Diablo 2 vs. Neverwinter Nights

Maybe I just don’t understand RPGs, but could someone explain why, aside from extensibility, NWN is considered a far superior RPG than D2?

The pluses that I can see for NWN are that it has more classes, races, and spell options. On the other hand, like D2, the dialogue is strictly linear, since no matter how I respond to people the dialogue ends the same way. And since both games feature terrible dialogue I would argue that D2 has better dialogue simply because there’s less of it.

And the plot in both seem pretty tired.

NWN may have more “depth” to its combat (dex+skill+ad+nauseum) but D2 has combat that seems just as interesting but a lot faster paced.

What do y’all think? Sorry if this is a tired thread, and I assure you that I’m not trolling.

I would say NWN feels more RPG-like to me probably because of the number of side quests, the the less frantic combat, and the greater number of interactions with different NPCs. Sure the dialog isn’t great but the quests at least keep me interested for the most part. D2 is more like an arcade game to me. It has character/stat development but the pace of combat is very fast and can’t be paused and the number of side quests isn’t as great and they are far more linear. I feel like I have more freedom to wander and complete quests in whatever order I decide in NWN. Don’t get me wrong I played a lot of D2 and liked it just NWN seems to be deeper to me.

– Xaroc

Well, it’s the difference between RPG and RPG-Lite.

NWN’s RPG elements are much more complex than Diablo II in many ways. And, when it comes to attracting table-top RPG folks, complex = good.

Between the feats, racial abilities, stats, skills, and spell selection (for wizards and sorcerers), you can almost be assured that no 2 characters will be alike in NWN. In Diablo 2, you just have your stats and skill selection, which unfortunatly each have an “optimal” setting to them that means 25% of the characters of a class on BNet are identicle.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what you’re into. I like feeling like I have control over what my character grows into. I also like having to make choices without the fear of “gimping” a character.

Still, I love Diablo 2 and will undoubtedly play it all the time. It’s a great game, but I would file it in my Action list instead of my RPG list.

Identicle - when two things look pretty much the same but one is hanging a little lower than the other.

I dunno – I’d consider Morrowind to be a superior RPG if you define roleplaying by how much flexibility you have in developing your character and how open-ended the gameplay is.

There are a lot more plot twists and turns in NWN compared to D2. I think the combat is more fun in D2, though, and since both games are primarily all about slugging your way through hundreds of combat encounters, I think D2’s a superior game in that sense. (NWN combat is in one way a step back from the BG series, which had more interesting tactical combat through controlling a group.)

I think NWN is a lot of fun, though. And the editor is really nice, and I expect we’ll get some truly interesting fan mods.

This is one of those “why choose?” topics. We can have both.

“Between the feats, racial abilities, stats, skills, and spell selection (for wizards and sorcerers), you can almost be assured that no 2 characters will be alike in NWN. In Diablo 2, you just have your stats and skill selection, which unfortunatly each have an “optimal” setting to them that means 25% of the characters of a class on BNet are identicle.”

That’s just min-maxing at work. There’s no guarantee that NWN won’t have an optimal fighter template that players will gravitate to, for example.

Because Ben Sones likes the story.

Oh, I’m sure there will be min-maxing in NWN. It even happens in the PnP version of AD&D games, so I expect to see it soon.

What I was trying to get at, rather uneffectively, is that there is a lot of different ways to Min-Max in NWN.

Lets take the pure simple Fighter, for example. There are many different ways to min-max a fighter based on a concept. Go with a half-orc, specialized in Exotic weapons, weapon focus on Double bladed Axes, heavy armor to max AC. Or, you can go with an elf, specialized in dual wielding a Longsword/shortsword combo, weapon focused on both, light armor to maximize dex bonus, feats focused on Dodge and fortitude feats. And on and on and on. All are min-maxed characters, but there are just a heck of a lot more of them because of the fexibility of the system.

The same can be done with clerics (even more so, thanks to the God-focus effects), wizards (based on school focuses or even drifting towards heavier armor for a combat caster).

In Diablo 2, it just seems, for me, that each class has 1 - 3 possible setups. You don’t need to use those setups, but if you don’t, you’re pretty well screwed by the time you’re trying to take your character through Hell level campaigns. In NWN, I think it would be a challenge to make a character that was completely useless late in the game. I spose if you went against the grain completely on a character (IE: halfling fighter with everything going into Int and Wis), you could do it, but it would have to be on purpose.

I think what I’m getting at is the idea of choices in NWN. There is no “right” path to take your character down. In Diablo 2, it’s “kill everything”. In NWN, there is a lot of killing for sure, but there are many situations where you can take different paths through an encounter. You may be able to persuade the boss mob to just hand you the orb you were sent to retrieve. You might sneak up behind him and pick the orb from his pocket. You might bribe him and essentially buy the orb. Or you can just kill him and take it from his corpse. All methods work, none of them are forced on you. You may have a rogue with great pickpocket ability, but you can still slaughter the boss and take his orb.

My wife and me are both playing the game right now. She’s playing a half-orc warrior with a thief henchman while I’m playing a human sorcerer with a cleric henchman and a rogue familiar (a pixie. don’t laugh). Both of us are moving through the single player compaign at the same speed, but we’re doing it much differently. My sorcerer has a 20 charisma at the moment, between added points in magic items, so I tend to talk my way through things. Her orc, on the other hand, can’t string 4 words together much less convince a priest to lend her the key to the temple. Her game experience is much more hack-n-slash.

