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Old 08-11-2003, 05:00 AM   #1
Chewbacca
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HERE

Full article with spoilers!


Quote:
The next Neverwinter Nights expansion pack pits you against the vile creatures of the Underdark. Made for advanced characters (level 15 and higher suggested), Hordes of the Underdark brings a whole new adventure for players to enjoy and gives module creators more tilesets, monsters, weapons, and more. If the previous expansion pack, Shadows of Undrentide, was any indication, then this new expansion pack should offer an even more refined Neverwinter Nights experience. The fact that it focuses on one of the most interesting areas of Dungeons & Dragons (people love drow!) makes it all the more exciting.

Story details are sparse at this time. What I was able to learn is that the kingdom of Waterdeep is under assault by an unorthodox crew of creatures from the Underdark. The army is led by a mysterious and charismatic drow outcast that was somehow able to foster cooperation between the dark elves, duergar, illithids (mind flayers), and beholders. Using the unique abilities of each race, this motley force is on the cusp of crushing Waterdeep. It's up to you to discover the secrets of this unusual coalition and destroy it before Waterdeep falls.

Hordes of the Underdark's single-player adventure is geared towards high-level characters. BioWare suggests that you start the game with a character of at least level 15. The game's character generator can start you off with a buff character, but you can also import a character from the original Neverwinter Nights or Shadows of Undrentide. The experience cap has been raised as well, allowing your character to reach level 30 (the previous cap was level 20) in accordance with the rules found in Wizards of the Coast's Epic Level Handbook.

Other new goodies include six new prestige classes, 16 new creatures, over 40 new spells, over 50 new feats, new weapon types, new voice sets, new music tracks, and a new item-crafting sytem. As good as Shadows of Undrentide was, the additions to Hordes of the Underdark look even sweeter. For several reasons, people love playing and reading about all things drow. This expansion pack attempts to offer a thrilling Underdark adventure and allow module makers to craft their own dark-elf tales.

Most of the new creatures and tilesets are specific to the Underdark. Aside from the aforementioned drow, illithids, duergar, and beholders, you'll encounter driders (cursed half-drow/half-spider creatures), spider demons, and azer. The new tilesets are taken from areas specific to many Underdark races. So you'll be able to create your very own illithid layer or drow city.

Those flanking striders. Your stout character will have access to all kinds of new abilities. New skills include scribe scroll and brew potion; there will be more item-crafting skills implemented, but BioWare hasn't revealed them at this time. New spells include ball lightning, hellball, crumble, and iron guts. A slew of epic-level feats will be available to you, including epic reputation, epic spell focus, epic mage armor, and overwhelming critical. By the end of the game your character will be nearly as powerful as a demigod! Other new touches include new weapon types, like whips and dwarven waraxes, and more class-specific feats, like the bard's curse song and lasting inspiration.

Like Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark will feature six new prestige classes. At this time only the shifter class has been revealed. Hopefully the blend of good and evil classes will be a balanced as the offerings in Undrentide.

Sound is getting a nice boost. Six new voice sets will be included, allowing for better role-playing and character diversity. The prolific Jeremy Soule is composing 17 new tracks for the expansion. Soule is my favorite game music composer (on the PC side) and I'm fully jazzed to hear more of his work.

Die you ugly Underdark bug thing! One of the major complaints of Shadows of Undrentide was a lack of diverse henchmen. Of the three companions you could choose from, none were an ideal complement for physically weaker classes like mages and rogues. BioWare is addressing this problem and promises more henchmen, with more diverse classes, this time around. Best of all, there will be romance scripts to make henchmen interaction more interesting. Hopefully the romances will be as interesting as the ones found in BioWare's Baldur's Gate II.

Hordes of the Underdark looks like it will be, at very least, as good as the previous expansion pack. BioWare has the opportunity to make it even better, partially because the subject matter is cooler and partially because it appears to be implementing fan feedback (one of the company's hallmarks). Neverwinter Nights fans are likely to dig this new adventure, while anyone that's ever wanted to wage war with the accursed drow and illithids (they just look gross) should keep their eye on this one.
[ 08-25-2003, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Chewbacca ]
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:06 AM   #2
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The beholders in the background of several of those screenshots looks awesome!!!!!!! The article doesn't specify how many new tilesets, they mention two, but I'm holding my breath for more!!! So much for letting it go!

[ 08-11-2003, 04:09 AM: Message edited by: Chewbacca ]
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Old 08-11-2003, 06:31 AM   #3
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Man, that Underdark tileset is EXACTLY what I need for my deeper levels of Undermountain!!! I hope they provide loads of cool areas in that tileset.

