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Old 07-31-2008, 07:29 PM   #41
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Yay, so I'll get to create my own party, though I'm not exactly thrilled to return to port everlast.


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Old 08-16-2008, 08:31 AM   #42
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Episode MMIV in which News returns, Fate takes the wheel, and Pavlos rambles

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RPG Vault has posted an interview with a few of the core team members -- including Creative Lead Annie Carlson -- working on Obsidian's new expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2, Storm of Zehir.

Quote:
You will return to Crossroad Keep, Neverwinter and West Harbor. Each map has been extensively updated, and is now much more detailed than the original versions. In Neverwinter, you return to the Blacklake District. The main area in front of the castle has been completely rebuilt after the battles the community endured in the previous games. The Thayan Academy and Temple of Waukeen have constructed new building headquarters located here. Also, the castle wall has a new viewing stand to see the rest of the cityscape.
Obsidian continues to impress me with each and every article they put out about this game. Personally, I'm hoping this new dialogue system add yet another dynamic to dialogue.

Rather than just having skills affect how an NPC reacts, what about race, class, and appearance too? Sure your Drow party member may have a huge Diplomacy score but that doesn't mean he's going to get a positive reaction from the average person on the street. The player will be forced not only to think about whose line to choose in a dialogue based on statistics but also based on what sort of emotional response the character will have to the speaker. Perhaps that's a bit too progressive in terms of NPC interaction for an expansion pack, though...

We shall see.


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Old 08-16-2008, 08:34 AM   #43
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What would we do without you, Pavlos? You always bring us the latest news...

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Old 08-16-2008, 09:42 AM   #44
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And they're all new, no leftovers from Neverwinter Nights 2 or Mask of the Betrayer
*weeps for the lack of Bishop and Asa Seigel's voice*

Apart from that, it sounds fantastic! I always thought it was silly how traveling with someone with survival as a skill made absolutely no difference, one way or another. Looks like I'm going to have to save up for it!



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #45
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[url=http://rpgvault.ign.com]RPG Vault has posted an interview with a few of the core team members -- including Creative Director Annie Carlson -- working on Obsidian's new expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2, Storm of Zehir.
The only Creative Director/Chief Creative Officer at Obsidian is Chris Avellone. He always will be unless he leaves the company. CD/CCO oversees Obsidian's all projects.

Thus, Annie Carlson is not a creative director. She may be a Creative Lead because a CL at Obsidian means a lead writer for a single project.

Last edited by dowon; 08-16-2008 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:24 PM   #46
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Well, I gotta give Obsidian some credit - they made it so that I don't have to deal with party members like Elanee the Rapist, Qara, or Neeshka. *Shudders* On the other hand, this means no genuinely amusing banters, such as with Sand. Ah, well, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:20 PM   #47
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Thus, Annie Carlson is not a creative director. She may be a Creative Lead because a CL at Obsidian means a lead writer for a single project.
My mistake, I'll correct the misprint.


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Old 08-16-2008, 06:31 PM   #48
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sequels tend to get darker and grittier, but we've gone in the other direction with Storm of Zehir. <snip> it's a tale of light-hearted adventure and exploration. It's more fun and less serious.
Ah, crap.


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Old 08-21-2008, 06:19 PM   #49
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Fourteen shots of Obsidian's Storm of Zehir can be found over on Voodoo Extreme. While mostly showing off some of the game's combat scenarios -- and a dinosaur -- we do catch a glimpse or two of the world map in Glorious High Resolution.


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Old 08-24-2008, 01:11 PM   #50
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Storm of Zehir gameplay video

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GameSpot have uploaded a ten minute long video of Obsidian's Storm of Zehir expansion pack for 2006's Neverwinter Nights 2 featuring the world's smoothest boat journey. The video does contain spoilers for the beginning of the game so you may wish to avert your eyes.



The video features the first full-blooded demonstration of the new dialogue system which should clarify the mechanics to those who are still uncertain. In addition we catch our first detailed look at how the world map works and looks. A pretty packed video, all in all, which shows off some impressive area design.


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Old 08-26-2008, 11:19 PM   #51
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Beat Pavlos to it

Huzzah, another article!

