My biggest gripe with KOTOR 2 is the plot, following swiftly by character development. The plot, as far as I'm concerned, made no sense at all. It was ultimately uninteresting and seemed to have very little to do with anything Star Wars related. Hole in the Force? What? How can you have a hole in the fabric of everything that is? Starting from a terribly weak plot is never good. By comparison, KOTOR could have been made into a trilogy of very satisfying movies. The plot was epic and interesting and the characters in your party were engaging.
Which brings me to character development and romance plots. The characters in KOTOR seemed fully realized. I knew who Carth was, and the romance plot available with him was emotionally satisfying. The friendships with the other characters, also interesting. Juhani had a lot to say, and building a relationship with her was a rewarding journey. Now consider KOTOR2. Bal-dur was by far the most interesting person. There could have been an extremely satisfying romance plot there, but it never happened. I've read fanfics that complete that plot perfectly, but I shouldn't really have to find someone else's vision to give me the story I'm looking for. I didn't have to with the original game. I can't even -remember- the human's name, as uninteresting as he was. Their stories seemed to go nowhere. And, indeed, the end of the game acknowledged that by tossing some summaries my way in case I happened to care about my party, but you know, it's not that important.
Most of this I agree with as well. The UI hasn't been improved at all, imo. The quickbar is more annoying. Having to right click and hold on my character to access special commands is also annoying. I don't care about reused voices. But my biggest gripe with NWN2 is the same as my gripe with KOTOR2: character development and romance plots.
These things matter! Why, after spending the entire game with Neeshka, am I still asking her who she is? Why am I asking her if she's a tiefling? What sense does that make to have nothing to say to someone who's been in my party for most of the game? I learn something about her past as part of the game, but what about, I dunno, a conversation about what's going on? Why doesn't she have something to say to me when Elanee leaves?
Furthermore, it's very obvious that Casavir likes my character. He tells me he's distracted. But that's the extent of it. I can talk to him about Old Owl Well all I want though. Why? Why after a character says something like "I find myself seeing to your safety before everyone else's" is there no real follow up? Why doesn't HE ask ME how I'm doing after there's a big shake-up?
Perhaps you folks at Obsidian need to read some good fantasy with romance elements, because you keep leaving this aspect out of your games. It's part of what makes the whole thing a fulfilling experience. And it gives you greater story possibilities. Imagine a plot where a romance develops and THEN your chosen lover betrays you. Or is taken. It's not all about hacking and slashing. It's about living a good book. And good books have characters that you care about. They have characters that you love. You all need to read some good books.
Amen. You're now 0/2 Obsidian. NWN2 isn't bad, per se, but it's lacking. I feel let down by the things that aren't there which keep it from being legendary, the type of game you tell everyone you know to go get. Your games sell on the reputation of Bioware games. And when you don't deliver as good an experience, that hurts you. Do you think you could sell a KOTOR3? I'd be highly skeptical. NWN3? Maybe.