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[MOD] Improved Heart of Fury Mode

OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
edited October 26 in IWD:EE Mods
Heart of Fury Mode was meant to be an "ultimate difficulty mode," but it wasn't very well executed. Its main feature is to give enemies extremely large HP bonuses, such that a regular orc could have about 100 hit points. This is bad because it makes fights very tedious. Most of playing Heart of Fury Mode consists of sitting around as your summoned creatures (which also get the extra HP) slowly kill the enemies.

This mod presents a more interesting "ultimate difficulty mode." It's not actually a difficulty setting, so it can be played on Normal, Insane, or even on Heart of Fury mode itself. Here are the main features:

* Battles are made tougher by giving enemies more powers (for example, Fire Beetles can breathe fire), adding more enemies in an encounter, giving enemies better AI (in some cases), and making enemies stronger all around, rather than simply by giving them lots of hit points.

When possible, the mod powers up enemies by improving their main ability. Trolls in this mod regenerate faster, bombardier beetles use their spray ability more frequently, sword spiders move super-fast and attack ten times per round, and shadows are like Strength-draining mind flayers (to say nothing about what the mind flayers are like).

* Items are powered up, like in Icewind Dale 2's Heart of Fury Mode.

Example items:

* Summoned creatures are NOT powered up, so you can't rely on them. Some enemies will get special summoning spells that summon creatures that are powered up, though.

* The party will be powered up slightly. Player characters roll 8-20 for stats (as in Dark Sun), rather than 3-18.

(Keep in mind that enemies will also have stats like this)

The party starts the game with 30000 experience (divided among the party, so a smaller party will get more experience per character). Pomab sells some good magical equipment and scrolls, and the party starts with a lot of gold.

* Throughout the game items are added, removed, and switched around. There are new random item selections.

* Many spells are revised. The purpose of the spell revisions is primarily to strengthen weak spells (sometimes significantly), rather than to weaken strong spells.

The game will start off not too difficult - the goblins at the beginning of the game won't be much tougher than they are normally. But the game will get really hard really fast.

I've released the mod! Currently the mod only modifies the base game; don't play Heart of Winter with this mod installed right now.

You can download the mod here.


- Do not play this mod on the game's regular Heart of Fury mode. The changes this mod makes to the game are separate from the regular HoF mode bonuses, so if you play on HoF mode, creatures will get the ridiculous HP that HoF gives them IN ADDITION to the even more ridiculous things that this mod gives the creatures. Play on another difficulty, like Insane, or Core Rules. When I was playtesting my mod I went through the game on Insane with double experience and max HP rolls. My team still got killed a lot.

- Don't try to solo the game unless you really know what you're doing.

- Make sure to have a character who can cast Dispel Magic. Dispel Magic is basically this game's version of Breach. There will be a lot of opportunities to use it once you reach Chapter 2.

Post edited by OlvynChuru on


  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited September 10
    Dragon's Eye screenshots:

    Presio's legions:

    (When Blast Skeletons die in this mod, the explosion deals 10d6 cold damage to everyone in a 60 foot radius. I'm playing on Insane; that's why the damage is so high.)

    Presio duel:

    (The duel with Presio is really tough, but I did manage to beat her in a duel in this mod once. At this point, Aharo (my character who's dueling Presio) was a level 9/9 cleric/illusionist, to give you an idea of the XP progression.)

    Fight with the false Eldathyns:

    (The yuan-ti purebloods throw darts that summon snakes on hit; that's why there are so many snakes.)

    The team in my screenshots is my playtesting team. I'm not going to release this mod until I've beaten every modded encounter in the game with this team. So far my team has beaten everything until the false Eldathyn encounter, which I'm still modifying.

    Modding Chapter 2 is taking longer than Chapter 1 because there are more unique enemies and encounters. In the Temple of the Forgotten God, I just had to mod two kinds of enemies (and add some new stuff). In Dragon's Eye, so far I've modified over twenty different kinds of enemies and changed various encounters.

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • VoytazVoytaz Member Posts: 17
    I finished Icewind Dale literally an hour ago, and I started a solo Heart of Fury run. Decided to look for some mods to play something different this time and saw this. Can't wait to play it, great work mate.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    I'm finally done modding Dragon's Eye! I successfully beat the whole chapter with my playtesting team. Here are some more screenshots:

    High Ritualist fight:

    Beginning of last Dragon's Eye area:

    (Yuan-ti priests in this area can cause giant snakes to appear at various places in the area. The snakes stay for 5 rounds, then they disappear until another yuan-ti priest calls them.)

    High Baptist fight:

    (Histachiis can cast Vipergout (like the Icewind Dale 2 spell), so they will generate a lot of snakes if not killed quickly.)