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They are acquired through various quests given to you by the new Adventurer's Guild in Crossroad Keep.
>_<

On the bright side, though, the article mentioned there's going to be less high-powered loot left lying around. And it promises open-endedness with consequences for the player's choices!

Quote:
Oh - and, as you can imagine, this freedom of choice opens up some diverse endings that are - ah... pretty different. I can't go into super detail, but what you do or don't do does have an effect on the world around you.
Fun new stuff all around, though I'm still disappointed the game is returning to the Sword Coast. Hopefully the most time will be spent in Chult.


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Old 09-28-2008, 09:02 AM   #52
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Obsidian and Atari have launched their new website for Storm of Zehir, the second expansion pack to 2006's Neverwinter Nights 2. There's nothing new but the site does provide us with a hub of videos and pictures.


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Old 10-08-2008, 07:35 AM   #53
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GameShark have run an interview with Rob McGinnis about Obsidian's latest expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2.

Quote:
Storm of Zehir's storyline involves many economical aspects. One of the reasons that you're allowed free passage around Samarach is that you earn the patronage of the leader of a powerful merchant empire; otherwise the Samarachans would greatly restrict your movement. Also, when you return to the Sword Coast, you find that the economy has been greatly weakened by the war with the King of Shadows; whether you choose to exploit this or attempt to repair the economy is up to you.

The core of the system revolves around trading raw materials to towns and cities that you come across in exchange for trade bars, which are a kind of currency that is used by various merchant guilds that you will have to interact with to advance the story. The better your relations with these merchant guilds, the better the gear you will be able to purchase from them. You will also be able to set up merchant caravans between cities, but they will also be in danger of attack from roaming monsters.
It is eerily fitting that the game centres around a troubled economy...


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Old 10-08-2008, 07:41 AM   #54
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Source

GameShark have run an interview with Rob McGinnis about Obsidian's latest expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2.
Interesting. The game sounds more like a strategy game than a (traditional) RPG from that description though. At least you can't blame them for recycling the same generic fantasy story over and over if this is any indication of how the game will be.

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It is eerily fitting that the game centres around a troubled economy...
Sometimes you can almost think game designers are capable of predicting the future. Deus Ex is a good example of that too, set in a future marked by terrorist attacks and the subsequent paranoia/fear those create, and released just a year or two before that (sort of) became reality.

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:42 AM   #55
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It is eerily fitting that the game centres around a troubled economy...
Indeed. Sad irony that some of the most engaging 'pretend' storylines are taken from history. Just look how popular War games are.

Though I'm kind of startled that it has seeped into the fantasy world setting. I tend to want to play fantasy to get away from the real world


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Old 10-08-2008, 10:02 AM   #56
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Well the story in BG1 centers around iron shortage, so it's nearly the same thing . Troubled economy
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:17 PM   #57
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IGN Storm of Zehir Hands on

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We recently had the chance to play through a good chunk of the single-player campaign to see how all of these innovations work in practice and we've come away even more convinced that Storm of Zehir recaptures some of the magic of the original Baldur's Gate games and our old pen-and-paper sessions.
This is the kind of thing I like to hear. The original Baldur's Gate is still my favorite Forgotten Realms RPG so I will definitely enjoy this one if it brings back some of its greatness.


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Old 10-10-2008, 06:32 AM   #58
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A pretty intressing and funny interview with lead designer Tony Evans, he talks about alot of the new features in the game and how some of them come to be

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/never...tle%3B2&page=1
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:34 AM   #59
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Something about Obsidian's Neverwinter Nights team is refreshingly eccentric in a way none of the others are. I can't imagine a developer on Alpha Protocol being anything other than stone-faced serious about his work.


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Old 10-10-2008, 09:10 AM   #60
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Both of those are good reads! Thanks

...where did heck did One of Many pop out from? O_o



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:44 PM   #61
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...where did heck did One of Many pop out from? O_o
There's something unsettling about seeing it in the middle of a brightly coloured jungle world.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:42 AM   #62
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...where did heck did One of Many pop out from? O_o
Out of the ending for evil PCs who stay in the City of Judgment, it looks like. It mentions One of Many moves to Chult and starts terrorizing the locals or gets worshiped as a god by them or somesuch.

