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  • Re: Talking about Neverwinter Nights

    I liked NWN for the online possibilities. The original campaign - I never actually finished it, though I did complete SoU and HotU.
    Neverwinter Nights just wasn't a very interesting setting, I felt. And the plot was very mechnically implemented, essentially resulting in a "go here, go there" set up. Once you have gone here and gone there, you arrived in a new setting, and were told to "go here, go there". It was just very dull, and dungeon crawling.
    IWD was arguably the same, but had a very distinct, rich setting that separated it from the rest of Faerun.
    BG1 had a much better narrative than NWN, not to mention you spend the entire game trying to get to the city - which is the namesake of the game - only to arrive and have your expectations fulfilled: The entire city is presented to you, there is plenty to do, and it feels like a city of historians, adventurers and aristocrats, as it is supposed to.
    Athkatla, similarly, is the merchant city of Faerun, with as strong a culture (if not a stronger one) than Baldur's Gate. There is absolutely everything to do in the city, and it is rife with interesting characters and interactions.
    Ultimately, NWN can be criticised for a variety of things, but the fact that the setting wasn't unique, immersive or interesting to begin with set it back paces. In a D&D pen and paper game the possibilities are endless, but with a computer game, the idea is to streamline the activity while still allowing player freedoms in what feels like an endless, rich setting, which BG, BG2, and, to a lesser extent, IWD did.
  • Re: What's your favourite spellcaster class?

    From a roleplaying perspective I would always choose Sorcerer, but after so many playthroughs of Baldur's Gate it's more about the gameplay now, for which I enjoy the customisability of my Mage's spellbook. I'm likely to play both many times again, though. There's little chance of me breaking even on playthroughs per class. Arcane casters go go go.
  • Re: condescending dialogue

    They should have programmed in a few extra factors, Being lord/lady of a keep is automatic nobility. Cash check/quality of the gear they are wearing before dismissing someone as being a beggar. Knights/Paladins are always of noble blood.
    Thx for the replies
    Probably. But it is an old game that lacked the resources and the current trend for narrative variables when these things were being decided, so you gotta forgive 'em. They did an awesome job regardless, right?

    If it helps, you can always be looked down upon because you were given the keep through hard work. Yuck. Nobility is all about the bloodlines. You're just a peasant playing dress up as far as these folk are concerned.

    And sure, you may not have nobility in your blood, but just wait until they hear what you do have...
  • Re: [Spoiler] About Jaheira

    I find a few areas of the anti-Jaheira debate here to be, to say the least, a little facetious. There seems to be an active desire to dislike her among some commentators: which I guess I can't, nor should, condemn seeing as I've dug myself into a pit of utter enmity and disdain for Aerie the likes of which no winged Elf (even one still possessing of their wings) could raise me out of. Still, for the sake of rebuttal I'd like to list some counterproposals.

    The idea that Jaheira's confidence was reliant upon a man is, if you ask me, an eagerness to impose misogyny on a highly nuanced character.
    How about Jaheira's confidence or sense of place in the world being visibly shaken after seeing their lover mutilated whilst she was completely helpless to prevent it and, hell, didn't even know it was happening or had happened until she saw his desecrated corpse?
    Perhaps after being assigned the role of guardianship over somebody who is quickly showing the capacity to rise to Godhood, one's idea of where they fit in might be shaken, right?
    How about after being called upon to betray that role by her alleged brothers & sisters in order to advance one man's political agenda?
    The context for all such happenings being whilst returning to a city in which the good deeds she has wrought in her past make her the subject of who-knows-how-many people's revenge schemes (represented in the Baron Ployer story arc). Do any of those things seem like they might contribute to one's sense of self being disrupted, or shall we jump straight to the assumption that Jaheira's confidence lived and died on a man?

