#1 Edited by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

So, I tried playing Icewind Dale yesterday - without much success, it bears noting. It's like the frustrating start to Baldur's Gate cubed. I'm not sure I'm going to keep with it. But it got me thinking, it's been awhile since I can recall a D&D licensed game coming out, with the exception of Neverwinter Online. Before that, it looks like the last game to use the license was in 2011 and wasn't your typical D&D game (it was Daggerdale, a poorly-received XBLA hack & slash) . Then before that, you have to go all the way to 2008 for NWN2 content.

What I'm getting at is this: what is WotC doing with its license? Or whoever it is who owns Pathfinder. It seems like the prototypical Baldur's Gate-type RPG/adventure games have always done well thanks to its license, but they haven't made one in forever. Is one in development that I don't know about?

#2 Posted by forkboy (968 posts) -

Atari had the license for years & didn't really bother doing anything with it. Of course, Atari is a subsidiary of Hasbro like WotC which just makes it stupid.

#3 Posted by believer258 (11035 posts) -

It's not exactly a hot commodity these days. You can't make a triple-A game with it, or even a "Summer of XBLA" star with it.

#4 Posted by ThunderSlash (1365 posts) -

I heard that the Beamdog folks are doing the remastered releases of the first 2 Baldur's Gate titles so that they can garner interest for a potential 3rd one.

Online
#5 Posted by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

@forkboy: Do they have it still? If so, that'd explain why nothing's happening.

@believer258: Aside from Daggerdale, which as I mentioned, was sort of a poor attempt and not in the same genre, I can't think of a D&D game that tried and failed. In general they've been pretty successful (in the market of 5 years ago and more).

@thunderslash: Considering how underwhelming those were (well, I didn't play them, but the reception suggested they totally failed to create a remastering that would appeal to a new audience), I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in their success in making an entirely new game...

#6 Posted by GreggD (4440 posts) -

It's not exactly a hot commodity these days. You can't make a triple-A game with it, or even a "Summer of XBLA" star with it.

Pretty sure Neverwinter Nights 2 was released in the mid-2000's, so I don't see why they couldn't do a similar thing nowadays.

#7 Edited by TowerSixteen (538 posts) -

@greggd said:

@believer258 said:

It's not exactly a hot commodity these days. You can't make a triple-A game with it, or even a "Summer of XBLA" star with it.

Pretty sure Neverwinter Nights 2 was released in the mid-2000's, so I don't see why they couldn't do a similar thing nowadays.

Yeah, not really sure what evidence your basing this on.

#8 Edited by Yadilie (380 posts) -

D&D licensed games are like playing Pen and paper D&D with a DM who can write an okay story but can't balance loot, battles, or experience for shit. So you turn into a mass murdering machine too quickly. NWN and its expansions and NWN2 (didn't play those expansions but assume it's the same) bring this to light.

You could go the route of a character action game but you're getting too far away from what D&D actually is and just using its name and pulling it's meh lore into the game. Go the other route and you got stuff like Morrowind where you're rolling dice and missing on a rat at the very beginning of the game. Not nearly as entertaining when you're alone. It's a hard IP to make stuff around. Especially when you have to compete with things like Skyrim and now ESO. More or less a company with too much money to throw around and a game that could feel like it was pulled from some pre-fab adventure book for D&D. Not to mention the thrall of fans Zenimax/Bethesda has. It's like throwing money at a sinking ship.

#9 Edited by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

@yadilie: There's a huge difference between D&D games and Elder Scrolls, because D&D is inherently party based. It would be in direct competition with Dragon Age (which is based on Baldur's Gate), which is similarly a game that has sold well enough to sequelize. There have been no legitimate attempts to create a series competitive with Dragon Age, so it's impossible to say that the money isn't there. It might not be, but the market's support for a second developer making party-based RPGs has not been tested.

But my real question here is who has the rights? Are they up for grabs and just no one is biting, or is it someone like Atari who probably wouldn't put out a AAA game if Call of Duty somehow fell into their laps?

