PAX Prime 2012: Neverwinter's Foundry preview
Quite possibly the most impressive presentation I had the chance to see at PAX Prime was Neverwinter's new Foundry, the user-generated quest system that will allow virtually unlimited amount of content for the game.
The Foundry will allow players to construct quests from beginning to end, making them as elaborate as they want, and editing pretty much any and every aspect of the game. We got a very quick run through of a user created quest which consisted of picking up the quest from an NPC, traveling to a certain location, eliminating enemies, and collecting a certain item which completed the quest.
You're probably thinking that creating a quest from scratch for an MMO is a very time consuming, and quite possibly extremely hard thing to do. The answer is both yes and no. It all truly depends on the user how simple or complicated they want their quests to be. Thankfully the Foundry includes a wizard that will indicate whenever something needs attention, or would otherwise make the quest not work. It's a handy feature that I can see novice quest makers utilize a whole lot.
When I say everything is able to be edited, I mean everything. From map layouts, to furniture layouts, enemy models, characters, what they're wearing and even their appearance, all of this can be molded to be exactly how you envision it. It's mindblowing. Even dialogue can consist of a few lines or a huge branching conversation.
So what happens with your quests once they're finished? They get added to the Foundry hub page, and are all stored under your username. If you manage to make quests that are compelling enough, other players can then follow, subscribe or even donate in-game currency to you, to show support to the work you put in.
Never in my life would I think something as complicated as creating actual quest content for an MMO would be available for public use, but here I am, completely amazed and astonished as to how great it works, and how full featured it is. To say that the team over at Cryptic has done something revolutionary would be an understatement.
The Foundry will be available to everyone with no additional cost, and will be available to test out once Neverwinter goes into beta later this year.