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Mysteries of Westgate


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Atari pretty much screwed everyone by delaying MoW for over a year and a half for development of their DRM. Ossian, NwN/D&D fans, the future of the Premium Module releases... heck they even screwed themselves if their philosophy as a company is to make money since they've lost numerous potential sales from the delay. I so hope the genius behind this delay decision loses his/her job.

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How is the story? I think most people here are familiar enough with the general gameplay and graphics of the NWN2 system.

 

Interesting NPCs?

 

Interesting combat encounters?

 

Antagonist that you love to hate?

 

Ah, maybe I'll just spend the 10 bucks

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Atari pretty much screwed everyone by delaying MoW for over a year and a half for development of their DRM. Ossian, NwN/D&D fans, the future of the Premium Module releases... heck they even screwed themselves if their philosophy as a company is to make money since they've lost numerous potential sales from the delay. I so hope the genius behind this delay decision loses his/her job.

 

this...

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How is the story? I think most people here are familiar enough with the general gameplay and graphics of the NWN2 system.

 

Interesting NPCs?

 

Interesting combat encounters?

 

Antagonist that you love to hate?

 

Ah, maybe I'll just spend the 10 bucks

 

I've not had chance to play much, but in the first 30 minutes of play, I met two NPC's which I thought were interesting, one of which being a fallen paladin (kinda neat idea), the some rogue chick.

 

Is it worth 10 bones? Certainly, even if you ended up having DRM issues a year from now.

I came up with Crate 3.0 technology. 

Crate 4.0 - we shall just have to wait and see.

Down and out on the Solomani Rim
Now the Spinward Marches don't look so GRIM!


 

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i finishhed MoW last night, er, early this morning. i liked it a lot. here's a quickie review...

 

bad or not very good:

wretched AI. i know, not a MoW problem directly, an NWN2 problem (even with tony K's stuff), but they could have fixed a few things. for example, kicking off a cut scene right when you walk in a doorway. not so bad if it is just a conversation, but bad when it starts a fight. this is exacerbated by forcing your lead character into the talking position, which results in him being placed right in the middle of the foray in spite of the fact he was in the back of the line to begin with. i played a mage, which made such fights frustrating at best. as a result, i played in wimp mode (normal rules) simply becuase the tactic cheat wasn't worth ruining an otherwise good game.

 

companion choice leaves something to be desired. the companions are actually pretty well written, and i'll discuss that below, but the party mix makes it very difficult to really get a jive going. you're always pissing someone off. i chose the good path, and oddly enough, the only one i gained any influence with was the neutral evil chick. some of the influence points made no sense at all (i asked a question once, and my neutral evil chick got all pissed off saying "i can't believe you're going to do this" - i wasn't, i simply wanted more information). in the end, i think they all had seriously considered a dagger in my back.

 

minor quibbles:

some cut scenes were a little confusing, skipping around a bit often making it hard to know who owned the text on the screen. the ones that were voiced over were a bit easier to follow, however, but a limited budget also meant limited voice overs.

 

the shops run out of gold too quickly. later in the game, you have do buy/sell meta-gaming to sell all the lewt you're getting. as far as i can tell, there is only one shop that doesn't cap at 5000 gp, btw. fortunately, gold is not really an issue in this game.

 

the game does not auto-save at logical points that i could discern. not bad per se, but beware and save every time you enter a brand new building you think might be a battle. the game might not have even saved the last time you transitioned town areas.

 

the ending is... lengthy, though i haven't decided if this is good or bad. i'm not going to spoil it because it is not at all obvious.

 

good:

the writing was quite good. in general, i thought the story was very interesting though the ending has me left sort of... hmmm. not sure. at any rate, the ending was not really obvious, or at least, i didn't figure it out an hour into the game.

 

as i said, the companions were actually done well. there is some interesting banter that goes on between them. i can only wonder what would have been said or how differently things would have turned out if i had managed to actually influence one of them.

 

the voice overs, though limited, were excellent. some of the best in any NWN game, or any crpg that i've played, actually. who did these? i was impressed.

 

since i played in wimp mode, i cannot attest to the difficulty of the game. i think it would be difficult on hardcore, but not to the point of frustration. the hardest part was the damned cut scenes which forced certain positionings and the all to famous ambush cheat (one guy walks through the door and suddenly you're all surrounded in the middle of the room). aside from those cases, where occurred occasionally, though not too frequently to make me quit the game, it seemed like there was plenty of challenge to make combat worthwhile. next time i'll play through in hardcore mode on the "evil" path and i'll get a better idea. oh, i was a weezard 5, ASoC 10 at the end of the game (i liked the ASoC, btw, and this was my first time playing one).

