Frequently Asked Questions

With Nox now available, there are lots of questions.
Hopefully, this FAQ will cover the most asked questions, but we’re sure there will be more. The best place to go to ask those questions is the Nox forum, which is frequented by Westwood folks with bags full of answers.

For now, here’s the Nox FAQ…

What is Nox?
Nox is an Action/Role-Playing Game, the first of a new franchise for Westwood Studios. It’s a game of savage combat and sneaky tactics set in a mystical land filled with discovery and deceit. There are two modes of play: The single-player “Hecubah’s Saga,” which takes you through 11 chapters and 10 environments in a heroic battle to liberate Nox from the tyranny of the undead, and multiplayer gaming, which offers intense head-to-head combat in a wide variety of popular modes, including Arena, Elimination, Capture the Flag, King of the Realm and Flag Ball.

How many characters are there, and what are their types?
There are three characters, the Warrior – who is strong and adept at melee attack; the Conjurer – who is an archer, able to summon and charm creatures; and the Wizard – who can cast spells and create magical traps.

What are the attributes of the characters?
Each character has Health (the amount of damage that can be taken before death), Strength (which governs which weapons are equipable, and the power of their attacks), Speed (which controls how quickly a character can move and attack) and Mana (which affects the Conjurer’s and Wizard’s spellcasting; the Warrior does not have this attribute).

Is the game balanced as far as each character being able to play against any other?
At every stage in development, balance has been very much on our minds, and we constantly have tweaked each character, adding a skill, modifying a spell, increasing or decreasing the damage inflicted by a weapon. We want the game to be equally challenging, and equally rewarding, no matter which character you select.

How do I advance my character levels?
When your character goes up a level, you receive points in the four the attribute areas: Health, Strength, Speed and, for spellcasters, Mana. These points are automatically distributed into the proper areas for your character type. Leveling up will affect each of the three character types quite differently – more strength for the Warrior, as you might assume, and more mana capacity for the Wizard, for example. At certain levels, you get special abilities like Harpoon for the Warrior, Traps for Wizards, and monster summoning for Conjurers.

Do spells also advance in levels, or do they automatically rise when my character levels up?
Spell powers are tied directly to books and not restricted by experience levels. When you find or purchase subsequent spellbooks of a spell you already know, its power advances by one. For example, if you have a Magic Wall spell and read a second Magic Wall spellbook then you will now have a Magic Wall power 2, and the Magic Wall spell effect extends farther than it did before. All spells become better as the spell power increases. Fireballs get faster and larger; lightning, instead of striking just a single target, casts in a chain that hits multiple targets; enchantments last longer.

Is there a cap on spell levels?
While we don’t expressly limit the power to 3 it is rare to get a spell up to level 3.

Are characters affected by a “burden,” that is, the combined weight of the items they carry?
Yes. Each character type has a different burden. It is not incremental, though, so you do not slow as you carry more things, but will only feel the effects if you exceed your capacity, at which time movement will be impossible.

Is it possible to customize my character’s appearance?
Your character will be uniquely yours. You may select from a wide palette of colors for clothing, hair, complexion, even the colour of his shoelaces. As you acquire items, they will be automatically coordinated to the palette you have selected.

Is there a cap, or maximum, on how high I can take my Single-Player Characters?
The maximum character level is 10, although, as Nox Producer John Hight has said, “If you do every quest, every side quest and finish every single thing nearly perfectly, you might be able to reach a Level 11.”

What are the characters’ consumables in Nox?
All three characters have a finite amount of health. Two characters – the Conjurer and the Wizard – also consume mana for spell casting. Health can be regenerated at wishing wells (located in each town), at moving sources of health regeneration, or with potions. Mana is regenerated with potions, or through the use of a Mana Obelisk, which recharges mana when a character stands near it.

What kinds of potions are there?
In addition to health and mana potions, there are also poison antidote potions. All three of these potions can be hotkeyed for quick use.

