The BEAMBLOG

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15 Livestream Recap


Full of ideas about NWN:EE? - Share them on the Beamdog forums, vote on the Input board, and watch the progress of the game development on the Roadmap board!
During today’s Twitch stream, Beamdog Studio CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phil Daigle shared recent news about Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions and plans for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. They introduced the new trello system for NWN:EE, and played A Harper’s Tale - Prelude, a fan-made NWN module created by Dave Mason more than 10 years ago and runs perfectly in NWN:EE.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from today’s livestream:


  • The 2.5 update open beta for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is available on Google Play, Steam, and Beamdog. This patch is all about fixing Multiplayer, so we need a ton of Multiplayer feedback. Share your feedback in our Survey. If you can play the open beta on Android, connect to the PC version, spend time playing Multiplayer, and reflect on it in the survey - we’ll be very, very grateful.
  • The open beta and survey will run over the holidays, through to January 8th, with the possibility of an extension. Try new features, like the Shaman class introduced into Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition!
  • After the 2.5 patch we plan to move Siege of Dragonspear to tablets. 2.5 needs to be as solid as can be so that SoD is an excellent experience for those trying it for the first time.
  • We have a big sale going on currently for all our Infinity Engine titles on GOG, so check it out!
  • If you still haven’t joined Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start, do it now. By pre-ordering the game from Beamdog and participating in the Head Start, you can shape the future of NWN:EE.
  • We now have a live Trello board for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition which we call the Roadmap board. The Roadmap board is a public read-only board where interested parties can inform themselves on what is going on in the NWN:EE land, development wise. You can find larger features and updates that we are considering, are in development, or are nearing completion.
  • There’s also another live Trello board - the Input board. This board is something that will be filled with cards based on community feedback. Neverwinter Nights fans can vote to prioritise features and fixes. Once the development team is ready to investigate a feature request or are working to implement it, they will pick cards from the Input board and move them to the Roadmap board.
  • To nominate a feature for the Input board, please, visit the Beamdog forums and share your ideas there. Key members of the community will then create a corresponding card on the Input board so fan can vote or subscribe to the feature.
  • If you’re interested in helping us make Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition better, go vote in the Input board and share the feedback on the Trello board discussion forum. There also will be separate threads for every card from the “Needs More Discussion List”, so that you could provide more details and feedback about how this or that feature should look like.
  • We aim to be conservative in what we are putting on our Roadmap board, but there are no guarantees of features getting implemented. We sometimes even might stop working on a feature, move it to the Icebox or remove it from the Roadmap altogether.
  • We have four guiding principles with regards to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition:
  1. Do not break backwards compatibility;
  2. Do not change - unhardcode and open up for modding/extension, and add new functionality;
  3. Step forward slowly and try to keep it stable;
  4. New content is king.
  • If you have a suggestion for a fan-made module you'd like to see played on the stream, let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or in the forums!
  • We have no plans for the boxed version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition as of yet. Right now we’re focused on making NWN:EE the best it can possibly be.
  • Currently Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition doesn’t support EAX. We’re rolling out OpenAL first. We’ll keep looking into bringing EAX to NWN:EE.
  • We updated Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition with the latest version of the C++ builder, and we will be very careful with the builder so that we don’t break stuff.
  • We are open to expand the current Neverwinter Nights scripting, and updating it is not off the table. Go to the forum and create your requests, we need to know the details of what you would like to see.
  • We’ve had a lot of discussions about a potential clash between old Neverwinter Nights assets and new assets we could create. A potential clash is why we are not revising the existing assets. But when we look at the new content we could do, we want it to become something to show the future we anticipate for Neverwinter Nights.
  • The story of the official campaign of Neverwinter Nights has been told. What we would prefer to do is create new story content.



Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NWN:EE Head Start Patch Notes v74.8151 and v74.8152




The next Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start update is here!


These notes are covered in more detail in the README.txt file found in your game install location \lang\en\docs


UPDATE: Build 8152 should now be available through the Beamdog Client.


8152 includes a fix for a memory leak issue introduced in 8151.
8151 includes the following changes:
  • The audio subsystem has been replaced with OpenAL.
  • The music player has been replaced with OpenMP3.
  • The video player has been replaced with WebM.
Create your own in-game panoramic shots!
  • Added the MakePano console command. 
  • Anti-aliasing is back in the settings, but requires a restart to change for technical reasons.
  • Mouse drag/wheel rotation is now smooth no matter the frame rate. Also, it is not speed resolution-dependent anymore.
  • UI elements will no longer hide behind scenery or characters.
  • Weapon Focus Description UI now scales properly.
  • Over a dozen multiplayer crash fixes related to clients sending invalid data, or custom-content data files being corrupt/broken.
Because of the new audio subsystem, we're particularly interested in any cases where players feel like sound and music feels off or different. Please let us know your feedback in the Beamdog forums

Writer

Monday, December 11, 2017

2.5 Update Beta Survey




The 2.5 update beta has been live all weekend, and from the sounds of it, the general stability and multiplayer of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition have been significantly improved!


