Author Topic: Aielund Saga - does it get better?  (Read 1459 times)

Legacy_The Cow King

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« on: July 17, 2016, 04:32:30 pm »


               

I'm in A2 fairloch and I managed to break the mod by entering a commoner's house and stealing her stuff, which summoned a guard. Obviously I picked the option to kill him (obviously) and then finished off the peasant to avoid a witness. This dialogue sprung action has caused the city watch to go hostile on me everywhere, which would be fine (if unrealistic), but this means quest givers go hostile as well when I defend myself against hostile knights/city watch. I can't even use the best store in the arcane university because killing the guardian golem causes the shopkeep to go hostile.


 


Now to the question at hand, so far this saga has been a highly overrated piece of trash, which is a shame because it seems to be one of the only modules with a more reasonable spell system from what I can see. But what's the point of an overhauled spell system when enemy spellcasters open against a solo wizard (with no summons out) with a stoneskin?


 


I could stand cringeworthy writing and complete lack of player choice and consequence, but it's the non-existent encounter design and poor combat that gets me. So far the difficulty has been non-existent because enemies can only hit me with a crit, and the author seems fine giving the player items like cloak of displacement (9, unlimited use) to make sure you can't be hit... ever... in a module where spells allow you to stand in your own AoE with impunity.


 


Melee/ranged enemies do nothing but auto-attack the player despite being unable to hit, and enemy spellcasters are completely worthless. It's like playing some kind of lesser version of the OC. I am really amazed/sad considering how Aielund is recommended everywhere. There's probably a psychological explanation for this where hype feeds more hype and causes mass hallucination.


 


So my question is, does the combat in this series get significantly harder with a lot smarter AI (in A2 or A3, not going to suffer through two modules just to get to decent content), or should I stop wasting my time? I am also taking recommendations for other 1-20 or ~10-20 series as long as it has awesome, well made combat without being a pure combat module.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Elhanan

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 06:50:02 pm »


               Stop; obviously not for you.

However, I heartily recommend the Ailund series to others that may visit here, as it remains one of the best Player made mod series for NWN1. Writing is excellent, combat is challenging and varied, characters are rich and detailed, etc. Play it for yourselves.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2016, 07:18:51 pm »


               

The Aielund saga is for heroes, not for villains. Also, if the Cloak of Displacement is ruining the game for you, don't use it. Also, if the game is too easy for you, try a harder difficulty level.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Cow King

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2016, 10:24:41 pm »


               

Stop; obviously not for you.


Good to know.
 

combat is challenging and varied


No, it's not. Advertising otherwise is simply misleading and damaging, not only to the player who wastes his time, but to other modules as well that better deserve the endorsement.
 

The Aielund saga is for heroes, not for villains.


"Alignments = Any. Includes alignment mods based on dialog reponses."

if the Cloak of Displacement is ruining the game for you, don't use it.


Expecting the player to behave completely and utterly illogically by default (and balancing around that) is hardly good design, as opposed to assuming the average nwn module player has IQ > 90.
 

Also, if the game is too easy for you, try a harder difficulty level.


Won't do any good if the encounters are fundamentally flawed.

Here's an example. Farloch's assassin's guild is hyped to be a tough fight, to a point where a supposedly funny NPC even taunts about it, even though the painfully aware player is, at this point, expecting it to be just another lawnmower exercise due to repeating bad encounter design.

Inside you find a level 7 sorcerer, with 16 charisma, spell focus: evocation, AC 17, wielding an unenchanted dagger (1d4) with an AB of +3.

He has one 1x magic missile, 1x melf's acid arrow, 1x lightning bolt, 1x iron horn + a scroll of globe of invulnerability. He goes to melee combat after casting spells.

At this point, the PC has level 5 or 6 spells, spell resistance 12 or 18 (25-55% chance to resist his spells even without a saving throw), AC into 40s. Even a single cast of protection from elements (available to all casters at this point) is enough to nullify his entire offensive arsenal entirely. The PC is very likely to have at least 5 lightning DR, and fighter/cleric types to have 5 magic DR. If the PC targets the caster first, he's going to have ~90% hit rate with any combat oriented class.

What you basically end up with is a single attack per round with AB 3 vs. AC 30-40 + 50% concealment for 1d4 damage, from a ~mid level spellcaster.

That's not challenging and varied combat. That would be a single well made sorcerer with intelligent AI using improved expertise to break the Aielund formula of auto-attacking trash mobs x10.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Elhanan

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2016, 11:10:21 pm »


               

Good to know. 

No, it's not. Advertising otherwise is simply misleading and damaging, not only to the player who wastes his time, but to other modules as well that better deserve the endorsement.


