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Default Difficulty - first time through

February 7th, 2007, 05:42
Hi all,

I'm preparing for my first way through this game. I don't have it yet, so I didn't give it a try. I'm hopefuly going out to buy it today.

Based on the reviews I've read, I'm considering to start on hardcore difficulty right away the first time through.

As far as I know, there are three major changes to gameplay mechanics on hardcore in comparison with normal difficulty (and some say that hardcore was the way the game was meant to be played). The changes are:
- vulnerable to attacks of opportunity
- enemies are allowed to score critical hits
- area-of-effect spells will hit your teammates

This simply sounds right, why should I have opportunity hits while the enemies are not allowed to score them…?

What do you think?
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February 7th, 2007, 06:30
I think you won't like what happens with AoE spells!! One of the NPC casters LOVES using them no matter who they affect!! The AI problems makes some battles quite challenging as your companions seek to wipe ALL of you out!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 7th, 2007, 08:42
Thas sounds like a real problem. Seems like I'll give it a try on the higher difficulty anyway and probably switch to lower if needed.

I really need challenging gameplay. I didn't get one with Oblivion nor with Gothic 3.

Any more opinions on this?
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February 7th, 2007, 10:31
hmm hardcore sounds like the standard D&D rules….In many previous D&D games hardcore = monsters doing double damage and having double normal hitpoints……

Not having attacks of opportunity against your casters sounds like something that should be in easy mode not the normal one.

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February 7th, 2007, 15:57
Hardcore is the way to go, but only if you manually handle the spellcasting NPC's. There are a few AI mods that help, but I still found that wizards and sorcerers cast spells ridiculously often. That said, the 1.05 patch is due out very soon and it is supposed to address the AI issues. Once that patch is released, the AI may show remarkable improvement.
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February 7th, 2007, 16:07
Hmm, personally I found that the only way I could really play the game was with *all* the characters in puppet mode - and if you do that I guess the area-effect problems kinda goes away?

Anyway, good luck on hardcore! At least a few battles in NWN2 are pretty challenging, even on normal (or maybe I'm just not very good at playing games
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February 7th, 2007, 16:09
Yes, I assume that AI spellcasting can be turned off through AI menu (that is what I've read and that is what I plan to use).
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February 7th, 2007, 16:32
Ditto on what everyone else has said Danicek—the combat AI in this game requires a lot more micro-management than the old infinity engine games. Now that I am past Act I I have gotten more used to it, but unless you directly control your spellcasting NPC's, they are going to barbecue the party. I also have my spellcasting off—otherwise all spells will be used in the first few minutes of combat, despite the options that say 'scaled spellcasting'.
On the positive side, this is not an ultra-easy, point and click game, and most of the big battles do require thought and planning, even on normal difficulty.On hardcore you should get plenty of challenge.

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February 7th, 2007, 17:00
Hardcore is the way to go… especially if you are a fan of PnP D&D…

For added challenge (and fun) try this…

I try to "role"play as much as possible when I play CRPGs. One great way to do this in NWN2 is to just play your main character. As an example, when I am in a battle if my main character gets taken out (unconscious) I let the other party members finish the battle on their own with no help from me. Believe it or not, if properly equipped, the NPCs usually win the battle and then revive me. This is just like playing PnP. If you are playing PnP D&D with your friends and you get taken out (unconscious or otherwise incapacitated) you don't get to take over your friends characters… you wait it out and see if they can survive in order to revive you.

Now I know people will complain that the AI just isn't good enough to do this without player intervention. But I've done it all the way through the game and I would estimate that the NPCs make it through the battle (in hardcore) about 70% of the time.

For me it adds to the challenge and fun. Sure… you're watching instead of playing when your main character gets taken out. But like I said, it makes it feel more like PnP for me…

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February 8th, 2007, 05:29
Yes, Puppet Mode if your going to play Hard Core, which basicly turns it into a TB game.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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February 8th, 2007, 08:53
Thanks for your input.

I bought the game yesterday and spent some time reading manual in the evening. Then I spent two hours creating character and I'm still not done with it. It's probably because I'm not really used to D&D, so I have to read a lot to understand things.

I've already switched to D&D Hardcore mode in the option. This simply seems to be the right one. After all the description says "normal as in D&D" when you switch to this mode. I'm choosing my character carefully as I understand that in hardcore mode it may be quite important.

I'm going to get a 3.5 rules and quickly reread them, to get better understanding before I start.

