PDA

View Full Version : [NWN2] Expansion Pack and Model Exporter announced!


Pavlos
04-12-2007, 09:48 AM
Mod note: I split it since it's probably better to have this in a separate thread after all. The thread title was getting too long to include all that. :) ~M

Two threads about this game in the space of two days didn't seem right, so I just thought I'd post this piece of exciting information (well, I think it is exciting... but I liked Peragus so what do I know?)

Obsidian's Blog (http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=2&showentry=56)

Granny Beta Underway!

That’s right! We started a closed beta last week for the Granny Animation export tools for Max. With this tool, Custom Content Community members will be able to create creatures, placeables, clothing and much more to extend the content of Neverwinter Nights 2! Many of your favorite Custom Content people are involved in the beta. Hopefully next week I will have some screenshots to share.

Being that the beta just started, it will be a little while before the tools can be released to the community.

I'd imagine that we'll start to see the custom content community start to pick up a bit more once we can successfully model creatures and so forth.

Edit: Oh... well, that's small time news because now we're getting an expansion pack :). Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=559062&forum=109)

stoffe
04-12-2007, 10:23 AM
That’s right! We started a closed beta last week for the Granny Animation export tools for Max. With this tool, Custom Content Community members will be able to create creatures, placeables, clothing and much more to extend the content of Neverwinter Nights 2!
(snip)
I'd imagine that we'll start to see the custom content community start to pick up a bit more once we can successfully model creatures and so forth.

Very nice. Even if I'm not a modeling guru it's always useful to be able to tweak and adjust things with the models. I wonder if there will be an Import Tool as well, so you can tweak existing models, or if you must create them from scratch?

Hopefully it will work for gmax as well and not just 3dsmax. The latter is a bit expensive to pick up to use for minor model tweaks for a game. :)


Edit: Oh... well, that's small time news because now we're getting an expansion pack :). Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=559062&forum=109)


Ohh... seems like they do continue the current story and doesn't just leave us buried under a pile of rubble for the rest of eternity. :) Seems like it will be more action-oriented and less dialog-oriented than NWN2 was though... Don't know if that's a good idea (unless I misinterpret what that Press Release stated).

Pavlos
04-12-2007, 12:10 PM
Ohh... seems like they do continue the current story and doesn't just leave us buried under a pile of rubble for the rest of eternity. :) Seems like it will be more action-oriented and less dialog-oriented than NWN2 was though... Don't know if that's a good idea.

Yeah, I was unsettled by that too but they have promised "several new advances in story development" - I have no idea what that means but at least thought is going into the plot and we won't be landed with a hack 'n slash... I hope.

*Does jig regardless*

Edit: Actually, I'm rather pleased by "hordes of new monsters; and enhanced modding tools."

Arátoeldar
04-12-2007, 07:57 PM
Ohh... seems like they do continue the current story and doesn't just leave us buried under a pile of rubble for the rest of eternity. :) Seems like it will be more action-oriented and less dialog-oriented than NWN2 was though... Don't know if that's a good idea (unless I misinterpret what that Press Release stated).

I love the fact that they continue the story. I was disappointed that Bioware started with a 1st level character in SoU.

Emperor Devon
04-12-2007, 08:18 PM
Oh, YEAAHH!! :clap2:

This sounds excellent! It's fantastic to hear they're planning to continue the story.

Hopefully they'll incorporate the option to play as evil PC in this, as they seem to have canonized the ending as the good one. (But then again, that ending would show up if you refused to share any power with him)

Hmm, I'd hope the line "the player awakens alone and stranded" doesn't mean all the party members got killed off... I'd hate to adventure throughout Thay without AJ, Grobnar or all the rest. Especially after they were nice enough to kill off Shandra, too! :p That would be truly ironic.

Well, the expansion looks to have a lot of potential, and that's not even getting into the new features. Epic levels (yay, my wizard can cast Hellball again) and all those new classes... And this new toolset feature looks great, too (though kind of vague).

Jae Onasi
04-12-2007, 09:39 PM
As long as I can have Sand around, I'm happy. :D We'll be getting the expansion pack too, as soon as they have things sorted out with the bugs.

Det. Bart Lasiter
04-12-2007, 11:55 PM
Looks like I'll have to reinstall NWN2 in Fall 2007 then...

Achilles
04-13-2007, 01:12 AM
I suspect that I'll be too busy with GTA:IV. I'll put this on my agenda for Spring/Summer 08 :D

Balderdash
04-13-2007, 03:18 AM
Awesome. I really don't want to fight hundreds and hundreds more undead, though. Hopefully there's more to the antagonists of the expansion than "a horde of evil spirits" - I'm sure there will be.

I too am intrigued by the disappearance of the rest of my party, and I would love to have Sand or Ammon around again...

Who can tell me about Rashemen and Thay? I don't know much about them really. I remember there was that wizard from Thay at the beginning of SoU.

stoffe
04-13-2007, 08:58 AM
Hopefully they'll incorporate the option to play as evil PC in this, as they seem to have canonized the ending as the good one. (But then again, that ending would show up if you refused to share any power with him)


Quite, I wouldn't classify the ending options in NWN2 as a Good ending and an Evil ending, but rather as a smart ending and a brain dead ending. :) No evil character with an INT score above 10 would pick the second one unless they are either blinded by power and doubt their own ability to beat the KOSH, or are insane, IMO. :)


Hmm, I'd hope the line "the player awakens alone and stranded" doesn't mean all the party members got killed off... I'd hate to adventure throughout Thay without AJ, Grobnar or all the rest.

Hopefully at least some of them return, if not all of them. Could be like in Baldur's Gate II where you get separated at the beginning but get a chance to meet up with some old party members from BG1 later in the game (along with a bunch of new ones).

At least the ones who didn't betray you and sided with the KOSH and subsequently got killed by you. If the expansion continues with a NWN2 savegame then the outcome of that scene will likely be available for the expansion pack to use.

To start with a full roster of party members at the beginning of the game could make the party progression somewhat stale. :)


Well, the expansion looks to have a lot of potential, and that's not even getting into the new features. Epic levels (yay, my wizard can cast Hellball again)

At least unless they implement the backlash part of Hellball this time, otherwise it will only turn your wizard into a suicide bomber unless you've put a fair number of attribute points in CON. :)

I hope the selection of epic spells, feats and abilities is somewhat more inspired than the ones in NWN:HotU, where some of the epic spells didn't feel all that epic. :)


Who can tell me about Rashemen and Thay? I don't know much about them really. I remember there was that wizard from Thay at the beginning of SoU.


There is a short description of them on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashemen#Rashemen). Essentially Rashemen is a "wild" country that's ruled by an order of spellcasting witches, while Thay is a Lawful Evil Magocracy ruled by the Red Wizards of Thay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Wizards_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)), and where the Red Wizards and Rashemen witches are sworn enemies.

If you've played the Baldur's Gate series of games you've met a few characters from there. Edwin was a Red Wizard of Thay, Dynaheir was a Rashemen witch, and Minsc&Boo was a ranger/berserker from Rashemen. :)

Pavlos
04-13-2007, 02:52 PM
Woo!

Game Banshee has an interview (http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/maskofthebetrayer1.php) with Kevin Saunders, the lead designer on this project. Tragically, I don't think we'll be seeing our companions (at least from the get go) in the expansion:

"Mask of the Betrayer begins almost immediately after the ending of NWN2. You will play your same character (if you wish), continuing his or her story. (Your weapons and gold are gone, but you’ll have many of your other equipped items still.) While the story in Mask of the Betrayer is connected to Neverwinter Nights 2, you don’t have to have played the expansion – the story stands alone, but players who have gone through the NWN2 campaign will recognize some references that occur in NX1."

stoffe
04-13-2007, 04:02 PM
Tragically, I don't think we'll be seeing our companions (at least from the get go) in the expansion:


He doesn't say anything about them in the part you quoted, so it may still be open. If it's supposed to be stand alone we might still see the ones who will be with you at the end no matter what you do. I think Khelgar, Jerro, Grobnar, Zhjaeve and Casavir are the only ones you can't lose. Though Zhjaeve and Jerro are probably done with you now that the KOSH is beaten, since that was their reason to ally themselves with you.


(Your weapons and gold are gone, but you’ll have many of your other equipped items still.)

Hmm, if you get to keep your inventory aside from weapons and gold there might be some point to looting all those ancient skeletons in the Vale of Merdelain after all. :)

Since my Warlock doesn't even carry a weapon (aside from the Silver Sword) that wouldn't be a terrible loss either way, though it probably hurts more for fighter types who've spent hours at the forge and magic workbenches to craft the most extreme implements of munchkinism imaginable. :)

Wonder why they're so fond of stripping you of your equipment in NWN expansions? They did the same thing at the start of NWN:HotU after all.

While the story in Mask of the Betrayer is connected to Neverwinter Nights 2, you don’t have to have played the expansion – the story stands alone, but players who have gone through the NWN2 campaign will recognize some references that occur in NX1.

I suppose this might be the strongest hint that you'll have to form a new party for yourself, since some of the NWN2 party members and their reasons for being with you is so strongly tied to the story. Might be good or bad, depending on how well they manage to flesh out the new characters in the much shorter gameplay time an expansion pack offers.

In the BG series where you get to keep party members between games and expansions this might be due to the two games and ToB expansion all are part of the same saga telling the same over-arching story, while the NWN games seem to go for a more stand-alone approach with different adventures.

NX1 = NWN Expansion 1 (Shadows of Undrentide), or NWN2 Expansion 1? Probably the latter. :)

Emperor Devon
04-13-2007, 09:14 PM
No evil character with an INT score above 10 would pick the second one unless they are either blinded by power and doubt their own ability to beat the KOSH, or are insane, IMO. :)

Lucky for my wizard he had such a high INT. :p

To start with a full roster of party members at the beginning of the game could make the party progression somewhat stale. :)

It would be easy to work around that if a previous NWN2 save isn't required (and from the comments about MotB being a stand-alone expansion it probably won't be) and they simply get rid of all the killable party members.

At least unless they implement the backlash part of Hellball this time, otherwise it will only turn your wizard into a suicide bomber unless you've put a fair number of attribute points in CON. :)

It'll probably be turned off on the normal difficulty setting. I think it was in NWN.

I hope the selection of epic spells, feats and abilities is somewhat more inspired than the ones in NWN:HotU, where some of the epic spells didn't feel all that epic. :)

A fair number of them were. Hellball, Greater Ruin and the dragon summoning spell (can't recall the name) were all quite flashy and very useful to use. Even the two buff spells, while not much in the way of eye candy, were still quite useful.

The only pointless one was the mummy summoning spell IMO. Not a very powerful creature to summon.

