Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dark Waters getting close to release

After all the doom and gloom from our discussion post a few days ago (btw--thanks to everyone who posted, it was exciting to have so many intelligent comments!) , it's nice to see some positive news. From Adam Miller's blog:
As March comes to a close, it feels like the module is increasingly getting close to release. I wasn't able to do a full walkthrough yesterday, but I did a lot of spot checking. ... At this point, I want to get a final build out to the testers. ... I'd also love to do another full walkthrough this weekend, though with my family coming back, I might be hard pressed to pull it off. If I can make it all the way through without any significant bugs, well, I'll break out the champagne when that actually happens.
Very exciting stuff! From the sound of things, a release before mid-April is a very real possibility. It should be worth checking out. Adam Miller is perhaps best known for his custom content and scripted mini-games, but he also is a good writer, with a great knack for creating well-paced, compelling adventure series with intriguing companions.

New Module of the Year voting totals

Maximus has created a page where you can view the new 2006 Neverwinter Nights Module of the Year voting results. This new round is more secure because in order to participate you had to have a Vault account prior to the start of voting, and you can only vote once. There still are some oddities in terms of how votes for particular modules are clustered, but my guess is that most of that is due to chance (i.e. lots of clustered voting for Dance with Rogues and Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, but when you receive lots of votes, they will probably cluster together now and then).

The results--and I have to say that this is a relief to me--are very consistent with those from the first round. Here are the front runners as of right now:
  1. A Dance with Rogues (139 votes) -- it seems to be the legitimate winner. Bravo to Valine.
  2. Darkness over Daggerford (67 votes) -- I voted for this one because of its unparalleled impact on the community. Hype aside, it's a very deserving module in its own right.
  3. Exile of the West (46 votes) -- Fabien Cerutti's module, which seemed to be among the modules supported by voter fraud, is genuinely popular. According to QSW, it is fantastic.
  4. Wyvern Crown of Cormyr (45 votes) -- The last and best premium module, and the most significant product released by the high profile DLA modding group.
  5. The Fall of Aielund, Pt. 2 (32 votes) -- While I wasn't as impressed with this particular chapter, Savant's Aielund series is one of the great accomplishments in NWN1.
  6. The Rose of Eternity II - Cry of the Beloved (31 votes) -- Vote inflation or not, Challseus's hugely successful module trails only SubBassman's Tortured Hearts II in the top module rankings.
  7. Almraiven (25 votes) -- A highly original and innovative module. While Hugie's Tale of a Mage series features the best action for a spellcaster, this module features the best spellcaster roleplaying I've seen since Bone Kenning.
  8. Prophet - Chapter I - By the Will of Kings and Mortals (22 votes) -- By all accounts a brilliant roleplaying module.
It will be interesting to see how things shake down in the time that remains for voting. Congrats and kudos to all authors who have modules involved in the competition. We all really appreciate your efforts!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

State of NWN2

Alazander has a great post over on his blog about the current state of productivity of the Neverwinter Nights 2 modding scene. He notes that productivity is down--substantially--compared to where it was for NWN1 at this point in time. The list of high-quality modules that were out 5 months post-release of nwn1 is a bit staggering compared to what we have now.

I can think of three explanations for why this might be:
  • The toolset is harder to use. Honestly, I think these claims are far overstated, as my experiences with the toolset have been largely positive. It does take longer to do some things--especially rough out basic areas--but other things, like writing conversations and scripting (especially when swapping between windows like I like to do) goes much faster in my experience. But there's no question that a module involving a lot of area construction will probably take longer to make in NWN2 than NWN1.
  • Several prominent and productive builders from nwn1 have been gobbled up by groups like Ossian Studios, Rogue Dao Studios, and DLA. Some of these individuals might have released modules for NWN2 by now had they not had other distractions.
  • Finally, and by my estimation, probably the most important factor, is that builders have a choice of platforms now whereas they had little or no choice when nwn1 was released. NWN1 is still a great game to design modules for, even as the player base is shrinking. There are a bunch of builders for nwn1 who have yet to switch over, either because they are in the middle of projects, or because nwn2 won't do some things that nwn1 can do already. Or, because they're comfortable with nwn1 and don't feel like changing.
I still have every bit of confidence that nwn2 will continue to grow and flourish as a community. But I am a bit, well, disappointed is too strong of a word, but I will say surprised, at the sparse number of modules that have been released thus far. At two months, it was understandable not to see much out there. But at 5 months, we certainly could have seen some progress by now. Still, when you look at Hugie's thread on all that is currently in the works, it's very hard to be pessimistic for long. There's a lot of great stuff to look forward to. :)


