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> Neverwinter Nights, Another Classic RPG series
SubRosa
post Aug 16 2014, 07:58 PM
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I dusted off my copy of Neverwinter Nights 2 a few days ago. I installed - or actually reinstalled it - a few months ago along with Neverwinter Nights 1. I played through most of NWN 1 back then with a dual-weaponed Fighter/Rogue named Kestrel.

Earlier this week I decided to take a crack at NWN 2. I found that I had never installed the two expansions, so I threw those on two (I have NWN1 Diamond Edition, and NWN2 Platinum). Then I discovered that my NWN2 version was not up to date, even though I had thought the Platinum edition was the final version. So I tried updating it through the built in updater. But Atari's server doesn't work anymore, so I cannot. I went looking online for the manual patches, but could not find them anywhere either. Though I did find a manual patcher program that would work if I had the patches. In the end I found NWN2 on Gog, and just bought it from them again. That gave me the final version of the game, which does not require the cd to be in the drive to play. Thank you Gog, for being reliable after the original publisher of the game refused to support their product.

This is what worries me about Steam, not to mention all modern games that require you to log into a server to authenticate before you can play your single player game. Are they still going to support games like Skyrim 10 or 15 years from now? Or are they going to shut those servers down for new games instead? Then we will have to either buy a DRM-free version of the game from Gog, or resort to pirates to make an illegal crack to play the game we legally bought. devilsad.gif

Anyway, I rolled a new toon to beat the game with (yes, that is just for you Wyrd, in case you ever read this wink.gif ). She is a Wood Elf named Antheia. I went with my old standby of a Ranger. Since Kestrel was a dual-wielder, I went the archer's path with Antheia. So far she has slogged her way through the swamp, Fort Locke, the graveyard, and all the side dungeons. A few minutes ago she and her crew stepped onto the docks at Neverwinter itself.

I experimented a bit with her Ranger animal companions. First I tried a wolf, because of their knockdown ability. But her Wolf Asena hardy ever knocked anyone down. So then I tried a boar (named Varahi), but that one did not do anything for me either. Finally I went to Artio, the brown bear. She isn't super either, but has managed to live through most of her battles, which is better than the other ones did. Thankfully you can resummon your companion if they die, so they don't really die.

Speaking of which, I have been using the NWN2 Character Editor to change her animal companion. It lets you edit most things about your character, but not everything. It doesn't allow you to edit your companions at all though Turns out you can edit all the companions too. When you go to the file open screen, you have to open each character - be it the player or companion - separately. The PC is the playerlist.ifo file, and the companions each have their own *.ros file. It requires installing Java, which did not thrill me.

I am using NENs Final Face Head Hair Combination Project, which adds a few heads and bunch of hairs from Oblivion, including our old favorites by Ren and Corean. There are not that many mods for NWN2 on the Nexus though, but I did find links to a bunch of them in this post - just click on Show Spoiler to see them all. I downloaded the Easy Mod Compilation from near the top. I am using the extra heads from that as well, but I am still not really thrilled with what is out there, at least for the elf faces.

The Compilation does come with a really handy little mod that allows you to multi-class your companions. It is the three loose .xml files in the zip file. I used it to multi-class Neeshka to a Swashbuckler/Rogue, which seems perfect for her.

Speaking of multi-classing, I just multi-classed Antheia as a Sorcerer as well. That will allow her to eventually become an Arcane Archer (a Prestige Class). She just needs a few more Ranger levels to get her Base Attack Bonus higher. Being a Sorcerer gives her a few arcane spells in addition to the few Ranger spells she has. She took one that gives a +20 to her attack rolls, along with a Color Spray - which I have always liked. Since she is usually the first in the party, the latter makes for an excellent opening move when entering a room. Being a Sorcerer also gave her a Familiar. She chose a cat named Sekhmet. So now she has a bear and a cat. Since Elanee is also in the group, she has a badger companion. So now there are four people and three animals, making quite the army tramping around the Sword Coast.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 17 2014, 03:58 AM


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Acadian
post Aug 16 2014, 10:13 PM
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What a superb tour guide you are of games I have not played and may never get to! I think I understand your frustration with old games. A couple years ago I tried to get Diablo II going again on my newer machine and ran into tons of problems. Lots of research and tweaks fixed most of them, but not good enough to happily play. Sounds like gog is sort of an answer for those kinds of things regarding older games?

Anyway, your game and character look fabulous! smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 16 2014, 10:33 PM
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Gog.com is the best thing to happen in computer gaming for years. They take old games whose source codes have been released to the public (basically that is when the developer gives up the legal rights to them, because the games are so old that they don't make money selling them anymore). They update the games to install and run on a modern computer, and often throw in extras like soundtracks and artwork.

