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[MOD] Improved Heart of Fury Mode Version 4.1.0



  • RavandelRavandel Member Posts: 53
    Is there something wrong on my part?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628
    @Ravandel I fixed that problem. Download the fixed version here.

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 8,785
    edited May 18
    I can't believe I've missed this until now. Now all 4 games (since Planescape: Torment doesn't need one) have some form of tactics AI mod out there to really give you a run for your money after mastering the original. I just discovered this and the IWD2 one tonight. I have no idea why these that one and this are so obscure when SCS is a staple of BG 1 and 2. Does this mod require HoF be turned on to take effect, or is it just the name??

  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,710
    jjstraka34 wrote: »
    Does this mod require HoF be turned on to take effect, or is it just the name??

    @jjstraka34 You can play on any difficulty setting. This mod's effect is cumulative with the game's difficulty setting.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628
    @jjstraka The mod can be played on any difficulty setting, but I recommend you play on Insane (with double experience turned on) or on HoF (only if you have the component installed that disables the regular HoF bonuses).

  • SorzoSorzo Member Posts: 5
    edited July 5
    I just finished the base game with this mod installed and will start the expansion content soon. It's a pretty incredible accomplishment overall, and I certainly prefer it over the regular version of Icewind, even if the mod is demanding to the point that the notion of going through it more than once is a little too daunting.

    The Belhifet fight in particular was a bit much, though to be fair the more frustrating parts of it, such as the incredibly resilient golems and bleeding effects, were always there to begin with. I can't deny that the feeling of satisfaction from beating him (with all party members alive, thankfully) after painstakingly constructing a second-by-second strategy over the course of hours of trial and error was worth it, though.

    For reference, I'm playing on Heart of Fury with double damage and experience, along with the component that disables the normal stat changes made by Heart of Fury. I'm not using any other mods besides the Gibberlings Tweakpack, which does admittedly allow for some normally unavailable combinations in race selection and Fighter/Cleric weapon usage.

    My party consists of:

    - A Gnomish Cavalier (Sword and shield tank in most cases, but dual-wields in emergencies or when employing Sword of Days cheese, which I'm frequently guilty of relying on; by far my most reliable character overall)
    - A Dwarven Fighter/Cleric (Intended for use as an off-tank, though in practice used mainly for support casting; I often find myself wishing I had used a single-class Cleric instead, though the ability to equip Sword of Days and use it in conjunction with high-level casting that my Paladin can't handle is nice)
    - An Elven Assassin (Probably the most situationally useful member of the party; contributes little more than modest crossbow fire in most cases, but backstabs and traps have proven invaluable in plenty of fights)
    - A Halfling Skald (Pure utility character mostly used for buffing and the occasional summon)
    - A Dwarven Dragon Disciple (Mostly built around offensive CC, debuff, and AOE damage spells; this is my first time using a Sorcerer in an Infinity Engine game, and I've consequently definitely made a few mistakes in spell selection here and there, though the sheer potency of things like Timestop and Project Image makes up for this; I'm very much looking forward to unlocking the dragon shapeshift ability down the road)
    - An Elven Archer (The ultimate glass cannon and my main source of single-target DPS; frequently the only character I bring alongside my Paladin when I'm clearing easier areas and don't want to deal with managing the whole party)

    I'll post a few more updates as I go through Heart of Winter and Luremaster. Thank you for all your hard work on this phenomenal project.

    Post edited by Sorzo on
  • SorzoSorzo Member Posts: 5
    edited July 6
    I ran into an issue with my Archer, one that would presumably affect all single-classed Rangers and possibly Monks as well. Thief skills can't be leveled up past 250, but all available skill points MUST be spent upon level up. In practice, this means that Rangers, which can only put points into two skills, will eventually reach a point where they become stuck on the level-up screen, unable to spend the points they have.

    In the case of my character, who has a base DEX of 24 before gear, that happens during the transition from Level 31 to 32. Adjusting the skill values in EE Keeper didn't work, as the level-up screen doesn't recognize the edited values even though the stats page does, and I couldn't turn anything up using Google.

