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New Preview of Neverwinter Nights 234

Posted by Hemos
from the must-wipe-droll-from-mouth dept.
H3resy wrote to us with a new preview of Neverwinter Nights. The game continues to look great - and combined with its release date being right around Warcraft III, I suspect sleep will not be an option.
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New Preview of Neverwinter Nights

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  • how long have we been waiting? ...at least Dungeon Siege will tide me over until then... what diablo 2 should have been...


    --Charlton Heston is my president
  • beta test (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2002 @03:51PM (#3418486)
    You can sign up for the beta test at betatests.net as well.
    • Arg! I just registered there yesterday. Dammit, there goes my chance of being a beta tester.

      Thanks a lot! :P
    • by Spoons (26950) on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:15PM (#3418650) Homepage
      You can sign up for the beta test at betatests.net as well.

      If I had mod points, I would mod you down. Too Informative: -1

      Now there is no way I a going to make the beta. Thanks a lot. :(
    • hmmm.... I wonder how much commitment they have to the linux branch. The beta test, under "what OS do you use" only lists windows. I sure hope the linux version gets thorough testing, otherwise linux gaming will take another bad hit.
      • Re:beta test (Score:3, Informative)

        by EvilAlien (133134)
        Check the FAQ, you'll spooge.

        I suppose rather than tease you with a mere link [bioware.com], I could include this:

        8.04 Will there be a Mac/Linux/BeOs version?

        The BeOS version of Neverwinter Nights will not be completed. However, we are planning a simultaneous PC/Macintosh/Linux release for Neverwinter Nights, with all three versions to be included in a single box. On the PC, Neverwinter Nights will run under Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, and Windows XP.

        Bioware is Canadian =) All-hail the Open Source friendly Canadian developers!
      • Re:beta test (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tyreth (523822)
        I e-mailed them about why Linux wasn't listed as an operating system on the beta test site. They are not doing a Linux beta test.

        Still, I don't think this will affect the Linux client. They have committed to the Linux and Mac one ages ago, and I think it's probably part of their intention to make this game a sort of cornerstone of computer roleplaying games. The beginning of a new era, blah blah. Just my guess.

        On a similar note, I am so glad they are releasing a Linux client for this game that looks like it is going to be really great! Unfortunately, no swimming, climbing or riding is in it...but there is the possibility of these being released in a patch, or an update or something. I think their intention is to continue adding and improving the game beyond the release date.
  • Wow, it actually looks like this game will have a user-friendly editor. I'd love to see some screenshots of the toolkit interfaces...have any been released?
    • Re:Toolkit (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EFGearman (245715)
      Cool. What I want to see is well done versions of some of the early D&D dungeons, like 'Tomb of Horrors' or the entire Bloodstone series.

      EFGearman
      • I plan on doing the Giant Series. yeah yeah I know there using forgotten realm(blech) but I dare you to stop me from doing Greyhawk modules!
      • Ugh. A tomb of horrors style NWN realm would be *sickening*. But I bet it would be fun ;)
      • Re:Toolkit (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jgerman (106518)
        Well done Tomb of Horrors? Impossible ;) I can't wait to see it either, but it will be unplayable just like the real thing, at least if it's true to the module.
        • I DMed a party through Tomb of Horrors. Only one of eight people in the group had a character survive the Demilich, but it was done.

          Me, I like the Slavers series or maybe S2: White Plume Mountain (the one with Blackrazor and Whelm). The whole S-series was awesome beyond belief as a player and as a DM.
    • Re:Toolkit (Score:4, Informative)

      by jgerman (106518) on Friday April 26, 2002 @05:12PM (#3418959)
      Yeah, the whole game IS the editor. The adventure that get's shipped will have been created with the very same tools that you get, assuming they are sticking to what they said over a year ago. That's what attracted me to it in the first place. There was a SSI D&D creator, I forget the exact title, but it allowed you to create gold-box games. There was actually quite a large user scene for it. Hopefully it will be the same for NN, I'd love to play and convert old adventures, as well as create new ones.
  • Oh My My My (Score:3, Funny)

    by DCram (459805) on Friday April 26, 2002 @03:53PM (#3418503)
    I have been a Mud fiend for years now and have always wanted to have a "GUI" one. When EQ came out I was disapointed. I have always thought games will be games and the Mud will be the end all to my role playing.

