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View Full Version : NWN2 Mask of the Betrayer story (SPOILERS!)


Pavlos
10-10-2007, 08:30 AM
Mod note: Thread split from the NWN2 Expansion pack announced (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=177487) thread to keep more spoiler-ish talk separate. ~M

By the way, which ending did you get?

They all lived happily ever after, with the exception of Kaelyn (because I gave Rammaq the book rather than killing him). My character ended up marrying Safiya.

How'd you find the expansion?

Edit: We have some reviews in:

ComputerGames.ro (http://computergames.ro/en/games/viewitem/id/983/name/neverwinter-nights-2-mask-of-the-betrayer/section/review.html)
1Up (http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3163504)
NWVault (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Reviews.Detail&id=18)

Interesting that 1Up are so forgiving after trashing the original game. They say that MotB is "the best D&D game in years -- and it's an expansion."

stoffe
10-11-2007, 12:26 PM
How'd you find the expansion?


Haven't finished the game yet (I'm about to head through the portal to Thay), but so far it's been pretty good. The mood in some areas is very tense and fitting, due in no small part to the new fitting music for those areas (love the music in the spirit barrow dreamscape and the Death God's vault for example). The story/quests have been a bit mixed so far, but I think I managed to figure out what's going on fairly early (remains to see if it's correct though -- if I am the ending might be a bit anticlimactic :)).

Though I have fixed some annoyances, such as the awful warlock class implementation, being able to pause the Timer-of-Death and being able to bring along the full party the whole time, making the game a bit more enjoyable to play (IMO). The biggest annoyance so far is the storytelling on the loading screens which is impossible to keep up with since the screens disappear before I've had the time to read even half of it (not to mention that they flicker incessantly while they are displayed). :)

Pavlos
10-11-2007, 12:49 PM
Haven't finished the game yet (I'm about to head through the portal to Thay), but so far it's been pretty good. The mood in some areas is very tense and fitting, due in no small part to the new fitting music for those areas (love the music in the spirit barrow dreamscape and the Death God's vault for example).

I'm also a fan of the new music - very oppressive, very moody.

The story/quests have been a bit mixed so far, but I think I managed to figure out what's going on fairly early (remains to see if it's correct though -- if I am the ending might be a bit anticlimactic :)).

MAJOR spoiler:

The game spends all the time (particularly if you travel with Kaelyn) building up to tearing down the Wall of the Faithless and, well... you sort of... don't. I suppose Throne of Bhaal spoiled us in this sort of department.

The ending - my version of it, anyway - didn't exactly leave a bad taste in my mouth... it just wasn't particularly satisfying but, then again, it wasn't a NWN2-styled throw-a-tantrum-and-break-several-delicate-objects-in-the-process ending.


The first thing I did after getting my fourth party member was to make sure I could have all four of them in my party at once, it made things a little unbalanced and I had to change the difficulty setting. The difficulty curve isn't so much a curve as a mountainous region with crags, peaks, and caves; along with a rather pretty lake. While not actually annoying, it does mean that you'll end up buffing for fights you don't need to buff for and charging head-first into combat when you should have really planned things out a little better.

Nothing in the game, I don't think, can be said to be bad but there is one part (Thay) that rather just feels like a large puzzle rather than an area - I was expecting something like Korriban but I had my hopes splattered all over the walls. It's a better game than NWN2, anyway... and I thought NWN2 turned out rather well.

stoffe
10-11-2007, 02:36 PM
MAJOR spoiler:

The game spends all the time (particularly if you travel with Kaelyn) building up to tearing down the Wall of the Faithless and, well... you sort of... don't. I suppose Throne of Bhaal spoiled us in this sort of department.



That's fairly unsurprising, there is no way a mortal (even one with power approaching that of a demigod) could beat a Greater Deity in his own Realm after all. And Kelemvor, though fairly new on the job, doesn't seem the type to listen to reason spoken by anyone, mortal or no. If he isn't going to make exceptions for Mystra, another Greater Deity and former friend and lover of his, in regard to a common friend of theirs who was tricked into losing his faith, he sure as heck isn't going to listen to some cursed nobody who trespasses in his realm causing a ruckus.

You can't unmake the Wall of the Faithless unless Kelemvor permits it, you can't force him to do it, and since he hasn't done it himself already I doubt anything you can say would sway him either. His alignment is listed as Lawful Neutral (and he used to be Lawful Good), but he sure acts more like Lawful Evil IMO.

Any attempt to storm the City of Judgment or some such would just be a futile gesture of defiance that amounts to nothing in the end. If you fight him you die, if you don't fight him he'll just shoo you away if he even acknowledges you at all.

Pavlos
10-11-2007, 03:01 PM
but he [Kelemvor] sure acts more like Lawful Evil IMO.

Hefty spoiler - do not read unless you know the ending and the events leading up to it... unless you don't mind spoiling things, of course.

He actually explains it to you:

Kelemvor: Do you understand what you risk? Bring down the Wall, and mortals will see that they cannot be held to account for their faith. On that day, mortals will put faith aside. And the gods will bring vengeance upon them all.

Player: I don't accept your argument. There are better ways to hold mortals to account.

