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DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
I'm sorry to be so late to the game on this whole NWNEE

I have purchased each and every NWN product as they came out, then again through GOG to get the DRM-Free digital versions, which allowed me to gather up all of the original materials from the original disc packs and place them in a shrine along with all of the other Bioware D&D games. It's pretty cool - no... it's Very cool!!

I love the Enhanced Edition Baldur's Gate series! Great Job!

I've just discovered the EE for Neverwinter Nights and bought the complete collection. I did some quick tests of my legacy content and it looks to be working beautifully! My "Adventure Gear" (HOF release back in the day) broke during an update long ago, but I still use it for the hair and costumes I made for it. Maybe now I'll be inspired to fix it or just create something entirely new.

Back in the times before the main servers shut down, I was part of several Custom Content teams including CEP, C.R.A.P. and Arcane Space (Turn-Based Spelljammer for NWN) and went by the name of my true hero, Rosietreats (my wife).

My artwork got picked for the Neverwinter Con IV, which was a huge honor for me - it's Rosietreats battling a Blue Dragon


To me, the low-poly aspect of NWN was more of an asset than a burden. I always saw it as the big reason why we were eventually able to have So Much of the D&D library available to us through custom content - like all of those amazing dragon ages and breeds, for example, without being an enormous burden on resources.

Rather than attempting to have lip sync and photorealism, we are treated to more of a D&D tabletop style game with animated miniatures (awesome animations, I might add) through endless environments with breathtaking awe - and I love that!

The game plays so smoothly, even if we're battling an ancient wyrm while hoards of kobolds are approaching our flanks. I did a test world for CEP that I never released, of the lands of Cormyr with scripted ambient life and the Russian Rideable Horse system, with my own unique twists on making the horses a very convenient system - I was also the one who made the CEP content (at that time, at least) all compatible with those horses. Anyway - Cormyr was a real trip - that I could get it working as well as I did. It was meant to be a DM's Boxed Set of Cormyr, all set up with the features of C.R.A.P. (Classic Roleplay Adaptation Project) and CEP (Community Expansion Pack) with an introductory adventure of The Haunted Halls of Eveningstar to inspire further expansion. This intro adventure was well underway, but never completed.

C.R.A.P. gave me the tools to include the ability for adventurers to gather wood and build a camp roleplay style. They could come upon a pit in the cliff, drive a spike, lower a rope and climb down to find lost treasure. Things that we'd normally not see in a casual game of NWN could be easily ignored without using the C.R.A.P. tools, but they were all set up throughout this massive module for those who wish to use them. The added animations are a great roleplay enhancement!

Further, I tested traveling the roads (as well as off road) timing between the villages and cities and it felt just right. Not too boringly long, yet not unrealistically short.

Flocking combined with a crapload of Factions and custom AI made wilderness, village and city life really cool! Just travelling from town to town, we might see a wild cat attack a deer. People in towns and cities carried out everyday tasks depending upon the time of day. While there were a number of NPC characters waiting to be used by the DM, the custom palette included a wealth of Cormyrean factions from the source material I was building from.

Wow. Just talking about this makes me want to dig this project out of the archives and get back to work! :)

Again, thank you So Much for putting all of this work into what I feel to be the very best D&D experience for folks that simply cannot get together around a table! I've had such great experiences playing, DMing and Co-DMing Neverwinter Nights! I really appreciate all of your hard work and am now going to go enjoy some nice Single Player action from this enormous wealth of fun I just bought!!!



  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Wow! I just noticed that Adventure Gear is still available! Ha!!! The robes system no longer works as far as carrying a fallen friend, etc., but....


    For that long, wild hair - instead of just modeling it to the head, like all other long hair styles available at the time, I made mine in two parts - like a ball joint. The head hair is big and spiky, so it looks cool by itself. But give it one of my custom upper clothing models and you get the rest of the big hair flowing over the shoulders and down the back!


  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Makes me wonder what else I made that's still up and available! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Neverwinter Nights is what led me into 3D modeling, texturing and animating in the first place - especially after joining the Arcane Space team.