If this is the first you’ve heard of the 2.5 update beta, head on over here to find out more.


We’ve written up a quick survey to find out what your experiences have been with the 2.5 update beta. Please include any information you have so far about any crashes and other issues you may have encountered during the beta. We'll be accepting survey entries until Jan. 15.


Beamdog forum users, make sure to include the email corresponding to your forum account. We’ll be awarding a forum badge for completing the survey.

Thank you to everyone who has tried the beta so far! We’ll be continuing the 2.5 update beta over the holidays, so there’s lots of time to let us know about your experience!
Writer

Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8 Livestream Recap


Multiplayer is a big thing for us. We want to make Neverwinter Nights awesome” ~ Trent Oster
During today’s Twitch stream, Beamdog Studio CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phil Daigle shared details about the next update for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start and the company’s plans regarding NWN:EE. Afterwards, they spoke about the 2.5 patch update open beta for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from today’s livestream:

  • The new build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start is mostly about technical debt, issues with the codebase that needed to be removed and cleaned up
  • The biggest thing here is video and audio: we’re moving the audio to OpenAl, and video to WebM, - to play better on more platforms (players will eventually be able to play MP3s instead of BMUs, but not yet)
  • Environmental Effects (EAX) are currently non-functional and will be brought back at a later date
  • We also fixed a number of bugs and server/multiplayer crashes left over from 1.69, smoothed out the middle-mouse drag-rotation, made the Weapon Focus Description UI scaling properly

  • We have implemented a new feature - a console command “Makepano” which generates a set of images that can be stitched into a panoramic. Check out the patch notes of the next build to find out how to use this new feature!




  • A Trello board for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is coming next week.
  • As we progress, we will be opening the Trello system to the community so that people will be able to see, subscribe to individual cards and thus vote for features they want to be implemented.
  • Discussion around features will continue to take place on the Beamdog forums and links will be provided on the Trello cards for ease of navigating between the two.
  • Down the road, we’re planning to change the race selection at the character creation from the static options to a dynamic list.
  • We absolutely want to create achievements for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Steam, - not immediately, though, - they will progress slowly with our overall progress on NWN:EE.
  • We plan to allow modders to add more ranged weapons into the game (like throwing spears, harpoons, guns, custom ammunition and the like).
  • New modules and campaigns for NWN:EE - it’s something we’re interested in eventually and something we’ll talk about with Wizards of the Coast
  • The message from the loading screens in original Baldur’s Gate II stating that players were able to import their characters to Neverwinter Nights refer to a feature that couldn’t be executed, and there are no plans for implementing this feature into Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition
  • The original campaign of Neverwinter Nights was what it was. We don’t want to spend time and efforts on revising it, there are better ways and new stories to spend our energy on.
  • Back in time of original Neverwinter Nights, we didn’t link consciously the stories of the Hero of Neverwinter and the main protagonist of the Hordes of the Underdark adventure, they didn’t have to reference each other. But any player, if they want, can imagine that it’s the story of the same character.
  • Neverwinter Nights is not Baldur’s Gate. Baldur’s Gate is a novel about a single character with companions who join her. Neverwinter Nights is a journey for you and your friends. The concept from the very start was, and still is, that you play Neverwinter Nights in multiplayer with your friends. Neverwinter Nights is core multiplayer, bottom to top, you build your content and share it with other players.
  • The last thing we want to do is to make Neverwinter Nights into Baldur’s Gate. Instead, we want to make Neverwinter Nights awesome, and let the community decide what they wish to see in it
  • Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 are pretty different beasts, we don’t have access to the codebase of NWN 2, and if we theoretically do in NWN:EE anything similar to what is possible in NWN 2 we will have to do it from scratch.
  • The open beta of the 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is available on Google Play, Steam, and Beamdog. Find out how to opt-in here.
  • Test the games and let us know what you think on the Beamdog forums.
  • The final release of the the 2.5 patch will happen across all stores and platforms.



Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The 2.5 Update Beta Is Here!




Great news, Infinity Engine fans!

Owners of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition on Steam, Beamdog, and Google Play now have beta access to the upcoming 2.5 update.

