoping for a Drizzt or Artemis cameo or something.

demonoid42
demonoid42

From the Gamespot Q&A with Jack Emmert: "In terms of Neverwinter itself, players will find it's a brand-new Forgotten Realms. Years and years have passed, and Neverwinter has fallen into ruins." I hope life (read: the series) doesn't end up imitating art.

AceBalls
AceBalls

Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 with all expansions still holds the crown as best RPG's in history. There was something about that isometric style and open world tile map system.. 6 player multiplay was phenomenal.

grove12345
grove12345

i think more RPG developers need to try the combat in Demons Souls. The live action included stats and it showed while moving. Things like weight affected stamina and amount of swings. Of course needs tweaking in armor and magic. But this point and click thing in standard PC rpgs is getting old with me. Glad to see online RPGs dont always equal MMO. I always suggest servers of 100 players. And thats when i get laughed out. Why not 10,000 they say Best RPG experience i had was in NWN Dragonlance server. Held like 90 people and was hardcore. People knew you by name and host gave you quests.

captaink24
captaink24

Cryptic's track record does not leave me all warm and fuzzy about this announcement....

Crom_Destroyer
Crom_Destroyer

@ SlickMajestic NWN2 was just ok, but NWN 1 wasn't ok. It was amazing (expansions excluded). Second best game ever, in my opinion (next to BG2). I've never found a character better than Aribeth in any other game. And the atmosphere was amazing. @green_dominator Well said. I don't understand why more people don't like NWN. It's mostly just praised for it's construction set and the multiplayer.

Slagar
Slagar

Sounds a bit like Guild Wars to be honest (though obviously not the same).

ChoiMein
ChoiMein

the only redeeming factor i see here is that they aren't calling it straight out an MMORPG... perhaps that will mean free play... who knows... but with cryptic we know 2 things for sure... they will hype this up and then let us down

P0T
P0T

Noooooooooooo! Cryptic blows! Champions Online and Star Trek Online were flops in my opinion! They both sucked. Let me guess, Neverwinter will be a reskin of the existing CO/STO engine??? That engine sucks and is hella slow, even on high end PCs. Damnit, I wish they'd get a competent company to make a single player or co-op NWN3!

chancellor28
chancellor28

Please no not Flagship.. i mean Cryptic they have raised my hopes and destroyed them so many times now. Next Bill Ropers gonna get involved. Oh well at least i know i'll be able to buy everything i need to make a successful char in the in game store using Nevercoins to make my char look like drizzit so i can make whole guild filled with night elves with names like drizt and drizzet. ooo maybe i'll even be able to buy a little black panther vanity pet with my handy Nevercoins. Poor Neverwinter I'm so sorry for the horrors you will see in the coming years.

jhcho2
jhcho2

Hopefully this can redeem the franchise name after the previous atrocious Storm of Zehir which is little more than a medieval merchant tycoon game.

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

First Champions Online, then Star Trek and now an online Neverwinter Nights. Seriously Cryptic Studios is not big enough (and not good enough) to support 3 games at once. These guys need to slow down.

xXFr34k_0uTXx
xXFr34k_0uTXx

I want Neverwinter Nights 3. I want Baldur's Gate 3. Damn it.

asmartkid50
asmartkid50

I was so hoping for Neverwinter Nights 3. Also, I get kind of a spooky feeling from this, but oh well. It could be cool. Perhaps wait till more is revealed? I just hope this doesn't replace Neverwinter Nights...

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

I absolutely LOVED the original Neverwinter Nights, I play D&D with my friends... bring it! :D

Whakamole5
Whakamole5

Cryptic seems to have a lot of good ideas but constantly drop the ball on execution. Champions' one year anniversary is coming up and the content is still woefully light. Basic Super Group (guild) organization features that are launched in other MMOs are only now being added. There's no reason to group, everything is easily soloable. Players are begging for improvements and additions to the Nemesis systems but are met with silence from developers. And things aren't better in STO, either. Uggh, I'm staying clear of this one.

Bladecutter56
Bladecutter56

So Atari, who published D&D Online and went back on their promise for advertising, which ended in lawsuit, is now in on another D&D-based MMO that sounds pretty much the same? Huh, and from what I hear, Cryptic isn't very good either. Bad feeling they're going to ruin a favorite of mine.