First Impressions: Storm of Zehir

I just fired up the latest official expansion to Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. I put about an hour into it and walked away unimpressed. I think I might not be in the right mindset for this. I’m going to come back in a week (after the 1.24 patch is released) and try again. In the meanwhile, here are the first impressions I jotted down as I played:

Told to scavenge shrubbery and wreckage after the ship crashes. I’m off doing that and find out I missed a battle. I barely had time to get situated. Should have made the first encounter a player-triggered encounter – that is, the monsters wait for Volo to approach, and you tell Volo when to approach. That way you can prepare yourself.

Player should have the option to speak with the monsters. I put a lot of points into dialogue and would at least like a chance, even if Volo is better. Let the player play.

Volo says he’ll talk to the natives but he just stands there. If I get too close he tells me to back up. Nothing happens here, so the player is forced to walk close enough that it triggers the monsters to go hostile.

A patrol arrives and tell me I’m under arrest but, again, nothing happens. I wandered around for a while and then eventually spoke with the patrol, at which point the game continued. If the goal is to give the player a chance to finish looting, perhaps the guards could have told us that they were giving us a chance to gather our belongings as a matter of civility before dragging us along. It would have felt less broken.

Dialogues when I scavenge for items are unclear. Feedback kept telling me I found an item but I didn’t think to look to the chat window to see what I had gained. I was expecting that information in the dialogue window where the game was telling me I found something. If it’s just the way the system works, then there should have been some hint — check your inventory, etc.

Multi-player dialogue interface is unclear. Every time I saw the speech bubble icon on a player tab, I’d click on those different character tabs to see their bonus dialogue options. But then I’d have to check back against the other character to determine which options were the new ones or unique ones. They should have all been listed on one page with a character name/names prefacing the line so you’d know which were the unique options.

In other dialogues, I was having trouble following along and figuring out who was saying what. Made me a little frustrated and made me feel like just skipping through the dialogue instead of immersing myself into the story.

I created a new character but she never was gifted the necessary XP to level-up to 4th like the others. Had to create an entirely new character.

Related, the game never tells you what level of character is appropriate to start the game with. I was initially tempted to drag over my character from Mask of the Betrayer. He’s close to level 30, I believe.

I clicked on the door to “belowdeck” and was given a confirmation screen (do you really want to start the adventure?). I accidentally clicked on it again later but there was no confirmation this time. I needed the confirmation as I was not yet done.

Familiar doesn’t follow. My cleric isn’t always healing like he should. My wizard used up all the charges on a wand in the first wave of the first encounter against the monsters with Volo.

Made it to the overland map and am giving that one a go for the first time. Wow, monsters spawning like crazy right around the town. Like, every few seconds new monsters are popping up. They’re everywhere and charging me constantly. And all different kinds — gnolls, orcs, zombies, ogres, and skeletons in the first 30 seconds of travel. This isn’t a JRPG! My party is getting decimated.

I saw a patrol fighting zombies. I decided to intervene but there was no dialogue or anything. Everything suddenly felt very generic and it made me not want to bother with future encounters. I was spotted by another group and led them in a circle until a patrol picked them up and I could continue. That felt very dumb during/after the fact.

Spotted a few typos and grammar errors but that isn’t even worth mentioning in light of the above.

One thought on “First Impressions: Storm of Zehir

  1. Pingback: (Revised) First Impressions: Storm of Zehir « Gamer Granola

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