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Daerred: Now, I know you didn't have any jobs for an adventurer last time in Neverwinter. But we searched the city for opportunities. After that we took to the road, and I found an old lady and rescued a cat. We each got an apple.Neverwinter Nights 2 is what happens when you ask Obsidian Entertainment of all people to make a heroic fantasy game. Released in November 2006, it is the sequel to the 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights by Bio Ware. It is set in the Forgotten Realms (more specifically, along the Sword Coast) and uses the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 gameplay system.As was the case with Obsidian's previous project, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, this sequel, despite being set after the events of the original game, barely references them; unlike KOTOR II, it does not allow the player to choose the ending of the previous game (partially because it was wrapped up in an expansion pack).Unlike the previous game, the plot does not begin in the eponymous city. The protagonist is a new character, an orphan living with their foster father Daeghun Farlong in the village of West Harbor, which is invaded in the beginning of the game. Realizing that the enemies are after the mysterious silver shard kept in the swamp ruins, Daeghun tells his adopted child to recover the shard and bring it to Neverwinter, to his brother Duncan, who possesses a similar shard. However, the path from West Harbor to Neverwinter is dangerous, and once there, the adventure is far from over: the shard-bearer has many enemies, all with different motivations.Aside from traditional RPG Elements like fighting and completing quests, there are some deviations of note. At one point, the player is framed for slaughtering an entire village by a cabal of Luskan renegades attempting to spark civil disorders in Neverwinter, and must spend a significant portion of the second act gathering evidence and questioning witnesses to be able to prove their innocence at a trial (although even if the player is found guilty, the situation will resolve itself anyway.) Also, after defeating the game's (not literal) Dragon, Black Garius, the player is rewarded with control over his hideout, Crossroad Keep, and can (but is not required to) spend a certain period of time rebuilding the worn keep, seeking workers, recruits and merchants throughout the world, managing the garrison and using it to pacify the surrounding lands - all of this in preparation for an enemy attack.In the end of the convoluted (albeit linear) plot, the player faces the final enemy, the King of Shadows, and can either defeat or join him. The player is then presented with the fates of the locations they visited (Fallout-style), which are dependent on the player's choices throughout the game.Unusually for Western RPGs (particularly the earlier efforts of the same developers,) NWN2 has very few optional questlines and side-areas, and players who attempt to stray from the pre-determined path will often find their way blocked by doors with Plot locks and other uncircumventable obstacles.The original game was plagued by the same problems as KOTOR 2: storyline of debatable quality, rushed development, and very buggy programming. Added to these problems is an engine with serious graphical issues and massive slowdown even on relatively modern computers. Later patches and expansion packs have removed many of the bugs and improved the engine, but it's still rather a hardware hog. However, the original campaign in NWN2 also has a surprising amount of tongue-in-cheek humor from most characters, while not quite Genre Savvy, results in a campaign with an unusual amount of deadpan humor from party members and NPCs alike, including poking fun at the game's own clichés and plot, as exemplified by the example at the top of the page.An expansion pack: Mask of the Betrayer follows the same character into an unfamiliar land (Rashemen) and a more personal struggle. It is shorter, less linear, and has been praised for the choices offered to the player in the style of Planescape Torment. Indeed, many reviewers have wondered how the same company could have written the (at the very least clichéd) plot of the original campaign and the dark, atmospheric and original one for MotB.A second expansion pack, Storm of Zehir, was released in 2008, it "hearkens back to the days of the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale franchises by including full party customization, dungeon crawling, and free exploration of a non-linear game world via an overland Map". Some reviewers, however, have compared it to being more like a high-end third-party mod, mainly criticizing the lack of character interaction and the amount of random encounters on the overland map.An Adventurer Pack called Mysteries of Westgate was released in 2009. It was developed by Ossian Studios with the plot having no ties with the previous storylines.Since then, while there have been no plans in sight for a Neverwinter Nights 3, the MMO Neverwinter is slated to be a sorta-sequel set 100 years after the events of the NWN games. Also, in late 2012 Mask of the Betrayer's lead writer George Ziets was tapped for Obsidian's upcoming RPG Project Eternity.The whole game and its expansions and adventure pack are now available at GOG.com.
Shandra: Well, if it had been the Captain doing it, the cat would be lost, the tree burned down, and the old lady would be traveling with us now.