Developer Blog: Great Hall Environment

Hi everyone! I’m Jeff Miller, Environment Artist on Neverwinter, here to talk to you about the newest addition to the Stronghold map… the Great Hall!

Way back when we created the stronghold map we really wanted to give guilds access to the interior of their castle but we wanted to do it right. We decided then that the scope of the stronghold map just didn’t give us the time we really wanted to give to an interior space. I really wanted this space to be a place guildies could just hang out or go full role play mode. There was also talk about building something that was true to the stronghold map and let players decorate the Great Hall.

It was pretty exciting to start talking about the great hall during our initial M11b meetings. We already had the base ideas down on what we wanted, so it just came to building it. These were the main goals we wanted to hit when we started working.

Social Role Play space for guilds
The space must exist in the stronghold map, no loading into a different map
Players can customize the decorations with in the Hall
Sit able chairs

 

As with every environment I work on, the first step is to gather reference. This could also mean working with the concept team, but in this case I felt I could find the reference I needed to build the space. I didn’t start empty handed though. The main style and art for the great hall had already been created for the exterior of the castle. I just wanted to excite inspiration for layout and décor through reference. These are a few I found:

The main things I took from these images are things like weapon wall layouts, how wood paneling is used on the walls and ceilings, fireplaces, overall room shape, etc.… Overall I really think we nailed it in game. Taking these elements and converting them to the Neverwinter look and feel was an amazing project.

Building the actual room got very technical very fast, as with almost everything associated with strongholds. The size of the room was dictated by the exterior of the building. Since one of our goals was that the room existed within the stronghold map this meant limited space. If we had chosen to load into a different map size wouldn’t have been a constraint, but we felt very strongly about being able to just run inside. This ended up being fine since the size of the room felt pretty good. 

The next tech hurdle was lighting. We have a hard cap in how many light/light sources can affect a single prop/object. The room itself is considered a prop/object when our game engine looks at it. So the walls, floors, and pillars all have these rules applied to them.  To allow multiple lights in the room the room needed to be split up into pieces so that the lights would work properly.

Once the room was built, materials applied and in game. It was time to decorate! I couldn’t however decorate exactly how I wanted because in the end our goal was to make sure the players could control the decorations. Working with the designer we came up with decoration plots. These are just preset spaces in which a decoration could fit. For example a wall slot could have a book shelf or a large painting. The types of decoration plots we made are pretty large. There are rugs, chairs, tables, walls, banners… just to name a few.

Once the types of decoration plots were set, I had the task to come up with all the different types of decoration props/objects that could fit. It gathered up as many as I could and built some new ones that are specific to the great hall. Here is a shot of all of the possible props.

The final step was to put all of these props into the room in such a way that worked with the design setup. I filled the space with the props to create a finished look that I liked. After that I grouped props in plot types. This made sure that you would never get a painting where a statue should be. The next shot below shows that final state. The beauty of the great hall system is that your great hall will look different than mine because you have all the control. You may have green rugs instead of red. Or you may like having the Deathly Guardian statues instead of the lions. It really is awesome!

We are really excited for you and your guild mates to get ahold of this update and see what you all come up with! Also this system is expandable, so in the future we can add more decoration props to the mix! 

Before I wrap up here I wanted to share one last bit. I really wanted guild mates to be able to sit at a table together. I’m so excited to say that Sit Tech now exists in Neverwinter! There are some things to note here though. The first is that only the chairs within the Great hall are sit able. No other chairs in the game will be…yet. The reason for this is that since we didn’t launch Neverwinter with this tech, chairs have been used in such a way that would break. An example of this is there may be a chair that is buried under debris or knocked over on its side. If we simply applied sit tech to all existing chairs we would run into a problem of players getting stuck or just look broken. So with that said, any new chairs moving forward will have sit tech applied and during our bug fixing time we eventually will get to other chairs in game from older maps.

Jeff Miller
Neverwinter Environment Artist

Developer Blog: Great Hall

In the forthcoming Shroud of Souls module, we are excited to debut a new feature for Strongholds: the Guild Great Hall. The Great Hall is the building at the heart of your stronghold, and the aim is to give guilds a space they can customize and decorate as they choose. Up until now, the doors to the Great Hall have been firmly closed. With this new module, those doors are thrown open and you and your guild mates can go inside and start decorating!

