Neverwinter Nights 2 NWN2 Best Mods Modules

Neverwinter Nights 2 NWN2 Best Mods Modules



Not just a launchpad for getting into NWN2, this post is also a gateway and Index to my in-depth NWN2 coverage. 

• Best Adventure Modules & CampaignsMask of the BetrayerStorm of Zehir • Motivation to Play [1] [2]


          I n t r o d u c t i o n          

Hi there! The purpose of this post is to help new players set up and mod their Neverwinter Nights 2 install. For those who don't know, the three official campaigns (pictured above) were built upon the versatile and powerful Electron, an engine which has daunted and annoyed many players over the years thanks to its complexity, kludginess and lack of optimization. And, just like NWN, this is an RPG that has "a barrier to entry". Check out the various NWN2 venues, for example. The posts are primarily technical in nature:

How do I do this?
NWN2 won't work!
This camera is driving me crazy! 
What mods fix my issues with this game?
How do I turn my PC on? etc.

Mostly it's just user-error and general ignorance, and I can't remember the last time I saw a thread about how much everyone loves Qara, which disappoints me greatly. But hopefully, this post will go some way to making this monster more accessible to people who would otherwise avoid it like the plague. So let's get on with it, shall we?

          S e t u p  T i p s           

Ok, Neverwinter Nights 2 is finally installed! What to do? Well, before diving straight into the game you might like to scope this section out, as it may help you avoid some pitfalls or irritants that build up to throwing your arms up in despair and "rage uninstall" (Random jokeThe frustrated cannibal threw up his arms.) I mean, you're going to put a few weeks of your life into playing this game, right? THE LEAST you can do is put in 20 minutes to get a clue as to what you are doing! Ok..

Check the version of your install. First things first, load the game up and check the bottom-left of the main menu for the version you are running. It should say version 1.023 (1765)You can safely skip the rest of this section if that's what is says. If it says something else then you need to patch your game! I repeat: Don't skimp on patching your game. You will likely regret it down the track.

Now, the GoG version should be patched already, but if you have some sort of retail version from years ago (i.e, DVDs or ISOs of the DVDs) then a manual patching session is probably in order. Please god, no. How the hell do I do that? Don't worry, it's actually pretty EZ to do! But you will need the NWN2 Patcher and the relevant patch files. To find out which patch files are relevant to you, first check what version of the game you have (see above) and then download the files that will bring you up to version 1.023 (1765). (That's right, there is no cumulative patch like for NWN [i.e, 1.69]. You will have to download the patch files individually and install them incrementally.) So say you have version 1.20 (1541) ... that means you need the following six files:

nwn2_pcx2_english_from1201541_to1211549.rtp 
nwn2_pcx2_english_from1211549_to1221586.rtp 
nwn2_pcx2_english_from1221586_to1221587.rtp 
nwn2_pcx2_english_from1221587_to1221588.rtp
nwn2_pcx2_english_from1221588_to1231763.rtp
nwn2_pcx2_english_from1231763_to1231765.rtp
. 
Next, run NWN2Patcher, click Use Queue, click Add to Queue, and add the patches, in numerical order, into the Patcher. Once that is done, click Close. Don't worry that the files don't show in that main window.. I can assure you that they are poised for patching. Now, click Patch! — and go and do something else while the patcher weaves its magic (because it can take quite a while!)

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Yay for doing things manually - and it actually working! (This process also removes the notorious SecuROM copy protection from your game.)

Ok, all patched up? Read on!

Create a short-cut. Quit out of the game and navigate to your Program Files installation folder (e.g, C:\Program Files (x86)\Neverwinter Nights 2) and locate nwn2.exe. Right-click the exe -> Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut) and/or drag it over your Taskbar and drop it there. This just makes it easier to run the game each time you want to play it (for those with retail versions it also enables you to bypass the Launcher).

Important note for 99% of players. Other than what we just did (creating a short-cut) you will likely never need to stick your nose into this folder again. Maybe ever. That's because almost all configuration, tweaking and modding is done from the Documents folder (e.g, C:\Users\..\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2). To reiterate: when modding NWN2, don't mess around in its Program Files folder unless you know 100% exactly what you are doing. Stick to the Documents folder. Note that the Neverwinter Nights 2 folder will not appear in the Documents folder until you have run the game at least once.

Back up both of your NWN2 folders: the one in Program Files (especially if you manually patched it) and the one in Documents. Just copy paste them somewhere safe. That way if you stuff something up you can always return to a pristine installation state by deleting your "beyond repair" install folder and copying your pristine one back in (because registry entries for the installation of the game are preserved when you simply del/replace a game folder's contents).

          M i n o r  T w e a k s          

There are two configuration files that you can tweak: nwn2.ini and nwn2player.ini. These are located in your Documents folder (e.g, C:\Users\..\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2).

—To bypass those obnoxious intro movies, add this line in nwn2.ini under Display Options: Disable Intro Movies=1. Now you never have to click through them ever again.

Cam & Control.
The camera is not as bad as some people make it out to be. That's not to say there are no issues with regard to it but, in my opinion, they are minor (aka quirks) IF you set things up as follows: Strategy Mode cam, Camera Mode: Can Be Moved Freely (Free Camera), Ceilings Always Off and Marquee Select On. Now the game pretty much plays like isometric RPGs of the past, except that you can also rotate and zoom your view. Here is a demo. More info here and here (search post for "complaints").

You can tweak cam settings in nwn2player.ini; f.e, if the edge turn is a lil' too slow or fast, tweak the Edge_Turn entries. If you feel "right-click: hold" to be sluggish, then try minimizing the Context Menu Delay in Game Options: Interface. Further to that, if you dislike the fadein/fadeout of the panels (ie, inventory, journal etc), you can disable fade by editing the XML files (this is a bit more work, though). 

Disable Shadows if your PC sucks. Yes, they look great and add heaps to the atmosphere, but they are a massive resource hog. Electron is awful in its optimization, overall. But still, everyone's PC is different; for example, I go from 10 FPS to 40 FPS if I disable Shadows completely. Disabling Water Refractions & Water Reflections nets me a further +10 FPS. So yeah, YMMV.


Turn the AI off (bottom-left of main interface) and learn to micro-manage your units in "Puppet Mode" (Behavior Tab of Character Record). At least, this is my recommendation. I got used to doing this back in the days of Baldur's Gate.

Disable the annoying buy/sell confirmation. Either disable in nwn2player.ini (BuySellConfirm=0), or under Interface if you're in the game.

Disable Autosave. This one comes with a warning. Maybe only do this if you're a disciplined "manual saver" like I am (i.e, you make separate, named saves at intervals). I have found this very useful in Storm of Zehir because it auto-saves a lil' too frequently for my patience and I don't like to wait for it to do so. Anyway, just add this line under [Server Options] in nwn2player.ini: Disable AutoSave=1.

