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As a whole which game did you enjoy more? NWN2 had 3 campaigns that were much, much better right out of the box than NWN1. The game was certainly much better to look at. But the community content never reached near what was produced for NWN1. The tool set, especially the heightmap was VERY difficult to use to create large areas I found.

 

I think NWN1 was strong not because the game itself was good, it wasn't. The OC was awful, SoU & HotU were a little better. It was good because is was so easy to mod. It was the modders working long hours for free to make content that made NWN1 great. I think the dame still has legs even today. New NWN1 content is still tuning up regularly.

 

For me based on the "whole experience" NWN1 was better. And that is owed more to people who never mad a dime on it than those that did.

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NWN2 without question. I was never much into the custom community content, so I had much more fun with NWN2.

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I hated 1 for the longest time. Coming to it after playing Baldur's Gate and getting that was a tremendous disappointment. I can still only think of 1 as a Diablo-like with auto-attack replacing all the clicking.

 

I think I only ever beat 1 several years later after both expansions were out and I finally gave it another shot. Played right through. Got bored playing every other attempt before and since.

 

Neverwinter Nights 2 was a genuine joy for me. It brought back playing with a party! Right up until Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights 2 was a mainstay on my hard drive. And the only real flaw I find with it to this day is that it was kind of generic in the main campaign. But still a few delightful characters. With an expansion I don't honestly have anything negative to say about, only positive.

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Neverwinter Nights 1 made me suspicious of Bioware ever since. NWN2 was better, but still not all that great for me, tho the storytelling in Mask of the Betrayer was da bomb! I'm happier to have games that play great straight outa the box than games that the amateur modding community has to try to fix. and fail.

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like MW just said, if you played the custom content and user made mods NWN1 could keep you busy playing new stuff even today. It's literally the gift that keeps giving. If all you wanted was the stock game, it was a stinker. NWN2 was far better on that count. But once you played it, you played it. That's it. That was why I like NWN1 better. 

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Campaigns wise they are equal.

 

NWN1 OC = 7.5

 

SOU = 6

 

 HOTU = 8

 

NWN2 OC = 7

 

 MTOB = 8.5

 

 SOZ = 5

 

Overall though ? As far as playability/replayability? NWN easily.

 

 

NWN = DA BEST GAME EVAR.

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Never really got into the user made content, so NWN1 died for me before reaching the 4th gadget you had to find (iirc, it had the same quest "structure" as Kotor, go to the 4 corners of the known world and collect something to save the known world from some unimaginable evil). It could also have been Aribeths (sp?) voice that put me off the game, so dropped the game at the start of the 4th chapter/phase/whatever.

 

Did complete NWN2 2 or 3 times, but after that it was also the end for me. Probably my least favourite Obsidian game to date (disclaimer: never completed Alpha Protocol, 2 or 3 mini games later and I uninstalled that game again). Did enjoy both NWN2 expansions though. Nevver got the NWN1 ones, although I think I might get some of those bundles on GOG.

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I'm afraid to say that when NWN came out I just could not get over the absolutely hideous graphics, coming from the painted artwork of the IE games (which probably reached its zenith in IWD,) to the blocky and hideously designed artwork of NWN, well that was a regression that just didn't appeal to me. The modding scene was yet young when I abandoned the game, I think the mod everyone was talking about at the time was called Elegy or somesuch, and so I never saw much of that side of the game.

 

NWN 2 however had a far superior campaign with a brilliantly implemented personal motivation for the protagonist, rather than the boring Chosen One trope that passed for motivation in the first OC, and a number of high points where Obsidian showed some real promise. Unfortunately the dull grind of everything between those high points was uninspired and repetitive, and far too Bioware-ish. I don't regret playing the second games OC like I did the first, and I appreciate what a visual treat it was, but I have as yet had no urge to play it again. Though I do ocassionally listen to the soundtrack of both games.

 

I liked SoU, despised HotU, adored MotB and admired the innovation of SoZ.

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I disliked NWN at first because of the lack of party control, but kept playing it up until HotU, at which point I lost interest. NWN2 was a big improvement. The original campaign (OC) had some bright moments, and some tiresome content. I learned to enjoyed NWN2 because of the module building capability, and later the small but dedicated modding community. It remains probably the best D&D-based module building system around, although there are some NWN module builders who find that debatable.

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I'd be very interested in hearing about what was so different. I did minimal work in both, but I'd say I did a lot more module building in NWN2. Regrettably not enough to finish anything.

 

Scuplting exteriors was a very powerful tool, but time consuming at the same time.

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I like NWN2 more just due to the party system, even though the companions are pretty bad AI and you can't really develop the OC ones how you really want due to them having prebased stats/feats, etc. I wanted my good old friend Khelgar to be a warhammer weapon master but due to his average 10 intelligence, he was lacking the ability to do that. For some reason I didn't even think to check his stats to see if he could actually do it, i just started picking feats to get him there and stop-gapped at feats i couldn't get due to not having 13 intelligence. 

