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NWN 2 has arrived...


Andyr

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So my copy came in the post this morning--unfortunately I'm away for the weekend, so won't get to play it until next week. The artwork's pretty awesome! I'll post my thoughts when I've had a go, and if anyone else gets the game, I'd appreciate hearing other opinions... :)

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Mine copy is supposed to be arriving tommorow, but my computer's out of action and my laptop's graphics card is too obsolete to even run it. NWN2, Dark Messiah of Might of Magic, F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point, and Dawn of War: Dark Crusade are all just paperweights for the time being.

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I'll be acquiring a copy this Saturday. Some reviewers are calling it a return to elements of the BG series, while improving on elements of the original NWN. I'll reserve judgement until I am able to play it. It's better to post your thoughts and experiences on Obsidian's forums, as that's where the developers are most active. And now is the time to report bugs, not a year from now when the developers no longer care and have moved on to other things. (My mistake is to get the game a year or two after release, then I find all these obvious bugs the players mysteriously missed, only to learn the developers no longer care.)

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.....And now is the time to report bugs, not a year from now when the developers no longer care and have moved on to other things. (My mistake is to get the game a year or two after release, then I find all these obvious bugs the players mysteriously missed, only to learn the developers no longer care.)

 

I find that whether developers really care is more due to public outcry and budget constraints. If marketing or sales doesn't tell them to get another patch out there pronto or sales will plummet, I doubt that much will come from it.

 

Go, modding community! Not unlike XP, which I believe to be working just about right atm, BG2 looks like a well rounded game to me after a couple of years of finishing touches. :-P

 

So I'll chime in about NWN2 in a couple of years from now.

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I know I was tempted to get it, but decided not to...for the same reasons someone else mentioned above...my computer isn't exactly set up for it. (Fable is about its limit) :)

 

Ah well, at least this won't be a game that will disappear six months from now...

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.....And now is the time to report bugs, not a year from now when the developers no longer care and have moved on to other things. (My mistake is to get the game a year or two after release, then I find all these obvious bugs the players mysteriously missed, only to learn the developers no longer care.)

 

I find that whether developers really care is more due to public outcry and budget constraints. If marketing or sales doesn't tell them to get another patch out there pronto or sales will plummet, I doubt that much will come from it.

 

Go, modding community! Not unlike XP, which I believe to be working just about right atm, BG2 looks like a well rounded game to me after a couple of years of finishing touches. :-P

 

So I'll chime in about NWN2 in a couple of years from now.

Sure, that works so long as the developers get most of the kinks worked out of the EXE, which modding communities usually don't spend much time with. After all this time the BG2 modding community has done what? Tweak upper and lower experience limits. Yeehaw. The data, on the other hand, can be modified by almost anyone, so that's not as important to me because I can fix data errors myself. Thus while I'm playing I'll try to focus on game engine errors more than module errors.

 

I read several reviews today that mentioned common issues:

 

- Weak AI that doesn't necessarily do what you tell it to do. This problem is worse in cramped areas such as dungeon halls. (This makes me think Obsidian copied NWN's AI straight across, as that game had almost the same trouble with henchman AI. I'm sure Obsidian worked on the AI, but the similarities are striking.)

 

- Characters who clip themselves, such as beards piercing the NPC's chest during conversation. This kind of thing reminds me of Ultima IX several years ago. (Nothing will beat the Avatar running his flaming sword through his forehead while pausing for thought.)

 

- Camera doesn't focus properly on the player if he's shapechanged into a smaller animal, such as a badger. All you see is the NPC the player is talking to.

 

- During conversation, other NPCs can walk over and bump you or your dialog partner out of camera view, where you/they remain for the rest of the conversation. Oops.

 

- Rats drop treasure, and other similar unrealistic things.

 

- High system requirements despite nothing groundbreaking being done in the engine. As has been observed, the pretty graphics and effects have been in existence in other games for a few years now, and they require significantly less horsepower. This is probably due to the developers relying on their compiler to do all their optimizations for them, which isn't a good idea in complex applications such as computer games.

 

- The majority of reviews and players paint a poor picture regarding the general ugliness and sameness of NPCs with regards to their faces, bodies, and other characteristics. The elves I've seen screenshots of all look mean and hateful like drow. I have depression and migraines and I never look that bad in the morning. Thankfully this is something the modding community can address, since developers aren't known to modify their artwork after final release.

 

This seems like a lot of negativity, but it's minor compared to the general praise the game is getting on other points, especially regarding how your responses to dialogs influence your character's future, how well the D&D rules have been implemented this time around, and how immersive the game world is. I'm really looking forward to Saturday. One patch has already been released, and I know there will be others so long as people are playing the game and providing useful feedback. (Key word: useful.)

 

To read this info for yourselves, just visit Obsidian's forums. There's a thread in the Computer & Consoles forum where folks are posting links to various reviews as they're being found. That's where I got this information.

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Heh, they always promise nice-looking character models, and ever miss. But sounds good that dialogues are good. I'm with Jester and Bri though - hold off for now, wait for my still not installed last-year-bought system to finally get assembled, finish IWD2 and KOTOR2 and all that. Hopefully the price on NWN2 will drop by then too....

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Yep, that's true, but that's what the game is, is not it? I have to say that some of my dislike of NWN1 was due to the over-complex rule system it used. So, I think that critique is valid. Unfortunately it does not mention if having a party of more than one helps the situation, the same way it happens in IWD2 (ie you are not forced to stare at the screen for hours trying to decide just which feat out of five hundred your only PC needs). There was no joy in leveling up in NWN1, that's for sure, just pain.

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Whoops, time differences kicking in. It's just 9am on the west coat of the USA and I'm not yet in my car to go get a copy of the game. (I'm hurrying, but a headache is slowing me down.)

 

I agree that an over-focus on rules can make a game tedious. The whole idea of pnp D&D was to have the DM focus on the rules and make them transparent (roll dice behind the manual, etc.) to the players. That way the players could focus on playing their roles. I really enjoyed SSI's games because they made the rules somewhat transparent, at least moreso than the more recent games do. I also enjoyed other CRPGs, like Ultima (prior to UO), again because I could focus on what I was doing rather than on what the engine was doing.

 

Anyway, I'd better get going before the crowds get too big. I'll certainly post my thoughts here after I've had a chance to play for awhile. I've got a notebook set aside for thoughts and observations. :)

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