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Is IWD an RPG?

Reason I ask is because I often hear it described as being a "dungeon crawl" with lots of combat. So I envision a Diablo loot-style game using the Infinity Engine.

I understand that there are no joinable NPC's, and I'm alright with that. But are there side-quests and branching conversations, and at least a somewhat non-linear story path? Thanks.



  • SapphireIce101SapphireIce101 Member Posts: 866
    Imo, if the Diablo Series can be called ARPG, then IWD can be called ARPG.

    Yes, there are some side-quests, but they lead to an area that you're going to for the main quest. The story is really linear.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,081
    Yeah, sort of, but not as 'deep' as BG (and not even comparing it with PS:T).

  • FinellachFinellach Member Posts: 36
    The best way to describe it is to say it's somewhere between Diablo and Baldur's Gate. I always say it's an "action-oriented RPG" but it's not really a hack n' slash either.

  • The_New_RomanceThe_New_Romance Member Posts: 839
    edited September 2014
    Counter question: What is an RPG? Now duck and cover!

    I'd say it's an action-oriented game in the AD&D 2E ruleset. This means it's not that comparable to Diablo or other "classic" ARPGs, but it's lighter on story and non-linearity than BG or other "classic" RPGs. In the end, it's the ruleset that prevents it from being an ARPG, so it sort of falls between chairs. Dungeon crawl describes it well, but dungeon crawls normally take place within RPG systems.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,720
    "Dungeon Crawler" is a subset of RPGs, so yes. And given that one in the IDs, particularly the second, have a kinda sorta better ability to express your character through both dialogue and actions (despite it's linearity), one could even argue that it makes for a kinda sorta better RPG than BG. On the whole they're both combat focused aRPGs that rarely allows you to complete quests through other means than combat and where the biggest impact what kind of character you play will have on the game is which way he will kill people in.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,656
    I think IWD is an RPG, yeah. You can roleplay in it, if that's your thing. Of course, you might have some trouble beating Yxunomei with extremely non-minmaxed characters. I've never been into roleplaying in the IE games because of the stats system. I'd be fine with playing as a wise, intelligent fighter if that actually opens up some interesting ways to play the game, but it doesn't.


    I've never played Diablo, but I know that Baldur's Gate is much less strategy-based than you make it sound. Let's see how many elements of Bg are luck-based (most of these also apply to Icewind Dale):

    *Damage. For some reason, they made pretty much every source of damage in the game deal a random amount of damage. Some of these aren't a big deal, like the maximum and minimum for a dagger have a difference of 3, but a level 10 fireball deals anywhere between 3 and 60 damage (I know that rolling 10 dice makes the result likely to be in the middle, but it's very luck-based nonetheless).

    *Status effect spells either do incredibly overpowered effects or do absolutely nothing at all, depending on how lucky you are. Even the level 1 spell Charm Person can easily turn around late game battles in Bg1 (have you ever tried charming Zhalimar Cloudwulfe?).

    *Hit point rolls. Fortunately nowadays IE games have ways to let you get maximum hit point rolls.

    *Stealing. Either you get items from a shop for free or the shopkeeper turns hostile and you lose reputation, depending on how lucky you are.

    *Hiding in shadows. Sometimes you get stealthed the first time with low hiding skill, while other times it takes forever even with high skill, depending on how lucky you are.

    *Setting traps. Either you set the trap or nothing happens, depending on how lucky you are.

    *Rolling for stats. When you mention "gambling addiction", this comes to mind more than anything else. "Come on, roll 18:00 strength already! I know it can happen! Just one more reroll... one more... maybe one more... just one more..."

    *A big one is hit rolls, but this one is justified because of how many mechanics of the game are set up. If attacks hit 100% of the time, what would be the point of Dexterity or heavy armor?

    There is definitely an element of strategy in the IE games, but it isn't nearly as prominent as people make it out to be. People tend to try to justify luck-based mechanics in these games by saying, "It's not luck-based, it's strategy-based! Now go back to playing Diablo, you five-year-old scrub!" or, "That's how D&D is! Deal with it!" I'm sorry, but just because an idea has been around for a while doesn't mean it's a good idea. I do really like the IE games, which I've been playing since my childhood (I still play them), but unfortunately they aren't perfect. I have a feeling that everybody is going to respond to this post with hate messages, but that's life, I guess. I'll just have to take it all...

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,772
    @Dazzu Very good point!