The spells were useful but they didn't quite seem like what an epic wizard would use - you selected them as feats and could only use them once before resting. Something like a 10th level of spells or simply more epic ones would be better IMO. (And while we're on the subject of high-level spellcasters, hopefully Obsidian will be putting the archmage prestige class into MotB. Can't have 30th level wizards who aren't even archmages)

I think Khelgar, Jerro, Grobnar, Zhjaeve and Casavir are the only ones you can't lose. Though Zhjaeve and Jerro are probably done with you now that the KOSH is beaten, since that was their reason to ally themselves with you.

Zhjave will probably be going back to Limbo, but I dunno about Jerro. He's no longer got a fortress or any demons to command, and now that the KoS is dead his life's purpose is basically over. The PC is the only person who even knows he's still alive, too. I can see him choosing to go along with him/her to Thay (especially since he can get to like good or evil players).

Khelgar might be interested in going with the PC as they're good friends, but now that he's rejoined his clan going visiting Thay is probably the last thing on his mind.

Hmm, being able import a previous savegame would be useful. So much of what your party members would want to do depends on what happened during the OC.

stoffe
04-13-2007, 09:54 PM
The spells were useful but they didn't quite seem like what an epic wizard would use - you selected them as feats and could only use them once before resting. Something like a 10th level of spells or simply more epic ones would be better IMO. (And while we're on the subject of high-level spellcasters, hopefully Obsidian will be putting the archmage prestige class into MotB. Can't have 30th level wizards who aren't even archmages)


There are 10th level spell slots, but no 10th level spells, so they can only be used for metamagic-ed versions of lower level spells.

Epic spells have special Epic spell slots they can be memorized in. The feat solution used in NWN:HotU was only used since they probably didn't have time to do the extensive engine rewrites needed to add Epic spell slots. Remains to see if Obsidian is more ambitious in that regard.


I dunno about Jerro. He's no longer got a fortress or any demons to command, and now that the KoS is dead his life's purpose is basically over.

Then it's time for him to take a one-way trip to Baator to make good on his end of the deals and pacts he made. Unless the player is keen on going there as well they most likely part ways after KOSH is beaten.

Seems like the female NPCs are more expendable than the male ones. Only Zhjaeve who will stick with you no matter what. :)

Shandra gets killed, Elanee can abandon you to rejoin her druid circle in fighting you, Neeshka gets compelled by Garius to fight you, Qara can betray you to Garius and fight you.




Hmm, being able import a previous savegame would be useful. So much of what your party members would want to do depends on what happened during the OC.

Hopefully they will set it up similar to Throne of Bhaal, in that the game just automatically continues on to the Expansion after the normal end if you play through it, but you are also given the opportunity to start a new game straight in the expansion. Would give a more fluid experience and allow gameplay decisions to carry over to the expansion.

Pavlos
04-14-2007, 05:05 AM
Shandra gets killed, Elanee can abandon you to rejoin her druid circle in fighting you, Neeshka gets compelled by Garius to fight you, Qara can betray you to Garius and fight you.
Neeshka doesn't always get compelled by Garius - there is a second influence check and if you pass it she fights him off and joins your side.

Achilles
04-17-2007, 06:30 AM
Hooray for screenies!!! (http://www.actiontrip.com/features/neverwinternights2maskofthebetrayer.phtml) :bounce1:

Point Man
04-17-2007, 11:28 PM
Wow! The screenshots look great! I can't wait for the expansion pack to come out.

Emperor Devon
04-18-2007, 12:04 AM
Then it's time for him to take a one-way trip to Baator to make good on his end of the deals and pacts he made. Unless the player is keen on going there as well they most likely part ways after KOSH is beaten.

I actually don't think AJ would be headed off to Baator - he looks more like he forcibly summoned his army of fiends than made any pacts with them. Mephasm tried to use the PC to run off during the middle of a mission, and Koraboros claims AJ "imprisoned" him and tries to kill him for it. Being law-abiding devils, they'd have remained loyal to him if they/their superiors had made any pacts. Demons I doubt would even bother with any agreements, as they violate then as they saw fit.

AJ could still adventure with the PC, though there'd probably be quite a few vengeful fiends on his tail.

(Though I suppose his fate is sealed, as he's Neutral Evil and bound for the Lower Planes anyway)

Pavlos
05-01-2007, 12:26 PM
Some new news, guys

Clicky (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/neverwinternights2maskofthebetrayer/news.html?sid=6169920)

I must say, the story sounds interesting.

Jeff
05-01-2007, 01:10 PM
I'll have to get the first one played soon! I still haven't really given it much time.

Jae Onasi
05-01-2007, 01:16 PM
Ack. I won't be able to have Sand in my party in the expansion!!! I'm bummed.

The rest of it looks like it'll be fun, and at least a resolution to the 'you saved the world, but you died in a basement' icky feeling I had at the end of the game.

Emperor Devon
05-01-2007, 08:11 PM
Obsidian certainly looks like they're putting a lot of effort and new ideas into this - having influence with companions determine how much you can order them around is a nice touch.

But ten thousand curses, no more AJ and Grobnar!

Pavlos
05-02-2007, 12:33 PM
But ten thousand curses, no more AJ and Grobnar!

Know that they are the two best characters in the game... along with Sand.

Emperor Devon
05-02-2007, 08:01 PM
Know that they are the two best characters in the game...

Oh, and Zjhaeve. Can't forget about her. :p

I'd love to see Sand again, but there's even less chance of that than the other characters with how he or Qara has to has desert.

SpaceAlex
05-06-2007, 08:59 AM
Oh, and Zjhaeve. Can't forget about her. :p

Know that i'm glad i will never see her in my party again. :D

I actually think it's a good idea your old companions are not in the expansion. I already know everything i need to about them. It would be nice to see them again (if only to speak with them) at some point in the game though.

Pavlos
05-28-2007, 02:11 PM
An interesting article over on Eurogamer (http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=76840&page=1).

Of interest: death actually means something now - which is interesting. And Feargus likes to compare the expansion to Planescape: Torment. Tragically, this means that the game has already failed in the eyes of a thousand fans of that game. But if they do pull off a second Torment, I will be pleased :). Not holding out for anything, mind.

Emperor Devon
05-28-2007, 05:42 PM
Huh, I'm a bit skeptical about the combat.

the hardcore players will find some great combat challenges, but the more casual gamers won't be overwhelmed by the game's difficulty. Overall, our goal is simply to ensure that everyone can have fun with the game.

I'll be surprised if they can balance that out. You can't really make the game easy for new players and hard for veteran ones at the same time.

stoffe
05-28-2007, 08:42 PM
Huh, I'm a bit skeptical about the combat.

I'll be surprised if they can balance that out. You can't really make the game easy for new players and hard for veteran ones at the same time.

Difficulty slider in the game options? They've had that for many games, which can make combat more difficult by giving enemies unfair advantages or more sophisticated AI. Combat is probably the part of the game that is easiest to adjust the challenge level of, by just making enemies tougher, smarter and more dangerous.

Emperor Devon
05-28-2007, 09:00 PM
Not with NWN2. That spells harm you and your companions in the higher difficulty options frustrated me too much to use them.

stoffe
05-28-2007, 09:08 PM
Not with NWN2. That spells harm you and your companions in the higher difficulty options frustrated me too much to use them.

Sounds like increased combat challenge to me. He didn't specify what form the challenge would take. :) Perhaps they'll implement it properly this time though so some spells don't turn into suicide abilities no matter how you used them.

Self-harmful spells if done right are not necessarily a bad thing. In the Baldur's Gate series of games you and your party took damage from your own indiscriminant AoE spells as well, requiring mages to be deployed carefully and use the proper protections. Some AoE spells would only harm hostiles. This was an important factor to keep in mind when planning battle tactics. In general combat was harder, more tactical and less straightforward in those older games. Perhaps they plan to reintroduce some of those elements, what with all the talk of being spiritual successor to older games?

Pavlos
06-01-2007, 04:42 PM
*Bounces*

New screen shots (http://nwn2.warcry.com/news/view/72385-Mask-of-the-Betrayer-NEW-SCREENS). It appears that we finally have ripples (http://nwn2.warcry.com/images/view/20617) when we move across water.

ChAiNz.2da
06-01-2007, 04:45 PM
*Bounces*

New screen shots (http://nwn2.warcry.com/news/view/72385-Mask-of-the-Betrayer-NEW-SCREENS). It appears that we finally have ripples (http://nwn2.warcry.com/images/view/20617) when we move across water.

Dude! The Shambling Mound was enuff to get me giddy all over again. I may just have to give NWN2 a second chance ;)

Emperor Devon
06-02-2007, 06:10 AM
Self-harmful spells if done right are not necessarily a bad thing. .{snip} Perhaps they plan to reintroduce some of those elements, what with all the talk of being spiritual successor to older games?

I hope so. The spells have pretty big areas of affect (hard to steer your party members out of), or worse yet ones like Fireburst or Meteor Swarm that will always damage your PC. Would be fun to have a somewhat easy to deal with friendly fire with spells.

I'd rather have more advanced AI/special abilities, tho. Enemy spellcasters casting Dispel Magic on you or buffs on their companions, using Disintegrate on party members with -9 HP (when they hit -10 they should stay dead, darn it :P), that sort of thing. Enemy spellcasters could be quite a challenge if they had good enough AI. (Especially when coupled with Resurrection/Raise Dead only working on intact bodies)

Thanks for the screen links, Pavlos! (Obsidian's done a very good job on that Shambling Mound)

stoffe
06-02-2007, 06:49 AM
I hope so. The spells have pretty big areas of affect (hard to steer your party members out of), or worse yet ones like Fireburst or Meteor Swarm that will always damage your PC. Would be fun to have a somewhat easy to deal with friendly fire with spells.

In the older games is was a bit easier to keep a larger party under control since you didn't steer one particular character and had an AI make the others tag along. You would select one or several party members and then give them orders, moving them along more like units in a RTS than a PC in a FPS like in later games. Thus it was easier to deploy your party in formations and set positions for ambushes and AoE spell usage.

Spells like Fireburst etc are just bugged in NWN2 though, they should never harm the caster. (And neither should Firebrand and Missile storm, though since those are Bioware creations and not standard D&D spells they have some more freedom there :))


I'd rather have more advanced AI/special abilities, tho. Enemy spellcasters casting Dispel Magic on you or buffs on their companions, using Disintegrate on party members with -9 HP (when they hit -10 they should stay dead, darn it :P), that sort of thing.

Part of the problem, I think, is that the AI in the NWN games is meant to be fully generic, "one size fits all" for use with all NPCs/monsters in the game. So it comes into the Jack of all Trades, Master of none category, where the AI is half-arsed at a lot of things but not really impressive in any regard.

In games like BG2 there was no singular creature AI, but rather a bunch of different AI scripts for different types and difficulties of characters. While the Infinity engine scripting language was extremely simplistic compared to NWScript this still made the NPCs feel more aggressive and acting somewhat as a character of this class should (even though NPC behavior became fairly predictable if you replayed the game a few times).

