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Enhanced Edition Details

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I have a couple copies of the original Icewind Dale and one of Enhanced Edition and am deciding which I'd like to do my next play through on. Can anyone list for me, or point me to a resource that does so, the changes that were made to the original Icewind Dale in the making of Enhanced Edition? I don't mean the additions. These are easily found on the web and in the descriptions of the game. I mean changes that were made in order to make Enhanced Edition work. For example: I know the voice sets for your characters in the game were intentionally altered in order to bring them into line with running Icewind Dale on the Baldur's Gate 2 engine that Enhanced Edition runs on (CRE V1.0 and CHR V2.0).

Comments

  • inethineth Member Posts: 519

    I don't mean the additions.

    There's not always clear line between changes and additions.

    For example, there's thing like:
    • The IWD weapon proficiency system has been replaced with the one from BG2 (which is more fine-grained)
    • The IWD Fixpack mod has been pre-applied, meaning certain exploits (like stacking effects that weren't supposed to stack) no longer work.
    • The party member portraits are larger now, made possible by the new UI.
    • ...

    For example: I know the voice sets for your characters in the game were intentionally altered in order to bring them into line with running Icewind Dale on the Baldur's Gate 2 engine that Enhanced Edition runs on (CRE V1.0 and CHR V2.0).

    I don't think anyone kept a list of little data-format implementation details like that.

    If you can read weidu code, you could have a look at the source code of the IWD-in-BG2 mod, which converts the IWD data files to make them compatible with the BG2 engine, and I believe was used as the basis for developing IWD:EE.

    lolien
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    @ineth
    Thanks very much for the reply. I apologize for my ambiguity. I'll attempt to clarify a bit. I guess what I was more specifically wondering is what are the downsides to Enhanced Edition? What has been lost in its making (in my voice set example for instance, the number of sounds in each voice set have been reduced from 36 to 18)? What had to be downsized, removed, diminished, or altered in an undesirable way? Owning copies of both the original and Enhanced Edition, I'm just trying to better contrast my two options.

  • inethineth Member Posts: 519
    edited January 2016

    What had to be downsized, removed, diminished

    There is no "character arbitration" screen anymore in single-player mode. So if you want to add a party member in the middle of the game, you need to resort to an annoying work-around. (Move the savegame to the folder for multi-player savegames, load it as a multi-player game, add the character, save again, then move the new savegame back.)

    Other than that, I cannot think of anything - but I didn't know about the voice set down-sizing either, so maybe there are other little things like that which I never noticed.

    or altered in an undesirable way?

    Now, this depends on what you consider undesirable... :)

    Some people don't like that bugs have been fixed, because they enjoyed exploiting the bugs in the original game for cheese tactics.

    And some people believe that the introduction of dual-wielding, kits, and Sorcerers, upsets the game balance. (Personally, I love those additions!)

    Owning copies of both the original and Enhanced Edition, I'm just trying to better contrast my two options.

    Play the EE! Even if you don't care about the gameplay additions.

    It runs trouble-free on modern operating systems, has a UI that is appropriate for modern screen resolutions, and comes with quality-of-life improvements that make things like inventory and spellbook management less of a hassle. That should be reason enough.

    To elaborate on that last point: Consider the situation when you're in the store interface of a merchant NPC in the game, and having scrolled half-way through the list of store items, you see a scroll for a spell that you want all your mages/bards to know. But you don't remember whether all of them already know it. So what do you do?
    In the original game, you open the scroll's description to see its spell level. Then exit the store screen, open each mage's spell book to the appropriate page, and look for the spell. Then initiate conversation with the merchant again and go through the dialog choices to bring up the store screen again, and scroll down until you find the scroll in question again. There goes 60 seconds of boring clicking and searching.
    In the EE on the other hand, any spell scroll which the selected character is allowed to learn and doesn't have in their spellbook yet, is marked with a thick green outline. So all you need to do as soon as you see the scroll in the store interface, is to select each mage's portrait in turn and look at the scroll's outline. No need to close the store. Takes you maybe 3 seconds, and a fraction of the mouse clicks.

    It's this kind of thing that you'll never want to do without again, once you've gotten used to it.

    Post edited by ineth on
    AstroBryGuyHudzymashedtaterslolien
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    edited January 2016
    It also makes a spell you can't learn have a red background, which is useful for specialist mages in particular (especially in IWD where you often will have more than one opposing school)

    inethAstroBryGuyJuliusBorisovlolien
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    Thank you both for your input. I didn't know about the green outline and red background additions for store spells, thanks. ineth, you hit precisely the type of changes I'm talking about with your character arbitration example. That and my voice set example are losses no matter how you look at them. And we discovered these from simply playing the game (people wouldn't know about them unless they simply stumbled across them). I'm hoping a developer or someone in the know has a resource listing such losses/alterations for the community to browse. Enhance Edition certainly has its ups. I'd just like to know what all the downs are before jumping into one or the other.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,768

    @ineth
    Thanks very much for the reply. I apologize for my ambiguity. I'll attempt to clarify a bit. I guess what I was more specifically wondering is what are the downsides to Enhanced Edition? What has been lost in its making (in my voice set example for instance, the number of sounds in each voice set have been reduced from 36 to 18)? What had to be downsized, removed, diminished, or altered in an undesirable way? Owning copies of both the original and Enhanced Edition, I'm just trying to better contrast my two options.

