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Icewind Dale The Icewind Dale Series Thread

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Heresiarch, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    What would you say about it beyond mixed bag?

    And well done on finishing it. Personally I find it a very challenging game, and at times a bit too much of a grind. I often replay up to the end of the Goblin horde fortress and leave it there. I love the game up to that point. Past there it's a bit up and down for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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  2. Jvegi Arcane

    Jvegi
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    Can't say anything beyond that, only expand on it. Every single element falls flat at one point or the other.

    The first IWD had good story, very well designed encounters with beautiful story justifications for enemy placement, good loot and simple character progression. It was a tight package, with the only serious flaw I can remember being the lack of difficulty in later parts of the game.
    IWD2 tries to add many things to that experience, but it feels like the quality assurance was not there. It was clearly a rushed product with many talented people with ambitious ideas.

    The itemization is lackluster to say the least. There are many utility items that are essential at early stages, but later on they loose significance because spells do the same things better. There are too many magical items with subpar effects for which you can't find any use. It gets worse later on, in chapters 5 and 6 you're barraged with items that are no better than the stuff you already have and the only use for those items is to sell them. Only there are no actual vendors after Kuldahar. I had only one helmet for my party. The rings mostly give bonuses to deflection and so do the cloaks. Very rarely you find something with a useful effect you can use strategically. Deflection, minor elemental resistance and 1hp per turn regeneration is all you can hope for. It doesn't mean there aren't items that feel nice to find and equip, but they are rare and badly paced.

    The story is simplistic with very interesting details that are not developed at all. I also very often felt confused about the reasons for doing something.

    The dungeons are ridicules. The only one striking a good balance of story and fighting is imo the Underdark. The Fortress is better, but it doesn't try to strike balance which is a very IWD1 thing and that's awesome. The Ice Temple, Woods, Dragon's Butthole and even The Tower of Stairs have WAY TOO LITTLE combat and way too much backtracking, with little to no clues on how to progress. This is IWD, the combat game. I'd be fine with puzzles, even if most of them are too experimental, but give me good fights in between. The Ice Temple has a lot of enemies, but they're not challenging at all.

    The character progression I found to be disappointing. I'm sure it was the shit at the time, but we've seen many games doing much better job with character customization in 3rdE. And even those were not that good. Perhaps with ultra min-max multi-classing approach this system can be fun, but playing it at insane I found very little opportunities to utilize my feats nor felt my choices had any influence on my tactics.

    The skills have no use. My rouge was 5/12 and her trap disabling abilities were way too random. Those were the only ones that mattered. Perhaps skills like concentration have an impact, but concentration and knowledge are like the only skills you can invest in. With intelligence higher than 10 investing in skills in classes other than rouge is an exercise in choosing the least useless option. Diplomacy/Bluff/Intimidate skills have very little use, and you're likely to miss the instances where they're used. Despite the promising first chapter.

    I'm shitting on everything, but my point is that everything you do in this game has flaws. Nothing is perfect. Except, perhaps for the RtwP combat.

    RtWP in IWD1&2 is cool. You have to pause every second to survive, making it a unique blend of strategy and action. The mechanics of movement and skill use work very nice. It could work much better in the sequel if only you had more opportunities to utilize the system. Very rarely you find yourself in the situation where you fight enemies with varying methods of attack and resistances. Despite the introduction of new environmental factors like exploding barrels, the game fails to introduce unique fighting scenarios on pair with the first game. It happens from time to time, but it's not consistent.

    Good things, many annoying things, not developed enough.

    Much like ToEE.

    I need to play something non-D&D.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  3. Transfiguring Roar Arcane Patron

    Transfiguring Roar
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    Good write-up, Jvegi. Of all your points I agree most strongly with "not developed enough". I wasn't expecting that long a response. Thanks for taking the time to write it!
     
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  4. vazha Erudite

    vazha
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    Absolutely. BurnCrushning!
     
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  5. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    On Ice Temple Battlesquare.

    Its designed function is to provide high level wizard scrolls for your overleveled wizards which should have empty slots at highest tier since they havent found any spells to scribe.

    A less than good player normally doesnt find out about that, since their wizard level should be equal or maybe 1 point higher than your non-wizard.

    A good to great player normally utilize human in wizard role (or cleric), and other race as non-casting roles. So the casters are usually two or three character level different compared to them.

    The sign of it is when party finish the orc fortress the wizards should have their highest level spell slot empty.

    And if they dont make use of Battlesquare, they are going to wait until the village in the marsh to get some spells. If they are playing in HoF mode, they are going to wait until the monastery, or the underdark to get spells to fill in.
     
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  6. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Decided to buy Icewind Dale: EE despite owning the original on CD as well as GOG. I was hesitant for a long time seeing how many EE features can be modded in, but after trying it out I think all the QOL changes are worth it for me. I guess some of the key features can be modded in, but the EE offers a package of things that I wanted and didn't know I wanted, like the loot menu, eliminating the need to go pilfer each body one at a time, among other features. One of the biggest fears were the inclusion of spells, items, races, classes, and kits in IWD and BG1 that are pretty over powered for the content, but I've come to realize that I've played these games so many times that there really isn't that much challenge to be had either way. There's still the difficulty slider to even things out a bit, but veteran players are going to have to come up with self-imposed limitations to feel a real challenge either way. I still think new players should experience these games first with the classes and races that were intended as that way there can still be an appropriate amount of challenge for them.