At the same time they strip out all the DRM schemes, which often cause games to not work at all on PCs. So unlike Steam games that require you to log into Steam to play them, or EA games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect that require you log into their servers, or Diablo 3 that requires you to log into Blizzard's servers, you download the game from Gog, install it, and never have to log into anyone's servers or have a disc in the drive to play it.

They are owned by the same indie developer that makes the Witcher games. They are like the old school game publishers such as EA or Activision, but without all the Evil. Gog is a game company made for gamers, rather than to exploit gamers.

Edit to add: Here is a good article about Gog

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 17 2014, 12:47 AM


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mirocu
post Aug 17 2014, 02:05 PM
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Wow! That pic of your character was almost enough for me to consider getting this game! It looks awesome! blink.gif

I may have to click on that gog link at some point. If only I didnīt just get a job.... biggrin.gif


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Acadian
post Aug 17 2014, 03:46 PM
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SubRosa, thanks for editing in that article. You've convinced me, I think, that if I ever get the itch to play an older game again, I'll go to gog. smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 17 2014, 05:28 PM
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I think Buffy would feel at home in the Neverwinter Nights games. There are no horses to ride, and sometimes sniping from very long distances can be impossible because the game forces you to talk to many of the key plot point villains before fighting them. But the rules are very friendly to elf arcane archers, to the point of there actually being an Arcane Archer prestige class. The companions have been rather entertaining so far, especially Neeshka and Khelgar, who are lots of fun when they start trading insults.

Now that I have gotten farther into NWN2, I am noticing some things I do not like. The camera can be a pain in the rear. Like Tomb Raider, it has a habit of putting itself inside of walls or roofs, so you cannot see anything until you move it around. I never had any problems with the camera in NWN1.

Spells can be hard to cast. Opening your spellbook, clicking on the spell, and then clicking on your target clears the spell from your memorized spells list rather than casts it. Which is really frustrating in the middle of the fight. So you have to either move the spell from your book down to the hotbar at the bottom of the screen, or pull up the quickcast bar, and clutter your screen with yet another UI element. But even then, clicking on a spell in either tends to make it automatically go of on you. It seems you have to left click your target, then right click on your spell in the hotbar, and then it will.

I was very disappointed in my Color Spray too. It takes so long to actually go off, then all the bad guys have long since moved out of the way. Likewise the other spell that adds +20 to hit takes so long to cast, the battle is usually almost completely over before it goes off. I just fired up NWN1 and created a Sorcerer to test with, and her spells are so much easier to cast, and a lot quicker to go off. One thing I like about NWN1 is that I can left click on a target, and it brings up a radial wheel menu of things I can do to it. From there I can pick the spell I want to cast on them. It means going through a lot of nested elements, so its best to pause the game while doing it. But I can cast all my spells that way, without cluttering up the UI even more, or accidentally deleting them.

So far I have to say that while NWN2 has prettier graphics, and adds more classes and races, I think NWN1 is the better game. But I will keep trying with NWN2, maybe I will warm up to it, or find some mods to work around my issues.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 17 2014, 06:00 PM


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SubRosa
post Aug 17 2014, 11:03 PM
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Ok, I fixed the spellcasting issue. There was an option I had to un-tick that made spells automatically target whatever was selected with a left click. Now they work the same as they did in NWN1.

Antheia has moved farther along in the game, and picked up Qara as a follower. She is a Sorcerer, and I have to say, wow. She can literally clear a room with just one fireball. Very impressive. Given that I can usually rest between fights, she can bring that to the table nearly every battle. Fireballs and other area effects spells seem to only harm enemies, which is an added bonus. This makes me want to play a Sorcerer.


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Acadian
post Aug 17 2014, 11:38 PM
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Oh, good news on the spellcasting problem! I'm starting to get intrigued by NWN now. . . . biggrin.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 18 2014, 12:52 AM
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Gog has both NWN1 & 2 for only $25 if you buy them together. I'd say that is definitely a good deal.

I had a lot more fun playing NWN2 today than I did yesterday, so that is good. I am now farther in the game than I ever was before.

Another thing that is very different between games is the way the world is laid out. NWN1 was done similar to the Diablo games. Each outdoor "level" is a big square area with all sorts of stuff. Each level has any number of exits at the map edges that lead to other levels. You move through the world by transitioning from one outdoor level to the next through these points at the map edges.

NWN2 also has waypoints at the map edges, but instead of directly leading you to another, adjacent level, they take you to a world map. On the world map you can select the place you want to go to next. It is a pretty standard thing in Bioware and Obsidian games. The KOTOR games do it, Dragon Age Origins, Fallout 1 & 2, and so on.

While it is faster to move around the world the NWN2 way, I kind of prefer the NWN1 way. It feels more - dare I use the word - immersive.