    My Rosietreats character still lives on in my animation work today!

    Introducing Rosie 5

  • T0R0T0R0 Member Posts: 85
    edited August 2
    Join us on nwnvault discord. I'm sure you will recognize more than a few people.. Beamdog recently added up to 70 custom animation slots a cpl patches ago plus a few more animation goodies.. Folks there will catch you up to speed real quick on updating your content. We need animators ! Welcome Back !

    Post edited by T0R0 on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Cool! I've been way too busy with work to get too heavy into it, but I was easily able to edit in my Rosie character's attire options and hair along with MBH Henchman kit, gave myself two (twins) hooded and cloaked Halfling bodyguards that hang back and watch my back with their shortbows. I crash the game engine when I try to access their inventory loot box, but that's no big deal. I'll either fix it or not use it! LOL

    I'm really loving the changes that I've noticed so far - but I keep finding more and more cool stuff as I go! I wasn't even really planning on getting too deep into this again. So much for that. Now I just have to fight for more time to mod and play!

    I'm definitely going to be finding my CEP/C.R.A.P. Campaign Setting Boxed Set I was making for CEP and seeing if I can resurrect that into this new EE! Making C.R.A.P.'s expanded custom palette was one helluva learning experience - and I took that even further for the Boxed Set, making special "Folders" for the DM to easily grab NPCs, Monsters, Items, etc., that are specific to the campaign the DM wants to run.

    Incorporating C.R.A.P. throughout a vast world with the CEP systems in place as well was a real treat bringing me fond memories, but also the defeat of being an outdoors manual labor worker - away from computers, only to be incredibly exhausted by the time I get home.

    Anyway, I had so much done on it already, maybe some fresh eyes on it again, after all these years will inspire me to finish it and get it into the hands of the CEP where it was originally intended to go. We'll see ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Here's a little article I wrote about how being a NWN modder eventually led me to 3D Art and Animation:

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    I was just saying how scarce time is for me. Well I spent a tidbit of that time glancing at this place, not really exploring yet. I am so hyped to see that Beamdog is still working on this! Flabbergasted = me!!!

    When I bought the Diamond Edition from GOG years ago, I wrote in there how much I think that NWN is the best way to play D&D from a distance - Period!

    I see video reviews on YouTube and, well... to each their own. But the negative comments All seem to be missing the Big Picture of what this game is - D&D.

    I just got done playing for an hour and I caught myself playing the same way I always have: looking down from a distance at a similar view as playing Baldur's Gate, only zooming in if I really need to. It's So Awesome!

    As before I dedicated my entire Shift bar to Emotes - even though I'm playing single player. Desther starts going off about me to Fenthic right in front of me as if I'm not even there, so I start Emoting as they talk! LOL

    I think it's crazy awesome how the camera melts holes in walls that would otherwise block our view! That tore me up! I have to install this on my 3D workstation and play with the shaders more. My laptop is 1366 x 768 or whatever that is, so the depth of field blurs where it should be clear - so I just leave that off. But it's exciting to see all of this evolving!

    Anyway, I've seen plenty of requests to go for higher resolution models in this new modernization. That's why I was mentioning the thing about this being the absolute best D&D facility for distant gaming. It's the lower resolution models that make true magic in the game. Not only is it vastly easier to get Great custom content from the community, but then it also makes it doable for pretty much everyone to be able to download and use that custom content - it's so lightweight!

    Look at the enormity of the CEP. Subdivide one time - One Time, and we'll be multiplying those file sizes exponentially.

    Personally, I love the directions I'm seeing from the Dev team on this game. For D&D, there's no other engine out there that can allow any of us to have so many miniatures for this price - and they move and fight with a realism that is So Entertaining! \

    Two Cents - by Dartanbeck

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    If you checked out the article I mentioned two posts up, when I found Carrara 3D software I worked in earnest to test lighting with shaders, timing with automation and animation, camera moves... all of it.

    In 3D CGI, this requires a Lot of tests.