I ended up trading in NWN for some more PSOne games for my collection. Ill probably be playing Diablo II with some friends tonight.

I totally recognize the effort put into NWN, but come on. The corrupted saves, the fact that the game is so easy. It is totally possible to just sit in chapter 1 killing blood pirates and get to level 15 almost or just as fast as progressing through the game.

Ill probably pick it up again in a couple years, but I have my sights set on IWD2. I hope it’s great.

"It is totally possible to just sit in chapter 1 killing blood pirates and get to level 15 almost or just as fast as progressing through the game. "

LOL you complain about it being easy then talk about an expoilt to get really powerful easily so the game can…uhh become easy…geez.

I haven’t really used any exploits, but the game has gotten quite easy for me. Somehow, near the end of chapter 2 (thought I was in 3 but I’m not) I find that I’m level 14 and nothing’s really challenging except for some monster that had a death ray. I’ll probably be level 15 before I’m in chapter 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if I hit the level cap at 20 before I start the final chapter. With my henchman we’re cleaning up.

You really love to bash heads with people huh? I don’t, so here:

ATI rocks! I was being dumb! You are smart!
NWN rocks. It’s a challenging game that has been lovingly crafted into a title that transcends everything.

Jason Becker is COOL, I like when he calls me ignorant because I don’t agree with him and laughs at me in a manner that can only be perceived as mocking.

He is a credit to this forum!

Sure and you can fire up the editor and make yourself level 20 with all of the uber gear in the game but what is the point in that? All games have exploits to make them easier, like standing on the beds in Morrowind and shooting guards with your bow until they die. But it is up to you if you want to use them.

– Xaroc

All games have exploits to make them easier

I disagree with that sentiment 100%. All games that need to spend more time in play testing have exploits that make them easier.

–Dave

Game balance in NWN is probably a bit off due to the side quests. Does the game dynamically adjust the difficulty based on your level? I’m guessing it doesn’t.

Yes, sort of, I noticed that in the Zombie area of chapter 1 I faced A LOT more zombies and ghoul lords than I did the first time there. They also take a lot more hits. But there is of course a ceiling and the enemies can’t raise in difficulty forever.

‘Maybe I just don’t understand RPGs, but could someone explain why, aside from extensibility, NWN is considered a far superior RPG than D2?’

Diablo II is really, really reflex based. NWN isn’t.

I was about 2000 xp shy of lvl 20 when I finished the game, and something I noticed was that in late chapter 3 and chapter 4, the “common” encounters became equal to and sometimes harder than the “boss” encounters. I think the reason why is that the common encounters are set up by the dynamic encounter system, while the “boss” encounters have to be static, and the difficulty is based on what Bioware estimates your character would be like at that point in the game.

I seem to recall that Bioware stated that you’d be about 15th level when you finished the game (this is borne out by the fact that your henchman caps at 14), yet I hit 15th level about 5 minutes into the 3rd chapter. This was sorta my fault for playing multi with friends from the beginning until about half way through the 2nd chapter, then starting the 2nd chapter over with that same character. Well, that and obsessive-compulsively killing EVERY SINGLE MONSTER (including friendly animals. Hey, it all adds up).

“I noticed was that in late chapter 3 and chapter 4, the “common” encounters became equal to and sometimes harder than the “boss” encounters. I think the reason why is that the common encounters are set up by the dynamic encounter system, while the “boss” encounters have to be static, and the difficulty is based on what Bioware estimates your character would be like at that point in the game.”

Yep, that’s exactly right. If you start playing around with the editor and you read the “Official World Builder Guide”, standard monster encounters scale based on the level of the players playing, but boss monsters are static. Still, I’m not sure the scaling system is working that well for me. I’m somewhere in the middle of Chapter 3 and I’m level 16 (Ranger 13, Rogue 3). Nothing seems to be able to touch me. I’m translucent almost all the time, which I assume means I’m hidden. Most encounters, I don’t even seem to take any damage. This may be more of a problem with whoever wrote the single-player campaign rather than a limitation of the engine. On triggered encounters (as opposed to boss encounters), the module writer provides a list of which monsters can show up and maximum and minimum numbers of each. The game engine scales the encounter within the limitations the module writer has provided.

I think the play balance is off. Sometimes I run into monsters which should be much harder. My +2 swords don’t do any damage to them, so I assume they’re supposed to be real tough. But then all I do is switch to my bow with flaming arrows and they’re down real quick. This probably is more of a D&D limitation rather than something that’s Bioware’s fault, but it would be nice to have things a bit tougher now.

Overall though I think this is a great game. I’m plugging away at writing a module, which I think is the best part of the game. It’s been pretty slow going, but I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of NWScript.

I think the amount NWN is an RPG vs. an action RPG (ala Diablo) is simply dependent on the module writer. The point with NWN is it is possible to make it more of an RPG - Diablo 2 is fixed. I have played tons of Diablo 2, but while NWN single player campaign may not be the best “RPG”, it’s still got far more of an involved story than D2. In NWN quests are far more involved and there’s a lot more of them.

"Jason Becker is COOL, I like when he calls me ignorant because I don’t agree with him and laughs at me in a manner that can only be perceived as mocking. "

When you repeat the same old message board talk that goes on far longer than the reality of the situation then yes I will call you ignorant. Learn about whats going on and the CHANGES that have happened. Your post shiwed you were simply repeating the same tired ATI and their drivers yada yada blow…which isn’t true, period.