I can understand why they went with a unified AI: makes things easier for modders and makes it much quicker to add new hostiles to the game. Still, the standard AI leaves a lot to be desired, both in NWN1 and NWN2, in terms of situational awareness, assumed knowledge and learning from mistakes (a high Lore wizard would not cast mind affecting spells on undead for example, nor would anyone with decent intelligence score cast fireball on a fire elemental). I would guess that is a time factor responsible for that, since even I could rewrite the NWN1 AI over a few month's time to behave somewhat intelligently in most situations in the end.

I hope they will at least give major boss characters their own unique AI adapted to the situation in NWN2:XP1

(Casting disintegrate on someone below 0 HP would be quite a waste though, since they're already out of the fight and rapidly on their way to dying (-10 HP) if they haven't been stabilized. You could coup de grace them with a rusty butter knife to kill them, pretty much. :p)

Pavlos
06-08-2007, 08:28 PM
More news! (http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=15871)

Of interest:

FiringSquad: What are the development team's favorite new monsters in Mask of the Betrayer?

Kevin Saunders: This isn't a new creature, but everyone loves the chicken's new flying kick attack that animator Andrea Bobick created. Why would a chicken need to be able to do a flying kick, you ask? You'll see... =)



FiringSquad: What is the current status of the expansion's progress and when will it be released?

Kevin Saunders: We just achieved a full progression of the game. From here on in, it's all about polishing. Atari has announced a release date of Fall, 2007.

Interestingly, it seems Obsidian has finally found itself able to set realistic design targets :) - which gives me hope.

Edit: Oh and according to Jeff Husges we will have horses but no mounts (I don't think they work well in a game like NWN2 where the areas are so small, anyway). "In. Not as mounts, though."

Pavlos
06-25-2007, 12:20 PM
Images! (http://uk.media.pc.ign.com/media/899/899695/imgs_1.html)

The concept work looks nice... as does the actual game. Either they've done several engine upgrades yet to be released in patches or they've learnt how to use their own toolset effectively :xp:.

I do hope this doesn't count as a double post...

Aash Li
06-25-2007, 05:26 PM
Someone make/alter me a Drow model that isnt flat-chested and hasnt been beaten with an ugly-stick! Please! >_>

Thanks. lol

Pavlos
07-06-2007, 01:15 PM
This may be interesting to you guys (http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/801/801641p1.html).

Of note: You can bend thousands of tormented souls to your will, forcing them to serve you. You can play King of the Hill with frost giants. You can trick a wizard into the clutches of a harvester devil.

Yay for insanity, eh?

Arátoeldar
07-06-2007, 02:31 PM
The two biggest things I like about this expansion pack are:

1) Josh Sawyer is the lead designer from the start.

2) They are finally moving away from the Sword Coast of Toril.

Killwithhonor
07-06-2007, 10:58 PM
Ahh man, i shouldnt have uninstalled the game so early, i beat the game 3 times with 3 different characters and now they are all gone, if i knew you could use existing characters in this new expansion i would have kept em.. o well, but it looks promising, i can't wait for it and The Sword Coast was boringggggggg, it was basically the same everywhere you went, vender wise and i wish there were more sidequests

Pavlos
07-13-2007, 01:09 PM
A video (http://uk.gamespot.com/video/0/6174801/videoplayerpop?rgroup=e32007_live)!

Anyway, looks interesting - or at least cool. And do my eyes deceive me or do they now tell you what your influence shifts are when you're in a cinematic conversation? The tilesets also appear to have been updated - the windows in the castle tileset, the crack in the cave that acts as a door (instead of that ridiculous door we have at the moment).

Edit: And... an article (http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/neverwinternights2maskofthebetrayer/news.html?sid=6174598).

Edit to the edit: And new pictures (http://uk.media.pc.ign.com/media/899/899695/imgs_1.html). Goodness... it's like Christmas for NWN2 players :p.

Aash Li
07-13-2007, 04:00 PM
Ooooooooooooooooooh!!! That looks awesome! I cant wait to get it! ^_^ So want to see what female Genasi look like.

ChAiNz.2da
07-13-2007, 04:21 PM
indeed.. the preview looks great!! :emodanc: .. but man, I totally forgot just how bad Feargus is at handling demos. He almost made it unbearable to watch :xp: hehehe...

Killwithhonor
07-13-2007, 05:28 PM
O looks great! I can't wait for it, makes me wanna replay it again!

Pavlos
07-13-2007, 05:33 PM
indeed.. the preview looks great!! :emodanc: .. but man, I totally forgot just how bad Feargus is at handling demos. He almost made it unbearable to watch :xp: hehehe...

I know... I respect him because of his illustrious career but he seems a little... excitable :xp:.

Edit:

Ooooooooooooooooooh!!! That looks awesome! I cant wait to get it! ^_^ So want to see what female Genasi look like.

There's a picture on IGN (http://uk.media.pc.ign.com/media/899/899695/img_4706987.html). :)

Emperor Devon
07-13-2007, 05:39 PM
Oooh, very, very, nice! They're as tantalizingly vague as ever about the plot, though. :p

Pavlos
07-17-2007, 12:54 PM
Nothing really new but still interesting. A new video (http://www.gametrailers.com/player/22287.html) - and the same one but in HD (http://www.gametrailers.com/player/22286.html).

I have to say that the area design has definitely been improved since the original game - the areas really are looking nice. I was pleased to hear that rather than focusing time and energy on introducing new graphical features to the engine, they looked at what they had already, optimised it and looked at how to better use it. I think the key example, as Nathaniel Chapman said, of this in the video is the fire genasi's hair - which looks amazingly cool :).

I was worried that the game may be focussing far too much on combat and not enough on roleplaying, character interaction, and questing when I saw that video but some forum posts on the BioBoards helped to still my mind.

I was specifically avoiding the quests in that [snowy] area, but that is actually one of the most content rich areas in the game.

There is [strong roleplaying]. It's very good, IMO.

Seeing as how Sawyer seems to be famous for speaking his mind - as he did in that very candid interview about NWN2 - I don't have much reason to doubt him... at least, I hope I don't.

Edit: Also, sounds like new music was used in those areas - hopefully we can finally get away from the curse of the reasonably awful NWN1 OC music.

Pavlos
07-31-2007, 02:00 PM
We seem to have a website (http://mediajuicestudios.com/NWN2XP1/), now. What fun.

Edit: And a "factsheet" (http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/static/EElVlAkAEyUHTekESZ.php):

Platform: Windows
Release Date: Autumn 2007
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.
Publisher: Atari
Category: Role Playing Game
PEGI Rating: 12+

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

Following the climactic battle against the King of Shadows, you awaken alone and stranded deep beneath the earth. A dark hunger grows within you, threatening to devour your very soul. Will you fight against the hunger within or will you embrace it, revelling in your newfound power?

Set in harsh, spirit-rich Rashemen, near the powerful nation of Thay, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer presents players with an exciting new 20-30+ hour campaign filled with meaningful choices, rich characters, and surprising outcomes. Continue the adventure of your Neverwinter Nights 2 character or create a completely new epic hero – no previous Neverwinter Nights experience required. Hundreds of new gameplay options include epic levels; feats, spells, races, and classes; powerful weapons, armour, and crafting options; and hordes of diverse creatures.

PRODUCT FEATURES:

• Major improvements to the Neverwinter Nights franchise: enhanced graphics, including extensive use of specularity, environment effects, and normal maps; improved performance; streamlined party control; and an easier to use and more powerful toolset. Experience Neverwinter Nights 2 at its best.

• Epic storyline provides the most riveting RPG experience since Planescape: Torment, with the compelling characters and plotlines for which Obsidian Entertainment is renowned. Play the official campaign either alone or online with your friends.

• Stunning new environments include the Astral Plane, sunken Imaskari ruins, a Thayan wizard academy, and the Shadow Plane. Immerse yourself in the Forgotten Realms as you’ve never seen it before.

• Explore an amazingly reactive world, where your decisions affect those around you and the passage of time realistically impacts gameplay.

• Switch seamlessly between exploration and tactical combat with the immersive, over the shoulder view of Character Mode and the top down perspective of Strategy Mode with its RTS-like controls.

• Combat and negotiate with dozens of new creatures including many D&D favourites such as blue dragons, treants, hags, solars, and the two-headed fell troll.

• Choose from over 20 classic and exotic D&D races, including the new genasi: planetouched humanoids hailing from the elemental planes of air, earth, fire, or water.

• Customize your character with over 60 epic feats including the monk’s Blazing Aura, the rogue’s Epic Precision, and the druid’s Dragon Shape.

• Master more than 50 new spells, including epic spells such as mass fowl, damnation, and vampiric feast.

• Play new D&D classes such as the Red Wizard of Thay, spirit shaman, and invisible blade.

• Collect souls from defeated foes to create mighty artefacts using an expanded item enchantment system.

• Create your own D&D adventures to play with friends online with enhanced modding tools.

I must say that "Epic storyline provides the most riveting RPG experience since Planescape: Torment" is one hell of a boast. I'm not sure if it's wise to be this confident. But if it really is anywhere near as good as Torment... (don't really need to finish that sentence, do I?)

Edit to the edit: Oh and the mention of the Astral plane makes me think that our little... bicker with the githyanki is far from over.

ChAiNz.2da
07-31-2007, 02:40 PM
Collect souls from defeated foes to create mighty artefacts using an expanded item enchantment system.
That sounds... 'Oblivion-ish'... :halo2:

I don't recall this type of system introduced into AD&D (unless it's been recent). Although as intrigued as I am about it... I really hope they're not just adding stuff into the game for giggles or sounds like a kewl idea...

Does anyone know if there is in-fact an enchantment system (souls) for this in AD&D? It'd set my mind at ease rather than accuse Obsidian of copping off an idea from another franchise that is completely unrelated in gameworld theology.

Last I remembered, artifacts were "the stuff" in an AD&D campaign.. not something you could just piece together on a bench... :animelol:

Don't get me wrong, I think it sounds fun as heck, and I'll probably be getting the expansion no matter the case.. ;), I just don't fancy the idea of a major shift like this in AD&D mechanics (can you tell I'm still a hardcore 2.0 reveler and about died when I saw 3.5 rules.. hehehe)

Pavlos
07-31-2007, 02:46 PM
I don't recall this type of system introduced into AD&D (unless it's been recent). Although as intrigued as I am about it... I really hope they're not just adding stuff into the game for giggles or sounds like a kewl idea...

It's linked to the plot - the shard from the sword of Gith has been ripped from your chest and in its place is a longing hunger.

Good designers would tie the mechanics of eating souls to moral themes and agony within the story.

So, not just a rip off (I hope). Although, the idea of absorbing souls is hardly a new idea, or one exclusive to Oblivion/NWN2.

