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-   -   Retrying NWN 2 (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6424)

wolfing February 16th, 2009 17:54

Retrying NWN 2
 
I bought it brand new when it came out 2 years ago, and played it for a while but eventually the party AI and the camera made me stop (I never played NWN 1 for reference).
So, last weekend after reading some posts here, I decided to try again. The updater got it to version 1.21 or something. I have the original campaign only, I have the two expansions ordered, so a few questions:
1) Puppet mode. So I decided to try puppet mode for all characters. I tried several AI options but it always ended up in characters running all over the place triggering traps and receiving AOOs from moving everywhere. Is there some AI configuration that makes it usable? Puppet mode is sort of cumbersome (like, I usually don't bother with special abilities like power-attack, but when not in puppet mode they do use them)
2) Camera. I'm playing mostly in strategy mode as zoomed out as possible, but the camera is always around the main character. Did I miss a way to move my camera freely around the map like in BG?
3) Sound. I have SB Live card, so I selected EAX audio originally, but the voices always sounded like they were inside a cavern. I had to switch to software sound but was wondering if it's a known problem with a solution
4) Expansions. I want to play everything in order, but are there any benefits to the OC if I install the expansions? Should I install the expansions when I receive them or wait until I finish the OC?
5) Gems. I sold all the gems I had thinking they were just cash loot, then I found a book that says how to create magical items I need them. Am I screwed? or is there a place where I can buy all the gems? (I sold rubies, diamonds, malachites, etc)
6) How does playing online work? Do I have to finish the OC or have the expansions installed to try them? Do I have to create new characters? Any suggestions which servers/campaigns/adventures to try?

Right now I'm in Neverwinter, starting the quests to get into the merchant's zone. My original aborted run ended not much later than that (I think I quit sometime after getting in the merchant's quarter)

Edit: Oh, and I forgot one question…
7) Is there a NO-DVD patch somewhere I can use so I don't have to put the DVD in when I play?

Prime Junta February 16th, 2009 21:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfing (Post 1060933522)
1) Puppet mode. So I decided to try puppet mode for all characters. I tried several AI options but it always ended up in characters running all over the place triggering traps and receiving AOOs from moving everywhere. Is there some AI configuration that makes it usable? Puppet mode is sort of cumbersome (like, I usually don't bother with special abilities like power-attack, but when not in puppet mode they do use them)

I almost never use puppet mode. Instead, I tweak the spellcasting and ability usage settings for each of the characters to stop them from doing damn-fool things, and use the "broadcast command" feature a lot — as in "stand your ground/attack nearest/follow me." Very rarely I hit the "AI off" button (bottom left), to take full control of the party.

Quote:

2) Camera. I'm playing mostly in strategy mode as zoomed out as possible, but the camera is always around the main character. Did I miss a way to move my camera freely around the map like in BG?
Yes. Uncheck the "always centered on selected character" box. (I personally prefer to keep it checked.)

Quote:

3) Sound. I have SB Live card, so I selected EAX audio originally, but the voices always sounded like they were inside a cavern. I had to switch to software sound but was wondering if it's a known problem with a solution
Don't know. I have Vista so EAX isn't even an option.

Quote:

4) Expansions. I want to play everything in order, but are there any benefits to the OC if I install the expansions? Should I install the expansions when I receive them or wait until I finish the OC?
SoZ borks at least parts of the original campaign, so don't install that at least until the next patch is out. They don't make any (intentional) changes to the OC; they're all included in the patches. I say hold off until you want to actually play them.

Quote:

5) Gems. I sold all the gems I had thinking they were just cash loot, then I found a book that says how to create magical items I need them. Am I screwed? or is there a place where I can buy all the gems? (I sold rubies, diamonds, malachites, etc)
Not SCREWED screwed, but definitely a little screwed. Crafting is very complicated in the OC (much simplified in the expansions); I didn't even do much of it on my first play-through.

Quote:

6) How does playing online work? Do I have to finish the OC or have the expansions installed to try them? Do I have to create new characters? Any suggestions which servers/campaigns/adventures to try?
Never tried it, so can't answer.

