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NWN1 vs NWN2


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#21
deathcoy

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NWN multiplayer was the best imo, great community, mods, servers etc.

However i like the new mechanics in NWN2 like the party system and i kinda enjoyed the storyline more than NWN. NWN2 had a better singleplayer experience imo.


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#22
algroth

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I was never much of a modder nor was I very interested in the community-made content either. I also feel that in order to be fair with any comparison I have to stick with what the creators offer us and not look at the additional content, since that is the game the creators intended and released, and it does supposedly represent a completed work. Should I praise a film because some fan made a really good scene to tie inside it so as to give it meaning, or a song because others have covered it and made it into something better than it originally was?

 

Anyhow... With this in mind, I have to say that whilst I'm not the biggest fan of Neverwinter Nights 2 I still have to give it a clear edge over Neverwinter Nights. The latter's campaign in my opinion was extremely dull, and repetitive beyond belief. So we start off by having to recapture four creatures in four different corners of Neverwinter, once done we have to get four components of some artifact or another from four different and opposite locations, then we need to search for clues in four different and opposite places, then... You get the point. There's no narrative structure to speak of, no purpose to the game, it is just a grind that is neither rewarding nor challenging. The campaign seems to act as little more than a showcase for the dungeon editor, but in doing so also seems to highlight its ugliness and sheer artificiality. Every location, no matter how natural and wondrous it should be, is comprised of a collection of square tiles, giving even the likes of forests or caves a rigid, geometric and frankly sameish feel. Every crypt looks alike, every house looks alike, every dungeon is the same, and three levels too long. The campaign is lacking in any sense of wonder, any aspect in its storyline or its characters that could be considered compelling, it is standard beyond belief and even fails to fulfill in the familiar notes it touches. The editor was certainly fun, but what with its aesthetic rigidness and so on, I feel anything I did try and create was destined to disappoint.

 

Neverwinter Nights 2 is probably as familiar and standard a story and setting as that given in the first game, and it doesn't really get any points for any semblance of originality or innovation. The story is as standard a rehash of Lord of the Rings as you'll see, what with our character being the bearer of an item that could vanquish an ancient evil power in the shape of the KING OF SHADOWS ('Jeff' was not ominous enough), and filled with a bunch of derivative fantasy characters the likes of the hot-tempered dwarf, the haughty elven wizard, the hot elven chick that secretly fancies the protagonist, the romantic and heroic paladin, the naughty tiefling rogue, the zany gnome that seems to only talk gibberish, and so on. The writing is generally subpar, the voice acting is frequently embarrassing, the choices one can make as the protagonist are generally limited to "good", "neutral" and "evil", there is nothing here you won't be expecting to find in a standard fantasy RPG. But you know what? Despite all its problems, I did enjoy it. Sure thing, the game is extremely derivative, but there is some merit in getting the genre beats right, and this game does just that. It's familiar, and sometimes you just want familiarity to wrap you up like a warm and fuzzy blanket in mid-winter. I played the game expecting a high fantasy epic storyline, and I got just that, replete with several sidequests, forgeable weapons, a customizable stronghold that you'll have to defend, a nice heroic arc and so on, so forth. It's no Planescape: Torment, it's its antithesis if anything, but that's not all too bad. It is, above all else, enjoyable fluff, and in this sense it is already more than its predecessor. On top of that, some locations are actually quite lush, the editor is quite fun to use and complete, if as inviting as an Excel spreadsheet. Overall it's a clear improvement in my opinion.

 

To add to this, I genuinely think Mask of the Betrayer is one of the best games I've played from the last ten or so years, though I likewise think Storm of Zehyr is even worse than the original Neverwinter Nights. Mysteries of Westgate was also very enjoyable from what I recall. I haven't bothered with Hordes of the Underdark or Shadows of Undrentide.

 

Based off memory alone, my ratings for each would be...

 

Mask of the Betrayer - 9/10

Mysteries of Westgate - 7/10

Neverwinter Nights 2 - 6/10

Neverwinter Nights - 4/10

Storm of Zehyr - 2/10


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#23
deanwilkinson20

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I really loved neverwinter nights 1 played for like 5 yrs felt it was better than 2 but enjoyed two as well



#24
CrumpetsForBreakfast

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NWN was better than NWN2 without a doubt.

 

If someone bought NWN for the story they made a mistake because it was sold as an adventure creation kit. Nobody reviews an instrument like a keyboard for the quality of whatever tune was preloaded onto it. They review it for how good the instrument is and what capabilities it gives musicians. That is the only fair way to compare titles in this franchise.

 

I doubt there are any people that really feel they would love to see Obsidian make a story-only sequel to NWN2 over any other IP they could work on instead.

 

The story in NWN was more like a tutorial for modders because the product being sold was the toolset with the DM client and PW support. NWN was the RPG genre's Minecraft before Minecraft even existed, NWN mods were even used by educators in the classroom. Nothing like that happened with NWN2 because it just wasn't as good as NWN in that regard. Metacritic also lists NWN as 10 points higher than NWN2 and about 20 points higher than NWN2 in user rating. Hint-hint, it's not because of the story or game mechanics.

 

* NWN2 used proprietary middleware no longer even remotely available for things which NWN does with easily available tools and file formats.

* All NWN2 areas need to be baked and downloaded on servers which need to be restarted too. For NWN it's never an issue which allows modders now to dynamically create new areas on servers without restarting, that's not ever possible for NWN2 because of walkmeshes.

* NWN mods and servers can have thousands of areas that simulate large worlds and big adventures. NWN2 servers usually get 50-100 exterior areas, they're small vignettes which makes NWN2 servers feel like mini-golf instead.