 

the quests were pretty cool. not many were really fedex. even the more fedexish quests were complicated in ways that made a bit of sense. supposedly the evil path has different main path quests, which provides at least one replay for your money. the game does not really hold your hand, however, so if you lose track of where you're going or who you are reporting to, you may be consulting the message boards for help on occasion. i don't think this is a bad thing, just pointing out how it is. i played mostly while i was exhausted, which probably caused me to lose track a time or two. :grin:

 

overall, the game took probably 12-15 hours. since i was in wimp mode i did not have to reload often and i did 6 hours straight yesterday. playing in hardcore, finishing all the quests, i could see someone spending more than 15 hours on this game, though not much more. the only reason i ever consulted the message boards was because of losing track of where to go, or in once instance, an object was expected to be used but only indirectly. it was one of those objects that did not have a use option, but you had to use something else that brought up the "do you want to use this stuff on that thing?" question. in short, while there are puzzles, none of them are too difficult or overly ambiguous to make the game frustrating.

 

overall, definitely worth $10, maybe even more.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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I've launched into it and my initial impressions are as follow:

 

Playing on hardcore and not using all of the NPCs I can, the combat is a bit difficult (read, not a solo or even duo-friendly module). I'm guessing it's balanced for a full party on normal difficulty.

 

The NPCs so far are very cliche, but interesting enough. You have the spunky streewise female rogue, the tortured fallen paladin, the cleric fed up with the church . . . need I go on?

 

The city has a good look and feel to it, though as with most modules the reality is somewhat less remarkable than the first impression.

 

It would be a really awesome free module, but so far I don't feel cheated out of my $10.

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the companion choices are rather odd. those you listed are it, too, regardless of which path you take. influence behaves strangely, btw. almost counter-intuitive sometimes. my guess would be that this game is rather difficult if you do not have an arcane spellcaster as your PC. i played on wimp mode and it seemed that many of the group spells (missile storm, in particular) are a requirement. no, it is not a solo/duo thing, even in wimp mode.

 

i agree, i did not feel cheated. some of it i really liked, and in the end, it was simply a fun romp. not too complex to require you to pay attention to every detail, but enough to keep it interesting. i suppose it is a bit linear, but for such a short game, that is almost to be expected.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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With regards to never making a D&D game ever again, sadly I agree.

 

D&D is dead, 4E has killed it. Ergo, I'm actually now quite happy to see new rulesets develop. Of course, one day people might make retro-rules games using new engines (I really can imagine that one day people might find the inconsistent but oddly charming strictures of 1E AD&D appealing again). Until then, let's see what games like Dragon Age throw up (not literally of course) and see what happens.

 

I'd like to see a fantasy game based on a GURPS derived SPECIAL-esque system, for example.

 

Cheers

MC

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Oh there is plenty wrong with the engine, starting with the horrible camera and the fact that its a grade A system hog. There are engines that look tons better out there yet dont need near as powerful a system to run. Hell, The Witcher runs on the same engine and takes about the same power, yet it looks a **** ton better in pretty much all areas.

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What's wrong with the camera, it's pretty much the standard PC camera now. I know everybody complained about the OC, but I run it fine on an old PC, MotB was quite a bit more demanding. On my new computer I would be able to run MOW on the highest settings just fine, but I had to set it on the lowest because MoW constantly crashes otherwise.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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I'm playing in character mode, and the camera works fine. You can swivel it around and zoom all the way out if you need to see a lot. The only problem as always is when you go through a door you're too close to the wall. I believe any rubber banding can be turned off, but it's not an issue the way I play. Anyone who's refusing to play because of the engine is really missing out, the game has the best content I've seen in a long time.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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So Good even the codex likes it! (Link is for the codex review).

 

:ermm:

 

But teh codex hates everything!

I came up with Crate 3.0 technology. 

Crate 4.0 - we shall just have to wait and see.

Down and out on the Solomani Rim
Now the Spinward Marches don't look so GRIM!


 

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So Good even the codex likes it! (Link is for the codex review).

 

:ermm:

 

But teh codex hates everything!

 

Its like those old "Life" cereal commericals with Mikey.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

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So Good even the codex likes it! (Link is for the codex review).

 

:o

 

But teh codex hates everything!

 

No, the codex does not hate everything. They (and we) just like our rpgs to be a certain way, preferably like Mysteries of Westgate or like Mask of the Betrayer where choices have real meaning and consequences accordingly. We (or they) also like that you can do questt through dialogue, combat or stealth.

As VD's excellent review discusses, we'd like to be surprised as well.

 

PS: I got the irony in the response ;)

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