Quote:

Right now I'm in Neverwinter, starting the quests to get into the merchant's zone. My original aborted run ended not much later than that (I think I quit sometime after getting in the merchant's quarter)

Edit: Oh, and I forgot one question…
7) Is there a NO-DVD patch somewhere I can use so I don't have to put the DVD in when I play?
Probably, somewhere, but I haven't looked for it (and would advise against it, too, since you're dependent on updating the game rapidly, and cracks tend to mess with that.)

dteowner February 17th, 2009 14:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prime Junta (Post 1060933572)
SoZ borks at least parts of the original campaign, so don't install that at least until the next patch is out. They don't make any (intentional) changes to the OC; they're all included in the patches. I say hold off until you want to actually play them.

I think you're wrong on that one. I seem to remember that MotB included some changes to the camera that made it much better to work with. I never played without MotB installed, but several people mentioned the change to the camera.

Prime Junta February 17th, 2009 15:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 1060933680)
I think you're wrong on that one. I seem to remember that MotB included some changes to the camera that made it much better to work with. I never played without MotB installed, but several people mentioned the change to the camera.

It certainly did, but the changes were included in the patch released with MotB. IOW, you don't need to have MotB installed to get the new camera controls.

wolfing February 17th, 2009 15:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prime Junta (Post 1060933572)
I almost never use puppet mode. Instead, I tweak the spellcasting and ability usage settings for each of the characters to stop them from doing damn-fool things, and use the "broadcast command" feature a lot — as in "stand your ground/attack nearest/follow me." Very rarely I hit the "AI off" button (bottom left), to take full control of the party.

Eh? what's that broadcast command? I can't find it in the keyboard mappings anywhere

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prime Junta (Post 1060933691)
It certainly did, but the changes were included in the patch released with MotB. IOW, you don't need to have MotB installed to get the new camera controls.

Game is 1.21 I think right now, checking patch history it seems it jumped from 1.13 to 1.21 so you're probably right. I don't really have a problem with the camera, specially now that I 'detached' it from the main PC, now it just stays and moves wherever I want it to (It stills acts up whenever it hits stuff like houses, but I can live with it)
I also found a merchant in Neverwinter that sells gems, so I didn't lose much by selling all I had before (just some money).

Prime Junta February 17th, 2009 15:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfing (Post 1060933696)
Eh? what's that broadcast command? I can't find it in the keyboard mappings anywhere

They're on your lead character's (whoever that is at the moment) contextual menu.

Maylander February 17th, 2009 16:44

You get access to new classes/races in the OC after installing the add-ons (when creating new characters). Other than that, I don't think there are any advantages.

Broadcast command is pretty much the only way to properly control your characters without manually telling everyone what to do. I think the hotkey is B or V, but I might be wrong. Basically I just pop it up once, and place the three commands that PJ mentioned on the hotbars of the characters I tend to use the most manually, so they can tell everyone else what to do (i.e attack nearest if they're just standing around instead of attacking, or stand your ground if I want to move ahead with a rogue to disarm traps. I use the follow command the most however, since it tends to get people moving in the right direction if they're either going the wrong way, or not going anywhere).

dteowner February 17th, 2009 17:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prime Junta (Post 1060933691)
It certainly did, but the changes were included in the patch released with MotB. IOW, you don't need to have MotB installed to get the new camera controls.

Ah, my bad. Thanks for the added detail.

I also use the broadcast commands extensively for control. Attack, hold, and follow are very helpful.

ffbj February 20th, 2009 17:31

Playing online is a bit problematic. No more server hopping. You have to dl the walk mesh for every world you want to try online. This is like dl a huge hak for every single world, along with any other hak paks they may have. I have heard that online play has improved but I have not tried it lately as I was so completely disgusted with the way on line play worked. You do not have to complete anything to play online just have the latest patch and of course every server will require you to have a server vault character for their server. Research carefully what type of server you are interested in and pick one they try online play and see what you think.

wolfing February 20th, 2009 21:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by ffbj (Post 1060934296)
Playing online is a bit problematic. No more server hopping. You have to dl the walk mesh for every world you want to try online. This is like dl a huge hak for every single world, along with any other hak paks they may have. I have heard that online play has improved but I have not tried it lately as I was so completely disgusted with the way on line play worked. You do not have to complete anything to play online just have the latest patch and of course every server will require you to have a server vault character for their server. Research carefully what type of server you are interested in and pick one they try online play and see what you think.