The 2.5 update is focused primarily on multiplayer improvements, restoring cross-compatible play, and resolving any critical errors. Oh, and we’ve added the Shaman class to Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition!

This update isn’t complete just yet, which is why we’re seeking your feedback on the work that we’ve done so far. Grab the beta, check into the Beamdog Forums, test it until your eyes burst, and then let us know what you think! About the game, not about your extreme and sudden eye pain.

The 2.5 update beta will run from December 5th, 2017 to January 8th, 2018, with the possibility of an extension, as we gather data and feedback from beta participants. If you help us out with the beta you’ll receive a special Beamdog Forum badge that you can use to lord over your friends, family, and rivals.

After the holidays we’ll review your feedback, finish the fixes, and make the 2.5 Update available on Beamdog, Steam, GoG, the Mac App Store, Google Play, and the iOS App Store. Every platform will get this update! Can your toaster run Linux? Did you install Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition on it? It will get this update!

The release version of the 2.5 Update will include the correct German VO for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition from the original Baldur’s Gate II, but it won’t be included in the beta. Patch notes for each game will accompany the full release of the 2.5 Update.

Worried about a fix or feature that didn’t make it into 2.5? Worry not! We’ve been listening to and recording your feedback this whole time, and we have some exciting plans for more Infinity Engine updates to come. Stay tuned!

Wondering about Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear on mobile? We’ll have some great news to share on that front soon*!

*For real this time!

How to access the 2.5 update beta

Steam
To access the 2.5 update beta first, right-click on the game you'd like to try the beta in and select Properties.


Go to the Betas tab, and choose the bg1_beta, bg2_beta, or iwd_beta option. The beta will then begin downloading.


Beamdog
To access betas through the Beamdog Client, please go to the following store pages for a free download.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Afterwards, the 2.5 update beta should be available under this dropdown menu in the Beamdog Client.


Google Play
To join the open beta for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on Android, click or tap here while logged into your Google Play account:


To join the open beta for Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition on Android, click or tap here while logged into your Google Play account:


To join the open beta for Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition on Android, click or tap here while logged into your Google Play account:

Infinity Engine 2.5 Beta Patch Notes

Stability

  • (IWD:EE) - Pressing the ESC key when selecting a character to use in a new game should not result in a black screen - 32889
  • (IWD:EE) - The game should not crash if ESC is hit while it is finding network interfaces - 12063
  • (IWD:EE) - Quick save should work - 31905
  • (BGII:EE) - Game should not crash when loading a save - 24805
  • (BGII:EE) - Changing Wilson's colour should not crash the game - 31090
  • (BGII:EE) - Throne of Bhaal: Opening cutscene should not freeze the game - 23579

Gameplay

  • (IWD:EE) - Add Shaman to IWD - 30820
  • (IWD:EE) - Add Steam Achievements to IWD:EE
  • (IWD:EE) - Paladins and Rangers should be able to become Fallen - 33112
  • (IWD:EE) - Game should not freeze when approaching the entrance to level 3 of Dragon's Eye - 32578
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Update notifications should not be missing when journal is updated for quests - 32360
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Journal quest for Dragon's Eye should carry forward to Chapter 2 - 32390
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Chapter 3 should not start with a blank journal - 32418
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Chapter 4 should not start with a blank journal - 32422
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Chapter 5 should not start with a blank journal - 32459
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Chapter 6 should not start with a blank journal - 32510
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Information about Lethias's Past Should not show up Twice in Journal - 32419
  • (IWD:EE) - Journal: Yxunomei's conversation should appear in Journal - 32396
  • (IWD:EE) - Sorcerers should not be able to erase spells from their Mage Spellbook - 32473
  • (IWD:EE) - Failing to pickpocket NPCs should result in appropriate behaviour - 32353
  • (IWD:EE) - Heart of Fury mode should not deactivate when starting a new game - 32308
  • (IWD:EE) - Ranger characters created in HoW should be able to select a racial enemy - 32302
  • (IWD:EE) - Moving a familiar over a floor trap should not disarm it - 11822
  • (BGII:EE) - Succubus should not be able to kill characters in 'Story Mode' - 31859
  • (BGII:EE) - Hexxat trying to interact with Dragomir's tomb should not block progression - 31791
  • (BGII:EE) - Hostile allies should not be invincible in story mode - 31768
  • (BGII:EE) - Orc archers should attack in The Black Pits - 31587
  • (BGII:EE) - Gain Slayer form dream should not stall when Imoen is killed - 31446
  • (BGII:EE) - Story Mode should apply to NPCs even with Party AI off - 31423
  • (BGII:EE) - Keldorn should not try to talk to charname regarding his wife if this questline is already finished - 27093
  • (BGII:EE) - Importing characters of over 2,950,000 XP should not cause XP to reduce to 2,950,000 - 22611
  • (BGII:EE) - It should be possible for a level 12+ cleric dualled to mage to reach mage level 12 - 22277
  • (BG:EE) - Scar should appear outside the FF Barracks even if you don't speak to him on the bridge - 31667
  • (BG:EE) - Story Mode should apply to NPCs even with Party AI off - 31422
  • (BG:EE) - Colquetle's Family Amulet should not be missing after leaving area for a while - 31323

