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Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
18,302
Pathfinder: Wrath
If I'm allowed to be a bit controversial, I'd say the OC is more memorable than this.
An unpopular opinion, but absolutely correct.
Protagonist-man, you are now in the center. Please go north, west, south and east, and retrieve one item from each direction.
Chapter 1 of SoU is literally the same thing. Chapter 2 of SoU is also the same thing except one of the directions is swapped out with "kill 10 of these specific mobs". The OC at least has some memorable characters like Aribeth and some of the companions. Who remembers master Drogan or Heurodis from SoU?
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
18,302
Pathfinder: Wrath
The difference between the OC and SoU is that SoU is more compact and has better pacing until chapter 2. The structure is essentially the same.
 

Gargaune

Arcane
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
3,354
SoU's Ch.2 was very rushed and this was even acknowledged tongue-in-cheek in HotU's opening, Deekin asks if you read his book about your adventures and you can reply that it dropped off towards the end. SoU wasn't actually developed in-house by BioWare, but contracted out to Paul Neurath's Floodgate, and it definitely looks like they set out to iterate on the OC but maybe ran out of time towards the end.

But I loved it, precisely because of its more compact nature, in part. The OC just spread its content over too many gameplay hours, SoU felt more focused and better paced. I also liked it gimmicky dungeons, there was more bespoke scripting going on over there, and I adored the setting for its second chapter, a shame it was so short, I could spend twenty hours in something like that withough getting bored. A big feather in the campaign's cap was introducing persistent henchmen with inventory access - where the OC had a very rudimentary set of blokes they just copied from module to module with updated stats, Xanos and/or Dorna actually follow you through the adventure and you can deck them out how you like. They didn't have a lot of personal content, sure, but the OC's "level up, get exposition 1/2/3/4, find thingamajig" was grating and SoU's companions somehow felt like more of a genuine presence. Another thing that was improved was level design and loot distribution - I recall the OC dragging out room after room with the same encounters just to let you at a whole bunch of locked, trapped chests that only spawn RNG loot, but SoU felt like consolidated things into fewer containers with better stuff.

Anyway, official NWN content for me is TotM > SoU > DoD > HotU > OC. DoD's great, it should outrank SoU from an objective standpoint, but for some reason I remember the latter more fondly, probably nostalgia. As for HotU, the first chapter's great and so's the third, but for the middle one... I hate the Underdark. Caves, bleh, booo-riiing.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
18,302
Pathfinder: Wrath
While SoU does have better loot, it's still found mainly in chests and barrels in chapter 2. There are just random chests with usable gear in good condition alongside rusted weapons and armor that disintegrate if you touch them. The setting can be fun, but it was severely underused and it didn't feel like you are on a flying city like the game tells you you are. It felt like you are underground and the only hint you had that you are actually flying is when you face Heurodis herself in the last battle.

Speaking of HotU, what is the best SoU -> HotU bridging module? I know which one won the competition, but is it really the best one?
 
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
1,442
Location
The western road to Erromon.
TotM > SoU > DoD > HotU
Any of these has an okay story/plot/writing? I tried SoU recently and it very much looks like the OC in terms of the opening sequence, so I immediately stopped caring. Can I expect it would get better later?
HotU is the best among them for the Underdark segment and the final act. It's not gonna blow your ass off, but it's among the more interesting Bioware quests I've played across all their games. Really weak in the beginning though. SoU never improves storywise, in fact it gets worse the further you go into it. Didn't play any of the other addons.
 

Gargaune

Arcane
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
3,354
TotM > SoU > DoD > HotU
Any of these has an okay story/plot/writing? I tried SoU recently and it very much looks like the OC in terms of the opening sequence, so I immediately stopped caring. Can I expect it would get better later?
Though nothing impressive, I thought SoU's plot was perfectly serviceable and I really loved the setting of its final act, but it's desperately underutilised.

SoU carries on with HotU as a sequel and that does feature a decidedly epic third chapter, writing-wise. If you're a story gamer, I'd say it's worth a spin.

TotM has very consistent writing throughout. The core of its plot is quite simple in hindsight, at least with regard to its nominal antagonist, but it holds a couple of interesting twists and it's absolutely steeped in realmslore calling back to 2E, before the focus switched to the Sword Coast.