#10 Edited by Guesty_01 (339 posts) -

I would absolutly LOVE an epic party-based DnD game to come to consoles. My favorite type of rpg game is where you can amass and customize a party of characters from typical DnD classes such as cleric, wizard, paladin etc. There just doesn't seem to be many released these days, least not on a console anyhow :(

#11 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10992 posts) -

But my real question here is who has the rights? Are they up for grabs and just no one is biting, or is it someone like Atari who probably wouldn't put out a AAA game if Call of Duty somehow fell into their laps?

I believe Atari has the rights because they're owned by Hasbro, who in turn owns Wizards of the Coast and thus D&D. As for why no one has made a serious D&D RPG since Storm of Zehir, I imagine it's because the developers capable of such a thing (Bioware and Obsidian) have moved on to their own IP. Add in the financial troubles that Atari's US branch has been having and the part where the reception to 4th edition has been mixed and I feel like a lot of this falls into place.

Apparently those Beamdog guys who are doing the "Enhanced Editions" of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 are doing so to drum up interest in a hypothetical Baldur's Gate 3... so yeah, not much promise for the future either. Oh well. NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer was a fantastic game, but it didn't really need the license to tell its story.

#12 Edited by believer258 (11035 posts) -

@believer258: Aside from Daggerdale, which as I mentioned, was sort of a poor attempt and not in the same genre, I can't think of a D&D game that tried and failed. In general they've been pretty successful (in the market of 5 years ago and more).

@greggd said:

@believer258 said:

It's not exactly a hot commodity these days. You can't make a triple-A game with it, or even a "Summer of XBLA" star with it.

Pretty sure Neverwinter Nights 2 was released in the mid-2000's, so I don't see why they couldn't do a similar thing nowadays.

Yeah, not really sure what evidence your basing this on.

Neverwinter Nights 2 came out more than half a dozen years ago.

There just doesn't appear to be much interest in one. Neverwinter Nights 2 was originally released in 2006, and then given several re-releases. Admittedly, I'm not up on my DnD games, but what notable, successful, well-received DnD-based party RPG's have been released since then?

Dragon Age Origins is a good bit simpler than something like Baldur's Gate, not to mention the fact that the name Bioware has a lot of weight behind it. I think that a direct competitor to Dragon Age Origins is feasible, but I don't think that a game where you have to literally roll a character (i.e. not distribute a pre-determined amount of points but actually click "Roll" seventeen billion times), pick an alignment, remember spells, rest for 8 hours, manage an entire party's inventory individually, and cast magic missile every fight would do anywhere near as well. It would have to streamline and get rid of a lot of that stuff in the same way that Dragon Age did.

I guess a Bioware-like CRPG could sell as a fifteen dollar downloadable game on Steam to people willing to try it out, but as a full-on AAA title?

#13 Posted by GreggD (4440 posts) -

@believer258: If you don't think a game like Baldur's Gate or NWN that happens to also utilize the D&D license wouldn't play these days, you're probably vastly underestimating public interest.

#14 Posted by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

There just doesn't appear to be much interest in one. Neverwinter Nights 2 was originally released in 2006, and then given several re-releases. Admittedly, I'm not up on my DnD games, but what notable, successful, well-received DnD-based party RPG's have been released since then?

No games have been released in this genre using the D&D license since NWN2. As I said, the market is untested. However, it sounds like the reason may be license limbo. D&D isn't really useful as a source of fiction, but it is an established name that can draw people's attention. I think that in terms of drawing audience interest, any new fantasy IP faces a lot of headway, as Kingdoms of Amalur did. If D&D really is effectively locked away from serious AAA projects, I have trouble seeing a Dragon Age competitor springing up unless they make something out of... DOTA or Warcraft characters, right now.

#15 Edited by devilzrule27 (1235 posts) -

That cryptic game is a DnD title though only loosely based on the rule set of 4e

#16 Posted by TowerSixteen (538 posts) -

@believer258: I don't think that the fact that a game hasn't been made is any indication that one wouldn't be successful, just that it's a bit unknown. Half a dozen years or no, NWN2 was successful and it's not like D&D has gone away or the audience has changed that much. Also, I think your falsely conflating traditional 2-3.5 mechanics with the D&D licence, was Dark Alliance not a D&D game? And 4th edition doesn't even have pretty much any of what you mentioned, heck, NWN never had a roll system either. If what you really mean is that a AAA game with mechanics like old D&D games traditionally had wouldn't fly, well, then I partly agree. Though I bet something more like NWN would still turn a profit even if it wasn't called NWN, as long as it got enough advertising to the right crowds, and it had either the D&D or Pathfinder licence.