I'm not sure that I'll switch to puppet mode. I'll probably rather turn off auto-spellcasting only. We will see. The game seems to be really promissing.
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February 8th, 2007, 12:12
Danicek
"It's probably because I'm not really used to D&D, so I have to read a lot to understand things.

Well if you don't have much background in D&D, not that I am a expert (Im not) starting off on Hardcore is proabably not a good idea unless your a real glutton for punishment.

"I'm going to get a 3.5 rules and quickly reread them, to get better understanding before I start"
Ok unless your really intrested in or naturally good at math, if you (or anyone) never have looked at a D&D rules book before and thought you could just pick it up and get it, well you would need to be more like extreemly gifted in maths.
Now if I friend of mine said that, I would throw something at him "hard" , but since we don't really know each other I will just offer you a beer and wish you the best of luck.

Btw a lot of people had trouble in that starting area trying to get their character just right, it can be really frustrating, I was trying for 10 hours at least.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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February 8th, 2007, 16:17
Well, I didn't really planned to read the entire rules. I got just excerpt from web and read it.

I already have a piece of paper with my Sorcerer character here on my table. I'll create it sometimes later today.

I'm not really planning to punish myself with too high difficulty. On the other hand I've read several opinions stating that hardcore is the right level for RPGers. Well, probably they were hardcore D&Ders, I don't know. I'm sure I'm not. But I just feel like I would like good challenge this time, so I'll give it a try. I'll resign and start on normal if I really have hard time. This is game, so I plan to have a fun.
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February 8th, 2007, 16:57
Regarding puppet mode—it IS a large pain in the rear, and for dedicated fighters it probably is fine not to use it. I actually have stopped using it except in a bind or a tweaking situation where I really want to be in total control.

narpet had a good point about roleplaying—I have also had my npcs save my main character after death, and the AI functions pretty well except for spells. It adds to the fun, which I hope you have lots of!

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February 8th, 2007, 19:30
Yeah you guys gals are proabably right, I started playing from release week and many problems that conspired to make me pullout my hair have been addressed.
As everyone points out it is mostly due to colladeral damge from nukes, so if you can work that out then the less the better.

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February 8th, 2007, 19:58
I salute and honor those brave souls who play this game with Friendly Fire enabled. For myself, I'll be dropping fireballs onto my buddies for air support.

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes!
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February 9th, 2007, 00:53
Friendly fire really hobbles the effectiveness of casters, since tanks love to rush into melee before allowing the casters to soften up the opposition with a few quick AoE's!! I like to puppet my casters first few spells, then allow them free reign!! Oh, be SURE to turn off allowing chars to change into animal form!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 9th, 2007, 08:44
I've gone through tutorial and first several fights after that. It seems to go well, but well this is just begining. My casters aren't able to cast any attack area spells yet, so I cannot talk to that.

I'm having my casters in puppet mode and my fighter with AI on. We will see how it goes. It is obvious that because the game isn't really turn based (even thought there is a notion of turns + pause function), it's hard to start firing spells early enough because start of each fight is too fast and enemies are on me earlier than I'm able to hit the pause.

I would love to have some kind of 'pause on fight begining' function or even 'switch fights to TB' option. I haven't gone through manual yet to find out if there is anything like that, but I guess itsn't.
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February 9th, 2007, 18:48
Originally Posted by Danicek View Post
… It is obvious that because the game isn't really turn based (even thought there is a notion of turns + pause function), it's hard to start firing spells early enough because start of each fight is too fast and enemies are on me earlier than I'm able to hit the pause.

I would love to have some kind of 'pause on fight begining' function or even 'switch fights to TB' option. I haven't gone through manual yet to find out if there is anything like that, but I guess itsn't.
No there isn't-you are certainly not alone in wanting it tho, Danicek. It's really hard to play this system with a turn-based mindset, even tho everyone is supposed to have initiative and turns and so forth.
All I can say is, you'll start hitting that pause bar pretty fast with practise.

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February 14th, 2007, 13:33
So it seems it is working. Of course, I assume that most of the more difficult fights are still to be fought but I've just finished Highcliff area on hardcore without any troubles.

My main character - elven sorcerer - hit level 6 recently which means access to fireball. The famous area-damaging spell. And while I have to be really careful while using it not to toast my companions, I think it is ok this way. The spell is way too powerful to be able to fire it just in the center of a melee fight. Two fireballs would solve it way too quickly and spoil the whole thing. So conlusion so far for me is that hardcore (strict D&D rules) are better option for more fun.
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