Kelemvor: No, spirit-eater. The words you speak were mine, once, when I first rose to godhood. I granted mercy to False and Faithless alike... and men began to drift from the gods. I saw, for myself, the error of judging souls with the eyes of a mortal... and learned to judge them with the eyes of a god. As the heir of Akachi, you had the chance to set things right. To show the planes that some justice - however cruel it may seem - is necessary to prevent the greater evil.

Player: You could have stopped me long before this, but you didn't.

Kelemvor: You have seen Myrkul, and heard his twisted words. Can you not guess my reason for yourself?

Player: [Wisdom/Insight] You didn't stop me because you know Myrkul's curse was unjust. But if you simply undid it yourself, it would scream to all the planes that a god's judgment had been overturned...

Kelemvor: ...and from that, I am forbidden. But if a mortal undid the curse, it would mean that there had always been a way to end Akachi's suffering.

Kaelyn: You play games, and the currency is the suffering of the innocent? If you have pride, at least answer for your actions!

Kelemvor: Even the gods are bound by laws, Kaelyn.

So... there are reasons and fairly well thought out ones, too. :)

Edit: Also, perhaps we should change the title of the thread to "NWN2: MotB [Spoilers]" or some such? The current title seems a little outdated now that we actually have the game in our hands :).

stoffe
10-11-2007, 03:32 PM
He actually explains it to you:

Kelemvor: Do you understand what you risk? Bring down the Wall, and mortals will see that they cannot be held to account for their faith. On that day, mortals will put faith aside. And the gods will bring vengeance upon them all.

So... there are reasons and fairly well thought out ones, too. :)


Theological discussion spoilers. :)

I don't agree with that reasoning though, it would imply that the vast majority of people have faith at gunpoint, not because they want to believe in something greater or have the favor of the gods. There is more to faith and religion than securing your place in the afterlife, after all.

From what I've seen of the Forgotten Realms the majority of people worship the gods for good fortune or success in their chosen endeavors, because they feel safer if they have some higher power watching over them, because it gives their life more meaning than just their own. A mutually beneficial agreement in life, not a "Worship-or-Else" fear of what comes after. Most people outside of Kelemvor's faith seem to be blissfully unaware of the Wall anyway, so it can't be an extremely effective deterrent to atheists until it's too late anyway.

The reasoning behind it also implies that people have chosen not to believe in the gods. While that may be true for some, there are those who have lived in some secluded village in the middle of nowhere that aren't even aware the gods exist. Or a newborn child that dies from complications, not yet mentally developed enough to understand such a concept as gods. Both considered equally bad and Faithless as a vile psychopath like Bishop, equally worthy of a fate rivaling the worst torments the Hells could come up with. Should they really be given the worst punishment Myrkul could come up with for the non-diligence of missionaries or their own innocent ignorance?

The Wall of the Faithless is a creation of Myrkul, a very evil, petty and vengeful god. Apparently the multiverse didn't collapse into faithlessness while Jergal, his predecessor on the God of Death job, was in charge, before the Wall existed. So someone like Kelemvor who claims to be a non-evil deity should be able to come up with a better solution to the problem and sweep away the vile legacy of his predecessor.




Edit: Also, perhaps we should change the title of the thread to "NWN2: MotB [Spoilers]" or some such? The current title seems a little outdated now that we actually have the game in our hands :).

I've split the thread (upon the Sword of Gith) into a separate NWN2 thread for spoilerific discussion about the story and ending of the campaign. Probably better to keep that separate from talk about the other aspects of the game. :)

Pavlos
10-11-2007, 04:05 PM
Well it's the age old "why should the nicest man in the world go to Hell for not believing in God?" question. I think, to be honest, the main reason for Kelemvor keeping such an evil punishment - put in place by an evil god - is that if it is shown that a god's will is overturned, even by another god, then it would send echoes throughout the planes and all those chaotic rebels would think that they too could get away with reversing the work of a god. It would literally tear apart the fabric of existence.

Kelemvor used to be a good guy - judging everyone equally - until he was slapped down by the other gods. As a Lawful Neutral god, tearing down the wall would actually constitute a chaotic and a good act... so he'd be doing exactly what the other gods told him not to do. But then again, I would have thought leaving it was an evil act. Although, seeing as how the whole alignment system is based around actions then inaction can't really have an effect. Kelemvor's inaction makes him neither good nor evil, I suppose.

I don't think that the reasoning is entirely without flaws... no reasoning ever is :xp: but it's certainly the best effort at something like this (in a game) for a long time.

stoffe
10-11-2007, 04:28 PM
Well it's the age old "why should the nicest man in the world go to Hell for not believing in God?" question. I think, to be honest, the main reason for Kelemvor keeping such an evil punishment - put in place by an evil god - is that if it is shown that a god's will is overturned, even by another god, then it would send echoes throughout the planes and all those chaotic rebels would think that they too could get away with reversing the work of a god. It would literally tear apart the fabric of existence.

Afterlife dilemma:

And instead, by opting to carry on the vile practices of his predecessor, he's shown all the evil forces in the world that you can "corrupt" a good guy and force him to perform vile and deplorable acts "for the greater good". Is that a much better signal to send?