Another thing is that like Baldur's Gate 1, NWN1's outdoor levels are huge. They are big square areas filled with lots of stuff to discover, kill, and/or loot. Much of it is not related to the main quest of the game at all. It is just extra content you can ignore or explore as you choose. NWN2's outdoor areas are much smaller, and the content is almost always directly related to the story. For example, early in the game you get a quest to go to clear out a bandit camp and rescue the people they are holding hostage. The only thing on the map is the camp. In NWN1 or Baldur's Gate 1 the same camp would have taken up a quarter of the map, and the rest of the map would have other stuff in it.

Now there are side quests in NWN2, and a few optional areas you can journey to on the world map and explore. But so far the optional areas are very few, and like the other levels, relatively small.

So what I am trying to say is that NWN2 is much more tightly focused on the story of the game than NWN1. NWN1 is not as open a world as BG1, but it does give you the feel of a more open place, and has more non MQ stuff in it.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Sep 15 2014, 11:59 PM


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Acadian
post Aug 18 2014, 03:41 PM
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When I was BG'ing, I'm trying to think why I never started NWN. I'm sort of recalling that I somehow got it in my head that NWN was an online game? Sounds like I was quite wrong.


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SubRosa
post Aug 18 2014, 04:30 PM
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There was another game called Neverwinter Nights that was an online MMO back from 91 - 97. It was on America Online, and I think it was one of the very first MMOs ever. So that is probably what got you confused.

Then in 2002 Bioware came out with the Neverwinter Nights that I am playing, and later Neverwinter Nights 2 followed it. These are single player games. But they also has a multiplayer component, so you can play online with others if you want. It isn't an MMO where millions of people log into a company's server. Instead it is more like Vampire The Masquerade, where one person acts as the Game Master, and their computer acts as the server, and a handful of other people log into it. Or a website might even have an actual server of their own hosting players. I never bothered playing online myself.

Just to make things even more confusing, there is another game called Neverwinter that is an MMO that came out just recently.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 18 2014, 04:36 PM


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SubRosa
post Aug 20 2014, 01:53 AM
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Tonight I created another NWN2 character. Meet my Drow Paladin Sephiroth. I was originally going with a name of an Underworld goddess like Allatu or Akka, but after choosing that hair, it had to be Sephiroth.


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Acadian
post Aug 20 2014, 02:48 AM
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Welcome to your Drow Paladin! She looks great. The graphics and scenery in that screenshot are stunning! Is that NWN2 vanilla? Holy pigs, grass and trees if it is - that's a great looking game!


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Lopov
post Aug 20 2014, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Aug 18 2014, 04:41 PM) *
When I was BG'ing, I'm trying to think why I never started NWN. I'm sort of recalling that I somehow got it in my head that NWN was an online game? Sounds like I was quite wrong.

I'm like you, I wonder why I never started NWN, it was definitely on my games-to-play list back then. But maybe my computer wasn't able to handle it or maybe I discovered original FOs before NWN and I moved to them, leaving Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale (and NWN) behind.
The game looks great, though, I'm looking forward for more updates.


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SubRosa
post Aug 20 2014, 11:19 PM
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That is the vanilla game in those pics. Except for the character's head, which is from a mod. The only mods I am using are one that adds more heads and hairs, and a few other minor ones. Both the NWNs are fun games, and definitely worth giving a try. Especially given how low the price is these days. Though if you do buy them, get them from Gog, since Atari stopped supporting them.


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Acadian
post Aug 21 2014, 12:47 AM
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Oh wow on the unmodded background - that is some very nice background graphics compared to BG. smile.gif


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SubRosa
post Aug 21 2014, 03:31 AM
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Tonight my newly created Sephiroth won the Harvest Cup, and fought off the monstrous attackers attacking the village. Then she went to retrieve the mysterious shard that the attackers were after. She was actually able to talk her way past the lizard men in the final room, which was rather nice. All those points I put into Diplomacy worked! So too did starting her out with a high Charisma (17 if I recall).

A few more pics from tonight's gaming.

With the pigs

After the battle

Now Sephiroth has a bigger sword

Treasure

Now if I can just find a 20 foot katana, like that of her namesake laugh.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 21 2014, 03:43 AM


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mirocu
post Aug 21 2014, 03:49 PM
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Such pixies! Me wanna play!! ohmy.gif ohmy.gif


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It matters not how strait the gate,
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I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
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Acadian
post Aug 21 2014, 04:23 PM
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I saw these on your other thread, but note here that you've added the monster katana! Maybe she needs a light saber? Or perhaps a pet shark with freakin' laser beams coming out of its head (that shark bit is a SubRosa quote from somewhere). laugh.gif


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mirocu
post Aug 21 2014, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Aug 21 2014, 05:23 PM) *

I saw these on your other thread, but note here that you've added the monster katana! Maybe she needs a light saber? Or perhaps a pet shark with freakin' laser beams coming out of its head (that shark bit is a SubRosa quote from somewhere). laugh.gif

Sounds like Star Wars and AVGN to me... laugh.gif


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It matters not how strait the gate,
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I am the master of my fate,
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