    It's not going to kill my playthrough or anything (using EE Keeper to change the character into a Fighter but with Archer listed as the Kit seems to be more or less the same thing, and I can properly level up now), but it's a consequence of the raised level cap that's worth noting.

    Post edited by Sorzo on
  • SorzoSorzo Member Posts: 5
    edited July 7
    Finished Heart of Winter. While hardly a cakewalk, most of it was considerably easier than Lower Dorn's Deep. I mostly relied on stealth and Turn Undead inside the underground barrows, picking my fights carefully and not worrying about fighting the enormous Festering Drowned Dead until my Paladin was a high enough level to stealth-explode everything else.

    The Gloomfrost was very straightforward. The Ice Beholders weren't as bad as I feared, and the giants just required the same tactics used on their counterparts in the base game.

    The Sea of Moving Ice was mostly easy until I reached the temple, at which point I finally hit a massive difficulty spike. The massive horde of standard enemies took awhile to clear out, and the lack of any breathing room forced me to once again rely on cheap tactics like Sword of Days and running from the room and resting once my Time Stops ran out. Even after that, the Olhydra gave me considerable trouble, and I experimented with a number of strategies for killing it. In the end, I dumped a ton of Incendiary Clouds on top of it using Time Stop and used my Paladin to soak up its damage and keep it from moving while the fire damage ticked away.

    Icasaracht herself was a great boss. She was difficult and took some time to deal with, but she never felt unfair or cheap the way Belhifet and his golems did. I actually killed her first form on my second try, but that ended up being a bit of a fluke, and I had to kill her several times before figuring out how to handle the Soul Gem, which is just brutal in terms of the damage it can put out. Thankfully, it doesn't seem able to dispel your protections, unlike Icasaracht. After I used Sword of Days and a very careful Dispel to kill the two Wyrm spirits while under Time Stop, my Paladin was able to weather the maelstrom from the Gem through 100% MR achieved from Pale Justice, a spell, and a few passives. He still periodically took Crushing damage that would have one-shotted anyone else, but he had a large enough HP total to safely take the hits and enough Lay on Hands left to recover from them.

    Now only Trials of the Luremaster remains. I fully expect every last inch taken to be hard-fought, but the end is in sight!

  • SorzoSorzo Member Posts: 5
    edited July 10
    Turns out the end was a bit of a brick wall that made Belhifet look tame.

    Sorry, but I think the Luremaster fight is where I'm calling it quits, at least for now. Fatigue of the game was already starting to set in (not your fault; I started this run fresh off another playthrough), and a fight that feels like it would take over a week of grinding to ever clear just isn't at all appealing to me at the moment. I realize that you wanted to make it the hardest encounter in the game, but it's just far too chaotic in my opinion. I felt so overwhelmed out of the gate that I gave up after only a couple of hours.

    If I might offer feedback toward any future updates, I'd consider toning down the fight by substantially increasing the time it takes for enemies to spawn in, or at the very least having the timer affected by Time Stop. Alternatively, perhaps enemies past the first four knights could spawn in only after others have been killed, resulting in a fixed number of foes that the player has to worry about at any given time.

    I hate to be critical, and I must stress that I genuinely did enjoy the mod overall, particularly the class/kit revisions and new minibosses. Reworking the whole game like this was a massively ambitious undertaking, and I applaud your talent and dedication.

    Maybe I'll give the Luremaster another shot at some point down the road. Even if I don't beat him, I might at least be able to get a better sense of the fight and offer more detailed thoughts on it.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628

    Thanks for all your feedback!

    In the next update, I'll implement some of your suggestions.

    * Belhifet/Poquelin won't use Mass Flaying; there just aren't enough good ways to defend against it or cure it. I might make them use the regular Flaying ability instead.
    * I should be able to fix the problem of Rangers getting stuck on the level-up screen.
    * I'll make it so each wave of enemies in the Luremaster fight only arrives when the previous wave has been defeated.
    * I'll probably weaken the Sword of Days, restoring its original drawback of blocking Haste effects. You aren't the first person to call it cheesy.