It was when I played, but maybe I am not as gifted as others. However, as I am already on the record with my Vote and opinions on the mod, guess I shall stick with them, as well as the many others that support it.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_icywind1980

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 08:38:37 am »


               

I've played through it twice and what I liked about it most was the henchmen and their own stories. That being said, it is a cake walk of a mod, even on hardcore settings. And towards the end, it does feel like it's been rambling on with uninspired, generic combat. It's still a pretty good module, in my opinion, even though it does have some flaws.


 


Now for suggestions:


 


Prophet Series: Dark and serious themed mods. Many role play options. The only drawback is that you are often forced to make decisions that you might not normally.


http://neverwinterva...annot-be-denied


 


Mines of Twin Summit Series: This is for min level 13 (higher if solo) and is an epic scale hack n slash, with a story to it. Makes good use of haks and placeables.


http://neverwinterva...nes-twin-summit


 


Diablo Lord of Terror: Single player or multiplayer mod based on the Diablo games.


http://neverwinterva...diablo-campaign


 


 


Birthright of the North: Amazing open ended mod. Sadly incomplete, part 2 never came out.


http://neverwinterva...irthright-north


 


And here is a list of NWN1 mods in the hall of fame for more inspiration! Good luck!


http://neverwinterva...ights-hall-fame


               
               

               
            

Legacy_Snowdog65

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 01:41:16 pm »


               


I've played through it twice and what I liked about it most was the henchmen and their own stories. That being said, it is a cake walk of a mod, even on hardcore settings. And towards the end, it does feel like it's been rambling on with uninspired, generic combat. It's still a pretty good module, in my opinion, even though it does have some flaws.


 


Now for suggestions:


 


Prophet Series: Dark and serious themed mods. Many role play options. The only drawback is that you are often forced to make decisions that you might not normally.


http://neverwinterva...annot-be-denied


 




 


Aielund and Prophet are my two favorite series.  But if you find combat too easy in Aielund, you will find the same in Prophet. I thought they were both, just right.


 


But I don't want to micromanage combat much, or need to redo an ecounter multiple times to figure it out, so I prefer it a bit less challenging.  I want to play like I am in a movie, not strategy combat game. I play for good stories/characters, not challenging combat.


 


For the player looking for more challenge I recommend swordflight:


http://neverwinterva...ght-chapter-one


 


Very well done modules. But I stopped playing in Chap 2 because I found the combat frustrating (hard) for me. IIRC the author meant these to be played on Hardcore and worked hard to make it challenging.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 02:41:33 pm »


               

I play Aielund wit hi mage, wit archer & wit WM and like very much cuz story so gud.  Am thinking (mayb I wrong) wen builder make gud story he donna want ppl stuck in combat all times or they get bord.  Aielund like all SP tho cuz can pause, reload ur bad choice, rest nolimit and open in toolset to figger how to kill all encounter. It make combat easy unless make encounter respawn fast iffinite.  SP combat mods easy to make cuz gud story hardest work to make ppl want to play.  So easy for make creature skin uber but hard keep track of varables. Most hard combat mods wit gud story only have low level cuz it so hard to do both for long time.  Aielund is epic mods, so story last long time.  Aielund have almost no bug wen I play 3 times and that worth lot imo.  Builder test alot b4 post to Vault.  Not all do.


 


Try PW solo like HG, WoG or many other balanced severs wen encounter respawn evry minute or 2 if want combat test more than story.  Sum have few pots, some ur toon get tired which bad for long dungun, all balance classes better. Gud sever can have gud story but SP better ones like Aielund.


 


I play that Swordfight too and more hard combat there but no epic story.  Mayb u like that better tho.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_icywind1980

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 08:53:18 pm »


               


Aielund and Prophet are my two favorite series.  But if you find combat too easy in Aielund, you will find the same in Prophet. I thought they were both, just right.


 


But I don't want to micromanage combat much, or need to redo an ecounter multiple times to figure it out, so I prefer it a bit less challenging.  I want to play like I am in a movie, not strategy combat game. I play for good stories/characters, not challenging combat.


 


For the player looking for more challenge I recommend swordflight:


http://neverwinterva...ght-chapter-one


 


Very well done modules. But I stopped playing in Chap 2 because I found the combat frustrating (hard) for me. IIRC the author meant these to be played on Hardcore and worked hard to make it challenging.




 


I think Prophet was much better in terms of combat. It was more balanced and more of a challenge. I played through both with one human companion, and one henchman. Prophet also has a much cooler story.


