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Who needs a beta when you can have gold?
June 20th 2002, 23:56 CEST by Nova Z

Just under two weeks ago, the beta CDs for NWN were sent out to many a fan.  Just under one week ago, the game went gold.  As of yesterday, the game has been available in some countries (Isreal seems to have been the first, from the look of the NWN forums).  

So what, exactly, was the beta test for?  One week doesn't seem like a hell of a lot of time to conduct a beta, or get any real feedback about it.  Publicity stunt?  Probably.  Was the game ready to be released so soon?  Well, I'm sure that will be made clear soon enough.

Meanwhile, despite being 'finished', Bioware seems to still be hard at work on the game.  

So one has to wonder, which will contain the final game?  The box?  Or the patch?
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Home » Topic: Who needs a beta when you can have gold?

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#1 by Matt Davis
2002-06-20 23:56:42
http://looroll.com
Well after the 0Day patch it doesn't seem to be a problem for anyone, although a 0Day patch really isn't right...
#2 by Whisp
2002-06-20 23:57:02
Well, it's not patchware. Nope.  And the game was finished.  Pay no attention to the 0-day patch available.

Alles in Butter, liebe Mutter!
#3 by Matt Davis
2002-06-20 23:58:59
http://looroll.com
Why? it fixes thing to make the game work, therefore it's got the fine outstanding beginnings of being a patchware product.
#4 by Shadarr
2002-06-20 23:59:06
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I expect there will be a series of patches, and then an add-on which includes patches, and then a bunch of patches to the add-on.  So in two years time you'll have your "final version".
#5 by crash
2002-06-21 00:00:11

Who needs a beta when you can have gold?

and these days, who can really tell the difference anyway?

Whoops, sorry, was my common sense showing again? -HoseWater
#6 by m0nty
2002-06-21 00:00:56
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Game Of The Year edition! Not a problem!
#7 by Mister Nutty
2002-06-21 00:04:36
I like patches. Its like I'm getting extra stuff for free!!!

I wish all games had patches available on release day!!

Smashing!
#8 by Matt Perkins
2002-06-21 00:05:01
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Personally, having a always on cable modem, I don't mind some brief patching, if it goes easily.  But I do think that some things shouldn't be released before thoroughly being tested...  only time will tell if NWN is one of those things.

I did not change my name...morn did.
#9 by Matt Perkins
2002-06-21 00:06:09
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
At least NWN isn't going DS style...  There still isn't a non-beta patch for DS...  still no word on anything of the multi players issues they said they would fix.  That's plain wrong.

I did not change my name...morn did.
#10 by curst
2002-06-21 00:09:08
curst@zombieworld.com
Yeah, someone here please kindly let us know if this is shaping up to be more like Baldur's Gate 2 or Pool Of Radiance 2.  I have been permamently scared away from ever buying another CRPG before getting at least a million recommendations.

ODBhuddist
#11 by Greg
2002-06-21 00:13:49
I agree. Why have a beta if the game is released before any beta testers can generate real errors that can be fixed? One week is enough time that some issues can be reported, but probably not enough to be fixed, nor enough time to be worth the hassle of pressing cds, setting up extra servers, etc.

Seems to me that the gold date was set in stone, even if it only gave Bioware enough time to have a one week beta. Besides, with a real patch (and 2 updater patches) one day after it hit stores, they are still working on the game.

You should do, what should be done, by you.

-Ancient Japanese Proverb
#12 by Shadarr
2002-06-21 00:14:04
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
But you don't wait for the recomendations on other genres?  Ever since Tiberian Sun I haven't bought a game the same month it was released.
#13 by Mister Nutty
2002-06-21 00:21:36
Maybe developers should modify the release date motto to,

"When its almost done...kinda"

Smashing!
#14 by Bailey
2002-06-21 00:23:36
I blame Nova for all problem NWN players may be experiencing, since he's the last guy I know who was within 15 feet of the code in question.

Please stop using my web browser as a toilet.
#15 by Matt Perkins
2002-06-21 00:24:59
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
That and he complains about it all the time.  He must have been part of the problem.

Down with Nova!  Chuckles is not your friend!  NWN is...well, I don't know yet.

I did not change my name...morn did.
#16 by Xero
2002-06-21 00:42:52
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
The zero day patch was mostly for multiplayer, the single player isssues are either from driver incompatabilities or cd key issues.

Nevertheless i'm waiting a week before buying. the thing that really annoys me is the reformatting of the forums, all my old posts are either gone, or inaccessible without a cd key.

