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how do I grind for XP?

I've really been struggling with the game lately. Just entering Dragon's Eye level 3 and get slaughtered in the first encounter. I look up some youtube walkthroughs, and one thing I'm noticing is that the people doing the walkthroughs seem to have much more powerful groups than mine.

My whole group is lv 6-8. But I don't know how to gain more levels, the game is pretty linear. I mean I'm sure I missed a quest here or there, but how do I dink around to gain levels and XP? I've already cleared out all the areas before this I think. Is there a place to find random encounters or dungeons or something like that I'm missing?

Comments

  • saoxsaox Member Posts: 68
    What is your party like? You might also need to change strategy/cast buffs.

    I generally think that Dragons Eye is the least pleasant moment in the game.
  • bradubradu Member Posts: 18
    I was able to defeat them and after that first battle the rest of the level was quite a bit easier. But that still didn't answer my actual question which is, is there any way to gain XP aside from the quests and going through the main areas and clearing them out?

    Anyway, my party is a bit weak on spellcasting, but I'm having fun with them:
    Half Orc Barbarian
    Dwarven Defender
    Cleric/Fighter
    Archer
    Assassin
    Bard
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 374
    edited October 19
    You could fight a few mobs on HoF mode. But it's not for every new player. I always play from level 1 on HoF but I've playing for well over a decade as sad as that sounds.

    So you could fight a couple mobs on HoF then lower difficulty or fight more mobs by abusing rest/respawns.
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    Go and rest in the Valley of the Shadows, you'll get attacked by Yetis or Lesser Shadows. Both are easy to kill and with some decent xp awards. Rest dozen of times and kill them whenever you get interrupted from your beauty nap.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 178
    The main way people grind for XP is bumping the game to Heart of Fury mode for every map they're capable of beating that way. You get *huge* XP bonuses that way, and while the monsters are quite strong, they're beatable if you adjust your strategies (for example favoring spells that incapacitate).

    A "cheaper" alternative is to bump the game to Heart of Fury mode just before completing each quest, so you get HoF's x2 quest XP without actually making the game more difficult to complete.

    An intermediate approach is to complete each area on normal difficulty, save the game, then rest in Heart of Fury mode and see if you are capable of beating the monsters that spawn. If you can, then that will be a good place for you to farm XP (by repeating the process as many times as desired).

    Or if you don't want to change difficulty levels, take Redrake's advice. Valley of the Shadows is a good place to farm XP on normal difficulty.
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    And of course, there was an older exploit (but you are way past that) of getting infinite xp with Mythos, the skeletal mage from level 1 of Kresselack's Tomb.
    I have no idea if EE fixed that or not, but when discussing the nature of the bone dancers, you could say that they are evil and that this is only your opinion and this would lead to conversation once again allowing him to ask about the nature of bone dancers. Each time you say is only your opinion you got around 3225 xp (in normal difficulty).

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 432
    Just give yourself some more XP in the console if you really need some & there are no unfinished quests from walkthroughs. Life's too short to grind... and it's not like you or your characters will be learning much.
    semiticgod
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    Mantis37 said:

    Just give yourself some more XP in the console if you really need some & there are no unfinished quests from walkthroughs. Life's too short to grind... and it's not like you or your characters will be learning much.

    Cheat in other words. Why not suggest switching difficulty to Story mode, while you're at it?

    Or even better, Ctrl-Y every enemy in sight, to give you some room to breath...
    Dev6
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 469
    edited October 19
    I've never had to grind exp in Icewind Dale. As it turns out, it's balanced so that you're roughly level 7 across the board when you finally reach Yxunomei (and you're practically handed the means to beat her on a silver platter, too - don't think I didn't see that Archer).

    With that said... your cleric makes your team a party of seven rather than of six. So you'll need to get creative to overcome the gap (and it's only going to get wider from here - Looking at you, Lower Dorn's Deep).

    What level and alignment is your Cleric?
    What spells does your Bard know?
    What wands do you have?
    Do you have anyone with Axe specialization?
    Does your Assassin favor Backstabs, Trapping, or Utility Use?