    I needed to find a good movie editing software - eventually. But knowing that, I wanted to at least figure out how that works before I get too deep into creating my consistencies in how I rendered my animations. So I grabbed the 30 day trial of Sony Vegas Movie HD - the cheaper version of Vegas. I never get a 30 day trial unless I can buy it that same day. The last thing I need is to really like something, only to have it stripped away from me when I really need it.

    Anyway, I used the first couple of days of that trial to make this video with nothing more than a whole bunch of test renders that I didn't delete yet. I thought the software was so good and easy to use (with built-in tutorial style lessons) that I bought it before I finished this.

  • T0R0T0R0 Member Posts: 85
    Although CEP has endured, and for the most part, it's a necessity if you play many modules or PW. It has gone by the wayside and fallen from favor with many current builders. So i suggest any updates you make. try to make an independent version. If you think the updates beamdog has made are great on the things you can easily see,, I can tell you that the changes under the hood, like scripting, unhardcoding, etc are even more impressive. but alas, I'm not a scripter and cannot elaborate more other than to say that more than a few oldtimers have returned and have been able to do things they only dreamed of before...
    Shaders are a big part of the nwnee future ! Your experience there would be a great addition to the community.

  • ProlericProleric Member Posts: 716
    T0R0 wrote: »
    Although CEP has endured, and for the most part, it's a necessity if you play many modules or PW. It has gone by the wayside and fallen from favor with many current builders...


    Or are you just saying that you personally don't like CEP?

  • ZwerkulesZwerkules Member Posts: 105
    It's not just Toro. There are at least two. Well, at least seven I know of, but probably more, but you have two "confirmed cases" of CEP dislike now.

  • ProlericProleric Member Posts: 716
    Well, no one could be in the slightest doubt over the years that there are vocal critics of CEP - but that's a far cry from "gone by the wayside" given that new CEP modules continue to appear.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 872
    It depends some use it for nostalgia projects or convenience. Otherwise eh, it's bloated and old.

  • Drewbert_ahoyDrewbert_ahoy Member Posts: 82
    CEP was a mixed bag with some very good content and loads of other content one would never think of using. I prefered project Q as it had higher standards in terms of what went into it.

  • WilliamDracoWilliamDraco Member Posts: 108
    CEP was a product of the way Haks were distributed and used, and therefore having a single, large repository of content widely distributed was of great benefit.

    In a more modern project, NWSync does away with the limitations that made the CEP (and indeed most compilation projects) useful and, as a result, its flaws show through more prominently.

  • ProlericProleric Member Posts: 716
    edited August 11
    I don't think there's any practical way to use NWSync for a published single player module.

    In any case, the toolkit still requires a module to have a specific list of haks, so it remains convenient to include a very large collection as a starting point when making a new module. CEP is the one that everyone has - just look at the download count on the Vault or Steam Worshop - so it remains the best option for new builders.

    The oft-cited accusation of "bloat" is false logic. It's like saying that there are some bad TV shows, so let's not watch TV. In reality, there are relatively few models in CEP that I wouldn't use, and, guess what, all you have to do is select the models you want and ignore the rest. The other models just sit there doing no harm to anyone.

    As for Project Q, as a benchmark, I compared the creature models in CEP and Q. They are surprising similar these days. The difference is that Q is a big download that many players don't have, because very few modules have ever been made with Q.

    Of course, there are a lot of good custom haks out there, mainly addressing specific niches such as tilesets. Adding some of them to a module based on CEP is trivial. Cherrypicking the best models into a top hak is also an option - more work, but less for players to download.

    I'm not saying that there's no room for improvement in CEP, but I do think that the ancient blood sport of dissing CEP is very misleading for new builders.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 872
    I don't think nwsync affects it much, either way many of the assets are now, what? 15 years old?

    You can interpret bloat in various ways too, it pumps the 2das full of content people probably don't need or want. I think in some cases there also used to be weird issues with 2da overflow like baseitems I think. Maybe you also don't want to watch TV anymore or rent a dvd, maybe you rather watch Netflix and Youtube.

