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Judging NWN

Author: 
Maximus

After reading the interesting comments to the review post we made earlier I thought I would expand on it a bit. It may seem that one can review NWN on it's own, but my standing is that the game *is* the community. Let me give you the analogy that I am basing this on. Let's say you purchased the 3rd edition rulebooks and it came with a module that you could play by yourself, but that particular module wasn't what you'd hope for. In fact you could barely play it for more than an hour. Does this make the 3rd Edition D&D Rules flawed? Should a reviewer who might have purchased this package rate the rulebooks as sub par and level criticism against it? Some might say "Why not?", it was made by the same company, but my opinion is that particular module has no representation of the rulebooks because it's common knowledge that of all the people that have played D&D with the 3rd edition, most find it to be an inspiring and fun system of rules. Simplified we might say:

System = Great

Module = Not so great

The only way to properly review the 3rd edition rulebooks is to actually use this framework to create your own modules to then play with people. Now as a reviewer you might "suck" at creating modules and DM'ing, again does this make the rulebooks without merit? Are they flawed? I would say no.

Now before you send hate mail thinking I'm suggesting NWN doesn't have any flaws, please note that I am fully aware of the bugs and problems but this doesn't make the game concept flawed. NWN, in my opinion, is a system just like the rulebooks in which it will be the community that determines it's worth, not the official campaign. Are the 3rd edition rulebooks perfect? Of course not, they have their own problems and their own errata correcting all kinds of mistakes, but the concept of the rules is sound and appreciated by many. I submit that NWN is also the same, a game that is not technically perfect by any stretch, but a system where it's the community and the users that must be judged on whether it's successful or not. Even in the ZenGamer review it ends with this...

If the online community really gets behind it, this will be a truly revolutionary product. Until then, it will remain Ground Chuck that could have been Filet Mignon: quite good, but never achieving greatness.

...which is my point entirely and what I mean by judging the game not by the official campaign but by the community...which is my point entirely and what I mean by judging the game not by the official campaign but by the community, which is why I feel that any review that judges NWN on the official campaign or playing a few sessions in multiplayer will always miss what NWN is all about.

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