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

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23 hours ago, Lightbringer said:

Here's why it's important to be able to go back and forth between segments of IWD1 and BG1 -- you finish IWD1 near level 20. 

That's why you shouldn't go there until you are in SoA.

Although, note that a LOT of the XP you get in IWD comes in the form of scripted Quest XP.  If you simply disable that by script, and use a reasonable mod to reduce monster-killing XP to 1/2 or 1/4 (which, in EET, you should be doing anyway), then the IWD1 campaign's total XP haul would not that much.

23 hours ago, Lightbringer said:

what is the best way to allow a party to experience IWD1?

Disagree, because of course there is no single "best" way.  K4thos has already said the IWD1 campaign won't be integrated; but its content will be added to the game.  Rather than choose some method to shoehorn it in, I recommend that K4thos simply provide some support and advice for other modders to do it however they like.  There's no one-size-fits-all solution, so why not have an "IWD Wish Adventure" mod over here, and an "IWD in Dream Sequence" mod over there.  Some mod might let you jump back and forth to keep your advancement in sync; another might disable XP gains and the worldmap and force you to play the whole campaign as a single snowbound advanture.  Et cetera.

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Guest Rebellionmarch

I think the idea of using Belhifet's book is the best. At first I thought of Limited Wish and Wish as being ideal, but you bring up a good point in them being high level spells that would be unbalanced to leave lying around early.

Instead using the book you could have a copy in Candlekeep so one could access it immediately if desired, or keep it for later also leave a copy in Irencus' dungeon as that would not be out of place for such a thing. 

And As a random player who is posting here for the first time I have to say I agree with your insight on the no xp idea, I would be miffed, I am really looking forward to being able to interchangeably enjoy all the games' content together, and wouldn't mind a little handwaving some conflicts to have it.

 

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Personally, I think the wish implementation would be the best solution by far.

- It feels natural and makes total sense form an in-game perspective. A wish is powerful enough to do the time travel/alternate time line/elaborate illusion in a poket plan/what-so-ever thing.

- It can easily explain away any inconsistencies with later/earlier content and the whole point of the wish spell is to get misinterpreted so it is a perfect fit.

- It makes the whole IWD 1 adventure appear more like just another quest the party has to solve, despite the time travel aspect.

- It actually enhances the wish mechanic as a whole by adding more depth/content to it.

The book impementation on the otherhand is just terrible.

You're going to use a story telling device that is usually used for an intro or outro right in the middle of the game and tie it to an in-game item.

On top of that, you might even cut off experience/item gains and offer NO actual in-game motivation for the party to 'experience' the book? At that point, why do you even bother to implement IWD1 into the BG saga then? If it doesn't affect the BG party, neither from a story (the party never went there, they've just read a book like any other) nor game-play (no exp/items) perspective and has no in-game explanation for happening at all, you can just start a new IDW1 game and get the same experience without adding something that screams 'terribly implemented, immersion breaking mod content' to your BG campaign.

Sorry for going a bit off the rails here, but I really hate that book idea.

Anyway, to end on a positive note here are some quick suggestions for wish options that could be added after SoD:

'I wish to see Belhifet suffer some more.'

'I wish I could have stopped Belhifet's plans sooner'

 

*edit: spelling*

Edited by Ulb

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Thing is, if we go with the Wish spell idea... how would the party get back to BG2 ?

"I wish to return back to home" ? And the wish spell scrolls... how many and where would those be in ? And getting the +2 full plate in BG1 areas is kinda OP, let alone the other effects it could lend into. Unless you want to recode the whole spell. And you might as well then go with other resources. Say, a 3rd level "Plainar Jump, Hop and Puff" -spell. NOT Wish.

Maybe, there is a better possibility ... say Volo, or some other implementation.

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1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Thing is, if we go with the Wish spell idea... how would the party get back to BG2 ?

"I wish to return back to home" ? And the wish spell scrolls... how many and where would those be in ? And getting the +2 full plate in BG1 areas is kinda OP, let alone the other effects it could lend into. Unless you want to recode the whole spell. And you might as well then go with other resources. Say, a 3rd level "Plainar Jump, Hop and Puff" -spell. NOT Wish.

Maybe, there is a better possibility ... say Volo, or some other implementation.

Well, this is only a problem if we agree that the IWD1 part absolutely has to be access- and re-access- able like any other area. If you handle that part like a one time episode you have to finish before you can return to the main campaign (just like the Underdark or Brynnlaw in the original game) this problem doesn't exist.

Take my two wish suggestions from the post above. Both have a clear 'goal' (make Belhifet suffer/stop Belhifet's plans) at which point the wish would be resolved and the party would be returned to the main campaign.

Compared to how bad the book solution is, this really still is the best solution.