DoD is not a plot-driven module. The writing's there, but it's perfunctory, the goal was to recreate a BG1-style experience where you're freely exploring a semi-open world. And it does hit the mark in that regard.

So if it's story you're after, check out HotU and TotM. Neither's PST or MotB material, but they work well.
 

Gargaune

Arcane
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
3,354
TotM > SoU > DoD > HotU > OC
Where's Wyvern Crown on your scale?
Mm, not great, I didn't finish it. It brought about a lot of fantastic assets for the Toolset and some creative mechanics, but the overall implementation was quite rough across the board. It was also strongly geared towards martial classes, fiction-wise, which is not the sort of thing I'd have normally expected from a PM.

WCoC was allowed to release as a PM on an exceptional basis after Atari cancelled the program probably because of all the amazing new toys it brought, but DoD, which didn't make the cut, was much more polished and well-rounded as a module.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
18,302
Pathfinder: Wrath
I began HotU a few days ago but just now entered the well for the first time and am surprised you can have 2 party members instead of 1. Is the campaign balanced around having 2 henchmen?
 

rogueknight333

Arbiter
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
354
Is the campaign balanced around having 2 henchmen?

You are clearly expected to have 2 henchmen with you (the henchmen banter includes instances of them talking to each other for example), but I would not describe HoTU as being balanced around anything. Most of the encounters are ridiculously easy, and the two or three that are not can seem like a rather extreme spike if you are not prepared for them.
 
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
2,606
Location
The Present
One thing I recall about NWN OC, is how there were a few instances where it calls out the PC for their murder-hoboing ways. While in Act 1 in the noble district, when you break into that guys house who owns all of the grain. The next time is the random house past the troll bridge in Act 2. In both cases they respond with shock and disbelief how you think you're the good guy after breaking into their house, murdering all of their servants, and ransacking the place.
:philosoraptor:
 

Gargaune

Arcane
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
3,354
I began HotU a few days ago but just now entered the well for the first time and am surprised you can have 2 party members instead of 1. Is the campaign balanced around having 2 henchmen?
Yes, in as much as anything is. As with most other cases, scaling encounters will account for a variable party size within certain limits. HotU also has the occasional party banter between henchmen, BG-style, it's built on the assumption you'll have two of them with you. Other modules let you have even more, though I think three's the sensible limit if you expect to manage them to any extent in combat.

One thing I recall about NWN OC, is how there were a few instances where it calls out the PC for their murder-hoboing ways.
General problems notwithstanding, the OC had the odd spark. The low-Int dialogue was a fun touch, but just way too much work to carry on with in later modules, not just because of the volume but also having to handle triggers structure.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
18,302
Pathfinder: Wrath
I finished the first level of Undermountain and it was a bit meh. Too much focus on being quirky and random. You can also very easily skip 80% of it by finding enough rods to let you pass through, but you are missing out on some good loot if you do that. The second floor is a bit more straightforward and I like the gay genie from the bottle.
 

Skinwalker

*teleports inside you*
Patron
Village Idiot
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
10,633
Location
Nosex
Hordes of the Underdark was really good. It had a satisfying progression from the ruins of Watergate to the dungeons of an insane archmage to an entire alien underworld then finally straight to hell, and then back out in reverse order to fight the ultimate devil.

A long and arduous descent followed by a victorious ascension is very archetypal.
 

Gromoer

Educated
Patron
Joined
Jan 26, 2023
Messages
238
Location
Vault 15
Codex+ Now Streaming!
Are there any tools out there on the webz that might help testing a build? Or at least an easy to read feats list. Fandom’s is kinda ok but really not.
 

Gargaune

Arcane
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
3,354
Are there any tools out there on the webz that might help testing a build? Or at least an easy to read feats list. Fandom’s is kinda ok but really not.
You can use the online NWN2 Builder with some caveats, 3.5E vs. 3E, but it's close enough to get your bearings. I planned my last NWN1 F/Brd on it.
 

Gromoer

Educated
Patron
Joined
Jan 26, 2023
Messages
238
Location
Vault 15
Codex+ Now Streaming!
I don’t get it. Does parry mode allow attacks? I see nothing in the description that would say it doesn’t, yet sometimes with this mode activated my char doesn’t do any attacks except riposting.
 

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