Monday, January 22, 2007

Neverwinter Nights 2: Nevermind

Neverwinter Nights 2 appears to be a disaster. I'll show my concerns in three parts...

1) The frightening "Top 12 Bugs/Problems in Neverwinter Nights 2" concerning online play and persistent worlds yields such highlights as:

  1. The DM Client crashes the server regularly. This makes it unplayable.
  2. The server itself tends to crash "quite a lot."
  3. There is no Linux server, nor will there ever be in all likely hood. Windows server hosting games is rare and expensive.
  4. The Toolset crashes so regularly I read of several people giving up until it was patched. I gave up "The Movies" for being buggy with large films and have yet to "go back" a year later.
  5. Disconnects while loading new zones: players experience this while changing zones. It's more than frustrating.
  6. Connecting to new servers should be easier than this 5 step process that involves manually installing a 3rd party application and configuring ini files...
  7. Network Use Spike: Random bandwidth killer times out players on the server.
  8. As with NWN1, Hak Paks and server specific files are loaded after you create a character, which means you spend time doing that before the server unceremoniously dumps you.
  9. Scripting commands give limited information about objects, some of which NWN1 had solved. You have to create a creature/destroy a creature to figure out the height of the ground, for example.
  10. The large size of modules combined with the 2 gig RAM limit severely limits the current modules. A module might take up 600mb of memory but still hit this theoretical limit.
  11. Builders updating the module make it next to impossible for players to rejoin, as it's not as simple as downloading the latest module file and finding out what files need updating is not automatic, let alone knowing where to put them. People are trying to make jury-rigged tools to circumvent this.
  12. Graphics engine bogs down nearly any PC for no good reason at all.
2) The game itself sucks. Atari told Obsidian to, essentially, "release it now!" and rather than say "But, it's not done" Obsidian meekly replied "okay." The ending is a single image with text on it saying the dungeon collapsed and everyone was killed, while the game starts with 5 CGI intros of the distributor, developer, Wizards of the Coast, etc. The game is so rail-roaded XP is doled out by scripts, not by in-game calculations. Even so the ending is so woefully unbalanced you have to reload constantly because every encounter rates as "impossible." Why? Because the game wasn't finished, and now it's dying so quickly it never will be.

3) I've heard that folks are pleading with players to not Uninstall Neverwinter Nights (1), because that actually works and there are Persistent Worlds still out there for it. That's nuts.

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