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Regarding IWD1 content in post-SoD world:

I think Limited Wish is simply not powerful enough to be up to this task. Wish, on the other hand, might just be able to resolve the existing plot conundrum. Moreover, there may be no need to let the player do the wishing part. A wish could be forced on Charname by *others* instead, as part of an IWD1/IWD2-related quest; forced to suck Charname into a full blown Wish-scale adventure "like no other". With Wish, you can let a hostile/neutral character like a powerful follower of Belhifet or someone otherwise closely connected to him attempt to alter the status quo with a specially crafted Wish of their own.

Edited by Istfemer
typo

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3 minutes ago, Ulb said:

If you handle that part like a one time episode you have to finish before you can return to the main campaign (just like the Underdark or Brynnlaw in the original game) this problem doesn't exist....

...is the best solution.

Right, so the balance must be really easy to stride between the IWD start area with was it 8 goblins and near end area with fire a hoard of giants ettins etc. It's easy doable in a couple levels, and be really believe-able too.

Actually, I would encourage heavy consideration of letting the monsters keep all their stats, except the XP gained by the party. Or even give them bonuses based on chapter in IWD, not in BGEET.

What the difference should be, is that maybe, the area the party gains access to and from BG areas changes to and from.

We start at BG1, we can get to Easthaven, in where the party goes on the expedition set up by Hrothgar, and one can travel back to BG1 areas from Kuldahar. You know, the center area of the icewind dales commerce, so to speak.

From there one can get back and it should be suggested to do so, as the Yetties and other monsters should be able to put a hard fight against parties that have no full compliment and a few levels under their belt. Just like in the original IWD.

Then when the party returns, maybe from the BG city to IWD, they take on the Vale of Shadows and see the end of the tunnel there, at the temple of the forgotten gods.

They get back to BG, take on Sarevok and then can return back to IWD, at level 7 or so............

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Consider the following scenario: (just a bare sketch; also IWD2 spoilers ahead!)

Spoiler

I'm no expert on IWD games, but Isair & Madae are the main antagonists of IWD2, right? You fight them in the finale. They seem to me like the right people to deliver this kind of Wish. Well, technically only Isair can do it, being a multi-class fighter/sorcerer in IWD2. Madae, being a multi class fighter/cleric, can help formulate the wording, I guess. (BTW, what classes are they going to be in EET??)

Perhaps Isair & Madae are able to pull off a special ritual in IWD2 involving a Wish that, among other things, plunges (some of) the lands of Icewind Dale into a kind of alternate reality, *without actual time travel*. Something possibly mechanically similar to Kalah the Illusionist's quest in Athkatla's Circus Tent, only on grand scale and without illusions -- the real deal. A permanent effect that lasts until it is negated through Charname's efforts. Both Madae and Isair are high enough level to get multiple HLAs -- arcane 10th level spells & divine Quest spells. Not all of those have to be combat related, especially considering the plot of IWD2. A mix of Wish and Epic magic is a not-yet-explored possibility.

I imagine this 'alternate reality' would work something like a mythal. IWD2 already involves a mythal, centered on the Severed Hand -- Isair's & Madae's base of operations. Perhaps something could be done with that mythal without altering the plot of IWD2 significantly? One interesting option would be to twist the ending of IWD2 so that the whole plot of IWD1 actually happens in between the 'IWD2 finale escape sequence' & the 'IWD2 finale big bang'. In other words, make that Wish a 'deathwish' of sorts for IWD2 antagonists.

In this scenario you keep all your experience and loot. You also retain access to (most) other areas as long as the "wish-twisted mythal" over parts of Icewind Dale remains in effect. Obviously, the main drawback is that you'd need to (almost) finish IWD2 first, but nothing says this option should be the sole one available to players.

Again, I'm no expert on IWD games. Others better acquainted with the plots of IWD1 & IWD2 would be better judges of how plausible my proposed scenario actually is.

Edited by Istfemer
worded it a bit better

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Ha ha, it would be amazing if Kalah could send you into IWD1 as his 'parting shot' ... a final curse after you defeat him. Then afyer the IWD1 final fight the lights come up in the circus tent and you're like "was that real??"

Edited by subtledoctor

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If you *wish* to go the wishing way with IWD1 content then giving Charname a wishing scroll or even an item as the means to experience it is a poor idea due to the possibility of abuse. Thematically, it needs to be a Wish with a single option; a one-time, specific wish. Charname shouldn't be able or even inclined to waste it on something non-consequential. With a wishing scroll/item in their possession Charname could simply ignore the adventure hook and just go POWER OVERWHELMING! on the nearest boss. (Why would you upset the EET DM this way, Charname?) A scroll would also be unusable by most classes. As I said, it's better to let it be someone else's Wish.