    I hope that all changes with this game. I have such high hopes and I know a ton of fellow Mud people who think the same. Everything looks great and the scripting and DM capabilities...WOW.

    I will never sleep again.
    • As thrilled as some are with the graphics, I can't reconcile in my mind that what my imagination of a text piece of equipment would look like in someone else's graphic rendering. Rather like reading a series of books which then makes it to TV/Film and seeing who they cast doesn't fit how you imagined it. Not really a big deal, though I think for pure flexibility it's still hard to beat a good mud client and a decent mud.

      Considering some of the groups I've been in, the screen would get a tad crowded, seems like single or limited player ability is the strong suit.

      There was a GUI D&D game someone came up with about 10 years ago, pretty good looking, and would certainly benifit from today's crop of graphic cards, with an absolutely staggering variety of equipment and places to hang it on yourself. I only played it a couple times. With a large number of variables the learning curve increases, and IMHO the game had a pretty steep one.

      Equipment in use:
      <Worn on body>Six feet of dirt and a small monument.

  • Good news! (Score:4, Informative)

    by awptic (211411) <infiniteNO@SPAMcomplex.com> on Friday April 26, 2002 @03:56PM (#3418531)
    I didn't see mention of this in the article; just wanted to mention that a Linux version of this game will be released at the same time the Windows version does! It's nice to see gaming companies are taking Linux seriously as a gaming platform.
    • Re:Good news! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stefanlasiewski (63134) <.slashdot. .at. .stefanco.com.> on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:23PM (#3418691) Homepage Journal
      Not only that, but the Windows, Linux & Macintosh versions all come in the SAME BOX [bioware.com], so we
      dual-boosters can try it out on both systems.

      The downside here is that Bioware may have trouble determining the number of users who use Linux vs Windows vs Macintosh. So remember: if you use Linux, remember find the little postcard, check the box next to 'Linux' and send it off.

      Otherwise, they'll never know...
      • Or buy your copy from tuxgames.com. you will 1) support linux gaming and 2) it will show the makers that linux users buy games.
    • Do you have any evidence that this is still their plan?

      The last time I went looking on their site for info, they talked about Windows only as a requirement. I'm wondering if they've backed off of this plan.

      I haven't seen any mention from them about Linux in at least 6 months.

      Under system requirements they say "Other [than Windows] OS requirements coming later."

      If they release for Windows and Linux, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I'll wait.
  • by Krapangor (533950) on Friday April 26, 2002 @03:57PM (#3418540) Homepage
    There are two options:
    1. Turn based - this means that you can screw any human player of the game by just taking "enough time" for a turn.
    2. Real time - this reduces to strategic AD&D concept to Diablo style brainless monster wacking.
    So I wonder why they are so keen on providing multiplayer abilities for NeverWinterNights.
    And why does one play an rpg anyway ?
    For the story of course ! Has anyone here played Baldurs Gate, Pools of Radiance (the old, non sucking one), Ultima or Wizardry for monster wacking ?
    And don't object with "Diablo". If Diablo is an rpg then Quake is a flight simulator.
    • by StupidKatz (467476) on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:06PM (#3418595)
      The FAQ [bioware.com] states that they are well aware of the low-ping click-fest that many real-time multiplayer games have turned into. It also states how they're using a "multilayered" approach to combat, where you default to using a basic attack unless you stack up additional moves in your combat queue.

      Sounds a lot like how Star Wars: Galaxies is doing theirs. I'm interested to see how it works out.
    • NWN gets around the problems you've outlined by using both methods at once: it's a real-time, turn-based system. That is, it's turn based in that you tell your character what to do, and then they do it. It's real-time in that there's no pause (in multiplayer), and if you don't tell your char to do anything, they'll do some default action when it's their turn.

      Incidentally, the turns are rather long (a few seconds), so it definitely won't be a clickfest.
      • I would not be surprised if the turns are exactly six seconds long. That would be quite satisfying to me.