    Yxunomei fight:

    (Yxunomei is very powerful and very high level (level 26/22/28 fighter/mage/cleric). However, I purposely made her spell selection less dangerous than it could have been. Rather than casting spells like Dragon's Breath and Horrid Wilting, she casts spells like Symbol of Pain, Destruction, and Power Word, Blind. I managed to beat Yxunomei with my playtesting team.)

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited May 24
    Neo-Orogs are no longer easy trash mobs.

    (What kind of spell would you EXPECT a Neo-Orog Avenger to cast?)

    (The orog used Critical Strike earlier; that's why it got all those critical hits.)

    Yet they're still beatable (I already cleared Kuldahar of them with the team; I just loaded an earlier save to revisit the battle).

  • VoytazVoytaz Member Posts: 17
    You think it's going to be possible to beat this solo starting at 1st lvl and on Heart of the Fury? Looking at that Yxunomei (which is already the hardest battle for me in entire Icewind Dale) it's going to be tough. I doubt I will be near her level at this point in game, and I plan to make a character with the same class as her.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    @Voytaz I have no idea if it's possible because I didn't intend the mod to be played on the game's actual Heart of Fury mode. My playtesting team is going through the game on Insane.

    Based on the experience my party had before the Yxunomei battle, I calculated that you would be level 14/14/14 by the Yxunomei battle if you were soloing with a fighter/mage/cleric on Insane. If you were playing on the game's actual Heart of Fury mode, you'd be even higher level.

    Don't worry too much about how high level your opponents are. Remember Silke from Baldur's Gate 1? She's a level 10 bard who you can fight at a time when your team is only level 1-2. Yet she's still a fair fight at those levels.

  • Tartle_WizardTartle_Wizard Member Posts: 10
    Wow this looks really, really great. Good work. I'm looking forward to this.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited June 15
    Severed Hand screenshots:

    (the reason there are all those non-shadowed Goblin Elites is because the shadowed goblin archers fire Goblin Arrows)

    (Shadowed Orc Priests summon skeleton archers that fire Snilloc's Snowball Swarm arrows.)

    (Thankfully, those skeleton archers only have 8 hit points)

    (Armored Skeletons wield Mordenkainen's Sword permanently. They're immune to slashing damage, but they take extra damage from fire, electricity, acid, and magic damage.)

    (I thought that Golem Improved Haste was the most fitting ability for a mithril golem. Golem Improved Haste is also an area of effect ability, so when one of these golems is fighting alongside shadowed elves it will give them all improved haste.)

    I haven't been working on this mod as much. The reason is that I joined a team helping @semiticgod produce the next version of the Icewind Dale 2 SemiOverhaul mod (it's going to be a very big update). I've been alternating between working on that and working on this.

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited June 28
    More Severed Hand screenshots:

    Shadowed elves:

    (Shadowed elves wield +5 equipment and are level 18 or higher. They're like the Spectral Guards from Trials of the Luremaster except worse.)

    (The good news is that most shadowed elves have crappy saves. Although most enemies in this mod have better saves than they do in the unmodded game, shadowed elven swordsmen and archers actually have worse saves.)

    (The enemy archers all have swords equipped because my druid has Entropy Shield up, which grants complete immunity to missile attacks. I've improved the AI of enemies here and there.)

    Solonor Tower, in which every enemy is a high level cleric:

    More undead:

    (Bladed Skeletons have a permanent Blade Barrier and can move around despite it. Greater Shadows can cast Mass Enfeeble, which sets everyone's Strength to 6.)

    By this point my playtesting team is really powerful, due to the additional experience and significantly stronger items. Lannara (the character with the top portrait in the screenshots) currently has -19 AC without any buffs. Yet the team still gets killed a lot.

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    More. Please. Thank you. Need.

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    I have waited patiently one full minute. Is ready now?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    @RVNS Sorry, but you're going to have to wait quite a few more minutes. ;)

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    @OlvynChuru will there be any changes to classes?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited July 2
    @RVNS Possibly. If so, they'll probably be in a separate component.

    I'm more inclined to modify kits than classes. One change I'm considering is to make it so that Inquisitor Dispel Magic has a 100% chance of dispelling. In Baldur's Gate 2, Inquisitor Dispel Magic was a stronger version of the regular Dispel Magic, but in Icewind Dale, it's a weaker version, because the regular Dispel Magic always dispels successfully in this game.

    I've designed the enemy spellcasters in the mod around the fact that a single Dispel Magic can dispel almost all of their spells (except for BG2 spell protections like Spell Turning). Enemy spellcasters usually fight alongside other dangerous enemies, so simply sending a party member to cast Dispel Magic on them often results in that party member quickly being shot dead. Spellcasters are usually in the back of a group of enemies, so it's hard to get to them quickly unless you have your party sneak in and assassinate them. And of course, I sometimes put multiple powerful spellcasters in an encounter, so dispelling and killing one of them will not win you the fight (contrast this with Baldur's Gate 2, where powerful mages often fight the party solo, so if you cripple the mage, you win the fight very easily).

