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Neverwinter Nights 2 is a role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari. It is the sequel to BioWare's Neverwinter Nights, based on the Dungeons & Dragons pencil and paper fantasy role-playing game. Neverwinter Nights 2 utilizes an adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition rules. Players create player characters to represent themselves in the game, using the same character creation rules as found in the Dungeons & Dragons game. They may gain the assistance of additional party members, and they eventually acquire a keep that can be used as a base of operations. Neverwinter Nights 2 is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting—in and around the city of Neverwinter. The story is mostly unrelated to Neverwinter Nights and follows the journey of an orphaned adventurer investigating a group of mysterious artifacts known as "silver shards" and their connection to an ancient, evil spirit known as the King of Shadows.
Neverwinter Nights 2 went into development in July 2004. This sequel was designed with the Aurora Engine, also used by its predecessor, and the game's toolset was included in the game's release for players to use in designing their own adventures. The game's design team drew upon older role-playing video games, and decided that the player character would have to earn the respect of others by the things the character does. The game was also designed to be playable with other players online in a cooperative fashion. The game was released in October and November 2006. Official multiplayer support for the game was suspended in December 2012. In response, the Neverwinter Nights 2 community developed several initiatives by which players can continue to play the game online.
Reviews of Neverwinter Nights 2 were generally positive. Reviewers were pleased with the changes that had been made from the first game in the series, especially regarding the storyline and party management. The game won GameSpot's Best Story award for 2006. One of the most commonly raised complaints about the game was the presence of numerous technical glitches in its initial release. Two official expansions and one official adventure pack have been released for the game: Mask of the Betrayer in 2007, Storm of Zehir in 2008, and Mysteries of Westgate in 2009.