Thursday, 26 February 2015

Swordflight Series for Neverwinter Nights NWN - Review - Part I

Swordflight Series for Neverwinter Nights NWN - Review Part I



            S W O R D F L I G H T           
            b y  R o g u e k n i g h t  3 3 3            

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    S w o r d f l i g h t  S e r i e s  C o v e r a g e  
 Installation Instructions | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV   N E W 

Realmslore, reactivity, resource management, rest restrictions, replayability, quest density, non-linearity, meat-grinder dungeons, tough as nails combat!

This is Swordflight - and it's peerless.

"Ok, Lilura. You have pretty good taste in RPGs. I'm sold (on something that's free), and don't need to read your four-part review!"

• Where to get Swordflight.
• How to download and install Swordflight.

Make sure you're running Swordflight from a pristine 1.69 CR install. The popular CPP, TK's and Project Q may cause issues, so I don't recommend installing them.

  Update   (August 31, 2016): Swordflight Chapter Three has been released!

   B a s i c  c a m p a i g n  i n f o   

Chapter | Year of release | Approximate level range | No. of Quests | No. of CompanionsRough estimate of chapter length | Standout feature:

Chapter One | 2008 | 1 - 5 | 12 hours | 19 | 1 | A difficult and very well polished multi-level dungeon (Buried Ruins).

You are a novice adventurer hoping to find a quest that will make your fortune. In pursuit of this goal, you have recently arrived in the bustling city of Calimport, looking for work. Awaiting you is a chance meeting in a tavern that may provide more than you bargained for. - DM Rogueknight.

Chapter Two | 2012 | 5 - 17 | 50 hours | 80 | several | Non-linear exploration of a quest-dense urban hub (Calimport).

Chapter Three | 2016 | 17 - 25 | 30 hours | 47 | several | Divergent racial paths and epic combat encounters!

The series is projected to six or seven chapters, all told (it depends on how big Rogueknight decides to make the preceding chapters). Also, judging by the experience point bombs given in Chapter Three, it's pretty likely this campaign is gonna take your character all the way to fortieth level, which is rarely seen in the arena of single-player epics on the NWN platform (27th in Hordes of the Underdark, 37th in Aielund Saga, and the campaigns that currently take you all the way to 40th are pretty shitty). I'm interested in seeing how Rogueknight tailors combat scenarios to godly builds. I mean, even Chapter 2 combat scenarios felt epic, and Chapter 3 served up some truly monstrous mobs. It's sort of daunting when you think about what 4-7 might have in store for us.

   S w o r d f l i g h t  R e v i e w   
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Barrow brawl! Empowered Wights, Zombie Warriors, Skeleton Sentinels and a Bone Golem
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Rogueknight 333's Swordflight is shaping up to be an epic, eventually seven-chapter?! series for the Neverwinter Nights platform. Uniquely, the modules are set in the merchant kingdom of Calimshan, located in the far south-west of Faerûn; famous for its desert ambience and Arabian Nights flavor (magic carpets), and renowned in Realmslore for its exotic markets and once being the site of an ancient empire of genies. Well-known characters like Regis and Artemis Entreri popped into my mind when I discovered Swordflight is mostly set in Calimport (the capital city of Calimshan). Those characters are from a novel, partially set in Calimport, that I read in my youth: The Halfling's Gem. So the region in which Swordflight is set is quite rich and refreshing, as it hasn't really been deeply explored in official Infinity Engine or Aurora/Electron content over the years, at least to my knowledge. I think the closest BioWare came was the Forest of Mir and Marching Mountains in Throne of Bhaal, both of which border Calimshan to the north.