How many NPC’s (non-player characters) are there in Nox? Do they play an active role, or are they just “eye candy?”
There are more than 100 NPC’s, and most serve a function, either to start quests or provide clues to the solving of quests, to guide you around the land, or to offer opportunities for getting items or improving them. Sometimes NPC’s are “for” you and sometimes they are “against” you, so you have to be alert!

How many different types of monsters are in Nox?
There are over 40 monster types, and a few variants, too. They range from equipped human opponents to classic monsters, creatures of nature, and creatures of the supernatural, the undead. Some of them carry weapons and items that you can use after you have killed them.

How many spells and weapons are there in Nox?
There are more than 100 unique skills and weapons in Nox, and many of them can be used in deadly combination, creating literally tens of thousands of potential means of attack and defense.

Do the monsters have magic spells?
Monsters have some of the spells of the player characters and some of their own unique spells. They can use spell combos and cast both offensive and defensive spells.

What are the basic characteristics of weapons and armor?
They have three traits: Power (their potential damage, ranging from “pitiful” to “divine”); the Material out of which it is constructed (at six levels, ranging from copper to diamond); and any particular Enchantment that the item has, which include fire, lightning, poison, mana drain, impact, stun, and confusion. Some rare weapons are graced with two enchantments, so this makes for many different combinations.

Can you give a few examples of Nox weaponry?
The weapons that can be used by a Warrior include: Wooden Staff, Short Sword, Mace, Long Sword, Axe, Shuriken, War Hammer, Chackrum, and the two-handed Great Sword. The Conjurer’s arsenal would include the Bow, Crossbow, Wooden Staff, Fireball Staff, Sulphurous Flare Staff, Sulphurous Shower Staff, and a Force of Nature Staff. For the Wizard, the weapons are Wooden Staff, Fireball Staff, Sulphurous Flare Staff, Sulphurous Shower Staff, Triple Fireball Staff, and the powerful Wand of Death.

How about a run-down on Nox armor?
Each character has standard cloth garb to which they can add armor with six qualities and six material levels, and which can also have enchantments to protect the wearer from different types of damage, such as fire, poison, shock, magic, etc. The Warrior’s armor includes: shirt, pants, cloak, leather (boots, legs, tunic, arms, helm), chain, plate. In addition, the warrior can block melee attacks and spells with his round or kite shield and his Great Sword. The Conjurer’s armor includes: shirt, pants, cloak, leather (boots, legs, tunic, arms, helm), and a special Conjurer’s Helm. And the Wizard has available to him: shirt, pants, cloak, a special Wizard’s Robe, and a special Wizard’s Helm.

How many locations are there within the Land of Nox?
There are two main areas: The northern home of the Necromancers, the capital of which after their defeat became known as The Land of the Dead, and the southern home of the Humans. Within these regions, there are many other places you will adventure, including towns, villages, a temple, even a castle.

Can I make custom maps?
Currently there is no way to create your own maps, but Westwood plans to release quite a few of them with the game, and also have extras available for download occasionally.

Do music and sound effects play a major role in Nox?
Absolutely! We had one of the best game composers in the business – Frank Klepacki – write the score for Nox. And the sound effects received equal attention to detail. It will be a truly immersive experience, both visually and audibly.

How about visual effects?
Westwood had an artist working full-time in the few months of game development, concentrating on adding even more spectacular visual effects to Nox. The goal was to make the game generally spectacular, and to make people very aware when something important happens, like reading a spell book.

Are there difficulty levels?
No, there are no difficulty levels. The single-player game has a storyline that begins, for each character, in a different locale and increases in difficulty through its 11 chapters, but there are no settings to make it more difficult.

How replayable will Nox be, in terms of the Single Player game?
You will find that Nox invites replay. With three totally different characters, each of whom starts in a different part of the world and follows a completely different game path, and with all the choices of spells, abilities, and equipment, there will be a lot of incentive to play Nox through many times.

Is there random level generation?
The map of the world of Nox does not change. This was a decision made by the designers based on the fact that Nox is a tightly scripted game, and its events and characters are difficult to set into a randomly-generated map. Since precise control and flow are critical to the game, a repeating map is better than one that is randomly generated.

