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HOF Solo

Necroscope86Necroscope86 Member Posts: 79
So my solo run is going very well. I've just cleared Dragons Eye and am now a Level 14 Dragon Disciple. I've had some difficult battles but nothing too bad. I've seen the HOF button there for so long (playing insane currently). Here's my thinking - I like to challenge myself so should I activate it? I'm thinking HOW and TotLM should be fun under this mode :wink:


  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 812
    edited May 2017
    I find HoF to be a bit unbearable, to be honest, especially for a caster. Insane difficulty is awesome because it adds strategic difficulty-- enemy spawns are increased, but more importantly, enemy formations become much more interesting. You have to use strategy to overcome the more difficult battles.

    HoF, on the other hand, is more "faux-difficulty". Increase enemy AC/THACO and *dramatically* increase enemy HP. IIRC, Enemy HP = base HP x 2 + 80, so a 6-HP goblin all of a sudden becomes a 92 HP behemoth. But the thing is, he's still just a goblin, so it's not like he's all of a sudden super-dangerous, you just need to hack away at him for 20 times as long to take him down.

    And HoF rewards you with a massive flood of XP at the same time, so at some point it actually starts becoming easier because you're *so* overleveled for the content. (You can disable the extra XP gain, and if you want to retain a challenge, you should do so.)

    The worst part of HoF, though, is it dramatically nerfs magic damage, because spell damage is a non-renewable resource (between rest periods). Say you have eight magic missiles in your book, and each one is enough to kill a goblin. If you get ambushed by eight goblins on Insane, you have the tools to deal with them. If you get ambushed by eight goblins on HoF, you have to unload all eight magic missiles into one of them, run away and rest, come back and unload all eight missiles to finally kill him, run away and rest, and repeat that fourteen more times to kill the last seven goblins.

    But... they're goblins. This isn't dangerous work, it's tedious work. The game isn't becoming harder so much as it's forcing you to rest ten times as often because you have to unload your entire spellbook in every battle.

    So... not a fan of Heart of Fury, in general, and especially not a fan of Heart of Fury in any group that doesn't have boatloads of physical damage output. It's not more difficult so much as it's much more of a grind. I've done HoF with a solo / level 1 character just to say I've done it, but anymore I only enable it when I'm doing a second or third playthrough with a well-leveled, well-geared party, because without HoF the game is a joke at that point.

    I find the most satisfyingly hard difficulty level on a first playthrough to be Insane with extra experience turned off and extra damage left on, and even if I want to do an easy / casual / non-optimized run I'll generally do Insane with extra experience turned on and extra damage turned off, just because the insane spawns are so much more interesting / entertaining than the core spawns. (The extra XP offsets the extra monsters and tends to make the game about as easy as a just plain core difficulty run, or even a bit easier.)

    Edit: Also, don't go into HoW or TotLM until you've advanced decently far in the main story, and I'd strongly recommend turning off the bonus XP in those sections if you haven't already. The game wants to make sure you're not underleveled for the content, so it'll give you a million quest XP just for showing up, basically, no battles required. That'll blow the balance of Vanilla IWD in a hurry.

  • Necroscope86Necroscope86 Member Posts: 79
    @SomeSort as usual sir, a very insightful post. I think I'll not turn on HoF, but I've just finished Dragon Eye, was thinking of heading of to HoW now?

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 812
    The great debate on HoW is whether to go early to make it as challenging as possible, and in the process trivialize the rest of IWD proper... or to do most of IWD proper first to maintain its challenge, and in the process make HoW easier when you finally go.

    It's impossible to underestimate the insane amounts of XP that HoW throws at you. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say it's possible to get 920,000 XP before you fight a single enemy. And that's on normal-- unless you turn off the extra XP option for Insane difficulty, that gets doubled to 1,840,000 XP. If you're level 14, that's basically doubling all XP you've gained to this point without fighting a single enemy.

    Again, I'm not exaggerating, you could very well have Time Stop 15 minutes after you start HoW. And you have to get most of that XP before you reach a point where you can return to the main quest. So like I said, I usually keep soldiering on until after Lower Dorn's Deep before going off to HoW.

  • Necroscope86Necroscope86 Member Posts: 79
    @SomeSort Hmm I have to admit, having got to the burial Isle, I'm not struggling.. but its proving difficult, then again I've taken some spells that frankly, I don't think I'll ever need. I'm too much used to playing BG2 so gone for Lower Resistance, Pierce Shield/Breach type spells, I havent used them once!
    I think I'll continue with HoW but indeed turn of some of the EXP enchancements. Thanks dude!

  • Necroscope86Necroscope86 Member Posts: 79
    @Somesort Wow you werent kidding on the EXP. Omw to chase down the Wyrm, and I'm level 24 (I did turn of exp bonus)

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,519
    While it's true that using Magic Missile won't get you very far in Heart of Fury mode, I wouldn't say that you can't kick butt in HoF with magical damage spells at all; you just have to use more powerful spells and be at a higher level. Play a level 30 invoker and cast Otiluke's Freezing Sphere on everybody (who isn't undead).

    And that damage was without Kontik's Ring of Wizardry.

    Of course, Otiluke's Freezing Sphere isn't that great since it does no damage if they make the save, but it's still fun to deal so much damage with a single spell. For even more carnage, try out Incendiary Cloud. When cast by a level 30 mage, that spell deals 30d4 damage per round for 1 turn. Not even the ridiculously bulky Heart of Fury enemies can survive that for long.

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