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Neverwinter Nights 2 now at GOG


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I just finished my first run of Neverwinter Nights 2 OC, and, yeah, I'd say it's worth more than 15$, so if you have a mind to play a good RPG with a decent plot, buy it. And, yes, please patch it.


I've heard good things about Mask of the Betrayer, too, so I think I'm going to try that, as well.


The main problem with the official campaign, though(to me, at least), was its "Lothering syndrome". For the first part of the game, as your backstory is established and you meet your first four companions for the first time, it's great. You get character interaction and development, each new companion comes with lots of dialogue, it is all relevant to the story - yay! And it's all VOICED, and with good actors, too:


PC's got a fantastic elven lone ranger for a foster father(Daeghun, where were you in BG1?), there's a fun elvish uncle in Neverwinter, Duncan, and companions which are - well, at least "very good".

There's Khelgar, a hothead would-be monk, Qara, a sharp-tongued sorceress, whose motto is "Let's burn everything! What? No? Okay, let's burn this and then let's burn everything!", there's a nice female Jaheira-like druid, Elanee, and a fun female thief, Neeshka.

There's Sand, a lawful neutral elven mage who's lived for centuries and is rather apprehensive of danger - when the guy said "So, this is "impending" part of our impending doom?" I wanted to give him a hug.

There's also this handsome evil guy, Bishop(like Captain Smollett in that Soviet Treasure Island cartoon: "What? No! I don't like ANYTHING AT ALL!") He's fun. And he kind of likes you, too - although be warned, there're no real "romances" in the vanilla game. There's a paladin, Casavir, who *sort of* tells you he has feelings for you, but for me it was very innocent - I said I was honored but didn't love him, he said it was okay - he'll just carry my image in my heart and that was that. Solid fellow - reminded me of Ajantis romance in BG1, only twice as old.


Each of these companions has their own quest of sorts, and as you start adding new companions and receiving quests, you start loving this game and even thinking of modding it - oh, you think, it really needs more interaction, friendship tracks, a DIFFERENT ENDING(because, of course, you've been spoiled) for some people; if only you had voice actors available -


- And then it all goes rapidly downhill: you find out that your companions don't really get new dialogue, so for example, when you click on your buddy, Khelgar Ironfist in Chapter 3, you only get "Who are you, again?" I kid you not, that's that. No new backstory for Sand(one, after the trial, that's it), no new dialogue at all with Qara despite fantastic influence levels, nothing for Neeshka no opportunities to discuss Chapter 2 and 3 events with anyone but two new plot-related companions(and these two are good characters, but... but!). Sigh.


(Influence system sucks, by the way. If you feel you need to look at a guide, the game failed. DA2 did this; NWN2 did this. So I activated the console, gave Qara 90 influence, and 150 influence for other companions. The rest of the game was much less stressful - I was able to play each plot-related conversation however I liked, without hurriedly checking backlogs for "Lost influence with Neeshka - 2").


So, by the middle of Act 2(after the trial) the game more or less becomes NWN1 OC with more (plot-related only) character interaction, although the fact that you get your own Keep and get to build and defend it was fun. And you get to go on trial, with Sand helping with defence - great, too. But 70% of the rest of the time? Not so much. It also means that replay value(for me) slowly slid down to zero. So be prepared.


(Modding can get you only so far, because of full voicing: when I started playing parts of the vanilla game that weren't voiced - Circle of the Mere in Act 3 post-battle, for example - the lack of voice acting was really, really noticeable. It's even worse when the character's face is shown, and you see his lips moving and saying nothing. A losing battle - and the game's replayability is much lower than DAO. Also, some mods I found(not G3, of course) not just needed proofreading, they needed total rewriting. With proper spelling and everything. Sigh. I got some serious respect for Immortality with her Ser Gilmore NPC for DA - getting a mod done with every line voiced must've been no small feat).