In the meantime, I'm sort of on a break from NWN2. I didn't mean for it to happen, and I doubt that it will last long. But baseball season has begun, and as usual, I'm feeling a great draw towards my Cincinnati Reds (following and writing about them is my other hobby). I've also been playing a bit of Galactic Civilizations II, as well as the recently released Out of the Park Baseball 2007. But I'll still be around and keeping tabs on things--and I intend to keep updating this blog whenever I have something to say. :)

Update: Maerduin, who is one of the new breed of nwn2 builders, posted his take on this issue on his blog. An excerpt:
What are we builders supposed to do? Keep building, and, at those times when building has gotten the better of us, talking to each other and making our conversations visible. Keeping discussion about the game alive is vital, which is part of the reason I think blogging about mods is a good thing (the other reason is that it is psychologically motivating for builders).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New art from Rogue Dao

I just wanted to highlight this amazing digital painting by Vaei of Rogue Dao Studios that appeared on the Vault yesterday. It depicts The Hive, which consistutes the slums of Sigil, the City of Doors. Absolutely spectacular work.
The news feature for this item also mentions a new release date for Purgatorio, June 2007. This is not surprising given the apparent size and scope of their module, though I admit I had hoped it might come sooner--simply because it looks like it will be so much fun to play. :) All in good time though.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The MoY voting controversy

First, let me gasp for air for a second here. I finally got a draft of a major manuscript done and sent around to my coauthors today at work, which means I'm hopefully going to be able to least regain part of my evenings for hobbies. I do hope to get back to playing modules, though I also need to get my FRWCC update out sometime as well. I'm at one of those points where I'm behind in EVERYTHING I want to be doing or should be doing in my life. You'd think I'd be current on one thing, eh?

Anyway, the big news of the past week, of course, is that vote rigging was affecting the original voting for module of the year. It seems likely that this was mostly associated with Fabien Cerutti's Exile of the West--which is by all accounts a very fine module, but somehow was posting the second highest vote totals of the year. I'm also a bit suspicious of A Dance With Rogues (I posted about this a few weeks back on the forums)--again, not because it's not deserving, but because I didn't think the fanbase of that module would be so large to outpace more well-known modules like Daggerford or Wyvern's Crown.

Maximus has restarted the voting, and it sounds like it's being done properly this time--each person has one vote. As I mentioned earlier, I'm voting for Daggerford. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how things turn out in this new, more honest round of voting. Maybe A Dance With Rogues will carry the day once again! :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another day, another bug

Well, I didn't get much done tonight.

I spent about two hours working on the character creator tonight. It wasn't terribly productive, though at least I learned something.

I spent a little bit of time polishing off the scripts for the altar (thanks Hugie!), did a couple other touch-up things, and then decided to put together the library. It came together fairly quickly thanks to Cleitanious's Prefabs. After setting up a nice little reading area and placing some of Maerduin's books, I then went in game to test it out.

It's a simple thing to add an inventory to an item, right? First, you make the item non-static and useable. You make sure the "Has Inventory" flag is on, and then open up the inventory and drop in your items. But for some reason, no matter what I did, while the objects would "light up" in-game, my character wouldn't move to them and I could not access their inventory.

After fiddling for a while in the toolset (with many tests in-game) to no avail, I did some searching on the forums. Thankfully, in my second search, I found this thread, which contained a very helpful post by ddaedelus. Apparently, as I was assembling the library, I converted everything to an environmental object (which I find to be a good practice), and then converted back items I wanted to have inventories. It turns out that when you do this, the HP of the item is set to zero, which messes up any onopen scripts (and inventories) associated with the object. Adding 1 HP to the item fixed the problem, and now I have a fully-functional library.

One other oddity... file size for my module dropped from ~11 mb to ~5 mb when I upgraded to 1.04. I have no idea why that might be, but I've tested the whole thing and can't find any errors or signs of corruption. Go figure.

Still to do for the next release: add an NPC from Pool of Radiance to the bar, set up the area transition between the bar and the basement, do a final bit of decorating in the basement (maybe add blacksmith and alchemy stations?), and *maybe* add some sitable chairs in the bar and basement (assuming I can figure out these scripts). My guess is two-three nights of work before it's ready.

