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Everything posted by Wistrik

  1. I'll be getting the 8800GTX. It's a nice upgrade from my current 6800GT.
  2. If you have good dialog skills, you can sneak up to Duskwood first, find the dryad (Lissa I think), and pretend to be Lorne. She had previously disguised him as you, so she may think you're him. She'll want the glowstone and will disguise your party so you can take the glowstone without repercussion. If you give her the glowstone she'll disappear. If you refuse she'll attack. If you have Elanee in your group, the animals that are with the dryad will not attack you. It is better for the plot if you don't give her the glowstone. Edit: cleaned up the post.
  3. There was a wee recall due to a resistor issue, but I understand NVidia is/has taken care of it. I'll be getting this card for NWN2 and Half-Life 2 (with the cinematic hi-res texture mod), and for Dragon Age later.
  4. It might be due to script or dialog, since that particular chest has a special cinematic tied to it. If Neeshka's in the party she'll demand half of the loot, and through dialog you're given the option of trying to identify the items, taking them, or walking away. If you walk away, you can return and open the chest like normal. If you take the items via dialog the transfer is done by script rather than by the engine's usual inventory transfer; this may be the cause of them disappearing into thin air due to a full inventory.
  5. Just wanted to add that I notice portraits are a bit different from in-game modeling. For example, Captain Brelaina looks stern in her portrait, but serious and very attractive in the game (it was a joy working for her ). Elanee's portrait makes her head look more stretched than it really is. The portraits look nice enough, just not totally accurate. Maybe snapshots from earlier development. Edit: The experience tables cause experience to drop off as you gain levels, so after awhile you will 'stabilize', and bosses and quests will provide the majority of your character's experience income, while all the stock enemies provide little to no experience.
  6. My system will display the game at my monitor's full res (1680x1050) with everything maxed, but I can't play it that way because it's a slide show. However, it's great for taking screenshots. I've been rushing through the game so haven't really had time to stop and savor the scenery. I'll do that next time.
  7. It'd be hilarious if they ended up in Castle Never applying for D&D's version of Chapter 11 (bankruptcy filing).
  8. The radial menu didn't bother me much in NWN. Many of its options could be put in the quickbar for faster access, so I didn't have to use it all the time. The somewhat weak dialog and obvious but unchangeable storyline were my biggest gripes with NWN. The graphics were acceptable to me for a game of the time period, and still look decent when posing for screenshots or in 'screen-saver' mode. The right-click dropdown menu in NWN2 on the other hand is a bit annoying. The game won't preserve the delay settings for it so I'm always having to reset it to 0.10. On the other hand, the dropdown menu for items is instant. I wish they'd make both of them instant and get rid of the delay option altogether.
  9. I don't know how many people here tend to sell everything they find to one merchant, but I was doing it for awhile and found out something interesting. Merchants have a fixed pool of gold, so they can only buy so many things from you before they run out of money. If you never purchase from them, sooner or later you may not be able to sell to them either. It's a small bit of added realism, but nice nonetheless.
  10. Might depend on what your relationship is with Neverwinter. I was a member of the guard, and now I'm a knight's squire, so my trial will take place in Neverwinter instead of Luskan. I still have to go to port Llast but I have Sand with me so that won't be a big deal. I've managed to complete every quest with flying colors so far. Lord Nasher is behind me 100%, but must still comply with the law of the land, so off I go to gather evidence. And yes, that incident with the teen-agers in the crypt was reminiscent of various cults throughout the real world. I did manage to convert two of the gals away from the King of Shadows, however, so not all was lost. The (greater) shadows looked very much like those of BG2, almost like the graphics were copied straight across and applied to a 3D mesh. (Albeit neatly.) I probably should have suggested that Shandra work for uncle Duncan, instead of inviting her to join my party. Now Elanee is acting like a woman scorned. Ah well, noted for future reference. I do like the portrait of Shandra. I'm in Port Llast now but had to stop for the night. One thing I found annoying was all the cutscenes right after wiping out the githyanki base. I misclicked a response and the result was less than optimal, so I wanted to reload a saved game. However, I had to put up with nearly 10 minutes of area loading and cinematic dialog (I tried clicking but it only goes so fast) before I had access to the GUI again and could reload the game (and go through all that crap again.) So my advice is that you make absolutely sure you're happy with how things turned out at the githyanki base before you talk to Shandra and return to Neverwinter.