Beginning with the second installment [Chapter 2], Swordflight implements the CTP Babylon tileset, which succeeds in bringing that Ottoman Empire/Arabian look & feel to NWN.
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I was pleased to read that Swordflight is balanced for D&D Hardcore Rules and wisely implements severe rest restrictions, without which the player can simply "rest spam" - that is, throw themselves recklessly into a fight, inflict massive damage (but also take lots in return), rest afterwards to heal themselves completely, then just repeat over and over until game's end. Or in the case of spellcasters, simply empty their spellbook on the hordes, rest to replenish spell slots, then repeat again and again! This abuse has always been a huge problem RPGs that employ the Vancian magic system, at least since Baldur's Gate, where it really got out of hand. You may recall that resting was instant in BG2, healed the player of even poison and disease, and rarely resulted in ambushes, which were a weak deterrent in Infinity Engine RPGs, anyway, since ambushing enemies were walk-overs. In contrast, on-rest ambushes in Swordflight are resource-draining and punishing: players will realize very quickly that resting in dungeons seething with undead is a big no-no.

Left: Superior Stinger Warrior Center: Troll (formidable) Right: Nalfeshnee demon
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A murder of stirges
Swordflight's strict resting rules means the player has to think carefully about their tactics in battles and overall area strategy, casting spells and using the limited items wisely. That's called resource management, a concept with which many professional game designers are unfamiliar or reluctant to employ. Looted items that usually serve no purpose other than to clog your inventory suddenly become vital and sought-after consumables that keep you on your feet and fighting during the many challenging encounters thrown at you. Stuff like potions, spell scrolls, wands and even custom items designed to protect against and/or cure specific negative statuses (e.g the Undead Ward discs in Chapter One).

Paying attention to whatever you loot sort of helps, this isn't the Original Campaign of 'one million receptacles containing "confetti loot" that you absent-mindedly click on and only sell off when you can't loot anymore because your inventory and Bags of Holding are packed full of useless garbage'. Most items you find in Swordflight actually do serve a purpose, and compulsively hoarding them means you're probably not gonna breeze through the deserts and dungeons which make up a large part of the first chapter.

Reiterating, Swordflight doesn't just require fight-by-fight tactics, its dungeons demand resource management and overall strategy. Paying attention to the itemization and scouting ahead to learn about your environment is key. Charge in and die, it's that simple. You'll be pleased to know this high standard is upheld in Chapter Two.

Questing in the Docks may lead you to undersea adventure... I got in over my head, quite literally!
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There is much to say about Swordflight, and it's almost wholly positive from where I'm standing. It features a high degree of non-linearity (starting with the second entry, which raises the bar significantly), solid writing, interesting questing and puzzles, alignment repercussions for actions and weighty dialogue choices, multiple quest solutions, secrets doors, a strong sense of resource management, deadly traps and tooth-and-nail fights.

The documentation is also impressive: an informative, lengthy readme and a walkthrough that goes into great depth, which players should only consult when they're genuinely stuck, of course. I'm currently halfway through Swordflight Chapter Two and hope to post more on this "hardcore, oldskool-style" series in the near future.

Try to resist the following two temptations, if you can: to skip Chapter One; to start Chapter One above first level. I was tempted to do the former, and I'm glad I didn't, as the second chapter references the first; and also it's more rewarding to continue on with the same character and items/gold, for which you fought so hard during the first installment.

   S w o r d f l i g h t  S e r i e s  C o v e r a g e  
 Installation Instructions | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV   N E W 

Think you're gonna just walk all over this bugbear? Think again!
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Assassins of Dark Calimport, Ogre Mage Orkaz, Blazing Axe orc high shaman and archer hero
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   W a g u  t h e  W e r e r a t   

This is just an example of an early quest for first level scrubs. I've posted it as an afterthought to this review because I had the pics handy in preparation for a possible recounting. It appears to be your typical "KEEL DAH RATZ" quest, but it turns out to be a potentially lethal encounter that includes a moral consideration, lore on lycanthropes and multiple solutions.

The quest is acquired from the innkeeper of the Shifting Sands.
 

Having dropped down to the basement and exterminated the rats (no mean feat), an angry wererat steps out of the shadows to confront the player.


Back upstairs in the common room, a peaceful solution to the vermin problem is sought from the innkeeper.


And succeeds!
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   S w o r d f l i g h t  S e r i e s  C o v e r a g e  
 Installation Instructions | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV   N E W 

End of quest, & EoP

46 comments:

  1. Glad you're liking it so far. And yes, the biggest thing to get used to in Swordflight is actually using the consumables you ignore/vendor in most campaigns...hell, you'll actually be constantly buying them in Swordflight.

