Qt3 Games Podcast: Dean and Neverwinter Nights 2

Dean, I just went to that site. I listened to the whole of Who Buried Paul, then decided to read one of the other. I just now finished The Secret of Psalm 46.

I am in love with this man.

The carpeting has all been removed, and the beautiful hardwood floors have been restored.

We left the kitchen alone because it needs a complete remodel, which we can’t afford for a few years.

Dean, I loved the podcast and was fascinated by your discussion of the Columbine RPG game. Especially the comparison between the film “Elephant” and the game, as to which is acceptable and which may take things too far, at least as far as society at large is concerned.

I also loved the portion of the podcast where you discussed the trial in NWN2. I have to admit, I normally play a paladin in the DnD type RPG’s and am often disappointed at all the wasted investment in the diplomacy/talky skills. In this one, I was amply rewarded (at least dialogue wise…I loved telling off that obnoxious diplomat) and really got into my character, following the moral high ground and delivery a righteous sermon once placed on the stand. That was a great set piece in the game.

The only other games that I remember really handling that investment of character points well were the Mass Effect games. I’m guessing Obsidian may have picked up a thing or two from Bioware.

I love Bioware too but to give credit where it’s due- NWN2 predated Mass Effect and diplomacy skills were heavily involved in Black Isle games as far back as Fallout and Torment.

Hey Dean, I enjoyed the podcast too - it was fun and pretty lazy way to catch up on an old acquaintance!

Fair enough. I do have trouble keeping games straight after a few years. After reading your comment, I remembered that KOTOR had a trial scene (with the fish people) that relied on your investigation, which at points was affected by the persuade skill.

Did Fallout have alot of options with converstation skills? When I last played it (a couple of years ago) I remember just getting raked over the coals trying to talk my way out of things (using the Albert template). Ended up relying on power armor and save/reload to get me through the last two dungeon/vault areas.

Anyway, the podcast was awesome and thanks go out to Tom and Dean for letting us listen in. I’ve loved all the podcasts so far.

Fallout 1 and 2 are pretty much the best examples of conversation skills in games. You can pretty much avoid combat altogether and talk your way out of everything if you have the right skillset.

Well in Fallout 1 ONLY. Both the Military Base and Cathedral can be won with words. Zero combat.

Fallout 2 demands the death of the antagonist through combat. It’s unavoidable. Although speech skills can bring in extra assistance for the fight.

Sounds like I need to play through Fallout 1 again and put 2 on my list to play. Of course this thread and podcast have also had me add the two NWN2 expansions to the list as well. It’s good to have choices.

In Fallout 1 some of the best choices are actually when you’re so dumb you can’t talk (well). I went through the first town that way after I had played it through, and you get some hilarious responses.

You also get new dialogue choices from having a high speech skill. In Fallout 3 you get new choices from having certain perks too, like Black Widow gives you the chance to seduce certain NPCs, but it’s underutilized.

I believe the Fallout system is different from NWN2 though, in that those branches aren’t open to you unless you have a high speech, but if they’re open, then those gambits succeed or fail the same way every time. In NWN2 you’re given a branch that’s labeled [Diplomacy], [Intimidate], or [Bluff]. You can choose them or not even if you have low values in those stats. A die roll is then made, and that gambit then succeeds or fails based on the die roll.

That means there will be two possibilities (succeed or fail) for every speech choice, and even with a high score in one of the speech skills I’m still not guaranteed a success. On the other hand, NWN2 usually has a number of tests before total failure, so it felt more like I was actively involved rather than moving through a dialogue tree (i.e. my decisions counted-- did I have a high enough Diplomacy to make this?)

In ME and ME2, the Paragon and Renegade scores open up new dialogue, and they’ve gone so far as to show you grayed out responses that you can’t choose because your score isn’t high enough, but they’re still preset paths. Now with ME2 we get interrupts, but I’m not sure if those interrupts are available to everyone and choosing them increases your Paragon or Renegade, or if they only open up at certain thresholds.

…eh…eh… I disagree. The original NWN campaign suffered greatly from being a SP experience based on a MP game system. You controlled one character and only one character with the possible addition of a uncontrollable henchmen. Throw in RTw/P combat and you get to watch your character exchange blows for 60 hours. Combine this with the absolute worst abuse of Bioware’s Plot Coupon storytelling/gameplay, and you have a stinker. I mean not only are the main quests go out and gather the 3-5 coupons, but many of the side quests as well.

The expansions, though I only played Hordes of the Underdark, do improve upon story, pacing, plot, etc. However, they don’t give the player a proper party. NWN2 is simply light years ahead of NWN.

I feel like this should be acknowledged for Qt3 old-timers who don’t have accounts on BF as well, because even though Dean has been gone from here for a decade, he was also a regular for the first decade of this site.

Dean passed away earlier this week in his sleep. Met him a number of years ago when he was in Seattle and we had a great night talking about gaming, forums, and all kinds of things. He was a great guy.

RIP :(