This page serves as a guide to help you get a copy of Neverwinter Nights and its expansions along with required files for playing on Higher Ground. There are only three major steps required in order to log onto Higher Ground, and you can find details of how to perform all of them on this page:
- Obtain a distribution of the game (digital or retail) and install it
- Download and Install the 1.69 Critical Rebuild patch (manually or with ARF2, but not required with the digital version from GOG)
- Download and Install CEPv2.3c (manually or with ARF2)
Below are the stated system requirements for the game. Most current generation computers are capable of running Neverwinter Nights with varying degrees of success, depending on the graphics and associated drivers, in their support of functionality NWN uses.
|Processor||Pentium® II 450 MHz or AMD K6 450 MHz||Pentium® III 800 MHz or AthlonTM 800 MHz|
|Operating System||Windows 98/ME/2000SP2/XP|
|RAM (Windows 98/ME)||96MB||128MB|
|RAM (Windows 2000/XP)||128MB||256 MB|
|Hard Disk Installation||1.2GB||2.0GB1|
|CD ROM or CD/DVD ROM Drive||8X|
|DirectX||DirectX® version 8.1|
|Video Card||16MB TNT2-class OpenGL 1.2 compliant video card||NVIDIA GeForce 2/ATI Radeon|
|Multiplayer||IPX or TCP/IP via LAN or Internet|
|Multiplayer via Modem||56k (2 players max)||Broadband|
|1: After custom content, installation size can be as large as 9.0GB for the Diamond Edition of the game that comes with extra content|
The game is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later and can run native on Linux. You can find information about the Linux client on BioWare's webpage.
There are two distributions of the game available: the retail distribution that you may occasionally find in stores, or via online merchants for somewhere in the $20 range, and a digital distribution available from Good Old Games for $10. The digital distribution is recommended for ease of acquisition and setup, though there are caveats for doing so. Note that the digital distribution is Windows only, but you should be able to install the game resources and use them to run a native linux client per the instructions at the above mentioned website.
The only current digital copy of Neverwinter Nights is available through Good Old Games and is a bargain at $10 for all of the necessary expansions along with some great bonus content. There are a few downsides to the digital distribution, but time and patience will trump these issues as discussed in the following sections. Combined with custom content, this option adds up to approximately 4.0GB worth of downloads.
After purchasing the game from GOG, it will appear in your game library to be downloaded. There are three parts consisting of an installer and two content files. Once all three are downloaded you can run the installer to install the game.
- NOTE: If you are running Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 with User Account Control (enabled by default), it is recommended you click the Options button and set the installation directory somewhere outside of the Program Files directory (such as C:\Games), as UAC prevents write permissions within the Program Files folder, causing a great deal of headache when trying to modify game files or change settings.
Once you have installed the game, all you will need is the latest version of the Community Expansion Pack. You can refer to the Updating with ARF2 section for instructions on obtaining the CEP.
The GOG install of Neverwinter Nights is packaged with a set of standard CD Keys. Since these CD Keys are in every user's download, they cannot be used online due to the CD Key restrictions of the BioWare Master Server. To get your own CD Keys for use online, visit the Contact Us page at GOG and select the following:
- Game title: Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition
- I have a problem with: multiplayer key request
After sending off the key request you will receive new CD keys at the e-mail address tied to your GOG account, along with instructions for replacing your existing keys (the sent file is the nwncdkey.ini file, meant to replace the CD Keys that came with the GOG Download).
- WARNING: Higher Ground uses a CD Key authorization system to prevent abuse; the first CD Key you log in with will be the CD Key your account is tied to--if you attempt to log in with another CD Key your connection will be refused by the server with a CD Key Denied error message. If you log in before swapping keys, you can use the PC Scrying Device in your inventory to Make Changes to your Character or Account and add an additional CD Key (which will record the CD Key being used on your next login). After doing this, log out, swap the CD Key files, then log back in.
- If you forget to use the PC Scry, to add your online key after joining the server with the CD Key in the GOG download, and find yourself locked out of the server, please make post in The Spotlessly Clean Oubliette with your player (login) name and an Administrator will clear the CD Key for your account so that you can get back into the game.
This process of receiving keys can take some time, as GOG is based in Poland and is not open on weekends. This is where patience comes into play. In the meantime, you can proceed to the Custom Content section to set up all the custom content you want to use while on Higher Ground.
There are several merchants that may still carry a copy of Neverwinter Nights (specifically the Platinum/Deluxe or Diamond/Deluxe: Special Edition versions that have all the expansions), or you can find a copy of the game purchasable online.