* Outfit customization was a feature in NWN with 21 alterable body parts and 6 color channels. NWN2 has about 4 parts with 3 color channels and couldn't be customized in game. Modding later expanded NWN's capabilities to mind boggling degrees that let players create any kind of character, NWN2 character customization was only available with a database modded plugin and still limited.

* NWN has thousands of amazing tileset mods that creature natural terrains. NWN2 has heightmaps which end up looking like poorly done tilesets with shear inclines that stretch textures and can't do 90 degree angles.

 

Since content creation was the whole point of the franchise (otherwise Bioware would have done Baldur's Gate 3 instead of NWN)  then I think it's very clear that NWN was better because it succeeded better at being a virtual dungeon master's world building toolkit. It's still the best at what it does almost 15 years later.



#25
algroth

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NWN was better than NWN2 without a doubt.

 

If someone bought NWN for the story they made a mistake because it was sold as an adventure creation kit. Nobody reviews an instrument like a keyboard for the quality of whatever tune was preloaded onto it. They review it for how good the instrument is and what capabilities it gives musicians. That is the only fair way to compare titles in this franchise.

 

Sorry, but no. The equivalent to the keyboard would be the engine, in this case Aurora, or even the computer itself, not the end result which is by all means comparable to music. In music too, some pieces have different purposes than others, ├ętudes for example acting largely as practice material, but it doesn't make them any less subject to review as musical pieces. If Neverwinter Nights ought to have been all about the editor, and existed as a tool opposite to a game, it should have been all about the editor: that is simply not the case, however, and it is still a *game*. As such, it is not a mistake to evaluate it for its campaign, which is by all means dire, if the editor is nevertheless a part of the whole and can be looked at as well.


Edited by algroth, 12 April 2017 - 02:45 PM.


#26
CrumpetsForBreakfast

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It was marketed as a set of tools including the editor, it was developed as a set of tools including the editor, it was sold as a set of tools including the editor, and it was widely used as a set of tools including the editor. It wasn't a incidental addition that happened to get popular, it was the whole purpose of the product. Even wikipedia knows this, even the game box explains this to buyers, I don't know how you buy it and never know what the game is really about.

 

1082_back.jpg

 

It is in the same class as Unlimited Adventures and Sword Coast Legends more recently, it is not in the same class as Planescape: Torment. You see, different types of products entirely.

 

If you don't believe that then I don't know what to tell you to be honest.


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#27
algroth

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It was marketed as a set of tools including the editor, it was developed as a set of tools including the editor, it was sold as a set of tools including the editor, and it was widely used as a set of tools including the editor. It wasn't a incidental addition that happened to get popular, it was the whole purpose of the product. Even wikipedia knows this, even the game box explains this to buyers, I don't know how you buy it and never know what the game is really about.

 

1082_back.jpg

 

It is in the same class as Unlimited Adventures and Sword Coast Legends more recently, it is not in the same class as Planescape: Torment. You see, different types of products entirely.

 

If you don't believe that then I don't know what to tell you to be honest.

I have the box before me right now, and it is not at all like the above. On the contrary, the editor is mentioned twice, firstly as an additional point to the opening pitch, and then as one of the many bullet points involving features. The summary centers on the *storyline* above all else, which occupies the larger bulk of the game's summary, and proceeds in its bullet points to mention, yet again, a 60-hour single-player campaign, 3rd Ed. D&D ruleset, 3D graphics, and so on. The editor is one of several features.

 

This is my case, it is also the original release opposed to any future release which could have made more focus on the editor tool since it's really the best and still most relevant aspect about it:

 

WhatsApp%20Image%202017-04-13%20at%2022.

 

So yes, I do believe the case. The editor isn't the only thing, or even the main thing, it is selling to me. And for the record, I never compared it to Planescape: Torment or expected such a thing of it. I know *that* in particular is not what the game is aiming at, but what it is aiming for (the campaign side of it, at least), which is perhaps closer to Icewind Dale for example in terms of it being a fairly linear dungeon-crawling epic, it does fail at.


Edited by algroth, 13 April 2017 - 05:34 PM.

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#28
CrumpetsForBreakfast

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Maybe it's not your fault then for the bad localization of the marketing and packaging but today you can look it up and find out the truth. They kind of spell out their mission statement and you're right it's not all there is to it, it's only 90% of what NWN was. Obviously they didn't spend over 4 years just developing the OC, that would have been weird. Even as an action RPG it would have not been nearly as popular as it was and they would not have called it a revolution.



#29
algroth

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Maybe it's not your fault then for the bad localization of the marketing and packaging but today you can look it up and find out the truth. They kind of spell out their mission statement and you're right it's not all there is to it, it's only 90% of what NWN was. Obviously they didn't spend over 4 years just developing the OC, that would have been weird. Even as an action RPG it would have not been nearly as popular as it was and they would not have called it a revolution.

I will agree that the innovative aspect of it was the editor (wouldn't call it revolutionary though), but Neverwinter Nights was still primarily sold as an RPG. An editor or software to create RPGs is a very different thing. You cite Wikipedia as a source, well... See the way Wikipedia labels Neverwinter Nights opposite to an actual "sole" editor like the RPG Maker series: the former is a "third-person role-playing videogame", the latter is "a program for the development of role-playing games". Chances are also that the great majority of Neverwinter Nights players never even opened the editor for reasons exceeding mild curiosity. To say the campaign is 10% of "what NWN is" is simply wrong, and it is entirely within anyone's right to evaluate the game as a role-playing game, since it is primarily that.

 

For the record, I'm not saying here that you are wrong in evaluating it as an editor either. That is up to you as to what you wish to focus on and address, but it doesn't mean that those of us who focus on the campaign for our criticisms and comparison are in the wrong to do so.


Edited by algroth, 17 April 2017 - 04:16 AM.





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