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Time of Icewind Dale Content's Availability in the BG Campaign [SoD and IWD spoilers]

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1 hour ago, K4thos said:

I've been thinking about just using existing Limited Wish and/or Wish scrolls for this purpose and just add another one-time option to the list of existing wishes. The only problem is that those are 7th and 9th level spells, so a bit too high level to make them available in early game (in case someone would like to start the adventure with BG1 party)

The wish you've mentioned indeed sounds like something that could be twisted by a jackass genie :) If anyone has more ideas regarding such wishes feel free to post them here.

Oh, darn it! Forgot they were high-level spells. Could you code a scripted encounter with a genie then? The Nashkel Fair would be an appropriate setting in my view. 

Edited by The_Rock
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I personally care much more about gameplay than I do an entirely congruent plotline - especially if that means I would be able to go to Icewind Dale 1 with my bg party at any time during the story.

I can sympathize with wanting to create one coherent narrative, but I wish you would add some options for breaking that narrative and just play the game as the player wants. I would be okay with this being done either through an idea like the genie (which I quite like), or, if feasible, through an install option to have it more freely available.

I also think that removing item and xp gains from the adventure would be a real shame and seriously reduce the desire to go there, but reducing xp gain (especially from quest xp) would be a good idea imo. 

This also makes me think, that a choice to reduce monster and Quest xp per campaign setting (i.e bg1, sod, iwd2 etc) rather than overall for all campaigns would be fantastic!

At any rate, I really appreciate the work you do K4thos!

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FWIW (probably not much):

I've been in the mood to actually play these games again (for the first time in a year [or two?]), and have been really looking forward to giving IWD-in-EET a try.  Now that I hear IWD isn't really going to be part of the story, I'm having second thoughts.  Honestly, I generally like IWD more that BG2, and I couldn't possibly care less if there are storyline conflicts between the same antagonist being in both IWD1 and SoD as long as IWD1 is added to the trilogy (tetralogy?).  I don't care one way or the other about time travel IF AND ONLY IF (ALL) characters, items, experience, etc. go with me AND come back.  I have no interest in spending months playing a 'sidequest' with nothing to show for it at the end.  That would be an instant deal-breaker for me.  Also, I don't want to have XP reductions shoved down my throat.  If you feel you must add them, please make them optional.


PS.  Thank you K4thos for the months and years you have put into this project.  It is appreciated even if I don't entirely agree with your current direction.

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4 hours ago, K4thos said:

that's something I've been thinking as well as part of the above mentioned "Belhifet's book" story idea. The post was already long enough, so I didn't mention it, but it's actually possible to force the engine to clone whole party and continue playing with those cloned guys. So theoretically it's possible to implement it in a way that all XP you gather, any adjustments to characters, all items found, would be local to one party and not another. Based on my limited tests some time ago, it's also theoretically possible to switch between those parties (jump into past and present) at your own will (for example by "opening" and "closing" the Belhifet's book in inventory) or make it, so that when your party dies in the past you simply continue playing your present time party (with the assumptions that the party death is how Belhifet's book has ended), without game over. Or how about "Day of the Tentacle" style item transfers between past and present? (possible via bags of holdings or containers and MoveContainerContents script action) 

While I think this idea sounds nice on paper the reception from the players would not neccessary be good, since many people finds stuff like XP, items etc. something that can be considered reward for your effort, so making them local to the party that stays in the past, could be frustraiting for them.

Hmm. "Belhifet's book" as a framing device... for a side adventure.

For some reason, this suggestion reminds me of certain "role playing game" one can play in Watcher's Keep.

Edited by Istfemer
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Thank you K4thos for your work on this! The fact that the project is getting close enough to be able to be played is awesome! \o/

Just wanted to add a minor commentary w.r.t. the motivation to go on the quest to IWD1 for the player character... remember to add some kind of hook for a good aligned character (even if it's a charade in the end!) since the promise of power/items/favor from a demonic being/etc doesn't seem to be too much of a hook for a PC that would tend to distrust such things (i.e. any of the good alignments would IMO look at something coming from a demon or radiating demonic power with apprehension.) or at least give dialogue options that allows to role-play such apprehension and distrusts.  Perhaps it'd be enough to mention that such and such is need of help, or that a grave evil is moving and it needs to be stopped, or something along the lines.

W.r.t. the game mechanics... will this be closer to the type of game play found in the BG series vs. IWD? I mean, mostly referring to the spell system and the related mechanics and differences coming from a different DnD edition.

I'm asking because I'm one of those that don't like the actual IWD gameplay too much... tried to play it personally, but I've hit a wall several times around chapter 3, and I find it tedious and boring to play, to the point I couldn't muster enough willpower to continue grinding ahead.  So I'm kinda excited at the prospect of being able to play it as if it were a BG2 mod, with BG's rules and spells, and maybe a higher level party too :)

I haven't played IWD2 yet, not even saw gameplay of it either (even I own it in GOG, but haven't had the chance sadly) but I'd guess same style applies to it as the main IWD1 campaign, so possibly the same point applies there too.