        For those not aware, D&D3E rules have 10 rounds in a minute, and normally you can take one action per round (more as you gain higher levels and get multiple attacks and similar things). Six seconds would mean that the animation would be a reasonable approximation of what you are supposed to believe happens in those six seconds that actually take about 3 or 4 minutes to arbitrate in pen and paper gaming.
    • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:44PM (#3418821) Journal
      The Dungeon Master mode makes it all worthwhile. The Dungeon Master can control the plot in real-time for you, allowing actual logical storylines to progress and evolve. No more will you have to listen to the NPC say the same stupid thing five times over because that's all he has to say, the dungeon master can take control of him and tell you whatever he wants.
      • NPC: "They say the castle on the hill is haunted!"
        Player:"That's nice, but where do I find a weapon shop?"
        NPC: "They say that the castle on the hill is haunted!"
        Player: "Umm.. Ok.. I got that. Where is the weapon shop?"
        NPC: "They say that the castle on the hill is-"
        Player: draws +5 Vorpal sword and guts NPC, then turns to the next NPC and says, "Well? Do YOU know where the weapon shop is?"
        NPC #2: "I've heard that the forests are crawling with monsters."


    • So I wonder why they are so keen on providing multiplayer abilities for NeverWinterNights.


      For me, the multiplayer aspect is THE reason to get this game (assuming it delivers on its promises). Just some of the cool features include DM mode (and the ability to have multiple DMs), a powerfull background scripting language for everyting from NPC interaction to game events (ie: a secret passage that only opens on the full moon if you're an elf), the ability to link servers with portals, etc.


      Neverwinter Nights has the potential of being a MMORPG construction kit.


      With the various unsavory business and political practices of both EA and Verant/Sony Interactive, its nice to see a possible return to the roots of the MUD culture - servers ran by fans for fans. With graphics.


      Granted - this has yet to happen. It will depend on whether NWN delivers. And it will depend on whether campaign developers will put forth the effort to create and run these servers (a bit more complex than a Quake server - but then again, so are a lot of MUDs). Time will tell.

    • ultima the series maybe for monter whacking a little...

      but UO had some seriously good times for strategy - especially early in the games life (97-98) when it was a major PK game. The strategy of fighting the other human characters was fantastic, and there were some very ingenious tactics that arose...

      I never liked diablo or diablo ii (especially ii as it was 5 years too late) - and dungeon siege is a fun game, but get boring after not too long.
  • by 56ker (566853)
    Does anyone know what the minimum and recommended specs will be for this game?
    • Re:specs (Score:3, Informative)

      by awptic (211411)
      From the site:
      Pentium II 300 MHz, 96 MB RAM, Windows 98/ME/2000SP2/XP, DirectX 8.1, 16 MB OpenGL-compliant 3D accelerator card, DirectX-compliant sound card and 56 kbps modem.

      It doesn't say here, but Linux and MacOSX are supported as well.
    • if you have to ask, you aint got it. ;)
  • Here we have another article hyping the release of the latest RTS (Warcraft III) and latest RPG (Neverwinter Nights).

    Now, I'll grant that both will probably be fabulous games, and a lot of fun, but is anyone else getting a little tired of RTS and RPG?

    What I'd like to see is someone designing a new game, instead of new graphics, stories, and rules for games I've played since I was 15.
    • No you don't. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by glrotate (300695)
      What I'd like to see is someone designing a new game


      They tried that. It was called Black and White. Booring.

    • Go for it. You must know what you want. Write it.
      • Aren't you being a little bit hypocritical? Why don't YOU write it.
        • Aren't you being a little bit hypocritical? Why don't YOU write it.

          It's not hypocrisy; it's simply a market reaction.

          For example, there are many people complaining that nearly all the movies that came out in 2001 were uninventive shit with "safe" plots rehashed from classics to make a quick buck. Those complaints were valid, and I believe the movie studios, at least, heard them.

          No one told those people to go make their own movie. I mean, sheesh, who has a $50 million budget?