Myrkul is dead (as dead as a FR deity can be at any rate), most of his legacy has been erased by Cyric's minions and to some extent Kelemvor. He would not have remained dead and been replaced unless Ao wanted it (since Ao brought back some of the deities killed during the Time of Troubles and let them keep their old jobs). Thus you could argue that Myrkul has been fired from the job, and is no longer among the pantheon. Why should everyone be bound by the decision of a dead god for the rest of eternity?

I doubt Myrkul himself was particularly afraid of rearranging the furniture in the Office of the Dead after he took (well, was given, really) the job from Jergal. He built the Wall of the Faithless on his own accord, it wasn't "contract work" from the rest of the Pantheon.

Deities who call themselves good and approve of the wall "for the greater good" I'd say are very questionable in their good alignment. That just smells of power hunger, a chance to increase their own might at the expense of the suffering of innocents. I'd say it's a quite Lawful Good act to overturn unjust laws and replace them with a better system.

The different gods disagree on many issues, war and plot amongst themselves and aren't afraid to try to ruin the decrees and ideals of other gods. So why would this particular issue be so reality-shattering to do something about?

I just get the impression that Kelemvor is afraid of a second failure after getting slapped on the wrist the last time he took initiative for change. He'd rather do evil acts that are proven to work than risk failure and losing face again. I guess cowardice isn't a trait that gets eradicated when mortals are elevated to godhood. :)




Kelemvor used to be a good guy - judging everyone equally - until he was slapped down by the other gods. As a Lawful Neutral god, tearing down the wall would actually constitute a chaotic and a good act...


It would only be chaotic if he tore it down without having devised another method or system to replace it. Overturning old, outdated or unfair laws and replacing them with (presumed) better ones is something Lawful entities do all the time. If he just tore the thing down and washed his hands of what happened with the trapped souls, and any new Faithless that arrive, that would be chaotic. But as a Greater Deity, one of a handful of the most powerful gods in the pantheon, being in his own realm where he is strongest, he surely should have the means to put into effect alternative way of dealing with souls not claimed by any deity. :)

stoffe
10-14-2007, 01:03 PM
They all lived happily ever after, with the exception of Kaelyn (because I gave Rammaq the book rather than killing him). My character ended up marrying Safiya.

How'd you find the expansion?


Finished the expansion yesterday. Some thoughts:

!! SPOILER ALERT !!
Don't read the rest of this post unless you've finished the game or want to see major story spoilers!










Act 3 was pretty short in length, only a few hours from you met Myrkul to the end. But I guess that's understandable since it's an expansion pack and not a full game.

The whole City of the Dead visit was also very brief, but maybe I just stumbled on the shortest path or something. I got allied with the rebels once I arrived (do you have a choice?), helped the dragon hold the gate, "accidentally" destroyed the book on godhood and fought Rammaq the Demilich (not the sort of ally my Chaotic Good character trusts, wants or tolerates), helped the Solar clear out the basilica though the Voice of Kelemvor had already escaped. Bumped into Kelemvor by the Wall of the Faithless and he let me retrieve my soul from it, but wasn't in the mood to discuss the removal of the Wall itself.

Is there another path to take here, with different results?

Anyway, the soul dreamscape sequences were rather tough, even using Spells of Mass Destruction the Hunger Fragments still managed to devour a couple of my former companions and harbormen. The Faceless Man himself was a pushover both in Crossroad Keep and West Harbor though.

The final confrontation with the Faceless Man was a bit tougher, but mostly due to bugs, I'd guess. The Betrayer's Mask was too ugly to wear and would displace my normal headband, so I decided to keep my distance instead and use summons to distract him to avoid his spirit drain. Had to hit him with some Slow magic and teleport around a bit, but I managed to avoid being hit more that a few times by the draining attacks. By the way, what is he doing when he seemingly levitates rocks off the ground and shoots them away? Couldn't see any difference, and didn't seem to take damage from it.

Still, after beating his fourth fragment the game decided to keep him at "Near Death" for about 30 minutes, him soaking up tens of thousands of points of damage in that time (not having to memorize invocations is nice). I assume that was some kind of bug, but eventually he finally gave up. I used the Betrayer's Mask (reforged by The Boy and The Red Woman even though I still had the pieces in my inventory, huh?) to restore Akachi's soul and end the curse, so I guess that should be the "good" ending?

However, the ending sequence felt fairly unsatisfying, though I suspect it was bugged as well. Even though I had gotten the romance feat and dialog with Gann before that, in the Epilogue he just left and there was never any mention of your character and him even traveling together. No mention about having put Myrkul to rest, and Kaelyn just left you and continued her crusade against the Wall of the Faithless, raiding it and snatching a few souls along with her siblings. I don't know if that's to be considered her "good" ending or if that was a bug as well?

I had maxed influence with all my party members, but still only Safiya's and Okku's endings felt somewhat satisfying. I didn't like the male silhouette for the protagonist in the epilogue images either, since my character was female. :p Made it feel like they were talking about some other guy, not my character.