#17 Posted by BigDaddy81 (310 posts) -

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

#18 Posted by chrissedoff (2034 posts) -

Atari is also not putting out any other games of note instead of D&D/Forgotten Realms games, so I think that fact is all the answer you need. It's not that the D&D license is being ignored. Atari just stinks.

#19 Posted by GreggD (4440 posts) -

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

#20 Edited by ArbitraryWater (10992 posts) -

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

Also those old DOS Dark Sun games seemed alright from what I played of them, something of a proto Temple of Elemental Evil.

#21 Posted by Eujin (1293 posts) -

After having played it this weekend, I would love for someone to make a digital version of the D&D Board Games (Wrath of Ashardalon, Castle Ravenloft, Legend of Drizzt).

The randomization of each adventure layout/monster layout/traps/etc, fully co-op natures (no DM needed), and streamlining of the leveling/loot mechanics would make it a great game to play 1-2 adventures online with friends.

But WOTC couldn't even get out their Virtual Tabletop they were working on for half a decade, so they likely wouldn't do anything right with something simple like that. :(

#22 Posted by GreggD (4440 posts) -

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

Also those old DOS Dark Sun games seemed alright from what I played of them, something of a proto Temple of Elemental Evil.

Yeah, it seemed interesting if only for the fact that it wasn't a first-person dungeon crawler like Eye of the Beholder. Which is not a knock against EotB, but y'know, it was a nice little change-up from the trends of the time.

#23 Edited by Sinusoidal (1152 posts) -

D&D itself is in a state of flux. Many people hate 4.0, thus Pathfinder which is largely based on 3.5. A properly done Pathfinder video game would be awesome!

That said, I don't think the true charm of table-top gaming ever comes across in a video game. It's just really-hard-to-near-impossible to simulate the experience a good GM and some enthusiastic, imaginative party members can come up with. Most D&D video games boil down to lots and lots of combat and the occasional dialog tree. Where's a D&D game with ten foot poles and potions of glibness?

Edit: And Yeah, Icewind Dale will thoroughly kick your ass. Stick with it, it's worth it. It's still the only one of the isometric D&D titles (the name of the engine eludes me right now) I've finished.

#24 Posted by PandaBear (1264 posts) -

I got drunk and hit a kid while driving to my parole officers place about four years ago. I didn't have to go back into the dungeon, but the judge took my D&D License away.

#25 Posted by BigDaddy81 (310 posts) -

@greggd said:

@arbitrarywater said:

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

Also those old DOS Dark Sun games seemed alright from what I played of them, something of a proto Temple of Elemental Evil.

Yeah, it seemed interesting if only for the fact that it wasn't a first-person dungeon crawler like Eye of the Beholder. Which is not a knock against EotB, but y'know, it was a nice little change-up from the trends of the time.

My point is that I think the D&D license is stagnating because they keep focusing on Forgotten Realms, which is just stock fantasy-ass fantasy. If they would mix things up a bit by dabbling in some of the other universes, it might re-energize the property.

I think Dark Sun would work especially well seeing as how you don't see a lot of post-apocalyptic fantasy stuff these days.

#26 Edited by audioBusting (1299 posts) -

No love for Neverwinter Online? I thought it's a decent 4e game, even though it's mostly an action game. There was also that arcade beat-em-up rerelease but that's probably only barely relevant. Isn't some studio making a Pathfinder MMO, by the way?

#27 Edited by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

@sinusoidal: I don't know man, I'm in the game's first dungeon and my paladin is getting two-shotted by an ogre with protection from evil on him and curse on the ogre. And I'm not even close to level 2. I put up with that stuff in BG because there was a story to back it up, but I never actually liked BG's combat. (Sorry for bolding, text editor acting up)

@audiobusting:You're right, it's a better game than people give it credit for, though I think that it is going to collapse under the weight of its overpriced microtransactions and lack of content (e.g. the shortage of classes). Ultimately, it's not what I'm looking for though, which is a party-based and story-driven game in the classic RPG tradition. And generally MMO rights seem to be distributed separately from single player rights, as in the case with the 40k license - I don't know this authoritatively, it's just something I feel like I've seen.