    Anyway, Icewind Dale is as comfy as always. Its been snowing for 3 days straight where I live so I'm in the perfect mood to play it. I got to Dragon's Eye yesterday with my Fighter, Fighter/Thief, Paladin, Cleric, Druid, Wizard party. I slightly regret the Fighter/Thief and wish I had maybe taken another pure Fighter instead since I forgot how disarming traps in IWD isn't so important (I can never remember if its BG or IWD that rewards the player with XP for disarming) but oh well, they still perform fine in combat, and at least I was able to pickpocket a few magical starter items in Kuldahar I guess.
     
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  7. AwesomeButton Personally falsified the US election results Patron

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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I did a roleplay playthrough of the original IWD/HoW/TotL but one day I want to do the 100% munchkin playthrough of the EE because of the rules changes. Also I really want a half-orc barbarian, and I can't have it in the original :)
     
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  8. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    Getting the two rings of "free action" alone is worth a multiclassed fighter/thief.
     
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  9. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    A F/T should be used for backstabbing.
     
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  10. Jvegi Arcane

    Jvegi
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    F/T should become awesome in EE when they remove backstabbing cooldown.

    On the other hand in ToEE it was utterly ridicules. At lvl 10 my rouge was backstabbing for way more damage than my barbarian, bypassing any dmg resistance.

    BTW, how effective is "use magical device" skill in IWD2? My F5/R12 could rarely engage in backstabbing without dying, so I had her use items with spell effects (not wands). They eventually run out of charges in chapter 6 and she was completely useless. With UMD she could utilize all those scrolls I never use, perhaps even set enemies up for backstabbing.
    Does the skill work properly? How many points do I need?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  11. Jigby Augur

    Jigby
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    Well it's been ages since the last time I tried UMD, but from what I remember, it's not worth it. Unlike ToEE, UMD here is quite weak, requires full on skill point investment to get good success rate and I think most of the wands are just not worth it. The only wands that I like are the buffing wands like cat's grace or bull's strength. I guess if you go for some non-caster party without clerics and arcane casters, UMD might be worth it. Also wands and scrolls are usually used not at the caster lvl, but at the lowest possible lvl, so let's say Sanctuary from Wand of Sanctuary has terrible duration. Regular consumables (items) are I think better. You can have basic fireballs from the Necklace of Missiles which you can get from the werewolf merchant back in chapter2 and you can recharge items by just selling them and rebuying. I think the key to making rogue playable will be fixing the sneak attacks, both the frequency and the ability to do them at range.
     
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  12. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Average Manatee
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    Import a thief, do your pickpocketing, then remove them.

    inb4 "but that's cheating", you're already savescumming and probably reading a list of who to pickpocket anyway.
     
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  13. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    I read that this it is not possible to import new party members in the EEs once you've started the game proper.
     
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  14. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I assume it works like BG and switching to multiplayer lets you swap in and out characters at whim.
     
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  15. Krivol Magister

    Krivol
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    Wow! You've actually found an enhancement!
     
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  16. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    On the issue of Rogue.

    On Heart of Fury mode, I find that Rogue's patented skill, Pickpocket, is fucked beyond belief. It's totally savescum reload because even if you raise that skill to 20+ or more, it's still too random to be sure.

    Backstab is not a survivable tactic in HoF. You are most likely to be visible among a horde of hostile chasing your ass. AND some casters or shooters using skill/spell by script, not actual spell mechanic. So you are going to die very quick after one backstab.

    Stealth, while fucked in Hide and Move Silently depend on your fix, is possible thanks to Potion of Invisibility plus rings and other items of that kind. With a Deep Gnome bonus on stealth (Undetectable) you can do a stealth scout fine. I mean, the potions are there to be bought. What are you going to do with your millions of gold coins?

    Detect is actually a worthy skill to invest. Sometimes they can Detect invisible foes like the Gray Dwarfs, Dark Elves etc...

    So without backstab, the only other option is ranged attack by bow or Xbow. And if you mix in with Fighter class level to Grandmaster, that's one fine machinegun-like shooter. I usually shoot dry the magical ammo and have to buy more.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Ed123 retrospective:

     
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  18. Ed123 Arcane Patron

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    Wow more talentless pozzed e-celeb shilling, just what this place needs. Good job!
     
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  19. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Except IWD is 2nd Edition, so I wouldn't have talked about 3.0. I talked about 3.0 in my IWD2 retrospective.

    I see no examples of plagiarism (though I didn't watch the whole video), but it is obvious you were influenced by my commentary.
     
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  20. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    maybe somebody will do a remake of icewind dale someday, in 1st or 2nd edition even
     
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  21. Ed123 Arcane Patron

    Ed123
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    You're quoting a discussion from shoutbox in which we were discussing the fact I'd started playing IWD2 and intended to make a new video.

    I have indeed read your reviews/retrospectives (and referenced them once in my Baldur's Gate 1/2 writeups in the screenshot thread), but they didn't influence my IWD video and are unlikely to influence my IWD2 video either. Firstly, as noted in the quote, they're too pedantic (in a positive way) for my interests and video format. Secondly, you're a bit of a psycho and I didn't want to draw your attention to my video. :cool:
     
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  22. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Got a link?

    Sure they didn't. You couldn't even give your retrospective a non-Liluran title. :smug:

    Another way to put it: you target the casuals, I target the literati and connoisseurs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  23. NJClaw OoOoOoOoOoh Patron

    NJClaw
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    The literati and connoisseurs?

    We are your target audience, Lilura. Do we look like literati and connoisseurs?
     
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  24. Jvegi Arcane

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    Since when do you target storyfags?
     
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  25. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    I am due for my anual play through. However I want to do something new. I always end up creating a boring Party of a fighter, mage etc.

    Any suggestions that is fun to play and doesnt rely too much on metagaming? Maybe a party of 3.
     
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