"It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something."
-Ornette Coleman
#17 by curst
2002-06-21 01:18:25
curst@zombieworld.com
#12 - I don't wait for a lot of recommendations.  I'll read a review or two, and if I don't see phrases like "my c:\windows folder was deleted" or "got to enjoy replaying the game after 50+ hours thanks to the fact that my car trunk disappeared", and if it seems like it'd be a game I'd enjoy, then I'll pick it up.

I should've clarified a bit - when I say 'recommendation' I'm speaking strictly in terms of bugs.  Maybe I'm alone on this, but my experience has been that the bugs in CRPGs are noticably worse (or at least they come in much greater quantity) than games in other genres.  Descent To Undermountain, all by its badass self, trumps every bug I've ever encountered in RTS, racing, turn-based strategy, and sports titles combined.  Not to mention Pool Of Radiance 2, Fallout 2, Anachronox, Arcanum, Morrowind, Diablo 2, Ultima 9...

PoR2 happened to be my personal breaking point, where I finally said "motherfucking enough already!" and changed my (admittedly very dumbass) policy of buying games based on hype and only a little bit of actual research.  I know I should probably extend this to all games, but you know what?  I didn't with GTA3, and I don't regret having bought that so quickly because I already knew it was my kind of game, I read enough to know my computer could run it, and I read enough to know that they didn't screw anything about the game up and arguably only improved upon the PS2 version.

The RPGVault and IGN reviews I've read of NWN lead me to believe it's definitely my kind of game, even if it doesn't achieve all it was meant to do - but whaddya know, they don't address bugs, and they haven't talked much about the 'create your own adventure' aspect of the game, which is the part that seems to have the greatest potential for bugs.  So I'm still not sold.

I will freely admit that my buying non-CRPGs based on little research sometimes burns me.  (See: Black And White, Blood 2.)  But even then, that wasn't due to any bugs I encountered.

ODBhuddist
#18 by LPMiller
2002-06-21 01:22:40
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I purchase only based on hype and innuendo.  And if a game has any redeeming value at all, I return it.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#19 by Shadarr
2002-06-21 01:34:01
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Okay yeah, you're right about the CRPGs having more game-ending bugs than most.  I thought you were just talking about games sucking, not being broken.  My brother played a bargain bin game I bought called Legend of the North that he physically couldn't get through.  He was at work, so he persevered and replayed large chunks several times but he still ended up getting stuck.
#20 by Darkseid-D
2002-06-21 01:35:40
rogerboal@hotmail.com
Just for the Halibut


Ds

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#21 by bago
2002-06-21 01:51:08
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Welcome to Forclosure World!

iamelectro
#22 by Whisp
2002-06-21 02:15:47
Who can doubt that PlanetForeclosure is soon to follow?

Alles in Butter, liebe Mutter!
#23 by Matthew Gallant
2002-06-21 02:23:35
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
The true measure of a game is when the patches stop. That said, thanks to a severe case of Once Morrowind, Twice Shy, I'm holding off on NWN.

Current market value of the Max Payne IP according to a comparison of the market capitalization of Take Two pre- and post- sale: approx. -$271,000,000.
#24 by Charles
2002-06-21 03:34:37
www.bluh.org
On the upside, NWN has only corrupted my saves once, causing me to lose an hour of gameplay.  Which is a bit better than the multiple savegame corruptions that morrowind gave me.  

Still, the game feels unpolished, and DM mode (the 'big thing' about NWN), seems to be a hack at best.  They couldn't even be bothered to make a proper interface for it.  It still has all the buttons and screens from single player... despite the fact they serve no real purpose in DM mode other than to clutter the screen.  DM mode to me feels like a developer's debug mode, with an interface hacked on top.  The damn thing can't even seem to render triggeres properly, though I'll give it the benefit of the doubt on that one and say that it could be my video card and/or drivers.

However, the thing that really irks me about DM mode, is that you can't wing it.  The best part about being a DM in pen and paper, is that you can wing it when you need to.  However, with NWN, most of the things need to be set up ahead of time in the module, using the toolset.  With the toolset, you are pretty much limited to spawning premade creatures and NPCs, spawning 'placeables', and laying traps.  You can only ever control one creature directly, other than that, you have to let them rely on their AI.  Or, you'd have to write premade scrips for them if you wanted them to do anything special.  That alone rules out a lot of the DM's ability.

Needless to say, DM mode is about as far from what I'd thought it was going to be as it could have possibly been.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#25 by Foodbunny
2002-06-21 03:53:28
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I guess you weren't actually reading what they were saying DM mode was going to be then.  There were massive messageboard riots in their site every time they talked about one of the limitations of the toolset, but you haven't identified anything they hadn't already talked about in detail.

