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Should I install mods for IWD: EE first walktrought on hardcore settings?


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Greetings!

Spoiler

I am hardcore RPG gamer, played long ago in BG, BG2, SoD, and after some time my game addiction returned me to complete this games. But I have never played in Icewind Dale... My playtroughts usually supported with maximum possible difficulty of the game and even mods which make it more difficult, such as SCS-mod for BG for an example. It is to say that with all those 'hardcore' mods Baldur's Gate are hard as hell to play... Before actual questions I need to say what playstyle I have in Role Playing Games (usually playing no-Steam versions, but I have bought a lot of Beamdog on Steam and will buy in future), so the little list...

— My character class is a pure mage (usually destructive magic, or divine one). Rarely exceptions in some games such as Torchlight.
— My character stats is usually minimum strength and agility and maximum intellect, wisdom and so on.
— Character alignment is Lawful Good, no any killing 'innocent NPC', no any shady quests, stealing or something like that in RPG.
— I am very precious in party selection.
— Always my party exploring the whole map, every single corner, every stupid rusty buldin, every smelling dark cave and so... Also completing the any possible side-mission, with exception mentioned above.
— The spoilers is very undesirable for myself.

Questions

— What about difficulty? What is difference between INSANE and "Heart of Fury"? What may would be better for me (mentioned the above desires)?
— What about mods? Is IWD horrible unbalanced? Where this unbalance has more effect on the game, should I avoid imba-characters and imba-stuff? Do I need mods for IWD: EE to fix the balance and make game harder? Maube I just play vanilla and avoid unbalance stuff?
— And related question, what about party selection if I will start on HoF with level one char?

P. S. At least I have managed to fix graphic issues in the game... And thanx for the answers! 

Well this was my question on Steam, after a while of thinking with what char to start this fairy-tale, and on what difficulty. Long time thinking about decisions I have already choose Wild Mage on HoF... And for now, only few hours game I have regret it multiple times... The most stupid and useless on hardcore magic in IWD is a Wild Magic. But it's no way back!

Spoiler

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Another thing, on HoF seems to megatons of EXP, is this cool? Or should I change it? Is IWD: EE vanila on HoF cool on my settings? Or I need to install some mods?

Edited by frostysh
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The Heart of Fury is +10 level mode, so you ought to actually play the game ones through, and then restart from the begin with the leveled up characters and play another round. That's why the XP is so huge. And your char is useless in every kind of ways.

And mods, I would recommend a minimal mod install on the first playthrough... but I would also point out that this is if you have the time to play multiple times. If not, use the mods you like ... and your BG2 mod install list will likely be able to be directly ported into IWDEE, not as is, but in near like fashion.

I played the original version of the game, and it wasn't as modable as the todays version, so take this with that in mind.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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19 hours ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

I played the original version of the game, and it wasn't as modable as the todays version, so take this with that in mind.

Well I mean is there any huge unbalance that can ruin vanilla playthrough? Of course I will not deliberately use such stuff If I even will find it. Yep, the char is not powerful at least, the Wild Magic is awful... Bot after many-many dozens of reloads after party dying, on the cursed bridge where battle with goblins was, my char somehow managed summon five goblin Elite with Dweomer and those I have win the battle. So at least it's not useless at all, I mean the Wild Magic.

And question: it is ok that my char' gender changing very often due stupid Wild Surge? It will not break the game?

What about party? What perk is better for them?

Edited by frostysh
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6 hours ago, frostysh said:

And question: it is ok that my char' gender changing very often due stupid Wild Surge? It will not break the game?

What about party? What perk is better for them?

Yes, the wild magic has the gender bender effect, and I have no idea, the original version didn't have wildmages. Probably not. It might break the romance/companion mods, or not.

The game has no perks/personal skills /etc, the IWD2 does have 3... ruleset, but that doesn't matter for IWD:EE.

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3 hours ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Yes, the wild magic has the gender bender effect, and I have no idea, the original version didn't have wildmages.

I have only valina on Steam "Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition" with no any mods, in term "perks" I mean what weapon proficiencies and fighting styles to pick for default party. In the EE there is six premade characters party ready to go, I have disbanded one and created my own (fired was Barbarian), the characters that left: Baern (Cleric/Ranger), Cadriel (Undead Hunter), Kirika (Fighter/Thief), Ilauna (Mage Generalist), Felicia (Bard). With help of my Wild Mage (she or he, because so often switch gender), this party managed to defeat lot of goblins bandits and orcs even without much use of "Hold"... Yep, my Cleric was lucky to achieve such powerful spell, but I don't like to use because my MC is Lawful Good and Hold is pretty evil spell, so for Cleric I replaced it with Magical Hammer. But for the party is now totally overwhelmed by well-equipped orc attacking group which includes Orc Shaman and Orc Elite archers. All my tactics was failure against them, need to create new approaches.