Subtlety of Thay, part 1, enters beta

Dirtywick, the builder behind the upcoming Forgotten Realms Weave module, the Subtlety of Thay, has begun a private beta for the first half of his module. He will be releasing both halves at the same time, so the Vault release is still a long way off, but I wanted to send a little bit of buzz his way. Here's an excerpt from his page on the FRW Wiki:
The Subtlety of Thay is a campaign set in Aglarond, eventually leading into Thay and the lands of the Red Wizards. It is planned to come in three parts. The first part is in progress, and is planned to take a player from 3rd level to 7th - 9th level. It's going to be dialogue heavy, featuring dialogue only quests for charisma/skill classes, and light hack and slash combat that falls more on the tactical side than anything else. Nearly every encounter is scripted and tailored to the enemy/surroundings.
I had the opportunity to check out his beta for a few hours last night, and I was very impressed. Dirtywick has a good knack for narrative, and what I've seen of the story thus far is engaging and interesting. I took a few screenies, but I'm not going to post those without his permission. The Red Wizards of Thay are one of the more infamous groups in the Forgotten Realms, yet they seemed overlooked as a nemesis in NWN1 modules. I'm excited to see a module coming out that involves them.

You can get the latest information on Dirtywick's activities at any time by visiting his development blog.

Neverwinter Nights Patch 1.05 beta released

Obsidian has released their beta patch of version 1.05. Assuming that means they get out the actual release on April 1 (two weeks), this is their patch schedule thus far:
  • Nov 1 - NWN2 in stores, patch 1.01 released.
  • Nov 9 - 1.02 patch (more of a hotfix than a real patch)
  • Dec 4 - 1.03 patch (very significant performance improvements)
  • Jan 30 - 1.04 patch (mostly user interface issues)
  • Feb 8 - 1.04 hotfix
  • April 1 - 1.05 patch (see below)
It looks like Obsidian is on an every-other-month patch schedule at this point, and has been since the monumental 1.03. I'm extremely pleased with their support thus far. There continue to be outstanding issues, particularly in terms of toolset stability, but I'm nonetheless extremely happy with their commitment to keep working and improving the game. As long as they keep up support, NWN2 should continue to be an outstanding platform for our modding community.

I'm probably going to continue to judge all patches on 1.03, because that patch brought both significant performance increases (I got better framerates with full shadows after the patch than I did without shadows before the patch) as well as key user interface improvements (e.g. dual-wielding hotkeys). This one looks to be a bit more modest in terms of changes that will impact me, but there are a few things that catch my eye in the patch notes:
• Many substantial improvements to the AI scripts provided by community member evenflw have been integrated into the game. Additionally, revisions were made to AI to make both friendly and enemy characters be much more intelligent with feat use in combat.
I'll be interested to see how this manifests itself. One of my remaining issues that I encounter regularly has been how NPC's use their abilities in combat. For example, if I leave a low-level bard character alone for a second during combat without queued actions, s/he will immediately start casting countersong whenever you enter combat--even if you're not facing enemy spellcasters. This uses up a precious bard song, and, if you're not using clubok's Bard Songs That Don't Stop Inspirations, it can negate a potentially more important inspiration. I'd like to at least have the ability to make the bard AI stop using songs altogether (turning off "use abilities" and setting spellcasting to "do not cast spells" doesn't help), but even better, I'd like them to more intelligently use their songs. Other problems like this still exist with the companion AI, and I'm hopeful that this patch will help fix those issues.
• There is now an “Advanced Options” button on the Server Options panel. Server Administrators can specify two URLs in this menu: One, intended to point to their server’s homepage, if it has one, and one intended to directly point to the server’s latest PWC file. Players will be able to see these links from the Server Details on the Internet Game browser and clicking them will launch the user’s Browser and direct them to the URL specified.
PWC files are the walkmesh data files that players are required to download in order to play on persistent worlds in nwn2 (this is necessitated by the huge size of the outdoor heightmaps, which make nwn2 so beautiful). This is the first (and long overdue) effort to help improve the process by which players are informed of the need for a PWC file and are aided in downloading it. Ideally this will someday be a bit more of an automated process, but this is a big step in the right direction. ... of course, all this doesn't matter much to me as someone who only plays single player, but the online PW community is an important part of NWN2's long term viability, and this is a key feature that they needed.
• The Grass, Creature Appearance Type, and Creature Soundset lists are now sorted alphabetically.
This is a small thing, but looking through the soundset lists in the toolset has thus far been an extremely arduous process. I'm hopeful that browsing through sounds will continue to get some attention--particularly because a fair number of the available sounds seem to be missing or something (i.e. they don't play when I try to preview them in the toolset).
• Walkmesh Helpers have been added to Placeables/Misc Props. These objects are invisible square objects that can be resized and placed on a map to bake a walkmesh. You can use them to make flat objects walkable that normally are not or would be difficult to bake. Some examples of situations where these would be useful are a long length of repeating bridge pieces or building roofs. To view the Walkmesh Helpers in the Toolset, turn on the display of C2 Collision volumes. There are two versions; each will play a different footstep sound. Special thanks to Zarathustra217 for the original concept and objects.
This one's interesting, because it basically is just incorporating a (hall of fame) hakpack by a community member into the official release of the toolset. :) Go community! It should also prove very useful for builders not already using that hak.