    I'm not ashamed to admit that Swordflight made me realize the sheer value of things like Bull's Strength potions -- yeah, you could buy that +4 strength belt for 10000 gold to upgrade the +3 strength belt. Or...you could buy 30 potions of Bull's Strength for 4500 gold total which will give you 2.5 more strength on average (coupled with the +3 strength belt) and last you longer than that belt upgrade would have.

    If anything it made me think buff potions were too powerful in general!

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    1. I think the series has lots of potential, I mean (possibly) FIVE parts? That would be awesome, if I could take one character through that, just like in Aielund Saga.

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    2. You do realize it's currently only two parts, right? :)

      It'll probably still be a while before the THIRD part is finished. But even those two parts are amazing overall, if a bit different.

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    1. Seems really awesome. I'll play these two parts as soon as I finish Aielund (that was even better The Prophet in my opinion...that was really good)

      Ps: had a problem posting..sorry!

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    2. No problem, Marco! Swordflight series is quite different to Aielund Saga, but they're both must-plays imo.

      I've heard great things about the Prophet series, and hope to try it out someday. There seems to be no shortage of quality user made content for NWN ;)

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    3. The Prophet has a great complex story, that reminds Torment to me. Very different from Aielund, had only two flaws: combat is easy except form the final parts and henchmen are great for roleplay.and story but not so useful in combat like those of Aielund.
      Before starting the prelude I did lvl 1-5 playing The Cave of Songs by the same author (some npcs and locations are the same) and I suggest to do that if you play solo. :)

      Siege of Shadowdale seems good too but yeah there are many great NWN mods that are really better than the original campaign!

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    4. I may skip the Prophet if it's mostly about dialogue and role-play (as Planescape: Torment was, though it included awfully uninspired combat segments, too). I much prefer combat-centric modules, something in the order of 70% combat, 30% lore, dialogue, banter, misc other. I thought Aielund Saga was made for players like me :P

      And yes, it isn't hard to improve on the OC...

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    5. Let's say more 60% combat, 40% dialogue. Not much different from Aielund saga, I love them both. Maybe I had an easier time playing a paladin (no tank needed) and avoiding some of the optional hardest fight. But I compare it to Torment mainly because of the story being centered on the protagonist (and no "big bad guy") while I consider Aielund more "classical", like Nwn2.
      So it's different, but full of interesting and sometimes unusual challenges, and brilliantly designed. It was worth a run! (finished at level 14). But yes, if you want combat maybe you should try the Blackguard trilogy... they told me it has some hard parts and I'm going to try it soon.

      Going back to the original topic, so far I like Swordflight, but I'm going hunting bandits so yes, I've just begun... :)

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    6. Let me know how you go; even though Calimport exploration is somewhat limited in Chapter One, I still enjoyed it immensely. I thought the later dungeons crawls of Chapter One were wonderful.

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    7. Ok, finished Swordflight 1.
      Challenging (especially some fights, like that bandit boss and his disarm), still not too hard (I bought a lot of potions just to be sure, I'm not a big fan of resting anyway)...the real reward to me was exiting that dungeon! I think it would have been difficult no matter of the class chosen. What else? I liked the storyline, classical and well done... Zarala was an interesting character even if sometimes I hated her, being an hindrance rather than a support (thanks to Nwn AI...but it was appropriate).
      Don't know if I'll start soon the Ch2 even if seems even better (since it's not linear) since I've other quests ongoing... and it seems I forgot to download also other haks needed for it! ^^'

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    8. I assume you mean the knockdown effect of: http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Balagarn%27s_iron_horn ?

      I'm a big fan of secret doors (eg, Undermountain I of Hordes of the Underdark), and I liked how in Swordflight they opened up a different way to go at times. It would be cool if that could be expanded upon, to give sneaky and perceptive characters another way through a dungeon (hard skills checks), without fighting too many undead (as most warriors would be forced to do). I realize that's lots of work, though - to build an area with different approaches in mind. But this has been done in games like Arcanum and even Deus Ex (an action RPG) with varying degrees of success.