I am asking about weapon proficiencies because on such hardcore level, with such party I always hard to chose between for an example Dagger and Long Sword, for my "tank" Cadriel, the first thing has more attacks per round, the second thing better THAC0, and I have who hell know which is more useful for an example against wolves. I was luck and Dweomer destroyed wolves with Petrification, but still. Is there any "hardcore guide" for Icewind Dale which can help me with my walktrough (without spoilers)?

Edited by frostysh
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I would recommend installing two mods:

1) Kaihiri NPC by AionZ (custom Pyromancer) extremely!! useful and fun to play

and

2) I hate undead kitpack by Raduziel. My favorite is Burial Defender, barbarian dedicated to destroy undead.

IWD is all about destroying undead, forget about wolves.

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1 hour ago, InKal said:

I would recommend...

Nah thank you, vanila IWD: EE on Steam has enough of pre-made characters. I mean I thinking about installing some hardcore modes like SCS but it seems the game is hard as hell already with my playskill, the setting and my party... 😬 It's to hard to remember with my last hardcore BG1: EE gaming about undeads, I don't remember those fellas were powerful, exception probably Liches (SCS full hardcore settings and plus some other mode on hardcore), party kind of horribly consuming supplies on those guys. Most powerful in BG1 was a demon in the very end of a game, insanely strong, almost undefeatable it was. And Durlag Tower was bloody hardcore on the level of my party when I have explored it, but not because undeads but kind of apparitions.

If there will be lot of undead in IWD... Probably the best idea is to learn blunt weapon for Undead Hunter instead of daggers, but blunt weapon so sux... And damn it, I have took Bastard Swords already... 😑 Low attack rate of blunt stuff combining with HoF bonuses to enemy defence-throws making it almost unusable. But undeads mostly has mega-resist to non-blunt stuff such as swords. 😪

Edited by frostysh
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Well, good luck in Heart of Fury with pre-made characters. You'll gonna need it. 😜

 

I played HoF from scratch with Burial Defender lead party. Get bored in Severed Hand and to be honest I would not recommend HoF that much at all. IWD:EE is much better with IWDNPC and Lava mods in my opinion.

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2 hours ago, InKal said:

Well, good luck in Heart of Fury with pre-made characters. You'll gonna need it. 😜

Thank you, this Wild Magic is so weird compared to my Diviner in BG. At last I have won against cursed orcs bandits group: tank and cleric in the front (Ranger/Cleric is indeed helpful Kit build), tank attracting enemy archers and shaman, cleric praying that he will be not targeted and healing tank, if magician's spell was successful cleric can help with hitting enemies as well. The MC behind them with Dweomers ready and Chaotic Shield upon she (or him), all other — cover and helping in the back lines, then pray for Wild Surge — "Petrification"/"Monster Summoning"/"Stinky Cloud" or something like that, if somebody of orcs defeated — run, run away, pray, and pray that orc's arrows will miss... 🙄 Then in Tavern and rest, again gather for battle... Party falls, reload and cycle repeat, and those for three hours! 😬 Too poor that my second magician Iluana has ony armor spell and sleeping spell, the last one is almost useless due to enemies saving throws. If she had Lightning Bolt or something...

Edited by frostysh
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Pre-made characters won't really talk and interact. If you prefer to create 6 party members on your own and customize them according to your preference and don't mind that they won't talk to each other and won't interact with the quests / NPC, then playing with own created party is a good idea, you will have vanilla IWD experience.

However, if you prefer the experience like BG2, having one charname and 5 companions that will talk to you, have banters with each other, interjections with the quests and other NPC, romance / friendship talks etc, I will suggest to install some NPC mod for the first play-through. That was what I did many years ago, and in my opinion it made my adventure more immersive. I remember I failed to finish IWD (before EE) with 6 custom characters as the game was too quiet for someone like me who played BG2 before IWD.

One more thing that I think is good to use NPC mod is, normally the author will try to prevent making an overpowered NPC, so compared to 6 characters created with nearly perfect stat, playing with NPC from MOD may be slightly more difficult because their stat may not be perfect as it has to reflect their personality . 

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3 hours ago, marcnivar said:

Pre-made characters won't really talk and interact. If you prefer to create 6 party members on your own and customize them according to your preference and don't mind that they won't talk to each other and won't interact with the quests / NPC, then playing with own created party is a good idea, you will have vanilla IWD experience.

Do you mean that it is no difference that I have by my own created six characters or using five of those who already came with game and created a single by my own? There will be no dialogues between chars and so on?

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1 hour ago, frostysh said:

Do you mean that it is no difference that I have by my own created six characters or using five of those who already came with game and created a single by my own? There will be no dialogues between chars and so on?

 Yes, the premade characters are just to save your time in case you do not want to create 6 characters one by one. There will be no dialogue, all of them are like CHARNAME in BG series. If you want to play a vanilla IWD without any NPC mod, it will be better if you create 6 characters one by one, as you can customize theirs stat, proficiencies, skills etc.