* * *

As for the game as a whole it was fun, even though I started suspecting that the spirit eater was Myrkul's punishment of Akachi even early in act 2 after having read the scroll about the Betrayer's Crusade in the Death God's Vault. I also suspected fairly early that the red wizard was Akachi's lover that he rescued from the wall. The story was still fairly interesting even if I successfully predicted roughly where it would lead.

The spirit eater mechanic didn't turn out as intrusive as I had feared, but then I did play as a Good character who didn't devour a single soul (other than Nakata, but you have no choice there), and had the craving suppressed to its minimum for most of the game, so the spirit bar was dropping pretty slowly. Still, there were a few annoyingly undead-free areas of the game where I either had to backtrack to Shadow Mulsantir and use the sacrifical urns in the vault for some fast food (good thing I didn't loot them all right away, I guess sometimes it pays to plan ahead :)), or use my pausing/refilling feats that I had modded in.

I did like the Eternal Rest ability, it provided the good guys with some way to twist the curse into something productive, and stay alive in the process. Speaking of which, is there anything you can do with Myrkul's Spirit Essence you get if you give him Eternal Rest, or is that just a trophy that you've ended the twisted remnant of a former god?

By the way, did you notice the variety of clones produced by the Mirror puzzle in the Academy of Shapers and Binders? If you stick each of your party members on the pedestal and activate the device, a twisted clone of them appears on the pedestal on the other end of the level. Okku as he was before he died and became a god, Kaelyn with black wings, Gann as a normal-looking Hagspawn, Safiya looking like Nefris, and your character wearing the Betrayer's Mask. Didn't see any difference depending on which clone you choose to "speak" with though. Was that just for flavor?

I wonder what the name of the game corresponds to? That your character was "worn" as a mask by the spirit eater (Akachi the Betrayer), making your character "The Mask of the Betrayer".... or that you could use the Betrayer's Mask (that looked just like the tentacled spirit eater's carapace that showed up when you used the powers) to end the curse? :)









!! SPOILER ALERT !!
Don't read the post above unless you've finished the game or want to see major story spoilers!

Pavlos
10-14-2007, 02:54 PM
I wonder what the name of the game corresponds to? That your character was "worn" as a mask by the spirit eater (Akachi the Betrayer), making your character "The Mask of the Betrayer".... or that you could use the Betrayer's Mask (that looked just like the tentacled spirit eater's carapace that showed up when you used the powers) to end the curse?

I'd imagine it's the idea of your character being a mask for the spirit eater rather than the item itself. Although, I do find it interesting that you are a mask for what's left of another's tormented soul and to defend yourself against it you can wear fragments of said tormented soul. So it actually ends up as something of a sandwich:

Akachi
Kalach-Cha/Knight Captain
Akachi

Even more ironic is the fact that you use an outward device - the mask - to defend against an inward threat. Nice...

I ended up using Myrkul's spirit essence in the fight against Akachi, actually. My chances of hitting him were so low and his resistance to my spirit eater attacks so hight that I burnt through all the spirit essences in my inventory - using them with the mysterious device you find in the Thayan Academy.

The area design in this game reminded me a lot of Jade Empire - which can only be taken as a compliment - and I'm not entirely sure why; whether it be the fantastic audio direction, the layout of the areas, or simply the attention to detail (I loved the sea monsters outside the Sunken City), it was terrific.

Edit: I also liked the way the loading screens were used as a story-telling device. A rather elegant way to carry some of the narrative's weight and it doesn't get in the way of click-happy gamers in the way that, say, Torment's elaborate descriptions would.

stoffe
10-17-2007, 02:47 PM
Even more ironic is the fact that you use an outward device - the mask - to defend against an inward threat. Nice...


Just too bad the mask is so ugly to wear, it's enough that the F-Man wears one. :) The only thing I could see that the Mask does is to reduce the F-Man's soul drain damage by half. Since Tieflings and Aasimar are immune to his Soul Drain power I only needed to worry about the one on the Scythe though, which drains a lot less, at least if you have decent AC. :)


I ended up using Myrkul's spirit essence in the fight against Akachi, actually. My chances of hitting him were so low and his resistance to my spirit eater attacks so hight that I burnt through all the spirit essences in my inventory - using them with the mysterious device you find in the Thayan Academy.

Hmm, how much damage does Myrkul's essence do if used in the bomb box? Seems to depend on the quality of the spirit essence with the normal ones, with volatile ones just doing around 30 dmg, and pristine ones doing around 80.

Guess it depends on what class you play as. I just kept hitting him with Eldritch Doom and some Wall of Perilous Flame. Unfortunately F-Man is immune to normal eldritch blasts due to the bugged Deflect Arrows feat he has, which (incorrectly I hope) also works against ranged touch attacks and not just projectiles, allowing him to deflect the first attack in a round... which would be bad since a Warlock only has one attack per round. :)



The area design in this game reminded me a lot of Jade Empire - which can only be taken as a compliment - and I'm not entirely sure why; whether it be the fantastic audio direction, the layout of the areas, or simply the attention to detail (I loved the sea monsters outside the Sunken City), it was terrific.