Loading times. Yes, they can be looooong. Defrag your drive, get yourself a decent HDD, a fast CPU and lots good quality RAM. It makes a MASSIVE difference. If you still need more speed, get yourself an SSD or set up a RAMDisk.

Stuttering bug. You may occasionally notice that your party members cease to move smoothly on the playing field; they sort of jitter as they move. Rebooting your PC should fix this problem. You could also install the Jade Empire Stutter Fix or try out the NWN2 Client Extension.

Help! My savegame files are disappearing or getting corrupted! Don't run NWN2 through GoG Galaxy, or turn off cloud saves. 

          A  G e n e r a l  N o t e  o n  M o d d i n g           

First up, the vast majority of mods are downloaded from Neverwinter Vault, which is a great community keeping the user-made content alive, and available to everyone for free.

Now, many of the mods are archived. Why? To reduce them to a fraction of their size so that they may be more efficiently stored and downloaded. This means you need 7-zip (or other similar app) to extract the archive so that NWN2 can recognize its contents.

Once the archive is extracted you simply place the files into your override folder (i.e, C:\Users\..\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\override) and NWN2 then loads them "over" the default content. To uninstall such mods, you simply remove them from "the override". Pretty simple!

Keeping track of overrides is EZ because they can be separated into their own descriptively-named sub-folders. Very, very cool. Some mods may require that you place files into other Document sub-folders, too. Read the readmes that come with the mods to know exactly how to install them; this is just a general note, afterall.

Note: In this post I am mainly concerned with mods, not modules. There is a difference. A mod is "a tactics mod", "a UI mod", "a texture mod", whereas modules are adventures you can play that are sometimes linked together to form a campaign. Subtlety of Thay is a campaign formed by linking several modules together, for example. See also: Best NWN2 Adventure Modules and Campaigns.

          U s e r  I n t e r f a c e  ( U I )  M o d s          



For Tchos', it is recommended that you also install NWN1 portraits for NWN2 and NWN2 OC and MotB portraits. Otherwise, the default portraits won't fit properly in their frames, and their aspect ratio will be wrong. Consider this tweak and widescreen loading screens, too. You can find more portraits for Tchos' UI mod here and here.

Tchos HD UI panels and dialogue (MotB)

I just use the following two mini-mods when playing on my laptop (1366x768 resolution):
—It just extends the height of the Examine item window so that you don't have to scroll down to read the description of the item. Very convenient! (pic)
—Yes, it simply adds another row to the hotbar. You need SoZ installed for this to work. This is a great lil' mod, too!


Level-up Screen Change 
—Removes the 3d model of your character on the level-up screen (stupid idea that reminded me of Bethesda's Oblivion) and allows you to control your char while leveling-up. This one does not seem to work with my GoG version; however I can confirm that it works with 1.10 (MotB). Update: Another mod has been uploaded that does the same thing and works on 1.023 (1765).

A few older, minor GUI mods that people may find useful, nonetheless:
Slim Health Bars & Small Portraits.
NWN2 Message Box Patch.


Interested in making your own UI mod? A great starting point for XML coding has been posted by Lance Botelle: NWN2 XML & GUI Coding For Beginners. For those who don't know, Mr. Botelle built The Scroll campaign, which employs the most ambitious UI and mechanics modding I have seen on the Electron platform (demo vid) (demo of pseudo-turn-based combat).  
th.
          V i s u a l  M o d s           

Like me, you might have been left aghast by the ludicrously overdone buffing effects (ie, "ball" & "skin"). If that's the case, then I suggest you download and throw into your override folder the following tiny mods: Less Obtrusive Spell Buffs, Remove Annoying Effects, Remove Annoying Effects Extension and Disease VFX Removal.

Voilà! Now you can actually see your character - hell, players with older PCs might even receive a welcome FPS boost. These tweaks fail to address the higher level spells, though; perhaps someone would like to bother their ass? (Not me, of course. I've already done the hard yards by putting all the links in one paragraph to save others the hassle of searching for themselves, and honestly, that's the extent of my charity.)

Below: Before and after the tweaks; both have several low level buffs active. One of these doesn't look retarded, can you guess which one?

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Quick links to some decent texture mods: • Xaltar's NWN2 Facelift Pack [*] (also, for Yuan-ti, Sorceress Robe ReplacerKamal's Saguaro Override • Neverwinter Cobble texture (Hi Rez & Bump-mapped) • Real Oak and Mahogany Textures (Hi Rez & Bump-Mapped) • Real Paving Stones, Kerbs/ Curbs & Bricks • Trees Textures Overhaul • Floorboards (Hi Rez & Bump-mapped) • All Bracers, Pauldrons, Greaves now Shiny, Retextured & re-bumpmapped  • All NWN2 Cloaks Retextured (Hi-Res & Bumpmapped) • All NWN2 Grass Desaturated with Added Detail • All NWN2 Terrain Re-bumped-mapped • Sharpened Textures • Complete NWN2 Textures • Adonnay's Elven Weaponry (this is good but you may have issues with crafted weapons in MotB) • NWN2 Cloaks & Deity Symbols • NENs Final Face Head Hair Combination Project (this looks good too, but may also cause bugs in MotB)

[*] If your human female looks old and wrinkled in chargen, just change to male and then back to female to fix it.

See also the minor animation overrides by Nenilai: Nens NWN2 Animation Project Part 1 - WalkingNens NWN2 Animation Project Part 2 - Idle.

If you would like to see how good this game can look check out the pics in this series of posts. You could also try out the Sweet FX 1.5 preset for NWN2, though I don't think it's an improvement at all.

          O t h e r  M o d s  &  F i x e s            

 G e n e r a l  N W N 2 
Companion and Monster AI hak 2.2 
—Enhances the AI of both your companions & enemies (v.2.3 remains unreleased). Is employed in some user-made adventure modules/campaigns as standard. Source code comes with the package. See also: Jassperre's AI for NWN2.
Difficulty Modifier
—Allows you to customize enemy HPs, AC etc. using a broad-brush approach. See also: Personal Impossibility Adjustment (offers more scaling options).
   Fixes    Plate Mail 01 Fix, Skeleton Cloth Armor Tint Fix, and OC Doors Fix
—These are included in the new NWN2 Fixes.
Tchos' default Crypt Tileset edit with no jagged cobwebs
—A tileset edit that overrides the crypt tileset to remove its ugly cobwebs.
—Self-explanatory. You will need Java to run this. Edit the path for the NWN2 Character Editor shortcut as follows: ..\javaw.exe -Xmx256m -DNWN2.install.path="..\" -jar NWN2Editor.jar, substituting .. with your system's paths for the java and nwn2 exes. You can also use Leto.