User Interface

  • (IWD:EE) - Character arbitration should not report Heart of Fury difficulty as Legacy of Bhaal - 32513
  • (IWD:EE) - Story mode should not be enabled in multiplayer if it is disabled in the options - 32447
  • (IWD:EE) - Stepping on puzzle pieces should consistently disarm traps - 32442
  • (IWD:EE) - The option No Difficulty-Based XP bonus should have a valid description - 32307
  • (IWD:EE) - Spell should not be erased if pressing ESC when viewing the mage book - 32139
  • (IWD:EE) - Area list in console should show IWD areas instead of SoD areas - 31922
  • (BG:EE) - End game transition to Siege should be disabled if player does not own Siege - 30816

Multiplayer

  • (IWD:EE) - New multiplayer games should start on the selected difficulty level - 32303
  • (BG:EE) - Double clicking to load a save should not disable selection actions in the Character Arbitration screen - 24852

Text & Voice Over

  • (IWD:EE) - Mages should not have invalid strings listed in their Character Record page - 32458
  • (IWD:EE) - Listed Area of Effect for items and spells should be correct - 32040
  • (IWD:EE) - Thorn Spray should have a consistent description - 32840
  • (IWD:EE) - Cloud of Pestilence should have a consistent description - 32839
  • (IWD:EE) - Protection from Evil, 10' Radius should have a consistent description - 32837
  • (BGII:EE) - Poisoned Throwing Dagger description should not mention saving throw penalty - 25521
  • (BG:EE) - German: First dream narration should not repeat the last line at the beginning of the narration - 8708
  • (BG:EE) - Bala's Axe Dispel Magic properties should be listed correctly - 33063
  • (BG:EE) - Asp's Nest +1 poison ability description should include the saving throw - 31741
  • (BG:EE) - Wand of Cloudkill description should state the correct saving throw type and penalty - 27273
  • (BG:EE) - The Kneecapper +1 description should not state incorrect speed factor - 25534

iOS & Android

  • (BG:EE, BGII:EE, IWD:EE) - Android: Back button allows player to skip cutscenes
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: The character portrait UI should not overlap the screen if a new client joins a session - 32509
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: The title should not crash when rapidly pressing the Multiplayer button and the Back button - 32508
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: UI should persist when a player joins a room while the host is writing a spell - 32632
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: The title should not be stuck on a black screen when creating a new multiplayer session without being connected to a network - 32629
  • (IWD:EE) - Client devices should be able to properly interact with inventory containers - 32558
  • (IWD:EE) - Text field for filename in Export Character should be responsive - 32511
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: Story Mode buff and certain AI scripts should not toggle on and off repeatedly - 32499
  • (IWD:EE) - Map will scroll on it's own after the cutscene in which the party finds Hjolider in Wylfdene's tomb - 32494
  • (IWD:EE) - Map will scroll to the right on it's own after the cutscene which Angaar attacks the party - 32490
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: App should not crash when confirming an item quantity while traveling to a new area - 32467
  • (IWD:EE) - Caravan Contract should drop when the ogre is killed by cold damage - 32432
  • (IWD:EE) - Multiplayer: Party members should not lose Story Mode protections when a client disconnects from a game session - 32401
  • (BGII:EE) - Multiplayer: Players joining after host manually opens the Character Arbitration menu should not prevent the game from starting - 31837
  • (BGII:EE) - Multiplayer: UI should persist when a player joins a room while the host is writing a spell - 31764
  • (BGII:EE) - Multiplayer: Shop menu should still show item icons and names if another player's character is selected - 31514
  • (BG:EE) - Multiplayer: Players joining after host manually opens the Character Arbitration menu should not prevent the game from starting - 31839
  • (BG:EE) - Multiplayer: Multiplayer chat should not prevent user from opening the World Map - 31678
  • (BG:EE) - Multiplayer: Shop menu should still show item icons and names if another player's character is selected - 31356

Writer