Another problem is connecting the plot of IWD1 to that of the Bhaalspawn Saga. It's not easy by any stretch. In my opinion,  a *random* Wish, regardless of its source, shouldn't send you on an alt-reality quest involving Belhifet - the villain of SoD - of all enemies. Only a special (read: carefully interwoven with the overarching plot) Wish should do that. Otherwise you'd get a poorly connected, dangling mess.

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:07 PM, subtledoctor said:

Although, note that a LOT of the XP you get in IWD comes in the form of scripted Quest XP.  If you simply disable that by script, and use a reasonable mod to reduce monster-killing XP to 1/2 or 1/4 (which, in EET, you should be doing anyway), then the IWD1 campaign's total XP haul would not that much.

That's a really good point. I had forgotten how much they artificially boost your leveling via those quest rewards. Still, even if it shaves, say, 5-10 whole levels off by eliminating those rewards, that's still a good chunk of gain. Also, going from frost giants and demons back to Coast Way bandits and xvarts is a bit of a let down 😛

 

On 7/27/2019 at 11:07 PM, subtledoctor said:

Disagree, because of course there is no single "best" way.  K4thos has already said the IWD1 campaign won't be integrated; but its content will be added to the game.  Rather than choose some method to shoehorn it in, I recommend that K4thos simply provide some support and advice for other modders to do it however they like.  There's no one-size-fits-all solution, so why not have an "IWD Wish Adventure" mod over here, and an "IWD in Dream Sequence" mod over there.  Some mod might let you jump back and forth to keep your advancement in sync; another might disable XP gains and the worldmap and force you to play the whole campaign as a single snowbound advanture.  Et cetera.

Actually, I think you hit the nail right on the head there. What I'm seeing more than anything from these discussions is that there is a strong call for a variety of methods of placing IWD1 into EET. There is indeed no "one-size-fits-all" solution.  I don't know if @K4thos would want to include simple mechanics for each of them, but it would be really nice to have a few things covered from the get-go.

1. Basic come and go method, however cheesy, for those of us who want to interlace IWD1 with our BG1/2 adventures. Personally, my tolerance for cheesiness is high.  I just want to experience IWD1 with my BG party. I'll hand-wave and head-canon whatever justification I want, regardless of what text appears on screen :D

2. Go and don't return until finished method (twisted wish?), for those of us who want a little more immersion. You could even choose when the method appears -- Early BG1, BG City, BG2 Waukeen's promenade, etc. I agree with what I've seen that it probably shouldn't just be another option for a standard (limited) wish. It should be a wish type effect caused by a separate person or object.

3. For any route, have the ability to choose whether or not to transfer some of all of the rewards -- xp, treasure, etc. Let's keep that modular, customizable spirit of EET!

4. Flexibility in implementation to allow any ambitious modder to override the above for some other grand idea.

Or other options I may have overlooked. These could be choices at install-time.  As I have no experience with weidu modding, I have no way to determine the relative difficulty of implementing the above. Take it with appropriate grains of salt ;)

I actually think you could accomplish 1 & 2 simultaneously. Have the party travel there "permanently" via the twisted wish (whether encountered in Beregost, Amn, or parts in between), then have a dialogue option from Arundel to gift that come and go object. If you don't want to come and go, don't ask for the gift. If you do, then do so. Done.

Regardless, I would like to see a few basic options be available from release that could be expanded upon by other modders as they see fit. It's tired and I'm late (or is that "It's late and I'm tired?") and I'm going to stop before I ramble even more :D

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" K4thos has already said the IWD1 campaign won't be integrated; but its content will be added to the game."

 

Wait... now I'm confused again. Would someone mind elaborating on what that means?

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1 hour ago, Ser Elryk said:

" K4thos has already said the IWD1 campaign won't be integrated; but its content will be added to the game."

Wait... now I'm confused again. Would someone mind elaborating on what that means?

All the IWD1 stuff will be in your override folder (or biffed, or whatever).  The campaign will be selectable to play on its own, just like the Black Pits. 

But, there won't be any built-in story hooks in the BG campaign(s) to get you to IWD1, and the IWD1 areas will not, by default, be on your BG1/SoD/BG2 worldmap.  Contrast with IWD2, which will be selectable as its own campaign and will be integrated into the BG1/SoD/BG2 campaign and worldmap.

Because the content of the IWD1 campaign will be present in the game files, it should be fairly straightforward for some enterprising modder to add hooks to send you there in the BG campaign.  Not very different from how Roxanne added a hook for the Black Pits adventure to her Sandrah mod, or how argent77 added a hook for the Trials of the Luremaster adventure to BG2EE.

So, one modder could get you there via the Wish scroll, and another modder could get you there via a dude with a boat.  IWD-in-EET will make the content available, but modders can take that last step to actually get the player from BG to IWD.

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