Indeed, some areas felt a fair deal more polished, and interesting geographically/architecturally than most in NWN2. Though the quality of that did seem to drop off a bit towards the end. The "final battle" area was pretty plain, even though at least they had the nice touch of changing its appearance slightly depending on the Good/Evil nature of your character. :)


Edit: I also liked the way the loading screens were used as a story-telling device. A rather elegant way to carry some of the narrative's weight and it doesn't get in the way of click-happy gamers in the way that, say, Torment's elaborate descriptions would.

I didn't like the loadscreen story telling since I only have the time to read less than half of it before it's finished loading and the screen disappears. I've frequently had to quit the game and look it up in the dialog.tlk file to see what they were trying to inform me of. :) It's also annoying to try to read in my case since the load screens flicker like mad if I have antialiasing and ansiotropic filtering turned on in the game. A nice "feature" they introduced with the NWN2 1.02 patch, and haven't bothered to fix yet. :(

Balderdash
10-18-2007, 06:01 AM
I also noticed, with the loading screens, they mentioned some other places in the Realms again. Just like how they mentioned Rashemen, Thay and the Astral Plane in the original game... when there wasn't a story-related description, there were mentions of Thesk and somewhere else I can't remember (might have been Cormyr but I'm probably wrong). Do you think they might show up in a future expansion? Would you want them to?

EDIT: It was Chult I was thinking of! I don't know where I got Cormyr from.

tk102
10-22-2007, 02:29 AM
Anyone else have problems fighting in the circle with the Ice Lodge barbarians? During my second round of fighting (the cat/the big guy/Lena) I'm knocking Lena down with various tricks and get her to zero hp. She goes friendly but doesn't immediately get up. Then when she does get up I never get the completion and I'm stuck in the circle. At first I thought well maybe it was because I petrified her so I reloaded. The next time I used Bigby's Interposing Hand, but same problem. I just tried Tasha's Laughter and it occurred again. It's getting annoying. I guess I'll just toe-to-toe with her and cross my fingers.

stoffe
10-22-2007, 07:15 AM
Anyone else have problems fighting in the circle with the Ice Lodge barbarians? During my second round of fighting (the cat/the big guy/Lena) I'm knocking Lena down with various tricks and get her to zero hp. She goes friendly but doesn't immediately get up. Then when she does get up I never get the completion and I'm stuck in the circle. At first I thought well maybe it was because I petrified her so I reloaded. The next time I used Bigby's Interposing Hand, but same problem. I just tried Tasha's Laughter and it occurred again. It's getting annoying. I guess I'll just toe-to-toe with her and cross my fingers.

While I haven't experienced that particular problem I've had others with those dueling circle matches. It seems like they aren't properly clearing out status effects on the enemies when the match ends, so if you hit them with any wounding/damage-over-time/bleed effects/attacks they will keep attacking you even after they go neutral.

I'd suspect there might be a problem with debilitating effects not getting removed before the game tries starting the dialog again as well. So I'd try to do it over again without using any effects or attacks that would render the opponent unable to speak, or that keeps damaging them when they're no longer hostile.

A bit bugged, that. At least you get a pretty nice weapon as reward for your troubles after you beat Sergei (after you enchant it). :)

tk102
10-22-2007, 10:28 AM
While I haven't experienced that particular problem I've had others with those dueling circle matches. It seems like they aren't properly clearing out status effects on the enemies when the match ends, so if you hit them with any wounding/damage-over-time/bleed effects/attacks they will keep attacking you even after they go neutral. I had that happen too-- quite odd to try talking to someone while my companion fire crossbow bolts at him. It seems it started when I went Ethereal during the fight with the leader and he decided to kill my familiar as I buffed up. After that he kept getting arrow shots from the peanut gallery even after the fight ended. :p

I'd suspect there might be a problem with debilitating effects not getting removed before the game tries starting the dialog again as well. So I'd try to do it over again without using any effects or attacks that would render the opponent unable to speak, or that keeps damaging them when they're no longer hostile. Yeah that worked... I knocked Lena down for the count but refrained from striking the killing blow until she got up.

A bit bugged, that. At least you get a pretty nice weapon as reward for your troubles after you beat Sergei (after you enchant it). :)I'll have to see about that... didn't realize Sergei was coming next... by the time I finished with Lena I didn't have spells left and he showed me the ropes.

stoffe
10-22-2007, 12:15 PM
I'll have tose about that... didn't realize Sergei was coming next... by the time I finished with Lena I didn't have spells left and he showed me the ropes.

I can imagine those fights may be a bit difficult for a wizard since they start so close to you. Most of the tests (like the armwrestling and cold water) seemed geared towards melee brutes, which perhaps is unsurprising given what kind of place the lodge is. :)

Did you manage to beat the big guy in armwrestling twice? You need some pretty insane strength to win the second time, I noticed. :)

tk102
10-22-2007, 01:12 PM
No haven't beat him once yet. My STR is 12. And I don't have enough hit points yet to endure the cold water bath. :) I'm so epic.

stoffe
10-22-2007, 01:29 PM
No haven't beat him once yet. My STR is 12. And I don't have enough hit points yet to endure the cold water bath. :) I'm so epic.