—Haven't tried it yet, sorry. The "Deck of Trumps" item is apparently popular, though.
Kamal's Archetype Characters
—Allows for greater flexibility in building a character.
—An external app that allows you to modify cam & control.
Spell Fixes and Improvements
—An override package that contains tons of sensible fixes.
See also: Closer to P&P Domain Spell Lists.
—Lets you change your character's appearance via an in-game menu.
—As above, except this one is for item properties.
—Similar to OHS for NWN, this allows you to bring your own companions into any module.
—Adds four base classes, 45 prestige classes, 150 spells and a load of other crap. Very, very cool.
—Lets you multiclass OC and MotB companions. EZ to install; it's just an override.
Demo vid. Tired of wasting 10 mins of your life rebuffing after each rest? This allows you to quickly recast buffs and feats. It doesn't work in combat so it's not a cheat. Yay for removing real-life tedium. (Other, older incarnations of the concept: Rod of Preparation, Rod of Full Party Buffing).
The Faces of Neverwinter Project by Jude Inc.


Warlock Buddy
—Auto-recasts buffs when not in combat.
—Restores the Warlock outfit to how it was before MotB/SoZ.
Warlock Reworked 1.02g
—Makes many general modifications and adds a lot of build potential. See also: PnP Warlock Epic Feats & InvocationsWarlock Spell Buffs.
—A set of override scripts for random loot gen.
—Mostly an add-on for multi-player, though it also claims to fix crashes and other issues. But as I said above, I've never needed it.
KEMO custom animations and Heed's PC tool override version
—This is Kemo and Heed's in override form. It lets you use KEMO custom anims in single-player adventure modules and campaigns. Some people seem to have problems getting this going so here's what you do: Just throw it into your override folder. Then, to activate, simply right-click your character, click PC Tools, click Misc., and click KEMOanims to hook in. Couldn't be simpler.


—Only affects blade weapons. Gives you a lil' of that steel on steel sound, which is an improvement over the pathetic vanilla on-hit SFX. Still, this mod could be so much better if it used Icewind Dale 2 on-hit SFX. Anyone up to it?


Camb's COMBAT Splatter
—Blood splatter is added to the ground when you hit an enemy.

 U t i l i t y  M o d u l e s 
FRW Character Creator v.3.0 (demo vid)
—Lets you customize your character (level, gold, equipment etc.) in preparation for an adventure module or campaign.
Vordan's Hero Creator (demo vid) (no epics, pre-SoZ foes and items only)JEGs Training module (annoying dialogue)Heroic Dream (英雄梦, go up against lvl 30 mobs), Mithdradates' Hall of Training (SoZ support, epics)Battle of the Builds (epic power-building).
—Trainer modules that allow you to test builds out. Of these, I personally favor VHC and HD.

See also: Peek-a-BIC and Epic Character Builds Repository.


 N e w  &  W i P 
—This is an ongoing effort to fix bugs in the official campaigns. It's a compilation of both old and new fixes. Download player-master.zip by clicking on the green button.
—A re-release of the original CC mod that upgraded crafting in NWN2.
Fun Mode: Editing the OC Companions
—Lets you edit companions as you see fit.
—Some NWN spell effects not only look and sound awful [1] but also adversely affect framerate. This looks to be an ongoing series that seeks to address such issues; however, they may cause issues of their own and there is some "artistic license" going on (using voices and sound effects from other games, like PS:T).
[1] A couple of examples: Call Lightning (?wav) (maybe Chain Lightning, too), Acid Fog (sfx_linger_Acid.wav)Evard's Black Tentacles (sfx_linger_ChililngTentacles.wav [typo is correct]), Web (sfx_linger_web.wav), Blade Barrier (sfx_linger_blades.wav), Creeping Doom (?wav) and Entangle (sfx_linger_Entangle.wav) are way TOO LOUD and drown out the other sounds too much. This has never been collectively fixed in a public mod, as far as I can tell. Some ambient sounds are too loud, also; f.e, In Mask of the Betrayer, en route to the furnace, the small chamber you pass through has a sort of "ghostly wind-howl" that is abrupt and jarring.
—Triggers the in-combat cleave animation. Still nowhere near as good as the NWN version, but it's better than vanilla. See also: Improved Cleave and AOO Animations aka Cute Cleaves.
—Crit hits are accompanied by the PS:T Boom! effect. There is also screen-shake and gibs (aka "chunks"). See also: Exploding Heads.
Spellcasting Chants from Baldur's Gate (MotB version)
—(demo vid)

          O r i g i n a l  C a m p a i g n          

—Lets you enable Storm of Zehir features in the original campaign. These include six-person party creation and companion multiclassing.
—Removes an instance of the ring, makes the cloak and gloves available, and adds the set bonus.
—Does just what it says.
Romance Pack for OC and MotB Expansion
—Expands the romance and flirt options in both the OC & MotB. Includes Bishop Romance (OC)OC Companions for MotB (aka MotB-Mule Pack) & Requiem. These are all Gibberlings 3 mods.
Neeshka reskin

          M a s k  o f  t h e  B e t r a y e r          

—Two bugfixes that I found useful.
—Another useful bugfix.
MotB Pre-order items
These three items are listed in the toolset under "Special Edition". You don't need this mod if you just use the following console codes: Chauntea's Blessing (Immunity: Necromancy, +1d6 Positive Energy damage, single-use: bestow properties on weapon) (nx1_blessing_chauntea), Mystra's Blessing (Immunity: Illusion, True Seeing, +1d6 Magical damage, bestow properties on weapon) (nx1_blessing_mystra), Mielikki's Blessing (Haste, +1d4 Electricity damage, single-use: bestow properties on weapon) (nx1_blessing_mielikki).
Spirit Energy Tweak
—Slows down spirit energy drain.
—Prevents spirit energy drain when standing still, leveling up, talking, etc.
—Fixes a bug, allows anyone who has the feats to wield it, and adds shapes.
Keep OC items in MotB
—Doesn't preserve your gold but you can easily console that in.
—Lets you enable Storm of Zehir features in MotB. These include six-person party creation and companion multiclassing. Also adds content to the campaign.
Restore MotB Menu Screens
—Does just what it says.
Romance Pack for OC and MotB Expansion
—Expands the romance and flirt options in both the OC & MotB. Includes Bishop Romance (OC), OC Companions for MotB and Requiem (which expands the dialogue options concerning the fate of the OC companions during the Ammon Jerro conversation).
Dark Soul
—Adds some content for Bishop.
Warlock Imbue Item Feat fix
—This fix is for 1.10 MotB.
NWN2 Plot Fixes
—Be careful with this one. It fixes lots of bugs for v1.10 but I'm not sure how many of these were officially fixed in subsequent patches. Don't use it unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Sorceress Safiya
—Can you guess what this mod does?
Gann the Human and Handsome Gann

         S t o r m  o f  Z e h i r          

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—Adds six locations to Samarach and six locations to the Sword Coast. I have posted installation instructions and a walkthrough, which may be viewed here.
—Restores some content in the town of Nimbre.
Port Llast Undead Army Fix
—Fixes quest problems in Port Llast.
SoZ Dialogue fixes
—This doesn't have its own proper entry on the Vault yet. I'm not sure of its compatibility with patches and other mods, since there doesn't seem to be a readme. I guess some testing is in order...
Multiclass EXP Penalty Remover SoZ
—Probably does what it says it does, but I haven't tried it out.
—Preserves status effects on the overland map and in module-transition.
Combat Auto-Pause (LB)
—Works with OC, MotB and SoZ. All it does is give you a Feat that you can drag to your hotbar and click on to make the game pause every six seconds. Thus, it is a far cry from true turn-based games like Temple of Elemental Evil and Jagged Alliance 2.
SoZ Overland Encounter Reducer
—Reduces spawn probability to a percentage of original values. Could be handy for people getting overwhelmed on the OLM.
SoZ Crafting Expansion
—Expands the crafting options in SoZ.
Increased SoZ Creature Part Drops
—Does what it says, and fixes a few oversights.
SoZ Script fixes
—Fixes a couple of scripts and includes an enchantment fix.
Inshula Delevel Fix
—Lets you delevel Inshula and rebuild her as an archer character (by default she chose the two-weapon combat style).
Trumpetless SoZ theme
—Can you guess what this does?