#28 Edited by EchoEcho (807 posts) -

@audiobusting: My personal issue with Neverwinter is that it's too much MMO, not enough D&D. They only have a tiny selection of classes, with each of them built to fit into the standard MMO roles, and none of them are the classes or builds that I like playing in the table-top game. The race selection is also quite limited.

In my opinion, DDO does a better job of retaining a proper D&D "feel" within the boundaries of an action MMO, even if its gameplay is less punchy and modern than Neverwinter's. But really, neither of them are what I'd want out of a D&D CRPG experience. Give me a Neverwinter Nights 3 for multiplayer purposes, or a new Temple of Elemental Evil-style game. (I'm a fan of both 3.5e and 4e, so I'd actually like to see a proper D&D CRPG using the 4e ruleset. Though with D&D Next on the horizon, I'm doubtful they'd be interested in making a 4e game at this point.)

#29 Posted by GreggD (4440 posts) -

@greggd said:

@arbitrarywater said:

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

Also those old DOS Dark Sun games seemed alright from what I played of them, something of a proto Temple of Elemental Evil.

Yeah, it seemed interesting if only for the fact that it wasn't a first-person dungeon crawler like Eye of the Beholder. Which is not a knock against EotB, but y'know, it was a nice little change-up from the trends of the time.

My point is that I think the D&D license is stagnating because they keep focusing on Forgotten Realms, which is just stock fantasy-ass fantasy. If they would mix things up a bit by dabbling in some of the other universes, it might re-energize the property.

I think Dark Sun would work especially well seeing as how you don't see a lot of post-apocalyptic fantasy stuff these days.

Oh, I knew what you meant. I'm just saying that because they have shown interest in the past with settings beyond the Forgotten Realms (and the fact that PS:T is considered by many to be the best D&D video game ever created), there's always a glimmer, however small, of hope for future games to expand their horizons.

#30 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10992 posts) -

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

@greggd said:

@arbitrarywater said:

@greggd said:

@bigdaddy81 said:

Personally, I would offer the soul of my firstborn child for a good D&D game set in the Dark Sun universe. Seems like every D&D game is legally bound to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

I would also accept the Eberron universe as a substitute as there is a lot of potential there. (And no, D&D Online does NOT count)

There was a Dark Sun game waaaaaay back in the day, on DOS. Also, Planescape: Torment takes place in...well, Planescape.

Also those old DOS Dark Sun games seemed alright from what I played of them, something of a proto Temple of Elemental Evil.

Yeah, it seemed interesting if only for the fact that it wasn't a first-person dungeon crawler like Eye of the Beholder. Which is not a knock against EotB, but y'know, it was a nice little change-up from the trends of the time.

My point is that I think the D&D license is stagnating because they keep focusing on Forgotten Realms, which is just stock fantasy-ass fantasy. If they would mix things up a bit by dabbling in some of the other universes, it might re-energize the property.

I think Dark Sun would work especially well seeing as how you don't see a lot of post-apocalyptic fantasy stuff these days.

Oh, I knew what you meant. I'm just saying that because they have shown interest in the past with settings beyond the Forgotten Realms (and the fact that PS:T is considered by many to be the best D&D video game ever created), there's always a glimmer, however small, of hope for future games to expand their horizons.

I'm waiting for the inevitable Starjammers game myself. (No seriously, if they started making D&D games from their C-Tier settings again, you have no idea how stoked I would be)

#31 Edited by GreggD (4440 posts) -
#32 Posted by Rick_Fingers (524 posts) -

If a BG or NWN style game in the Forgotten Realms went up on Kickstarter I would fund the shit out of it.

I enjoy the D&D rules a great deal, but the Forgotten Realms setting combined with those rules is what made them amazing.