I thought the events of Storm of Zehir were supposed to take place during and not after MotB, though?


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Old 10-12-2008, 05:48 AM   #63
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So does that make the evil ending sort of canon then?



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:09 AM   #64
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About time with a evil cannon ending if thats the case
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #65
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So does that make the evil ending sort of canon then?
There is no canon ending in PS:T just as there is no canon ending to the Fallout series. Most RPGs don't have a canon ending. I really wish GL and LA would have never given any canon to the KotOR series.


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Old 10-12-2008, 03:00 PM   #66
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Note: This is a spoiler heavy note for PS:T and Fallout

Well, that aint completly true. PS:T don't need a canon since it have nothing more build on it, if they would make a PS:T 2 that also was about the nameless one they would probaly make some of the things canon, like you don't end your game in drowned nation as the new silent king

Same with Fallout, it's canon that you in Fallout1 don't join the super mutants, so they have made some things canon. And id you read the manual to Fallout2 they have a short story about what happend in Fallout1, but if that story is canon i don't know

Almost all RPG i have played that have a expansion or a followup to it make some of the things canon. Apperntly it most be canon that you travled with Imoen, Minsc and Jaheria in BG1, otherwise they wouldent be with you at start in BG2

But the thing about Kotor is just weird, Obsidian designed the game so it wouldent mather if you went DS or LS in Kotor1. So making lsm canon was just a stupid move on their part imo
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:31 AM   #67
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About time with a evil cannon ending if thats the case
It's more indecisive that evil, it means a PC evil enough to devour Okku decided not to devour Akachi. More evil-turned-neutral-at-the-last-minute-of-the-game than anything else.

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So making lsm canon was just a stupid move on their part imo
Has LucasFilm forced your in-game Revan to be LSM? I can hardly blame them for not wanting to make four separate versions of every KotOR comic or book or miniature or whatever other assorted media that later comes along.


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Old 10-13-2008, 02:11 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantzen View Post
Note: This is a spoiler heavy note for PS:T and Fallout

Well, that aint completly true. PS:T don't need a canon since it have nothing more build on it, if they would make a PS:T 2 that also was about the nameless one they would probaly make some of the things canon, like you don't end your game in drowned nation as the new silent king

Same with Fallout, it's canon that you in Fallout1 don't join the super mutants, so they have made some things canon. And id you read the manual to Fallout2 they have a short story about what happend in Fallout1, but if that story is canon i don't know

Almost all RPG i have played that have a expansion or a followup to it make some of the things canon. Apperntly it most be canon that you travled with Imoen, Minsc and Jaheria in BG1, otherwise they wouldent be with you at start in BG2

But the thing about Kotor is just weird, Obsidian designed the game so it wouldent mather if you went DS or LS in Kotor1. So making lsm canon was just a stupid move on their part imo
Just because an expansion or follow up game assumes something doesn't make it "canon". In BG 2 with Imoen, Minsc(Dynaheir), Jaheira(Khalid) and you makes a full party in BG1. Yet the game assumes you know Edwin and Viconia, with cameos from the rest (2 dead, 2 in the tutorial, 1 in "disguise").


Not all those who wander are lost.-J.R.R. Tolkien

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it but by it I see everything else - C.S. Lewis
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:23 PM   #69
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GameSpy has previewed Storm of Zehir and collected their thoughts in this article.

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Unfortunately, the early version of the game we were playing does illustrate the reason why most RPG gamers hate wandering monsters: They can be impossible to evade, something that probably needs to be tweaked before release. The annoyance of the wandering monsters is more than made up for with an interesting mini-game based on the overland map, in which the players can set up a trading empire by sending out trade caravans, guarding them from wandering monsters, and searching for monster parts for the buffed-up crafting system.


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Old 10-17-2008, 06:56 PM   #70
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The thing about the wandering monsters is a valid point. Maybe they should make it so that the wandering monsters keep their distance if you are of a much higher level than they are (give them survival instincts basically). One of the things that annoyed me about BG2 was the pointless random encounters with the cannon fodder bandits and whatnot.