After purchasing the game either from a retailer or from any online reseller, install the game from the discs following the instructions. If you are using Windows Vista or 7 it is recommended that you install somewhere other than the Program Files directory (such as C:\Games) to avoid dealing with restrictions associated with User Account Control.
Once installed, you will have to use the 1.69 Critical Rebuild patch to update the game to a playable state. You can refer to the Updating with ARF2 section for instructions on applying the Rebuild patch.
This guide contains: 1.69 Critical Rebuild Patch links:Linux installation guide
Note that after first install you can just backup your nwn folder and copy paste it to install it again.
In Ubuntu 12.04 you can press windows button to minimize your game window.
Updating with ARF2
ARF2 is a tool written by Bhao that will detect missing content and automatically download and install it for you. ARF2 currently only runs under Windows.
ARF2 will download and apply the 1.69 Critical Rebuild Patch, CEP2.3c, and the latest version of Higher Ground Enhanced (if you choose to install it) along with some extra custom Client Changes. If you would prefer to download these files ahead of time and let ARF2 handle the installations, you can find instructions on how to do so in the Manual Downloads section.
You can download ARF2 here.
When the download is finished, place the contents of the zip file in a subfolder of your NWN install (i.e. Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition\ARF2 or NWN\ARF2 depending on whether you have the digital or retail versions, respectively). Once the files are in the directory, open arf2.exe (if administrator privileges are required, ARF2 will give you an error message prompting you to run it as an administrator if you did not). Once ARF2 is launched, it will begin to scan your Neverwinter Nights installation and downloaded content for anything missing.
On the first launch of ARF2 after a fresh install, it will detect that you are missing CEP files and will launch the Update Options dialog so that you can download and install the necessary files. If you chose earlier to manually download the aforementioned files, you will be able to specify their location so that they can be installed rather than have ARF2 re-download them again (ARF2 downloads to an arf2-downloads directory within its sub-directory, if you wish to put your files there for ease of keeping track). Your actions from here will be dependent on which distribution of the game you have along with what custom content you wish to download.
If you are still using the GOG CD Keys, ARF2 will detect this and prompt you to visit the CD Keys section in order to obtain a CD Key that can be used online. With the correct CD Keys received and put in place per the instructions, the update process will continue and prompt you to download CEP if you do not have it installed already.
Assuming you did not apply the 1.69 Critical Rebuild patch after installing the game, ARF2 will notice that your executable is out of date and will prepare to download the Critical Rebuild in addition to the CEP files. Again, if you have already downloaded the patch, you can Browse to its location to tell ARF2 where to install it from.
The major portion of custom content that Higher Ground uses, and the only custom content required to join the server, is the Community Expansion Pack (CEP). Downloading and installing this is selected by default in ARF2, as you could not join the server without doing so. In addition to CEP, there are several other optional downloads you can select.
Higher Ground Enhanced
An optional hak that adds additional visual effects, enhanced descriptions, and a number of new game play mechanics, HG Enhanced is the hak utilized by Higher Ground to employ many of the unique changes we have made to the game, so it is strongly recommended. There are two versions of HG Enhanced to choose from:
- Standard: As it states, this is the standard version of HG Enhanced, containing all the additions.
- GUI: In addition to the edits specific to HG Enhanced, this version is also bundled with the Aenea Transparent GUI with various visual interface improvements.
Install Modified Client Executable
The Modified Client Executable enables a few added features not present with the standard executable
- It raises the limit on effect icons from 129 to 254.
- It raises the maximum camera distance from 25m to 40m.
- It allows entering true first-person camera mode by pressing the Home key while in Drive Camera mode.
- It allows angling the camera to look upward. Be warned that if you have HG Enhanced skyboxes on, you may see the edges of skyboxes which cannot normally be viewed. We will remodel some of these in the future to fix this.
- It increases the maximum tile fog distance from 45m to 75m, which allows you to see more terrain around your character.
- It allows running multiple instances of the NWN client.
Installation Note: Rename the original nwmain.exe to something else, such as nwmain_bak.exe and rename the new file to nwmain.exe
Install Additional Quickchats
For any of the additional files mentioned above, you can find manual downloads for them in this section. If you would prefer not to use ARF2 to download and update your game, you can choose to manually install the below files. For the Critical Rebuild patch, CEP, and HG Enhanced, you can download the files ahead of time and leave ARF2 to install them for you through the Update Options Dialog accessed from the Update menu in ARF2.
- 1.69 Critical Rebuild Patch: for Windows for Linux for Mac
- Community Expansion Pack v2.3c: