Thursday, April 12, 2012

Neverwinter Nights Community Site

The Neverwinter Nights Community Site site has been launched with the intent of serving as a central information site for new players to learn about and get involved in the original Neverwinter Nights.  It's a great idea, given that the old bioware site is down.  There you can find links to the Vault (of course!), as well as a wealth of other resources.  I was particularly pleased to see the links to the 1.69 patch critical rebuild files for NWN1, as well as the quick primer on how to install custom content.

Also included are prominent links to the bioware forums and to the Good Old Games download site.

Great site, folks!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Apathy toward Mask of the Betrayer

So a few months ago I finally grabbed Mask of the Betrayer and gave it a whirl.  I made it into the second chapter of the game, and at this point have sort of stalled out on it.

On one hand, I've found the overall plot to be very compelling.  It's mysterious, has a good, epic feel, and has a cool mix of horror and excitement.  I've enjoyed a number of the non-player characters, both companions and otherwise.  Kaelyn the Dove, in particular, is just wonderful--and has terrific voice acting to boot!

Ultimately, though, I've found the execution of the game to be rather flat.  Some parts are very good.  But others, and in particular the combat, is horrible.  There have been a few fun fights.  But other things have felt so completely out of place that it really destroys any sense of immersion the plot otherwise should have justified.  For example, when you first arrive in town, your level 20-something, epic-tier, nearly god-like character gets involved in a bar fight.  A bar fight!  Seriously?  Some drunk at a bar is taking on my character, and doesn't die in a nanosecond once combat begins?  Other times, when walking along a ridge, I encountered a long series of identical spawns of wyverns.  It was the sort of encounter you might expect as a level-2 party, encountering wolves and such in the forest.  But wyverns as a filler monster?  Why not just throw out some red dragons too?

It just didn't work for me.  Epic-tier adventures are hard to write.  They require constant recognition of the power of the PC.  This is why most good epic adventures spend most of their time in other planes--it's hard to have more than a handful of characters capable of taking on a level 20 character in a place like Faerun.  From what I've seen thus far--and this might be all I ever see of it--the story here is good.  But the execution just isn't good enough.  I'd much rather play...something else.

So, I'm going to archive my Mask of the Betrayer saved game for now.  It's time to give Storm of Zehir a whirl.  I'm hoping that, as a low-level adventure, it will be more to my liking.  I tend to be more into the low- to mid-level stuff these days anyway.