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NwN/SoU/HotU - CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor Mod Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by olimikrig, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. olimikrig

    olimikrig Cavalier of War Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

    Joined:
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    CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor
    Creator: Abaddon
    Scope: Part of a series
    Sequel: "CC2: Sorrow of Faerun"
    Requires: NWN, SoU & HotU
    Players: 1-4
    Review first posted on: 16/03 - 07
    Last updated on:
    Download location: http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Modules.Detail&id=3700#Files

    Index
    • Game Rules Information
    • Content
    • Gameplay
    • Visuals
    • Bugs and Oddities
    • Summary
    Game Rules Information

    "CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor" is loosely based on the Forgotten Realms setting. Abaddon has made a few changes to the original rules in CC1, the most important of which are:

    • Resting restricted to once every five minutes.
    • Area of Effect spells damaging friendly NPCs will anger them.
    • Alignment choice affects gameplay (mainly in conversations).
    • Conversation choices effects how NPCs react towards you.
    Content

    The sky is clear above you and the stars are shining brightly, illuminating the world around you. It is a beautiful night; the world seems at peace and the boat is slowly plowing through the still water, making little to no noise. You are somewhere on the western side of the Dragon Reach Sea, steadily making progress towards you point of destination, Harrowdale.
    Suddenly you spot a yellow glow in the sky, which doesn't look like any star you've ever seen and it's nearing with speed, expanding above you. A burst of energy roars down on the boat, raining chunks of material in the water around you. From within the pillar of light an Elf steps and instantly you are swirled into a story of plane-travellers and ancient evils plotting for the destruction of the world. And as you will soon come to learn, you have little choice in the matter of your path, for you have a destiny.

    Destiny or no, I prefer to have a little choice in the modules that I'm playing, and the plot in CC1 felt very forced upon you. In most dialogues you'd have a single option only, and in the few cases where there were multiple options, your choice would only change exactly what NPC replied to you but you would still have to go around doing the same thing in the same way as if you had chosen otherwise. The dialogue was very poor and often full of grammatical and spelling errors; so were the journal updates, which in addition were confusing, offering little description of the task at hand other than the fact that it had to be done. There was little depth to the characters and they felt like objects whose sole purpose was to move the plot forward rather than adding a roleplay edge to your game. On the upside, however, the few subquests were very flexible and could for the most part be done in any order at any point.
    Throughout the module I felt quite confused in regards to what the real purpose of what I was doing was. Real information was scarce and long in between and the ending rather weak, offering no conclusion, but rather just forcing the sequel upon you. Many a time I found myself wondering where I was and where I was heading, and when I was beginning to see some sort of a pattern I would stumble upon something that lead me to another place, adding to the confusion.
    In addition, the module is packed with magical items. Though they are needed to be able to hit some of the monster you'll face, they just add to the overall unrealistic feeling about the module (which the fact that you're fighting the monsters you are to begin with does as well).

    Gameplay

    The transition from the old CC1, which was made a long time ago for the original Neverwinter Nights, to the new updated version with all the benefits from SoU and HoTU doesn't seem to have been that smooth at all. Many areas were quite laggy and contained several flaws. For one, the maps were often missing pin descriptions and simply said <Place text here>.
    I’ve stumbled upon quite a few occurrences of weird AI behaviour, like some bats that didn't move or attack, yet yielded a decent amount of experience when killed.
    There was a number of dialogue duplications, as well as items being acquirable and creatures spawning more than once. For example, in the beginning an NPC named Grano sends you on a quest to obtain a sword, and you will be rewarded with a set of Grano Gear. However, you can persuade him to give you this immediately to help you on the quest, and then get another set once completed. In another case an NPC named Elvira spawned twice doing a conversation.
    Often when there was a trigger on the ground for some dialogue (like "best be careful" or similar), the dialogue would appear over all the party members and summons, and each time you passed the trigger (instead of just once as intended).

    Difficulty

    CC1 is an extremely difficult module! Which, I think, is the main reason why it got such a high rating at NWvault. Actually, CC1 is the most difficult NWN module I've ever played. However, it seems a little lazily scripted. Instead of having unique creatures with hard-to-beat scripts, Abaddon relies more on the amount of enemies you'll be facing in each fight. This scenario is one you'll find yourself facing more than once; multiple enemies closing in on you, often rated moderate or challenging, with the possibility of very difficult or overpowering foes amongst them as well. I was actually frustrated with the difficulty of the module and found myself resorting to reloading a lot. Of course, with the respawn system you can just get resurrected and continue fighting, but that caused some other problems. Money and experience penalty aside, you would often just spawn back into the middle of a mob of monsters, triggering attacks of opportunity all around. It's not a rare sight to respawn only to get killed almost instantly again. Of course, you can rest and buff up in the respawn area, but if you're a melee class or some such, and your henchman died during the fight (s)he won't come with you to the respawn area and you' won't have anyone to buff you.
    Another example of the insane difficulty is a group of water elementals I stumbled upon. They would one-shoot me if I failed a Fortitude save, which I did, and was killed and respawned 5 times in a row only to get killed again instantly!

    Visuals

    The visuals of CC1 make up for a lot of its other flaws. I found it to be very beautiful! Below are some of my favourite scenes from the module:

    Bugs and Oddities

    I stumbled upon a few bugs in "CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor", all of which are listed below:

    • AI bug with a bat not moving nor fighting yet yielding decent experience to kill.
    • Found a "Tangle Vine" that could be picked infinitely.
    • The module is built for level 5 characters climbing the heights to level 10, however you are not levelled up to 5 at the beginning if starting with a fresh level 1 character. Instead you have to activate the console using the tilde (~) button, set "DebugMode 1" and use "dm_levelup" (both case sensitive, without the quote marks) and level yourself up to 5.
    • King Haigor Li Sengess stopping on his way, and having to re-initiate dialogue several times to get him to move on to where he's supposed to go.
    • King Haigor Li Sengess simply disappeared after the dialogue on my second runthrough, and the only reason I wasn't completely lost was because it was my second runthrough and I knew where to go (for first timers, follow the path from where you came when you first entered the area and take the first path on your right where there'll be a new area exit. Haigor Li Sengess will be found in that new area).
    Summary

    As you have probably noticed having read this far, I’m not very fond of "CC1: Gates of Myth Drannor". It was too hack 'n' slash for me, and though supposedly heavy on roleplay in the NWvault description, I found it to be lacking just that. The weak ending makes it work very poorly as a stand-alone module, and you really can't say CC1 without saying CC2 as well.
    All-in-all if you like heavy and hard combat I'm sure you'll enjoy CC1 quite a lot, though I would recommend that you play it with friends, allowing for more people (as you can only ever have one henchman) instead of going solo simply because it can be so frustratingly hard to hack your way through the hordes of enemies.

    I would rate it 2 out of 6 possible stars.
     

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