All in all, I don't see many huge changes coming (the AI adjustments being a possible exception, depending on how big the changes turn out to be), but it should be a useful patch. As with 1.04, though, I'll probably hold of on patching until I have to in order to pay a module (for 1.04, it was Stormchaser).

I will just close by pointing out that there remain two major issues that really need to be fixed in 1.06:
  • Improve toolset stability. There are still a fair number of users that are encountering corruption to their modules...sometimes in a way that ultimately dooms their work (here's an example). At the very least, some sort of automated backup system would be useful as a temporary workaround as stability problems are repaired (e.g. maintain 5 backups in a subdirectory, creating a new one each time the toolset is opened).
  • Fix the seams issue in outdoor walkmeshes. This really became a major problem in 1.04, and has yet to be repaired AFAIK (though I haven't seen many complaints about this lately, while folks like Hugie are building tons of exterior areas).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ossian Studios activities...

I've been reading a lot about Ossian Studios' activities lately. Well, that's not really true. I've been reading that a lot of people are involved in Ossian Studios activities lately. I have absolutely no idea what they're up to.

Here's what I do know:
  • Alazander, a Hall of Fame author in NWN1 and author of the cancelled premium module AL3: Tyrants of the Moonsea, is a "Lead Designer" for Ossian.
  • Hugie, a Hall of Fame author, is a "Writer" for Ossian.
  • Challseus, another Hall of Fame author, is a "Technical/Cinematic Designer" for Ossian.
  • Tiberius_209, yet another Hall of Fame author, is also apparently involved with them.
And presumably, given their somewhat conspicuous absence, these folks are working with others from the original Ossian team that produced Daggerford, which included folks like Luspr, codepoetz, MadWombat, Lady Oonagh, and Lord Alex (all Hall of Fame authors).

There are a variety of things that they could be working on. On the surface, a premium module of some sort for nwn2 seems the most likely. I suppose it's also possible that they are somehow involved in the expansion...though to be honest, I'm hoping it's the former, as that would mean more content for us in the near future--but obviously I'll be happy with whatever we end up getting. :)

Edit: On a related note, I decided to vote for Darkness over Daggerford as Module of the Year. While it wasn't perfect, it was revolutionary in terms of the exploratory gameplay it offered. Furthermore, its release was such an enormous event for the community. Download totals were staggering, as were the number of comments spilling over into the NWN Modules forums. It even seemed to increase the number of downloads on OTHER modules. No other module created that sort of buzz or excitement in our community last year. So for all those reasons, I think Daggerford should be recognized as the most important module of 2006.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Finally back to work on FRWCC

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I finally squeezed in a few hours of work on the character creator tonight. My primary focus was to write and script the alignment-shifting altar. I have to say, I'm amazed at how easily it came together. I have almost no clue what I'm doing in that scripting editor, but I somehow managed to get it working tonight. My jaw literally dropped when everything seemed to be working as planned...on the first try, no less!

Right now, the sequence is:
1. Activate conversation on the altar by clicking on it.
2. If you don't have 10% of your total worth (gold + item value) in gold, you're forced to walk away.
3. If you do have 10% of your net worth in gold, you can pray to gods of any of the four alignment directions (good, evil, law, chaos) and give the 10% of your total worth in exchange for a 10-point alignment shift in that direction.

Everything seems to be basically complete except that I'd like to add some sort of visual effect when the alignment shift happens, and I haven't figured out how to do that yet. I think it'll just be a small addition to the script, but I'll have to do some snooping to figure out how to attach a single-fire visual effect (I'm thinking "fx_bard_ins_song_cast") to a character. I did that sort of thing once before when I was working on a nwn1 module, but I think I was using Gestalt's cutscene scripts at the time and therefore had prepackaged visual effect invocation scripts. Shouldn't be too difficult a thing to do though.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Big news may be coming.

