MacSoft to bring Neverwinter Nights expansions to Mac

Destineer subsidiary MacSoft on Tuesday confirmed with MacCentral that it will bring forth Macintosh versions of the official expansion packs to the role playing game Neverwinter Nights, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark.

The expansion packs continue the folklore and legend of the Forgotten Realms. In Shadows of Undrentide, players begin their adventure in the mountain town of Hilltop as they journey to the ancient ruins of Netheril. It's a 20+ hour single-player adventure that ads new environments, new prestige character classes and new monsters. Experienced player characters gain new skills, feats and spells. Hordes of the Underdark is also a 20+ hour single-player adventure featuring new prestige classes, new creatures, feats and spells, and more. The game expansion features a decidedly darker tone, filled with nightmarish creatures and slithering horrors.

No official Web page for the expansion packs has been posted to MacSoft's Web site or published as a press release, but MacSoft general manager Al Schilling confirmed with MacCentral that the expansion packs are indeed headed our way. News of the expansion packs first came to light on Monday at game site Inside Mac Games, when a reader indicated in a forum post that Destineer President Peter Tamte told him by e-mail that expansion packs were on the way.

Neverwinter Nights is the role playing game developed by BioWare Corp. and published for the PC by Atari. It uses Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules for an authentic role-playing game experience, wrapped in a modern 3D gaming environment. The game has had a troubled history on the Macintosh; it was initially promised for the Mac in the box with its PC and Linux counterparts; those plans were shelved when the PC development of the game fell behind schedule.

Neverwinter Nights ultimately shipped for the Macintosh in July 2003. The major bone of contention among Mac RPG enthusiasts prior to the game's release was the Mac conversion's lack of level editing tools. MacSoft at one time had plans to port them but later discovered that doing so would add too much cost and time to the game's already-delayed conversion.

Shortcomings aside, Neverwinter Nights has proven to be a popular outlet for Mac gamers looking to experience authentic role-playing gaming on their systems. Many Mac gamers have played through the included game and have even downloaded and used add-ons created by NeverWinter Nights enthusiasts on the PC side. Mac gamers have also joined and hosted many online games of NeverWinter Nights.

Both expansion packs are already available for the PC. Neverwinter Nights fans have already documented ways to get the expansions to work on the Macintosh version of the game. And while such procedures are not supported by MacSoft, they acknowledge that the PC expansion packs work and haven't done anything to prevent them from being used. This news, however, means that gamers who don't want to take the chance that something will go wrong can get officially MacSoft-sold and supported versions.

MacSoft did not specify a release schedule for the new expansion packs, but both are expected to be released in the next couple of months. Each expansion pack will be sold separately, and will require the full version of Neverwinter Nights to work.

This story, "MacSoft to bring Neverwinter Nights expansions to Mac" was originally published by PCWorld.

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