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  1. Just finished replaying NWN2 expansion Storm of Zehir (played it through before right when it came out) and thought to share some thoughts, especially as SoZ contains many of the features one might hope to see in PE and being Obsidian work is obviously something they would draw from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights_2:_Storm_of_Zehir ** Will contain some minor spoilers. ** First to get it out of the way, the interface and camera were horrible. After a couple of years pause it took until halfway through the game before I didn't have to continually struggle with the camera. No obvious way to use feats or abilities, constantly forgot how to get the cartable spells or choosing what to memorize if I accidentally closed the window. Traveling in the overland map. Overall, it was good fun. Great to see possible encounters pop up and detour to avoid or take them. Made the exploring seem worthwhile and for once there was some use from ranger skills. Seems impossible for anyone to actually live in a territory though, either jungle or sword coast, with monstrous bands and undead and whatever rushing you every 5 seconds or so. Way, way too much pointless combat. I was overjoyed when finally got the teleportation system fixed, only to be disappointed in how the trips were one way only, giving not half the hoped relief. Locations and encounters. Most of the areas were tiny in RPG terms, dungeons or temples or whatever having usually only a few rooms and most every occupant rushing you from wherever they were as soon as the fighting started. I really, really liked this if only as a change of pace. No clearing mobs one room at a time but one big prolonged fight. Combat. Well this I disliked then. I do use the NWN2 AI on and let most of the party do whatever they want, which is part of the problem. The AI behavior settings were very welcome, though even set in the lowest the spell casters were pretty loose with magic. The visuals of mid high level D&D were the main problem for me, the combat was one big field of fiery explosions from spells and weapon effects, then the losers drop dead. Never in control of anything, just one big mess where you can't tell who's actually accomplishing stuff. Companions, adventurers guild. So you make the base party and later pick up one or two reinforcements. And many of the reinforcements come up hopelessly late in game which is something I'm happy to hear PE is going to avoid. The adventurers guild, which you get into maybe halfway through the game was a unhappy affair all in all. Hearing at that point, there'd be some minor bonuses if I have an all Elven party, or if all the members in the party are well accomplished in ranger skills or other stuff like that, was just disappointing, as almost certainly almost every party was not able to get anything out of there. Something for the replayers maybe. Enchanting and creating items. I remembered this was in and picked a good load of crafting skills which were of no use. Might have crafted one sword or a piece of armor. Generally though, you get your hands on usable ore so late in game, you're almost sure to have already found or bought better stuff already. Enchanting was easy enough, fun and useful. Adding bonuses and damage effects to weapons and armor. Creating wondrous items not so much, needing hard to come by ingredients, the most stupid example being some magic boots which I never got to make. I had the gems and the skins of rare animals, but never found a pair of ordinary hide boots to use as a base! Trade and upgrading your stronghold Added a fine layer into the game, the desire to get enough trade bars to meet the next something was a working way to ensure the willingness to explore and build up the trade network. Building church and orphanage and upgrading the stuff the patrols had was a fine thing, though completely pointless actually. From rags to riches came a bit too abruptly though. Once you have a couple of trade routes established, the income totally dwarfs every other money source in the game. I don't mind that actually and it *was* fun to reach the "money is no object" state, for once. It just came all too quickly once the cash floodgates were opened.
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