Inside the Great Hall you will find four large tables surrounded by chairs, an imposing fireplace, and two flights of stairs leading to a gallery above. To the right of the main doors as you enter you’ll find a new contact, the Decorator, who can guide you through some of the things you need to know. The Decorator is also the contact you need to talk to in order to donate furniture and decorations to your guild. These items are stored in your guild’s warehouse (which works a little like the guild’s main coffer).

Decoration items and furniture can be acquired from stores and events in Neverwinter, but primarily they need to be crafted by skilled players. The majority of the items you can put in the guild’s warehouse come from Masterwork Professions, including tables, chairs, rugs, statues, and more.

Once you have some items in your warehouse you can tell the Decorator you want to start decorating, which causes each of the locations you can decorate to sparkle. Interacting at any of these spots opens a window of available furniture or decoration items for you to choose from.

Select the item you want to place and it appears at that location. If you remove or replace an item, it is returned to your guild’s warehouse. When you’re done decorating, go back and tell the Decorator and the locations return to normal.

There are over 90 locations in the Great Hall you can decorate and several pieces of furniture or decorations for each type of location. In forthcoming releases we’ll continue to expand the selection and introduce new and unusual decorations.  If you want to see more about the items you can place in your Great Hall, take a look at this article by Jeff Miller, which talks about the art of the Great Hall in some more detail.

Happy decorating!

 

Simon Lucas
Utility Designer

Announcing Neverwinter: Shroud of Souls

Warning! This article contains spoilers for Neverwinter’s latest expansion, The Cloaked Ascendancy! If you want to discover the story on your own, play through that first!

On May 2, the threat upon Neverwinter continues with the release of Shroud of Souls! When breaking the warding runes on the Kelemvorite Crypt, Lukan set free the necromancer Morlanth. She has now vowed to raise an army of the dead and overtake the city of Neverwinter. It will be up to you, hero, to continue defending the city!

Shroud of Souls will take adventurers to Evernight, a twisted reflection of Neverwinter inhabited by both unsavory living residents and the undead. Heroes will also enter the Shard of Night, a spire from the Plane of Shadows belonging to the Netherese.

This update also brings new features, new storylines, and great new content for guilds!

New feature: Loadouts – Swap between Builds to manage the different needs and roles of your character!

New Guild Content: The Great Hall – A new customizable gathering place in your Stronghold for your guild!

New Stronghold Structures – New temporary structures to give boons for your guild!

New event: Stronghold Siege – Guilds will need to defend their Stronghold against attacks in this new guild event!

New Storyline – A new story arc following the adventures in the River District!

New Lockbox with the new Celestial Stag Mount and updates to item level system!

 

Over the next few weeks we will be releasing Developer blogs on the various new features and content that await you in Neverwinter: Shroud of Souls!

To leave us your feedback on the upcoming release, please visit the Preview Forums!

 

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Season 12: Reckoning

STAR TREK ONLINE CELEBRATES 7th ANNIVERSARY WITH SEASON 12 – RECKONING

Update Arrives January 26 with Featured Episode, New Space Queues and More

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 11, 2017 – Today, Perfect World Entertainment Inc., a leading publisher of free-to-play MMORPGs, and Cryptic Studios announced Star Trek Online will kick off its 7th Anniversary with the release of Season 12 – Reckoning. The newest chapter to the 100% free-to-play MMORPG based on the classic Star Trek franchise releases on PC January 26 and on Xbox One and PlayStation®4 at a later date. Season 12 celebrates Star Trek Online’s upcoming anniversary with giveaways and mini-games, plus two new space queues, a new Research and Development System category and a featured episode titled “Of Signs and Portents.”