    Of course people can make all sorts of arguments for why CEP is still relevant, and for some people it certainly is. For others it's a firm no without even needing to reconsider. I'd say if people want to push NWN forward then both CEP 2 and Project Q are relics of a bygone decade. I've also mentioned before that people should consider CEP3 to re-imagine it and take advantage of what NWNEE offers, but one person alone doesn't make a community expansion. If there's no interest in consolidating work then I imagine most new custom content will continue to be piecemeal or created by and used on a few persistent worlds.

  • JFKJFK Member Posts: 211
    I think it pays to remember that builders aren't always players, or more precisely, I think most players aren't builders. In fact, I've often heard builders and CC creators admitting they never actually play. Builders, therefore, may love CEP, hate CEP, ignore CEP, or whatever. Players, on the other hand, want to, uh, well play. And what they want to play is a fun module. Leaving aside PWs and focusing on SP modules, many players to this day still want to just click Play and have the module play, without having to download more content. Not all players. Some are very much willing --even eager -- to download and install .hak files, etc., in order to play a specific module that they see and that showcases content they don't yet have downloaded (ye gods, what an awful phrase!).
    If/when nwsync (or another means) is able to scrape all needed content from repositories (like CEP, ProjectQ, or a module's custom .haks files), and have it used in SP modules, and the Toolset is also able to have those assets usable, then CEP, ProjectQ, and every other compilation will be done for, and rightly so I think.
    I know some people don't like CEP, and I respect those people as great CC creators, great scripters, great authors, whatever. I confess that I don't entirely understand disliking it. I can totally understand not liking it, but disliking it seems like a . . . waste of time?
    I suppose it could be they think it distracts players from seeing new and better content? What the game can do now?
    If that's it, ahem, the answer has nothing to do with CEP, but everything to do with modules that use the new stuff.
    Eh, I've wandered, as I so often do when writing.

    Cheers to all, to all good cheer.

  • WilliamDracoWilliamDraco Member Posts: 108
    A complete module, including haks and tlks and whatever else, is currently able to be up/downloaded entirely using nwsync, for single-player/offline use.

    There's just no remote repo's by default at the moment, as it's essentially in 'Proof-of-concept' phase and got trumped by the dozens of other neat stuff they've been doing instead. You can add the vault's demo repo by adding the following to your settings.tml at the very top
    name = "NWVault"
    url = ""
    Then going to the NWSync options menu in game.
    So it's the horizon, at the very least.

    The toolset will basically never be able to use NWSync in the same way, because it needs a 'reliable' definitive list of which resources the mod will use. It could use some sort of list that's not hak files, such as pointers to other repos or online resources of some sort, but then compilation hak's just get replaced by compilation lists.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    I haven't tried NWSync.
    As for "Bloatware", that kinda plays into my views (above) about folks wanting high-rez model meshes in the game. Where the efficiently sized meshes allow us to have a very small footprint considering having an enormous wealth of content, I prefer to hang back with my camera and play D&D in NWN.

    So with the CEP, to me it's like having more books added to my library to prepare for game sessions. Working with the CEP team back in the day, I was awed by the heart that went into correcting little inconsistencies when needed, combing through all of the 2da files and developing consistent lines that made it easier for custom builders (like myself) to easily add in my own content in a TOP hak without breaking anything.

    I'm certainly not trying to press everyone into getting the CEP (for free). I mean, to each their own. But it does grant a Lot of extra content in a very easy-to-set-up system.

    I've been offline since my last post in here (I work outside until I can't move anymore! LOL) so I haven't studied the Vault much yet. The newest CEP will be my next stop, even though I'm not going to be developing anything as a builder just yet. The latest version that I have has the C.R.A.P. system in it, which I truly enjoy setting up when I'm building. I love making it possible for PCs to seek out safe spot to climb up or down a cliff with hazard rolls built in to the whole works. I love allowing them to actually fall into a trap that sends them somewhere! I incorporated my own system for mounts, where we can dismiss them and they actually go to a place, depending on which dismiss line we chose in the conversation. Then when we call them back, sometimes the mount just comes when called, other times we go get them from where we left/sent them - perhaps in a grove of trees or at a stables in the city or village.