Still, even with these faults, the official campaign is worth playing it at least once. As for the graphics and the map, it takes some getting used to, but there are fun moments, too. For example, you can become a wood elf monk with 20 strength right from the start; you can wear circlets; you can rely on NWN1 feat/skill system, if you remember it, because changes are slight. There are lots of expensive unique items, too - actually, *too* many, because items stop feeling unique and it's hard to remember it all.

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My main problem with NWN2 OC is that you lack agency. For quite a lot of the game, you do something which reveals more of the plot, and then having done it, unrelated events mean that there's something else for you to do which again reveals more of the plot, and so on. That's not an objection to linearity: IWD is linear, but for the most part you get to do step N+1 as a consequence of what you did in step N, rather than as a consequence of other goings on. Still, the story itself is pretty good, and carries you along.


I thought MotB was superb, one of my favourite RPGs of all time (which isn't to say it doesn't have flaws).

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Absolutely horrible camera control. Horrible AI scripts - I mean it, your followers are painfully stupid, fukking Qara....facepalm....I changed difficulty to easy thanks to this mindless biatch. Also NWN2 is kinda boring but Mask really is great.

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Oh, yeah, camera is the worst. Camera control in Mask of the Betrayer is even more horrible - took me an hour to get a moderately reasonable setting in Explorer mode, and I have to correct the angle every time I exit and enter a building. As for AI, I despaired long ago. Puppet mode and level 9 spells, heal spells, AC-oriented items, easy difficulty - that's my motto.


(EDIT: Mask of the Betrayal is quite good so far, although still the same "followers get most of their dialogue in the beginning, and only really little bits afterwards". Nice voicing, a romance interest for female PC(pretty much a Haer'Dalis, but you can't be picky), a very interesting story. Can't help but wish PS:T had such graphics.)

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Horrible AI scripts - I mean it, your followers are painfully stupid, fukking Qara....facepalm....I changed difficulty to easy thanks to this mindless biatch.
Huh??? One of the reasons I loved NWN2 was due to party spellcasters knowing how to land a fireball better than I could have done myself. I mean, it was not once or twice when Qara would have managed to set ablaze a group of enemies engaged in melee with other PCs without harming the latter. If it matters, I've played NWN2+MotB+somepatch.


(EDIT: Mask of the Betrayal is quite good so far, although still the same "followers get most of their dialogue in the beginning, and only really little bits afterwards".
That is LIES! :angry:
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I got nearly all Safiya's dialogue in the beginning of Chapter 1; she is devoted and silent now. Same for the winged girl. Same for Gann, although it's even worse, as unlike Safiya, he doesn't even have much dialogue in the beginning. Okku's... well, "what's a spirit? what's a spirit eater?" and that's it. At the beginning of Chapter 2 they got obligatory "what do you think of other companions/what is a spirit eater", and that was that - no more character development whatsoever. I'm hoping Gann would have something as we're going to visit the city of his birth, but I strongly fear it might be "I won't follow your orders, stop ordering me around -> Oh, Charname, I just realized I love you!" instead. But we'll see.


EDIT: And, yep, finished it and found MotB boring at times. A very good plot, but most of the time you still feel like "Edwin do this, Edwin do that!.." instead of, well, enjoying the game. (And not enough dialogue, naturally). But all in all, still worth it.

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I decided to replay the game(see, people, it's definitely worth 15$!), especially my favourite stretch from West Harbor to Neverwinter. I think I like the original campaign much more than MotB because it's a growing-up story, much like BG1 is. Maybe that's why BG2 is such a popular ground for romances and BG1 isn't. Or maybe it's the way I keep roleplaying it, but I just can't see, say, a fully mature Air Genasi participating in the Harvest Brawl, or reacting normally to Deagun's "Lass, come here(do that)" - although the said Air Genasi would look completely normal in MotB. And my own awkward wood elven girl seems dreadfully out of place among MotB characters, too "normal". But it's all good.


And, in case someone missed it: http://neverwinter.nexusmods.com/mods/31

I'm going to try it out next: Icewind Dale in NWN2. This game is immortal. :)

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