ChAiNz.2da
07-31-2007, 03:04 PM
So, not just a rip off (I hope). Although, the idea of absorbing souls is hardly a new idea, or one exclusive to Oblivion/NWN2.
Oh Indeed! I agree :D

But the entire TES series pretty much "relies" on it as a mainstay for it's magical enchantment system for many, MANY years. It's definitely at the top of the list ;)

Guess I should've said that sounds "TES-ish" :lol:

stoffe
07-31-2007, 06:04 PM
• Epic storyline provides the most riveting RPG experience since Planescape: Torment, with the compelling characters and plotlines for which Obsidian Entertainment is renowned. Play the official campaign either alone or online with your friends.


Quite a claim to make indeed. If they fall flat of those raised expectations they will be torn apart by rabid, game-hungry RPG fans for befouling their fond memories of that venerable game. :p


• Stunning new environments include the Astral Plane, sunken Imaskari ruins, a Thayan wizard academy, and the Shadow Plane. Immerse yourself in the Forgotten Realms as you’ve never seen it before.


Seems like the Plane of Shadows is a popular destination in the NWN games. You visited that place during the main plot of the first NWN1 Expansion as well. :) Wonder what you're supposed to do there... either the KOSH isn't entirely done with you, or Shar is annoyed that you have destroyed one of her favourite pets, I'd guess?


• Explore an amazingly reactive world, where your decisions affect those around you and the passage of time realistically impacts gameplay.


Uh oh, that doesn't sound good. :eyepop I tend to strongly dislike the "timer quests" in games that have them. There is enough stress and time keeping in real life, I'd rather not have to keep an eye on the clock while playing CRPGs as well. Realistic perhaps, but fun and realism aren't always the same thing.


• Switch seamlessly between exploration and tactical combat with the immersive, over the shoulder view of Character Mode and the top down perspective of Strategy Mode with its RTS-like controls.


I just hope they don't dumb down the camera controls. One of the things I like in NWN2 (and Oblivion) is the extensive camera control you have where you can tilt, zoom and rotate the camera around to view a scene from all different angles. If they remove that in the name of streamlining I will be quite annoyed. :Pir1:


• Collect souls from defeated foes to create mighty artefacts using an expanded item enchantment system.


Wonder if that is optional or something you have to do as part of the quest. Sounds like a quite evil activity to trap someone's soul and bind it to an item.


I don't recall this type of system introduced into AD&D (unless it's been recent).

Well, there are the Trap the Soul (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/trapTheSoul.htm) (lvl 8 arcane spell) that allows the caster to trap the soul of the victim in a gem, and Soul Bind (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/soulBind.htm) (lvl 9 arcane/divine spell) that draws the soul from a recently killed body and traps it in a gem.

Don't know if there are any D&D rules for using those soul trap gems to make artifacts, or give them another use than as a rather evil prison.

Pavlos
07-31-2007, 06:11 PM
Uh oh, that doesn't sound good. :eyepop I tend to strongly dislike the "timer quests" in games that have them. There is enough stress and time keeping in real life, I'd rather not have to keep an eye on the clock while playing CRPGs as well. Realistic perhaps, but fun and realism aren't always the same thing.

From what I can gather, I think it just means that areas change in day and night and there's an Oblivion styled "you can only do this quest at twelve midnight" etc. - I hope it doesn't mean timed quests, anyway. Though, perhaps it would be nice for a change to have the evil genius attack you if you're too slow - rather than sitting in his evil castle and waiting for you to thwart his plans. :xp:

I just hope they don't dumb down the camera controls. One of the things I like in NWN2 (and Oblivion) is the extensive camera control you have where you can tilt, zoom and rotate the camera around to view a scene from all different angles. If they remove that in the name of streamlining I will be quite annoyed. :Pir1:

Watch the video I posted a few of weeks ago. That gives you an idea of how the camera works now. Also, the E3 video with Fergles has some examples of the flexibility. I think one developer put it as: you can do all the things you can now - only more easily and with less annoyance.

And on the topic of comparing it to Torment; let's look at it this way: if they are bold enough to compare MotB to that game then the game's plot must be pretty good, even if it doesn't come close to Torment the fact that they would dare to make the comparison means they're pretty fond of the story they've crafted.

Lantzen
08-02-2007, 06:53 AM
This expansion just sound better and better the moer info they release ^^

And they also changed the playtime from around 15h that they first annouced to 20+, thats pretty good

Pavlos
08-10-2007, 04:09 PM
Source (http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=2&).

Granny plugin (http://nwn2.obsidian.net/expotron_plug.html) is out, guys. Woo for that! As well as the dedicated server (http://nwn2.obsidian.net/). Funness - I don't care that it isn't a word.

Also in the community update (linked above) is the MotB theme tune. According to Alexander Brandon - the "Audio Director" - the theme is meant to signify the darker edge the expansion has.

The piece was written by Rik Schaffer of Womb Music, and I provided some additional instrumentation. It's intent was to communicate a darker more tribal feeling than the original Neverwinter Nights 2 theme. Rik combined percussion with strong thematic elements signifying the struggle between the player and [some of the darker themes in the game], and afterwards I mixed in the Neverwinter Nights 2 theme for a strong link to its predecessor.

I do like the way they mixed in the NWN2 theme, too :).

Edit: IGN's RPG vault has posted a new interview (http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/811/811996p1.html). The level of hype for this game's plot is... beyond what I would normally expect; they... well, they seem to genuinely believe that this is going to be a brilliant game. Here's hoping they're right - geez... it's a nice change to see the plot getting so much attention.

Balderdash
08-10-2007, 06:44 PM
The music sounds pretty good. It'll be interesting to see how it's implemented in the story and how it adds to the drama.

The Hagspawn race would've been pretty good too... I'm not that impressed by the Half-Drow; if I'm not mistaken they're not that different statistically from the regular Half-Elves which were already in the original game.

Gargoyle King
08-13-2007, 07:03 AM
Hmmmm, i hope the developers of K3 make the game as mod friendly and more importantly, mod supported as the NWN series is.

Pavlos
08-14-2007, 02:10 PM
Part two is up (http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/812/812667p1.html). Although, pages two and three don't seem to work yet...

Edit: Seems to be fine now :).

Edit to the edit: Of interest is the following:

It's the game we all wanted NWN2 to be. It's simply an incredible role-playing game for anyone into story- or character- driven gameplay. If you liked any of the Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, etc. games, then Mask of the Betrayer will not disappoint.

Pavlos
08-27-2007, 07:55 AM
New pictures (http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/neverwinternights2maskofthebetrayer/images.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gsimage&tag=images;img;1). If I didn't know better I'd say they scrapped the old engine - they've really improved their usage of the toolset, it seems.

My favourite is currently this (http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2007/234/939027_20070823_screen002.jpg) one.

Lantzen
08-27-2007, 09:06 AM
Looks good, they really seem to take a diffrent approach with the game, and i love it

And Pavlos, why did you change avatar :(

Pavlos
08-29-2007, 08:05 AM
It's refreshing to read a review that isn't full of hype. (http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?showtopic=47858)

While vague, it points out some of the flaws and highs of the game.

MotB is not a perfect game. In all my years of gaming, I have not found such a game. However, it is a breath of fresh air. It’s not enough to have a lot of choices to make in the game world. In fact, choice without consequence amounts to no choice at all. MotB crafts a beautiful story for the player, and the player completes that story by decisions. Those decisions are meaningful ... this is the best I can offer at the moment: this is a game worth owning.

A game that respects you decisions? Impossible...

Pavlos
09-13-2007, 06:21 PM
NWN2.com (http://www.atari.com/nwn2/motb/UK/index.html) has been redesigned to hype MotB.

Rather boring but perhaps worth bookmarking; if it's kept up-to-date, it could come in handy for finding out about interviews and the like. Right now there's nothing new but it's a fairly nice site :).

Just thought I'd update.

stoffe
09-13-2007, 07:13 PM
NWN2.com (http://www.atari.com/nwn2/motb/UK/index.html) has been redesigned to hype MotB.

Rather boring but perhaps worth bookmarking; if it's kept up-to-date, it could come in handy for finding out about interviews and the like. Right now there's nothing new but it's a fairly nice site :).


Thanks for the heads-up. :) Nice that they are starting to get the official sources updated as well about the game. Hopefully that means we'll get some more info and teasers about the game soon.

But... ugh... extreme visual overload on that layout... all... those... lines... and... boxes... http://www.jediknightii.net/smiles/smiles/rolling_eyes.gif

Pavlos
09-14-2007, 12:42 PM
Gone Gold? (http://nwvault.ign.com/fullstory.php?id=32996)

No official confirmation as yet but it seems the game has gone gold - for shipping in Europe in late September and America in October. I have to doubt the validity of the claim; firstly because this suggests Europe gets it before America... which would be a bizarre twist; secondly because NWN2.com hasn't got this information and neither has Obsidian's site - though neither Atari or Obsidian seem that great so far as keeping a webpage up-to-date is concerned. Then again... I can't imagine a reputable site like NWVault having this as a news article unless they were fairly certain of it. Take it with a grain of salt but I thought it update worthy if it is true:

I spent the day at the Obsidian offices getting a presentation of the NWN2 expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer, and one of the best pieces of news is that it's GONE GOLD both in Europe and the US! The ship date for the game will be late September for Europe and Oct. 9th for North America. The game is looking really polished and frankly with over 25 hours of gameplay and all the content they're delivering, it's going way above the standard of what expansions usually deliver. The storyline with its twists of "eating souls" really should be a great gameplay experience.

I got a chance to also meet with the team from Rogue Dao Studios who are doing The Planescape Trilogy, a NWN2 custom mod, which was really incredible in scope and quality. Also at the event were the Hall of Fame creators from The Robinson Workshop, who have a great knowledge about everything in the toolset. It was also great to meet Kalia from NWN2 Warcry in person who was also covering the event with some of the more mainstream gaming sites. I know I owe you guys a writeup from E3 so I'll make sure I do my best to cover the event properly but I wanted to share the news about MotB going gold before I head back home.

Balderdash
09-15-2007, 02:24 PM
Awesome! If it's true. Thanks for this news...

I'd better get to finishing my current game then, I guess. My first character's gonna be a Wizard 15 / Harper Agent 5 / Arcane Scholar 10.

Arátoeldar
09-16-2007, 01:08 AM
Gone Gold? (http://nwvault.ign.com/fullstory.php?id=32996)

No official confirmation as yet but it seems the game has gone gold - for shipping in Europe in late September and America in October. I have to doubt the validity of the claim; firstly because this suggests Europe gets it before America... which would be a bizarre twist; secondly because NWN2.com hasn't got this information and neither has Obsidian's site - though neither Atari or Obsidian seem that great so far as keeping a webpage up-to-date is concerned. Then again... I can't imagine a reputable site like NWVault having this as a news article unless they were fairly certain of it. Take it with a grain of salt but I thought it update worthy if it is true:


I am not so sure about the European date. However the American date looks good from what I have seen Josh Sawyer post on SomethingAweful forum.

