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Fynn
09-04-2016, 11:08 PM
After beating the enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate lately, I was reminded how much I liked the Infinity Engine D&D games and decided to finally try and beat Icewind Dale II, since it's the only one that I haven't beaten yet! I like it a lot so far, which I was pretty sure I would anyway, since I loved the hell out of the first game. It's a shame chances this one will get an enhanced edition are slim.

So has anyone here played this little series? It's kind of a sister-series to Baldur's Gate, though one that's much less popular, and I can kinda see why. It's much less character focused (you build your entire party from scratch) and it's much more dungeon-crawler-y and hack'n'slash-y than exploration-y and plot-y but I still get really immersed in these titles.

So who's gonna gush with me?

Formalhaut
09-05-2016, 12:20 AM
I can't gush on account of not playing this series yet. So do you prefer Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale, Fynn?

FFNut
09-05-2016, 01:39 AM
I haven't heard of the game to be honest but I will look for it after I finish Secret of Evermore, and after that I'm going to play Earthlock festival of magic. Will look for it after that.

Vyk
09-05-2016, 04:18 AM
I thought it did have an enhanced edition already... After a quick look; yes, indeed it does have one, if you're into that sort of thing :P In fact, both Icewind Dale games are enhanced already~

Fynn
09-05-2016, 06:54 AM
Icewind Dale I has an Enhanced Edition along with its expansion, but sadly IWD II doesn't have one yet. Beamdog have said that it's because II uses a modified Infinity Engine so it would be much more problematic to enhance. On the plus side, the original version still looks pretty good today.

In general, I do prefer Baldur's Gate as its a more complete package - you've got both engaging gameplay and solid plot and characters. However, I still love Icewind Dale. Since you create all your party members instead of just one character, you get to really take advantage of the D&D mechanics. They're also more challenging than BG and since they're also more gameplay-driven overall, the battles and dungeon exploration alone are just much more rewarding. And the story is also quite interesting, just without character development for your party. In a way, they're kind of like FFI and FFIII where you have blank slate protagonists that you get to customize and they aren't really characters in their own right, just your proxies.

Also, instead of just having the world be open to you with several locations you can go to and explore, it all very much just boils down to people telling you "go to X dungeon that I'll mark on your map. In a way, it's a streamlined experience - nothing's holding you back in your monster bashing, dungeon crawling exploits.

So in essence, if you play BG and enjoy the gameplay part, Icewind Dale is definitely worth a shot.

Pike
09-05-2016, 11:19 AM
It's another of those games on my to-do list because I love me some dungeon crawling and monster bashing.

Maybe we'll start getting new entries in the series like we did with BG? *pokes Beamdog*

Fynn
09-05-2016, 11:25 AM
That would be awesome, actually! Unlike the story-heavy BG, there is actually a lot of room to write more stories in this style and setting, and I do love the setting. Maybe they could do an Icewind Dale III based on the 4th Edition D&D ruleset? I actually have no experience with 4th ed at all, so it would be cool to explore it through that.

But yeah, before that, they totally need to give us IWD II Enhanced!

Formalhaut
09-05-2016, 01:40 PM
How are the D&D editions different from each other?

Fynn
09-05-2016, 01:56 PM
Quite a lot if you get into the nitty gritty. On the surface level, 3rd ed is a lot more flexible. Not only are there no more class restrictions for specific races (e.g. in 2nd ed only humans could be paladins), but you can also more or less mutliclass as you will (you can choose to advance at any class upon leveling up, unlike in 2nd ed where there were very specific criteria you had to meet to use more than one class at once). 3E is also more robust in skillsets, where you get to choose what feats your character gets upon reaching certain levels, whereas progression was far more linear to most classes in 2E. This might make it seem that 3E is the better system, and it is indeed much more fun to play around with in the long run, however thanks to its relative simplicity, 2E is a bit more accessible as it's harder to really "ruin" your character by accidentally investing in feats and abilities that are useless for its class, and the restrictions actually add a bit more flair to the world, imo.

So, tl;dr version: 3E is more flexible which can be great if you plan ahead but bad if you don't know what you're doing.