  11. He hangs out near the first orc cave you go to, and later at the githyanki base. Man, this game loves to jerk me around with party formations. Without my input, it stuck that CE Bishop in my party (and now Sand, but I like him). I'm glad to be rid of Bishop finally, I wanted to run him through slowly once or twice, with a twist now and then, every time he berated one of the women in the group. We managed to save Shandra and now I have a five-person party, since she counts as a 'free' NPC according to the game. Aside from not being able to kick her out, she functions just like the others as far as what I can do with her equipment and when she levels. A similar thing happened with the commander of Fort Locke, but I had less control over him. Shandra's only 'free' while she's 'training'. So you don't necessarily need to use a console command to get a five person party, just save Shandra. (Yeah I know, that's too limiting.) I just did my squire night out and to my surprise, Shandra showed up for a friendly encounter, and here I was trying not to be overly warm to her, what with Elanee in the group. I'm not looking forward to the next forced party change. I just get the group I want and the game switches them around on me. In this regard I prefer the freedom NWN gave me with henchmen. Oh well, as I said before, it's nothing I can't do differently when I make my own modules. (My NPCs will stick around as long as you let them, and the module will never force a party change. I hate that crap.) There are a lot of caves... I found myself thinking "great, not another cave..." every time I saw another hole in the ground. Not as numerous as the caves in NWN, but I certainly won't explore them all in one sitting ever again. I haven't bothered bringing Neeshka along, since she was getting to the point where she disagreed with everything I was doing. She was the only one complaining, but that didn't stop her. Imoen she certainly isn't; not even close. Elanee is just a bit warmer than Jaheira, so I can see where the reference fits. Still, I think she accurately portrays the attitude and feelings of a wood elf. (Not that I have a lot of experience with them. :D ) Shandra is interesting, as my experience so far has been multiple rescues where she is always playing tough. Thus her visit during my vigil was a total surprise, but not unwelcome. Anyway, I have Lord Nasher backing me now, so Faerun better watch out. Hah. Just started chapter 2; haven't seen Fenthick's ghost yet and I've explored just about everywhere possible in chapter 1, so we'll see. (And thanks to the forced party changes, I've had to adventure with nearly every NPC; at least Obsidian was merciful and let me avoid the ultra-annoying bard.) Just wanted to take a break and write up this ranty post. Despite the annoyances, this game is lots of fun and quite immersive. The Neverwinter side of the story is quite well done, and sort of gives me flashbacks to Ultima IV when I was learning to live by virtues to become the Avatar, although NWN2 does a better job of showing me the world and making the characters come to life.
  12. That's not what I meant, and yes merchants so far seem to be convenient enough that I haven't had to resort to muling. Also I'd prefer never having to swap out any characters. Keep in mind that I'm early in chapter 1 and don't know what's ahead. The game has already taken three NPCs from my party in West Harbor, so I'm wary of losing more. In general I'm used to having the people who join me stay with me to the end. Or I say the hell with it and go solo. Jaheira, Keldorn, Nalia, Imoen and Yoshimo have this behavior. For the first four its due to quests and you ultimately get them back, but it still leaves the party depleted until they return. I usually bring Yoshimo or make my character a rogue of some sort to cover for Imoen, but the rest always annoyed me to some extent. Usually I try to time their antics so they won't happen in the middle of some other quest, but that's after I know about their behavior. I'm just particular about it is all.
  13. I meant quantity of different items. Obviously one can limit themselves to grabbing what might be useful and leaving the rest behind. I have party members I can use for inventory, but I hesitate after having the game modify my party makeup earlier without giving me any say in the matter. Now I don't know from one moment to the next if my party will be disbanded again or not. I disliked in BG2 when party members took off to do their own thing without even asking, and I feel no different about it in this game. This will be easier after I've completed the game and can use meta-knowledge in future adventures, but I'm not going to implement NPC shuffling in any modules I make. Ugh.
  14. She's built, too. " The dwarf (whose name I can never recall when I'm not at the screen) is funny and yet sincere at the same time, which makes him more funny. His fight descriptions had me chuckling. "Wiped the bar with my face." "Introduced me to the floor" I've only just met Elanee despite seeing glimpses of her since the beginning, but I already like her.
  15. I tried setting the resolution, in game, to 1280x1024 and all it did was stretch the screen out. Is there something I need to enable in game or in the .ini file in order to make this work? Maybe it's just a feature of your monitor? <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Yeah, my drivers didn't tell me they wouldn't actually disable scaling until I restarted my computer, so I was thinking the game was doing it. My bad. I'm new to this scaling feature, and to wide-screen LCDs. The issue with the mouse pointer only comes up if you switch to wide-screen from standard aspect ratio with NVidia's scaling turned on; it has no effect on gameplay and can easily be fixed by ALT-TABbing.
