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My impressions on the game so far.. *SPOILERS*

No doubt you will all be clamoring to read this (Yes, of course they will.)

I have not gotten very far, yet. Just questing around Athkatla and so forth... But..

I grudgingly accept that the developers have surpassed the exceedingly low expectations I had of them and have surged to the vanguard of Enhancement! This game has rekindled my love for BG2 with a fresh approach.

Though I have never cared for the mageling Neera or Rasaad, I did give Dorn a chance (since I needed a 6th to fill out the now-possible all-evil party.) The fool is holding his own.

But the real brilliance is Hexxat. I've been scouring these forums to find mixed reviews on this new NPC. The negatives first: From an RP perspective, most NPC's outside the evil sphere would not accept a Vampire as a traveling companion. If any. Haer Dalis, perhaps, or Jan Jansen. It's different to keeping around another evil-aligned NPC (such as Viconia, Dorn, etc) if you are a good-aligned party because while they are with you, they are not committing evil acts. Hexxat is actively (though off-screen) killing people to sustain herself. I find it very difficult to believe that NPC's from Keldorn to Cernd and everyone in between would accept such actions.

So from RP perspective, eh. Makes no sense.

But otherwise? Hexxat is wonderful. I've seen a few complaints that people like Clara ("fake" Hexxat) better, or that they wish they could have the option to save her. This moment was so brilliantly done, I don't know why you would want to take that away from the game. Aside from the cool twist, Clara talks in a deadpan monotone the whole time.. and her final words are delivered with such emotion, such fear, such pleading that it's really quite a powerful scene. I thought this was masterfully pulled off, and whoever voiced her has done a near-perfect job. (in fact, who did voice her?) The only minor complaint I have here is the fact that I find it unbelievable that your party would just stand there while Hexxat is draining Clara. I mean, it's not like a spell that takes an instant to cast and bam, it's over. Draining someone of their lifeblood is not an instantaneous process, and I doubt that everyone would stand about and watch it being done. Perhaps this could be changed to some sort of spell that Hexxat casts or something. In any case, it is a minor thing, but a niggling one.

Back to the point, I enjoy the fact that Hexxat is a lesbian. It has added another dimension for players who wish to play a female character. (Yes, my priestess of Talos is having a good time.) I've seen some complaints about this, too. We males get plenty of romance options. Besides, no one in their right mind would complain about a lesbian Vampire.

Viconia's new lines seem.. flat. Passionless. As if they were only written so the other NPC (Dorn, Hexxat, etc) could get THEIR point across. Kind of like a one-way conversation, just having someone to bounce off of. Now, when I first played this game over a decade ago, Viconia was my first love. This is unforgiveable. She is a woman full of hatred and passion and so forth, so her new lines seemed really poorly written to me.

Also, are mages in the game (Nalia, Imoen, Jan) with under 18 intelligence now considered utterly useless because of the implementation that a mage with under 18 intelligence cannot memorize level 9 spells? (Yes, you could use potions, but honestly, what a pain it would be to have to quaff a potion each time you stumble upon a level 9 scroll. Micromanagement at its worst/most irritating.)

All in all.. The game has been stable, playing well, and as I've mentioned, has brought this fresh approach to the game. Everything is polished and looks good and works well.

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