Skwatch
Henri   Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
 
 
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Last Online 15 hrs, 21 mins ago
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THIS GAME DOESN'T NEED AN INTRO

Still after 100+ hours into this game, I haven't discovered everything and there are still premium modules from Bioware I haven't even touched yet + there are community modules that are even larger and better made than the original expansions or premium modules. It is crazy. Even this first month, people have already submitted enough modules in the Steam Workshop that if you want to play the good ones + premium modules + expansions + the base games, you could easily put 300-400-1000? hours into this game. And those are hours and hours of quality storytelling, not some run & fetch quests!

This game is not easy, nor it is very difficult. It is also based on a lesser used d&d ruleset: the 3.0 version. If you don't know these rules, the game can become difficult, since it may be that you don't know what you're doing. The 3.0 ruleset was a shortlived ruleset was updated into the extremely well known 3.5 ruleset, which currently lives on today in Pathfinder and Starfinder. The 3.0 ruleset has different skills, classes' special abilities and level-based unlocks are different then in the 3.5. It's not a huge difference. But the wizard familiars and spell specialisation is completely different.

The skillset in neverwinter nights is not really any version of d&d. Since 3.0 and NWN was developed simultaneously, Bioware altered some skills and made them more efficient for a computergame. Such as swimming and climbing, also roleplay-skills are not added, f.e. reading lips (which doesn't excist in 3.5) or Inuit (which is the survival check in later d&d versions),... Riding was added in the latest patch nwn received back in the day. So don't bother levelling the riding skill when you are playing the main game, since you won't find any mounts.

CHARACTER CREATION

The fun thing about this game, maybe the most fun thing, is character progression. 3.0 and 3.5 are still the most technical crunchy D&D versions were you really could customize your character in any way possible. Character creation and levelling is not for the faint of heart. Without knowledge of the original RPG it can become quite difficult. Especially in the beginning.

When building your char you can also chose to use the recommended button. And it can be a wise choice, except when chosing a class in character creation. That is the only moment where you shouldn't use the recommendation button. It will choose for fighter, I think, and that is the most boring class to play in this game. Otherwise, if you have chosen a different class and want to use the recommendation button afterwards, it will chose the most common options and the ones easiest to use for beginners. It also keeps in mind your previous choices. So if you have chosen to be a wizard, the recomendation button will know.

The cool thing is, that the prestige classes are also included in this game. After a certain criteria is fulfilled in your character build, this will be after leveling up a couple of times, you can choose to multiclass into a prestige class. For example you can become an epic shapeshifter druid, or a red dragon disciple. You will develop wings and dragonfire breath and have dragonskinn armor as spells. Pretty cool.

COMBAT

Combat is for some people very confusing. The game doesn't really explain what's going on behind the scenes, I think in the boxed version of the game it was explained in the manual, but it's not explained ingame. So for people who don't know D&D, which is rare, since 5.0 is extremely popular, I'm going to explain combat in D&D in short. Keep in mind, this game is a real-time turnbased game, so every character will do an action when it is his turn.

At the start of combat, all combatants who engage into combat will receive an initiative number. They will roll this randomly with a 20 sided die + their initiative modifier, which consists of their dexterty + bonusses from feats. The highest number can act first in combat. Then when everybody has received their turn, the first one can do a move action and a normal action. Or do a double move action. This game is realtime turnbased, so this you won't notice at first. But say, you are first in the initiative round. You have a speed of 30 feet (human) and you run 60 feet toward the enemy. The enemy can run 30 feet towards you and then still hit you first even when he is later in the combat initiative. So keep in mind, sometimes it is better to let the enemy run towards you.

To hit someone you have to roll for attack. This is d20 + BAB (basse attack bonus, a number according to class & level) + the attack modifier of your weapon + feats + bonuses. The attack modifier of your weapon can be your strenght or dexterity modifier. Finesse feat and ranged weapons use the dexterity modifier. So keep this in mind while building your character. So you generate this number, how high does it have to be? It has to be the same or higher than the AC of the enemy you want to hit.

AC? Armor class. AC is the following formula: 10 + Armor + shield + dodge (feat / spells) + natural armors bonus (feats / spells) + deflection (feat / spells) + dexterity (up to a maximum number according to the armor you are wearing).

You have hit the enemy, how much damage? Then you roll the die roll specified to a weapon. Lets say a greater longsword does 1d8 damage. So this can be a number between 1 (!!!) and 8. So even after all this, it can still be for nothing. But after a while you will find better weapons that can do extra damage, for example a greater longsword +1. This will do 1d8+1 damage.

Spells have their own specified rules. Just read the spell description to understand them.

In D&D you can do many extra actions in combat. The only one I know of that is included in NWN is the bonus action known as the attack of opportunity. A Bonus action is an action you can do only one time per round. So after the last one in the initiative order has done his turn, you regain a bonus action. So, when an enemy runs away from you OR passes you, then you get a free instant attack. This will be notified to the player above his head with the text: "attack of opportunity". This is a normal attack.

STORY and GRAPHICS

The storytelling in this game is the traditional oldschool text-based conversations, the most important onces are voice-acted. Which is pretty cool. The presentation is for some people not pretty. It is one of the first real 3D isometric games and it doesn't look very good. Even the enhanced edition doesn't really look good, BUT they are still working on it. To be honest, I downloaded some community made modules just to test a few things, and even the old ones look better than the official modules.

The official modules, most of them or even all (?), are set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Which is the most popular roleplaying setting since the eighties. Back then, it was not the main D&D setting, that was Greyhawk, but it was the most build and thought-out setting out there. And you will notice it while playing this game, this setting is HUGE and the community can create endless new stories in this setting. It is awesome.

ENHANCED EDITION?

The enhanced edition is not finished yet. So expect more changes in the future. Do I recommend it now? Well I recommend it to anyone who just wants a easy experience: steam cloud-saves, easy to instal community mods and modules, easy multiplayer and optimalisation for modern pc's. With the GOG version I haven't really bothered with searching for modules and back in 2002-2004 I didn't have an internet connection at home so I missed a huge part of the game.

I think with the enhanced edition, this can become a very nice new feel to an very oldschool RPG experience. With easy to install workshop creations from steam. This game has endless possibilities, and the fanbase is enormous. Even now the content released is enough for hundreds of hours of gameplay, even without replaying the game once.