    NB: While I understand the... general dislike of Dragon's Eye, it's very XP rich. Very good place to dual-class characters if you plan to do so at level 7, especially if you get it just right and hit level 7 before B2F.
    Redrake
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    @Pokota totally agree with everything you said. IWD1 was one of the most balanced games in IE series.
    For killing those Wights the best thing to remember is to not rely on ranged weapons. Equip them all with magical melee weapons, including the archer. At this point you won't have many magical bolts or arrows so, why waste normal missiles on wights immune to them?

    Alternatively, the bard can also just spend the time singing.

    However, it is too bad there's no paladin in the group. A paladin can challenge Presio to a duel and avoid a needless heavy fight at the end.
  • RavandelRavandel Member Posts: 40
    AFAIK I did most dmg with my wizard's fireballs. You need to aim it good tho to not hit your party. But I don't know if your bard got it.

    Also sometimes turn unded might work.
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    At that point, turn undead might only make the wights flee for a while. However turn undead can be useful against blast skeletons. Those, when fired or attack explode in a snowball and yield no xp. But when attacked after being turned (horrified) they can be killed with xp reward.

    The bard should be able to cast fireball, though.
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 432
    Redrake said:

    Mantis37 said:

    Just give yourself some more XP in the console if you really need some & there are no unfinished quests from walkthroughs. Life's too short to grind... and it's not like you or your characters will be learning much.

    Cheat in other words. Why not suggest switching difficulty to Story mode, while you're at it?

    Or even better, Ctrl-Y every enemy in sight, to give you some room to breath...
    Steady on now. We all have different ways of playing these games. I'm afraid that I just no longer have the fine appreciation for a puritanical work ethic to enjoy a fine afternoon's grinding. Or the time :).

    My tactical suggestion would be to avoid standing and fighting. Use the terrain to create bottlenecks and always have an avenue to retreat. Distract the enemy with summons or spells as necessary. As long as your whole party doesn't get slaughtered you will always be able to come back. Don't fall into the hero trap. Many enemies are undead anyway, and as we all know dead men tell no tales ;).
    ThacoBellAmmar
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    Mantis37 said:

    Redrake said:

    Mantis37 said:

    Just give yourself some more XP in the console if you really need some & there are no unfinished quests from walkthroughs. Life's too short to grind... and it's not like you or your characters will be learning much.

    Cheat in other words. Why not suggest switching difficulty to Story mode, while you're at it?

    Or even better, Ctrl-Y every enemy in sight, to give you some room to breath...
    Steady on now. We all have different ways of playing these games. I'm afraid that I just no longer have the fine appreciation for a puritanical work ethic to enjoy a fine afternoon's grinding. Or the time :).

    The thread had a simple question. How does one grind for more xp?

    It deserved a straight answer. Not an advice on how to cheat.

    We each play the game how we like it. True. But an advice to just cheat is not an answer at all. You're better off just not answering at all.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 432
    Well, I should probably have just posted some tactical advice originally, since IWD isn't so difficult a game that grinding should be necessary. That would have been more helpful, and addressed the OP's underlying difficulties with the game's battles. As an aside I posted in the no-reload thread when I was playing the game, and according to those posts I was only around level 6 (admittedly with some multi-classes) at the same stage. So that's probably fairly standard when playing on core- the players you see in videos may have gotten more XP from playing on a higher difficulty level.

    I would disagree slightly on the question of cheating, as if XP exists as a potentially unlimited resource that can be mined at near zero risk for the player through the process of grinding then grinding itself becomes close to 'cheating' in the XP via the console in my opinion- the difference is that the player has *worked* for it by spending time farming herds of poor lesser spotted Yetis rather than taken a shortcut. Ultimately it depends on whether a player enjoys the repetitive process of grinding itself if risk is more or less absent- though I suppose there are ways to farm XP which still have a certain amount of risk if you are willing to play around with the difficulty slider.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,527
    Redrake said:

    Mantis37 said:

    Redrake said:

    Mantis37 said:

    Just give yourself some more XP in the console if you really need some & there are no unfinished quests from walkthroughs. Life's too short to grind... and it's not like you or your characters will be learning much.

