Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by WilHarris, 2 Jan 2007.
Got this for christmas and I'm really enjoying this game, wasn't a huge fan of the original, loved it to begin with but the constant enemies and the fact your character is basically a god bored me a bit. The improved character creation is fantastic, but I'd like it if the Half-elf had it's subraces, don't know why the didn't include that. Party system is awesome, much better than the original's.
I actually quite like your gripes. From an RP perspective, you wouldn't just go into everyone's homes and steal thier stuff without them being bothered, and including the ability to go into any house, everybody would loot every house in every town just to see if theres anything good in there. My experience of real D&D I've never been anywhere in a town besides the shops/temple/etc. really, and unless I was a thief or someone going around kidnapping people why would I barge into peoples homes?
The fact that merchants also stay up 24/7 is because of the rest mechanic, because of the masses of encounters you get in a computer game compared to a normal D&D game, the normal sleep mechanic can't really apply. This means theres not easy way to skip a number of game hours ahead, I'd rather the merchants stayed up all the time than I had to wait for an hour real-time while they slept and I "slept" on one knee in 5 seconds.
I disagree. Obsidian has that history, but Bioware/Interplay? Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, all the BG expansions, the entire Icewind Dale series, Planescape Torment and KotOR (PC) all worked flawlessly out of the box. In fact, BG and BG2 have a very small number of patches released and all of them only correct minor flaws in dialogues, items or classes, but I have yet to find any game killing bug in them. The original NWN did have a game killing bug at launch, but was due to the CD copy protection which was incompatible with certain CD Drives (mine, lol), but a workaround was given in hours and a patch released in a couple of days.
Fallout 1 and 2 didn't have any serious bugs that I remember...but I could be wrong. And I never got an XBox, but KotOR and Jade Empire specially were pretty polished by launch for what I read.
Obsidian, OTOH...KotOR 2 was a disaster and they don't seem to have learned with NWN2. Given that most of the developers were the same people working for Interplay and responsible of BG or Planescape I wonder if Obsidian management is doing it's work fine or they are rushing their products. Bioware now is a huge name who can probably avoid most pressure by the publisher, but it looks to me like Obsidian gets pushed around too much (see Lucas Arts vs Obsidian and the train wreck that KotOR2 became).
I was about to post the same, Bioware afaik are experts with the tin of polish and Obsidian are the second rate developers that seem to get follow-ons for Bioware games.
In quick response @ Iago -
NWN1 had several quest bugs and problems, many of which took a couple months to fix.
KOTOR had one or two showstopper bugs, fixed within a month.
BG2 was pretty flawless, I'll give you that.
Fallout 2 had quite a few more "minor" bugs that were patched within the first couple months.
Icewind Dale, IW2, and KOTOR:2 were actually developed out of house, not bioware titles. You mention KOTOR:2 as an obsidian issue, which is true, but a couple of the games you list for flawless releases are actually not bioware - they just use the engine. Then again, so does NWN2, so I see where you're coming from a bit.
@Veles, I certainly see where you're coming from. However, BG2 managed to make a tremendous amount of doors openable - in fact, even NWN1 did a much better job of this. There WERE people inside, and often they weren't too kind to strangers barging in their houses. But what if you were a dedicated thief player? why can't you go loot at least a bit? I'll still stand behind that this is a failure of the level designers to make a comprehensive game.
I'm sure you are right about those games...it was a long time ago they were launched and I'm probably missing any bug that I didn't suffer myself. Still, in my mind, for some reason or other, Bioware = quality products. Just like Valve, Epic or Blizzard or id, they seem to be one of those developers that have an astonishing record producing polished and great games, and I'm sure that's a mind share they enjoy with countless other gamers. Perhaps because they don't release many games at all and they have much more freedom to polish them, but I'm pretty confident that Dragon Age and Mass Effect are going to enjoy very smooth releases.
