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Member Since 10 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Feb 12 2009 02:11 AM

Topics I've Started

Chloe Review

01 January 2009 - 02:23 PM


I installed the mod a few weeks ago, and have now finished SoA. It's a good mod, but there are some weaknesses.

Balance: Attributes are a bit on the high side, for an NPC, but with Str and Con lower than for most fighter type NPCs it's nothing important. The Dex value is rather surprising since the main character is a godchild as well and doesn't have any super attributes, but since it only gives two points AC more than Dex 18 it has little influence on the game balance, and the sum of all attributes is lower than Sarevok's.

The starting weapons are probably the best of any NPC, but only overpowered for the dungeon. Once in the city there are several +3 weapons and many +2 easily available, and since Chloe needs to spend proficiency points on two weapons and two weapon fighting (and a weapon to use against Clay Golems and the like), it balances very quickly.

The weapon power up in Spellhold is a bit over the top (since the only +4 or +5 weapons available are two handed weapons), especially since the stun chance of her main weapon is twice that of Celestial Fury. Nor is the point in time well chosen for story purpose. And with more powerful scimitars available, how many people still have her use Lathander's Flame at this point?
I'd recommend to shift the upgrade of the short sword a bit earlier. After freeing Aran's daughter perhaps - or maybe during the fight - simple animation of a sunray and a false dawn spell and a comment how the blade feels more powerful would do. And the negative plane protection is probably needed most during the following fights. And it makes sense that Lathander wouldn't grand his favor if you sided with the Vampires; at least not until you did something to make up for that (sacrifice Bhodi's heart, for example).
The upgrade of Akadi's Wrath should be later; it's a very powerful weapon. I can't decide if it would be better when you enter the Underdark or leave it. When you leave the Underdark you can get Crom Faeyr, which is probably about as powerful as Rage of Akadi, so it would work well from that perspective, and it could be portrayed as a reward for dealing with the drow - then again as DM I'm always opposed to the gods giving magical items away freely. Akadi could also make some reference to not giving the elves too hard a time (and can I just mention that I was disappointed at how easily Chloe accepted the mess the elves created and dumped on the party to clean up!).
Yes, I know the game is almost over by then, but you gain most of the powerful weapons that late in game, so I don't think that's a problem. Wrath of Akadi is powerful enough to last for most of the game.

I liked how Chloe commented on many issues, but I must say even though she's better than the rest of the NPC, she still hasn't enough comments (especially about meaningful decisions). That you don't really have many decisions to make is a fault of the game, but I'd like some input in what the NPC want to do. It often feels like walking around with a group of slaves that do whatever I want.
I'd especially like the option to ask Chloe which of the available quests we have heard about in chapter 2 should be done next. Or how to deal with things in the drow city (kill Qilue or not? kill Solaufain or not? How to react to Jarlaxe?). Even which fishman to kill (king, prince, both) or if we should kill the shadow dragon or leave it be. It'd be lots of work, but it'd make the character fell more real.
Anyway, enough dreaming about stuff that would be hard if not impossible to code, Chloe worked well enough in the first half of the game, but she was very silent once I set out to Spellhold. A few banters with Imoen and a few romance talks, but that was it. IIRC all of them played out before I reached the Underdark. There should be a few more dialogs for the romance at least (I'll have to see how she romances Imoen in the next game). And that she ignored Akadi's visit after she was gone was strange. Meeting a god should leave a lasting impression or at least cause a few comments. And that the other characters (especially Paladin and clerics) didn't have any comments to either the goddess appearance or Chloe's reaction to it.

The banters I've seen so far are well thought out and very enjoyable, though more (especially about specific experiences during the game - like the visit to the Underdark or about the players stronghold) would be a nice thing. As I said, Chloe had little to say in the second half of the game.

I'm also surprised at the weapons you chose; scimitar and short sword, when Akadi's favored weapon is a heavy flail and Lathander's a mace. Not a bad decision, but still surprising.

Overall I've enjoyed the game a lot more with Chloe than before, so great work.