...
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:43 PM   #71
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I have plans on waiting for a few player reviews. Game magazines and sites sometimes don't match how an ordinary gammer views things. Wait and see approach.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:59 PM   #72
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It looks interesting but I don't know if I'll get it and/or if I'll have the patience to play it. While I enjoyed MOTB's story a lot, two things made it a "do not replay" experience for me:

- the dialog system: yes, I admit the dialogs were good and well written and the story was great too. However, while I like the principle behind the influence system, I hate how it has been implemented: having to go through the same dialog branches ad nauseam just to see if you've finally gained enough influence to unlock a new conversation option with an npc is "annoying" to say the least (and to remain polite), especially when several of these conversation options give you insight on the main plot and what's going on. I admit, I am one of those persons who likes to explore dialog options and who tends to save before speaking to a party member so it might have amplified the "I've heard that at least 20 times already...time to switch the disc" feeling).

- the camera...dammit...we're in 2008...almost 2009, can't they fix that thing? The only way I could get a good angle was to constantly press the middle mouse button...I almost got a tendinitis in the end. The * on the numpad to switch camera modes wouldn't cut it for me.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:03 AM   #73
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Storm of Zehir is out

First (mini) review is done. It contains slight spoilers.

Read it here.

Edit NWN2 patch is up to 1211549 which includes Storm of Zehir (1201541)

Code:
Bug Fixes

General
* Item costs in the game should match the costs in the toolset.
* Party members that have wands with 0 charges will now attack and use spells normally.
* When dropping an item, characters will now use the appropriate "drop" animation.
* Fixed an issue with opening two bags at once. You will now only be able to open one bag.
*The tool tip for the Player Chat menu item will now say Player Chat.
* Fixed an issue that caused freecam (console command) to not work properly.
* Made several corrections to the Doomgude class description.
* Snake's Swiftness, Mass will now affect the entire party.
* Hellfire Shield should now play an appropriate sound effect when activated.
* Hellfire Blast should now play an appropriate sound when activated.
* The description of Hellfire Shield has been changed to appropriately reflect it is an Area of Effect shield.
* Weapon Focus: Warmace will now be available to all qualified characters.
* The ability score descriptions in character creation have been changed to be more informative and reflect changes to the game.
* Fixed an issue that was causing certain AI behavior feedback to be displayed, even after being deactivated.
* When the game is paused, a much more noticeable message is displayed.
* Aura of protection will no longer provide "No Stacking" feedback.

Toolset
* Item costs in the toolset should match the costs in game.
* Changing checkboxes with multiple objects selected will no longer cause the toolset to crash.
* Changing dropdown lists with multiple objects selected will no longer cause the toolset to crash.
* Fixed an issue where resizing a creature may not have resized the collision spheres.
* Fixed an issue where the creature cache was not working properly.
* Dropdowns generated from 2DAs will no longer start with the wrong row selected.
* Redesigned the fields associated with setting Tints to no longer be collapsed controls.
* Fixed an issue that caused light and sound spheres to not render at their proper size.
* Fixed an issue that caused ceiling tint changes to not show up in the toolset.

New Features

General
* Playable races now have a proper stealth animation.
* Added in the AI functionality from TonyK's AI.
* In a peer-to-peer multiplayer session, the hosting player may now unpause the game unconditionally.

Toolset
* Added properties associated with the overland map, including camera positioning and the flag to mark the area as an overland map.
* Added camera positioning functionality settings in the area properties to support overland maps created by the community.
* Added a flag in the area properties to set an area to be an overland map.
* Added Campaign flags for Unrestricting NPC level ups (Lets them chose any class at level up)
* Added Campaign flags for Conversation Distance limit override.
* Added Campaign flags to turn off party-control character swapping for dialogs on a global level.
* Added Campaign flags to enable Party Creation and setting what the size of the party should be.
* Added Campaign flags to toggle the new death system.