          Yes, I *could* write a game - and a fun one, at that - in QuickBasic 5, using ASCII. But why should all inventive games be condemned to look primitive? A good game requires many talents: designer, programmer, artist, etc. Few (if any) people are blessed with all of them.
  • Sort of funny considering that they are a major site. As a side note, I'll definitely be getting NWN.
  • How long until somebody releases the "The Ogre and the pie" [montecook.com] adventure?

    IMarvinTPA
  • I get droll on my mouth! Must wipe it off...

    I will have to get a new hard drive for games only. With Q3, UT, Descent series, Civ3, Empire Earth and the impending release of NWN and WC3, my 15GB drive is hating life.

  • Awards (Score:2, Funny)

    by mjjk2 (328266)
    Check out all the awards [bioware.com] Neverwinter Nights has already won. A pretty high count considering the game hasn't been released yet, huh?
  • Is this game supposed to look like Gauntlet Legends?

    "Green Amazon needs more food!"

    Tim
  • Movie Preview (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kanan (527196) on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:28PM (#3418717)
    Here is a link [ign.com] to a movie (avi file) preview that was just released today. It is the best one I've seen, although the resolution isn't the best. Lots of gameplay and action.
  • YES! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Thank god!!! I was getting tired of my Everquest wife...all those elves are fat sluts these days.

    I'm sure everyone else is wondering this, but will we be able to knit Turtlenecks of Back Hair Hiding +3? Also, will I be able to crawl into the 1024x768 world permanently? I just hate my life and want to die. That's why I play these games.

    Well, time to go masturbate to tenticle hentai pornos and write Voltron fanfics while I pet my cat and cry... SAYONARA!

  • Morrowind (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Henry V .009 (518000)
    Morrowind, which just went gold, has a chance of being a much better game than NWN. It is a true free-form RPG. 100's of hours of play time. Character options out the wazoo. I can't wait.
    • Re:Morrowind (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aexia (517457)
      I'm betting Morrowind will turn out to be as "Free-form" as its predecessor, Daggerfall. As in "free of form." Daggerfall was a souless, monotonous, not to mention bug-ridden, piece of junk.

      Sure, there were a few masichists who enjoyed the repetitive, thinly-veiled FedEx quests... the cornucopia of completely useless character skills... the game-killing bugs that were so bad that Bethseda, instead of correcting them, included and encouraged the use of cheats to get around them... the huge, random, recycled-texture-laden dungeons used for every two-bit quest... the complete lack of meaningful NPC interaction...

      But they were idiots.

      I have every expectation Morrowind will be just as bad, if prettier, at least. I wish it were otherwise but I have no confidence in that company.
    • by Danse (1026)

      I'll be waiting a couple of months for everyone to figure out how buggy it is before I decide whether to give it a try or not. Given their track record, this is not a game to rush out and buy. Let the fanboys be the guinea pigs and wait for reviews and news on bugs and patches.

  • Heh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    First of all, "I kill monster, get experience and get the level!" != Roleplaying. Nor is talking in a bad old english accent. But that's another story.

    Second, this game is fast becoming another Daikatana. "When is it going to be out! When is it going to be out!"

    ..Hopefully, it won't be as crappy as Daikatana was.

    At any rate, I'll probably buy it, even if I never play it. Why? I'd like a reason to get rid of my Windows partition. Not that I'm a zealot, but in all honesty, the only thing I use it for now is gaming.

    We need to support companies who are willing to take a chance and say, "Hmm. Well, let's put it out on Linux, too." It's the only way we'll ever see gaming become a feature on Linux.

    Given that there's supposedly no seperate box for this game, I'm wondering how we might show them that we are interested in gaming on Linux. Perhaps adding the fact that you're playing it on Linux to your .sig in various forums. Note it when you ask crazy questions of the developers, and such. We've got to make a visible presence, and show them that we are out here, and we are supporting games on Linux.

    If we do, then maybe, just maybe, other companies will start considering Linux as a gaming platform.

  • Has anyone heard of the plot for this game?

    It seems interesting that I don't see any cinematics or discussion of unique plot elements...everyone seems to be saying "Oooh, look at the in-game graphics".

    I know they can't really give away the entire plot to the game, but it would seem that we would already be getting some idea as to the basic premise of the plot from the producers...
    • The plot has something to do with the City of Neverwinter, and a mysterious disease. Very little other info has been given out, mostly about the background that the story is set in. Bioware s keeping the plot of this one very quiet.