Obsidian, on the other hand, looks like a studio full of very talented guys (KotOR 2 had the potential, characters and story to be one of the best Star War games ever), but either they take more than they can swallow, or they are too small and subject to pressure from publishers because most of their games feel rushed. They are certainly not EA-like, which will launch whatever crap they can build on 6 months and rely on brand recognition to sell the game, but certainly they have some management issues. That NWN2 runs as badly as it does, with a, at best, underwhelming graphical engine, and that it's not half as "alive" or well rounded than the 10 years old game that spawned'em all (BG) is unacceptable in my book.
I have to agree with the performance issues comments. I really expected NWN2 to run at least half decently on my gaming rig, given it's specs. In fact, at times I wonder if NWN2 has issues with dual core CPUs, as it seems to run better on a Socket 754 3400+ rig with 1GB of RAM and a 7900GTO than it does on a 2.6GHz Opteron with 2Gig and an X1950XTX. Either that or it's an ATi issue.
At 1920x1200 with everything maxed out, I can look forward to ~15fps, whether it's patched or unpatched. Which is decidedly not playable. If I turn the res down, it doesn't have that much of an impact. Indeed, it's not until most of what eye-candy there is has gone before the framerate climbs out of it's self-imposed hole and reaches a playable 30-40fps.
I never really cared for NWN until the two addons, and while what I've played of the storyline of NWN2 has me more interested than the original NWN campaign, there are too many other games that run better to hold my attention...
Which is a shame, as I was looking forward to another D&D PC RPG. Back to BG2 I go.
I played NWN and it's 2 expansions until my fingers almost fell off.... (I still play them from time to time).
I am enjoying the story and combat of NWN2, but the graphics are pissing me off (FX-57/1GB/7900GTX). It was billed as a graphic stunner, and in a lot of ways it is... but what is with the advanced graphics options beint neutered? Finish up the UI folks....
I'm still playing, still love the game, and I'll pay good money to watch and listen to my dwarf and my thief go back and forth... add in the arrogant sorceress... and the insults have been a RIOT!
I haven't had many severe performance issues with NWN2 ever since I ditched the soft shadows. I'm running a core 2 e6600, 2gb ddr800, and a single eVGA 7900GTX.
I have to agree with the reviewer's stance on game play. NWN2 really does play out like a mod for the first game. The game is geared toward hack and slash play. Stealth or magic still don't have proper D&D feel. There doesn't seem to be alternative solutions to quests that require class-based subtlety or tricks. Also, mage companions have a wonderful tendency to use the strongest possible spells -- usually area-effect spells -- in the worst possible scenarios. It's not uncommon for my mage companion to toss off an ice storm at a group of enemies that my group is engaging. Since I play in "hardcore" mode, that usually results in needless damage or even a friendly fire wipe unless I micromanage the party members.
not to mention the collateral damage caused to chests caught in the AoE when one of those spells drops in and says "hello"....
Thats one of the reasons why I play the spellcaster in my new game
Since 2002 I was waiting for the NWN2 like the lottery. But after Oblivion raising the bar of a single player RPG so high I'm disapointed.
I believe we are in 2007 now and the gfx shouldn't be the same as 4 years ago. The whole game took 40 hours to finish, and doesn't give you the feeling of actual RPG. Yes it's multiplayer mode will shine (as in NWN1) and that's most of the people are looking for.
Regarding the hardware issues, on E6300 overclocked at 3500 mhz, 2 GB DDR2 800 @1066) and Nvidia 8800GTS it's very bad. I felt that I was playing it on a dead slow computer without 3d card. While on the same machine Oblivion run fast and smooth at dead high settings with 4096x4096 textures mod!
Actually the Obsidian team are former members of the team(s) at Interplay that developed:
Icewind Dale 1 & 2
Fallout 1 & 2
And they also helped out in Baldur's Gate 1 & 2's development.
Bioware has developed:
Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 (and expansions)
And a few other games (MDK2, Jade Empire, etc.).
As for the bugs/lack of Polish - Interplay, Lucasarts, and Bioware are to blame. THEY are the publishers - these franchises were/are their intellectual property and they are responsible for when the product is shipped to market. In the case of NWN 2 it was probably "get it out by Christmas!!!" when it clearly needed at least another 6 months of optimization/bug fixing.
Same with KOTOR2 - unfinished practically because Lucasarts had to have it shipped to stores so soon after the first game (1 year!).
