A friend in france is trying to play on the servers but is getting the above error message. From what I can tell he has all the files installed properly. He's trired connecting with his firewall and virus scanner down. I know a lot of you are gonna suggest port forwarding, however he's running off a shared router in apartments, so getting access to it won't be easy (especially considering his french vocab ). Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
First things first: Does he have ARF2 installed? If not, have him install it, let it update NWN if needed, and use it to connect to the servers. He'll still get a warning when he first starts to connect, but should still be able to connect if he just clicks OK.
If he still gets a timeout (AFTER the warning he can just click OK on), then there's not much that can be done except to get different internet, since the next probable culprit is the router.
Port Forwarding should NOT be needed for NWN (I play from behind a non-upnp router and don't use it), but I would recommend setting the Client Port variable in nwnplayer.ini to something other than 5120 as well, since you never know who else could be playing from your apartment complex.
P.S. You really do need ARF2 unless you know what you're doing, since NWN's GameSpy support doesn't work anymore (there is a replacement service, but you need NWNCX and one of its plugins in order to actually use it).