Balderdash
09-17-2007, 04:06 PM
From what I've seen, the actual date in Europe seems like it might be the 11th. Atari's UK site just says October, but the German site says 11th October. I don't think either date has been confirmed or denied yet by Obsidian, though.

Pavlos
09-19-2007, 11:20 AM
IGN did have a nice video of some of the epic spells but it's been taken down for some reason. Thankfully, some kindly BioBoard member arrived with this (http://streamingmovies.ign.com/pc/article/820/820895/nwn2_trailer_091807_wmvlowwide.wmv).

As over-the-top as epic spells should be :xp:. I'm currently a fan of "Mass Fowl" (the one where the enemies get turned into chickens) oh the fun I'm going to have with that...

Lantzen
09-19-2007, 12:36 PM
Bring it bitches, i have a demon ^^

Well, me like, maybe should play a mage or sorcerer in the expansion, never felt the need to be one since Qara is good

Pavlos
09-20-2007, 05:37 PM
Previews:

Gamespot (http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/neverwinternights2maskofthebetrayer/news.html?sid=6179110)
IGN (http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/821/821071p1.html) - a half-hearted attempted if ever there was one
Gamespy (http://uk.pc.gamespy.com/pc/neverwinter-nights-2-mask-of-the-betrayer/821130p1.html)

Nice new screen shots, too. I must say, the main city (http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2007/261/reviews/939027_20070919_screen003.jpg) looks lovely.

stoffe
09-20-2007, 05:57 PM
Previews:
Nice new screen shots, too. I must say, the main city (http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2007/261/reviews/939027_20070919_screen003.jpg) looks lovely.

Looks more like a village than a town, but I think I read Rashemen is fairly sparsely populated so that might make sense. :) Looks like they haven't fixed the character walking animations though, still looks like "walk like a robot" style from what I can tell of that screenshot. :/

Overall it seems interesting and fun, though I'm a bit worried about the "must harvest souls!" part with the accompanying gauge on screen. I strongly dislike the timed missions in pretty much all the games I've played so far, and in this case it seems like you have to "play by timer" for the whole game. :( I like to be able to take my time and look around. There's enough of stress in real life, I don't need that when playing games as well.

(I guess that's where the toolset comes in though...)

Emperor Devon
09-20-2007, 08:30 PM
Huzzah, (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=242) more articles (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=240) from NWN Vault! I must say those buildings Rogue Dao is working on look lovely.

I strongly dislike the timed missions in pretty much all the games I've played so far, and in this case it seems like you have to "play by timer" for the whole game. :(

There doesn't look to be an actual limit on how long you can explore an area, it's how long you can go without eating souls before dying. How well that'll work out I can't guess; if it's something as simple as selecting a 'Devour Soul' special ability when fighting monsters it shouldn't be anything to worry about. (Ideally, anyway...)

Arátoeldar
09-20-2007, 10:15 PM
Huzzah, (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=242) more articles (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=240) from NWN Vault! I must say those buildings Rogue Dao is working on look lovely.



There doesn't look to be an actual limit on how long you can explore an area, it's how long you can go without eating souls before dying. How well that'll work out I can't guess; if it's something as simple as selecting a 'Devour Soul' special ability when fighting monsters it shouldn't be anything to worry about. (Ideally, anyway...)


I am not a big fan of the spirit meter idea. However if it forces players to use all the levels of their arcane/divine spells. Instead of just use the higher level nuke spells and then resting. Then I am some what for the idea.

stoffe
09-21-2007, 07:38 AM
There doesn't look to be an actual limit on how long you can explore an area, it's how long you can go without eating souls before dying. How well that'll work out I can't guess; if it's something as simple as selecting a 'Devour Soul' special ability when fighting monsters it shouldn't be anything to worry about. (Ideally, anyway...)

I doubt it's that easy, since then it would be pretty meaningless to have it there. It would just add another mandatory step you have to do in combat. Adding a nuisance if it isn't really that important doesn't seem very meaningful. :)

But, hopefully you can deactivate the countdown timer with the toolset if it becomes too disrupting of the gameplay flow to have something like that hanging over you.

tk102
09-21-2007, 11:20 AM
I doubt it's that easy, since then it would be pretty meaningless to have it there. It would just add another mandatory step you have to do in combat. Adding a nuisance if it isn't really that important doesn't seem very meaningful. :)
It could be something like the way the original campaign handled the Crossroads Keep "time passed"... but will probably also include the passage of time when you rest. That is, if you want to rest you're going to get hungry for some souls.

However, if it's a like a slow poison that you can't cure, I doubt I'll enjoy its addition.

Pavlos
09-21-2007, 07:31 PM
Huzzah, (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=242) more articles (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Articles.Detail&id=240) from NWN Vault! I must say those buildings Rogue Dao is working on look lovely.

Damn you, Devon, only I may post NWN2 news :xp:. It is an unquestioned tradition of over eight months or so. Rogue Dao's stuff does look rather impressive, though, and I do look forward to playing through what looks to be a terrific module.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must circle the release date of MotB on every calendar I can see.

Edit: Speaking of which, here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFhR6jzNVP8)'s a nice YouTube interview which shows off some of the head changes - the half elves actually look half decent now so maybe I'll finally be able to play as one. Smashing stuff.

Balderdash
09-27-2007, 10:39 AM
The expansion is indeed out in Europe! I'm in the UK, but I haven't had mine yet. I guess I can expect it tomorrow, when I will be at work. :(

I think people in mainland Europe got it early, judging from the the NWN2 forums... (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewforum.html?forum=121)

stoffe
09-27-2007, 10:43 AM
The expansion is indeed out in Europe! I'm in the UK, but I haven't had mine yet. I guess I can expect it tomorrow, when I will be at work. :(

I think people in mainland Europe got it early, judging from the the NWN2 forums... (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewforum.html?forum=121)

I got my copy today, one day early. :emodanc: Haven't finished the main NWN2 campaign yet though, so it'll probably have to wait a few more days before I can play it.

Pavlos
09-27-2007, 12:11 PM
I got my copy today, one day early. :emodanc: Haven't finished the main NWN2 campaign yet though, so it'll probably have to wait a few more days before I can play it.

I haven't received mine yet... but awesomenessity. How can you stand to wait... install the damnable thing and upload some thoughts :xp:.

tk102
09-27-2007, 12:15 PM
Haven't finished the main NWN2 campaign yet though, so it'll probably have to wait a few more days before I can play it.
I bet you'll be playing it within 24 hours. ;) Since you give such great synopses of games/expansions, I'm glad you got it early.

stoffe
09-27-2007, 03:05 PM
I bet you'll be playing it within 24 hours. ;) Since you give such great synopses of games/expansions, I'm glad you got it early.

Maybe, though first I have to go through the rather draconian task of making the Expansion compatible with all the mods I have installed. I can imagine that pretty much all the 2DA files and a fair number of the scripts have changed, so there will be plenty of work to merge everything. Hopefully it's worth the effort. :)


Seems like the Epic spells are implemented the same way as in NWN:HotU, as feats and not "real" spells, which most of the magic-using classes seem to share (i.e. Warlocks can use the same Epic Spells as Wizards, with just one or two exceptions).

After reading the manual I'm still rather skeptic about the whole Soul Eater thing, with the steadily draining spirit bar that weakens you as you go along and kills you if it's empty. Seems to be a whole bunch of abilities connected to this though that you can use to refill your spirit bar by doing unspeakable acts to enemies. Hopefully it turns out better than it sounds when playing.

Lantzen
09-27-2007, 03:38 PM
Me want. Will probaly go to the store tomorow and buy it, but wont be able to play it because i have birthday tomorow. Stupid birthday:)

Pavlos
09-28-2007, 04:25 PM
Yaharr! It arrived... I'm performing a fresh install.

Edit: In other news, that is possibly the largest manual I've seen since the release of KotOR.

stoffe
09-28-2007, 05:40 PM
Yaharr! It arrived... I'm performing a fresh install.

Edit: In other news, that is possibly the largest manual I've seen since the release of KotOR.

It's a definite plus that they didn't just include a pamphlet in the box and the full manual as a PDF. A PDF isn't terribly useful as a reference to look things up in as you play, after all. :)

I finally managed to update/recreate all my modded files to the expansion and played a bit with it (still in Act 2 of the NWN2 scenario, haven't begun the Expansion scenario). The new camera modes will take a while to get used to, right now I'm fumbling around like a drunk toddler and have to pause all the time to regain my bearings and get the camera to show what I want to view. :) Just too bad there seems to be some bug with the camera settings making the game forget some of my settings on occasion, making me have to set them again every now and then.

Haven't noticed any of the performance boost they claim the expansion/patch should bring. My framerates still drop below 15 FPS if I have pointlight/smooth shadows on, or if I have the Shadow setting at anything other than the lowest option. Quite disappointing since pretty much all games I've bought the last two years have better performance with all settings at max. :/

Noticed they've added a bunch of new non-epic wizard/cleric/druid spells as well, so I'm going to try them out with Elanee/Sand/Zhjaeve. New toys are always fun. :) Just too bad the Warlock is cheerfully ignored as usual, so I'll have to make my own toys for that.

Seems like they've replaced all the casting chant sounds as well. Don't know why they did that, the current ones seem kind of tame. The older ones sounded more "magical" and powerful. But I suppose it's something you get used to as well.

tk102
09-28-2007, 05:59 PM
The new camera modes will take a while to get used to, right now I'm fumbling around like a drunk toddler and have to pause all the time to regain my bearings and get the camera to show what I want to view. I still don't understand the difference between Character Mode and Strategy Mode or how to switch between the two. Hmm, come to think I never knew how to switch camera modes before either. I just always rotated and zoomed in and out as necessary. :xp:

All I know is that I am suddenly very dependent on the X button to rotate my camera. I also had to really slow down zooms and rotates or I'd get virtual whiplash. That's fine but I'm not sure if it's an improvement or if it's just lost on me. :)

stoffe
09-29-2007, 04:19 PM
Looks like Obsidian managed to put a broken game on the MotB expansion discs with some missing text, that they've already issued a hotfix for. So much for the supposed polish I suppose, but at least they're pretty quick to fix it. :)

Thread about it (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=587298&forum=121)

(The hotfix will replace your dialog.tlk file, so if you have modded that file you need to add back your changes to it afterwards again.)

tk102
09-29-2007, 05:25 PM
(The hotfix will replace your dialog.tlk file, so if you have modded that file you need to add back your changes to it afterwards again.)
You really spoiled us with TSLPatcher. :p

I still don't understand the difference between Character Mode and Strategy Mode or how to switch between the two.Ah, I just saw the in-game Tip: Use the Numpad * key to toggle between views. Evidently I was in Strategy Mode before and Character Mode seems much more familiar. :)

Edit: The reason I missed that particular keymapping is because it's under "Game" keymappings and (at my resolution) I had to scroll down to see it. Call me crazy, but I think could've been listed comfortably under the "Camera" keymappings. :rolleyes:

stoffe
09-29-2007, 07:14 PM
Ah, I just saw the in-game Tip: Use the Numpad * key to toggle between views. Evidently I was in Strategy Mode before and Character Mode seems much more familiar. :)

There are a bunch of settings in the options where you can tweak how Strategy and Character mode works independently. You can also set separate key bindings for controls depending on what mode you are in.