As pointed out by Lariam on the NWN2 Modules forums, two intriguing and possibly-connected pieces of news were released by Obsidian over the last few days.

First was an interview of Obsidian guru Chris Avellone by Neverwinter Nights Chronicles. Here's the question by the NNC community, along with Chris's response:
NNC: You'll be asked this much times before but will the next expansion be set
in the Neverwinter lands and the North? Or maybe we'll travel again trhough
the planes? You'll be in charge for the future expansions, isn't it? (I
hope it so and I'd truly love a gothic story as Planescape)

C.Avellone: Can't comment on this at this time, unfortunately, but you should be hearing an announcement soon. ;)
We've definitely heard news that they're working on content before, but this would seem to be the fairly clear statement that news of an expansion is forthcoming.

Further stoking the fire is this post by Rob McGinnis on the Obsidian General Forums:
So, we have been receiving some e-mails about wanting a contest. We have talked about it a bit here and think it could be a lot of fun.

Basically, it will be a module building contest.

More information will be coming soon, as we get closer to April. Basically, you will have a limited amount of time to build something... that something will have a theme... and Obsidian (probably) will decide the winner.

Prizes will, of course, be given.

Stay tuned for more details.
The reason that this latter news is so interesting is that there was a contest leading up to the release of the second expansion for NWN1, Hordes of the Underdark. In that contest, community members were challenged to build modules that "bridged the gap" between SoU, which ended around character level 12, and HotU, which began at level 15. Lariam's idea is that, perhaps, this upcoming contest will be associated with the upcoming expansion for nwn2. :)

Of course, these two pieces of info could be completely unrelated. It is hard to see how a community module project could play a "bridge"-like role with the upcoming expansion, as the official campaign ends at level 20, while the expansion's campaign seems likely to start right at level 20 and allow epic-level adventures. Perhaps the best that could be done would be to flesh out an NPC's backstory or the story of some event related to the completion of the official campaign.

Nevertheless, even if it has nothing to do with the expansion, this contest is good news. It might serve to help builders focus for a short time on getting some good quality, short modules out into the community. A lot of builders are working on projects right now, but many involve very large projects that will take upwards of a year to complete. There have absolutely been some notable releases, but a surge of short, high quality modules that might be produced under an Obsidian-sponsored contest could be a great thing for our hungry little community. And it would serve as fantastic feedback for builders who are working on larger nwn2 projects. We'll be watching this one. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Here are my comments on FalloutBoy's Stormchaser, which was a delightful module to play over a couple of evenings.

My Vote: 8 - Excellent, Recommended to Anyone
Character: Female human bard/fighter, started lv. 1 and ended lv. 3.

I think this is one of of the top three modules available on the vault right now. I found it to have a very polished feel (in spite of a few bugs), with good scripting, a focused story, amazing visuals, and challenging combat. It is basically a linear module, though there are a few minor (but fun!) sidequests to help keep things interesting. This, along with good story execution, helped avoid any feeling of being railroaded. Cutscenes were very well done, and the visuals -- particularly the coastal and island villages--were spectacular. There is also a surprise "dungeon"-like area later in the module that showed off novel use of height maps, and, of course, the first implementation of controllable ships that I've seen in nwn2. Roleplaying is reasonably well-implemented, particularly in the latter two thirds of the module, with good use of skill checks (with consequences!) and a few cosmetic choices that offer good roleplay opportunities.

My critiques are minor. I think that a few more dialog options would have been nice --especially new threads allowing you to talk to NPC's as you learn things from other NPC's. I'll provide a few of those suggestions in comments to the author. Also, given that this is the first chapter in a series, I was surprised to see that the player character is not exported automatically, nor is the player given a chance to do this near the module end. This could create problems when players go to play the next module in the series. There is also a place where monster respawning occurs at a fairly high rate. I wasn't crazy about this, but I understand the author's reasoning behind this design decision.

Overall, a really excellent module and one that is well worth playing. It's great to see high-quality content like this coming out after the initial surge of Tragidor & Pool of Radiance in January. Congrats on a great module, and good luck in your future efforts! -B

Hugie is on vacation--hold on tight

Apologies for the lack of updates lately, but things have been a bit busy in real life.