 

Of course i can use console to do all that stuff, but i usually only do that in an emergency, not just to adjust characters.

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I'd be very interested in hearing about what was so different. I did minimal work in both, but I'd say I did a lot more module building in NWN2. Regrettably not enough to finish anything.

 

Scuplting exteriors was a very powerful tool, but time consuming at the same time.

Well the NWN toolset did allow you to make some very high quality and detailed areas pretty quickly once you mastered it. The heightmap system was much more powerful and produced much prettier results but t was VERY time consuming. Plu I had a lot of trouble getting scripted triggers to work right in NWN2 that I never had trouble with in 1. I didn't much like the dialogue display and camera zoom in 2 when there was no voice over.  Which few mods did. There were very few "epic" mods made for two. There were a dozen or so for one whose quality exceeded the OC by great lengths.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I like 1 in multiplayer but found the singleplayer portion to be some of the most boring thing I have played.

 

It's the opposite in 2. I tried multiplayer for an hour or two. It was all about the singleplayer content.

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I liked both games, but I NWN2 is the better game, just because of it's stories and companions. Of course we know all the clichés, but the plot was actually very complex and got actually thicker than weaker with each chapter. And NWN 2 had the stronghold. The glorious, wonderful stronghold, I never wanted to leave.

And I still can remember funny dialogues or scenes with mycompanions, instead of NWN 1 where I remember some aspects, but not most of it.

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I just find some of the comments interesting. As we near the 10-year anniversary of the US release (this month!), I can look back on this as possibly the best valued entertainment purchase I've ever made thanks to the PW community and the thousands of hours I've enjoyed (and I'll admit, spent frustrated) as a player, DM, builder, scripter, and content creator. But I'll also admit it's a matter of timing; my life when NWN1 came out didn't really allow for the sort of timesink that NWN2 did, and I didn't discover the PW community until 1 already seemed quite dated (both graphically and D&D rules version-wise), whereas with NWN2 I was in on the ground floor, experiencing the initial growth of its community and getting to be a part of it through a number of servers.

 

Some might look at it as a bit of a ghost town, but there's still a few excellent servers catering to different tastes. Speaking for the folks at the Sigil: City of Doors RP server (http://forum.nwn2planescape.com/), I'd gladly welcome back anybody who remembers those early heady days, and invite anyone who's new to the game to stop in and see what's happening. Other still-strong communities include the Kingdom of Haven social server, the Baldur's Gate: The Sword Coast RP server and the Realms of Trinity RP server. Some smaller servers still run and welcome new players as well.

 

And just a note to anyone considering coming back for the first time, you'll want to visit the Neverwinter Vault and download Skywing's Client Expansion to access the server list. There's other technical ways to do it, but that's the quickest way, and if you don't like using its other features you can always close them.

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I was never much of a modder nor was I very interested in the community-made content either. I also feel that in order to be fair with any comparison I have to stick with what the creators offer us and not look at the additional content, since that is the game the creators intended and released, and it does supposedly represent a completed work. Should I praise a film because some fan made a really good scene to tie inside it so as to give it meaning, or a song because others have covered it and made it into something better than it originally was?

 

Anyhow... With this in mind, I have to say that whilst I'm not the biggest fan of Neverwinter Nights 2 I still have to give it a clear edge over Neverwinter Nights. The latter's campaign in my opinion was extremely dull, and repetitive beyond belief. So we start off by having to recapture four creatures in four different corners of Neverwinter, once done we have to get four components of some artifact or another from four different and opposite locations, then we need to search for clues in four different and opposite places, then... You get the point. There's no narrative structure to speak of, no purpose to the game, it is just a grind that is neither rewarding nor challenging. The campaign seems to act as little more than a showcase for the dungeon editor, but in doing so also seems to highlight its ugliness and sheer artificiality. Every location, no matter how natural and wondrous it should be, is comprised of a collection of square tiles, giving even the likes of forests or caves a rigid, geometric and frankly sameish feel. Every crypt looks alike, every house looks alike, every dungeon is the same, and three levels too long. The campaign is lacking in any sense of wonder, any aspect in its storyline or its characters that could be considered compelling, it is standard beyond belief and even fails to fulfill in the familiar notes it touches. The editor was certainly fun, but what with its aesthetic rigidness and so on, I feel anything I did try and create was destined to disappoint.