    I didn't know that the soundsets were reduced. I haven't got around to purchasing the game yet because I still have the original. Did you find out by playing the game or by looking through the files? Or did you read about it somewhere? Just curious about your source for this. Listening to the full voice soundsets at character creation was one of my favorite parts of the game. It would be very disappointing for me if half of the soundsets' sounds were just gone.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    Dee said:


    To elaborate on the bit about Character Arbitration, strictly speaking the original release of Icewind Dale didn't have a Single Player mode. Single Player was multiplayer with no other players; the Enhanced Edition offers a proper Single Player option, allowing you to experience the game as a solitary endeavor (with all of the pitfalls that entails, with regard to not being able to recruit characters during play).

    Or install @kulyok's IWDNPC mod and recruit a party! :smile:

    JuliusBorisovHudzyMusignylolien
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    @mashedtaters
    Yes mashed, I stumbled across this in my own gameplay. At first I thought I was encountering bugs and tried to report them. If you click my name and browse some of my other conversations you will see what I mean. Here is a link to one such report in which @Troodon80 informed me that the missing sounds had actually been removed on purpose in order to bring Enhanced Edition into line with the Baldur's Gate 2 engine: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/44001/not-an-issue-windows-both-taking-the-lead-sounds-for-party-members-should-play#latest
    So as of now, each voice set consists of 18 sounds/remarks instead of 36 as found in the original (kind of makes gameplay seem monotonous). I also put in a request in the "feature request" section in the hopes of having the sounds restored but have not had any responses. Perhaps it is not feasible. I have started this specific thread in the hopes that someone will bring to light what has been lost in Enhanced Edition. I own Enhanced Edition and a couple copies of the original and would like to be able to do a more complete comparison of the two. Some of the Enhanced Edition's additions are really neat, but I also want to know what was lost.

    @Dee
    Playing a game in multiplayer works great, yes, thanks. Do you know if there's a way to prevent character's stats from being reset every time you load up a multiplayer session (such as "time spent with party")? Also, do you know where we could find a list of the elements that had to be removed/diminished/altered from the original in Enhanced Edition (like the voice set example above)?

    @AstroBryGuy
    That mod sounds kind of neat. Would you put it on par with the kind of party interaction found in Baldur's Gate 2?

    mashedtaters
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    @Pumpernickel I don't think such a list was ever compiled, but if anyone would know, it would be @AlexT.

    lolien
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    edited January 2016
    I think it's very well done. Of course, there are some areas that the experience doesn't match BG2.

    First, there are only 5 NPCs. So, you don't have the same varied choices of party members. You can choose not to take some of them and run with a small party or use the multi-player mode to create your own additional party members. Doing that will, of course, limit the banters/talks. One nice thing is that Kulyok provides alternate versions of each character (i.e., different classes), so that you have them fill different roles in the party. For example, one of the NPCs, Teri, is normally a fighter/thief. I installed an alternate mage/thief version of Teri to have her fill that role in the party.

    IWDNPC also favors those who like good-aligned human/elf/half-elf parties. The NPCs consist of 3 humans, 1 elf, and 1 half-elf, all -good or -neutral in alignment. Four of the NPCs are romanceable (2 male, 2 female), but the romances are human/elf/half-elf-only, so you lose on content if you play a dwarf, gnome, or halfling. If you like a party of dwarves, gnomes, and halflings - or playing an evil party - you'll be out of luck (of course, dwarves were shut out of romances in the original BG2 as well).

    One thing that the IWD NPCs do not have are individual quests, like many of the NPCs in BG2. There really isn't a good way to add NPC quests to IWD's rather linear plot.

    All of that said, Kulyok has written 5 great characters. The banters, friendship talks, commentary on events, and romances really raise the game from more than just a dungeon crawl. I care about Kuldahar because Nella speaks of her home so passionately. I love her reveal of Korin's past. Teri and Severn liven up the party with their banter. My CHARNAME and Holvir are brothers in arms - a Paladin of Torm and a Priest of Tyr (Holvir is normally a paladin, I used EE Keeper to make him a Priest of Tyr for my latest playthrough).

