While it’s been a little quiet on the Foundry news side we’ve recently gotten a hold of a couple screenshots and are extremely excited to share them with you.  We’ll go through what’s been changed from the STO Foundry, and what’s completely brand new.

The first screenshot shows the costume builder and the second shows the exterior map editor.

Costume Builder

Here we have Cryptic’s new costume builder.  Right away we get the nice grid preview that seems to be everywhere in the Foundry.

When creating a new costume the Author starts off with a large number of pre-built costumes. The types of costumes and variety of each costume is enormous.  These pre-built costumes are also ones that already exist in the game as the currently selected costume Orc Throg the Ravenous has a description that implies that it is found in the tower district.  One of the things that Andy said at PAX is that when an asset is created for Cryptic content, it will be added to the Foundry, so it seems like they’ve been doing so, at least with costumes.

Once the Author accepts a base costume they can then start customizing the individual options as they see fit.  Some of the customization options can be seen in the preview grid when looking at the different variations of each specific actor type.  A large variety of hairstyles, facial modifiers and accessories are evident, and are to be expected in a Cryptic game.

Exterior Map Editor

Now we have the Exterior Map Editor.  While much of it is not that different from Star Trek Online’s current map editor,  several things immediately stand out.

First of all there is the grid preview again for the detail objects.  Fans of banners, rejoice as here is evidence of a large number of different banners to choose from.  Undoubtedly other detail objects will have this level of attention as well.

There are also three different options to sort the detail objects.

  • Kit
  • Type
  • Light

It is unknown what Kit may be.  Type is self explanatory (Wall, Banner, Chair etc), while Light may allow the Author to filter by details that can be used as light sources.

Next are the new tabs available in the library.  The ones that appear in NW but not STO are:

  • Clusters
  • Traps
  • Teleporters

While clusters may be a little ambiguous of a title, traps and teleporters are more straightforward.  Traps are most likely environmental dangers that the players must solve or use to their own advantage.  The ability to teleport players and other NPCs has been a long standing request of STO authors, and the teleporter tab may be the result of this.  However until we have an explicit explanation or have it shown to us we can only speculate.

Another new feature can be seen in the detail panel at the bottom.  Currently an NPC group named “Drow Patrol (#633)” is selected.  Under the name you can see that the Behaviour option has been set to Patrol and has an Add Point button beside it.  This feature was originally slated to make it into the STO Foundry for the Season 6 update but didn’t make the cut.  In the map editor we can see the patrol path seems to be controlled via the red circles.  The pathing logic also seems to take into account terrain when it builds the patrol route.

One small thing to note is how the Position is based off of feet not metres like STO.  This caused some issues in STO as some systems used metric and others used imperial so it looks like they’ve settled on the imperial system.

There are also a couple things that are unidentifiable on the Exterior Map Editor.  There are two green circles with down arrows near the Player Spawn icon (the circle with the blue person), and there are a few large circles mixed in with the smaller circles (that are most likely detail objects).

Other Changes

There are several other changes evident in the screenshots that aren’t specific to the Costume or Map Editor.

  • Item Tab
  • New Menu Option
  • Chat Box

One is the Item tab on the left.  This tab will allow the Author to create customized items that the players would use in the mission.  An example would be returning a prized family heirloom to a noble.   A future possible feature would be the ability to create weapons or armor in the Foundry that the player could keep after finishing the quest.  Stats would be generated by Cryptic of course.

There are two new menu options at the top:

  • Respec
  • Help

Respecing may be the ability to change the Author’s Foundry character for testing purposes.  One complaint that STO Foundry authors had was that they couldn’t test missions for all levels because the Foundry characters were locked at level 1.  With respecing the Author can make sure that the mission is suitable for players of different levels and class.

Finally the chatbox makes its entry into the Foundry, something Cryptic has changed in the NW Foundry perhaps due to feedback from STO.  Hopefully for STO authors this along with all the other new features and improvements makes its way into their Foundry soon.  For those of you itching to get into Neverwinter’s Foundry, you’ll have to either wait for closed/open beta or play when it’s released which is currently scheduled for Early 2013.