Some community solutions have been developed for Windows users, but there are no community solutions for Mac users. For Windows users the Client Extension by Skywing (<http://www.nynaeve.net/Skywing/nwn2/cliext/ClientExtension_Latest.zip>) is a Windows executable NWN2 pre-launcher that replaces the broken GameSpy functionality so that servers can be accessed over the internet, allowing access to Persistent World servers.
This document describes what is needed for Macintosh users on a local area network (LAN) to play NWN2 multi-player with one another. For Mac users there are two versions of the game available, the Aspyr DVD version and the non-DVD version that was temporarily sold in the Apple Store. Theoretically it shouldn’t matter which version is used for either the hosting server or client, but these instructions were developed and tested in two configurations: (1) 2 Macs running the App Store version on Mac OS X 10.9 and (2) one Mac running the DVD version on Mac OS X 10.6 and another Mac running the Apps Store version on Mac OS X 10.9. Other configurations may have different results.
Note that it is also possible to have a Mac on the LAN playing the Windows version of NWN2 using Bootcamp (or a Windows machine playing the Windows version) and participate in a multi-player game with a Mac that is using the Mac version.
Requirements and Preparation
The first requirement is that each machine playing NWN2 on the LAN must have NWN2 installed and patched to 1.23 (the Aspyr Mac patch for the DVD version of NWN2 can be downloaded from mac.Softpedia.com here; the Apple Store version was fully patched) and its own unique CD-keys listed in the Key1=, Key2=, and Key3= settings in the appropriate nwncdkey.ini file.
For DVD version users that file is:
Users/[username]/Documents/Aspyr/Neverwinter Nights 2/nwncdkey.ini
For users of the Apple Store non-DVD version that file is:
Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Neverwinter Nights 2/nwncdkey.ini
The second requirement is that the servers need to be able to communicate with one another. This requires adjusting the settings of the Apple Mac OS X firewall on each machine. This can be done through the System Preferences Security & Privacy control panel (on Mac OS X 10.6 this is called the Security panel). If you are using a version of Mac OS X that allows you to add an application to the firewall allow list in the advanced firewall settings (10.6 and later allow this, I'm not sure about earlier versions), then adding the Neverwinter Nights 2 application to that list should be sufficient and you can keep the firewall on. If you do choose to turn the firewall off then I suggest you turn the firewall back on when you are done playing.
The third requirement is that any campaigns or modules that are going to be played must be installed on each computer that will be playing.
Originally when playing online each computer was supposed to have a unique account registered with Bioware. Bioware no longer allows accounts to be registered however, but for LAN use all that is required is that each computer use a uniquely named account. The accounts do not actually have to be registered with Bioware and are not in any way related to the character you play. If you are going to use a computer multiple times, then you should probably use the same account for it each time. That has been my practice although I do not know if that consistency is a requirement or benefit.
The deprecated GameSpy functionality allowed hosted games to be advertised on the GameSpy servers so they could be found by browsing. The Client Extension replaces that functionality for Windows users but is Windows only. Fortunately for playing on a LAN this functionality is not required. Just in case the Direct Connect option will be required (it hasn’t been for me) you should make a note of the IP address of each computer that will be playing. Here are two methods to get the IP address:
- System Preferences Network control panel should show IP address
- Use the Terminal utility and type the command “ping hostname” without the quotes and replacing hostname with the name of your machine, which is the part before the colon on the Terminal command line. The ping command will show the IP address in parentheses on the first line. Press control-C to exit the ping command.
Starting (or loading) the game on the host server
The machine you are going to host the game on will be doing the most work, so for best performance it should be the Mac with the fastest CPU and most memory. (Check this using the Apple menu About This Mac option). If you are planning to play the NWN2 OC or MotB then this would be the primary player’s (“shard-bearer”) computer.
On the host machine start NWN2. At the initial menu select the MULTIPLAYER option. This should take you to the Bioware Community Login screen.
On the Bioware Community Login screen enter the Bioware account and password you will use on this machine and if this is your personal computer check the Remember Password option. If you do not have a registered Bioware account then just fabricate an account name and password because the create account name feature stopped working in 2012. Click Sign In. This should eventually take you to another menu although it may take several seconds and you may have to click through an authentication failed error message. (Reminder, each computer participating must use its own unique account.) If you do not check the Remember Password setting, then either pick a very easy to remember password or write it down someplace.
Select NEW GAME (if you are resuming a game you would select the LOAD GAME option). This should take you to the Server Info screen.
On the Server Info screen first UNCHECK the Post Game To Internet option and then click NEXT. (You can also change other options if you like, such as allowing illegal characters.)
At this point the screens are essentially the same as they would be for playing a single-player game allowing you to start a game with a new or existing character. Select NEW CAMPAIGN to start a campaign or NEW MODULE to start a module. (In this case I am starting a campaign). This will take you to the Select Campaign screen.
On the Select Campaign screen select the campaign you wish to play and click START GAME.
As the game is starting you will briefly see a Connection Status screen that will display your IP address. After that you will be able to create or select a character.
Joining the game with a clientNote: These steps can be repeated for multiple clients.
Start NWN2. At the initial menu select the MULTIPLAYER option. This should take you to the Bioware Community Login screen.
On the Bioware Community Login screen enter the Bioware account and password you will use on this machine. If you do not have a registered Bioware account then just fabricate an account name because the create account name feature stopped working in 2012. Click Sign In. This should eventually take you to another menu although it may take several seconds and you may have to click through an authentication failed error message. (Reminder, each computer participating must use its own unique account.)
Select JOIN LAN GAME. This should take you to the LAN Browser screen.
On the LAN Browser screen, after a few seconds, your host server should appear. Click on the host server line to highlight it and then click the CONNECT button. If the host server is not listed then make sure that the firewall settings on both machines are either set to allow connections with the Neverwinter Night 2 application or the firewalls are turned off. (Alternatively you can cancel and try the Direct Connect option which will require the IP address of the host server, but this is not something I have needed to do as long as the firewall settings are correct.)
You will then be able to create or select a character to play the game.
Enjoy playing NWN2.