Are items randomly placed in each game?
No, items are always spawned at a certain spot in the game. This is to facilitate multi-player gaming, in particular, since your character starts out with virtually no inventory. It helps assure, too, that an equal amount of items are generated for the characters. He who locates the items has a better change of survival.

Will items (weapons, armor, etc.) wear out, break, or require repair?
Yes, they will. If you are a Warrior, you will be able to acquire the ability to repair your own equipment. Conjurers and Wizards may have items repaired by shopkeepers and blacksmiths.

Is there a chance of “to hit” as in classic Dungeons and Dragons games?
No, there is not. We feel if you successfully hit something, you always will do some damage to it. There is no way for an opponent to completely avoid a successfully-landed hit.

Are there character save options?
In single-player games, you may save whenever you desire. In addition, Nox will auto-save for you every time you make a map transition. There are no saves in multi-player games.

What happens when my single-player character dies? Is there a penalty, such as a lost item or lost experience points?
There is no penalty for dying. You can reload from a previous save game.

What are some features of the game interface?
The main game nearly fills the screen, with the interactive potions for spells, health and mana gauges, etc., located at the bottom. You have an automap that you may toggle on and off; points of interest are shown on that map. Your character’s journal will record unfinished quests; your Book of Lore allows you access spells, skills, and even creature information. Pop-up inventory and paper-doll are available.

What is the view in Nox?
Nox has an isometric, third person top-down perspective that uses the Truesight System, a feature that allows only those areas that could logically be seen by the character to be revealed. This feature, which means there are dark corners and hiding spot all around, increases suspense and intensity in the game. Truesight also allows the player to make strategic (and deadly!) use of doors, windows, and other openings.

Is the world just a static frame for action, or is it dynamic?
Nox takes place in a truly dynamic world that is further enhanced with the addition of an advanced physics system that delivers realistic interaction between players and the environment. You can roll boulders to spring traps; move candelabras to light a darkened area; break through walls into secret rooms; rupture water barrels to extinguish flames. And, as was recently discovered, the characters are affected by the world in novel ways, such as using the Warrior “Harpoon” skill to drag your opponent across steaming lava!

Does Nox have a point and click battle system, or do you use a keyboard?
On a 2-button mouse, you use mouse button 1 to target your enemies and strike them or cast spells on them and mouse button 2 to direct and move your character. On a 3-button mouse, you have action (targeting) on mouse button 1, walk/run on mouse button 2, and jump on mouse button 3. The combination of the two or three mouse buttons will allow you to perform these actions at the same time. You’ll have hot keys for all major functions as well as an on-screen display of your most frequently used abilities and spells.

Is the keyboard customizable?
Yes, you can set a huge variety of “hotkeys” for spells (as many as 25 can be hot-keyed), spell combinations, and attacks.

Is there a system for multi-player (on-line) gaming?
Yes, multi-player games will be supported through Westwood Online, an on-line gaming service with more than a million members.

Is there a monthly or on-time charge to play on Westwood Online?
No, there is no fee or charge of any kind.

What modes of play are there for Multi-Player games?
Nox promises an intense multiplayer experience with several one-on-one and team options: Capture the Flag, Arena, Elimination, King of the Realm, and Flagball, where the characters throw (using the attack button) a glowing orb towards the enemy’s flag and score a point for each hit.

How does a Multi-Player character advance?
Characters do not advance in multi-player Nox. They begin each MP game fully advanced to Level 10, with a full range of skills or spells. The Wizard has a full Spell Book, the Conjurer can summon all creatures.

If my multi-player character is already Level 10, does he come fully equipped for battle?
No, your character comes with no armor or weapons, but these items are generated at the same spot in each game. Therefore, part of the strategy of multi-playing Nox will involve getting to those spots to pick up the best provisions, or perhaps setting a trap for another unwary opponent who tries to nab the good equipment.

Will there be a ranking system, a “ladder,” for competitive play?
Yes, we’ll have some sort of worldwide ranking system. We’re calling it a “ladder” just now, but that name might change. It will probably be based like others, where two people play a game and the one who wins gets a point and those players with the most points are highest on the ladder. We’re still working that out.