 


Can't play swordflight because it's not multiplayer and time does not allow for single player adventures these days.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Snowdog65

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2016, 09:33:05 pm »


               


I think Prophet was much better in terms of combat. It was more balanced and more of a challenge. I played through both with one human companion, and one henchman. Prophet also has a much cooler story.




 


FWIW, I remember more challenging battles in Aielund than in Prophet...


 


But they are both like the official Bioware campaigns: Fairly easy, aimed at a wide audience.


 


Adding a human companion would only make them easier.


               
               

               
            

Legacy_rogueknight333

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2016, 02:11:38 am »


               

Most NWN modules tend to be rather easy, though I remember the Aielund Saga at least being an improvement on the official campaigns in this respect (though perhaps that is not saying much). At any rate, if you are looking for some with combat that might actually be challenging, than, in addition to mine, which have already been recommened, you might try:


 


Sapphire Star


Shadows of Darkmoon


The Blackguard Trilogy


 


All of these modules have combat whose difficulty level is noticeably above average for NWN.


               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2016, 02:37:17 am »


               


Here's an example. Farloch's assassin's guild is hyped to be a tough fight, to a point where a supposedly funny NPC even taunts about it, even though the painfully aware player is, at this point, expecting it to be just another lawnmower exercise due to repeating bad encounter design.


Inside you find a level 7 sorcerer, with 16 charisma, spell focus: evocation, AC 17, wielding an unenchanted dagger (1d4) with an AB of +3.


He has one 1x magic missile, 1x melf's acid arrow, 1x lightning bolt, 1x iron horn + a scroll of globe of invulnerability. He goes to melee combat after casting spells.


At this point, the PC has level 5 or 6 spells, spell resistance 12 or 18 (25-55% chance to resist his spells even without a saving throw), AC into 40s. Even a single cast of protection from elements (available to all casters at this point) is enough to nullify his entire offensive arsenal entirely. The PC is very likely to have at least 5 lightning DR, and fighter/cleric types to have 5 magic DR. If the PC targets the caster first, he's going to have ~90% hit rate with any combat oriented class.


What you basically end up with is a single attack per round with AB 3 vs. AC 30-40 + 50% concealment for 1d4 damage, from a ~mid level spellcaster.


That's not challenging and varied combat. That would be a single well made sorcerer with intelligent AI using improved expertise to break the Aielund formula of auto-attacking trash mobs x10.




 


I don't recall what the PC level is supposed to be at that point, nor do I recall what AC a typical melee toon would have by then. I found a saved game where my MP partner's melee toon has AC 31 at level 10, probably 32-33 buffed. I suspect you are right that a level 9-12 PC should be able to deal with that encounter. But, keep in mind that it's appropriate that the PC be able to win the encounters.


 


To my mind, Aielund is a fun story mod, with significantly more interaction with the NPCs than is typical of most modules. I tend to see Aielund as tougher than the OC (which is a cakewalk aside from a handful of encounters), but not challenging in a way that would be noteworthy to an experienced player. IMHO, few modules that cater to any choice of class and accommodate different playstyles will be challenging to everyone.


 


But, I don't think the description above is entirely fair. I doubt anyone would disagree that the level 10ish PC will have little challenge taking down a level 7 wizard, it's worth noting that the encounter is certainly not just against that wizard. That encounter should have something like 7-12 level 8 assassin/rogues and at least one level 10 assassin/rogue. If you only had to take down the wizard, then there was a glitch in that area.


               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Cow King

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2016, 12:38:25 am »


               

The point was, if an encounter against a group of highly intelligent opponents (rogues/wizards) ends up being x number of enemies auto-attacking you in melee (with an intentionally gimped sorcerer who doesn't even possess required known/day spells), it's just horribly bad encounter design. It doesn't matter if there are 3 or 100 enemies with impossible CR. The presence of a spellcaster in that particular fight could have made it genuinely interesting with all sorts of options, but no.


 


I tried swordflight, not going to repeat the wall of text since some moderator removed it (bioware - spend more money on people who make good games and less on leeches draining company funds). The purpose of a moderator is to remove advertising/spam, not handing out SJW points.


 


TL:DR - no custom AI, every "special" encounter was ripped straight from OC (and repeated about a thousand times since), and the same encounter repeats like 25 times at least (slow trap/spiders falling from roof) and this is your recommendation for a good combat module after 15 years?


 


It is clearly useless to take any suggestions here.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Aielund Saga - does it get better?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2016, 02:17:42 am »


               

Aha!, You're trying to play Aielund as a combat module. Aielund is all about the story, If ll you want is hack-and-slash, these are not the modules you're looking for.