Pro-tip: To change the number of player-created party members (which are by default limited to 4) load up the Toolset, go to the Plugins menu, click Campaign Editor, and click Neverwinter Nights 2 Campaign_X2. Scroll down the form in the right panel and change PartyCreationSize to 6. Click Save Campaign and exit the Toolset. You might also like to check out SoZ Party Max Override.

Pro-tip: You can unlock the OLM camera using DebugMode 1 → toggleoverlandcamera. This will allow you to zoom in and out and rotate and pan the cam on the OLM, which can be very helpful in some situations. Demo vid.

Note: To my knowledge no one has fixed the "trade bar bug" that breaks the economy in the Sword Coast segment of SoZ. There are quite a few other bugs that the community has not got around to fixing, too (see NWN2 Fixes for the current efforts being made).

         M y s t e r i e s  o f   W e s t g a t e          


Mysteries of Westgate Party Editor files
—Allows SoZ party creation in MoW.
MoW Menu screens
—Changes the menu screens to MoW.
MoW Compatibility Patch for Kaedrin's PRC Pack
—To no surprise, it is what it says it is (Kaedrin's PrC Pack v1.42.1).

        T o o l s e t  T i p s         
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—For curious people who are just taking a peek into a module, trying to work something out.. probably the first thing you should do, before you load any modules up and starting poking around, is disable the Autosave function. To do that, go to View -> Options, click on General, and change the Autosave dropdown to False.

—If you completely muck the toolset up and need to restore it to its default state, quit out, navigate to this folder: C:\Users\..\AppData\Local\NWN2 Toolset
... and delete its contents. Now, when you reload the toolset things should be restored to their default state.

I hope you enjoy playing NWN2! Be sure to check back here on a regular basis because new mods are constantly being added to this list. If you know of any other mods I should add, please let me know. Lilura out.

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66 comments:

  1. Thanks for listing my items. I believe the most popular item in the Silverwand Sundries is the Deck of Trumps which allows the party editor to be opened at any time which is handy when you need to add in a character. I also have Silverwand collections for armor, weaponry, and other items that can be added into NWN2. - Kaldor

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  2. Also, the MotB Makeover SoZ Edition does add additional content and areas to MotB, not just SoZ features such as the party editor. - Kaldor

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kaldor, and thanks for the info! I don't have much experience with your mods but I can see how they would appeal to many players, which is why I listed them. Cheers!

      Delete
  3. Hi Lilura! Just wanted to say how good was to find out your blog. I'm a fan of nwn games for a long time. And right now I'm replaying the Baldur's Gate Series, I found out in Beamdog forums a link to your blog related to the Siege of Dragonspear guide and I have to say was very good written.

    Since then, I've checking your page and your posts a lot! Since Neverwinter Nights is one of my favorite games, I'm really considering after I saw your post related to the Storm of Zehir expansion mod(with the new areas) in replaying the entire game using the mods you listed here in your site.

    Well, thats it! Just a cheer up for your very appreciated work, your guides are well written and immersive I have to say, you write and explain stuff in a way that makes us like the game even more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, and thanks for the kind compliment and encouragement! It's really appreciated, and motivates to continue posting my write-ups. NWN and NWN2 can be really hard to get into, but I do think they are some of the most rewarding platforms to play RPGs on (mainly due to the mods), and in the end the time investment pays off and they offer a seemingly limitless amount of enjoyment. So yeah, enjoy!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this, Lilura. You've greatly improved my enjoyment of the game.

    Big fan of your write-ups, by the way... you persuaded me to give Baldur's Gate a shot, and it turns out I find it delightful!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, David! I'm glad you found the write-ups useful. Thank you for leaving a comment.

      Delete
  5. AnonymousMay 27, 2017

    Great site...Lots of info......even for an old RPG dog like me.

    thanks
    Nial

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nial. I'm glad the info is of use to some RPG veterans, too.

      Delete
  6. AnonymousJune 10, 2017

    Thanks for putting the effort into this helpful guide. Even having played and modded the game for years it's nice to have a reminder of what's available and see things I may have missed.

    One other mod that might be worth listing under Storm of Zehir is "SoZ Dialog fixes" by AlanC9, which fixes some broken minor quests and other bugs. It's available on the vault.

    ReplyDelete
  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2017

    Hi, Lilura.
    I'm a reader of your blog for a few good months and now I decided to comment because I like it a lot. It's relaxing to read about my favorite games (NWN 1' PS:T and not so much NWN 2) and I thank you for providing me this pleasure.
    Also I want to ask you if there is a mod or mods for fixing animations in NWN 2. I'm trying (again) to play NWN 2 but I cannot stand its crappy animations. The characters move like they're permanently under the effect of a Grease spell - this is the best analogy I found for describing how crappy the animations are.
    Thanks in advance and I'm sorry if my English is not fluent - it's not my native language.

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    1. Yes, NWN2 anims are total garbage compared to NWN and there does not seem to be an ACP for NWN2.

      Here is what I found, but they are minor:

      Nens NWN2 Animation Project Part 1 - Walking
      Nens NWN2 Animation Project Part 2 - Idle

      Let me know if you find any others.

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    2. AnonymousJune 16, 2017

      Tried now those mods and I have not seen any difference or if there is one, it's unnoticeable. I guess I have to resign myself to this miserable fate of playing NWN2 as it is (sigh).
      But thanks anyway.

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  8. AnonymousJune 22, 2017

    Hi Lilura,

    Thanks heaps for this post! It was exactly what I was looking for after grabbing NWN2 on sale at GoG recently and realising it could be MOD'd.

    Quick question though: All of the MODs you have listed, are they meant to be all downloaded and all installed at one time? Or is this post more of a "best in show" and so not all MODs are to be used at once?

    I gather from the UI section that those MODs would be a case of pick-one-not-all, but after that, that line starts to get blurry!

    Anyhow, thanks for your time on this post, much appreciated.