Heh, I think you need somewhere between 35-40 strength to beat him in the second arm-wrestling contest (he has 37 strength, 10 coming from a belt he wears. You get one of those as reward if you beat him). At least you can use buffs and magic items in that particular challenge. If you shapechange into a Nightwalker or similar high-STR beast you should be able to beat him. :)

If your constitution is high or you have regeneration from some other non-spell/item source you can "cheat" in the water challenge by standing around regenerating your health before you click on the reply node to proceed with the next step. I think you need around 380 or so HP to manage the second water challenge if you do it without regenerating health. :)

tk102
10-22-2007, 02:05 PM
I think you need somewhere between 35-40 strength to beat him in the second arm-wrestling contest (he has 37 strength, 10 coming from a belt he wears. You get one of those as reward if you beat him)Heh, not too much of a prize for those who can beat him without buffs. But I suppose you could donate it to a companion or sell it.

If your constitution is high or you have regeneration from some other non-spell/item source you can "cheat" in the water challenge by standing around regenerating your health before you click on the reply node to proceed with the next step. Sounds good. Now to figure out how such regeneration could occur without a spell or item effect.

stoffe
10-22-2007, 02:56 PM
Heh, not too much of a prize for those who can beat him without buffs. But I suppose you could donate it to a companion or sell it.

Having +10 strength is pretty useful for any character IMO, so it's a pretty decent reward. And you can use buffs, there's no rules against that. He's using magical gear himself to boost his strength after all. :)


Sounds good. Now to figure out how such regeneration could occur without a spell or item effect.

If you have high constitution (20+ I think) you naturally regenerate health over time.

Other than that you can cheat the system by having regeneration gear and polymorph into another form before speaking with the woman in charge of the test. They strip you before they dispel your buffs, and since your inventory vanishes while shape changed and returns when you go back to normal you'll still have all your gear equipped when they dispel your shape change magic. :) Wizards have to be a bit sneaky to pass berserker tests. :)

tk102
10-22-2007, 03:04 PM
cheat the system by having regeneration gear and polymorph into another form before speaking with the woman.stoffe performs Sleight of Hand... Success! Cookies earned!
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v170/tk102/th_f148bbb1.png

Bob Lion54
10-24-2007, 10:33 AM
Well, I just finished MotB. It's strange to say that I really enjoyed it, because there were a few things that really, really bugged me.

The Spirit Meter was, in my opinion, a horrible addition to the game. It just felt... unnatural for this type of game. With the OC, I would take time to think about my actions or play with me and my parties' inventories, IE basic stuff. With MotB, you can't really do this because of the Spirit Meter. It made me feel rushed. Midway through ACT2, I looked up the cheat code that would fill it whenever I needed to. I really liked the story though, and I really don't know how else they could have implemented it without the Spirit Meter. I'm sure I could think of a few ways, but I doubt they would have had the same impact...

Another thing I really disliked was the way resting was handled. It's more in line with PnP DnD, but it really just added to my troubles with the Spirit Meter. I also really dislike the idea of going into a dungeon, with a great sense of urgency, and needing to rest for eight hours after a few rooms... I really missed the OC's "kneel for a few seconds" approach. What's even worse is when you can't rest because enemies stumble across you. All in all, resting was quite annoying to me and my spellcasters kept getting drained of spells.

Spoilers relating to companions from the OC.
I must say that I was very disappointed here. I knew I would hear news of my previous party members, but most of that came from a single dialog.

I came across two companions. Bishop and Ammon Jerro. Bishop was disappointing because they used a different voice actor. It may be a small thing, especially considering how little dialog he had, but it didn't feel like Bishop... Ammon, well, he doesn't even have a voice. I was excited to find out I could get him as a party member, only to find out he was little more than a comparatively low level tag along that constantly died.

At least I was able to find out that some on my companions made it out...


Aside from the annoyances, which others may have liked, I really enjoyed it. I thought the story was spectacular and the new characters were great. It was more NWN2, which is certainly a good thing.

Here's to hoping the next expansion is equally as good, but with less bothersome mechanics!

stoffe
10-24-2007, 11:55 AM
The Spirit Meter was, in my opinion, a horrible addition to the game. It just felt... unnatural for this type of game. With the OC, I would take time to think about my actions or play with me and my parties' inventories, IE basic stuff. With MotB, you can't really do this because of the Spirit Meter.

Well, you can do inventory management etc with MotB as well, but you have to remember hitting the pause button all the time you do something that doesn't require the game time to run. I mostly didn't have much trouble with the spirit meter, but I did add a "pause button" that would stop the spirit point drain that was useful in a few places without any undead or resting available.

But I guess that depends on if you devour souls/spirits or not. If you get the craving down to the lowest level you only lose one point every in-game hour (unless you rest, which for some reason uses more points). If you make sure to have 5 spirits around you when you use Suppress (Okku and summoned elementals count for this) it gives you back more points than you lose by resting, so you can spend a while to Suppress + Rest + Suppress to quickly get the craving down. So in a way the spirit meter can actually encourage resting. :)


Another thing I really disliked was the way resting was handled. It's more in line with PnP DnD, but it really just added to my troubles with the Spirit Meter. I also really dislike the idea of going into a dungeon, with a great sense of urgency, and needing to rest for eight hours after a few rooms... I really missed the OC's "kneel for a few seconds" approach.

