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Best way to do a harder playthrough IWDEE

I going to play IWD again but I want to make it a lot more difficult. There are a number of ways you can seem to do this, first, I thought of increasing the difficulty rating from the options menu, but I wasn't sure of this since increasing the difficulty just increases how much damage you take and anyone who has finished IWD will tell you that it is spell effects you have to look out for not pure damage and the increase in XP seems like it would probably balance things out again anyway. HoF mode is recommended for level 13+ party and I want to play through from level 1 so I don't want to do that.

There is also the option of rolling for HP but that seems like it could seriously damage the effectiveness of some classes (especially tanks). You can also lower the stats of characters... let me just say that this seems like the best option for me since doing this will not damage the roles of certain classes (unlike randomizing HP), characters progress at the same rate because no XP bonus and it doesn't mess with the magic trumps everything flavour of the game. any thoughts you have on the subject would be well received (note that I'm not thinking of any particular party size or composition, just the best play through that's a bit more challenging than normal).

Comments

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 781
    edited April 10
    How about old school p&p style?

    3d6 x 6 for all characters (unlikely you'll get a Paladin or Ranger.)
    Random hp
    No sorcerers or kits
    No-reload
    Core difficulty, or higher with no additional damage.
    And so on :).

    I generally believe that it is better to increase combat difficulty by reducing player power than boosting monsters.

    dok0zhivagoStummvonBordwehrMortianna
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 781
    So here's a nice bunch of yokels:

    14/8/12/10/12/9

    5/13/14/7/11/7

    10/9/10/14/9/8

    9/7/10/7/15/5

    14/10/11/13/6/5

    7/13/14/9/10/11

    I guess number 3 is the mage and 4 is the cleric :D. Might want to use a mod like Scales of Balance so 13s and 14s are still meaningful.

    ArdulMortianna
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,228
    When I do an IWD run I follow three rules:

    1) Random HP

    2) No rest in dungeons (except those places where something secures your rest like the adventurers party in Dragon's Eye)

    3) Only one rest per 24 in game hours.

    Makes the game challenging enough without making crippled characters or giving up on games resources (like kits).

    dok0zhivagoQuartzMortianna
  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,029
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859

    Definitely turn off max hp on level-up. It is the single most unbalancing thing about the game, and yet everyone "looking for more of a challenge" always refuses to turn it off. This strikes me as crazy. This one thing will make the game more tense abd challenging and exciting. But people never do it.

    You don't have to totally randomiz hp... use a mod like Tweaks Anthology or Scales of Balance to use average rolls, or close to average rolls.

    100% this.

    Think of it this way: a party with twice as much HP has just as much survivability as a party with regular HP, but 50% damage resistance. Doubling your HP gains is functionally equivalent to halving enemy damage. (Not perfectly identical, as it'll put a greater strain on your healing resources, but that's a minor issue, especially if you bring a bard with the War Chant of Sith.)

    The average 18 constitution fighter on core rules will have 97 or 98 HP by level 15. With max HP per roll turned on, that's 138 HP. Turning on max HP is functionally the same as reducing enemy damage by 33%. If the difficulty slider read "reduces enemy damage by 33%" instead of "gives max HP per level up", everyone would immediately recognize that they were playing on easy mode and, when seeking a challenge, bump the slider back up to core.

    (Additionally, turning on truly random rolls gives characters a lot more personality. Some of your guys will improbably keep rolling massive rolls while others will draw constant snake-eyes. You're never quite sure how a playthrough will turn out, and it's fun to adapt on the fly when your intended tank turns into a glass cannon instead.)

    Another great thing about IWD is how much the spawns change as difficulty increases. Unlike a lot of games where the high-level spawns essentially boil down to "the low level spawns, but more of them", high-level encounters in IWD are intensely tactical. They might have the normal spawns, but also throw in a trio of archers behind you, forcing you to split your party to confront multiple threats. Or they'll spawn the archers across a chasm, forcing you to work your way through enemy territory to reach them and shut them down.

    You're right that higher-level difficulties generally aren't more difficult because the increased XP output quickly results in overleveled parties. And I also hate "fake difficulty" that just results in giving enemies better HP / damage / THACO / whatever. But fortunately, IWDEE provides the option to decouple the various changes in each difficulty level.

