I’ve got two older unopened games on the shelf. Damn my impulse shopping habit!
I’m about ready to play a few of them. Some of these games have expansions/add-ons out now. I’m wondering if my initial play experience would be improved with the add-on. (ie. does the add-on provide gameplay enhancement, not just new story or new units)
the games are:
Medieval Total War. Should I get Vikings expansion before I start?
Neverwinter Nights. Should I get…Undertide(?) first?
Undrentide does add some nifty new character creation options such as the Shadowdancer, Blackguard, Arcane Archer, and Assassin classes. The new mod-esque campaign included in Undrentide is a fair bit more approachable than that of the original boxed one as well. Granted though, it isn’t exactly built to take advantage of these new class abilities unfortunately, but it’s well developed all the same. The NWN mod community is a healthy beast ready to be prodded, grab a few compadres and enjoy the online questing.
I go through this crux all the bloody time considering how I jumped on Diablo 2 right after the expansion came out(good thing too, Lords of Destruction is an A-class upgrade). I only just began playing BG2 a month ago or so and made sure to get Throne of Bhaal installed just before playing it.
ToB adds a few neat extras to the core BG2 experience, namely the Wild Mage class which seems pretty worthless outside of providing a laugh or two while playing.
The biggies are a few fixes to the mage casting and interface organization, the Watchers Keep(a massive optional dungeon with solid puzzles and rewards) and most of all the expanded experience cap allowing you to reach obscene levels and god-like power for your party. This includes new abilities and spells for all of the class types such as Whirlwind or Critical strike for your fighters, and Massive destructive spells for your mages.
The expansion extends the main adventure for another 3 chapters as well, all of which seem to focus more on your central character and not a glorified rabbit hunt ala BG2. [/quote]
Throne of Bhaal also introduces the indespensible interface enhancement of the TAB key. Hitting TAB highlights everything you can pick up, which is fantastic when cleaning up the loot after a battle, and finding tiny hidden nooks and crannies in places like the Beholder lair. Do not play BG2 without this.
Wow, I wasn’t aware of that. Of course I started playing BG2 witht he expansion already installed, but while playing my hand was consistently hovering that Tab key just as much as the spacebar. Hard to believe it wasn’t featured in the vanilla version. That’s borderline evil.
I haven’t actually played Viking Invasion yet but the reviews and the scuttlebut around here says it’s very good. It adds a bit more focused and combat oriented element to the game while also improving the original with new features and units. I’ve been looking at it on the shelf for weeks now but have been very preoccupied with other stuff (damn you SWG).
I have played it a bit on a friend’s computer. Having so little experience, I may have simply missed out on any changes to the fundamental mechanics of Medieval:Total War, because I didn’t really notice any. At first glance it seems to merely add more, more, more when it comes to units, and it gives you a brand new ‘environment’ in which you may slaughter suckaz thanks to the Norweigian campaign. But most reviews I’ve read indicate that it did at least bother to make spies/assassins a little more useful, which is definitely a good thing. And again, there’s lots of new units, many of which are great for sieges (boiling tar is just sadistic and cruel and oh-so-enjoyable to use). So I definitely plan on getting it some day, as I love the basic Total War game and am addicted to it in such a stupid way that you can just give me nothing more THAN a new setting and I’m rather happy. I’m just going to wait for the $30 price to drop. In the meantime, there’s no reason not to go ahead and knock yourself out with Medieval, as it kicks plenty of ass by itself.
Vikings Invasion did not feel like the expansions to games like Diablo 2, or BG2, or even Dynasty Warriors 3, where you can almost immediately notice new features that make you say “HELL YES”.