 

Neverwinter Nights 2 is probably as familiar and standard a story and setting as that given in the first game, and it doesn't really get any points for any semblance of originality or innovation. The story is as standard a rehash of Lord of the Rings as you'll see, what with our character being the bearer of an item that could vanquish an ancient evil power in the shape of the KING OF SHADOWS ('Jeff' was not ominous enough), and filled with a bunch of derivative fantasy characters the likes of the hot-tempered dwarf, the haughty elven wizard, the hot elven chick that secretly fancies the protagonist, the romantic and heroic paladin, the naughty tiefling rogue, the zany gnome that seems to only talk gibberish, and so on. The writing is generally subpar, the voice acting is frequently embarrassing, the choices one can make as the protagonist are generally limited to "good", "neutral" and "evil", there is nothing here you won't be expecting to find in a standard fantasy RPG. But you know what? Despite all its problems, I did enjoy it. Sure thing, the game is extremely derivative, but there is some merit in getting the genre beats right, and this game does just that. It's familiar, and sometimes you just want familiarity to wrap you up like a warm and fuzzy blanket in mid-winter. I played the game expecting a high fantasy epic storyline, and I got just that, replete with several sidequests, forgeable weapons, a customizable stronghold that you'll have to defend, a nice heroic arc and so on, so forth. It's no Planescape: Torment, it's its antithesis if anything, but that's not all too bad. It is, above all else, enjoyable fluff, and in this sense it is already more than its predecessor. On top of that, some locations are actually quite lush, the editor is quite fun to use and complete, if as inviting as an Excel spreadsheet. Overall it's a clear improvement in my opinion.

 

To add to this, I genuinely think Mask of the Betrayer is one of the best games I've played from the last ten or so years, though I likewise think Storm of Zehyr is even worse than the original Neverwinter Nights. Mysteries of Westgate was also very enjoyable from what I recall. I haven't bothered with Hordes of the Underdark or Shadows of Undrentide.

 

Based off memory alone, my ratings for each would be...

 

Mask of the Betrayer - 9/10

Mysteries of Westgate - 7/10

Neverwinter Nights 2 - 6/10

Neverwinter Nights - 4/10

Storm of Zehyr - 2/10

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  • 4 months later...

NWN was better than NWN2 without a doubt.

 

If someone bought NWN for the story they made a mistake because it was sold as an adventure creation kit. Nobody reviews an instrument like a keyboard for the quality of whatever tune was preloaded onto it. They review it for how good the instrument is and what capabilities it gives musicians. That is the only fair way to compare titles in this franchise.

 

I doubt there are any people that really feel they would love to see Obsidian make a story-only sequel to NWN2 over any other IP they could work on instead.

 

The story in NWN was more like a tutorial for modders because the product being sold was the toolset with the DM client and PW support. NWN was the RPG genre's Minecraft before Minecraft even existed, NWN mods were even used by educators in the classroom. Nothing like that happened with NWN2 because it just wasn't as good as NWN in that regard. Metacritic also lists NWN as 10 points higher than NWN2 and about 20 points higher than NWN2 in user rating. Hint-hint, it's not because of the story or game mechanics.

 

* NWN2 used proprietary middleware no longer even remotely available for things which NWN does with easily available tools and file formats.

* All NWN2 areas need to be baked and downloaded on servers which need to be restarted too. For NWN it's never an issue which allows modders now to dynamically create new areas on servers without restarting, that's not ever possible for NWN2 because of walkmeshes.

* NWN mods and servers can have thousands of areas that simulate large worlds and big adventures. NWN2 servers usually get 50-100 exterior areas, they're small vignettes which makes NWN2 servers feel like mini-golf instead.

* Outfit customization was a feature in NWN with 21 alterable body parts and 6 color channels. NWN2 has about 4 parts with 3 color channels and couldn't be customized in game. Modding later expanded NWN's capabilities to mind boggling degrees that let players create any kind of character, NWN2 character customization was only available with a database modded plugin and still limited.

* NWN has thousands of amazing tileset mods that creature natural terrains. NWN2 has heightmaps which end up looking like poorly done tilesets with shear inclines that stretch textures and can't do 90 degree angles.

 

Since content creation was the whole point of the franchise (otherwise Bioware would have done Baldur's Gate 3 instead of NWN)  then I think it's very clear that NWN was better because it succeeded better at being a virtual dungeon master's world building toolkit. It's still the best at what it does almost 15 years later.

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NWN was better than NWN2 without a doubt.

 

If someone bought NWN for the story they made a mistake because it was sold as an adventure creation kit. Nobody reviews an instrument like a keyboard for the quality of whatever tune was preloaded onto it. They review it for how good the instrument is and what capabilities it gives musicians. That is the only fair way to compare titles in this franchise.

 

Sorry, but no. The equivalent to the keyboard would be the engine, in this case Aurora, or even the computer itself, not the end result which is by all means comparable to music. In music too, some pieces have different purposes than others, études for example acting largely as practice material, but it doesn't make them any less subject to review as musical pieces. If Neverwinter Nights ought to have been all about the editor, and existed as a tool opposite to a game, it should have been all about the editor: that is simply not the case, however, and it is still a *game*. As such, it is not a mistake to evaluate it for its campaign, which is by all means dire, if the editor is nevertheless a part of the whole and can be looked at as well.

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