    I'd say the best, most entertaining, most rewarding way to play IWD is on Insanity with random HP rolls turned on and the extra enemy damage and extra XP turned off. It results in a game that's very tightly balanced, tense, and tactical.

    Mortianna
  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 973


    You don't have to totally randomize hp... use a mod like Tweaks Anthology or Scales of Balance to use average rolls, or close to average rolls.

    Or you can use Tweaks Anthology to give enemies their theoretical maximum hit points :)

    StummvonBordwehr
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,771
    edited April 14
    I've actually found total hit points to be less relevant than you'd think. As soon as a character starts getting hit in melee, he or she is going to die quickly. Extra hit points might keep him or her up one or two extra rounds at most, and usually not even that if he or she is being attacked by a mob. Extra hit points can help a character survive an AoE spell attack, but I've found that an overwhelming percentage of character deaths I ever see happen in melee and not from damage spells. (Status spells that cause hold, feared, paralyzed, and the like are always a death sentence on a failed save no matter how many hit points the character has.)

    What I've found to be far more important to a character's survivability is armor class. The single most "easy mode" thing you can do is to give a character 18 dexterity. Dexterity>Constitution.

    So, avoiding the infamous 18/18/18 in the first three stats, especially in Dexterity, is the best single thing you can do to increase difficulty.

    If you want a good "hard mode" that doesn't involve amping up the mosnters, come up with a stat-rolling method at character creation where you don't reroll again and again until every character has superhuman abilities.

    SomeSortsubtledoctorsemiticgod
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,772
    Raduziel said:

    When I do an IWD run I follow three rules:

    1) Random HP

    2) No rest in dungeons (except those places where something secures your rest like the adventurers party in Dragon's Eye)

    3) Only one rest per 24 in game hours.

    Makes the game challenging enough without making crippled characters or giving up on games resources (like kits).

    I'm with @Raduziel –– use rest sparingly and the Infinity Engine games in general become a lot more interesting. I could never bring myself to spam rest.

    Mortiannaineth
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,779
    Luke93 said:


    You don't have to totally randomize hp... use a mod like Tweaks Anthology or Scales of Balance to use average rolls, or close to average rolls.

    Or you can use Tweaks Anthology to give enemies their theoretical maximum hit points :)
    That's still not the same, because it functionally nerfs the things that affect hit points... especially magic. (Think about PW: Stun etc.)

    I'd much rather play with everyone at half hp, than with everyone at full hp. It becomes much more tense and nail-biting.

    MortiannaMantis37Luke93
  • dok0zhivagodok0zhivago Member Posts: 80
    My tips for harder/more interesting playthrough:
    * no rerolls on char creation
    * no max hp
    * no sorcerer class (use the game’s spell progression via scrolls)

    Mortianna
  • AltairAltair Member Posts: 127
    Unlike what most people think, it is actually possible to play on Heart of Fury mode starting from level 1. I already beat the game twice on this mode, once with a full party and once solo (with a FMC). It is very challenging and strategic but also a lot of fun, and you increase in levels quite fast (up to the maximum 30/30/30). Highly recommended!

    MathsorcererStummvonBordwehrsemiticgod
  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355

    My tips for harder/more interesting playthrough:
    * no rerolls on char creation
    * no max hp
    * no sorcerer class (use the game’s spell progression via scrolls)

    I'm currently doing exactly this on my new playthrough with an all-female party on core rules.

    I kept each character's score as it was originally rolled. The highest ability score total in my party is 79 and no one has a STR score higher than 12 or a DEX higher than 15. Managing the encumbrance issues alone has changed the way I play the game.

    dok0zhivagoQuartz
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,558
    I slow down my character advancement by trying to make them mutliclass whenever possible. I just completed a playthrough (IWD/HoW/TotLM) with paladin, dwarven defender, cleric/ranger, fighter/thief, bard, and cleric/mage on insane. The c/r and c/m were the stragglers, winding up at around 19/17 for cleric/x. Not having access to 9th level spells wasn't a drawback because I could still use scrolls but the outstanding member was the dwarven defender--with the right equipment she wound up being >= 50% resistant to all physical attacks *before* using her special ability, thus making her invulnerable.

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