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Default Retrying NWN 2

February 16th, 2009, 18:54
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?
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