"My Idol is John Carmack and I just want to be a programmer like he is. So I just think that Hentai in 3D could be a great pleasure..."
#26 by Charles
2002-06-21 04:17:08
www.bluh.org
You are correct, I did not follow NWN at all.  Partially my fault for false assumptions, agreed.  But this is pretty damn far from the recreation of pen and paper gaming.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#27 by Bailey
2002-06-21 04:26:00
Nova's the kind of guy who leaves the girl alone after she dumps him. For a few months, at least. Then he comes back and asks her how she got so fat in an all concerned-like manner.

Please stop using my web browser as a toilet.
#28 by Warren Marshall
2002-06-21 04:45:31
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I've been playing the single player for a few days now and had a single, non-repeatable crash when entering some guys house.  Other than that, the game's been perfectly stable.

*shrug*

I understand the complexities of developing PC games, so I cut them some slack when it comes to patches.  If the patch addresses crashes with certain kinds of hardware configurations, or incompatibilities with certain machines ... well, that's the nature of the beast.  Welcome to PC gaming.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#29 by chris
2002-06-21 05:40:37
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
I am extremely glad I got into the NWN beta, because it kept me from spending 50 bucks on the game, which would've been a repeat of Black and White, where it totally fell short of my expectations and pissed me jaded me up for six months or more. Though I had lower expectations of NWN than I did of B&W.

Now, before anyone gets all up in arms: Yes, that would've been almost entirely my fault. But it doesn't change the fact that NWN is pretty much a 3D Baldur's Gate with an accurate simulation of what it's like to play pen and paper with a crappy DM built into it (not that the game is crappy, just the inflexibility is reminiscient of a bad DM).

If that's all you wanted, it'll be fine. I wanted more. :\

-chris
#30 by jafd
2002-06-21 06:22:37
I left my sof2 cdkey at home, so I can't play.

Can't even install, man. That ain't right.

"I feel bad for saying that you sucked -- even though, you kinda did."
#31 by LPMiller
2002-06-21 06:23:15
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
pissed me jaded!

I believe I can fly......urk.
#32 by Creole Ned
2002-06-21 06:24:38
chris:
where it totally fell short of my expectations and pissed me jaded me up for six months or more

!!

I think the fun in NWN won't be in "live" DM's, so much as people having a powerful toolset to build modules that can be played without a human DM present. Yeah, it would have been cool to have a fully controllable environment for a live DM to manipulate, but NWN is really just the first tentative steps toward that goal. We'll get there...eventually. :)

What's that blue thing doing here?
#33 by BabiG
2002-06-21 06:27:14
So...NWN not living up to the monumental expectations, how...surprising.

"I don't want to be immortal through my work, I want to be immortal through not dying." -Woody Allen
#34 by Foodbunny
2002-06-21 06:30:42
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I don't know where the monumental expectations came from.  I guess I missed the big promises since I started following the game rather late in development.  So far it sounds exactly like what I was expecting.

"My Idol is John Carmack and I just want to be a programmer like he is. So I just think that Hentai in 3D could be a great pleasure..."
#35 by Warren Marshall
2002-06-21 06:32:53
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I think the real value in NWN is in the toolset (meaning, downloadable user scenarios).  The "live DM" thing was always doomed to Gheyville .. unless you're dealing with a close circle of friends,  it's just not going to work.  And even so, the game can only be open ended to a point ... and that point will always fall short of peoples desires when it comes to shaping their own campaigns.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#36 by BabiG
2002-06-21 06:40:42
To be honest, I'm not sure either. I just knew that whenever there was some RPG related discussion anywhere, there's always those one or seven people that would say "Wait till NWN, it'll do that." Whenever a game gets to that point, where it supposedly does more then any game can safely do (B&W, U9), there's bound to be a letdown, even if the game fulfills all it promises. Sometimes things that sound supercool pre-release turn out to be "oh, ok" moments once you actually play. Unless they go above and beyond even what the breathless previews say (Halflife), it's going to be a lose-lose situation.

"I don't want to be immortal through my work, I want to be immortal through not dying." -Woody Allen
#37 by Charles
2002-06-21 06:41:13
www.bluh.org
Now, before anyone gets all up in arms: Yes, that would've been almost entirely my fault. But it doesn't change the fact that NWN is pretty much a 3D Baldur's Gate with an accurate simulation of what it's like to play pen and paper with a crappy DM built into it (not that the game is crappy, just the inflexibility is reminiscient of a bad DM).


I couldn't have said it better myself.  Or I would have.

