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NWN2 - Night Howls in Nestlehaven Mod Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by olimikrig, Jun 18, 2009.

  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!)

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    Night Howls in Nestlehaven V1.17
    Creator: jackyo123
    Scope: Part of a series
    Sequel: Coming
    Requires: NWN2 v. 1.06+
    Review first posted on: 18/06 - 09
    Last updated on:
    Download location: http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=nwn2modulesenglish.Detail&id=151

    Index

    • Game Rules Information
    • Content
    • Gameplay
    • visuals
    • Bugs and Oddities
    • Summary

    Game Rules Information

    Not really much to add here. Just a few minor things to notice:


    • If your character has less than 42,000 experience points it'll be advanced to that (level 9ish).
    • In the starting area there is a wide selection of armours and weaponry appropriate to a level 9 character (+1 weapons and the likes).
    • Alignment matter. What you do, and how you do it affects how the story unfolds. Apparently in the upcoming prequel it will also affect which factions you can choose to join.
    • You cannot just mindlessly sell all your unwanted loot to the nearest merchant. All the merchants have a set supply of gold so you will have to buy stuff from them and spread out your sales to keep business running smoothly.

    Content

    Welcome to CSI: Nestlehaven! You play the role of a semi-retired mercenary who accepts one last job in order to secure a comfortable retirement.

    The town of Nestlehaven is at the brink of civil war. An ancient blood-feud between the two ruling families of Nestlehaven - The Belleroses (called the reds) and the Boroldis (called the blues) - has sparked anew. For decades there had been a "truce" between the two families, with leadership of the city council passing between the two factions every eight years. The Belleroses, however, has been in control for the last 12 years now, because the last Boroldi mayor, a man named Hercuriel, passed on prematurely, and had no heir to take over. In accordance to city law leadership passed on to the Belleroses, who then began passing laws and taxes favouring their own. This injustice didn't go unnoticed, and Boroldi Nobles had begun organizing themselves, gathering support for a petition to vote. They were getting more vocal every day, and more support had begun rallying up behind them.

    Then some months prior to your arrival in Nestlehaven a dozen of farmers were found mutilated and marked with strange runes. There was no witnesses to the crime, and both the Belleroses and the Boroldis accused each other. Things escalated further when later the bodies of Noblemen descending from the Boroldi clan were found murdered in the same way. It has been a downhill spiral from there on, with multiple reports of murders and random acts of violence. The situation climaxed when an angry mob rioted and burned a family alive. When City Guards tried to interfere, they were killed.
    You and several other mercenaries have been hired by Constable Hillers to play the role of detective; to expose the real murderers and restore order. The reward: 25,000gp along with titles and land.

    The Atmosphere in 'Night Howls of Nestlehaven' is very tense, and you can almost feel the friction between the two opposing families. As you dig into the case and begin piecing the puzzle together, you will come to realise that what you have seen might just be the top of the iceberg . Small pieces of information are revealed as you follow the different leads on the murderers, and slowly, as they come together, you will come to understand the full gravity of the situation.

    There are quite a few different companions to choose from in 'Night Howls in Nestlehaven'. They mostly won't just team up with you however, you have to prove yourself capable first by following some of the various leads, unveiling the plot. They will often voice their opinions about the situation, or warn you if they sense danger ahead. All-in-all I found them to be very well rounded, adding a lot of flavour to the game.

    Gameplay

    A lot of people apparently find 'Night Howls in Nestlehaven' difficult (speaking combat here). Personally I didn't find it all too hard (core rules). I'd certainly agree that some fights might be too much of a mouthful, if you go looking for trouble early on. But those fights can all be saved for later (or simply just avoided) if you, well, don't go looking for trouble :p. Personally I found that stoneskinning and hasting my front-liners was more than sufficient to just hack my way through any obstacles.

    When you first arrive in Nestlehaven you might be a little disappointed (especially knowing that a vast majority of the game takes place here). The town is very small, there's hardly any pins pointing to interesting locations on your map (except the odd merchant), and a lot of the doors are locked and cannot be opened without a key. Rest assured, however, that there is plenty for you to do here (and many of those locked doors will become open later on). But just try and take a stroll down the street, listening to the various rumours, talking to the different NPCs and you will quickly see that the town is, in fact, beaming with life.

    'Night Howls in Nestlehaven' has some 5-8 hours of gameplay in it, all depending on whether you just want to rush through the main quest, or take your time to experience everything. It's not cramped with "Mighty Vorpal Clubs of Annihalation - From Hell", I mostly ran around with +1-2 weapons and armours. There are a few quite potent weapons you can buy from some of the vendors, but they are accordingly expensive.

    Visuals

    Aside from the fact that the two opposing families have painted their roofs in their factions' colours (a lot of red and blue rooftops) 'Night Howls in Nestlehaven' did not look anything out of the ordinary.
    Here's a few Screenshots for you to enjoy:


    Bugs and Oddities

    I didn't find any bugs in my playthroughs. Only thing I can put my finger on is a few dialogue duplications when my companions were commenting on the situation (they would, for example, warn me of suspected danger ahead, and then a few seconds later give me the same warning).

    There are, however, a few known bugs that you should be aware of (quoting the author here):


    • There are a few areas where you have keys to open doors-the keys MUST be on the character who will be doing the opening
    • Certain 2da files or other things in your override directory can interfere with or break the journal and/or some of the placeables (just like with any mod that uses custom stuff). So if you experience strange behavior/visuals/missing journal, check your override directory
    • I cannot guarantee that the mod will work with the new classes introduced in MOTB. They have NOT been tested with NHIN.

    Summary

    I really enjoyed 'Night Howls in Nestlehaven'! It wasn't innovative, but the story was well thought out and masterfully executed. I really enjoyed playing the detective, following the leads and piecing the various clues together. The battles seemed well balanced, not pushovers, but not too difficult either (although they might be if you don't powergame). And there wasn't any crappy voice acting, which was a major plus in my book :p. it gets 4.5 out of 6 from me, with the 4 of them being for the story alone. The only bad thing I really have to say about Night Howls of Nestlehaven is that it was too small. I sometimes felt a little confined in the city, and would have loved to have a little more room to manoeuvre around in. That being said I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story-driven module.

    If I sparked your interest enough you can read up on the sequel as well here: http://www.forgottenrealmsweave.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Night Howls In Nestlehaven
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009

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