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I know that I am odd in this regard, which is why I make no claims that my view is in any way representative of the population present on these forums or elsewhere. This is a personal rant, and I say rant because it comes entirely from an emotional need I posses for which I have no logical explanation. I'm posting it here because if I don't, and this game fails to reach the admittedly high bar I set on this topic, I'll have only myself to blame for never having tried to make a difference. This way when it doesn't meet my requirements I can simply resume grumbling to myself, and I'm only out my donation money instead of potential years of self-loathing and regret. Here's what I'm looking for in a RPG (or any game, really): A very large part of why I play RPG's is for their character customization - it's not the only consideration, but it is almost always the deciding factor in buying a new game (of late, the only "new" game I've purchased is Skyrim - with which I was disappointed in the character customization options, but it was better than average). Story matters, but I find the stories in most games weak in comparison to most books, so that's a secondary concern. What I have apparently become addicted to is creating unique and interesting characters. This falls into two roughly equal segments: visual and mechanical. Visual encompasses both the physical appearance of the character, as well as specifics to what sorts of items and spells that character is "allowed" to use (ex: if I make a character who's theme is "fire mage", I voluntarily do not use any spells that do not fit that theme - ice or water being the classic examples, but it can be more, less, or differently limited depending on the complete character concept). Visual also encompases most of personality with regards to character creation (things like voice selection can be involved as well, as can weapon preferences, skill selection, and even feats/abilities on occasion) - this means that my characters face (or portrait, or general physical appearance) must fit the concept I have of them in my head. I cannot explain why personality is so important to me, but it is absolutely crucial - If I cannot fit a character's appearance to their personality that character doesn't get made and I go back to the drawing board (for this reason, it drives me crazy that it's basically impossible to find or make a smiling face/portrait/etc in any game... Would it kill developers to have a "Default Facial Expression" option/slider? Why must my character frown/stare blankly at everything? I know the models are capable of smiling). It may sound like I'm requiring a high degree of graphical fidelity here - nothing could be further from the truth. I require only as much graphics/artwork as is necessary for me to "see" (as in visualize/imagine/personify/etc) my character in whatever format the game presents him/her - often, high fidelity graphics get in the way of this, as they add details that are not present in my mental image, whereas lower quality graphics leave those details open to the imagination. The other side of the coin, mechanical design & customization, encompases everything you probably think it does: Classes, Racial Bonuses (though not looks), Attacks/Abilities/Spells, Stats, Skills, etc. My design goal with any given character usually follows this pattern: Think of an interesting combination of mechanics, then design a character (visually) to match those mechanics. This leads to characters that have looks, personality, and abilities all revolving around a core theme - they (usually) have one or two "signature" abilities upon which their entire character concept was created. I'll create them with this in mind, then play it out to the final extreme or until the concept proves flawed in some way I didn't originally notice (if it's viable but I've misplaced a point somewhere I'll either re-create them or use console commands to correct the error, depending on what's available). In some cases it works the other way around, wherein I'll create a personality or visual style that inspires a slightly different mechanical perspective that I deem worth exploring. Characters created based on mechanical innovations become more and more interesting as the game progresses and they gain access to the full scope of their potential ("growing into their destined role," if you want to dramatize it... which of course we do, this being an RPG forum), but characters based on a visual style or personality are the most fun to work with in character creation and during plot defining moments (these tend to be the ones I don't actually play, just design). With regards to the actual mechanics of the game, and how classes/abilities/skills/etc interact with each other, it should be obvious that I prefer a highly flexible system. My ideal would actually be a classless system, but a decently done classed based system can be almost as good (restrictions are necessary to make character customization interesting - it's the working around and manipulation of those restrictions that makes mechanical customization fun). That said, multiclassing is basically required. It can be left out if the primary emphasis is on abilities/spells/feats and not class mechanics (to employ a simile: The classes are like differently shaped container for legos, where a roughly equal number of uniform legos, or feats/skills/abilities, can fit into any given container). If the emphasis is on the parts that make up the character (the feats/skills/abilities), rather than it's shell (the class), and these parts can be interchanged fairly freely between classes (with some exceptions) then multiclassing isn't required, but is still beneficial. It's my opinion that this "focus on the parts" view is simply good game design - it detracts nothing from those who don't care about character customization, but will keep people like me (assuming there are others like me...) buying as many expansion packs as you care to produce. When you do make expansions, adding classes is a pretty common theme - however, if these classes are insular (not subscribing to the "focus on parts" view), then you're only really adding one or two play styles... if you've done it the way I'm suggesting you've potentially exponentially increased the number of available character customization options (and therefore play styles) while achieving all the same benefits that adding a class normally accomplishes. Now, by the fact that I've taken the time to both think and type all this out in great detail, you can probably infer how big a deal it is to me, but just in case let me underline the point: I still play NWN2. Not only do I still play it, It's practically the only game I play. My computer uses video card drivers specifically selected for their compatibility with it. I have over a hundred characters created (since the last time I had to do a reinstall... a bit over a year). I've essentially memorized the dialog for the entire game (not so much on the expansions, as I prefer to start at level 1-3 and don't really care for SoZ [side note: MotB is a work of art, give Mr. Zeits my warmest and sincerest regards for that please.]). I've also modded the game with Kerendin's PrC Pack, which adds 49 classes (and is still in active development), and Races of Faerun which adds something like a dozen races, as well as complete overhauls like the "OC Makeover SoZ Edition" and Wulverheim (these last to add some variety to the game while I play through yet another character concept). Neverwinter Nights 2 (with mods) is the closest thing I've ever found to satisfying my craving for deep character customization, and even it is horribly flawed (by my standards). I'm not asking you to fulfill my every wish with Project Eternity, what I'm really asking for (more like begging for) is a replacement for NWN2. I am so damn tired of that game in every regard except character customization (and I think mathematically I may be approaching the point where I've done all feasible combinations of mechanics). I'm desperate for something with enough character customization to allow me to put away NWN2 for good, something with a fresh plot and new as-of-yet unmemorized dialog, new character interactions that give me more fine tuned options for defining and expressing my character's personality (the city watch / thieves guild segment of NWN2 kills off 90% of my character concepts unless I just grit my teeth and act completely out of character - it's destroys immersion and could be the subject of a completely separate rant all by itself). If I were a rich man I'd throw buckets of money at you just for that little consolation, but I'm not and so all I can do is give what I can afford in a desperate gamble, hoping that the people who gave me NWN2 can give me something to replace it. It feels good to get all that off my chest, as it's been stewing in and ever-expanding pool of frustration for some time now. If I had the time and skill I'd make my own game, if I had the money I'd pay someone to do it for me, alas I have neither. The only good that's come out of this is that I've discovered my skill addiction obsession can be put to productive use by churning out NPCs for my DM to put into our far-too-infrequent D&D games. That's not quite as satisfying, but it's kept me away from NWN2 for about a month running... Though after writing this I can already tell that streak isn't going to last the week (if it weren't 4am it wouldn't last the night). As I said when I started - I needed to say this for my own reasons, and even if it doesn't have an effect on this game it's still acted as a pressure release for me (and maybe it will influence something else down the line - who knows). That said, thank you for taking the time to read it and I do hope it leaves an impression (other than one of mild insanity - I know I got that one across but I hope some of the subtler points made it as well).
Being able to play through the game again when you have finished it with your already somewhat levelled character would be great. I really like new game plus in other games and it encourages me to play through a game more than once. This could be especially significant if the game has meaningful choices or hidden things, an option to change race would also be great but not absolutely needed. Enemies would be appropriately levelled of course.