    I really grew to love the DMFI, which also got me to really appreciate the power and convenience of having the CEP. Building modules for a DM to use can go so much further if we give them the availability to use the vast collection of monsters, creatures, clothing, mounts... etc., etc.,

    In my Boxed Set module I was working on, the DM has these really cool "libraries" that they can call from, using the same principles as C.R.A.P. did with their custom tlk. So I made a custom talk from the latest CEP tlk (which included the C.R.A.P. menus) with handy 'folders' that pertain to the very large Boxed Set - like a boxed set! For example, in the books that come with a boxed set, the authors detail specific friends and foes, animals and monsters, etc., Certain things that can only be found in one spot.... I include these things into the appropriate categories so that the DM can easily grab one even if their quick slots are already full of other resources.

    Yeah, CEP has a LOT more stuff in it than I'll ever use, but I notice that no two DMs I've played under in NWN have been the same. Not even close.

    Ooops. It appears that I'm babbling again.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    ...and what I meant by "not planning to build right now" is that my plate is full. I'll be digging back into NWN building when I get caught up, I'm sure of that!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    Just had a ball for a few hours playing the original campaign from NWN 1. I didn't add the horse mount this time, just walking and using the Stone.

    Beamdog Games, again... Thank You for this! I'm having So Much Fun!

    NWN loads up FAST and runs super smooth, even on this horribly underpowered (for this date) laptop - and I'm running pretty high graphics settings too!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    After my nice play time, I finally checked out that Trello Board thingy. I'm still not very nimble there, but I was able to download the Complete Changes pdf from NWN1.69 to v.74, which is an awesome document!

    I checked out the new CEP as well. I'm getting it. I'll check out the other things mentioned too. I mean... why not, right?

    So much has been going on during my NWN hiatus - it's kinda like joining the community for the first time again except that I think I still remember how to mod (retexture, use many NWMax functions, mod 2da, etc.,)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    It's so cool though. Even with very limited play time, I find myself loading up my last Save from the OC and taking it a bit further. I forgot that we can leave custom notes in the journal since I never used to do that. It really comes in handy!

    I must repeat something I said much earlier: I really love the character animations in this! My little rogue reaches her short sword or dagger back behind her to deflect the weapon blow that she can hear or feel coming from behind - resulting in no damage.

    I've also really been enjoying putting her into Parry mode and watch her tear the opposition apart with her riposte attacks! Rosie Rocks!!! Her two little Halfling henchman are a total blast too - hanging back in search mode, backing up Rosie with their shortbows. I'm pretty sure that the game scales up how many villains o launch according to the size of the party, hench my having two companions not wrecking anything. Corissa even darts up and unlocks stuff for me, even though I'm perfectly capable. I got used to Dragon Age where I just left-click and my picking skill auto-activates. I love this though. I just click and let Corissa come up behind me: "I can get that"... ,,,"All done" LOL!!!

  • T0R0T0R0 Member Posts: 85
    edited August 14
    Trello pretty much died out also.. If you really want to see whats coming down the pike,, take a look at preview branch.. !!

    @Dartanbeck ,, those videos of early bioware were entertaning. I hadn't seen those.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Member Posts: 18
    I love those videos. The awesome three video documentary series that came along with my Digital Deluxe version of Mass Effect 2 really got me to start searching for cool documentaries. They really did a nice job on all of those things, I think. Then Beamdog Games comes out with there's as well... very cool!

    I hope to see more of these things as time rolls on! ;)

  • AtrophiedericAtrophiederic Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 137
    Friend @Dartanbeck ,
    It's always great to see old names pop up again! Welcome back, and I'm really happy to see how much you're enjoying the EE! It's like still having the NwN we know and love, but experiencing it for the first time again! I look forward to any offerings you may develop down the road. As always, keep gaming, friend!

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