      Besides which, one of the main features of NWN is the editor.. Although a great deal of time is being spent on the story that will ship with the game, the thing most gamers are excited about is the ability to create their own storylines easily within the game.

      As for cinematics, there has been one released... you can find it under the "multimedia" link on the NWN website [neverwinternights.com]. It has absolutely nothing to do with the gameplay, and no one knows what it may have to do with the game, but it's fairly decent.
    • it would seem that we would already be getting some idea as to the basic premise of the plot from the producers

      Not only does it seem that way, but it really is [gamespy.com] that way. Hint: RTFA!
    • Re:Plot line? (Score:3, Informative)

      by LMCBoy (185365)
      Bioware have been purposefully pretty silent on the story, because they don't want to spoil it. What we know is that your character starts the game in an Adventurer's Academy in the city of Neverwinter. There's a plague called the wailing death that the elders are hoping to stop by importing some exotic creatures from somewhere. The creatures go missing or are stolen, you have to recover them to stop the plague.

      Bioware have seemed very proud of the single-player campaign, saying it will be even better than BG2/ToB.
    • The article that is the basis for this topic gives the basics of the plot line. If you'd read it you might have known.
  • by gspeare (470147) <geoff AT shalott DOT com> on Friday April 26, 2002 @04:51PM (#3418856) Journal
    Might as well mention Morrowind [elderscrolls.com], which went gold last week and is expected in stores late next week. According to [rpgdot.com] the [ugo.com] many [gameindustry.com] previews [gamespy.com] out there, Morrowind looks to be more open-ended and immersive than any other RPG to date. It's only single player, but given the joys of many multiplayer RPGs [diabloii.net], that's probably a good thing. In addition to the official site [elderscrolls.com] and forums [elderscrolls.com], there's a good RPGPlanet site [rpgplanet.com] that collects most relevant information. Look for the water screenshots [rpgdot.com]; they use pixel shading to get some truly impressive effects.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2002 @05:07PM (#3418933)
    They really are..
    Aside from developing great games, every summer they take the time out to send reps to the big lan party in Edmonton (where bioware is based) Fragapalooza(.com). And they don't just send PR people, they send the real developers.

    I first saw NwN summer of 99 when they brought a demo of the early stages of the game to the event, and since then they've brought reps to the LAN every year. Really interesting to see how the game is progressing over the years.

    The game will be nothing short of revolutionary once it's released, the control is awesome, the inventory and fight systems are perfect, and the graphics and environments are STUNNING.

    As a side note, I had the chance to take a personal guided tour of the Bioware studios, fantastic company, really forward thinking, great staff, etc.

    Bioware is going to make huge waves in the community and should expect strong sales of NeverWinter Nights. Due in part to it being: 1) a fantastic game, and 2) supported on multiple platforms.

    Props to a small Canadian company with a very big heart.

    -adam
  • by Bryan Ischo (893) on Friday April 26, 2002 @06:03PM (#3419160) Homepage
    I never played Baldur's Gate, which this Neverwinter Nights seems to be related to (being written by the same company and of the same game genre), but I did play Icewind Dale, which got rave reviews as a great RPG.

    Only, I thought Icewind Dale sucked. Badly. So badly that I never got beyond the first mountain pass. Here is why I thought that Icewind Dale sucked:

    1. The graphics were not that great. The characters you get to select from look like they were all scanned from an airbrush that was copied out of the back of some dungeons and dragons magazine. The characters, monsters, architecture, etc, drawn in isometric view were very good either.

    2. When generating a character, you get to choose from lots of neat races, like elf, half-elf, human, dwarf, etc ... but then when you go to actually assign skill points, and strength points, intelligence, etc, you can just move any number of points from any column to any other. So you can create a dwarf that has the exact same characteristics as an elf. What is the point of having character races if you can just arbitrarily change stats any way you like? It really takes the fun out of designing a character. There is no challenge, and in fact the race becomes nothing more than a name.