  16. Heh, read the description on the Wand of Frost, it talks about the Wand of Fire instead. I've only progressed as far as getting to Highcliff so I mostly ignored references to future elements in prior posts. It's nice that a mage will be appearing soon. I'm still upset over So far I'm playing a male fighter and it's been a lot of fun. Regarding the NPCs the campaign likes to throw at me, I think it's because Obsidian was hoping everyone would start the game with a warlock. Right from the get go I was assigned a fighter and a mage. The mage was alright, but the fighter was redundant. Later we grabbed the thief kid for help with some competitions. Well, I did take a single level of Thief, but that only goes so far. I like how It's nice being able to talk to the characters. They have a bit more to say than did the henchmen of NWN, but their topics are still level/quest driven in that at some later time they'll have more to say about things. This is fine with me as it gives me something to look forward to. AI control is, unfortunately, not as robust as Tony's AI mod for NWN. As mentioned many times, there is no way to select the entire party in order to focus on one target. I'd like more options, like 'Stay out of Combat' and 'Use Stealth to Backstab', but it'll probably take a player mod to address these things. I've also noticed instances where an NPC will get stuck attacking something, usually a dead corpse, and will ignore me completely until I command them to follow me. Oops. Not much improvement in the AI department. The inventory system suffers from the same problems that Diablo 2's inventory has, namely a glut of items and not enough space to carry things. Sure, there are bags, but amazingly you still can't auto-stack things in them like was possible in BG2's bags, and they only hold 24 items/stacks per bag. I have to remove a stack of arrows from the bag, combine the stack with another stack I picked up, then place that new stack into the bag. Ugh! Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems like a huge step backward in inventory management. I also can't just drag items over the bag and drop them into it like I could in BG2. I was hoping these limitations of NWN would be addressed in NWN2, but sadly it's the same. Thankfully I can still edit BASEITEMS.2DA to control what stacks and what doesn't, and how big those stacks can be. I did this almost immediately when I discovered how many items I was ending up with in a short time. Maybe some of you don't mind this stuff, but I strongly dislike playing (more like working) the Inventory Management mini-game. I may try crafting later, but for now I'm just trying to get used to the new game engine. In NWN crafting was lame, and I got better equipment by paying one of the special blacksmiths to forge weapons for me. I suspect from reading the manual that NWN2 is better in this regard, but time will tell. I'm definitely getting ideas for my own module/campaign. It's nice how there are three dialog types: cinematic, standard, and one-shot. The cinematic dialogs in a module would only be good if there was recorded speech involved, otherwise the standard dialog would probably be best. No recorded speech in a cinematic dialog would be like watching a mime movie. The one-shot dialogs, if they can be called dialogs, are basically when you click on a generic NPC and they tell you something and then walk off. For some reason I couldn't hear any sound effects, only music. It turned out that when the game copied NWN.INI into the MyDocuments folder, it kept a reference to RAD EFX sound utilities. Well, the game uses Miles. Since no RAD EFX existed, the game played no sound effects. I copied the Miles entry from the NWN.INI in Program Files and commented out the RAD EFX line, and that fixed the problem.
  17. I found that I get better performance if I run NWN2MAIN_AMDXP.EXE, however this executable isn't the one used by default. To make it that way, back it up to a safe place, then rename NWN2MAIN.exe to NWN2MAIN_ORIGINAL.EXE and rename NWN2MAIN_AMDXP.EXE to NWN2MAIN.EXE. Then start the game using your usual shortcut. If the game is supposed to select the EXE on it's own, it's not doing a very good job. I'm running an AMD processor on Windows XP Pro and Task Manager consistently reported that the game was loading NWNMAIN.EXE rather than the AMDXP version. My performance increase was only on the order of 5-10 FPS, but every little bit helps with this game.
  18. Use the ShowFPS console command while you tweak settings. It's pretty good at showing you which options have the biggest effect on your framerate aka performance. Edit: I usually pick a spot to stand in, turn on ShowFPS and then let the camera spin the view in 360 degree circles to see how the FPS changes. Then I change an option and repeat. I did this to fine-tune my game to get playable FPS without looking ugly.
