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Recently bought Gothic II Gold (with Night of the Raven addon), and now (about 10 hours into the game) trying to understand what is the correct timing to try to bring the addon's intro quests ("the missing people", the water mages etc) to completion. I understand that once I join one of the factions (militia, mercenaries, fire mages) the choices in the game will become limited, will that affect the addon's territory?

And until approximately which level (depending on the character build, I understand) is it too early to deal with the addon, since I assume it may have some tough creatures etc.

Thank you in advance!

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Technically, the original storyline of Gothic 2 and the storyline of the Night of the Raven addon can be played in (almost) any order and may be even arbitrarily interleaved. The main part of Night of the Raven takes place in a new part of the island that is only accessible through a certain addon quest. Once you reach this part of the island, you may portal back and forth to the original part and progress as much of either storyline as you desire. The only point of no return is close to the end in the original storyline, namely when:

you are supposed to leave the island by ship.

After this point, you won't be able to access the Night of the Raven part of the island anymore.

As for right time to deal with the addon, unfortunately, I don't remember which level I have been. If I recall correctly, I started (and concluded) the addon storyline somewhere between chapter 3 and 4 of the game. However, when and how you tackle this quest is completely up to your judgment. Gothic 2 "tells" you that you are not strong enough to master your current quest by placing monsters in your way that are too strong for you in your current shape. So if you fail some quest repeatedly, it is a good idea to go and do something else until you have become strong enough.

Having said that, you should be aware that with the installation of the addon comes a significant rise in the difficulty of the original storyline (as compared to playing Gothic 2 without the addon). However, once you beat the Night of the Raven main quest, you will obtain a weapon that will make the rest of the original storyline almost too easy. But beside these balancing issues, Gothis 2 (plus addon) is really one of the best single player RPGs to play.

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Thanks for such a thorough answer, that actually dismisses all my worries, so I'll just continue playing the main quest :) As for the increased difficultly - I noticed! I did try to play through Gothic 2 when it came out, and I don't remember it being so hard. I thought it was me getting old ;) –  NPC Jul 15 '10 at 10:27
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Technically, it doesn't matter. I would recommend that you head to the addon world, BEFORE you go to the "Valley of Mines". The difficulty is easier, if you do the addon world first, believe me. And it's also more interesting, because if you head there after the "Valley of Mines" party, you are maybe a bit overpowered.

If you're already in the Valley of Mines, you can always go back for the addon world.

Additional tip: For me a a passionate Gothic-player, I like to have always the best possible equipment. If you are also like this, you can go to the Valley of Mines FIRST.


Spoiler:

Head to the castle and take the "Book of Bloodflies" in the "Goverment House" there. It will teach you, how to take some stuff from them without wasting XP. You can use this knowledge in the addon world.
You can also buy the "heavy Militia Armor" from Engor (also in the castle). After you got this 2 items, I would go to Jharkendar (this is, what the addon-world is called).

PS: I'm not sure how the things in quotations are called in English, because I play it in German.

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