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Icewind Dale II Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. NewsPro Gems: 30/31
    Latest gem: King's Tears

    May 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    (Originally posted by Darien)

    Tom French, Programmer:

    AI Scripting:
    We've tried to improve the AI as much as we possibly can in the Inifinity engine. The AI in the game is all driven through thier scripting system which in many ways is a limiting factor. I would have to say the major improvement in IWD II will be the spell casters not casting spells at their targets unless it is a "cast worthy" target. This change isn't even in yet, but I just need to get a couple of days to rewrite the script spell casting system and it'll be in across the board at that point.

    Also in IWD II you'll see a larger variety of types of combat and combat styles. We made over 550 little plug in scripts that can be plugged together in different combinations to create different varieties of combat. It's helped the process go much smoother so far. Plus then having these script type events isolated allows us to make tweaks and changes to these little scripts to improve them and it works immediatelly.

    Hope that helps. I've got to get back to my areas.

    Worg Fighting Without Its Rider?: Currently, I'd have to say unfortunatelly no. This would be cool, but pretty impossible in the Infinity engine to pull off. I tried to figure a way out how to do it but it didn't really work the way I wanted to plus since there's no way to target specifically one or the other we decided it would be a bit strange.

    You never know though. I could find a work around in time and we might be able to work something out. We'll just have to see.

    J.E. Sawyer, Lead Designer:

    Game Mechanics:
    Most of the fundamental game mechanics will be 3E (Base Attack Bonus instead of THAC0, 3E saves instead of 2nd Ed. saves, 3E AC scale and armor types, 3E ability scores, etc.), but class and multi-class options (and the presence of kits) will stay 2nd Ed.

    Thac0 and Negative AC: Yes, characters now have Base Attack Bonus and positive AC. Also, all armor bonuses are classified according to type (armor, shield, deflection, dexterity, and miscellaneous). Armor bonuses are ignored for touch-based spells, making them much more useful in many battles.

    Fighter Kits: Here are the current kits. QA doesn't like the Mercenary so much right now, so he may change.

    KENSAI: This class is also known as the 'sword saint', a warrior who has been specially trained to be one with his or her sword. They are deadly and fast and are trained to fight without encumbrance.

    * Bonus +1 to Hit and Damage /3 levels.
    * -2 bonus to AC.
    * -1 bonus to Speed Factor for every 4 levels.
    * May use 'Kai' ability one time per day for every 4 levels: this ability lasts 10 seconds and makes all attacks do maximum damage.

    * May not use missile weapons.
    * May not wear armor.

    MERCENARY: Mercenaries are soldiers who sell their services to the highest bidder. Traveling great distances in harsh conditions for coin and fame, the mercenary is a man or woman who must master a variety of weapons and styles to satisfy his or her employer's needs.

    * Two extra proficiency slots at 1st level.
    * One extra proficiency slot at 6th level.
    * Carry weight increased by 50%.

    * Unable to start with Weapon Specialization.
    * Unable to achieve Grand Mastery in a weapon.

    WIZARD SLAYER: This warrior has been specially trained by his sect to excel in hunting and attacking spellcasters of all kinds.

    * Each hit on opponent spellcaster increases the chance of spell disruption by 5%.
    * Gains 1% magic resistance each level.
    * +4 to Hit and Damage vs. Wizards and Sorcerers.

    * May not use any magic items except for weapons and armor.

    ARCANE ROGUE: Combining the skills of a rogue with minor magical powers, the arcane rogue is a potent scout and decoy. The arcane rogue focuses less time on lethal combat than his or her fellow rogues.

    * +10% to Use Magic Device.
    * 5th level: Invisibility 1/day.
    * 9th level: Improved Invisibility 1/day.
    * 11th level: Dimension Door 1/day.
    * 15th level, Shades 1/day.

    * -10% on all rogue skills except Use Magic Device.
    * No backstab or crippling strike.

    ASSASSIN: This is a killer trained in discreet and efficient murder, thriving on anonymity and surprise to perform his or her tasks.

    * May coat weapon in poison once per day per 4 levels. The next hit with that weapon will inject the poison into the target, dealing out 6 damage every 6 seconds for 30 seconds. A saving throw vs. poison limits damage to 6 total. The strength of the poison increases at 10th level. At 20th level, it also slows targets.
    * +1 to Hit and Damage.

    * Only 15% per level to distribute on skills.

    SWASHBUCKLER: This rogue is part acrobat, part swordsman and part wit... the epitome of charm and grace. A swashbuckler fights with dramatic flair and deadly precision. Due a swashbuckler's healthy sense of pride, they do not deign to learn the roguish talent of backstabbing.