  19. Yes but you can't set it to zero for instant pop-up. I agree clicking during combat is a bit clumsy, or slippery depending on how you look at it. Last night I kept running past the guy I was trying to click on because I missed him; same for ground piles. Finally I gave up and started pausing the game to acquire targets, that worked much better. The original NWN had tighter click-selection. The addition of a select party button would be nice. Obsidian sort of back-stepped on this standard feature of the Infinity engine. I'd like to see the camera use the same movement speed for side/top/bottom movement as it does when the middle button/wheel is held down. Currently holding the middle button/wheel down moves the camera roughly twice as fast. There's only one adjustment in options so if I slow it down for decent speed with the mouse wheel, it's too slow when using side/top/bottom scrolling.
  20. Don't forget that Windows communicates to your monitor through a monitor driver. You can experience issues if that's not up to date. I recently encountered a lot of shearing when I got my new 21" wide-screen flat panel. A driver update from Microsoft fixed 99.9% of the problem. The best place to check for monitor drivers is at your monitor manufacturer's website. The one I got from Microsoft was in turn received from Samsung, the makers of my LCD. NWN2 seems to have the ability to auto-adjust the aspect ratio of your selected resolution to the wide-screen LCD (this can conflict with NVidia's equivalent setting if you have it turned on, so I leave it off in NVidia's drivers while playing NWN2). I play at 1280x1024 resolution (~15-20 FPS) because the game chugs too much at 1680x1050, and instead of getting a horizontally stretched picture, the game maintains the aspect ratio of 4:3 and I see non-instrusive black bars on each side of the image. My LCD can display resolutions as low as 1024x768 before things start getting fuzzy due to being too far from the native resolution. To see your FPS while moving around and doing things, bring up the console (~) and type ShowFPS. Type it again to turn it off. The console is case-sensitive, so if it doesn't work, try showFPS or something. No parameters are required. You may want to hide the GUI to make it easier to see some of the FPS output.
  21. I like the concept of romance in CRPGs, but not necessarily the implementation thus far. Given that the games tend toward active exploration and quest solving, there is little room for deep romantic discussions, therefore I think it's more realistic to have friendships with a romantic edge to them, much the way long lasting relationships tend to start. Without the friendship, the romance won't last very long anyway. There's also the problem of a romance writer trying to write for a general audience. Some people have really immature ideas of what romance is, and others are much more mature about it. Then there are the thousands of shades of morals, or lack thereof, that players have. I've experienced hints of romance, or flings if you will, in the singleplayer Ultima games. I've experienced all the default romances, and a few fan-made romances, in BG2. And I've experienced the somewhat friendlier henchman romances in NWN. Of the bunch, I'd say Naryssa (the female drow henchman in HotU whose name I'm not sure of) was one of the least emotionally disturbed and most enjoyable interactive friendship I've experienced in a CRPG (The other was a fan-made NPC for BG2 named Saerileth, who had even higher values). It culminated in a declaration of love and then effectively ended, in that no new discussions were had for the remainder of the campaign, and no gratuitous (cyber)sex (thank goodness). I preferred that experience to the approach of BG2 where getting laid was your prize for picking the right responses (at least Aerie would later commit to marriage in-game). To make things worse, fans make mods that try to describe in textual detail the various staring, touching, fondling, and so on that occurs between the lovers, which isn't too surprising given that most of the authors are teenaged or in their twenties. Still, some things are better left to the imagination. As to the varying responses one could offer in a friendship/romance, I'd kill the rude responses after friendship was established. I'm not one to coddle the random methods of some players, who like to take a romance to the very end and then cruelly dump/kill their mate. Unless they were attempting to roleplay a CN alignment, but then I'd make the NPC wary of getting involved with such a character. The Electron engine supports rich character dialogs, so there's nothing stopping us modders from writing our own NPC relationships, and that's certainly something I intend to do. But first I'm going to finish the campaign so I get a better feel for what's possible.