    Cheat in other words. Why not suggest switching difficulty to Story mode, while you're at it?

    Or even better, Ctrl-Y every enemy in sight, to give you some room to breath...
    Steady on now. We all have different ways of playing these games. I'm afraid that I just no longer have the fine appreciation for a puritanical work ethic to enjoy a fine afternoon's grinding. Or the time :).

    The thread had a simple question. How does one grind for more xp?

    It deserved a straight answer. Not an advice on how to cheat.

    We each play the game how we like it. True. But an advice to just cheat is not an answer at all. You're better off just not answering at all.

    Its a single player game, don't get all high and mighty.
    Mantis37semiticgod
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 365
    ThacoBell said:



    Its a single player game, don't get all high and mighty.

    I am not. This is, after all, a thread where a player asked a pertinent question in regard to playing on normal difficulty. An answer that does not give any information, but just sends that player to using console, gives a total bad note on the whole point of this community.
    We each have our own opinions, but an opinion which basically is just a slap, is no opinion at all.

    Dev6
  • ElendarElendar Member Posts: 821
    You could always export your characters and start a new game with them and do all the areas again. :P
    wsnavigator
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 469
    edited October 20
    @bradu - to sum up:

    There's enough EXP in Dragon's Eye to hit level 7 (possibly even for a party of 7) before Yxunomei - I had a bunch of single class fighters (and an assassin) dual halfway down and they had already reached levels 4/5 in their new classes by the time we hit Yxie. You just need to use everything you have - you don't need fourth level spells for her (and frankly most of the time they're wasted against her magic resistance anyway).
    LoB enemies grant extra exp; if you find a handful of rest interrupts that you can beat while LoB is active, you can farm that.
    LoB also grants extra exp on quest completion; if you have any unfinished sidequests you can squeeze a few more out of that.
    Failing that, there's always the old standbys of export/import and the console.
  • bradubradu Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for all the ideas folks. I even appreciate the 'cheaty' ones, even if I'm not going to do them. I'm not above it, I understand the premise of "life's too short" and by that token, when I first played BG many years ago, once one of my chars got the boots of speed, I realized I wanted them all to have them, just to cover ground faster. Since there's no fast travel, it was just a way to get across the maps faster. So I gave them all the boots, and it took the fun out of it, I felt like I was cheating and quit playing shortly after. But it is good to know the options.

    Anyway, the Ziggurat chamber was by far the hardest battle I've had. I only had 1 3rd level mage spell, so I used fireball, whereas the playthroughs I saw on youtube usually used recitation AND haste AND one if not two fireballs. This battle was just super, super hard for me.

    But I got through the rest of it and just now got back to Kuldahar and find it's been taken over by gnolls or whatever. I've decided I didn't really need to grind and wasn't really far behind on XP, it was just a tough spot in the game that my party wasn't great for.
    Mantis37JuliusBorisov
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 7,846
    You guys know, you don't need to bump all the way up to LOB for extra XP. Just switching to Easy or Hard will give you a 50% boost.

    My advice:

    1) There is very little grinding to be done. The only way is to rest and be interrupted, and those enemies are not worth much XP.

    2) You don't need to grind. The pleasure of the game is overcoming its challenges, and the challenges are sometimes designed for low-level players. Dragon's Eye is tough but you can get through with only low level spells. Entangle and Web are gold; anything you can summon will be of immense tactical importance, even if it's weak.

    No druid hurts, because you lack Entangle and Spike Growth. But still, I've been through there with a full party of clerics & fighter/clerics & cleric/thieves; and with a full party of 5 bards and one cleric/thief. If those guys survived, then your super tanky party can handle it.
    semiticgodwsnavigator
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    Spam rest in certain areas is it, but cold wights give good enough xp for how easy they are to kill. I used to grind there with solo characters to finish dual classes.

    Yetis give less xp and are harder imo, stick with cold wights.
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