I liked the new resting system since the old NWN2 OC system made the primary strength of the Warlock class completely moot, and completely eliminated the need for a healer in your party since you could just get all your health back and remove any negative status effects by resting whenever you felt like it. Any "uses per day" items in the NWN2 OC might as well have been "Unlimited uses/day" since you could rest after every fight. The MotB system made you housekeep a bit more with spells and not burn all your best ones on the first encounter. Made fighting a bit more interesting in longer dungeons.

I much prefer the MotB resting system even if you completely disregard the spirit eater thing. (And if you use Suppress instead of Devour resting often becomes no problem.)


It may be a small thing, especially considering how little dialog he had, but it didn't feel like Bishop...

Agreed, the new voice actor didn't really fit the role of that particular jerk ranger. Too bad they couldn't get the same actor to do the voice again. As for little dialog, given his predicament I think it's fairly understandable if he isn't in the most chatty of moods. :)


I was excited to find out I could get him as a party member, only to find out he was little more than a comparatively low level tag along that constantly died.

Well, he isn't an epic character, unlike the rest of your gang, so he's bound to be a bit vulnerable in an environment loaded with epic opponents. My primary annoyance was that he was added as a henchman and not a party member, so you couldn't control him directly, and the spellcaster AI leaves a lot to be desired.

Pavlos
10-24-2007, 11:56 AM
No point in using spoiler tags, seeing as how we have a general spoiler warning now :).

I think the Spirit Meter is a fundamentally good gameplay device, it could have just done with a little more tweaking (the granting of alignment points for its use was perhaps not the best idea). I liked the way that if you chose to feed your addiction, you were granted some nifty powers (making your character more powerful than if you chose to simply suppress the craving) but it was balanced out so that you ran the risk of getting all those ability score penalties and also of dying more quickly in combat.

It was a nice change from KotOR's purely cosmetic Dark and Light side - where both sides are equally balanced so it completely missed out on the addictive nature of the Dark Side's power; an idea that is splashed all over the Star Wars saga.

So, a decent device but, yes, it could have been better.

On the companions: If you have a high Wisdom score you can comment on Bishop's voice. It changed because he's slowly being absorbed into the Wall of the Faithless and as such is speaking with more than one voice. I think that was it, anyway.

Tragically, Ammon Jerro (my favourite OC character) felt tacked on... to such an extent that I think I would have preferred to have run into Pavel or one of the other henchmen from NWN1. Those characters didn't have anything to ruin so I wouldn't have minded. Ah well...

stoffe
10-24-2007, 12:05 PM
I liked the way that if you chose to feed your addiction, you were granted some nifty powers (making your character more powerful than if you chose to simply suppress the craving)

Speaking of which, do you know where you learn the Devour Soul and Gorge SE powers? I imagine you need to do something fairly evil to get them, since I didn't find them when I was playing. Those I've learned of:

Devour Spirit - After beating Okku
Suppress - After beating Okku
Satiate - After beating Okku
Mold Spirit - Repairing the Clay Golem in the portal room
Eternal Rest - Freeing The Priest from undeath in the Many's crematorium furnace
Ravenous Incarnation - Devouring Myrkul's soul
Malleate Spirit - using a Spirit Essence with the mystery box in the Thayan academy
Devour Soul - ???
Spirit Gorge - ???


he companions: If you have a high Wisdom score you can comment on Bishop's voice. It changed because he's slowly being absorbed into the Wall of the Faithless and as such is speaking with more than one voice.

That sounds more like an in-game excuse for not being able to get the same voice actor to me though. :)

Pavlos
10-24-2007, 12:12 PM
Speaking of which, do you know where you learn the Devour Soul and Gorge SE powers? I imagine you need to do something fairly evil to get them, since I didn't find them when I was playing.

I'm not sure but I think it may be tied to giving into your craving. It's somewhat troubling that I can't remember and it's only been a few weeks since I played it :xp:.

That sounds more like an in-game excuse for not being able to get the same voice actor to me though. :)

That's because it is :p. But at least there's a "reason" for it... somewhere.

Emperor Devon
10-24-2007, 07:44 PM
Devour Soul - ???

You learn that from the eight-eyed ape-men (names?) IIRC.

Spirit Gorge - ???

Devouring the Wood Man.

I've not gotten to playing as an evil character... yet, anyway. I couldn't resist looking in the toolset and spoiling the various evil endings/choices for myself.

Pavlos
10-26-2007, 06:37 AM
I think the highest praise this game can get is that the Codex (http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=159) likes it. I don't think they've liked anything since Planescape: Torment...

Woo! The reviewer (Vault Dweller) agrees with me on the spirit meter:
Compare that to Knights of the Old Republic, for example, where the difference between good and evil is purely cosmetic as both sides are equally balances and it doesn't cost you anything to join the Dark Side.
The conclusion:
To put it simply, the game is a masterpiece. Sure, it has flaws and things-that-should-have-been-done-better. Overall though, it’s one of those rare games that people will remember for a long time and I definitely expect to see it on “top 10 RPGs” lists in the near future. It probably won’t get any “RPG of the Year” awards from the mainstream media as such honours are reserved for awesome games like Halo 3 and cult classics like Oblivion: Fighter’s Stronghold Expansion, so if you liked what I had to say about the game, go and buy it today. Support Obsidian's efforts to bring us something different and vote with your money.
A bitter conclusion but, tragically, all too true :).

