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A Player's NWN2 Teething Pains


So, Neverwinter Nights 2 has officially been out for 5 days now, and the Bioware forums are full of pleas for help and answers/suggestions as what to do for *< insert particular pain here >*. ( Help that has been forthcoming from Obsidian and the community at large) . We are a community of players who have become wizards at our favourite game, Neverwinter Nights, and suddenly with NWN2, we are plunged into the deepest of hells, and fumble around just trying to move in this new incarnation of our game, never mind having to learn a totally new interface. Well, OK, so maybe some of you have not felt like that, I certainly see evidence of it in the forums posts proclaiming "It runs like a dream on my system" Some with lower end systems are also finding no problem with the adjustment, and if anything, that gives me heart; for if this is true, then surely I, an avid lover of NWN and all it is, can learn this new system and play my most favourite game?

So my computer is new, not the highest of specs by any means - and I suspect my graphics card while supporting pixel shader 2+, is likely a pathetic little bugger that only comes in a pre-made computer sold to shmucks like me.

Compaq Presario

Intel Pentium (R) Dual Core CPU 3.20GHz/2.4GHz


NVIDIA GeForce 7500 LE

300GB Hard Drive.

Any other fancy gizmos it has I don't think are relevant - and anyway, it's just a computer right?

So I install the game, patch from the Update button, and weeeeeeee start the OC. Oh yeah, it's looking good, I am ready to zoom off and start on my adventures. Hang on, why do I feel as if I just jumped inside a lag monster? OMG, the camera won't do what I want, and the zooming in and out using the arrow up/down keys is like wading through molasses! *grabs the game booklet, starts printing off pages from the PDF Manual* Aha, OK, I shall try the tutorial out, once that is over I am sure to be a pro at this right? Wrong - but the Tutorial did help a great deal, I at least felt confidant that I was grasping the UI pretty well.

I admit it, I thought that I had gone back in time to BG & IWD (although I don't really remember the latter UI and just have a feeling it was very much like the BG series.) The game has detected the best settings for my graphics card, all full on and the graphics are real pretty - reminds me of Oblivion a lot (only Oblivion looked…bigger somehow? Plus the PC was not mouse operated , that was the camera tool) Anyway, back to my distress. My PC's movement is all clunky, rough, not smooth, a horror to behold…take your pick. I'm getting something like 5fps and I am struggling still with the UI never mind the darn choice of camera angles.

I have to admit, throughout the whole tutorial I struggled badly - I swore, I yelled, my blood pressure shot through the roof and if I did not have to play NWN2 for a very specific reason I would have gladly after a 2 hours of utter pain, thrown the game in the bin (at that point it did not even deserve to sit upon my shelf gathering dust) By now if you have bothered to read this far you are either thinking "This Dragon is a nut" "Pfft, a ruddy woman gamer" or "I hear ya!" What I know however is I am not alone in the initial rage and frustration that starting up NWN2 has caused.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though, so don't despair yet folks. Larry Wooters passed on to Maximus (who kindly told me) "Open My Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\nwnplayer.ini, find the CameraFollowAlways option and change it from 0 to 1. Then go into drive mode." This did help performance, and is a great tip. However, pain in the neck that I am, I dislike the drive mode - mainly because every time I want to look back towards my left or right, the camera swings back centre. I admit it, I am a top down player, I like to see what is going on around me as my spectacles slips ever further down my nose. Bard Lehel on the Bioware forums talks of reading the ReadMe in our NWN2 folder, and you know that really is sound advice. I found information on Duel Core processors and setting the Affinity (NWN2 ReadMe #10 III) Tons of information is out there on the Bioware forums, but it takes a bit of searching to gather it all, and well, I just want to play the game gosh darn it! Well, I am happy to say that I now have the game running at a steady 23-25fps in towns and a fantastic 40fps in outsdie/country areas. Movement is good to go at those rates. OK, so I have had to compromise on graphics, and the game does not look as pretty as it can, but I am finally able to enjoy playing the OC and getting into the plot and enjoying the henchman I have met thus far. (That Dwarf is one crazy dude!)

Now it looks like I pretty much turned all the good stuff off, but if you are playing top down, it really does not look all that bad. I've no doubt I will be tweaking some more, turning some stuff back on etc, but at a solid steady 23-25fps I am happy with what I have, because I really want to play this game.

8-10 hours into the game and I am now starting to feel much more comfortable with the camera, UI etc. It seems you can't quick save and I don't pretend to understand why, but I have gotten used to saving pretty often as I progress in the game. I also discovered that I could re-assign certain keys (NWN2 start up screen -Options) plus I reset my Target Nearest Enemy key and I love being able to see how much my enemy is hurting I have been hitting that sucker as often as I can! The most important thing is, I AM enjoying myself now, I really like the plot, the characters I am meeting, the world map, and hot darn, the fights! And while it has taken me quite a long time to adjust - the fact that I have and am over the initial teething pains is a great relief to me -things can only get better from here on out.

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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