      You should definitely try Swordflight Chapter Two when you have the time, the battles can be very difficult at times (at least, compared to other modules I've played), especially once you leave Calimport's gates and head out into regional areas.

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    9. No I mean this: http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Disarm

      It wasn't expected and made memorable that fight.
      True... secret doors are seldom used..anyway I remember clearly the different options in Deus Ex or for example the helpful shortcut in Arcanum (one of my favourite games) near the dwarven throne (that required a charisma check but avoided lots of weapon breaking golems).
      I also noticed that there were also enigmas and roleplay choices (I love them..the enigmas a bit less but hey here they were easy!)
      I'll surely try the second chapter sooner or later. Hope there will be less undeads! (Hate all those diseasing attacks and also the fear aura... :) ) and I'm curious on the development of the story.

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    10. The fear and disease effects in Swordflight's dungeons were daunting, yes. *shudder*

      Arcanum was amazing, but somewhat let down only by poor combat and trashmob area design; and you're right, the game supported a smooth-speaker approach in many places, too. The three basic ways to solve things was cool: hit it with a sledgehammer, bypass it with stealth, or use charm in dialogue. In Deus Ex, those skilled at swimming and/or with aqua-lung augmentation installed could go down paths others generally would avoid. Loved that game, too. It might be an action RPG, but it still does a great job of letting you play a role (albeit mainly a combat role, but whatevs).

      I answered your comments here, too:

      http://lilura1.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/the-aielund-saga-act-three-part-i_16.html
      http://lilura1.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/the-aielund-saga-act-three-part-ii.html

      Hopefully Balkoth (Magical Master) will update Aielund for increased party size. He's doing various improvements atm, so it's a good time to throw your ideas around, Marco. ;)

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    11. I know anyway I love immersive and clunky old games like Arcanun and Morrowind. Can be frustrating at times (in Arcanum I used a halfling gunsmith, that is probably one of the weakest characters. Be a fighter and you'll steamroll everything). I also liked the part where you can convince the paladin to do the dungeon in your place and retrieve the artifact required, it was hilarious.
      Deus Ex was one of the few games in which I could sneak past enemies and avoid confrontation with success. I'm usually pretty bad at stealth games. That's why I prefer party based games (since you mentioned increasing the party size... I tend to avoid mods with just one henchman)
      Oh so Balkoth is improving Savant's work? Good to know, I started playing Nwn only recently because I've already played all the other Rpgs worth playing and I didn't know that there was still someone working on this old gem!

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    12. Some tidying up of some stuff in Aielund and improving a few sequences, yes.

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    13. It's not easy job improving that mod. I think it's better than some recent rpgs: the storyline is very good and also I think that pacing and difficulty are well balanced. I had few issues (do not know if they are due to the game engine or caused by the mod since I noticed them only here.) but nothing that can't be solved by a quick save/reload to reset henchmen positions.

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    14. Well, those sorts of issues are exactly what I'm trying to fix. Perhaps you could elaborate?

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    15. sure:

      Chapter two: one henchman stuck near the city doors when entering the central and northern part of Fairloch (senate southern and only door and merchant district northern door).

      Chapter three: in the lower part of the dwarven city, Robert "jumps" over a door of a small bedroom and gets stuck on the arch (unapproachable in any way)

      Nothing else so far.

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    16. I had similar problems to that, though they mainly involved the horses. For example, you exit some building and you, your party and your mounts are sort of squashed together in the entryway and can't move or something. But yeah, reloading always seemed to fix the problem for me.

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    17. Oddly this never happened to me, except maybe at the lake after meeting Sebastian in Chapter three: when on the pier the two mounted henchmen blocked the way back and I had to push them a lot to break free! Maybe reloading would have been a better solution.
      Anyway npcs blocking access to some areas has happened to me also in other mods so I think is a common issue.
      Really few problems in Aielund, I even did the whole Ice-Giant-Massacre quest in chapter two while mounted, without getting stuck (there's a lot of walking in that quest... and I admit I didn't know there was a teleport system available)

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  3. Greetings and thanks for reviewing my work! Balkoth (aka Magical Master) let me know you were doing this.

