I will point out here that I happened to think the first OC was decent enough to play through no fewer than seven times, and I played each of the shorter expansions through many times each as well. NWN was on my system longer than any other game in history (i.e. excluding games like Solitaire, Freecell, etc :wink: ) and I think it gave me more for my money than any other as well. Overall, NWN was a success in keeping me coming back to it while other games came and went.
But I think you should just let go now and see what the mod community has given us… there are some really good modules out there that I think people really need to see. Some of these modules are of a quality level that approaches the best commercial RPGs that have ever been released. And while the game has its intrinsic weaknesses as many of you have pointed out (like the combat and such), if you give me a really good story and some good characters, I’m totally there. And there are lots of mods that provide this. Isn’t that all that Planescape: Torment gave us? Aside from the great story and characters, it was average at best. But overall, it fucking rocked and it’s a favorite of many people, including myself.
It’s true, the mod community is the biggest asset NWN offers and most important reason that the game has continued to flourish for so long. Bio supports the community as best they can, and continues to look for ways to keep doing so (which is one of the reasons you see different revenue sources coming along, like the Biostore).
Unfortunately, I had been disappointed in the modules offered by fans more often than not, and that kind of success rate tends to dampen enthusiasm for the modules. It’s true, there are some great fan-built mods out there with some, as you say, rivaling many of the big production RPGs for enjoyment. The problem is that many players don’t want to put so much time and effort into characters when you can’t be assured of a decent gameplay. The longer the module (while this is what people want), the more difficult it is to take the chance on a poor design. On the other hand, short modules that are excellent story and dialogue-wise don’t offer enough time for character development, which is one of the primary reasons I play RPGs. For people like me, it’s why I tend to stick to the developer releases of new games, investing my time in those as opposed to chancing iffy fan content. At least I get to experience something entirely new (world, graphics, sound, characters, gameplay, etc) that way.
But hey, fans and followers of NWN will be pleased to have something new to play, and non-fans and avoiders will simply ho-hum and be on their way. I highly doubt anyone here is truly attempting to sway anyone’s opinion of NWN, nor do I think they could (we all know how fanatical gamers can be, no?).