  • SorzoSorzo Member Posts: 5
    That change to the Luremaster fight definitely sounds like it would make it doable while still being a tough battle of endurance. If the patch doesn't break saves, I'll have to look into it when it's out!

    I'm not sure how viable it would be to implement, but one change I would consider making to the Belhifet fight would be to add text above his sprite whenever he starts casting certain spells, similar to the messages you have displaying above enemies with leadership auras. I found that the fight became substantially easier whenever I noticed things like Fire and Ice via the text log, allowing me to move everyone to a different part of the room before it actually hit. Given how quickly the text log moves, however, it's very easy to miss such crucial information.

    Having messages like "Belhifet is casting Mass Flaying on <CHARNAME>!" be displayed above his sprite gives the player a bit more information to work with without actually nerfing the fight. Players still have to deal with the AOE, but it's now a bit more realistic to expect them to deal with it by moving or using a quick buff.

    The only other thing I can think of would be to ensure he prioritizes his casts on targets that are nearby or attacking him. I eventually settled into the rhythm of sending my Assassin up to him to dispel his illusions and eat his Mass Flaying, since the bleeding effect isn't nearly as devastating on non-casters. However, this only worked part of the time, as he'd occasionally ignore her and target the bulk of my party in the center, causing a mass bleeding and forcing me to invoke Power Word: Reload. If his behavior was a little more consistent, players could plan around it. Then again, I suppose that simplifying the AI opens up more opportunities for things like cheesily kiting the boss, so it could be a double-edged sword.

    One final suggestion for the fight (and again, I don't know if this would be possible) would be to have the game autosave or quicksave just before the fight actually starts, preventing the player from having to go through the scripted bit with Everard every single time. Given that the fight can easily take well over a dozen attempts, it becomes annoying very quickly, especially if the voice acting isn't disabled, and is honestly one of my biggest issues with the fight. Obviously it's a problem with the base game and not your mod, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who would appreciate a workaround to it.

  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,384

    Do you know when the script trigger 0x26 TargetUnreachable(O:Object*) is supposed to return true?

    Like you, I wanted to use it to make sure a certain creature doesn't attempt to move towards another creature if it's completely surrounded by other creatures, but it doesn't seem to work...

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628
    @Luke93 I don't know. I also had issues with that function.

  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,384
    edited July 13
    [SOLVED] I see, guess I'll ask @kjeron or @Bubb then...

    Post edited by Luke93 on
  • GabrielMarxsGabrielMarxs Member Posts: 2
    Hi @OlvynChuru , is it possible to separate your Better Call for Help system as a component? I'm new to Icewind Dale and CRPG as a whole and I'm looking for some way to remedy the obvious cheese that is picking and killing one enemy at a time from groups. However: I don't want the game to be too difficult and to not start with a lvl 1 party.

    Any other way to resolve this issue is welcome too :) (By the way, I really like your spell pack mod, incredible work)

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628
    @GabrielMarxs Hi!

    Sadly, the call for help system I made for this mod isn't really feasible to separate. How it works is that when an enemy sees the party, they aggro every other enemy they see, and those enemies then aggro every other enemy they see. This doesn't aggro the whole map at once because groups of enemies are usually separated by enough distance that they can't see each other. But for that to be the case, I had to move enemies around, sometimes removing enemies. It wouldn't be enough just to separate the AI into another component.

    However, the base game does often divide enemies into encounters as well, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Enemies in IWDEE aren't quite as susceptible to that tactic as enemies in BG1.

  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,473
    edited July 19
    @OlvynChuru a basic question here. Does this mod change anything while starting a play through on a normal mode with 1st level party? Is it only valid for Heart of Fury mode or is it general SCS-like mode that would enhanced my non-HoF run?

    Post edited by Cahir on
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,628
    @Cahir It's a general SCS-like mode. However, the mod includes a component to disable the normal HoF bonuses (no ridiculous HP on goblins). If you install that, then HoF would be the recommended difficulty setting, but you could still play on another difficulty.

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