Thanks for the info. How about what some are mentioning about an 'auto-downloader' with the new patch (supposed to come next Monday or so)?

Starwars February 20th, 2009 22:36

The autodownloader will not be in the next patch, but the patch following it. 1.22 is about to released, 1.23 is the one with the autodownloader. The beta for 1.23 (excluding usual fixes, only the downloader) will be out very shortly after 1.22 though, as they want to test the downloader extensively before releasing a 1.23 final patch.

The downloader should enable you to try servers out easily and 'server-hop' more easily, though you still have to deal with the fairly big downloads. But you won't have to search around websites to find whatever downloads you need, that will be handled in the game client so to speak so it should streamline the process quite a bit.

wolfing April 11th, 2009 07:01

Well I finally finished the OC (man that was a long game!). It was ok, the only thing I didn't like was when they had me (several times) soloing some tough battles. Since my character was a rogue, it was very tough since most of my damage output needed a partner for the sneak attack. I had to 'exploit' the game to pass those fights.
I now started Mask of the Betrayer, but created a new char instead of importing my rogue in case the situation repeats. I now made a full earth genasi barbarian/frenzied berserker with a big two-handed sword so that shouldn't be a problem anymore :)

Dasale April 14th, 2009 13:23

Yes OC is probably the longest CRPG I played… and finished. I doubt I'll ever finish stuff like Oblivion or G3. MotB is better than the OC, you just need not become paranoiac about the special soul system and avoid evil or neutral path for your first play because they are much more difficult to play.

Konjad April 16th, 2009 11:28

Quote:

and avoid evil or neutral path for your first play because they are much more difficult to play.
I didn't play them but as far as I know they are a lot much fun and evil ending is much better. But I have to try it myself yet.

Dasale April 16th, 2009 15:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konjad (Post 1060943716)
I didn't play them but as far as I know they are a lot much fun and evil ending is much better. But I have to try it myself yet.

The evil path takes also a lot of its spice through the only very attaching and intriguing companion of MoTB, One of Many or a name like that. It's still quite rude to try play an evil path, myself after to have tempered too often evil choices or die because of the hunger, I gave up. And the neutral path is just a nightmare if you don't use a mod that changes the original rules of the soul meter.

Prime Junta April 17th, 2009 12:36

I did the evil path. It is quite sickeningly, horrifyingly evil, and it's not all that hard either — if you do one really evil quest, you get a perk that lets you devour souls as well as spirits, which means that survival is not a problem even at maximum craving.

I didn't think it was all that much *fun* though. I don't derive a lot of enjoyment from betraying my friends, sending innocents to be eaten alive by cannibal monsters, or that sort of thing.

Dasale April 19th, 2009 13:29

The problem is to reach this quest, I knew there was this quest when I tried the evil path but didn't succeed reach it without to to have fill up high enough the soul meter and get some weird variation as if I was a nice good guy, quite unpleasant.

In all case it's a delicate path choice and good for replay when you already know the game, I doubt it's a good advice to suggest start with this path.

I see the evil path sort of funny with its excessive extreme approach, the evil NPC is a funny one.

Zaleukos June 4th, 2009 15:49

I have also restarted the game and am quite frustrated by the AI. My main problem is that the AI switches target, ignoring the old "one dead enemy is better than two injured" commandment. Is there any way to prevent this idiocy?

Maylander June 12th, 2009 11:06

Select them all at the same time and tell them to attack a single target. Either that or just turn off the AI (by putting the NPCs in puppet mode).

I generally pause combat, select my casters and give them all a certain list of spells to cast, then select all ranged and physical characters and attack one target after the other.

Zaleukos June 15th, 2009 16:45

Thanks, I tried selecting them all BG-style at first, but they switch targets after a while. It isnt that much of a problem now that I am further into the game as we are vastly more powerful than most opponents (save a dragon that is causing me a few reloads). Fun game but the AI and the camera are quite bad.


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