    I am glad you appreciate my approach to designing tactically interesting combats. Your point that the Vancian magic system is simply not meant to be combined with largely unrestricted rest is one I quite agree with, and was a significant part of the reasons why I designed the Swordflight systems the way I did. I find it flattering that you would compare what I did favorably to the Baldur's Gate series (one of my all time favorite RPGs), though also a bit ironic as my Ambush-on-Rest system is actually an attempt to more or less imitate that found in the BG games. IIRC, the threat of an ambush was a pretty significant threat in BG1 (to some degree as a result of the "One unlucky hit can instantly kill you" syndrome with which low-level D&D characters are afflicted), but did indeed become much less so in BG2, and in general became an increasingly trivial concern the higher one's level since the strength of ambushers did not scale up anywhere near enough.

    As for your question as to when Ch. 3 can be expected, I am currently estimating very imprecisely that I can get it done some time in the next 6-10 months. That is of course subject to revision, since it is clear at this time that it will take me longer to complete than I had originally planned. These modules I make always seem to take on a life of their own and grow out of control, though I am hoping none of them will end up as absurdly large as Ch. 2 did.

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    1. Hi rogueknight333, thank you for taking the time to comment!

      New players will no doubt find BG1 "on-rest" and "on-travel" ambushes to be more brutal than the BG2 equivalents, yes. BioWare clearly reduced the relative encounter difficulty and chance of on-rest ambushes in BG2, also replacing the random, infamous on-travel "waylays" (bandits, wyverns) with scripted, facerolly encounters which also rewarded lots of experience, loot and even a quest or two.

      But crafty new players will learn that BG1 on-rest ambushes are still pretty tame, and so not be all that deterred providing the party's equipped with the basics which are not hard to get. For me they become almost a non-issue after the first few levels, but that's just me. On top of that, power-gamers will learn to repeatedly provoke on-rest ambushes in order to farm experience for unsightly power progression gains (some enemies can be efficiently farmed for a couple thousand flat experience each, which is huge in BG1). For them (me!), ambushes are the opposite to a resting deterrent - they're an incentive to rest more often. (max lvl in 40 mins!).

      Starkly contrasting now, I stopped trying to rest in Swordflight when my delicate Rogue self and Zarala were first "on-rest ambushed" by skellys, ghouls n ghasts in the Buried Ruins. We both died, though I fought tooth and nail - using up everything at my disposal. It felt like a 100% chance on D&D Hardcore rules, so, far from trying again, I was daunted by the thought of resting, instead choosing to scrounge around in my inventory for ways to heal myself and reduce damage taken next time - the way it should be, imo. Provided you supply those players reliant on the Vancian system with definite places to rest at sensible intervals (which you do), and supply them with scrolls, wands and other knick knacks to keep them going (which you also do), all's well from my angle. ;)

      So that's why I think you've done a better job than the Infinity Engine RPGs in this respect, congrats on that.

      By the way, I enjoyed your thieves maze and the few burglary and assassination quests offered to my evil-aligned Rogue by the guild. The many traps in the maze reminded me of the thieves maze in BG1 (Sarevok approach).

      I assume you took inspiration for Calimport's non-linear layout and open, explorative nature from Baldur's Gate (city) and Athkatla? I love the quest density offered in Athkatla, and how you can venture into the sewers... and then deeper, getting in over your head, or venture out into regional areas - similar to your module. I've also been intrigued by the replayability/meta-gameability offered by "hubs" ever since THE HUB in Fallout 1 :)

      Thanks again for taking the time to post, and I look forward to Swordflight Chapter Three :)

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    2. Well, if I were playing a no-reload challenge (something veteran BG players were fond of at one time, and maybe still are for all I know) I think sleeping in a hostile area in BG1 is something I would only attempt with considerable trepidation (BG2 would of course be another matter). Still, much as I liked BG, I am not unaware the game had some very exploitable holes in it. Hopefully I can learn from them and do better.

      And, yes, if my rendition of Calimport is reminding you of Athkatla in BG2, I am sure that is no coincidence, though really it was inspired by numerous non-linear RPGs I have played over the years, not that alone.