    Dodgy Bob

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    1. It's just an overview rather than an actual mod setup example. Many mods will work in conjunction; and indeed, I've linked to a few compilations that have been put together already, such as Mass PrC Merger and Red Rover's Combo Pack, but some other mods may conflict.

      I've been thinking of writing up a recommended mod setup, but it's time-consuming to test setups out as a whole. Also, everyone has preferences and it's not "one size fits all".

      Plus, I'm a minimalist modder myself. I'm not really interested in transforming and bloating out the game, especially because I cover lots of user made adventure modules/campaigns, many of which employ their own custom content, and I'd hate for them to glitch out on me.

      So yeah, I guess you'll have to experiment a bit.

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  9. AnonymousJuly 08, 2017

    The Jade Empire Stutter Fix works for NWN2's stutter, too. DLL link here.

    Also, there's the NWN1 Portrait for NWN2 plus Low-Res Fixpacks. It basically scales Character Sheet NWN1 Portrait support for use on 1368 x 768 screens.

    I would recommend taking a look at xUI. It's more modular than most GUI modifications, and it plays nice - relatively speaking - with others, the Divine GUI Remake for example. You can also rearrange most of the GUI elements in game with it.

    Black UI is also nice, and it works with most other UI mods.

    Thanks for the overview. I had to, uh, nuke an installation from 2014, so this list really helps.

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    1. Thanks for linking to those mods, Anonymous.

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  10. Just found this blog. Very nice writings. Thank you for your suggestions to make my NWN 2 playthtough much more enjoyable. Yup, I still play it now and then.

    I agree, NWN 2 has so much unexplored potentials.

    Need to add though, used Mass PRC merger, but this doesn't seem to compatible with the latest version of Kaedrin's PRC mod. I made several adjustments with the files before it can work, but still not perfectly.

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    1. Ok, thanks for taking the time to post that incompatibility issue. If you haven't already, you might like to post your efforts on the Vault; maybe someone there can help you get it to 100%. I'm glad you're getting something out of the blog, too.

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  11. K actually not only add classes. It has a plethora of fixes to vanilla stuff also. For example Uncanny dodge is working now, as well as tactician expert. So K pack is aslo a "community partch" of sort

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    1. Additionally this extender would be better then dll stutter fixer mentioned in article xD
      https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/other/nwn2-client-extension

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  12. I actually found this site through r/rpg_gamers, doing a search on NWN2. Thank you so much for the guide. I tried to play the game last night vanilla and it was a mess, but downloaded several mods you listed here and it is now playable. Thanks again!

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  13. Hi, I played BG & BG2 (and the Dragon Age: Origins) adventures when they were "new" and miss my D&D fix... Years ago, I did play NWN: OC (on a much slower computer) and never finished due to dissatisfaction with the AI NPC partners (though I infer that AI can be turned off and played 'BG style'). Do you recommend NWN 2 over NWN: Hordes of Underdark? I may only commit to one "massive amount of computer time" D&D game. Is NWN 2 substantially superior to NWN: HoU (story-wise, adventure-wise; I'm sure NWN 2 has stronger graphics)(I'm also a "Gold Box" fan and have been playing Forgotten Tales mods... though they aren't as immersive and their limitations hurt my suspension of disbelief more frequently than BG games).

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    1. Hi Tim H. And thanks for your questions.

      Unlike BG, NWN2 and DA:O, NWN companion AI cannot be disabled.

      The only way to avoid its bad companion AI is to ignore the companion pool and "go solo", or just play a module that offers no companions (neither of which are in the spirit of D&D).

      Some NWN modules alleviate bad companion AI by employing hacks to give you more control (Aielund Saga/Bone Kenning).

      Others manage to make companion AI more useful by just making the main companions capable bards or tanks (Snow Hunt, Swordflight).

      Still a far cry from full party control, though.

      That said, Swordflight has managed to squeeze almost every drop of tactical juice out of base NWN. It also happens to be the best module series for NWN.

      HotU is the best official campaign for NWN, but it's epic lvl/easy. Mask of the Betrayer is the best official campaign for NWN2. You don't need to play the tedious NWN2 OC first.

      If you only have time to invest heavily in one game, I recommend going with Swordflight or Mask of the Betrayer. Imo, they are the best single-player D&D experiences that NWN and NWN2 have to offer.

      For a warm up to Swordflight, you could crash through HotU or try out Snow Hunt. You won't need a warm up for MotB because it's epic lvl/easy.

      Have fun!

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    2. Thanks so much, Lilura! I think I'll give Mask of the Betrayer a go (forgoing NWN 1 entirely). Your blog postings are very helpful! (A user link in the GOG review section is how I found your enormously useful blog).

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    3. Forgot to answer one of the questions:

      In terms of writing, characterizations and story, MotB is far superior to HotU. Imo, MotB is even better than PS:T.

      To be clear, I consider Swordflight and MotB not only to be the best RPGs on their respective engines, but also two of the best RPGs ever. They would probably be ranked in my Top 5 all-time. But while Swordflight is a thorough-going traditional D&D campaign, MotB is "Planescapey" and contemporary in its design and flavor.

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    4. You're welcome, Tim H. For MotB, you might find a couple of bugfixes and mods useful, too (linked to on this page). Also, my starting point for MotB might be useful (in case you'd like some tips).

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    5. To be fair bioware were never good at a big story writing. Obsidian is just so much better in it. Bioware can create awesome small quests and sceneries with really good writing and cool interaction(cursed village in NWN1 OC act 2, CSI style quest in Kotor 1, Arena in Jade Empire, etc) but when it comes to overall plot they feel if that they just took that quest plot and stretched it to several hours by fulling it with unrelated stuff and inserting giant WHAM moment somewhere in the middle. While Obsidian in general and Avellon in particular prefer writing more personal stories and generally better at pacing long plot

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    6. I think Luke K. was a good BioWare writer (pre-DA:O). He wrote 70% of BG + Durlag's Tower.

      Gaider wrote Irenicus but also a lot of BG2, which is awfully-written.

      But yes, I do favor Interplay/Black Isle and Obsidian writing as seen in Fallout/2 and Mask of the Betrayer over BioWare writing in general (which is also too binary in its morality).

      Planescape: Torment writing is great but it's just too much reading.

      I'm really not into lore-heavy stories and deep dialogue, though. At least, I don't like it when lore, dialogue and story take over from tactical combat, strategic considerations and dungeon/wildernesss exploration.

      Fallout's pacing was almost perfect, and Avellone has suggested that Fallout > PS:T (it balanced key aspects of RPGs better).

      I like concise and clear writing at all times. I don't like wading through mounds of fluff and prefer that NPCs and journal entries get to the point.

      Devs and fans that value story and lore far above other considerations are degenerates, imo; enemies to the traditional RPG.

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    7. I think I'll need to replay original BG someday since I barely remember it. But after first Kotor bioware fallen into repeating one and the same story pattern:
      1)start story
      2)pause it for 3-4 unconnected small stories which bare no effect on main plot
      3)WHAM point
      4)straightforward final

      It let them easy create non-linear games, while keeping overall writing quite simple.