I laughed btw at this:

"Story details are sparse at this time. What I was able to learn is that the kingdom of Waterdeep is under assault by an unorthodox crew of creatures from the Underdark. The army is led by a mysterious and charismatic drow outcast that was somehow able to foster cooperation between the dark elves, duergar, illithids (mind flayers), and beholders. Using the unique abilities of each race, this motley force is on the cusp of crushing Waterdeep. It's up to you to discover the secrets of this unusual coalition and destroy it before Waterdeep falls."

lol, for those that don't know, Waterdeep is one of the largest cities in the Forgotten Realms. (We're talking Millions of people). They think these Monsters can 'take over waterdeep'?!?! lol. First, you gotta get past the Lords of Waterdeep, AND Black Staff. Then, I'm sure the 'Chosen' would show up, and the Harpers would pour in and help. If ALL that fails, you got Uber-Elminster, which can basiclly reset Toril.

I love Waterdeep though. I know every inch of it, and guess where Undermountain is located????? YUP. Waterdeep! This will be awesome!!
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:18 PM   #4
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Peeing in my pants excited for this! I am not the most avid Drow fan, but the underdark creatures are what I am wanting. And a romance plot for NPCs! 30th level! Ziroc, when this comes out, will your server allow up to 30th level? How will that work for legality purposes on Multi servers?
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:45 PM   #5
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This looks great. I am just hopeing that Drow male, Drow female, Drow Mage, Drow female mage, etc are not how they are counting the new creatures. Although I would like to see Beholder and Female beholder. Is there any difference? Not sure about that whole kids thing with them. Do they mate or just an eye stalk flies off one day and becomes a new beholder? [img]smile.gif[/img] I think this is going to be what I wanted out of SOU!

I wonder what new placeables we will get? Stalactites stalagmites maybe?

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Old 08-11-2003, 03:55 PM   #6
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For better or worse- the level cap has been revised to 40!!!!!! This has been confirmed by Tom Ohle of BioWare!!!

From the revised article linked above
Quote:
Hordes of the Underdark's single-player adventure is geared towards high-level characters. BioWare suggests that you start the game with a character of at least level 15. The game's character generator can start you off with a buff character, but you can also import a character from the original Neverwinter Nights or Shadows of Undrentide. The experience cap has been raised as well, allowing your character to reach level 40 (the previous cap was level 20) in accordance with the rules found in Wizards of the Coast's Epic Level Handbook.
[ 08-11-2003, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: Chewbacca ]
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:13 PM   #7
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Whoa when did that change? Did they just update the article on Gamespy?

Chewbacca Thanks for both of the updates!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]

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Old 08-13-2003, 09:00 AM   #8
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Mmmmm, nice

Epic levels eh?? Seems that the masses will be påleased after all then. Now Mindflayers.. finally

Seems that I can scratch some more things of my Bioware wishing list
Lets hope they can figure out the rules for using missile weapons poperly and also add some more interesting races to play, an ECL system would be nice. But again.. how many Drizzits would you like to encounter online??
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:47 AM   #9
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Errr...over 50 feats? What happend to 200? I can't see the other 150 being feat-like abilities. Blah let's just keep hoping. As far as the rest of it goes it looks great. I'm the same as Larry, not as crazy for the drow as most people are (I think the way they're hyped has alot to do with this) but the underdark tileset looks really beautiful from what I can see.
I doubt they'll sell us short on the drow as the male and femnale drow are actually already in NWN's.

Granamere this is just for you, mate [img]smile.gif[/img] .

Ecology: The exact reproductive process of the beholder is unknown. The core racial hatred of the beholders may derive from the nature of their reproduction, which seems to produce identical (or nearly so) individuals with only slight margin for variation. Beholders may use parthenogenic reproduction to duplicate themselves, and give birth live (no beholder eggs have been found). Beholders may also (rarely) mate with types of beholder-kin.
The smaller eyes of the beholder may be used to produce a potion of levitation, and as such can be sold for 50 gp each.



We have here our first glimpse of a Beholder in the background, looks okay to me [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Larry_OHF:
Peeing in my pants excited for this! I am not the most avid Drow fan, but the underdark creatures are what I am wanting. And a romance plot for NPCs! 30th level! Ziroc, when this comes out, will your server allow up to 30th level? How will that work for legality purposes on Multi servers?
Oh yeah I'll allow it. [img]smile.gif[/img] With what I have planned, you will need high level characters when you hit the mid-point of Undermountain--Level 20. A City of Beholders! And many more cool things...
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