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited July 2
    Dorn's Deep screenshots:

    The orog welcoming committee:

    (Neo-Orog Generals have auras that greatly strengthen their allies. Other enemies earlier in the game, such as Undead Lieutenants, have similar auras.)


    (In addition to firing spores at the party, myconids also use buffing spore abilities on each other. Among the other buffs include: Luck Spores (+10 luck), Strength Spores (Strength set to 25), and Improved Invisibility Spores.)


    (Although most enemies in this mod have fewer hit points than they do on Heart of Fury mode, ettins and other giants have even more hit points in this mod than in HoF. Ettins in particular have 600 hit points. They also throw rocks at you, they automatically get critical hits on each attack, and they knock you back with each hit (like Wing Buffet). However, they're also vulnerable to physical damage, so I had my druid unload the Spike Growths while my warriors killed the ettins with missile weapons. Summoned creatures and characters with Stoneskin served as meatshields to absorb the boulders.)

    I also put some new enemies in.

    (There are Huge Hook Horrors hidden throughout the area, which will appear occasionally to ambush the party. Their attacks have really long range. I was considering giving them Greater Whirlwind Attack but that would probably be too cruel.)

    And that's all just the first two areas.

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    Do you plan to also extend this to heart of winter/trials of the luremaster?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    RVNS said:

    Do you plan to also extend this to heart of winter/trials of the luremaster?

    Oh yes!

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited October 26
    Hi everyone, I'm still going strong. Currently I'm working on Chapter 5.

    More Dorn's Deep screenshots:

    (Dorn's Deep is the point where enemy mages start to become more min-maxed. This is the first chapter in which an enemy casts Horrid Wilting, despite the fact that there have been plenty of high-level mages earlier on.)

    (The drow in Upper Dorn's Deep have special drow items that disintegrate once you leave Upper Dorn's Deep. The drow items are really, really good. The catch is that the drow use these items against you.)

    Wyrm's Tooth:

    (Bring cold resistance.)

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • FylFyl Member Posts: 62
    HoF mode isnt that bad with a team of casters.... you actually get good mileage out of spells you'd otherwise probably never use, and learn to utilize character and summon resistances while pelting the area with AoE spells

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    *presses face to the glass*

  • vitalytordekvitalytordek Member Posts: 11
    Well, sir, I've conquered IWD maybe 4 to 5 times, including 2 times HoF. But what I see is making me utterly desiring to do it one (one two) more times.

    Looking forward to play your awesome MOD!

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,661
    edited August 31
    More Chapter 6 screenshots:

    Boneguard Skeletons:

    (These undead turn the living.)


    (I intended the fight with Malavon to be sort of the ultimate mage fight in the game. Malavon is a level 40 mage. His spell Malavon's Duplication, based off of the Planescape Torment spell Enoll Eva's Duplication, lets him cast his spells twice. Of course, once you manage to remove his defenses, your warriors can kill him in seconds.)

    (During the fight with Malavon, you also fight Malavon's "apprentice" Ilair, who is a level 30 mage. Ilair originally appeared if you fought Malavon on a harder difficulty in the original, pre-EE game with Heart of Winter installed. However, he doesn't appear in the Enhanced Edition, regardless of the difficulty. I put him in the game again.)

    (This is what happens when you're fighting a mage who can cast summoning spells twice, and a mage who has multiple contingencies and sequencers loaded with summoning spells.)

    (As you can see, I also empowered Energy Drain a lot. I'm probably going to put spell changes in a separate component, since they aren't the main feature of this mod.)

    The first showdown with Poquelin:

    (Devil Shades are like the Devil Shades from Throne of Bhaal except much tougher (they have 6 attacks per round and drain five levels per hit). Greater Earth Elementals are like Ogremoch except slightly weaker.)

    (In the regular game, this battle is really easy. I ended up making it very difficult. There are a lot of enemies, almost all of which are very dangerous. On some attempts, my team got killed before Poquelin's invincibility wore off.)

    By the time my playtesting team confronted Poquelin, each character had a little over 5000000 experience. The single-classed characters were almost max level.

  • vitalytordekvitalytordek Member Posts: 11
    Whoa... True epic mage encounters. What I really miss in IWD compared to BG2!

  • RVNSRVNS Member Posts: 265
    Soooo... When you finish the original game is it going to be open for testing or are you going to wait until after heart of winter and trials before you open it to the player base?

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