As for the game/review - I think the author was a bit harsh on the graphics. I DO agree that for the way it looks it shouldn't run as poorly.
But this doesn't mean the graphics are bad or "the same as NWN".
Sure, they're not Oblivion but they are a LOT better than the dull, repeated-tile look of the first game. Artistically it's a big improvement, technically a decent improvement.
If they can optimize the engine to give a fast, smooth frame rate with all or most the eye candy on it would be a very good looking game.
As for the voice acting, I thought it was good - the dialogue and character interaction was leagues ahead NWN 1 (which bored me to tears - got to the end of chapter 3 before I quit...only to restart months later and do the same thing...3 times!!! HoU was actually decent though).
NWN2 actually feels a lot like KOTOR1 - a bit "light" on roleplaying (and challenge to be honest) but very entertaining nonetheless. Only not as polished (from a control/interface point of view). Still the dialogue windows with "widescreen" closes-ups didn't take me out of the action - it made the game more cinematic, enjoyable.
I do agree that in another year it will probably be a much better game.
I have to agree with Relayer, I don't see how anyone can think that the graphics are the same as NWN1 or very slightly improved, they are immensely better, I actually prefer them to Oblivion's. At least all the people in here don't look like they've all been in horrific car accidents.
Actually there is.
When you shift-right-click the portrait of a party member, you can issue commands to her or the others.
Imho the AI of the party members is completely unusable (at least on hardcore rules setting) and I think the party interface is not-so-great when considered from the perspective of having to fine-control each of the characters basically all the time. (Personally I would think a party control interface like there was in BG1 an improvement )
It is NOT AD&D3.5 it is D&D3.5!
This is a small point but being the uber geek I am I couldn't let it go. This game is not based on AD&D it is based on D&D3.5. There is no such thing as AD&D3.5. The differences in how things are handled from character development to fighting are very different. They are 2 different games and they are not compatible with each other. When Wizards of the Coast bought the D&D franchise from TSR they dropped AD&D and rewrote the game and released D&D3.5 then they revised it and released D&D3.5 Revised. Although I think there was a version 3 before 3.5 but I couldn't swear to it. I just had to get that off my chest. I cringed a little every time I read AD&D3.5. Here I was thinking I wasn't that big of a geek, boy was I wrong. Anyways I love NWN and I can't wait to get my hands on NWN2. The first edition has given me hours and hours of enjoyment and allowed me to play some D&D with long distance friends. Once I have the extra scratch I will definitely be buying this title too. I hope the expansion packs are loaded with lots of fun classes and races. Hopefully they realese one with the Avariel, the winged elves. I love those chracters, they make great spellcasters since it is so easy to stay out of range of most others. They have fragile skeletons, hollow, to allow for flight so they are shite in close quarter combat. I think they would make a very nice edition to the game.
Guys i have to say lay off Obsidian, i mean we have already seen that they can make great games. Yes they are buggy but can you really say that KOTOR 2 wasn't a lot better than 1. The game had a much better story and felt a lot more like BG and Fallout than your normal go here kill this RPG. Some of that does have to do with the masters that are Bioware but Obsidian took that game one level beyond what Bioware did.
NWN 2 has to be one of the best RPG's i have seen in years. I would
rate it up there with BG and Fallout. I think we need to remember that they ( Atari) tries to market these games to everyone because of this i think they try to make the game more hack and slash. I would love them to put the full rules of magic and stealth in but magic in D&D is hard for newbies. Spell component and save vs spells are hard if you have never played the pen and paper game before. I think the stealth thing has more to do with game play, they wanted to keep it more like the first game which had little to no place for a thief .
If they were to do a new D&D Obsidian game i know that they would put all that in, they would spend years on it. To tell you the truth i would love to see a system like in Arcanum, were you could break into store and steal everything.
The fact is these people are masters of the RPG art, they just need to do there own new IP. Which i hope they do soon
PS Everyone that loved BG swing by the Obsidian forum's , J.E. Sawyer is doing a mod for NWN2 that is base on the story and design doc's from BG3 Blackhound. WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO
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