Overall, I'm having a reasonable amount of fun playing the single player game.  It's not as fun as Baldur's Gate 2, and the story is pretty run of the mill, but the combat is enjoyable if nothing else.  I'm having more fun with it than I did with Dungeon Siege.  And bioware did learn a few lessons... the game is easier, and winning is more within the realm of your skill as a player...  as opposed to Baldur's Gate and BG2, where winning most battles usually game down to luck.  Also, I haven't had to touch that pause feature either.  Which makes me happy.  

And the toolset is pretty cool... I've been puttering around with it, and I think it'll probably be fun to whip up modules for people to play... but still, I'm dissappointed at how amazingly brittle the DM mode is.  Even something like being able to scroll the camera freely, and zoom out further would have been a BIG help.

Yes, pissed me jaded indeed.

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#38 by BabiG
2002-06-21 06:41:59
or should I say: LOSE..-LOSE.. situation.

"I don't want to be immortal through my work, I want to be immortal through not dying." -Woody Allen
#39 by Bailey
2002-06-21 07:02:21
I refuse to play NWN until I get to be a Beholder. A Beholder with a jaunty chapeau! And a monocle!!!

Please stop using my web browser as a toilet.
#40 by chris
2002-06-21 08:43:19
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
heh... shoulda been: "pissed me off / jaded me up"

But "pissed me jaded" works too, I guess.

In other news: The new Our Lady Peace album is pretty good.

-chris
#41 by Ergo
2002-06-21 10:23:49
And a smoking jacket!!!

"Conductor Fist says the next stop is your face! Choo! Choo!"
#42 by The_Joker
2002-06-21 10:42:06
http://www.jackinworld.com
God shave the queen!!

ENGLAND GOES HOME.

Fucking referee, how could he give a red card??????????? Jesus H Christ.

In about 3 hours USA will follow England home.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#43 by Ashiran
2002-06-21 11:22:42
I don't mind patches all that much as long as they actually improve stuff. And despite that patches just after release did pissed me jaded, I accepted it because nobody is going to NOT buy a game because it has early patches. So there is no incentive for companies to change it.

So you must live with the 0day patch and all its many children.

I hate people
#44 by Matt Davis
2002-06-21 12:36:42
http://looroll.com
0Day patches are a problem, it would need everyone to either return the game or refuse to buy it until the game ships with the patches built in.

It's never going to happen.
#45 by skalmanxl
2002-06-21 13:06:46
To be honest, I'm not even very interested in playing the singleplayer of either NWN or WC3. I'd rather wait and see some user mods pop out, they are often more appealing then the games. Now that the two games both have powerful editors...it's gonna be interesting indeed.

Anyone else tired of fantasy? Roll on a proper Fallout game I say.

*Welcome to the land of the digital*
#46 by Xero
2002-06-21 13:11:05
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
Patch 1.18 Released
17:32 | Silverdawn
BioWare has released a standalone version of yesterday's v. 1.18 patch for Neverwinter Nights. You need to install the Auto-Update Patch (0.5 MB) before running the Game Patch (2.5 MB). This patch fixes the following problems:
- Fixed the server filter crash in the server browser screen.
- Improved client and server stability.
- Fixed the issue with plot items being dragged directly into an inventory bag.
- Removed the player joining and leaving chat room messages.
- Pressing enter mid-line in chat no longer cuts off your text.
- Added a refresh button to the LAN page.
- Cleaned up some Journal Entry issues.
- Cleaned up some general sound issues.
- Made a correction to the tabbing order for the dedicated server GUI.
- Fixed duplicate player names appearing on the dedicated server's player list.
- Corrected the issue that occured when pressing the Load button without custom modules.



This is what the patch does.

"It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something."
-Ornette Coleman
#47 by Matt Davis
2002-06-21 13:43:22
http://looroll.com
No thats what the text file/bioware says the patch does, doesn't necessarily mean that that is what/all the patch does.

It's still wrong imo that released the game knowing they had those things to fix.
#48 by Duality
2002-06-21 13:55:49
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I've only had a chance to go through the basic training stuffs, so I don't know how the actual game plays yet, but I'm excited.  I've never been big on D&D (that whole stigma about the disgustingly fat geek playing D&D was not one that I wanted to portray), but this game does look fun.

-Jon
#49 by Duality
2002-06-21 13:57:58
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
And who wants to place bets that the reason it was rushed out of beta was because of Atari/Infogrames? :P

-Jon
#50 by Matthew Gallant
2002-06-21 14:17:22
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Infogrames means entertainment, not rushed releases. I thought you knew.

Current market value of the Max Payne IP according to a comparison of the market capitalization of Take Two pre- and post- sale: approx. -$271,000,000.
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