      Binary morality of Bioware actually resulted in glorious failure in Jade empire, where they wasted a lot of time in beginning to establish that close fist is not evil and open palm is not good... and then continued to constantly turning closed fist way into evil jerk one xD

      As for planescape - I feel it would work better as more of PnC adventure game then tactical rpg.

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    8. It's odd how the traditional RPG eluded post-Fallout 2 Black Isle: pendulum swung between two extremes instead of just settling in the middle somewhere.

      IWD2 was the closest they got but it's hamstrung by poor pacing and some truly abysmal segments such as the Fell Wood maze and Magma Chamber.

      Oh, well.

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  14. Again, Lilura1, thanks for all your help!
    I agree--Planescape Torment ultimately lost my interest (and I'm a guy who digs complicated, talky stories). I also don't like the Planescape "look and feel" (a Gamma World (?) game used a similar engine). All those people standing stock still with the same one-liners (even though BG and DA:O did the same?) hurts my immersion.
    As for the writing in the big games, I'm a former software engineer, and though I never worked in gaming, I figure there are a lot of hurdles the writers must navigate to see their vision realized. There are scenes that may be too hard for the coders to orchestrate. There are limitations to the code that don't quite let you do what you want. Plus there is a looming deadline and the writers may have other jobs (even dippy administrative jobs we never hear about). Also there will be a lot of compromises, big bosses who want something changed or don't "get" a really neat idea. The writer likely doesn't have complete freedom. And if he has assistant or partner writers, they may have their own little niche that "to keep them happy" the main writer doesn't stomp on. It's really complicated. Probably, if a "big corporate game" comes across "fantastic" we should be thrilled. There is likely enormous pressure to create an A-B-C unchallenging game that "the whole team buys into".
    I don't know. Again I have no inside details and am just thinking back to what designing large software systems was like in my corporate days.

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    1. I can see where you're coming from, Tim H.

      To my mind, current gen RPG dev cycles are too long, their teams are too big, there is too much money involved, and they listen to their fanbase and the suits too much.

      When it comes to RPGs, I believe in talented individuals or tight-knit groups working away on something great and pretty much ignoring the fanbase and the suits. That's how the likes of Fallout and Jagged Alliance 2 came to be. These games are still unbeaten.

      Maybe I'm just old, but I roll my eyes whenever I see the term "narrative designer" get thrown about. All you need is one great writer. Novels prove it and RPGs of the past have proven it. Swordflight is a current gen example: one person designed and wrote the whole thing. No one else was involved. And guess what? It compares favorably to commercial efforts in breadth, depth and polish.

      But yes, modders don't have deadlines to worry about. But there is also no asking price. Are commercial devs professionals or are they not? PS:T dev cycle time management was out of whack. They spend way too much time writing lore and dialogue, and this came at the expense of combat encounter/dungeon design and the final third of the campaign. The writer should have free reign to write but their writing should not dictate to the point of turning what is supposed to be an AD&D game into an interactive novel with stats and godawful combat encounter/dungeon design.

      So basically, yes, we can give excuses and even solid reasons for why a game is inadequate in this or that respect, but, at the end of the day, the critic doesn't have to consider any of that when critiquing a game. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't even care what devs think of their own games. Intent is irrevelant. All that matters is the game itself, the final product, and what we as players think of it. If a game claims to be an RPG, it is compared to Fallout. If a game claims to be reactive, it is compared to Arcanum and Mask of the Betrayer. If a game claims to have tactical combat, it is compared to JA2, Silent Storm and ToEE. Those are the yardsticks by which all are measured.

      Again, it doesn't matter if the devs ran out of money, it doesn't matter if they ran out of time, it doesn't matter if they failed to consult with each other, and it doesn't matter if the suits intefered in the dev cycle. All that matters is what was offered up for gamers to purchase and play.

      Anyway, that's where I come out on this issue. :)

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    2. The above isn't supposed to come off unsympathetic to the plight of pro-devs as it pertains to the corporate culture, or as ignoring stark realities. I just wanted to make it clear that, in regards to the criticism (and the praise) found in my retrospectives, I'm not concerned with game development but rather with the games themselves.

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    3. I see what you mean. With respect to reviewing, I don't watch a movie and critique that the movie was as boring as mud, but it's OK, because I figure that the production studio is a disorganized mess. If the movie wasn't entertaining, it wasn't entertaining. I think I personally have grown too disappointed with game makers such that I assume the industry is merely about producing mediocre entertainment structured around the lowest common denominator. The bizarre original ending of Mass Effect 3 and the weird "action arcade" of Dragon Age 2 sapped a lot of my faith in the "system".

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    4. I have also long since wizened to cynicism/pessimism; it's why I don't have current gen games in my treatment range. My blog would go full-polemical if I focused coverage on the shit being shovelled out these days. :P

      The current gen industry, its devs, and its addled-in-the-head fans can all go and jump into a lake of fire and acid, tbqh. I'm old, and just don't care about RPGs that fall outside of the era I grew up in.

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    5. To expand a bit, my faith in the industry broke with the demise of Troika, Sir-Tech, Black Isle, Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios (along with others); and, with the advent of Oblivion and Oblivion With Guns (Fallout "3"). Before that time, my faith was even slightly shaken by BG2 and NWN.

      I may sound jaded, but I'm actually not. Reason? The Renaissance era is seemingly inexhaustible. I have my plate full commentary-wise for the next decade, easily (assuming I bother to blog for that long). :)

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    6. Ha! If we want to go really old school, I was disappointed when Ultima VI didn't respect Ultima V's strict adherence to time (in Ultima V, shops and city gates closed at night fall, and most NPC townspeople followed routines that took them to bed after dark. In Ultima V, there were few of those "living statues" (people who stood in one place, rain or shine, day or night) and if you were bored enough you could stalk NPCs from bed to their breakfast table, to their work. The later editions of Ultima were far less concerned with that sort of realism.

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    7. I can see where you're coming from there, too. However, I have never really got into the Ultimas (I played the likes of Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder and Hired Guns before dropping RPGs and picking them up again with the advent of Fallout.)

      While not blind to how they can enhance immersion, I'm actually not a huge fan of NPC schedules, and scripted NPC movements, unless they are employed meaningfully. I just take lack of schedules as an abstraction.

      Reasons are: It can be a pain in the ass hunting down an NPC; there are examples of devs spending too much time scripting them (and neglecting other aspects of design that I consider to be more important); there are examples of them creating overhead and slowing down the game; they can introduce bugs and make navigation a nightmare.

      That said, NPC schedules worked well in Arcanum and Gothic, too.

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  15. If I may ask another question related to NWN2--I notice that MoB is a high level campaign. I generally don't like to create high-level characters from scratch. Is Storm of Zehir or another campaign worth playing to bring a character up in levels? (I suspect it is simpler just to create from scratch, rather than to play, say, SoZ, yet still only end up with a level 12 character who is too weak for MoB and requires more grinding (and lots more time) to properly level up).