Is there allying or group questing in multi-player games?
The multi-player game design is more oriented towards action than group adventuring, therefore, quests are reserved for the single-player game. Team games are possible in Capture the Flag, Arena, Elimination, King of the Realm, and Flagball.

How many people can play in each multi-player game?
Up to 31 players can play at once on a LAN or over the Internet. The set-up requires one computer to be a dedicated server with no one playing on that computer.

Do you have an “observer mode” for Nox?
Yes, observers are allowed in games. They will be considered as a player as far as the total number of people allowed in a specific game are concerned.

Can a Multi-player game be saved?

Will the person who creates the multi-player game have a lot of choices to customize the game?
Yes, an incredible number of choices are presented in the Multi-Player Game Launch Screen, including game type, map selection, number of players, type of players, how teams are selected, and variants or victory requirements, such as a timed game, or a game that counts “kills” to determine the victor.

In addition, you have advanced options, from something as simple to setting the password for a private game to being able to exclude certain types of characters or spells, banning a troublesome player, setting a minimum “ping number,” and setting the game resolution for all players in that game.

Have steps been taken to prevent cheating in multiplayer games?
We have a system that heavily encrypts the programming and uses detection hardware, so if someone hacks the game they will not be able to play on Westwood Online. The hacked product will be detected and disabled immediately. This doesn’t mean that someone couldn’t hack a character for LAN play, but it does mean that if they did, they would have to uninstall the game and reinstall a pure, unhacked copy of the game before playing on Westwood Online.

What are the computer system requirements for Nox?
The minimum recommended system is a Pentium 200 with mmx, 32 MB of RAM, 300 MB of hard drive space, and a 4 MB video card (which doesn’t have to be 3D). We recommend a Pentium II 266 or better, with 64MB RAM to see Nox in all of its glory. People playing or hosting internet games should have 64MB RAM and a decent Internet connection. You can join a game with a lower end machine, but we don’t recommend going below the Pentium II 200

Can anyone host a server?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, we supply a server-only option with the retail version of Nox for those who want to host their own servers.

What operating systems are supported?
We have made sure that it runs nicely on Windows NT as well as Windows 95/98. We are testing with Windows 2000, and it looks like the game’s going to run fine. If Microsoft makes any changes, we’ll make sure it runs on it.

Is a 3D Card required?
3D acceleration is not supported, though Nox does support a number of graphical effects such as true transparency, glow effects, and particle explosions. The traditional effects you see on 3D cards are supported via MMX assembly code in Nox.

What resolutions will be supported?
Resolutions range from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 in both 8-bit and 16-bit colour modes. Our software analyzes you machine and sets the options to their optimal state. You can change these at any time to turn features on or off.

Is a wheel mouse, like the Microsoft IntelliMouse, supported?
Yes, you will find the scrolling between spell rows in the spell book, amongst the 25 hot-keyed spells, is greatly helped with a wheeled mouse, where the default configuration places action on mouse button 1, walk/run on mouse button 2, and jump on mouse button 3. The wheel is used to scroll spell sets and inventory.

Is 3D Sound supported?
No, 3D sound is not supported. Nox supports stereo panning, and sounds fade as the player moves away from the source. The system used is proprietary 8-bit, 22 kHz and 16-bit 22kHz.

Is there be voice communication in Nox?

How will Nox come packaged?
Now will come on 2 CD’s and a game manual printed in English or one of many foreign languages, depending upon the country of distribution.

Is Nox available on DVD?

Will Nox come in a Macintosh version?
At this time a Mac version is not planned.

How much will the game cost?
The retail price for Nox will be approximately $39.95

Will there be non-English versions of Nox?
The game and manual will be produced in English, French, and German language versions. In other countries, the game itself will be in English, but the game manual will be printed in the local language, such as Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, and so forth.
Correction: Nox has been localized in English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, and Korean. These versions of Nox are in the native language, both audio and text.

What is the ESRB Rating for Nox?
The ESRB rating is “Teen (TI),” suitable for persons age 13 and older.

What is the projected release date for Nox?
February 16, 2000