Still, I haven't managed to get it to behave quite like I'm used to, but it's close enough to have reasonable control of the camera at least. :)

Pavlos
09-30-2007, 06:15 AM
Thread about it (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=587298&forum=121)

(The hotfix will replace your dialog.tlk file, so if you have modded that file you need to add back your changes to it afterwards again.)

This is odd: I'm not suffering this bug at all. Everything is working perfectly - too well, don't believe I've come across a single bug yet.

How's everyone finding the campaign, by the way? It's certainly less rail-roaded than NWN2... and far more difficult. Definitely seems to be a better game thus far but I've not played that much (only up to Act II). So far, the story seems far more sinister, which is always a good thing :).

stoffe
09-30-2007, 08:26 AM
How's everyone finding the campaign, by the way? It's certainly less rail-roaded than NWN2... and far more difficult. Definitely seems to be a better game thus far but I've not played that much (only up to Act II). So far, the story seems far more sinister, which is always a good thing :).

I haven't gotten to it yet, I'm still in Act 3 of the NWN2 campaign, on my way to the Fire Giant mountains. So be sure to add spoiler tags to any Expansion campaign spoilers. :p The only thing I've heard about it so far is that the endings seem to be typical Obsidian Meh endings. Someone should run a course for game developers how to do proper endings in games.

In preparation I've created a couple of feats to illicitly refill the Spirit Energy bar and reduce craving, so I can enjoy the scenario properly without having to Play By Timer when I get there. Glad there is a toolset for this game. :) Really, the decision to not pause the countdown during dialog is incredibly stupid. Why bother with memorable dialog at all if the player has to quickly rush-click through it all to avoid dying in the middle of it?

Pavlos
09-30-2007, 09:01 AM
The spirit bar does pause in dialogue. And it isn't anywhere near as bothersome as I thought it would be :). It drains slowly and it's rather easy to top it up without being evil.

Shame about the endings... but the actual game (again, thus far) seems terrific - refreshingly personal and, unless it's just an illusion, I seem to have a surprising amount of freedom to do things in whatever order I like. Can't actually think of anything bad to say but I'm sure there'll be something (like the ending) somewhere down the line.

As I said combat seems much tougher but it's not impossible - you actually need to think about your use of spells and what to do next rather than spamming things... takes me back to the Baldur's Gate days.

I'm a fan of the Veil Theatre, the players have some wonderful dialogue :xp:

stoffe
09-30-2007, 09:23 AM
The spirit bar does pause in dialogue. And it isn't anywhere near as bothersome as I thought it would be :). It drains slowly and it's rather easy to top it up without being evil.

Hmm, I read somewhere that it didn't pause... or that there was some bug that made it seemingly pause but didn't. But you probably know that better, so that's good news at least. :)

The biggest problem I see with it is that Suppress gives you Lawful points every time you use it, and since I play as a Warlock that makes the ability pretty much useless since I need to stay Chaotic. That leaves only Eternal Rest to refill the Spirit Energy for a Good character, so unless the game is crawling with Undead that might be problematic.


Shame about the endings... but the actual game (again, thus far) seems terrific - refreshingly personal and, unless it's just an illusion, I seem to have a surprising amount of freedom to do things in whatever order I like.

Almost sounds like there is too much choice, to the point where significant chunks of the game can be missed out entirely if you don't happen to stumble across them. But I guess that's what replays are for. :)


As I said combat seems much tougher but it's not impossible - you actually need to think about your use of spells and what to do next rather than spamming things... takes me back to the Baldur's Gate days.

Why? Because enemies are tougher, or because the Timer-of-Death thing discourages frivolous resting?

Pavlos
09-30-2007, 09:40 AM
Why? Because enemies are tougher, or because the Timer-of-Death thing discourages frivolous resting?

In summary (to save you reading all of my - mostly aimless - ramblings) they're tough because they're tough not because of the timer-of-death-doom-and-destruction

Timer-of-Death will knock about 20/100 points off the spirit meter with an 8 hour rest but if there are bodiless undead around (like wraiths), you can use the "Eternal Rest" power (which is not automatically given to you, you have to discover it) which will not increase your craving for spirits but will top up the bar and shift your alignment toward Good without doing anything on the Chaos-Law scale. But the only place you find undead are in crypts and so forth so I'm mostly having to manage by using the consume power once in a while on some poor, unsuspecting spirit wandering the countryside.

Anyway, that was quite a tangent. If you rest in dangerous areas, there's a chance you'll be ambushed by hordes of enemies (generally tough ones) but the fights themselves generally last longer because they are genuinely more difficult than the OC ones and they'd still be tough even if you could rest all over the place. I fear for my companions and my PC whenever I run into a Dead Lord or a Lich King. So, yeah... make sure you carry a fair few healing potions around with you.

Edit:

On the freedom thing: though it certainly helps to investigate things - what with quite a few Torment-esque memory recovery scenes - I don't think you'd be at a loss as to what's going on if you didn't. It's certainly not like Torment in that respect; you could actually play through to the end of that game and not know what the hell was happening because you didn't talk to anyone (I'm still rather fond of the ability to select "Who are you?" when facing the Transcendent One).

stoffe
09-30-2007, 09:52 AM
you can use the "Eternal Rest" power (which is not automatically given to you, you have to discover it) which will not increase your craving for spirits but will top up the bar and shift your alignment toward Good without doing anything on the Chaos-Law scale. But the only place you find undead are in crypts and so forth so I'm mostly having to manage by using the consume power once in a while on some poor, unsuspecting spirit wandering the countryside.

Isn't consuming a spirit one of the most evil acts you can perform in D&D, essentially dooming it to non-existence and denying it any chance of an afterlife? Doesn't sound like something a Good character would do no matter what. I hope the Eternal Rest ability isn't too far into the game and is too easy to miss.

And, putting aside the morality of it all, doesn't the consume/devour abilities increase your craving and force you to consume even more, like some drug addict? :)


Anyway, that was quite a tangent. If you rest in dangerous areas, there's a chance you'll be ambushed by hordes of enemies (generally tough ones) but the fights themselves generally last longer because they are genuinely more difficult than the OC ones and they'd still be tough even if you could rest all over the place. I fear for my companions and my PC whenever I run into a Dead Lord or a Lich King. So, yeah... make sure you carry a fair few healing potions around with you.

Does the ToD drain even if your sleep is interrupted, or only after you've successfully rested? Could make it all the more dangerous to rest in dangerous areas even if you can handle the monsters themselves.

About healing potions, which of your carried items do you lose at the start of the game? Only weapons, or everything you carry? Is it worthwhile to grab some of your companions' better gear at the end of the NWN2 campaign, or will you lose it all at the start of the Expansion campaign anyway?

Pavlos
09-30-2007, 10:11 AM
Isn't consuming a spirit one of the most evil acts you can perform in D&D, essentially dooming it to non-existence and denying it any chance of an afterlife? Doesn't sound like something a Good character would do no matter what. I hope the Eternal Rest ability isn't too far into the game and is too easy to miss.

Well, you could always just allow it to feed off of your memories and personality :xp:. But that ability only becomes available in extreme situations.

And, putting aside the morality of it all, doesn't the consume/devour abilities increase your craving and force you to consume even more, like some drug addict? :)

Yeah, there's a second little bar which shows your craving. The greater your craving, the faster the spirit bar drain. Using the Devour Spirit power more than once in a day increases your craving. Suppressing the craving only gives you a few more points on the spirit bar but reduces your craving for souls, while putting undead to rest doesn't do anything to your craving and increases your spirit bar. I haven't read the section in the manual yet beacuse it's supposed to be slightly 'spoilerous', so no doubt there are a few other special abilities to be gained.

You do have to keep an eye on the meter but it doesn't really bother me that much. It may have something to do with my low craving levels but my spirit bar doesn't drop that quickly.

Does the ToD drain even if your sleep is interrupted, or only after you've successfully rested? Could make it all the more dangerous to rest in dangerous areas even if you can handle the monsters themselves.

I think it does, yeah.

About healing potions, which of your carried items do you lose at the start of the game? Only weapons, or everything you carry? Is it worthwhile to grab some of your companions' better gear at the end of the NWN2 campaign, or will you lose it all at the start of the Expansion campaign anyway?

I decided to start a new game but I think I read that you'll keep all of your equipped items aside from your weapon - so no Sword of Gith. The starting areas are not really that difficult - probably similar to an average fight in the OC.

Oh and make sure you chat to your companions regularly, their dialogues seem to update fairly often (mostly after or before critical moments in the plot) and they generally have quite a bit to say. Safiya, the Red Wizard, seems to be the most well developed thus far but it's early days yet. Hopefully the dialogue updating will continue to happen throughout the game and won't just stop half-way through.

stoffe
09-30-2007, 12:05 PM
Well, you could always just allow it to feed off of your memories and personality :xp:. But that ability only becomes available in extreme situations.

Self-cannibalism doesn't sound particularly appealing either, unless you play as some self-sacrificing paladin. :)



I haven't read the section in the manual yet beacuse it's supposed to be slightly 'spoilerous', so no doubt there are a few other special abilities to be gained.

I think you can read that section without problems, it doesn't mention anything about the plot of the game other than that you can become a spirit eater, which they've been saying for months in their marketing hype drive already. It just outlines how the Spirit Energy, craving and various abilities linked to that works.


You do have to keep an eye on the meter but it doesn't really bother me that much. It may have something to do with my low craving levels but my spirit bar doesn't drop that quickly.

From what I've read the ToD can drain very fast if your craving gets high, so it's probably a good idea to keep the craving low if you are a Good-aligned character.


I decided to start a new game but I think I read that you'll keep all of your equipped items aside from your weapon - so no Sword of Gith. The starting areas are not really that difficult - probably similar to an average fight in the OC.

But everything else in your backpack inventory is taken as well? Someone steals your weapon and backpack, but doesn't pry any clothing off your body? If so it might be worthwhile to burn all the precious gems and essences collected on crafting some nice things to wear before ending the NWN2 campaign. :)


Oh and make sure you chat to your companions regularly, their dialogues seem to update fairly often (mostly after or before critical moments in the plot) and they generally have quite a bit to say. Safiya, the Red Wizard, seems to be the most well developed thus far but it's early days yet.