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    1. SoZ is a bit of a grind because it's more of a sandbox and you create up to four fourth level characters at the beginning; also optionally recruiting one companion (or two if one of your created characters takes the Leadership feat). That gives you a party of six like in BG, IWD and PS:T.

      But yeah, you could certainly export a SoZ character at 17th and play MotB from there (SoZ cap is 30 but you won't reach it unless you farm XP on the overworld map).

      MotB builds are different to and potentially much more powerful than OC and SoZ builds because they start at 17th and you don't have to take into account the viability of the build from low-to-mid levels.

      I guess it just comes down to whether you're up for a challenge (subpar OC/SoZ build in MotB) and want to slog through OC/SoZ before MotB. OC feeds into MotB whereas SoZ only contains trivial references to MotB.

      Lots of people get burned out on NWN2 due to the OC (and therefore miss out on MotB, which is a pity).

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    2. Thanks! Your explanation helps a lot. I think I'll go ahead and play MoB... if SoZ is too much of a grind, it may kill my enthusiasm and I'll never get around to experiencing MoB... Once I grow invested in the character, I'll likely find myself inventing his past (and not feel like he's a pure contrivance, born a super-experienced wunderkind). Yeah, grinding out an 18th level character from his level 1 apprentice years sounds like a day-job unto itself... Thanks again!

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    3. MotB gives initial journal entry called "The Story So Far" (drawn from the OC). Thus, it's easy to get up to speed on what's going on. Other than that, and a few references and dialogues, MotB is a separate, self-contained and highly replayable campaign with good writing, characterizations and aesthetics.

      The OC is a monumentally tedious campaign that I have attempted to replay, but soon lost interest in, three times since I first played it. I honestly think I would have to be drunk for one week to play through it completely; it is even worse than the NWN OC. Not that both OCs are devoid of merit. It's just that the overall tedium greatly overshadows the good bits.

      SoZ is for players who get off on exploration and character building and party composition concerns (and who enjoy its inventive trading and crafting systems along with combat encounter design that is a bit tougher than the average RPG). It is much better than the OC but has issues of its own like small dungeons and trivial waylays (and those are made more annoying by load times that are much longer than they should be).

      SoZ was basically the last of the traditional RPGs. It came out one year after Mass Effect, the same year as Fallout 3, and one year before Dragon Age: Origins.

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    4. Hi Lilura1, I'm not familiar with a lot of gaming terms. What do you mean by "traditional RPG" (does that mean a mostly "open world" that you wander around, having a largely unstructured experience?)(I played D&D as a kid with paper and dice--to some extent, no computer RPG is "traditional". For example, fighting is severely constrained by the computer game's mechanics (you can't have the thief drop to hands and knees behind a guard your fighter is dueling with, then have the fighter ram the guard such that he trips backward over the thief. Then, once down, you step on the guard's sword-hand wrist and tell him he's going to take you to the castellan's office or you'll chop off that arm. The computer RPG could script an encounter like that, but you don't have the freedom to devise that yourself)(fighting takes so much time with dice and paper that there's far less of it--a fifth level fighter is a big accomplishment, though in most computer RPGs, that you probably can reach 5th level after a few hours. (what the computer games lose with respect to imaginative freedom, they make up for with more frequent fighting).

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    5. By "traditional RPG", I just mean an RPG like Baldur's Gate: one that draws heavily from tabletop/PnP. A fairly open world is usually a factor along with non-linear questing, resource management, reactivity, and so on.

      And yes, I am well aware of the limitations of computer RPGs in comparison to tabletop/PnP (and agree with you entirely on that front).

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    6. I understand what you mean--and I have no place to boast about paper D&D (I haven't played the paper version with human beings since college days (over two decades ago) and often forget what I am missing--though yeah it could also be tedious and slow and impossible to organize without the communal imprisonment that a dorm or barracks imposes...). I think I misread you when you mentioned ZoS being the last of the traditional RPG. I'd forgotten that it followed MoB in terms of its release and mistook your statement for meaning MoB wasn't a traditional RPG (more of an action arcade like World of Warhammer and the like).

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    7. I occasionally remind myself and others of the limitations of computer RPGs, so I don't mind you bringing up that comparison at all, Tim.

      And yeah, for me, MotB falls into the traditional RPG. Not as thorough-going as some, though (appeals more to modern sensibilities in its themes and presentation).

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    8. Just want to add that with MotB, like the unmodded OC campaign, you have a single main PC and then have pre-scripted companions that join up with you. If you prefer to construct multiple people in your party, as is possible in SoZ, then you should consider using my MotB Makeover mod. Also if you role play lawful good you may have some issues with the unmodded MotB story, which is another reason to use my MotB Makeover.

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    9. Good to hear from you again, Kaldor; it's been a while!

      (Note that KaldorSilverwand has also enabled SoZ features for the OC.)

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  16. I would put DA:O as the last traditional RPG. Heavy on skills, loads of feats, quite open world while still having a reactive plot and world. It gets recast in light of what Dragon Effect (DA2) did to the franchise. But the original was very much in line with their inspirations.

    As far as Obsidian/Black Isle writing vs Bioware? *shrug* Fallout was well-written. Placescape, sure. Though it was never my cup of tea. But the NWN2 OC was, as you noted, tedious. And part of what made it so was the horrific writing from the time you reach Neverwinter to when you finally get Crossroads Keep. And frankly, the Gith didn't do anything for me either. And the SOZ "twist" was so obviously telegraphed that I didn't have to leave the city the 1st time to know what was coming. Similarly Kreia in TSL, while an interesting character, her actions were...predictable. Oh so obviously so.

    Compare that to the KotOR twist, which actually *did* catch a lot of people off guard, and even when I saw it coming, still thought it well-executed.

    And I agree that Obsidian with its current games is living off borrowed glory. Pillars of Eternity was decent. But not nearly as reactive as people make it out to be. And the companion quests all too often were poorly resolved attempts at Grey Goo. They're so in love with being morally ambiguous there's no point in trying. Save for faked urgency that doesn't carry a time limit on it, so you can explore the world.

    Neither is what they were. Not even close. The closest thing to a classic RPG these days is Larian's Divinity series, IMHO.

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    1. IMO, Dragon Age: Origins sort of blurs the line.

      Its worst features were the combat encounter/itemization level scaling, the triviality of the injury system, list-based inventory (instead of grid-based), console UI in general, and the lack of dungeon strategy due to being able to just "wait out" cooldowns (easier than resting under a Vancian magic system which at least offers up on-rest ambushes or simply bans resting entirely).

      Not to mention the ease of its combat encounters (there are barely any difficult battles, no mage duels, and certainly nothing on par with BG2 dragons, illithid, beholders and liches — or even SoZ yuan-ti). To be fair, the game was much harder before the DLC/expansion and patches. But then spells like Cone of Cold were grossly OP pre-patch, too...

