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Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 9th, 2010, 5:44 pm
by Evnissyen
This is a continuation of a thread from the General forum which I suspect few people are reading (since, I assume, they have no reason to read that actual thread). I wanted to bring it to attention to any NWN fans on the board.

Anyhow... for anyone who might be interested: I've found this on the NWN boards: The original script for Neverwinter Nights . . . before the consequences of their lawsuit (which, for this reason, I can only assume they lost) made them change it. I haven't read it yet (since I haven't played the game through, yet), but I've on the forum thread there was a consensus that it was more ambitious and more interesting than the original. Also, here's the thread where I found it, and where Rob Bartel attests to its authenticity.

I do not know if this actually does show an improvement on the actual storyline... other people who've played the game can tell me if they think it's better or not. In the meantime, having blissfully not read it, I have a game to finish (since I've only just started NWN... nobody spoil it for me!)

For the record: I'm now a huge NWN2 fan, and so far there're things that really bug me in comparison (#1: at the beginning, NWN (the original) puts you right in the middle of a huge city instead of drawing you into the story gradually... too much to absorb right away; #2: the hirelings... in NWN2 we had legitimate companions and I have a terrible feeling in my gut that all my companions will not actually be companions but rather hirelings. In NWN2 I very much liked having companions who constantly argued with one another and, most importantly, could be handled and scrutinized and manipulated, in the GUI, exactly as you can with your own character. But hirelings? And they don't even get their own individual portraits, they're all menu'd down from my own... sigh.)

Well, whatever. I'm a complainer. :roll:

I have seen that the original seems to have more in-game freedom for the player... but... in story terms and gameplay I don't see -- at least so far -- that this adds too much.

Plus: I remember earlier in the decade when developers were toying around with 3d graphics I rolled my eyes, I hated it, it was so fake-looking. All those angles. So cheap-looking. And the moving camera! Argh! To me, the camera was an intrusively extravagant feature, not only unnecessary but intrusive to the gameplay. I remember that when I saw NWN for the very first time I was turned off by all of this, although the presence of a seemingly strong and honest storytelling approach was something I appreciated (this put me on the fence as to buying it -- needless to say I never bought the game). Honestly, I still don't like these cheap graphics; however: now, strangely, I can stomach it better, maybe because I have a better appreciation. I suspect that the graphics we see today were probably made more possible by the efforts of these predecessors.

...It should be noted that before this, very sadly, I'd never even heard of Baldur's Gate. I was never a big gamer. I really wish I had heard of Baldur's Gate.

...But then again... it'd probably have distracted me from my studies.

...Just like NWN is now distracting me from my work (writing). :roll:

(Second attempt at emoticon adaptation: successful!?)

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 18th, 2010, 6:35 am
by geishaboy
I am playing NWN for the first time at the moment, it's awesome

Will check out the original script when I'm done playing it

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 19th, 2010, 6:04 am
by pal.illes
NWN is just nice, especially with the expansions and the multiplayer thing. Also one of the few RPGs with native linux client. Sure buy here. :D Bought the diamond edition years ago.

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 24th, 2010, 4:36 am
by Evnissyen
I'm partway through Chapter 2 of the NWN OC, now, and sadly, already I'm bored. Every area seems to have its variety of caves, with headache-inducing Ancient Dire Bears that can sense you even when you're utilizing Hide in Plain Sight, and the distractions are neverending. NWN2's OC really was a much stronger, engrossing story, with a better plot. It really draws you not only to keep playing but also to replay it. The OC of the original NWN, though, is just not nearly as engrossing. First chapter: one problem you must solve, then 2nd chapter: a totally different problem you must solve except that this time there's many more things that demand your attention, so many things that your primary purpose is overshadowed almost to the point of pointlessness. With NWN2... well, the main plot an purpose is in the background, always, but constantly nagging at you. And there's only one purpose throughout the whole game, it never changes. The original NWN's OC just seems too... loose. Not engaging enough.

So I've just started playing the Hordes of the Underdark campaign, which I've heard has a better story, and it looks quite interesting so far, as well.

Plus: Deekin!

There're actually a whole bunch of things that disappoint me about the original NWN's OC, which I won't go into. (Not to mention the lack of certain things that NWN2 -- the game itself -- had, which the original lacks.)

But... I'm plodding along. Next I'll tackle Baldur's Gate -- I got a copy from a friend... . I'm also itching to play Icewind Dale.

Really, there's so much stuff in this world that they've built, from Baldur's Gate to Icewind Dale to Neverwinter Nights... they could go on for a good long time exploring more of it, it seems to me. I mean, forget Dragon Age... I want a Neverwinter Nights 3, or else a different series exploring a different aspect of the vast world they've created, starting with Baldur's Gate.

I suppose maybe there will be a continuation of this world at some point, if not in a NWN3 then in a new title . . . considering that the developers keep going back to it.

I figure once I get through all the NWN modules, Baldur's Gate, and Icewind Dale, it might be time for me to get a new computer... at which point I'll be able to go back to NWN2 and play it "for real" (without the dragging animation), as well as Dragon Age I suppose (since I remain curious about it, despite the poor reviews), and hopefully a new development in the Baldur's Gate / Icewind Dale / Neverwinter Nights tradition.

...Oh yeah, I also need to get a hold of The Witcher, at some point. Different game, different world, but I've heard great things about it.

