Haven’t updated in a while, because not much has been going on, and there’s only so much disgust I can register towards the current political situation before I get tired of even listening to myself. However, I’ve been whiling away the hours playing the computer RPGs, Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale 2.
Neverwinter Nights was pretty cool. GRanted, its main game is mostly a vehicle to show off the capabilities of its create-your-own-RPG engine, and it was pretty impressive. Unfortunately the impressiveness of the game was a little diminished by the stupid, old-fashioned NPC handling. You can hire an NPC to help out, but you can’t outfit them, can’t choose how they develop, and have only minimal control over them. Lame. Still, the game is pretty fun, and I’m kind of interested in checking out the possibilities of the engine.
Icewind Dale 2 is the latest in the D&D games from Bioware. This has been a really nice series (Planescape: Torment, Baldur’s Gate I and II, and Icewind Dale). The Icewind Dale entries tend to be more combat-heavy, making them into more straight-up dungeon-crawl games, which is fine with me, even though I’m not really all about the combat. The combat in this one is tough, but usually only because the way you make fighting trolls tougher is to add more trolls. However, one thing that’s becoming incredibly frustrating about the game is the awful path-finding algorithm. This is the bit of code that, when you tell your characters to go from point A to point B, finds a route there and moves them. This has been a little problematic in the past but never this awful. Getting the party through a door is nightmarish at times, because as soon as a character sees that his way is blocked (because someone’s in the doorway), he goes heading off in a completely wrong direction. I have no idea how it got this bad and I’m praying there’s a patch to this soon.
Both games use the third edition D&D rules and the implementations are about as good as one can hope for without making the games turn-based and on a grid (which, honestly, would be fine by me.)