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It's fine to like what you like, but it's simply fact that NWN has better customization and in some cases orders of magnitude better. It seems most of the community thinks that so that's why they're still using a graphically inferior game that was built for Windows 98.

 

The argument against heightmaps isn't even an edge case. Everyone knows they cost more which becomes a limiting factor, what do you get for it? Well, this is what an NWN2 exterior "tile" really is. You can faintly make out the tile borders where I point them out with arrows, a 32*32 exterior makes 16*16 of those red and black bordered squares and those 4 boxes inside are the tiles. The criss-cross green lines display the heightmap so that's 7*7= 49 vertices, compared to the number of vertices per tile in the wealth of NWN tiles made. So that's a really small amount but the area size in mb becomes huge, as in Donald Trump voice it's HUGE it's gonna be HUGE

 

IFIbWqM.jpg

 

So you pay more for customizing that tile but being limited by baking, texture count, stretching, resource size, and so on. If you like it that's fine but it's fair to say it's not really more expressive than a large set of 3D modeled tiles. Lack of exterior tiles is probably one of the most frequent complaints I've heard from players that didn't switch over.

 

So if someone ever does an NWN3 even if it's just a fan project or spiritual successor, please don't use heightmaps instead of tiles.

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Did a sanity check of some folders for NWN2 servers and it's about 1-2 gb player download for 200-300 areas. Compared to nothing extra downloaded for NWN persistent worlds with 1000+ areas.

 

NWNX allows NWN servers to dynamically add new areas, which you can't do with NWN2 obviously with the walkmesh.

 

With NWN you can teleport between servers with minimal issue. For NWN2 you need the walkmesh for each server downloaded.

 

Each area change in NWN2, is a new walkmesh download. No way you can stream that content like NWN can.

 

 

So that's pretty significant for people it does concern. Obviously not much if you don't care about it but then you could mod Dragon Age or Skyrim or Fallout

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So if someone ever does an NWN3 even if it's just a fan project or spiritual successor, please don't use heightmaps instead of tiles.

 

I'm not sure how practical it is to even use tiles for 3D exterior areas any more. Modern games all seem to be based on custom meshes. Do we know what they used for the 2013 Neverwinter release? Or how about Sword Coast Legends?

 

What I'd really like is a terrain modelling tool similar to what they demonstrated for Sui Generis. That worked very rapidly, yet it produced a quite natural-looking terrain. It could probably be expanded to sculpt a wide variety of surfaces and elevation variations, including flowing water channels. Vegetation could be handled in a similar manner. If it is fractally-based, then presumably the areas can be low bandwidth.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Did a sanity check of some folders for NWN2 servers and it's about 1-2 gb player download for 200-300 areas. Compared to nothing extra downloaded for NWN persistent worlds with 1000+ areas.

 

...

 

So that's pretty significant for people it does concern. Obviously not much if you don't care about it but then you could mod Dragon Age or Skyrim or Fallout

 

Yep, well Baldur's Gate Reloaded is around 2.5 Gb so yeah that's pretty beefy. It hasn't stopped 28,700 people from downloading it though. To me this stopped being an issue years ago, but I guess if you're still stuck on XP I can see why it would be a problem.

 

As for modding other games, none of them have quite provided the game system I want.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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The point of size isn't that you don't have enough disk space it's about connections. Tho you can definitely make the argument that it's a very wasteful use of disk space because interiors also need to be baked now and tiles didn't with NWN so it doesn't have the same bang for your bucks.

 

More than anything it hampers multiplayer and persistent worlds, putting limits on things.

 

You can make amazing looking tiles today for a game I'm sure and they should be able to stream fast without anything needed to be downloaded when you add in a new area. The data for all tiles is stored on the client, the server just needs to tell you the arrangement and settings of the tiles, that's like a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the data an NWN2 area needs. So it's possible for players to host games on a domestic connection and it's possible with NWNX to add new areas without resetting the server and forcing a new player download. So servers can in theory offer customized player housing and also procedurally generate dungeons.

 

Those are some of the reasons tiles are very very very powerful.

 

Even if NWN2 servers could stream areas like NWN does without baking you can't just add a single area for 50 mb, stream it to 70 or 150+ players and expect it's not going to cause issues. Using tiles like NWN did was a genius move that guaranteed that it is still somewhat popular today.

 

As far as I could tell the Neverwinter MMO and Sword Coast Legends were really unpopular with both NWN and NWN2 communities so I wouldn't look to either of those for inspiration if you want NWN3.

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Tile use made sense in NWN because of the primitive graphics requirements, restricted number of tile variants, and limited walkmesh flexibility. But increasing area design flexibility requires an exponential growth in the number of tiles needing to be developed. There'd be no reasonable way to, say, make a Fallout 3/4-style area map using tiles because the memory requirements on the end systems would quickly become prohibitive. Exterior area tiles are not going to cut it; they only made some sense for interior areas of NWN2, and in many ways they are very limiting for game design. Ideally, for maximum efficiency, you want to make repeated use of each tile, but what this does is produce repetition and tedium. NWN areas all end up looking pretty much the same, like an enhanced version of a GoldBox game.

Edited by rjshae
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