  22. I have some impressions though I've not played the game very much. 1. Installation This was a breeze. It took me all of 17 minutes from the time of inserting the DVD until I was able to play the game, and that includes downloading and installing the patch. I had no issues whatsoever. Important points to keep in mind that may have allowed this to happen: my software drivers were up to date, my firmware (motherboard BIOS, video card BIOS, DVD-RW flashrom, etc.) was up to date, my system is very stable, and I have 93% free space on a 500Gb hard drive. 2. Game Manual It reminds me a lot of the manual format used in Baldur's Gate 2 Shadows of Amn. In general I like the layout, though it's too bad what happened to the warlock at the start. 3. Opening Movies Awesome, especially seeing the warlock movie on widescreen. I usually click past the other movies and watch that one. The videos don't stutter a bit on my system, which is always a nice plus. 4. Character Generation I'm not spoiled on other systems like those apparently found in Oblivion, so I thought it was very nice. Certainly an improvement over what NWN offered. The game manual specifically states that Obsidian was trying to improve on NWN; nowhere did it say they were trying to make the best character generator on the planet. I was able to create a character that looks a lot like me, which will no doubt add to the game's immersiveness. I felt there was balance in the number of options for customization, and I was happy to see some of NWN's soundsets recycled for NWN2. The reserved guardian is my favorite, and sociopath is good for laughs. 5. Gameplay I haven't completed the tutorial yet, thanks to being caught up in Dreamfall, but I did get some quick impressions. The interface is certainly improved over NWN. Though the radial menu is gone, there is still a context menu, though I had to shorten its delay as the default setting is way too long; I didn't even know there was a context menu because nothing happened instantly when I right-clicked on the character. Oops. I like that Obsidian kept the user notes section of the journal. I used this a lot in NWN to keep track of various things. The camera is certainly a bit more touchy, but otherwise functions just like NWN. That is, I prefer the top-down mode, using the wheel to zoom in/out and adjust the camera. Except for adjusting to faster movements, and adjusting them where possible, it's been easy going. So far I haven't noticed any dialog camera issues, it looks very nice. I do have one complaint regarding the archery test... Though I can understand missing the target by a few inches once in awhile, it was utterly ridiculous when one of my shots somehow hit Annie who was standing off to the side, completely out of the way. It actually left the crossbow at an angle of 90 degrees from where I was aiming! Oops. Given that my character has a 16 dexterity, that seems a bit uncalled for. I could see this happening if he was a bumbling idiot with 3 dexterity. 6. Graphics. Very well done overall. The trees blowing in the wind are a nice additions. I found that there's no substitute for running with the high quality textures. Since I couldn't run with everything enabled, I sacrificed environment shadows in order to keep the textures. Though I'm pleased to see the realistic environmental effects, I hope future patches will attempt to improve performance. I do take issues with some of the trees, however. Those trees with a single trunks and sparse, bottle-brush-like fans protruding upward at 45 degree angles are rather hideous. There are also areas where the same tree was pasted multiple times so it looks a bit like a clone forest. This is a minor point, however, as the full scene is usually worth more than the individual components. There are instances of objects clipping into each other, but I've yet to see a 3D game get this perfect, and nothing will beat Ultima IX's humorous errors in this regard, so it's a minor issue. (If my character ever runs himself through while yawning, I'll start having flashbacks.) 7. Sound/Music So far so good, and the tutorial music is a catchy tune. Voicing is well done, but I'm no VO expert. I feel it's realistic enough, unlike NWN which made me shudder sometimes, like with Aribeth would go from low, calm voice to high-pitch yelling from one sentence to the next. Ack. Thankfully I haven't experienced that harshness in NWN2 yet. Well, that's all for now.
  23. I did some re-checking and confirmed this. Thanks for the heads-up! Sorry for the misunderstanding. Game Manual note/concern: As mentioned, you can save no more than five skill points at character creation and later at each level-up. This is stated on page 31 of the game manual where skill assignment at character generation is discussed, however it is not stated in the level-up summary on page 23 where the issue of saving skill points is specifically mentioned twice, once in a D&D tip. I'd stopped reading at page 23 thinking I'd found an accurate summary. Oops. For consistency it would have been nice if the five point limit had been mentioned on page 23 as well.
  24. It is stated twice on page 23 in the manual that, unlike in D&D, you don't have to spend skill points when leveling up, but can save them for later use. This is not true in NWN2 (it was for NWN); NWN2 won't activate the NEXT button until skill points are spent. The readme containing last-minute manual corrections does not modify this text.
  25. Those who try to run this game on a widescreen monitor may experience a mouse pointer glitch like I did. The glitch didn't manifest when switching between non-widescreen video resolutions. I'll explain the glitch and how I solved it. I switched to 1680x1050 (my screen's max resolution). Suddenly my mouse pointer didn't line up with button hotspots. In other words, to click a button I'd either have to move the mouse two inches below the button or two inches to the right of it in order to click it. The fix is to ALT-TAB, minimizing the game, then return to the game. The screen will re-render and the mouse pointer glitch will be gone. This glitch only manifests when switching from a non-widescreen mode to widescreen, not when going the other way. Update: This is caused when NVidia's flat-panel scaling is activated. Apparently it conflicts with the game's own scaling and causes the mouse pointer to behave strangely.
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