I agree. Then again, most pre-decorated tile pieces leave me wanting in almost any tileset. Lack of kitchens, storage rooms, dungeon cells, armory or smithy rooms, etc … . Between the CEP, CCC, Project Q and independently posted placeables on NWNVault, it’s not a huge issue.
Personally, I build most of my interior areas using the clear/blank tile options and then sprinkle placeables as needed. Does it take a little longer? Yup! It also helps create unique areas constantly. I admit, there are times I find it tedious, especially if making several areas of a similar type like populating interiors in towns and villages with residential interiors. After a half dozen my enthusiasm wanes significantly. Luckilly, I can just set them aside, shift to making a new dungeon or tweaking scripts for a bit or creating yet another new creature/NPC to toss at my players. Later I’ll circle back for another swing at it.
So while diverse tileset options are handy, how often can one use them before “everything” begins to look the same in your module? Sure, drop a loaf of bread on the stove’s edge in one version, a baked turkey on the next, but after awhile it’s the similarities that stand out and not all the little “extras” you sprinkled around the tile.
Really, the size and scope of your module is another factor. If you have just a small village and a few adventures in and around it with a well thought out and entertaining story/plot line, then its less of an issue. If you have a PW with a couple thousand areas as I do, then by shear chance things begin looking the same over and over. So you end up using the pre-decorated tiles less and less.
I also find that in many modules and PWs, folks have ignored the “other” things that can have just as great an impact of the “feel” in each area. I’ve ditched more than a few stand alone modules simply because they lacked the little details like setting the area lighting (Why are so many interiors so damned glaring bright?!), using skyboxes (yes, even in interiors … come on, at least blackout the sky so the area looks a little more realist as you pan around), setting music to fit the theme/mood (including battle tracks) and my biggest peeve of all … not adjusting the area fog distances to something reasonable unless dense fog is actually required.
Anyhow, I’ve gone from commenting to ranting … time for more coffee … or a shot of single malt … or a shot of single malt in my coffee.