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    3. All Infinity Engine RPGs are heavily exploitable, yes. Another example is that you can rest in the city streets merely by pausing the game before you attempt to rest. In so doing, the act of resting is over with before the city guard spawns - who then marches up to you and tells you to find an inn, after the fact. Resting in BG2 also cured poison and disease, which is just dumb. I think it's great that you're building Swordflight on the foundation of solid design principles and a superior engine and ruleset. I used to love Baldur's Gate and the Infinity Engine RPGs, but now I consider them ugly, primitive and clunky. I would love to see someone remake Durlag's Tower in Aurora, though - one of the best dungeon crawls ever.

      I'm glad you haven't just looked to Athkatla for inspiration on Calimport: Arcanum's Tarant, Planescape: Torment's Sigil, Icewind Dale 2's Severed Hand and Vampire Bloodlines' various hubs can all teach us something.

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    4. Hey Lilura, I really appreciate your exchange of posts with Marco about Swordflight, Aielund, Prophet as well as other long, epic series and their quality. If I gather correctly you would assess Swordflight as as comparable to Aielund in terms of quality (or better)? When I read your review and look at the screenshots from both Swordflight and SnowHunt it suddenly seems probable to me that RogueKnight is on his path to become a new Renaissance artist of NWN community. I now feel like trying the module in spite of this overwhelming sand everywhere, clutching at hope that maybe RogueKnight will change the sandy setting (Snow Hunt is lovely!) in prospective modules :)

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    5. Yes, I believe Swordflight already surpasses Aielund Saga in the arena of traditional campaigns. It feels eerily close to tabletop D&D in this respect, having both the dungeonmastery and the storytelling.

      I'm surprised Swordflight hasn't received more praise for what it's achieved, both recognition in the NWN community and the RPG public in general... I have tried to spread the word a lil', but it's a slow process.

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  4. I played Snow Hunt prior to playing this module and I was swept off my feet! I have finished Swordflight part and I was really impressed with the module. The eye candies, game balance, etc. A perfect module for me... I am in the middle of running part 2 and so far it never ceases to amaze me. With the walkthroughs for both SF 1 & 2, this module's replayability for me is really, really high. Thanks again Lilura!

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  5. Swordflight goes up to SIX chapters?!? Now that is news that breaks all news! I shall look forward to that. I know Rogueknight333's gonna give us an encompassing module after module but six chapters?!? I gotta ready my rig for that! Thank you rogueknight333 for keeping NWN alive. And Lilura's gonna have a handful making walkthroughs for 'em. My gratitude and salutations to both of you for making sure that NWN endure...

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    1. I'll just be writing reviews and commentary for Swordflight, since Rogueknight's walkthroughs can't be improved upon. There wasn't a walkthrough for Snow Hunt, so that's why I wrote one (with Rogueknight's additions and clarifications).

      Don't forget to vote!

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    2. AnonymousJune 26, 2016

      Wanted to play the NWN campaigns again, but then I stumbled on this website and swordflight seems to be praised a lot. It's really fun so far, early game is pretty challenging and quests actually have multiple solutions.

      aurora's faults still shine through though. AoO's work really wonky and can be abused, not to mention how strong kiting is. Do haste potions/boots of speed exist in swordflight? If so archer characters are probably op.

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    3. Hi and thanks for commenting, whoever you are :P

      Yes, Swordflight exposes the flaws of Aurora more than most other modules out there, due to its increased difficulty; companion AI, especially. However, NWN is the platform Rogueknight decided was the most suitable, overall, to host his campaign.

      Provision is in place for kiting in Swordflight (spacious dungeons and wilderness area), so it's probably a viable tactic in many situations. Improved Haste potions and haste items are available though not the Boots of Speed, per se. Let me know how you fare with your ranged combatant, if that is indeed what you intend to play. Have fun, and don't forget to vote on the Vault!

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  6. Your blog is amazing. I'm playing and liking pretty much the very same nwn modules as you do, but I only recently discovered your amazing blog.

    For instance I just finished playing swordflight (didn't know it, and reading that the part 3 is really under way makes me very happy) and i'm now near the end of the second part of Aielund (I played the first act loong time ago, and was still quite a PC build noob and got stuck at the very end of it).