    3. The gameplay sucked. Lots of clicking around, trying to select the correct group of people and make them do the correct thing. They're always doing something stupid - running back and forth trying to stand on the spot that you clicked on rather than fighting back against the orc that is pummeling them, or getting all clogged up at an entranceway, or stopping altogether because someone else who was trying to go the same way they were was in the way for a moment. It was just frustrating and annoying trying to control all of my party members and trying to make them do something reasonable all of the time.

    4. Fighting monsters is way too hard and gives way, way too few experience points. I played forever waiting for any member of my party to get enough experience to gain a level. I needed like 2,000 experience points to get to level 2, and was getting like 10 for each monster I killed. And finding creatures to fight, and then finishing them off, took forever. So after hours and hours none of my characters had even advanced a level. How lame.

    5. Stupid quests. All of the tasks that I was asked to complete by the townspeople in the first town were just uninteresting and dumb. They were all of the form "go get this thing and take it to that person." Lame. And then the amount of experience I would get for doing that was low anyway. Although, at one point I was walking around in a basement and I opened a door to find a boy who was afraid to go back to town or something. I didn't have to do anything at all, I just randomly happened to open that door, and the kid went back to town and I got like 500 experience points for each character. WTF?!?? Opening a door at random gives me the same experience as killing 50 orcs? It's no fun to try to build up your characters when fighting hard against monsters gives you almost no experience, but randomly happening upon lost children gives you tons.

    6. Bugs. The game would slow to a crawl and then crash every so often.

    Eventually I gave up and realized that the game was a total waste of my time. It had to be one of the worst games I had ever played. And yet I read all over the place about how it was such a great game.

    Needless to say, I am extremely skeptical of the entire RPG genre, especially anything from BioWare.

    If it weren't for Fallout 1 & 2, which were two of the best games I have ever played, I would probably write off the RPG genre altogether.
    • I'd say that half of what you claim you disliked wasn't actually what you disliked. :) Here's a quick review of the shortcomings of Fallout 1:

      1. The graphics were not that great. (Yup.)

      2. When generating a character... you can just move any number of points from any column to any other. (BTW, you had the option of NOT moving the points all around. And race still played a factor with some bonuses, vision, etc..)

      3. The gameplay sucked. Lots of clicking around, trying to select the correct group of people and make them do the correct thing. (Remember the characters that either didn't do shit or combat, or ran straight towards Mr. Machinegun? Or before they had the "move out of my way" button, and you got stuck inside? How many times did you reload to keep that stupid dog alive before you finally said screw it?)

      4. Fighting monsters is way too hard and gives way, way too few experience points. (Personally, I found the early Fallout 2 game to be harder than IWD-- which was quite easy if you remembered to pause to issue commands.)

      5. Stupid quests. All of the tasks that I was asked to complete by the townspeople in the first town were just uninteresting and dumb. They were all of the form "go get this thing and take it to that person." Lame. (Sounds pretty much like the first couple hours of Fallout 1 and 2. I killed the rat in the cave, and got a free healing powder! Sweet!)

      6. Bugs. The game would slow to a crawl and then crash every so often. (If you didn't experience this in Fallout, you waited for a later patch than I did.)

      Does that list sound familiar? :)
      I loved Fallout 1 and 2, but your litany of complaints sounded exactly like the ones I read on Fallout boards back in the day. I could care less whether or not you liked Icewind Dale, of course, but your list certainly doesn't help me understand why you liked Fallout and not Icewind Dale. Part of it could be IWD's barrier to entry-- it's a lot easier if you already played Baldur's Gate.

      It also doesn't really seem like your list is aimed at helping you figure out whether or not you'll like NWN. Got questions about the graphics? Look at the screenshots. Worried about how many people you'll have to click on and make run around? Look at the FAQ (single PC, but you can issue commands to henchmen). Bugs? Well, we don't know yet, obviously. etc. etc.

      It doesn't seem like you wanted to know about NWN; rather, you wanted to rant about IWD. That's fine, if offtopic. :)

      My advice? Wait for a demo, or for a friend to get it. It's still D&D, still has slow leveling, etc., and will still have some of the steep learning curve that seems to have turned you off of IWD. OTOH, it's simplified in terms of party control, and sure looks better, so you might like it.

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