Also, what will happen when you install SCS over an EET+IWD1+IWD2 installation?! 😮 Will mages and priests and mobs in those games also get upgraded with the SCS base AI?

Thanks again! :worship:

Edited by Leeux
typos >:(
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6 hours ago, K4thos said:

the reception from the players would not neccessary be good, since many people finds stuff like XP, items etc. something that can be considered reward for your effort, so making them local to the party that stays in the past, could be frustraiting for them.

That's how I'd feel, honestly. I would definitely rather keep my rewards. I'm also skeptical plot-wise about anything dealing with time-travel. Someone mentioned that they favored gameplay over plotline, but just for feedback, I'm the opposite. The story is what drives the gameplay for me.


EDIT: Again, just for feedback: I'm personally not a fan of the "Belhifet's book as a framing device" idea.

Edited by Ser Elryk
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thanks for all the posts. Your feedback will help shape the final implementation of IWD1 base content, so keep in coming.

12 hours ago, The_Rock said:

Oh, darn it! Forgot they were high-level spells. Could you code a scripted encounter with a genie then? The Nashkel Fair would be an appropriate setting in my view. 

this could work, indeed. One-time Limited Wish options available during dialogue with a genie.

Few ideas:

1. Some quest in Nashkel Fair with a wish granted as a reward (someone would need to design and write this quest though)

2. Dao genie battle encounter. The last surviving Dao wants to bargain with the party, offering a Wish in exchange for her life.

3. Item with limited charges that can grant you wish. Something like: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Ring_of_three_wishes

I think any of these options would be better then providing high level scroll in early game.

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Another thought: If there is a way to make sure that all of the IWD (1 and 2) content is not easily miss-able during the Bhaalspawn campaign, that would be preferable. I'm thinking of first-time players who may not be familiar with either BG or IWD, but still want to do them all in their first time playthrough.

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Please take this as a constructive criticism (as I'm not part of the community and don't want to ruffle any feathers) but ever hear the acronym "SMART" it stands for : Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound.

So in being honest; how many writers are there in the community that can replicate the tone of the IE games? Why not just have a simple journal entry in a famous mage's tower/residence that details he/she has opened a portal to the past - you go through it and start IWD1.

I just can't help but wonder if the amount of effort being put into making it a cohesive experience will end up making it a more jarring experience than if it was just IWD in EET.

Thanks for all your work.

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1) Don't do anything to integrate IWD1. Let it be an optional campaign, like BP1/BP2 etc.

2) In an ideal world, make IWD1-in-EET playable without EEex. I know you feel the need to patch the executable to make IWD2 work, but IWD1 shouldn't require that and it really makes me sad that I won't be able to play this  😥

3) As an optional add-on mod, integrate IWD1 into the main EET campaign. I would do it as below but there doesn't need to be one single way. If this mod adds the campaign, let any number of other modders choose how they might integrate it. Keep things flexible!

As for how *I* would integrate it:

- Make the Gong Quest available by default, instead of requiring a Limited Wish. 

- Have the Limited Wish adventure teleport the party to the beginning of IWD1.

- If the TotLM-in-BG2EE mod is installed, then remove Hobart from his HoW location.

- Remove all quest XP rewards from the IWD1 campaign. 

- Don't up the monster difficulty too much... a bunch of 10HD goblins sacking a farm just seems dumb. Let things start off quite easy; it should seem like a quaint little hero quest; at the early stages the party won't yet understand exactly what (who) they will ultimately encounter. (See below.)

- Reduce the power level of most loot. We've already discussed how in another thread, but basically remove almost everything that's better than +2. A few prestige items (Conlan's Hammer, Three White Doves) should stay around, though. 

- It's fine to involve time travel, but no need to make it explicit. The party gets teleported, how do they know it isn't through time as well as space? Maybe they won't know, unless they look very closely. Maybe they will have beaten SoD already, and only halfway through the adventure will it dawn on them that they are in a prequel... that would make it kind of a mind-blowing reveal. (Not to mention the implication that failing could result in a universe-ending paradox... but again, no need to state that explicitly.)

The idea being, you're not going for the loot or for enough XP to get HLAs before Spellhold. You go there simply for the adventure - that's all the Wish promises. Wisges can canonically involve time travel even if most normal magic can't, and a timey-wimey "face a dangerous enemy before you already faced it" thing would certainly be an adventure "like no other."

Edited by subtledoctor
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How are you going to handle IWD's areas if your plan is to let Charname tumble down the time travel hole? Will those areas still be accessible from the world map when Charname and the player finish their 'special adventure' or not? I'm talking primarily about areas that are unique to IWD1.

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A genie or a time portal or something that allows us to play our actual party and gain proper rewards is far preferable to me than a framing device that totally separates the games. If the IWD1 content is kept to itself, away from the Bhaalspawn, why not just play IWD:EE on its own?

Time Travel is totally possible within the Forgotten Realms, it's just kept under lock and key by Mystra(l) because she doesn't like it. There's magic gates in the setting that allow a fairly limited form of time travel. So Time Travel as a concept is totally fine in setting, so the possibility is there. It wouldn't take a whole lot of lore bending to come up with some explanation for it to happen.

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