    Having said that, just a remark: I wanted very badly to succeed the persuade check (halfling rogue/ranger/sdd) that I had to delay the last part of the "rat quest" for very very late in the module.
    I loved the alignment shifts, too, and as I wanted to do the thieves/assassins quests I struggled so much to get back to True Neutral, but it was worth it!

    Keep up the good playing and reviewing and the oldskooling!

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    1. Thank you, Koro. I hope you end up enjoying Aielund Saga and Swordflight as much as I did!

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  7. Hi,

    Some of your reviews are wonderfully made ("Aielund saga", the Alazander's serie ....)..

    Started playing Part III of Swordflight as of yesterday and encountered some troubles.... i ll try not to spoil whie explaining them...
    1/ the ist merchant in the game makes Nwn crash to desktop when his inventory opens... This happens at the very beginning when I first talked to him, and happened too at the end of the quest... I tried several characters from former Swordflight part II with the same result.. (I even tried stripping one of her gear with the same result).. Ditto with a brand new character...
    2/ No way to use sceptres and/or wands ; trying to equip them, I get "You're to tall for this object" (playing human female characters!!!)... So much so for some of my UMD skilled characters...
    I cant post on the Vault (can t get a new password) ; so as Rogueknight may come here too, i hope he ll saw this and help me knowing if it s a module issue (I whish him it s not!!) or troubles pehaps with something installed on my end...

    Anyway, this is still a great serie!!! i wondered if we would meet savoury characters like the lich in part II, and even if I ve not gone very far after the 1st quest, i already can say: Yes!!!

    So, troublesome start for me perhaps ; but I m enjoying it anyway!!!

    Long live NwN!!!

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    1. As far as point 2 goes, Wands are not supposed to be equippable, you can cast from them without equipping them.

      I do not know why the merchant opening his inventory would crash the game. I do not have that problem, and others who have played the module have not reported such a thing. If you have put anything in your override, or otherwise altered your NWN install, you may want to remove those customizations, and see if that helps. If you have an installation of NWN on which you did not run the Critial Rebuild (available at: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn1/other/patch/169-critical-rebuild-english), you may want to try that as well. Whatever you do it is possible you will have to restart the module from the beginning to have fixes take effect, if they work at all.

      It would certainly be desirable for you to obtain an account on the NWVault, as if it is indeed a problem with NWN generally rather than my module specifically (which seems likely), there are people there whose NWN technical expertise and ability to help you far exceeds my own. There is a contact option for anonymous users under About -> Who -> Contact which you might attempt to use to contact the Vault Admins and get your trouble there cleared up.

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  8. Hi again.... I went a bit further since.....and finally met other merchants who don t make the game crash... So there is perhaps a problem with the first one... I read on the Vault or here that the authot made some changes since you play tested the module ; so the Gremlins may have "invaded" since you bete-tested Chapter III isn t it??

    And I love the City tileset!!! Reminds me of some NwN 2 mods in high res' (like "subtelty of Thay" for instance)....

    I understand the henchmen AI has been tweaked with ; but why remove the "missile weapons option" from the dialogue box??? I want the bard shoot from a distance and cast ; not to go melee... I ll have to remove her melee weapons for that I think ; as she constantly switches (to do nothing as she stays in stealth mode which is another issue.. )...

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    1. I am not having any trouble with the merchant even with the most current version of the module, so unless someone else reports such a problem it seems likely it is a problem with your computer or installation. See post above for what advice I can offer in regards to that (not that much, particularly without more information about override packages you might have, system specs, etc. - as I say there are others on the Vault who might know more, and various methods of trying to contact the Admins to get your account troubles cleared up, if they are continuing).

      The "missile weapons option" in dialogue was part of the original OC when one could not direcly affect a Henchman's inventory, and does not work that well in conjunction with the Hordes of the Underdark Henchman AI, where it is assumed one can directly manipulate the inventory. Theoretically, one can get a Henchman to use a missile weapon simply by equipping one, but like many other aspects of the AI it does not really work that well, though removing all melee weapons from a Henchman's Inventory sort of works. Sadly completely revamping Bioware's AI, however desirable it might be to do so, is a task a bit beyond my abilities, at least with the time I need to devote to other matters.