In case you you are interested, I plan to start another play-through for IWD this year with the following NPCs. Installed recently and have a look of some of them, first impression is more interesting than those I used in 2015 play-through:

https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/79347/the-new-light-collective-thread-for-lavas-and-aionzs-mods/p1

I enjoy Aionz's NPC written for BGEE and SOD (Sirene, Drake, Aura), the writing is very good and lore friendly. The NPCs are interesting.

I have not tried Lava's BG NPC yet, it will be a good chance for me to try out his IWD NPC first.

 

I finished IWD with this in 2015:

https://www.pocketplane.net/icewind-dale-npcs/

 

So IWD have 15 NPCs from MOD which may offer you BG2 like experiences, and if you install the crossmod banters pack, they will talk to each other like BG2 companions~

Edited by marcnivar
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2 hours ago, marcnivar said:

There will be no dialogue, all of them are like CHARNAME in BG series.

Technically, all of them will be like you made the party in the multiplayer mode in BG2.

Ahh, proffs. The IWDEE's latest patch added more exotic weapons, but still it's not that good. So you will definitely want Long Swords, two handed sword, a crossbow and a long bow and a short bow proff to single char(one weapon per char, as many points as you can). Also you will want blunt weapons to fight the undead, which there will be many after the first few maps.

 

On 2/3/2021 at 9:32 PM, frostysh said:

Low attack rate of blunt stuff combining with HoF bonuses to enemy defence-throws making it almost unusable.

This game is about numbers, and given that the HoF mode is not super hard mode, it's the +10 to everything the enemy does, as in +10 levels mode, you are just beating the head against a wall, it's not going to budge. No, the blunt weapons don't have super low attack rate, they are slower, but that doesn't reduce the attacks per round, just the time it takes for the first hit to land. As given that the round is 6 seconds long, a slower first hit is not going to take that long... And the animations the game does is not 1 to 1.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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3 hours ago, marcnivar said:

Yes, the premade characters are just to save your time in case you do not want to create 6 characters one by one.

Omg... 😑 I need to know it before I have start the story, maybe I want to download some char-mods instead. Well, I cannot so easily kill my party time for now anyway and start a new playthrough like nothing happens. At least somebody named those characters and created some Biography branch for them, and this means they are not without 'a soul' at least. 😋 So well the hell with them in the party they will be.

2 hours ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Ahh, proffs. The IWDEE's latest patch added more exotic weapons, but still it's not that good. So you will definitely want Long Swords, two handed sword, a crossbow and a long bow and a short bow proff to single char(one weapon per char, as many points as you can). Also you will want blunt weapons to fight the undead, which there will be many after the first few maps.

This game is about numbers, and given that the HoF mode is not super hard mode, it's the +10 to everything the enemy does, as in +10 levels mode, you are just beating the head against a wall, it's not going to budge. No, the blunt weapons don't have super low attack rate, they are slower, but that doesn't reduce the attacks per round, just the time it takes for the first hit to land. As given that the round is 6 seconds long, a slower first hit is not going to take that long... And the animations the game does is not 1 to 1.

Okay. I actually think to add such stuff to Undead Hunter, but somehow added Bastard Sword... For now the party has next proffs: MC — quaerterstuf +, Baern — War Hammer ++, Flail / Morning Star ++, Two Weapons ++, Sling +; Cadriel — Long Sword ++, Bastard Sword +, Sword and Shield ++; Kirika — Short Sword ++, Short Bow ++, Single Weapon +; Iluana — Dart +; Felicia — Dagger +, Mace +, Single Weapon +; I am using Bard sometime like a frontline fighter because of she rolled a lot of HP on level ups. The Bard can whistand two blows from the Ogre, very useful indeed. I have read manual, and there this Hrothgar-dude scripting about some legendary dagger and spear, and flail — is this suppose to be in the game or it's just a legends? But no much spoilers plz...

The guys from Beamdog forum said that a bug in game on HoF with Petrification. Blunt weapon I have found a total trash, exception Two weapon style on poor AC enemies. Probably because orcs and goblins wearing somekind of a leather armour with -2 AC bonus against crushing damage or something like that. Nah — hit-and-run tactics in IWD with meele fighters for me is impossible, I cannot so good control chars in battles against multiple enemies. So the dagger with poor THAC0 is far more useful than mace with good THAC0 and lower APR.

Edited by frostysh
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in the beginning the best ekhem tactic is to use ranged weapons with ALL your characters. use sleep spelll on goblins and pelt them with bullets, arrows and bolts, only switch to melee if some of them survived and get close to you. later in the game, after gaining some levels, you can swich to melee and make a good use of all them Hackmasters +12. Do not equip your fighters with daggers unless you are crazy. ;pp give them two handed weapons for max damage. the best most effective party composition is four fighters and two casters (divine, arcane). cast cleric buffs, cast mage buffs, cast haste (the best spelll!), select all party members, kill one enemy and switch to another. rince and repeat for entire game. have fun!! ;PPP 

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