 

This year’s anniversary event for Star Trek Online offers captains the opportunity to complete in-game missions to earn exciting rewards, including the new Tier 6 Lukari Science Vessel, which the community selected the design for last fall. Players can also participate in two daily missions (Omega Molecule Stabilization Daily and Party Patrol) to earn special rewards and play the Omega Molecule Stabilization mini-game with Q to earn materials to construct crafting kits. Festivities also include server-wide giveaways for in-game items, which will take place soon on a daily basis leading up to the anniversary event release.

 

Season 12 – Reckoning continues the mission from Star Trek Online’s latest update, Agents of Yesterday: Artifacts. Under the leadership of Captain Kuumaarke, the Lukari have set out on a journey to investigate some unusual activity in an unexplored region of the Alpha Quadrant. Upon further inspection, they discover data that suggests weaponized use of protomatter. Fearing the Tzenkethi are behind this, they put out a call for help to the Alliance, who tasks captains from across the galaxy to help the Lukari prevent a looming cataclysmic attack.

 

Mission details for Season 12 – Reckoning will be revealed in the new featured episode, “Of Signs and Portents,” which will also feature the game’s first appearance of General Rodek, voiced by actor Tony Todd. The update also unlocks an expansive amount of content for captains to explore, including a new reputation, a new crafting school in the R&D System to create kits and modules, two brand-new space queues (“Gravity Kills” and “The Tzenkethi Front”) and a full space battlezone that has the Alliance pitting itself against the Tzenkethi in a desperate bid to stop the production and deployment of protomatter weapons.

 

Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game where players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, become a Klingon Warrior and champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy, or rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird. In Star Trek Online, players have the opportunity to visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek universe, reach out to unexplored star systems and make contact with new alien species. Star Trek Online is currently available on PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.

 

To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit www.playstartrekonline.com.

 

Star Trek Online is licensed by CBS Consumer Products.

 

® & © 2016 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

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ABOUT PERFECT WORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Perfect World Entertainment is a leading North American online games publisher specializing in immersive free-to-play MMORPGs. Founded in 2008, Perfect World Entertainment has published a number of popular titles, including Swordsman, Blacklight Retribution, Forsaken World, PWI and Star Trek Online. The company works closely with its American development teams and partners such as Cryptic Studios, developer of the highly acclaimed MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter, and Runic Games, developer of the hit Torchlight series, to provide unparalleled quality of service and game experiences to its players. A subsidiary of Perfect World Group, Perfect World Entertainment is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. For more information, please visit: www.perfectworld.com.

 

ABOUT CRYPTIC STUDIOS, INC.

Cryptic Studios, Inc. is a leading developer of online games committed to delivering the next level of gameplay. Cryptic Studios, Inc. develops AAA titles for PC and is rapidly diversifying its portfolio of games to expand beyond the traditional MMORPG genre. Its successfully launched titles include Champions Online: Free for All, Star Trek Online and Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter. Cryptic Studios, Inc., a subsidiary of Perfect World Group, is located in Los Gatos, CA.

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Black Friday Sales

Looking to stock up on all kinds of goodies this weekend? Look no further – starting today we have a variety of sales and discounts that will be available this Black Friday! Enjoy a scaling charge bonus of Zen up to 25% and a wide array of game-specific bonuses. Check each games' individual news page and each game below for more information.

From now until 11/28 at midnight, you'll be able to unlock extra Zen! When you purchase virtual currency via our Charge Page using select payment processors listed below, we’ll add additional value to your purchase for you to spend in all your favorite games. Here are some additional details:

This Charge Bonus is ONLY available for the following payment processors:

Direct Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover)
Paypal
Skrill (Formerly Moneybookers)
BoaCompra
Xsolla
Paysafecard
Steam
 

Neverwinter

 

Save 40% on all items across Arc, Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation®4 from Nov 25 at 10:00am (PT) through Nov 28 at 10:00 am (PT)
Arc and Steam Players: Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 25 – Nov 28
Xbox Live Gold Members: Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 25 – 28
PlayStation® Plus Members and PS4 Players : Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 23 -28
PlayStation® Plus Members and PS4 Players : Save 20-40% on select item packs from Nov 23 -28
Arc Players: Save 50% on select item packs from Nov 23-28, plus adventurers who purchase Zen through Arc will unlock free items, including mounts like the Gilded White Steed, Ice Panther, Owlbear and more!
 

