Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
I hope you check out BG2EE and Neera, if you haven't already. Let me know what you think.
In other news, I'm still in New York, though since I last posted here I moved away and came back again. This adventure resulted from an ill-conceived, expensive, but still educational foray into studying law at UC Berkeley. I was disabused of my legalistic ambitions fairly quickly, and I'm now teaching literature in an early college program on the Lower East Side, pursuing my worryingly eclectic hobbies, and living the pauper's life I was apparently meant to live.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
I was never ‘inta Neverwinter myself, let alone its huge modding community, but RPS reader Andrew “Block-Rocking” Brockert has provided us with some advice on how to get to the good stuff.
IGN’s NWN Vault is where it’s at, apparently, and you can browse all the top-rated mods right here. Mr. Brockert recommends Planescape: Purgatorio and Harp & Chrysanthemum.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Posted by Malak Darkhunter at 2010-12-27 21:57:22 Voted 10.00 on 12/27/10
Absolutely amazing, this is how all modules should be created, everything is custom, the armor weapons, I know how much work was put into creating this mod, having made custom items myself. I felt like I was in a story, and didn't want it to end, the music was superb to the setting. Finishing all quests was no problem to me as I wanted to stay in the module, and explore everything. Amazing peace of work, my thanks!
Thanks Malak, and while making individualized magic items is definitely time-consuming, I too feel like it adds a lot to a game. This is one sacrifice action RPGs make for more flexible and random loot systems. And I'm glad you liked the music and thought it was appropriate for the setting--that's one of the things that makes me proud of H&C.
Posted by Avo at 2010-12-26 00:32:54 Voted 8.00 on 12/26/10
Let us talk about side-quest for a minute. They are, by name, something that should be done on the side, if they meet one's style of play and/or your characters alignment, motives and class.
Side-quests should not be mandatopry. A story driver player should IMHO be able to finish a module without doing them.
This is the biggest and major flaw that led to immense frustration with H&C for me. By chance and choice I seemed to have missed the two biggest side quests (barrows & castle) and did not complete two others (plants & tomb) Imagine my surprise when I had played about 9/10 of the module and then realised that my party was at least two levels too low to even survive the first two rounds of the final fight. Two levels mean a lot in that level range where the module is set. Usually tow "Hammer of the Gods" were wnough to finish my whole party.
I had already tricked my way out of the BMT fight which I found not very in character. Only to find the final fight even harder. Since I didn't have an earlier save, I would now either have been forced to play the whole thing again or cheat. So, for the first time in my NWN2 career I resorted to god-mode. Truly one of my low points...
I am by no means a power gamer, but I consider myself experienced. I have managed most of the 8+ modules including some that are considered "very hard". Very frustrating.
So, H&C felt like this immensely beautiful race horse that left all of the competition miles behind and then falls flat on its face 5 meters before the finish line.
Awesome graphics, great companions, immersive story, well-balanced combat throughout the bulk of the module and then a hugely unbalanced final fight.
I can see why this is so highly rated, but I cannot for the life of me give it more than an 8.
Thanks Avo, and you're quite right that the mod doesn't scale well if you don't complete the bigger side quests. Creating satisfying but truly optional side quests is one of the most difficult challenges, I think, for a game designer. If a side quest is truly optional, small, and relatively straightforward, it may seem trivial (the numerous forgettable FedEx quests in Baldur's Gate are a prime example of this sort of side quest). If you make a side quest too big (and I think that Castle Joyous, while perhaps the most successful part of H&C, is also too big as a side quest), you risk making it too important and therefore not optional. To a degree, pride simply gets in the way--"Hey, player! I spent a lot of time on writing and designing this; if you don't experience it YOU WILL PAY." But there's also the more altruistic goal--having a player stumble across something totally unexpected and marvelous that's outside the main story.
The trick, I guess, is for the designer to craft smallish, interesting, but non-crucial side quests and to assume, for the sake of balance, that the player will do less than a half of them.
Anyway, thanks Malak and Avo for these excellent comments--I'm glad that, three years later, people still feel compelled to make them and to vote!