      Delete
  9. ... I know about wands not supposed to be equippable ; i tried this also when I saw neither them nor the sceptres didn t work at all as they are supposed to be...
    ... No troubles at all on other mods with wand etc...

    Found a second merchant breaking the game... The smith (the half-orc) in the port city... the others work fine...

    I can live with that... till now...

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    1. Again, the first step in attempting to eliminate these problems would be to run the Critical Rebuild, if you have not, and check your override, or any other customizations to your NWN installation that involved something more complex than sinmply adding module, hak or music files for something that conflicts with the haks I am using or the 1.69 patch, and see if the issues persist in a new game started after these potential sources of trouble have been addressed.

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  10. Hi, thanks for the advice... Not being really good at customization, I only added mostly haks and music to mu Nwn.. There are a few files in the override ; but they didn t conflict with the 2 former chapters (and I m sure i did nt install anything new these last months)...
    Anyway, I ll check with the critical Rebuild first and come back later....

    Still enjoying the mod ; which is the msot important after all...

    (please, forgive my awful accent ; I m French...)...

    regards

    J.

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  11. I'm downloading NWN1 and 2 for the first time now. Is this module recommended for a first campaign. I don't really want to play the 40+ hour OC that isn't all that highly regarded.

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    1. Hi Charron Top 5,

      Swordflight is fine for a first foray into NWN, yes. But Cave of Songs or Snow Hunt might be a better intro for someone who has no experience with NWN (they are shorter and less difficult).

      The Aielund Saga is another epic that is easier to get into than Swordflight is. It's much better than the OC.

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    2. I did design Swordflight in the expectation that it would be played by at least somewhat experienced NWN players, and it is one of the harder NWN modules out there. You can certainly give it a shot if you want, though you might find it brutally difficult if you do not know anything about NWN builds or tactics. Possibly it would be better to try some shorter/easier modules first to get your feet wet, rather than immediately jumping into the deep end. I suppose it depends on how much patience you have with some of the frustrations involved in learning things the hard way.

      Delete
  12. Thanks Lilura for the recommendation and Rogueknight for developing this! Such a wonderful crafted series, in fact i think it is one of the most thorough, in-depth mods ever created for a video game (in the same vein as Prophesy of Pendor for Mount&Blade and Quests and Dragons for DA).

    I have some questions thou (not really sure this is the best place to reach Rogueknight):

    1/ Do you have any plan to re-design Chapter 1 for range archetypes? I found playing a range rogue/ranger is impossible given the high level of difficulty. Playing a melee then respec later in Chapter 2 seem like a better way

    2/ Chapter 1 is quite weird in that its essentially a dungeon crawling module, and I just started Chapter 3, are the combat essentially will be harder? I found my pure monk struggle with some of the fights in Chapter 2 and was a bit weary about his prospect in Chapter 3

    3/ Is there any plan to add some romance to spice things up in further Chapter :))) (pls blame Bioware for this, it is still embarrassed some times to admit to my gf that Viconia is my 1st love ever....)

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    1. You are more likely to get my attention commenting on the module itself on the NWVault, though I do check this blog semi-regularly too.

      1) I have no plans for making revisions to Ch.1, unless someone discovers a significant bug. It is certainly difficult, and playing with less than optimal builds/tactics can certainly hurt you, but I do not see why playing a ranged character would be especially hard. If anything, in my own testing, I found characters oriented towards ranged combat tended on average to have an easier time of it, since kiting can be an effective tactic in many situations. Is there any encounter or situation in particular giving you trouble?

      2) The combat is going to remain challenging. The difficulty of Ch. 3 is probably roughly comparable to that of Ch. 2.

      3) Not sure I want to reveal too much about story-related developments, and it would always be possible in principle (if a lot of additional work) to introduce romanceable henchmen into a series as huge and sprawling as this, but you certainly should not count on romance being a major element in this series.

      Hope those answers are not too disappointing.

      Delete

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