I'm so behind on this stuff. I feel ashamed.

There are maybe a couple things about the original NWN that I think shouldn't've been scrapped in #2, but... #2 really was a strong improvement, it seems.

I just wish I could play #2 it at full processing speed, oh well. NWN is perfectly fast, NWN2 drags to the extent that the very end battle becomes next to impossible to get through. (I've yet to complete it for that reason.) And yet: despite the slowness and dragging, I still feel a stronger urge to go back to replaying NWN2 than I do in finishing the original NWN OC.

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 24th, 2010, 11:14 am
by CrazyBernie
Not sure where you're getting your "poor reviews" about Dragon Age... according to Metacritic, the game has garnered a 91% based on 65 critic reviews. Of course, I've never been one to recommend buying a game, watching a movie, or reading a book based on any reviews (PC Gamer called NWN2 "less polished than the original" - that's a load of crap). But the game has been pretty successful. The only real negative I see is the immersion breaking in-game DLC advertising. Short of that, I'll be picking up a copy whenever I have enough loose change lying around.

For the record, Metacritic has NWN2 listed with a 82% average score.

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: January 29th, 2010, 5:59 pm
by Iane
I'm thinking - WHY has it taken me so long to get NWN2 - I haven't stoped playing it since I got it few days ago :)

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: February 6th, 2010, 4:50 pm
by Evnissyen
NWN2 really is a great game, I think. It's too bad the original doesn't nearly compare. I've just gotten to Ch.3, now, and I feel like the game (the original NWN's OC) is just dragging along, not aimlessly but without any cohesive intention . . . essentially I'm just trying to finish the game, I feel I can't really enjoy it. Maybe this is just me at this moment in time; or maybe it's because I was spoiled by the sequel, I don't know . . . perhaps both. But one of the many things that seriously bothers me is the lack of continuity, the lack of any singular really serious plot or purpose in the game. In NWN2 your purpose and intent and goal is very clear from the very beginning, and that was played throughout the game... whereas in NWN, essentially: every chapter gives me a new plot and a new purpose. ...The severe division between the chapters (and the "finales"), which prevents you from going back to places you've been to previously (and the lack of a world map as well) certainly contributes to this.

Oh, well.

EDIT: Oh, and Bernie: I'll have to see Dragon Age for myself to make up my own mind. Honestly, I got the notion of "poor reviews" from a couple of reviews (which, admittedly, didn't really damn the game but voiced annoyances with certain aspects of the game)... one of which, honestly, was from somebody who "doesn't usually play these sorts of games" . . . not sure exactly what she meant, I don't remember too clearly. ...And also I got the notion from some comments others have made in forum posts.

In short: I'll have to reserve judgment until I actually play the game.

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: February 6th, 2010, 7:24 pm
by Kreador Freeaxe
Evnissyen wrote:In short: I'll have to reserve judgment until I actually play the game.
This is the Internet. Never reserve judgment until you have a rational or factual basis for your opinion! ;-)

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: February 23rd, 2010, 12:18 am
by Evnissyen
Heh, thanks for the advice Kreador. Sounds pretty sound, so I think I'll take it to heart. :)

For some reason I'm starting to get into NWN again and enjoy it more... don't know why. I think the problem, all along, has been me: had I gotten a hold of this game a few years ago when I first took a look at it, I think I'd've liked it a lot better.

I've just gotta relax, man, and go with the flow, just go with the flow.

Re: Neverwinter Nights

Posted: March 5th, 2010, 1:00 am
by Evnissyen
Well, I finished the NWN OC, and I can definitely say, despite a few very, very minor things, that NWN2 it still considerably better in almost every aspect.

It'd crossed my mind that I'd end up writing a long critique of NWN, and a point-by-point comparison with NWN2, but I don't actually feel like spending the time, and probably people wouldn't be too interested in reading it, anyhow. At any rate: everybody can make their own decisions.

In the end, though my previous posts might have given a different impression: I definitely like the game; and I'm sure I would've liked it even better had I played it years ago, before getting my hands on NWN2.

But I'm sure I wouldn't be like one of these whiny fanboys who are still complaining that NWN2 is not a direct clone of NWN. It's better in almost every way: story, story unity (the world map helps, here), the writing in general, the characters, graphics/animation, interface, more and more interesting magic items, more role-playing choices, 'actual' portraits rather than 'fake' ones which don't match the actual character (Linu, for example, was cuter than her portrait suggested, and her portrait didn't actually seem to reflect her personality) . . . everything except a few atmospheric things like the lack of wild animals, the inability to attack anybody you want (again, ultimately insignificant), and the fact that there're far fewer private homes you're allowed to enter . . . in short, I don't see how you can deny that unless you have a sentimental attachment to the original.

I will say one thing, because I've heard the opposite critique (possibly major end-game spoiler: read only if you've played both games, or if spoilers don't spoil your experience) (highlight to read):

Despite criticism to the contrary: NWN's end-game is much simpler than the sequel's. In NWN2 the end-game scene is more complicated, and it requires certain 'preparations' that come long beforehand, that are then used in the final battle to defeat your opponent . . . much better writing. The final battle in NWN, on the other hand, took place in a little room and lasted literally a few minutes, and if taken out of context we would not have lost as much information as we would if NWN's final battle were taken out of context.

(By the way: whatever happened to the "spoiler" tag? Where'd it go? It doesn't work, any longer.)