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IGN previews Stronghold 3: NWN2
Preview - posted by Vault Dweller on Mon 14 August 2006, 16:17:51Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment
IGN has blessed us with a NWN2 preview, a stronghold game with RPG elements, based on the latest demo and a chat with MCA.
First, the castle needs workers. Throughout the course of the game leading up to the stronghold's acquisition, players will meet certain NPCs clearly dissatisfied with their station in life. After players are castle owners, these NPCs can be recruited to labor in the stony abode. Some may agree to work with no strings attached, others may need convincing, and yet more will require special tasks to be completed before they sign on as your servant. Chris mentioned most of these NPCs will be located in major metropolitan areas, such as Neverwinter, and be relatively easy to find. A few may be more out of the way. Each recruit contributes to a specific aspect of the stronghold's augmentation. Among the many possible employees, there are miners, priests, architects, blacksmiths, and farmers, to name a few.Awesome.
Since the demands of adventuring are so great, players won't be able to hang around their stronghold all the time. A work foreman of sorts will need to be given commands on how to run the base's day to day operations. As an added wrinkle, some NPCs will be better at their jobs than others, so players will need to choose carefully when assembling their workforce. Once a decent amount of employees are in place and performing their required tasks, orders can be given to the foreman to alter work habits, giving more attention to varying aspects. By speaking with the foreman in the stronghold, it will become more obvious what tasks require attention, as status reports are given detailing exactly how things are going.
As the workers perform their tasks, the stronghold will build up into a more powerful, multifaceted structure. Its growth will prompt mercantile trading lines, and an inn can be built up as well. Taxes will need to be collected, revenue managed, and guards assigned for protection. Visual differences will appear, showing the stronghold as a more formidable, hardy structure than when it was first discovered. All this is in preparation for certain events that happen during Neverwinter Nights 2's story, called mass battles.
From what we were told, these mass battles are basically stronghold assaults. If players haven't taken the time to properly manage their castles, they'll have a much harder time surviving. Obviously the main character and three possible companions aren't going to be able to hold back an army. The stronghold provides the solution, giving the player the ability to train armies. Army management is conducted through the foreman, who can be told to ease up on training or train extra hard, and be especially harsh. Army morale is affected by these sorts of decisions, but different approaches to training need to be made in order to level up the forces as much as possible, as well as give them better weapons and armor. Based on what orders are issued, it could eventually be made clear that certain sergeants are on the take, or the numbers and strengths of your units could be diminished. In other words, if you're not paying attention and erratically issuing orders, your armies are going to get mad.
Spotted at: RPG Dot