I finally had the free time to re-install NWN. I was looking forward to playing again, especially on what my friend promised was a good role-playing server, but not too heavy a role-playing server.
He had told me in advance that I needed NWN, the two expansion packs - Shadows of Undrentide (SoU) and Hordes of the Underdark (HotU) - and to be patched up to the latest patch, version 1.69. For anyone that might be reading this without the game installed and patched to 1.69, the auto-updater in the game does not work to install patch 1.69. But you can find it here.
It took me a while to get things installed and updated. Part of that, I believe, was installing this older game on a Windows Vista computer. The other part was the Bioware site acting weird. I couldn't download the patch and had trouble simply navigating the site. I couldn't get to where I was trying to go. But the next evening the site was fine and I downloaded and installed the patch without incident. (I still can't click through the opening splash screens and movies without the game crashing, but if I wait them out the game runs fine.)
Many years ago when I was playing I remember having to download hak paks. Each server seemed to have it's own custom content to some extent and you had to download the appropriate hak pak to be able to play on that server. Remembering this I went looking on the Amia site for information about what I would need to download to play Amia.
On the Downloads page I found nothing about a required download. There were just two optional downloads for heads and hands and feet.
This confused me because, as I said, I was years removed from being used to having to download content to play on a server. A private message to Melf confirmed that nothing additional was needed. The game, two expansions and the 1.69 patch and I was good. Plus the two optional downloads if I wanted them - which I did.
Well all right then. I kind of wish that was specified on the Downloads page that there were no hak paks needed. It would have saved me some time and a bit of internal worry. I couldn't find information anywhere on the forum about required downloads (you know, because there aren't any) as I searched around while waiting to get a reply to my message.
And I had the information ahead of time so I didn't think of it at the time I was looking, but it also would be nice for the downloads page to mention the game and version needed for playing. It might be a foregone conclusion for most people, but you might also get old players like me re-installing the game after several years. The Downloads page was the first place I went looking and the information I was looking for wasn't there. Partly because it there was no information (about hak paks required) to put there. But still, wouldn't it be a good idea to actually let people know what's needed to enjoy the world without assuming they're going to know (or have a good friend to ask and be embarrassed with when they get the answer)? A link to the patch would be nice, too.
It also wasn't listed on the Rules & FAQ page, but then it might not actually be a frequently asked question.
There is one other thing to mention about downloads. I found out while playing last Thursday that Amia does allow for custom portraits. There is a member who creates zip files for portraits. You send her your portrait, she sticks it in the pack, it gets uploaded each month so players can download it and see people's custom portraits.
A link to that forum thread might be something that is worthwhile to put on the Downloads page, too.
I don't have any custom portraits right now. If I eventually make a character I have in mind I will use one. I used to know how to make the custom portrait files, but I don't anymore. I'll need to look up how to do that if the time comes. (The lady that creates the paks for the portraits will resize and crop a picture for you, though she will not completely edit it.)
(Proofreading this post I realize it sounds kind of whiny and like I'm telling the developers of Amia what to put on their site. That's not my intention, but I'm not going to change it. I think it's reasonable to expect that information and do strongly suggest they add it where appropriate. Whether they do or not is up to them. I'm sure it's a foregone conclusion to everyone who has been playing the game for some time that 1.69 has enough content in it to do away with most mandatory hak paks. But I can't be the only one who has been away from the game long enough to not be aware of that and be slightly confused, can I?)