Are there any romances or "romances" in the game, causing some character to chat your ears off if you play as one gender while barely opening their mouth if you play the other?

Arátoeldar
09-30-2007, 01:56 PM
Does the expansion pack take away all of your weapons or just the weapon in your hand/silver sword?

Balderdash
09-30-2007, 02:46 PM
The biggest problem I see with it is that Suppress gives you Lawful points every time you use it, and since I play as a Warlock that makes the ability pretty much useless since I need to stay Chaotic. That leaves only Eternal Rest to refill the Spirit Energy for a Good character, so unless the game is crawling with Undead that might be problematic.
Indeed. My wizard was actually LG before MotB (even though he started off as, and was always intended to be, NG) so this hasn't bothered me too much thus far. I've been using suppress daily. But you're right, this is a bit of a design fault, I would have to say. I'd be interested to know what they thought was lawful about using the ability.

Minor spoiler about enemies:
There are a fair amount of incorporeal undead in the shadow plane, but I haven't encountered them yet anywhere else.

Other than this, I'm fairly happy with the spirit bar implementation thus far. Seems to do the job it is meant to do, and it fits into the story nicely. The bar changes colour during conversations so I think this signifies it pausing, and I haven't noticed any bugs with that, myself.

I installed directly over 1.06 and haven't experienced any problems with the expansion, but I haven't played the OC since, so I had best check this. Thanks, Stoffe, for that bit of news, otherwise I would not have seen the thread...

Anyway, I'm certainly enjoying the story. I won't post any spoilers since I'm not sure where people are up too. I'm on Act 2, though. My only complaint is that there seem to be an awful lot of conversations, even with major NPCs, that were all in the text boxes, and personally I like hearing the cinematic conversations better. But it's not a big issue really.

Lantzen
10-01-2007, 01:42 PM
Think il have to gratuade them to worse expansion ever, vanlila NWN2 quit to works for me. Thought i would do a rerun from the beginning, but the first silver shard is bugged, i can't give it to Daeghun. And first time i tryed to install the expansion no text for the new classes and races was showed.

Edit: And the graphic performance is still terrible, it lags when il have 4gb RAM and a 8800GTX grapphic card :/

Edit2: It's not only i that have this problem, have been browsing the NWN2 Forums now. It's funny how they just forgot to check if vanila NWN2 still works after the have done a expansion

Arátoeldar
10-01-2007, 03:51 PM
Think il have to gratuade them to worse expansion ever, vanlila NWN2 quit to works for me. Thought i would do a rerun from the beginning, but the first silver shard is bugged, i can't give it to Daeghun. And first time i tryed to install the expansion no text for the new classes and races was showed.

Edit: And the graphic performance is still terrible, it lags when il have 4gb RAM and a 8800GTX grapphic card :/

Edit2: It's not only i that have this problem, have been browsing the NWN2 Forums now. It's funny how they just forgot to check if vanila NWN2 still works after the have done a expansion


Did you install the expansion pack correctly?

Problems with int eh OC after installing MotB are for people who installed MotB over a fresh install *without* patching!

Here is the issue at hand.. Installing MotB will update your game engine to 1.10 equivalent, but it does *not* patch the campaign files (and there have been many fixes/updates to those). So you have to patch NWN2 to 1.10 first to get all the campaign files updated, then you install the expansion.

If you install the expansion over top of 1.06, everything supposedly works fine. This was the status of things when the expansion went gold and was released. If, however, you are updated up to 1.10 before you install the expansion (as many people would be, that's where the auto-patcher puts you now) there is a small dialogue.txt glitch that needs fixing with the hotfix.

MoTB Install Instructions/Missing Text Fix (http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=587298&forum=121&sp=0)

Lantzen
10-02-2007, 08:05 AM
Thats how i istalled it the first time and still didn't work, but i think il have fond a fix now.

But really, i don't think people should need to serch their forums to get the game to work

Emperor Devon
10-03-2007, 05:00 AM
Looks like there are some MotB fixes out already - here's one (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Scripts.Detail&id=162) that makes Suppress no longer give Lawful points and another (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Scripts.Detail&id=160) that fixes a bug preventing some buffs from being cast on the dragon animal companion. (Oh hurrah, I've just had the experience of downloading mods for a game I don't own.)

6 more days till it hits the US, grr!

Balderdash
10-03-2007, 07:02 AM
6 more days till it hits the US, grr!
Definitely the first time I've completed a game before it's even out in the US... I hope Atari don't recieve too many complaints about this, it's extremely rare for us to get a game this much earlier - usually we're at least several days after North America.

Thanks for the suppress fix link, this will most definitely be a permanent resident in my override folder until if/when Obsidian fixes it themselves. I won't want to finish the game with LG characters every time. I won't bother with the druid dragon companion fix since I don't usually play druids. I'm sure that'll get patched pretty soon anyway.

Installing over 1.06 seems to work okay as near as I can tell, I'll probably do a complete reinstallation as and when they patch the game again though... just to be on the safe side.

I actually thought the ending was okay, myself... the final battle was a bit too easy, though. I beat it on my second attempt through, same as I did the King of Shadows in the OC. The second fight with Okku at the end of the first chapter was actually considerably more difficult, for me. I think that's the only other time I died, so the game wasn't too difficult.

stoffe
10-03-2007, 10:25 AM
Act 1 question:

I'm having trouble getting the ghost of the Myrkul high priest give me the key to the lower vault. After that long dialog between the priest, The Child and The Brute the priest ignores me, and the journal says I have to find some way to convince him to talk to me. But I've talked to everyone I can think of (the witches, the High Priest of Kelemvor, the chief scribe ghost, the new half-celestial follower) and nobody seems to have any dialog where I can get clues how to do this.

So, how do you get the key to the lower level in the Vault of the Death God? :confused:

Balderdash
10-03-2007, 10:37 AM
Answer:
I'm fairly certain you can't get into the lower level until later on in the game... but only having completed one play through the game so far, I can't say I'm absolutely positive of this. However, as I say, I am fairly certain that you will not be able to manage it just yet...

Pavlos
10-03-2007, 11:14 AM
I've not really had much of a chance to play since the weekend; everything's been so busy! But what I've played (I'm still in Act 2) is seriously good stuff. The expansion also makes one or two nice nods to the original campaign - enough for them to feel closely connected but not enough so as to get this plot bogged down in the technicalities of the old one. Early days, though.

Currently, my favourite conversation tree is:

NPC: There is also word of a large fire to the south. It's not know how it started - there have been no lightning storms here for some time.
Player: You haven't, by any chance, seen an impulsive, red-headed mage girl with anger management problems lately, have you?
NPC: No, why?
Player: Just curious...

Edit: Seeing as how Devon seems ready to kill me, I promised to post some pictures. They shouldn't be spoilerific - though they do show some party members so you may not want to click if you want their appearances to remain a mystery - and they're only in areas/tilesets that have been revealed before in videos, previews, and images :).

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/4614/nwn2ss100307134327we7.th.jpg (http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/4614/nwn2ss100307134327we7.jpg) http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/3107/nwn2ss100107214455gg2.th.jpg (http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/3107/nwn2ss100107214455gg2.jpg)
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/6606/nwn2ss093007181341fj0.th.jpg (http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/6606/nwn2ss093007181341fj0.jpg) http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/8521/nwn2ss093007115516xs9.th.jpg (http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/8521/nwn2ss093007115516xs9.jpg)

As you can see, the graphics haven't improved but the overall area design's much improved over NWN2's generic woodlands, in functionality, feel, and appearance.

Spoiler for Act 2:
My favourite area is the exterior of the Sunken City where the Slumbering Coven lies - yay for sea monsters!

Edit the Second: Oh and, toolset guys, yes there are waterfalls now :).

stoffe
10-03-2007, 12:53 PM
They shouldn't be spoilerific - though they do show some party members so you may not want to click if you want their appearances to remain a mystery - and they're only in areas/tilesets that have been revealed before in videos, previews, and images :).


I haven't gotten quite that far yet, though I have to say some of the places have been rather creepy in how they've been presented so far, in particular the room with the operating table in the Shadow Veil where they removed the sword fragment from your chest.

Speaking of party members, is there a good way to gain Influence with Kaelyn in Mulsantir? I've managed to get both the jerk Hagspawn and Safiya above up to Supportive and Devoted, but Kaelyn is still at Neutral and I seem to be running out of things to do before I have to go outside and confront Okku and his army of spirits.

Also, is it normal that party members are of different level? My group is currently quite spread out, with the protagonist at level 22, Safiya at level 19, Gann at 18 and Kaelyn at 17. (Though perhaps the lagging of Gann and Kaelyn behind Safiya is caused by their races having level adjustments?)



Edit: I just got Okku as a party member as well and he turned out to be level 20, 1 level higher than Safiya. So unless he's a special case, or have a positive level adjustment, it may be by design that everyone are different levels so they don't level up all at once. :)

I also managed to find one more influence option for Kaelyn speaking with the Kelemvor high priest, though at the expense of losing influence with the jerk hagspawn. No big loss, now all of them have gotten influence feats. Though it seems like those feats grow in power the more influence you have with them, since Safiya gains quite a load of bonuses from hers.

Det. Bart Lasiter
10-03-2007, 03:51 PM
What about the hair models? I always hated the PC's hair in NWN2. So, are there more/not horrible hair selections this time around?

Balderdash
10-03-2007, 04:38 PM
There are. For humans and aasimars only, it seems. The hair in Pavlos' avatar is new, and there's also another pony tail... and females have a new sort of braided look which looks quite cool, and another quite generic shortish style. The genasi races have the coolest hair going, though.

And there's also some new human heads. There are quite a few tatooed heads that they used for the various Red Wizards in the campaign, but there are others, too.

Also, is it normal that party members are of different level? My group is currently quite spread out, with the protagonist at level 22, Safiya at level 19, Gann at 18 and Kaelyn at 17. (Though perhaps the lagging of Gann and Kaelyn behind Safiya is caused by their races having level adjustments?)
I assume they put the companions at those levels because they didn't want them to be too overpowered if you choose to start the game at level 18. I have no idea what the PnP rules are for half celestials and hagspawn but I would think they would have to have level adjustments; seems like the only reasonable explanation to me.

stoffe
10-03-2007, 10:41 PM
Looks like they've changed how all ray attacks work in the MotB expansion to allow you to land critical hits with them, and not just with weapons. Glad I wasn't hit by this Disintegrate, took care of that rather tough enemy pretty quick, in a single hit. :)

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/2067/critdisintegrateon4.th.jpg (http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/2067/critdisintegrateon4.jpg)

tk102
10-04-2007, 01:18 AM
Critical hits with rays, huh?