    * -1 to AC/5 levels.
    * +1 to Hit and Damage/5 levels.
    * May specialize in any weapons available to thieves.

    * No backstab, sneak attack, or crippling strike.

    Skills and Feats: We are currently examining the possibility of integrating skills and feats. So far, feats look somewhat possible, skills look less possible. Feats are currently not in the game. We recently investigated the possibility of including them. It's possible, but unlikely.

    Thieves: Like 2nd Ed., but with the addition of the Use Magic Device skill. UMD allows thieves and bards to use wands and scrolls that are normally restricted for their class. Difficulty is based on the level of the effect they are trying to invoke. If they succeed at using the device, it works perfectly. If they fail, they take 1-6 points of magical energy damage for every level of the effect they were trying to invoke.

    Bards: All of the HoW bard songs are still in the game. There have been a few changes, though.

    * War Chant of Sith now regenerates 3 hit points per round instead of 2, but it only heals in the presence of enemies.

    * Riddlemasters and Blades do not get access to any bard songs other than the basic battle song, the Ballad of Three Heroes.

    Cleric Kits: There are three cleric kits:

    * Silverstar of Selune
    * Battleguard of Tempus
    * Dreadmaster of Bane

    I am the lead designer, but most of the "leading" is done. I was needed on another project -- the one I left to work on IWD2.

    We removed all of the alignment restrictions on cleric spells. "Realism" aside, it annoyed a lot of people.

    Races: Here they are (as presented in the game):

    * Aasimar
    * Tiefling
    * Moon Elf (standard)
    * Drow Elf
    * Wood Elf
    * Shield Dwarf (standard)
    * Gold Dwarf
    * Gray Dwarf
    * Rock Gnome (standard)
    * Deep Gnome
    * Strongheart
    * Lightfoot
    * Ghostwise

    I think that's all of them.

    Unique Items: They all still have good histories. None of them are quite as long and detailed as Pale Justice or The Salamander's Tongue, but they aren't brief, either. All of the area designers contributed to the unique items. There are over one hundred unique magical items in the game: a +1, +3, and +5 version of every weapon type (+1, +2, and +3 for missile weapons), three power levels of every armor and shield type, and three power levels of rings, robes, boots, etc. These are all static drops. Random generic magic items are still in the game. And man, there are many different random generic items. Damien Foletto made something like... 500, I think.

    Weapon Specialization: BTW, let me break down how specialization, mastery, high mastery, and grand mastery work in IWD2, so everyone can get their crying in nice and early.

    * Specialization: +1 to hit, +2 to damage, NO ADDITIONAL ATTACK
    * Mastery: +3 to hit, +3 to damage, ALSO NO ADDITIONAL ATTACK
    * High Mastery: +3 to hit, +3 to damage, +1 critical hit range, YET AGAIN, NO ADDITIONAL ATTACK
    * Grand Mastery: +3 to hit, +3 to damage, +1 critical hit range, chance to stun target, IT'S THE END OF THE DAY, NO EXTRA ATTACK IN SIGHT

    That's they way the design currently stands. It is unlikely to change. For those of you who may be tempted to cry: fighters still beat the crap out of anyone and anything that gets in their way. Really. Paladins and rangers are still effective in melee, but fighters are even more effective. They're just not as grossly effective as they used to be.

    Multiple Attacks: IWD2 uses 3E's Base Attack Bonus progression for granting multiple attacks.

    When a character hits +6, +11, +16 Base Attack Bonus (the progressions are quite similar to 2nd Ed. THAC0 decreases), they gain an additional attack at -5 to hit. Thus, a 7th level fighter has one attack at +7 and a second attack at +2. A 16th level fighter has one attack at +16, a second at +11, a third at +6, and a fourth at +1.

    Fighters and warrior types are not the only classes to benefit from this progression. When a wizard or rogue hit +6, they also get a secondary attack at +1. Of course, their BAB progression is much slower than a fighter's.

    Fighters, barbarians, paladins, and rangers all use the best BAB progression (1/level). Clerics, druids, monks, rogues, and bards use the same table, which is not as nice as the fighters'. They get their second attack at 8th level, their third at 15th. Wizards and sorcerers have the worst. They get their second attack at 12th level.

    Criticals: My hope is that we can include some passive and modal feats that will offer alternatives to heavy weapon point dumps. If not, you'll have to live with increased crit chance. Basically, the increased chance means that you'll critically hit on a roll of 19 and 20. You can also find keen weapons in the game that increase that by another point, to 18, 19, and 20. Single weapon style increases your crit chance as well, so you can take that to 17, 18, 19, and 20. If any enemy is unfortunate enough to face such a character while he or she is under the effects of the new 9th level wizard spell Executioner's Eyes, they would suffer a critical hit on a roll of 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. Ouch.