#33 Edited by The_Vein (248 posts) -

I was really hoping that the success of X-Com would lead to a D&D turn based game like Temple of Elemental Evil but without all the boring quests and terrible bugs.

I'll never understand why people don't just make a D&D/Pathfinder game that's turn based and tactical instead of the weird real-time shit that BG and NWN and ID have.

#34 Posted by endaround (2128 posts) -

@sinusoidal: I don't know man, I'm in the game's first dungeon and my paladin is getting two-shotted by an ogre with protection from evil on him and curse on the ogre. And I'm not even close to level 2. I put up with that stuff in BG because there was a story to back it up, but I never actually liked BG's combat. (Sorry for bolding, text editor acting up)

You need to basically break the 2ed rules in Icewind Dale. Min max everything.

#35 Posted by chrissedoff (2034 posts) -

@the_vein: Those games are still pretty much turn-based. They just hide it.

#36 Edited by Sinusoidal (1152 posts) -

@the_vein said:

I was really hoping that the success of X-Com would lead to a D&D turn based game like Temple of Elemental Evil but without all the boring quests and terrible bugs.

I'll never understand why people don't just make a D&D/Pathfinder game that's turn based and tactical instead of the weird real-time shit that BG and NWN and ID have.

Spacebar is your friend.

#37 Posted by The_Vein (248 posts) -

@sinusoidal: @chrissedoff: Yes, that's true, but even with constant pausing, you're not getting a real turn-based, tactical movement real D&D type gamepplay experience.

#38 Edited by dudeglove (7245 posts) -
#39 Edited by thomasnash (404 posts) -

@veektarius said:

@sinusoidal: I don't know man, I'm in the game's first dungeon and my paladin is getting two-shotted by an ogre with protection from evil on him and curse on the ogre. And I'm not even close to level 2. I put up with that stuff in BG because there was a story to back it up, but I never actually liked BG's combat. (Sorry for bolding, text editor acting up)

You need to basically break the 2ed rules in Icewind Dale. Min max everything.

100 rerolls at character creation! Fighters with 4 dump stats!

Icewind Dale is a punishing game compared to Baldur's Gate. I like that though, because it gives you a reason to use all your skills and abilities. Because it's combat focused, I always feel more inclined to set up backstab opportunities and use potions and set traps and so on. I do a lot less "select all - attack."

I would also love a proper D&D game to come out. I feel like very few RPGs come out nowadays that have the same amount of depth as D&D can give, both in terms of tactical gameplay and character development.

I love the idea of something like XCOM with D&D.

#40 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10992 posts) -

I would also love a proper D&D game to come out. I feel like very few RPGs come out nowadays that have the same amount of depth as D&D can give, both in terms of tactical gameplay and character development.

I love the idea of something like XCOM with D&D.

Friend, do I have a game for you.

#41 Edited by Svenzon (699 posts) -

Funny you should mention it, since I've played through both Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment recently. I'm also replaying (or should I say "actually playing through") Baldur's Gate 1 right now. Playing those games started resurrecting my interest in D&D. Then GB Unplugged reminded me that Pathfinder exists, so I bought the core rulebook and now I'm gearing up for a campaign with some friends. The players have all made their characters, so now all I've gotta do is rebalance the first adventure and find a day when everybody's available. Very much looking forward to playing again.

So anyway, back to video games. After Baldur's Gate 2 and Throne of Bhaal there weren't really any great D&D-based games. Neither of the Neverwinter Nights games really grabbed my attention. The Temple of Elemental Evil had cool combat but was otherwise lacklustre and Pool of Radiance was riddled with bugs. Then 4e came out and everybody pretty much hated it, so now all we have is Daggerdale and the Neverwinter MMO.

I'd like to see devs go back to Infinity Engine style RPGs, like Obsidian are doing with Project Eternity. That game isn't based on D&D, but I suspect its influence will be pretty clear. I'd love to see an IE style game set in the Ravenloft universe, basically Baldur's Gate 2 with Gothic horror influences.

#42 Posted by Veektarius (4134 posts) -

@svenzon: I believe that NWN2 was based on 4e rules. If so, I think it's mechanics were good enough to support the idea that 4e could make for a good video game, even if tabletop players don't like it.