For additional details, please visit us here.
 

Star Trek Online

 

Save 25% all items/packs on Arc, Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation®4 on the following dates:

Black Friday – Nov 25 at 9:00 am (PT) through Nov 26 at 9:00 am (PT)
Cyber Monday – Nov 28 at 9:00 am (PT) through Nov 29 at 9:00 am (PT)

Arc and Steam Players: Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 25 – Nov 28
Xbox Live Gold Members: Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 25 – 28
PlayStation® Plus Members and PS4 Players : Save 15-25% on Zen from Nov 23 -28
PlayStation® Plus Members and PS4 Players : Save 20-40% on select item packs from Nov 23 -28
Arc Players: Save 50% on select item packs from Nov 23-28, plus captains who purchase Zen through Arc will unlock free items, including R&D Packs, a T5 Sovereign, a T6 Prometheus and more!
 

For additional details, please visit us here.
 

Livelock

Regular Price: $19.99

Xbox Live Silver Members: Save 20% off from Nov 22 – Nov 28.
Xbox Live Gold Members: Save 30% off now through Nov 28.
PlayStation® Plus Members: Save 30% off from Nov 28.
PlayStation® Players: Save 20% off from Nov 22 – Nov 28.
Arc and Steam Players: Save 30% off from Nov 23 – Nov 29.
 

For additional details, please visit us here.
 

PWI

 

From Nov 23 -26

Save 20% off Special All Class Pets.
Save 45% off the War Front Supply Crate.
Save 52% off Medals of Glory (5).
 

From Nov 23 – Dec 7

Save 25-75% off select Mounts, Utilities, Shop and Fashion Items.
 

For additional details, please visit us here.
 

Forsaken World

 

From Nov 23 – 29

Save 34-53% off select Orbs.
Save 20-25% off select Upgrade, Utility and Refining Items.
Save 25% off a huge selection of Handhelds and Fashion Items.
 

Join a special event from Nov 25-30 to win a Kluer statue.

For additional details, please visit us here.
 

Swordsman

 

Save 20% of all Lv. 3 Gems and 30% off all Boost items from Nov 25 -30.

For additional details, please visit us here.

Agents of Yesterday Now Available!

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, the crew of Star Trek Online could not be prouder to announce our third expansion – Agents of Yesterday – is now live! Prepare your classic Original Series tunics and dust off your Mark II phasers; you’re about to take an away mission to an amazing adventure in that classic 60’s era. Our expansion is full of amazing features to bring you a complete and classic experience here in Star Trek Online.

First and foremost, players can create brand new captains in the Original Series era and engage in a story that takes them through the 23rd century and beyond. There will be a sweeping mystery to solve, one that ties into the overall story Star Trek Online has been telling for years. For players that choose to keep playing with their existing characters, we have a can’t-miss set of five episodes that will tie up the story arc we’ve been telling for nearly a year.

Next, we have an amazing cast of voice actors joining our captains on their adventure through this episodic content. Walter Koenig will be reprising his role as Chekov, and Chris Doohan will be filling in for his father by playing Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. Chase Masterson will be reprising her role as Admiral Leeta from the Mirror Universe, and Matt Winston will be making his Star Trek Online debut as Agent Daniels – originally seen on Star Trek: Enterprise. Finally, we have Joseph Gatt playing the cyborg crewman 0718, a character from the new Star Trek movies who joins us on our first adventure into that universe.

In addition to the amazing story content and voice actors we have a brand new Temporal Reputation that will grant people not only powers and a new suite of endgame gear but new queue-based content to play. The new Temporal Specialization will let people continue to differentiate their captains at endgame, and provides a full complement of brand new bridge officer powers. We will also be running a new “Temporal Agent Recruit” event for a limited time for any of our new TOS era captains. The recruitment system will provide challenges for players to complete that will provide a reward to that captain, and rewards for any other captains on their account.

This expansion truly captures the feel of the Original Series, and I can’t wait to see everyone in game!

Steve Ricossa
Executive Producer
Star Trek Online