I remember seeing quite a bit of whining for adding sneak attacks with rays over on the NWN2 forums. Arcane Tricksters for example would get a large benefit from being able to zing baddies from across the screen with a ray of enfeeblement, disintegrate, and polar ray. Even if the P&P allows for that, I think it makes little sense. Don't suppose you've seen that in MotB have you?

Critical hits on the other hand I could accept more easily. Nice zap, btw.

Balderdash
10-04-2007, 05:39 AM
If you can get critical hits with arrows - I'm sure certain people would berate the devs for years if you couldn't - then there's no logical reason why it shouldn't be possible with rays. I guess that helps you with your warlock's eldritch blasts, as well, Stoffe. I always tend to keep a maximised disintegrate or two handy at high levels, to use on any targets with a low save, in order to put them out of the fight early, but I didn't manage any critical hits while playing. That would be... 480 magic damage.

stoffe
10-04-2007, 08:51 AM
I remember seeing quite a bit of whining for adding sneak attacks with rays over on the NWN2 forums. Even if the P&P allows for that, I think it makes little sense. Don't suppose you've seen that in MotB have you?


There is no Sneak Attack with melee/ranged touch attacks as far as I can see, just critical hits. Though there are Weapon Focus and Improved Critical feats for melee and ranged touch attacks as well now.

I guess that helps you with your warlock's eldritch blasts, as well, Stoffe. I always tend to keep a maximised disintegrate or two handy at high levels, to use on any targets with a low save, in order to put them out of the fight early, but I didn't manage any critical hits while playing. That would be... 480 magic damage.

Since Safiya is Red Wizard specialized as Transmuter she gets a respectable bonus to Save DC of those, and since Disintegrate is one of the few offensive high level spells that are of the Transmutation school I've memorized a whole bunch of those with various metamagics applied. She's managed to breach the saves of enemies fairly frequently so far, though I can imagine it will be more difficult as the game progresses.

I've gotten a few critical hits with Warlock invocations as well, particularly useful with Eldritch Chain shaped blasts since those can hit multiple enemies at once while still doing touch attacks on them (unlike Cone and Doom). Though since you can't Empower/Maximize invocations as they aren't spells, and Eldritch Blast doesn't have quite the base damage of Disintegrate I haven't gotten any one hit kills from Eldritch Blast critical hits so far. :)

Though I suppose the Eldritch Master feat would count as permanent Empower for Eldritch Blast since it boosts the damage with 50%. If you forgo picking any other Epic Feats than that and Epic Eldritch Blast, focusing on damage output alone, even Eldritch Blasts can do fairly respectable damage (even though you miss out on a lot of other goodies in the process).

(14d6 + 7d6) * 1.5 = 189 dmg (378 crit) max, 94 dmg average (189 crit) at level 30.

Somewhat OK I guess for something you can use unlimited number of times per day, but since you can only do 1 attack/round it still comes way behind what a melee grunt, specialized archer or wizard can do against a single target. And most enemies seem to have plenty of health so far in the game, and I doubt that's going to change. :)

Good thing the game can be modded though. I've added another level with my own Epic lvl 5 invocations to the game that are a bit more fun to use against the overly powerful opponents in MotB. :)

stoffe
10-05-2007, 08:56 PM
Gah... the difficulty curve in this game seems to be a bit uneven...

Being ambushed by 5-6 Ancient Vampires (each being level 28 with class levels in Monk while only the protagonist was Epic levels in my group) popping out of thin air in the lower level of the Death God's Vault was an unpleasant surprise. Killed my whole party in 1-2 rounds except for the protagonist and Okku. My casters couldn't have done much at any rate since their spells just bounced off their Monk spell resistance. (Good thing I was in the hallway and was able to toss up a few Wall of Perilous Flame in the doorway while they smacked down the rest of my group, and snipe at them with Vitriolic Blasts over that.)

Rather steep step up from just fighting some wraiths and a couple of Nightwalkers before that. And there wasn't even anything worthwhile behind that door.

The encounters through the other doors weren't much easier, with those Scythe-wielding Death Lords, Priest Mummies and the Lich King.

Overall Rashemen seems to be inhabited by rather tough folk, with level 20 city watch berserkers and epic level thugs. My own band of followers seem to be the weakest of the lot. :)


Also, a question about the start of Act II:
Does it matter in which order you visit Ashenwood, the Well and the Sunken City, or are they completely independent from each other?

tk102
10-05-2007, 09:09 PM
Good thing the game can be modded though. I've added another level with my own Epic lvl 5 invocations to the game that are a bit more fun to use against the overly powerful opponents in MotB. :)
:D Stoffe the automodder.

Pavlos
10-06-2007, 04:41 AM
Also, a question about the start of Act II:
Does it matter in which order you visit Ashenwood, the Well and the Sunken City, or are they completely independent from each other?

No, it doesn't matter. It appears - I may be wrong - that one of them is entirely optional... and that's a fairly heavy chunk of content.

Anyway, I finally reached Act 3 and it seems the game is nearing its climax; I'll hopefully finish it today.

Balderdash
10-06-2007, 01:42 PM
Act 3 only took me two or three hours, I think. The second is easily the longest of the three.

Pavlos:
Did you devour what was left of Myrkul's spirit in the Astral Plane? If so, please let us know if you find out what you're supposed to do with his special spirit essense! I haven't seen anyone mention it at the NWN2 board yet...

Pavlos
10-06-2007, 03:33 PM
@Balderdash:

Yeah, I used Eternal Rest on him; I suppose it's more than that wretched thing deserves. But you get a spirit essence? I got so wrapped up in the story after that point that I didn't even bother looking at my inventory :p. I have a save, though, so I'll go back and look.

Also (end of Act 3)

Any hints on defeating Akachi? I've been battling him inside my soul for about half an hour and with all my spells (epic or otherwise) burnt out I'm left with whacking him with the Sword of Gith... which doesn't seem to be that successful.

Balderdash
10-06-2007, 05:26 PM
Well, when I fought him, Safiya died fairly quickly (I think you only get her in the endgame if you romance her, is she with you?). And, I ran out of spells before the end, too. But, you can use Devour Spirit again and again, so I shamelessly spammed that, instead. It actually seemed sort of fitting to devour the personification of the hunger itself, before it devoured me. Doesn't do a huge amount of damage to him, and he seemed to be healing himself while I was doing it, but it can serve to keep him at bay, for a time. Don't worry about your craving going up at this point. He'll try to do the same to you at times so it's definitely a good idea to top up your spirit meter if you can, anyway.

When I'd injured him enough I lured him away from Safiya, and used Bestow Life Force to revive her (I assume you got this feat, fairly easy to find but you do have to discover it), then used her remaining spells to finish him off. I guess it's not an easy fight to handle but it's quite manageable if him and his "friends" give you the chance to use all the tricks in your arsenal... have fun. :)

Oh, also, don't forget that the reforged Sword of Gith has a few special abilities attached to it again. I didn't really use them but they might be effective against him; I'm not sure. I preferred the shard ones in the OC, they looked cooler. :p

Pavlos
10-06-2007, 06:00 PM
Cheers

I haven't died yet and I've actually been doing exactly what you recommended I was just wondering if there was something special I was supposed to be doing seeing as how he's taking an age to go down.

Also: I threw this together in a couple of minutes to show off some of the new water features. It seems fairly easy to get a convincing looking waterfall set up. Hopefully it'll add some more diversity to exterior areas in mods :).

http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/2715/waterfallvr7.jpg

Edit: I did it... finally...

I ended up burning through all the spirit essences I had in my inventory with the "mysterious device" item - it was the only thing that consistently took off 20-80 hitpoints.

Emperor Devon
10-09-2007, 04:51 AM
Edit: I did it... finally...

Oooh, you finished it? How was the ending, was it up to Obsidian's usual (excellent) standards?

(I'm not mad, I liked how Torment and TSL ended!)

stoffe
10-09-2007, 08:17 AM
Oooh, you finished it? How was the ending, was it up to Obsidian's usual (excellent) standards?


Probably depends on which one. Apparently there are (at least) four different endings: Good, Good optimal, Evil, Evil Optimal... if you get all the mask pieces determine if you can get the optimal ending or not. And then the fate of some of your followers may vary a bit depending on certain actions taken in the game. :)

Pavlos
10-09-2007, 12:07 PM
I'll write up my thoughts about it, as soon as I can collect them :). Not that it will be much use seeing as how the American release was today - unless we have any Australian NWN2 fans among us?

Edit: You no longer have to use the installation instructions on the BioWare boards. The autopatcher has been updated with a new patch which allows you to install NWN2, then MotB, then patch it.

16 is a replacement for the hotfix. I didn't think it was going live until the morning.

Well, surprise!

16, I believe, allows you to install NWN2 fresh, then install MoTB, then apply this one patch and be done with it. I will confirm when I get in the office tomorrow.

Your game should be at 1.10.1116 (I think that's it, anyway)

Web Rider
10-09-2007, 01:41 PM
I'll write up my thoughts about it, as soon as I can collect them :). Not that it will be much use seeing as how the American release was today - unless we have any Australian NWN2 fans among us?

NO, the US ship date was today. Atari likes to mess with you like that. Nobody actually has it in stores and it's not available online yet.

Pavlos
10-09-2007, 03:18 PM
Oh what a wonderful blunder:

Hello Everyone,

There is currently a patch available on the Autopatcher. DO NOT INSTALL THIS PATCH!

If you do, it will overwrite your CD Key(s) and cause you much havoc.



Edit
If this patch has already been installed, you will need to manually open the file "nwncdkey.ini" and replace the CD key(s) with the original keys you entered at the time of installing the game. The file can be found in the NWN2 install folder.

If you have a backup of nwn2cdkey.ini from after you installed MotB, you can instead just restore the file from your backup.

Ever the optimist: at least they're addressing the issue.

Edit: But I don't actually know what he's talking about because my CD keys are unchanged... must be a randomly occurring glitch - it should only affect online play, anyway.

stoffe
10-10-2007, 08:43 AM
Oh what a wonderful blunder:
Ever the optimist: at least they're addressing the issue.


This is an example of why I usually wait a few weeks before applying a newly released NWN2 patch. Obsidian's track record on the patching front so far could be summed up in the word over-eager. As in they seem to be so keen on getting the improvements out to the community that they don't bother testing that it works properly and don't break anything in the process. :)

Does this patch do anything else other than remove the need for the US crowd to go through aforementioned arcane update procedure? (If it doesn't add anything new I'll just skip it, too much work to patch NWN2 otherwise since the autoupdater throws a fit if it detects any modded files.)

By the way, which ending did you get?

stoffe
10-11-2007, 04:24 PM
Mod note:
I've split discussion about the story and endings of the Mask of the Betrayer expansion into a separate thread found here (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=182929) to keep the story spoilers more separate from talk about other aspects of the game.