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Why do peoople like Icewind Dale 2 so much?



  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    I have it say, I don't think IWD2 has aged poorly, it runs perfectly well in a window on my Windows 10 machine.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2017
    Getting back on topic:

    Me, for several reasons:

    1. Beautiful writing, like the intro scene at Targos--in fact, basically anything spoken by Maralie

    I think voice acting can have a big impact on how we perceive a story. I loved David Ogden Stiers' narration of IWD1, but I found the accent of IWD2's narrator/Maralie somewhat grating.

  • ElendarElendar Member Posts: 831
    I know I owned the game at some point.. I seem to remember something about fighting goblins in a town right at the start.. But I haven't played it since I was a teenager and don't really remember much of anything about it.. So I'd probably buy the EE version. I'd rather they make it with 2e rules though, but I was able to enjoy 3e rules well enough in NWN2.

  • BaptorBaptor Member Posts: 210
    edited November 2017
    I found my way to this thread because I just finished IWD and fired up IWD2 again. I've had a hard time liking IWD2. (For reference, this would be my third playthrough. 1st was on release. 2nd was a few years back.)

    I've read every post and thought about it. Here's my thoughts on why some people don't like the game.

    It's Not Really 3rd Edition
    For better or worse, this isn't really 3rd edition. Many call it 2.5. It still has a lot of 2nd edition elements, like weapon speeds and casting times (in units).

    Worst Version of 3rd Edition
    IWD2 is based on the very first release of the 3rd Edition rules, now called 3.0. Only a few years after 3.0's release, there was a major revision, 3.5. This is because 3.0 had a LOT of balancing issues. Some classes were not as strong as others in their category. Others were "front loaded" - gaining all worthwhile abilities within the first few levels. This wasn't a problem in 2nd, but in 3rd we had free-form multiclassing resulting in players "dipping" into other classes. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but there's a problem when the "best" paladin build only has 3 levels of paladin, 4 levels of fighter, 2 levels of rogue, and so forth.

    Lots of Choices, False Choices
    IWD2, like 3.0, appears to give lots of choices in character builds. However on closer inspection, only a few are actually viable. This is why I changed my mind about games with more choices. Often it's an illusion. Sure you can make a Fighter 2/Wizard 5/Druid 6, but that character is going to stink big time. IMHO, I'd rather have a few meaningful choices in character design than hundreds of choices - only a few of which are viable.

    Bugged Out
    IWD2 has tons of bugs. Worse, it's gotten the LEAST attention of modders - so there really aren't any fixes. Many of the feats don't work or don't work as described. There are lots of these. One thing that upset me from the day of release is that my cursor is constantly flickering. This has continued across many different computers. None of the other IE games ever had these issues, even on release.

    Eight Deadly Words
    Probably the biggest issue I've got with IWD2. To be completely fair, IWD suffers from this as well - but somehow that game MADE me care about the fate of the North. Maybe it was better writing, I dunno, I'm not that nuanced. But I can say with all surety that in IWD2, "I didn't care what happened to those people."

    Enhanced Edition
    One of the things that has kind of ruined IWD2 for me is not IWD2's fault, and that's the Enhanced Editions. Before EE, IWD2 was the most advanced of the IE games and had the best resolution/graphics. Now compared to the gorgeous EE games, it looks hopelessly outdated. In addition, modding has allowed us to import many of the features of 3rd edition into the old 2nd edition IE games. Basically what made IWD2 novel and cool is now possible in the other (and IMO, better) games.

    Lastly, I found this comment on a different thread from several years back. It makes a compelling case that, for now, AD&D is a better fit for CRPGs than 3rd Edition is. Draw your own conclusions.

    2nd edition remains my favourite for computer D&D adaptations, and not just because of the infinity engine games. A large part of computer D&D is combining diverse classes, none of which are capable of standing alone, and party makeup is a large element of the strategic fun, having to balance early game strengths (fighter classes), mid-game strengths (how many of your party can you afford to dual-class, knowing that they'll be a dead weight on the party until the late game; how many multiclass characters do you want knowing that while they'll dominate the mid-game they'll be overtaken by dual-class characters and max-level mages later), and late-game strengths (when that rogue that you dual-classed to mage a while back finally becomes a powerhouse). Not to mention that with relatively strict class roles, the choice to go fighter-heavy, magic-heavy, or whether or not to employ a rogue, what hybrid classes you include etc contributes greatly to both character creation in a 'create your whole party' game, and to the various choices whether to keep or swap out a party member in a 'gather a party around you game' (back when you weren't handed the entire character roster on a plate, but had to find and actively choose who to recruit and who to dump to make room for them).

    Post edited by Baptor on
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited November 2017
    Not caring about the characters/setting and the false choices where the ones that mattered for me. I was okay with the ruleset.

    And I agree it's hard to pin down what in the writing was different that made me care in the first but not in the second.

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