    The belief that Jaheira abandoned Khalid is, I think, overthought.
    The game tells us that he is beyond resurrection, and the issue is never revisited in such a way as to imply Jaheira might have abandoned him. If it did, I would be all for analysing that argument, but no such implication is ever made again by anybody.
    Similarly, the game's writing tells us there is no way to resurrect Yoshimo in death. I'm sure some piece of source material for D&D provides a loophole for that, but the game does not. Yet nobody makes the allegation that the protagonist, regardless of race/class/alignment/gender, is being forced down a narrative of avoiding the resurrection of Yoshimo. The game tells us it can't be done, and gives us no opportunity for rebuttal, so we accept it - this should apply in the case of Khalid's death as it does in Yoshimo's.

    If you don't want to get on board with that, I certainly cannot make you, but if so can we all at least agree that Minsc is a dreadful embarrassment of a Rashemi Berserker for not grabbing some remnant of Dynaheir's corpse on the way out to resurrect her? Furthermore, he asks Aerie to be his new witch. Jeez. He didn't wait very long to do that, did he? What's the game timer on that one? I guess he never really cared about Dynaheir in the first place, he was just hungry for that promotion the way Jaheira's hungry to have a man on her arm. That Minsc sure is a terrible guy, am I right?

    Criticism of Jaheira for moving on too quickly.
    For starters, nobody is entitled to tell another person when they are allowed to love again, or how long they ought to grieve for. Jaheira's grief for Khalid doesn't cease to exist because she can love the protagonist, anyway. Both he and Gorion are frequently mentioned: Khalid most freqeuntly and right up until the final confrontation with Irenicus in which she still calls him to battle in the name of vengeance. Her love for the protagonist is not mutually exclusive with a love for her deceased husband.
    Alright, I can allow for the reality that a matter of days is probably too short a time for a deep, binding emotional entanglement to be likely in the real world following the death of one's spouse: even then, I'm of the Tolkien-esque belief that moments of life and death (such as Jaheira & the protagonist face several times daily) have the capacity to accelerate the process of human emotion. Beyond that, she is - and has for a long time - been entangled in a dynamic with somebody who has the essence of a God in them, and who might well become a God in full some day. As such, I might allow for extenuating circumstances on the possibility that such a person could have a kind of sway over you during a time of emotional turbulence which can't be measured as one might measure it between two ordinary people in the real world.

    I'm very fond of Jaheira, flaws and all. She expects the best of other people and is quick to point out their flaws, but she does not lack for moments in which she commends her allies either. What's more, if she has high expectations of others, she has higher expectations for herself, and I think the romance dialogues are where she makes it clear that she does not think she meets those expectations as often as she likes.

    It's sort of like the whole archetype of Ice-Queen-Femme-Fatale-Mega-B!tch that surrounds Miranda Lawson in the Mass Effect trilogy, in my opinion. Very, very little of Miranda's time is spent being that kind of character if you engage in any personal dialogues with her, and she quite clearly goes beyond being that person. Jaheira's the same: it really doesn't take much. But a character is often identified first by their archetype, and that tends to solidify quite quickly. Jaheira will always be the judgemental, opinionated one, just as Miranda Lawson will always be the resident Ice Queen of Mass Effect, despite neither character really committing to this persona at the core of their dialogues.

    Sorry for any typoes that crop up. There's bound to be a few! Thanks for reading!
  • Re: Your Favorite Underwhelming Spells

    Grease - Recently I was using this spell even by the time I was battling the intermission enemies against the final boss in Throne of Bhaal. Fallen Solars were never so fallen from grace than when they failed to overcome a level 1 spell cast by a Bard, let me tell you that.

    Burning Hands - This goes up to a +20 damage bonus, can kill any Trolls you forget you were about to encounter, and is generally just too stylish as an iconic Mage spell to be discarded in the later game. Sure it doesn't take up many of my spell slots, but I don't like to altogether discard it.

    Shocking Grasp, Ghoul Touch, Phantom Blade - Alright, no, I never memorise these spells. However they remain some of my favourite spells. Some day I will have to create a Fighter/Mage that deals in these kinds of spells because they are worth so many style points, and Mages are all about killing things with a bit of pageantry, no?