    Post edited by AstroBryGuy on
    HudzylolienBelgarathMTH
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,768
    @Pumpernickel
    I am a serious supporter of Beamdog, but that issue with the soundsets being halved may be enough to make me not spend the $20 to purchase the game. I may just end up purchasing a digital copy (because I want one) from GOG. It's only $10.

    That is really sad.

  • AlexTAlexT Member Posts: 760

    For example: I know the voice sets for your characters in the game were intentionally altered in order to bring them into line with running Icewind Dale on the Baldur's Gate 2 engine that Enhanced Edition runs on (CRE V1.0 and CHR V2.0).

    To clarify this a bit, the original Icewind Dale soundsets had two possible sounds for certain events. For example, when you appointed someone as the party leader, one of two different sounds could play (it was randomly determined which one). In IWDEE, only one sound plays in the same situation.

    We opted for this approach because changing how the soundslots work would have been a very invasive procedure with a high risk of causing more serious game engine issues. The "Character Arbitration" screen could not be ported for similar reasons, but a workaround for that issue exists.

    HudzyJuliusBorisovmashedtaterslolien
  • HudzyHudzy Member Posts: 288
    To be honest the additions made to the game vastly outweigh the loss of some voice sounds.

  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    @AlexT
    Thanks for weighing in. In addition to the character arbitration and voice set examples above, what other items have been downsized, removed, diminished, or left out of Enhanced Edition? I think it'd be helpful for Icewind Dale fans to have a better idea of what they're getting their hands on with Enhanced Edition. I own copies of the original and Enhanced Edition and it's difficult to decide which I'd like to do a play through in when I don't have all the pertinent information at my fingertips. Any and all insight or information you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    @Hudzy
    That's completely subjective. There are many neat additions in EE.

    mashedtaters
  • inethineth Member Posts: 519
    @AlexT
    Those are just the deliberate content/rule changes though - not the technical concessions that had to be made as side-effects from switching to the new engine, which is I think what @Pumpernickel was most interested in.

    mashedtaters
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    Without digging into the source code (or spending valuable developer energy that should be focused on development), I believe the sound sets (and character arbitration, although I maintain that this is more a case of the original game not having proper Single Player in the first place) were the only real concession that had to be made. Everything else from the original game is either intact or improved.

    JuliusBorisov
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    @Dee
    I very much understand the importance of people's time. I'm simply interested in the transparency of your product. Just as you would like everyone to know about all the great additions and refinements Enhanced Edition has to offer, it's only fair and balanced that the community has access to information about its downfalls as well.

    @AlexT
    That list is fantastic! It is very informative and a great resource for the community to be able to browse. Thank you very much! ineth was correct however, in stating that what I'm more specifically looking for are the technical concessions that had to be made in order to port Icewind Dale to the Baldur's Gate 2 engine as done in Enhanced Edition (such as voice sets being downsized and single player character arbitration being left out). Can you offer us any insight in this regard?

    @ineth
    Exactly. : )

    mashedtaters
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    edited January 2016
    @Pumpernickel See the latter half of my previous post. The only real "concessions" that were made with regard to original IWD features that had to be cut were the sound set issue mentioned above and the Character Arbitration issue mentioned earlier in this thread (which I maintain was a case of misunderstanding IWD's original implementation, rather than a missing feature).

    If you're looking for reasons not to play IWD:EE, you're probably barking up the wrong tree (it's a bit like asking Tim Cook why you shouldn't buy an iPhone). ;) But if there were other concessions, dollars to doughnuts they'd have been posted on this forum by now by members of the community.

    EDIT: Full disclosure: this and the previous post come after conversations with members of the dev team, so that I could relay the information and leave them free to do their work.

    lolienMathsorcererJuliusBorisov
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    @Dee
    So the developers are off limits huh? :P I'm getting the vibe that my question's timing may be bad with the Siege of Dragonspear project underway. My apologies. I'm not trying to be a booger. Promise. : )

    I'm not looking for reasons not to play Enhanced Edition. And I'm certainly not under the impression that I was barking up any tree. Just looking for some product clarity (so that we may all do a more complete comparison of Enhanced Edition and the original). I did see the later half of your mentioned post. The first half of the post talking about source code and developer energy made that later half seem less than certain.

    As far as "dollars to doughnuts" (that one put a smile on my face) that other concessions would have been posted on the forum by now.... I seem to have been the first in the community to have noticed the voice set concession (and at that, I only noticed it because of my familiarity with and fondness for the original voice sets). It's very plausible that other concessions have been made that the community has not, to date, happened to notice. That is why I started this discussion. The most obvious way for the community to ascertain whether or not additional concessions had been made, and to identify them, would be to ask the developers directly.

