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LONG BLOG

Neverwinter Nights: 16 Years in and Still Impressive

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If you were paying any attention to my rants last night you know that:
A:  The native Windows 10 streamer is a joke.
B:  I speak too quietly on a microphone.
C:  I'm old

You *also* know how much of a fan I am of the 2002 Bioware/Atari Neverwinter Nights game.  Being a long-time D&D gamer (since 1984) and an equally long time console and computer game player I have always, always, always eaten up the Dungeons and Dragons game offerings; even the bad ones.

In the late 90s Bioware changed the state of the game completely with Baldur's Gate and they kept changing it.  In my circle of geeks there was and likely still isn't a game as anticipated as the Neverwinter Nights release of 2002.  It promised multiplayer, content creation, and a true 3rd edition D&D experience.  What did it deliver?

It stayed very true to the 3rd edition D&D experience allowing for optimizing some rules based on the fact we were playing it on a computer and not tabletop.  A couple of rules differences were frustrating personally.  I'm still sore 16 years later that they classified chain shirt as medium armor and therefore worthless to a ranger.  "You can't sneak in a chain shirt," one person told me on the old forums once.  Well, maybe HE couldn't.  But I sure as shit could and if a fat guy like me can then a ranger born on the sword coast sure as hell could.  

The story for the original game is very Dungeons and Dragons.  An epic quest to save an entire city from a plague and then track down those responsible in a showdown of either revenge or justice.  Barring the usual fetch and return quests that make every gamer want to scream in every RPG the plot and main quest line was engaging and fun.  The multiplayer aspect wasn't quite right for the provided campaign but watching friends get fried by fire traps because they were, in my opinion, the basis of Leroy Jenkins always made me laugh.

Neverwinter Nights was hardly the first game to offer content creation but boy did it do it right.  Not only could we create our own scenarios known as modules the game was incredibly moddable.  I will admit this is where I spent most of my time in Neverwinter; creating scenarios and playing with my friends.  Many of the modules written by the community over the years are still available for play and while I was mucking about trying to find a decent streaming software I came across the module archive site.  I was incredibly surprised to not only see one of mine still there but it was still being played and downloaded with mostly positive reviews.  

This isn't to say everything was rosey.  There was a divisiveness to this game as there is all games.  The graphics were blocky and out of date.  In exterior maps small buildings had cavernous T.A.R.D.I.S. like interiors.  There was no fear and no penalty of resting.  Time didn't pass and if you found a spot where you could rest you didn't ever fear being interrupted.  I was grateful for the community scripters who created scripts for random encounters and the chance to be interrupted while resting just like the tabletop game.  The biggest and most criticized feature was the stone of recall which allowed you to jump back to you chapter bind point in an instant.  it also meant that there was almost no reason, other than suddenly being overwhelemed, to die.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some old hard drives to search through to see if I can find any of my old modules...

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About Aurachadone of us since 4:14 PM on 01.29.2018