Vyk
09-05-2016, 05:08 PM
Weird, now that I look at it you're right. I swear there were links to both games enhanced when I googled it last night. But maybe ones regarding the second one were to topics on steam rather than the game on steam

Anyway. My girlfriend and I played through most of both of them. They're long games and we eventually got distracted each time, but they were thoroughly fun multiplayer. They actually lend themselves to multiplayer more because you get to make the characters. Which is also a more legitimate D&D experience. So while Baldur's Gate are definitely the better games with better stories, and characters. Icewind Dale is the more pure table top experience especially with friends

Fynn
09-05-2016, 10:03 PM
Ugh... I'm kinda regretting some of my party creation choices. So this game is cool in that it has subraces, so you don't just pick an "elf" - you have to choose whether it's a moon elf (these are the regular ones), wild elf or a drow (dark elf). There are more standard subraces, while others are substantially more powerful, but they gain levels slower.

So my party is composed of the following members: a wild elf sorceress, acting as the party's face in towns due to her high charisma, then we have a half-orc fighter who is my main frontline warrior and he is just awesome, gotta love half-orce, then I have this human girl monk who is surprisingly effective (first time playing monk; pro-tip - if you want one, never equip them with any armor or weapon. Just like with FFI, monks always work best naked) and a human dude cleric (clerics are amazing in 3E). Okay, so far so good - all of these races are pretty standard. But then my rogue dude is a tiefling - a subrace of a human that's kind of a cross between a human and a demon. Tieflings have a bonus to both dexterity and intelligence and only a penalty to charisma (usually races have one bonus and one penalty and humans have no bonuses and no penalties), so to offset that my rogue is one level behind everyone. And then I have a drow wizard, and the drow are even more broken as they get a +2 bonus to intelligence, dexterity AND charisma, with only their constitution being gimped, and this dude is two levels behind everyone. Might not seem like much, but it actually is a lot in a game that you can gain a maximum of 30 levels :/

Vyk
09-06-2016, 05:08 AM
Yeah, I could see that being a problem, when you get to be like level 5 and your fighter is tanking through crap, but can't do extended crowd control, where you would need a mage, but he's only level 3 and can therefor only cast a couple of worthwhile spells before needing a rest or something (I forget if they work off a cool-down or if there's a carry-over from 2nd edition where you have to rest to get stuff back). So like 3 shots of magic missles and he's done for an entire floor, or you keep resting every 2 steps after every encounter. But I remember having to do similar things in Baldur's Gate during the early levels. Early levels in D&D always seem to really suck. Fortunately in Icewind Dale, you level up really fast, or at least it sure seemed that way to me

Fynn
09-06-2016, 06:38 AM
Yeah, no cooldown, you have to rest. I mean, fortunately, I also have a sorceress that can cast more spells per level but only learns a few spells. Big at least she learns the spells naturally - my wizard could, in theory, already cast three level 2 spells but I can't find any damn scrolls. I'm also having my sorceress learn damaging spells only so that she can be the main Magic DPS while the wizard is supposed to get all the spider webs and sleeps and whatever but I don't have the damn scrolls :(

Still, it's not too bad yet. My fighter is still handling pretty much anything that comes his way and my two squishy mages can not only use longbows thanks to both being types of elves (thank you, 3E, for removing that restriction. Bows are perfect for mages) but they have quite a lot of magic missiles when you put them all together. Still, the number of enemies you fight at once is alarmingly large compared to BG battles.

Fynn
09-08-2016, 10:03 AM
Okay, so here's a hint for whoever thinks of playing IWD2 in the future.

If you want to have two arcane spellcasters, make one a wizard and o e a sorcerer. DO NOT make two wizards. They learn spells from scrolls and scrolls are really scarce in this game, so you just won't have enough to share between the two. Sorcerers gain spells upon leveling up and can cast more per day but in the end have a much more limited selection of spells, so choose wisely.

Also, remember that a wizard's spell casting capabilities are based on their intelligence, while the sorcerer's is based on charisma. So neither needs the other stat at all. Don't mix those up. You're gonna have a bad time.