    Thank you for speaking with members of the development team about this. I appreciate it very much. As I pondered in the beginning of this post, perhaps my timing is less than optimal. When the team finds a lull in the Dragonspear project, or when their focus is again on refining/patching IWDEE, might we possibly get a developer to delve into the source code and give us a more definitive answer on concessions? The community would greatly appreciate Beamdog's help with this. Our alternative is to simply stumble across these as we play (or even worse: not realize what we are missing!). Please help us! : D

    PS Tim would be a fantastic individual to inquire of as to the shortcomings of the iPhone. That is: assuming he has the integrity to be honest and forthright with the public. Hiding drawbacks is kind of like a car dealer selling you a car but failing to mention it has been in a serious front end collision.

    PPS I'm just some goofball trying to satiate his meticulous side in determining which of his multiple Icewind Dale options he would like to utilize next. This really isn't a big deal. If you'd rather not discuss concessions made because Beamdog thinks that transparency will diminish sales, you can always just tell me to beat it. ; ) A great day to you good sir. Icewind Dale rocks!

    mashedtatersJuliusBorisov
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,768
    Unfortunately for me the loss of half the soundests is kind of a big deal. It really was one of my favorite parts of both ice wind dale games.

    Thank you @Pumpernickel for pointing it out. Maybe it doesn't matter to most people in the community, which is why no one has complained about it yet. But it does matter to me. The various corrections or improvements to game engine and rule structures of the game do not outweigh, in my opinion, the loss of 50% of the character sounds. The character sounds are the most frequently played sounds in the game (unless you turn them off) and, more than anything, they breathe life into the six rolled up characters who don't have any personalities. the voices help me to make back stories for my characters. I have spent hours just rolling up and writing characters just for fun, using the ability scores and the voices to help me determine their history and how I would play that character in game.

    I'm rather disappointed that I learned about this from a third party customer rather than from the Dev team. It won't prevent me from continuing to support beamdog. It's possible that I will purchase the game as a show of support. But what used to be a definite, once I had $20 to spend on fun, is now only a possibility.

    I don't want to hurt beamdogs success and sales, but I am not exactly pleased with all the changes that were made to the game. I had hoped it would be more of an improvement on existing rules, bug removals, user interface conveniences, and graphics improvements, without the rule changes to make it play more similar to baldurs gate 2. But I was ok with those things and just kind of shrugged my shoulders. Unfortunately the soundest thing, being one of my favorite parts of the game, is not something that I can shrug my shoulders at. I loved nearly every sound, so how should I choose only half of them to be in gameplay?

    I'm not really sure what to do, because I love you guys (beamdog), I love what you have done to bg1 and bg2, and I can't wait to see siege of dragonspear...but I don't think I can look past this loss, In addition to other changes that are not necessarily improvements or fixes. I may purchase the game, but I don't see myself actually playing it. Maybe that doesn't matter, because it's still change in beamdogs pocket, but it is possible that there are other fans of icewind dale out there that would not purchase the game simply out of loyalty. As of now, I will purchase it after I have purchased gogs digital copy, which may not be soon.

    I know you can't please everyone, but, if at all possible, when you guys start working on icewind dale again, I would be always loyal and grateful and would eventually purchase all your future games if you would find a way to return that other half of those sounds to the game. I am aware that it is an invasive change, but I believe it is necessary and beneficial to do so.

    Thanks for reading.

  • fireandsteel73fireandsteel73 Member Posts: 31
    For my two cents, the EE version is far superior to the original and I played IWD in 2000-2003 religiously. All I can say is that the enhancements are a blessing to a very good game.

    MathsorcererinethAstroBryGuy
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,557
    As someone who has played these games for nearly 15 years now--has it really been that long?--the EE versions are definitely better. I still have the original discs for these games but they are sitting in their cases, quietly, on the bookshelf and that is where they will stay.

    AstroBryGuyfireandsteel73
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    The "cracks in the paint" point was an interesting one. I've never been one to burrow my head in the sand. I find the idea of there being things I don't know about far more disconcerting than acknowledging any form of reality. But I suppose idioms like: 'ignorance is bliss' came from somewhere...

    Thanks for the candid response @Dee. It is much appreciated.

    You know where my vote lies as far as the next improvement players would like to see in the game. If the studio does choose to restore the voice sets, Enhanced Edition would become without hesitance the definitive Icewind Dale experience. Please please please! : D

    Keep us posted with information on such endeavors. I'm very interested.

    mashedtaters
  • PumpernickelPumpernickel Member Posts: 50
    Dee said:

    I know, and I understand. Transparency is important, and in the case of the expanded sound sets, we probably should have released that information prior to the game's release, since it's a feature from the original game that didn't make it to the Enhanced Edition.

    Does that mean Beamdog will make such information visible on its site, forum, and other areas for community and customers to see?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    No, but it does mean that I'm sorry it wasn't included in the IWD:EE Feature Guide document. If that document ever gets updated (which is unlikely, but if it does), I'll do my best to add a note about the difference between Single Player in IWD:EE from IWD, and about the difference in how sound sets are handled.

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