Scripting
* PlaySound() now takes an optional parameter: bPlayAs2D. This parameter will default to FALSE. Setting this parameter to TRUE will force the engine to play the sound you specified as a 2D sound rather than 3D Positional audio, regardless of what the engine would normally do before.
* BeginConversation() now has a parameter that allows you to block the character's 'Greeting' VO from playing.
* Added a script function SetScrollBarValue()
* Added a script function SetPause()
* Added a script function GetPause()

Additional items that will be int he patch, but are not listed int he patch notes are:

* Added in the authentication system to support the Adventure Pack system.

* Fixed issues that would cause the Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep to crash on transition if they had certain items or metamagic spells in the quickbar.

* Use Magic Device will no longer supersede a character's caster class or level, when that caster level is higher than the UMD skill.

* Fixed an issue that caused high level items to be used when a character had a single point in Use Magic Device.


Not all those who wander are lost.-J.R.R. Tolkien

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it but by it I see everything else - C.S. Lewis

Last edited by Arátoeldar; 11-19-2008 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:16 PM   #74
stoffe
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A warning to those who are getting Storm of Zehir but are still playing Mask of the Betrayer. If you install SoZ it will mess up all the cinematic dialogs/cutscenes in MotB. The voiceover/lipsync will be gone and the game will race through the dialog nodes, making MotB rather unplayable.

The only solution seems to be to not install SoZ until you're done playing MotB.

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Old 11-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe View Post
A warning to those who are getting Storm of Zehir but are still playing Mask of the Betrayer. If you install SoZ it will mess up all the cinematic dialogs/cutscenes in MotB. The voiceover/lipsync will be gone and the game will race through the dialog nodes, making MotB rather unplayable.
Ouch! I imagine that they will fix that...seems like a major issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Review posted by Arátoeldar
The one thing that seems to be lacking is any form of interaction from the cohorts. No snappy dialogue - no witty repartee. Even attempting to initiate a conversation gives you zip. Nothing. The cohorts are as silent as the stone heads at Easter Island.
It looks like if I ever buy it, I will miss Sand even more... I have always liked party members interactions.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:21 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe View Post
A warning to those who are getting Storm of Zehir but are still playing Mask of the Betrayer. If you install SoZ it will mess up all the cinematic dialogs/cutscenes in MotB. The voiceover/lipsync will be gone and the game will race through the dialog nodes, making MotB rather unplayable.

The only solution seems to be to not install SoZ until you're done playing MotB.
What's with them always releasing expansions with a broken installer. If my memory serves me right, MOTB broke the OC. Can't they ever get it right.

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Old 11-22-2008, 01:22 AM   #77
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What's with them always releasing expansions with a broken installer. If my memory serves me right, MOTB broke the OC. Can't they ever get it right.
Well, at least they're consistent, even if they're consistently wrong.


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Old 11-22-2008, 06:43 AM   #78
Lantzen
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Have played for two hours and the game is really great of what i played. Love that you create a 4-man party so you can really decide what you want for the group. And if they have diffrent stats and skills they can give very diffrent dialouges. Have meet two normal joinable NPC but none of them seem any intressing so i dumped them after they joined the party.

First i though the system with switchable characthers in dialouges would be a mess to handle, but it works really good.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:41 PM   #79
Arátoeldar
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Ouch! I imagine that they will fix that...seems like a major issue

It looks like if I ever buy it, I will miss Sand even more... I have always liked party members interactions.

I can tell you that there are a lot of unhappy people over at SA. Most of them feel like the game is trying too hard to be like a MMORRG instead of a SPRPG. They feel that Atari/OE betrayed them with the lack of reviews before the game came out.


Not all those who wander are lost.-J.R.R. Tolkien

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it but by it I see everything else - C.S. Lewis
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:38 AM   #80
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The one thing that seems to be lacking is any form of interaction from the cohorts. No snappy dialogue - no witty repartee. Even attempting to initiate a conversation gives you zip. Nothing. The cohorts are as silent as the stone heads at Easter Island. Perhaps it's simply a matter of how far I've gotten in the game. While I wasn't expecting lengthy MotB type dialogues, I did expect at least something equal to if not better than the OC. Having nothing so far is surprising. If party interaction is a major driver for you, you are in for a severe letdown. This is a major disappointment..
What the hell? Looks like I won't be playing this after all...
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