      As I said in my Renaissance write-up, its reactivity, full party control, marquee selection, isometric-like cam and conditional tactics framework were very welcome.

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    2. "Scientific CRPG" is a pet peeve of mine. The way in which, say, MMORPG players will blithely assume a "correct party" consists of the "tank, healer, and damage dealer". Bah! Sometimes my cleric is my toughest guy (guy of either gender!). Sometimes I don't bring a mage. I did once play a few quests in Dragon Age: Origins with a party of mages (my PC, Wynne from the tower, Morrigan, and maybe Nadia for traps). They cleaned house! (Which actually disappointed me a little--though my PC was a battle mage and could fight with a sword... though DA:O, in defiance of "tank/healer/damage dealer", made healing magic a branch of wizardy (Wynne specialized in it by default).

      In any event, I found blithe formulas about "the tank / healer / damage dealer", even if that probably correctly stereotypes computer RPG, dull.

      With Skype and Facebook video IM, I'm disappointed that old fashioned RPG hasn't made a better comeback. As it seems we gamers have plenty of time (somebody is squeezing out the 60 hours to finish BG and BG2!) just an absolute unease with organizing social outings (behind the comfortably anonymous opt-in net-gaming)(that said, in a multi-player game of Mass Effect 3, I was sure that I'd muted my microphone, my wife and I were fussing at each other about something, and suddenly, shocking us both into silence, a "voice from the machine" requested: "Hey, would you mute your mike?"

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    3. Sometimes, I just like unplugging from the net and playing a single-player RPG.

      I was never big on multi-player. I did get into Diablo 2 and Dark Souls a bit, though.

      Probably the best place online to play PnP/tabletop is EN World. Several years ago, I followed a few of the campaigns religiously; there were some great DMs there.

      Looks like it's still going strong, too.

      http://www.enworld.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?15-Playing-the-Game

      I've been a member for a while now but never posted. Just enjoy lurking.

      Another thing I didn't like about Dragon Age: Origins was its employment of staffs (staves?) for mages. They were basically rocket launchers. If you invested in them and specced your other gear for them, they became EZ mode/lazy mode. I prefer 3 ApR darts for mages. :P

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    4. As a kid, I assumed D&D darts were the beer hall variety...
      Only recently did a friend point out they would've been like the 5 inch iron or steel variety that knife-collectors like to practice with. ;)

      I also was grossly ignorant about the various polearms (though on reflection, Gygax's meticulous listing of obscure, historically specific polearms might deservedly be called "wonkish"). The Glaive (from Latin "gladius") was a roughly akin to a Japanese naginata or a falx (scimitar with long handle), but we mistook it for the spiked throwing disk from "Beastmaster" (akin to an Indian (subcontinent) chakra). In some ways, I've never quite forgiven Gygax for instilling me with the idea that our monsters from folklore follow a precise taxonomy. ;) (goblins and kobolds are etymologically the same--mischievous spirits that tormented cobalt miners...). Hobgoblins, bogeymen, bugbears, puck (etymologically related to "bug") are all the same idea (Hobgoblin was a sort of "Robby the Goblin"). But yeah, I admit, D&D's "splitting of hairs" has created a lot of fun fantasy races. Trolls ought to be like Hill Giants or bogeymen, but Gygax based them off a fantasy writer named Poul Anderson's books in which they were green and spindly. And then the Rustmonster and Owlbear came directly from those kooky fake dinosaurs that you could buy at Kmart in the 1970s.

      Gnolls came from an early 1900s fantasy book, but D&D recreated them over several iterations into the dog-headed race we now associate with the world.

      (Most of my info comes from wikipedia. The Rustmonster (and friends) came from a guy's website along with photos of the old toys (I personally never had the Owlbear figure, now a collector's item for its rarity, but I could pave my driveway with those rust monsters!

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    5. Dart-throwing is just funny in BG: the animations look ridiculous. A beer at the tavern should bestow +1 to-hit with darts.

      My "knowledge" of medieval weapons is based on games and movies; I am incurably tainted by pop-culture in this respect.

      I hadn't heard of the Glaive until I played ToEE (which - erroneously - has donut reach like Spiked Chains); I hadn't heard of a Naginata until I played an Assassin in Median XL: Ultimative for Diablo 2. Falx and Gladius are in vanilla Diablo 2.

      There is an owlbear in ToEE. Swordflight is the only computer RPG I can think of that has Rust Monsters. Are there any others?

      And yeah, I guess A/D&D just became too big and bloated over the years. Throw in mythology, fantasy, and the kitchen sink. I'm not sure where the inspiration for the Gelatinous Cube came from (was someone eating jelly for dessert?), but they are pretty cool (and in NWN and ToEE).

      I have to wonder if smurfs were the inspiration for xvarts...

      Delete
    6. Everyone loves the idea of the Gelatinous Cube. Encountering them is another matter.

      Loved Akalabeth, Hellfire Warrior, Wizardry, Bard's Tale, Ultima (1), and Dungeon Master back in the day.

      Delete
    7. Ha! The Gelatinous cube (which I've spent my life mispronouncing as 'JELL-uh-TAY-nee-us') has a goofy real-life origin story. Gygax created it as an inside joke to hassle a party into doing something that the DM wanted, but the party wasn't cooperating, and the DM needed to force them to take a different direction in the dungeon. I can't remember where I found that (so may not be true... I found a quote from Gygax (below) explaining his idea behind the cube, but it doesn't include the funny anecdote that I thought I'd read.

      http://rpg.crg4.com/originsN.html
      Quote:
      "My concept wasthat both [grey oozes and gelatinous cubes] were accidental creations of careless wizard alchemists that dumped various failed magical and alchemical experiments down the drain or into some cess pit. These admixtures affected single-celled life forms, thus eventually engendering the various jellies (and a gelatinous cube is one of those), oozes, puddings. The slimes were generated in similar fashion, the waste affecting normal slime."

      Gary Gygax (1938–2008), October 1, 2006, EN World Q&A XII

      Delete
    8. Also, so many D&D RPGs and yet no Tarrasque!

      Delete
    9. Your post ninja'd mine. The self-replicating fission slimes in Durlag's Tower were the deadliest that I've encountered in a cRPG (though the Mustard Jellies and Olive Slimes that choke up one of the levels in IWD2 Dragon's Eye come in a close 2nd). Also, Swordflight's Gelatinous Cube "spam" almost reduced me to tears because I couldn't beat them: they were packed in such that they overlapped each other. :P

      Delete
    10. Talking to myself at this point, but I just remembered: Rust Monsters were in Eye of the Beholder.

      Delete
  17. This is all great but i have one problem. I installed couple of mods and there is one mod that makes mortal kombat sounds when i do critical strikes, like wtf its immersion breaking. Do you know which one is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be the Simple Fix line of mods.

      Delete
  18. And how to disable automatic weapon change in "companion and mosnter ai 2.2"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should be able to turn off companion Weapon Switching in the Behavior Tab for each companion.

      Delete

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