Tonight I noticed this post by Hugie on his
First of all, I'm excited because I'm ON VACATION!!1!11!!!1! (for two weeks).
Hugie was among the most prolific builders over the last few years for NWN1, so the fact that he has two weeks to dedicate to NWN2 is wonderful news--especially if he can put it toward a module to be released to the public, as opposed to some sketchy "secret project" of some sort. :P

What makes this particularly interesting is that news came a few days ago that his first NWN2 module, The Star Mounts, has been expanded in design to be more epic and dramatic in scope. It now sports a new name, Moonshadows, and looks like it will be a heck of an adventure. An excerpt from his module description:
So, to sum things up, Moonshadows is an epic-length story-driven adventure set in the Forgotten Realms for low-mid level characters, with emphasis placed on story and great attention devoted to atmosphere, varied sidequests, and well-balanced, realistic combat. The player will visit a tremendously wide array of locales, from gloomy forests and towering mountains to ancient crypts and forgotten ruins. The player will engage in time travel and planar travel as they are caught up in a plot involving the Gods and artifacts of great power, all in a storyline rooted deeply in Forgotten Realms canon--I did my research. ;) Is it ambitious? Uh, is the sky blue? Jokes aside, I think I've come up with a story worth telling, and I intend on making this a reality. I had six modules for NWN1, but I anticipate only having one for NWN2...and Moonshadows will be that one.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses. The claim that Hugie will only build one module for NWN2 is something that I'm a bit skeptical about, but even if it is true, I expect this will be a good thing. His work in NWN1 gave him a lot of experience in both module design as well as fantasy writing, and this should prepare him well to create an epic adventure for NWN2. I'm somewhat hopeful that he'll be able to release it in episodes, which would allow us to play along as he builds to some degree (and give Hugie encouragement to keep going), but obviously some stories aren't suited for that. Definitely one to watch.

Friday, March 2, 2007

2006 NWN1 Mod of the Year Voting - Day 1

As of right now, here are the voting leaders for 2006 Neverwinter Nights Mod of the Year:

1. A Dance with Rogues, Part One and Two by Valine - 46 votes
2. Darkness Over Daggerford by Ossian Studios - 29 votes
3. Rose of Eternity, Chapter 2 by Challseus - 20 votes
4. Wyvern Crown of Cormyr by Bioware/DLA - 16 votes
T-5. Almraiven by Fester Pot - 11 votes
T-5. The Fall of Aielund, Pt. 2 by Savant and BlackDiamond - 11 votes

I'm somewhat surprised to see A Dance with Rogues at the top of the list, but I'm not shocked; those modules have had a near-fanatic following in the forums. ...It does happen to be the first on the list of votable modules, which could potentially translate into more thoughtless votes than other modules. Past contests, however, have been pretty reliable in choosing outstanding modules (2005=Hex Coda, 2004=Demon, 2003=Dreamcatcher, 2002=Lone Wolf) so it's probably not that important of a factor.

I've played four of the above modules. I commented on #2, 4, and 5 in a prior post. But while I'd overlooked it earlier, it turns out that I also played Fall of Aielund, Pt. 2 last June. Here's an excerpt from my comments (I voted 8.5 on the nwn1 voting scale, such that it is...I probably would have voted a 6 or 7 on the nwn2 scale):
As is evidenced by my vote, I felt it was something of a mixed bag. There were some great moments, most notably some thrilling large-scale (for nwn) battles that are nicely scattered throughout the module. ... The story overall is also quite good and was very interesting, and this looks to remain the case going into the third part of act 4. ... But I also felt that in some ways this module fell short of the prior mods in the series. It was completely linear...Some areas just felt like filler to prolong the module and keep you from getting right to the end. ... Even most of the dialogs are linear, with dialog options being rare...
I'm still uncertain how I'll vote. I think that a module of the year should be a module that truly breaks new ground and sets a new standard for module making. So, based on those criteria, I think it's going to be between the two giants of the past year: Daggerford & Wyvern Crown. Daggerford contained some of the best exploration and feel I've seen since Baldur's Gate 1, whereas Wyvern Crown had a better story, overall, and a number of novel features that players have been after for years--most notably the horses and the jousting.

I will say one other thing...and this is not to denigrate the offerings in the current contest...but none of these modules were quite as good, at least in my opinion, as Hex Coda 01 or Tales of Arterra: The Awakening--the two top finishers of the 2005 MoY contest. 2005 really was an amazing year for NWN1 modding.

I have a few weeks before the voting closes, so I'm going to continue to think on it. :)