    It's refreshing for me personally. So many video games seem to feel the need to make YOU the center of the world, and I think it's pretty overrated. A great example of a game that should NOT have done that is the just-released Destiny. ("When everyone is special, no one is special" - The Incredibles LOL) Thankfully reviewers are complaining about it, so maybe we'll eventually get more games that stray from that error.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 923
    edited September 2014
    The story is pretty much:
    A blood war between a demon and a devil over ideologies has gone on for longer than Faerun may have even existed, and has come to a front in the frozen north. While the war is between law and chaos, they are both VERY evil and VERY dangerous influential greater beings.

    It just so happens they'd have gone unhindered if the civilized human cities saw no need to intervene... and that wouldn't have been enough if you weren't there to help them.

    As for HoW

    You get some hints to the events of Isacharat the White Dragon through Aihonen's sword and the sea elf's tale of it. There's also the dragon skeleton in Wyrm's tooth that was the mad dragon's mate who objected to her batshit ideas. Honestly, I'm not sure I understand Isach's motives as well as I do the two extraplanar superpowers.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,772
  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 923
    edited September 2014
    I used < by mistake instead of [. Is fixed now.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,772
    @Dazzu Hah! I've done the same many a time. Cool :)

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,748
    @OlvynChuru‌ , I'm sorry, but if you've never played Diablo or one of its clones (Sacred, Nox, Divine Divinity (the original), Titan Quest, Fate, Torchlight), then you have no basis for comparison. They are qualitatively different; they are totally different animals than BG and IWD.

    It's hard to pinpoint the difference in quality to an exact degree. That's why people argue about the differences between various crpg's. But there is a definite, easily recognizable difference in quality between the two types of fantasy crpg's, if you've played both kinds. It doesn't come down to one variable, but a combination of many variables. You know the difference when you play it, if you're experienced with both kinds of games.

    There are some hybrids, like Dungeon Siege 1 and 2, that try to mix party tactics and party building with pure arpg play. Beyond Divinity tries to do a hybrid with two (and only two) toons on the board, while Divinity: Original Sin tries to give its franchise namesake a 180 degree turn from arpg back to party-based rpg.

    The difference does not come down to the element of luck in the two game types. All crpg's have luck of dice rolls as an element.

    I explained the elements of a Diablo clone in my first post. I can't really make it any clearer. Again, if you've never played a Diablo clone, then you can't compare the two game types, as one of them is outside your experience.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,656
    No, I haven't played those games, but I have played a hack and slash game called Dark Souls. It is more difficult than Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale, more skill-based, and much less luck-based. However, I still really like the IE games. Otherwise, I wouldn't be in this forum. They just have some gameplay mechanics that bother me, that's all.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,656
    DreadKhan said:

    @OlvynChuru‌ try Planescape if you want to play a fighter that doesnt fight and relies on mental ability to get by.

    Yeah, I really like that about Planescape. In that game, playing as a fighter with high intelligence or wisdom is actually fun, and so is playing as a mage with high constitution. I was talking more about Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, where playing as a smart fighter just isn't really that fun. It doesn't really allow the fighter to outsmart his/her enemies or anything like that. It just means he/she is worse in combat. That's fine, but if I wanted to challenge myself I'd just play a fighter with low stats all around. I sort of roleplay in these games, but I do a different kind of roleplaying: I try to make a party that will go through the game in a unique interesting way (for example, playing Baldur's Gate multiplayer by myself using six kensai who all use quarterstaves and have 25 strength, 3 dexterity and 3 constitution). That's what keeps me coming back to these games.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,561
    Well, I found my low int hslf-orc barbarian pretty fun in BG2... dude steamrolled everything!

    Mindflayers were a rude awakening indeed. :o

    Overall though I kinda agree, BG2 needed way more stat dependent stuff.

  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    @Quartz‌ I knew you were a sucker for loose office space references.

  • SapphireIce101SapphireIce101 Member Posts: 866
    @Quartz - You're totally not alone.

    Now, as for IWD. Yes, it shares some stuff with BG. However, it kind of shares some stuff with Diablo as well. I could also say that it shares some stuff with NWN2 now, especially when you consider that there is an IWD Module for NWN2.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,370
    Diablo games also have random map generator. The Diabolo 3 expansion pack does try to add some companion dialogue, but it's rather impeded by having only one companion at a time.

  • DauntDaunt Member Posts: 52

    IWD is much more than Diablo.
    Is it possible to have IWD (an IE game) in Diablo? No, you couldn't implement the dialogs and a lot more

    I don't think they were saying "IWD = Diablo", the poster was merely likening the two games to each other.

    That's fine, which they are a little alike (and a lot unalike), but in terms of being primarily focused on action and combat, Diablo and IWD share that focus. Even if they do it in very different ways, naturally.

    So in other words, yup, it's a fair comparison.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,561
    I don't think its actually been proven that IWD is not story driven. There is a very concrete narrative, and you have to ignore it to see it as combat focused.

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