Edit: The review contains a few examples of immoderate language... so if you're easily offended, I'll summarise:

Combat is awful (DnD isn't meant to be real-time) but at least it's more challenging than stock NWN2
Character creation is boring (simply a result of the rules system)
Writing is good
Story/plot is good
Replayability is good (lots of options)

NWN2 (http://www.rpgcodex.net/screenshot.php?file=nwn2motb/nwn2.jpg) vs. MotB (http://www.rpgcodex.net/screenshot.php?file=nwn2motb/dilemma.jpg) - though perhaps that's unfair because NWN2 has a few excellent examples of game design (the trial?). Once you get past Act 1, that is...

Lantzen
11-19-2007, 04:54 PM
This was pretty disapointing, after finish the game with a chaotic neutral that lended against doing more good then evil and suppres the hunger i created a chaotic evil characther. The thing is, after i have maxed out craving and devoured the wood man and returned to the Munastir. I can't travel to the sunken city, because i die on the way. I had 96 spirit energy when i left for the world map, but still dies because my spirit meter is empty when i arrive.

Stoffe i think it was you that had a mod that took away the crawing, do you think you could pm me it or upload it anywhere ?

Emperor Devon
11-19-2007, 08:02 PM
There's a mod here (http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=NWN2Scripts.Detail&id=166) that effectively gets ride of it.

Having a game as LE blackguard going atm, I've actually found it's added a lot of fun to the game. It definitely requires a lot more strategy than a good playthrough with how you lose 5 points of spirit energy every other second.

But yes, the inability to travel 2 days to Lake Mulsantir without dying is quite frustrating considering you could travel 2 days to the wells of Lurue (sp?) without kneeling over dead the moment you arrive. My personal workaround is to use Satiate, (it reduces the craving back to the original amount) cheat back the lost XP and then gorge on a few poor spirits to get hungry again.

stoffe
11-19-2007, 08:45 PM
I can't travel to the sunken city, because i die on the way. I had 96 spirit energy when i left for the world map, but still dies because my spirit meter is empty when i arrive.


This is a bug in the game caused by the fact that the game force-sets the clock to a certain time of day when you first get to the sunken city to ensure that you always arrive there during the day (to make the whole "wait until night for the portal" plot stage work). Problem is the Craving system uses the in-game clock to determine spirit drain, so when you start travelling there at the wrong time of day the clock shift will make a lot more game world time pass than it should, and you will die due to spirit loss.

The easiest way around this until Obsidian can be bothered to fix it would be to wait a few in-game hours before trying to travel so the clock shift won't make such a lot of time pass. :)

Lantzen
11-19-2007, 08:46 PM
Well, there ain't so many more travels that take days after you have been to the sunken city, think the rest is teleporting around so i can just delete it after. But i dont understand how they could miss it that the game is kind of unbetable without trying to "cheat the system". And i agreed otherwise that it add a littel extra strategy to the game.

But thank for the link, hopefuly i will survive the travel now

Edit: Ohh, so thats how it is. Thank for the info, i guess i can just run around Munastir for a while, look at the view, scare the children, the usual stuff :D

Lantzen
11-24-2007, 09:27 PM
Doublepost, but what the hell.

A question about One of Many.

When you let OoM absorb Myrkul, and Myrkul then takes over him, can you succed the Diplomancy check so Myrkul follows you ? And any idea how much Diplomancy do you need to have to succed ?

Emperor Devon
11-28-2007, 01:55 AM
When you let OoM absorb Myrkul,

OUCH! You let OoM devour him? You'd better reload your game immediately! Be sure to leave OoM out of the party so you don't take major influence drop.

To answer the question, the Diplomacy check is impossible. Nothing you say will convince Myrkul to follow you (I've checked the dialogue files, it's an automatic failure).

Anyways, you miss out on a lot of stuff not devouring Myrkul yourself. The most immediate benefit is the Ravenous Incarnation special ability, which lets you surrender yourself to the hunger for a moment and transcend your physical form into a sort of soul-devouring red monster. It gives you spirit energy each time you hit an enemy, though it does nowhere nearly as much damage as a melee character with overpowered crafted weapons.

You also miss out on the ultra-badass Chaotic Evil ending that only becomes available if you devour Myrkul. You get a semi-evil meh-meh ending if you choose not to. Then again, it's evil enough that you might want to miss it.

Lantzen
12-03-2007, 07:11 AM
:(

I thought my evil ending was kind of lame. I had read that all you got was that special ability, but since my char was a very strong barbarian/RDD with overpowerd crafted weapons:p i didn't feel it was necesery to get another form. Maybe have a save from before i let OoM devour Myrkul, but not sure if i really have the energy/time to replay the end part again just for that

Aash Li
12-03-2007, 12:51 PM
The only thing I dont like is the wait between the fighting actions.
* Swing sword
* Wait for invisible dice to roll
* Enemy swings sword in return
* Wait for invisible dice to roll
* Repeat