    Spell Disruption: Spell disruption is not automatic in IWD2. The caster makes a check. The difficulty of that check is modified by the level of the spell (higher = more difficult to maintain), their level (higher = easier to maintain) and their con (higher = easier to maintain).

    Environments: There are a good mix of indoor and outdoor environments. The earlier portions of the game focus more on outdoor exploration and the middle and later portions tend to take place in interior environments.

    However, later in the game, there is a nice journey to a remote location that is quite different from Icewind Dale.

    Playable NPCs: Nope, no CNPCs in IWD2. You should (hopefully) get more than enough replay out of the many races, sub-races, classes, and kits.

    Gameplay hours: On this matter, I will comment only with the following: your mileage may vary. If you believe gameplay hours will be a concern, wait for reviews from news sites and/or friends, then decide whether or not it will be worth your time and money.

    Tough Races: Since we are using 2nd Ed. XP charts, "tough races" suffer XP penalties through name level. This puts the drow and duergar (for instance) a level behind the rest of the party. The testers seem believe this is enough of a hindrance that such characters are by no means automatic party choices.

    Character Generation: Characters will be generated using a point buy system on an unweighted scale. The ability scores use the 3E scale. All racial modifiers are +2 or -2. A moon elf, for instance, would have a maximum 20 Dexterity, 16 Constitution.

    I can't remember the number of points, but the scale is not weighted. It costs one point to go from 11 to 12, one point to go from 18 to 19. It uses 3E's ability score scale. Bonuses start at 12 and penalties start at 9.

    The stat values may or may not start at 10. Right now, I believe they start at 8. Really, in the end, the amount of points is what matters.

    Sub-races: Yes, tieflings and aasimar are listed as sub-races of humans. Technically, half-elves and half-orcs could fit under that classification as well, but they seemed distinctly different from the plane-touched. No gensai, sorry.

    Screenshots: The screenshots are at 800x600, I believe. The interface is absent because we are in the process of re-making it. And by re-making it, I don't just mean a cosmetic texture/color swap. Darren is taking a close look on ways that we can organize the interface to make the game more enjoyable.

    Race/Class Restrictions: That's a tricky one. Race/class restrictions may be lifted, but the characters will still only have the best class combos available from IWD/HoW. Class/weapon restrictions are still being shifted around. Currently, clerics can use what are classified as "simple" weapons in 3E, which includes spears, crossbows, and similar weapons.

    Multiclass Restrictions: We would have liked to have true 3E class and multiclass options, but it's the most daunting of conversions.

    All of the class combos allowed in IWD will be allowed. Also, a character can start in a kit and then dual if the base class allows dual-classing. Yes, this means that you can play Kensai/Mages. However, Kensai/Mages aren't all that awesome in IWD2 -- at least, that seems to be the consensus from QA.

    Dual-Wielding: Rangers start out with a point in Two Weapon Style. Some other classes can take Two Weapon Style (thieves, for instance), but only rangers start out with a point in it. Any character can use two weapons -- just not well.

    Gameplay: It has a very good mix. The first part of the game is oriented around simple puzzles and heavy combat. The middle game has some very puzzle-intensive areas (thanks to Dave Maldonado and Rob Holloway). The last half of the game has some very intense, heavy combat with at least one completely insane puzzle.

    I think you'll find it's a great deal like TotL.

    The focus in IWD2 really is on party creation and advancement, heavy combat, puzzle solving, and focusing on a very linear story. If you like those elements, you should like IWD2.

    Attacks of Opportunity?: No. Implementing AoO would be a nightmare for IWD2 for a number of reasons.

    No Interface Screenshots: That's because the interface and all spell icons are being completely re-done by Brian "SMENZ" Menze and co.

    World Map: The world map is divided into three separate maps. The first map goes from Maer Dualdon to the western pass through the Spine of the World. The second map stretches between the western pass, south of the Spine, to just west of the eastern pass. The third map is a great mystery. OoOOoOOoOoOOh.

    Once you enter a new map, you are restricted to exploration in that section of the world.

    Revisiting IWD I: Yes, you will return to Kuldahar, Dragon's Eye, and one other Icewind Dale location. Of course, a lot can happen to a place in thirty years...

    XP Tables: Drow and duergar lose 50% through 10th level. Tieflings and aasimar lose 35% through 10th level. Deep gnomes lose 60% through 10th level. They may be losing some of their powers and some of their XP penalty, though.

    Singing Bard Script: Yes. There is one, courtesty of Chad Nicholas. He's actually made a lot of new PC scripts. I like Druid Offensive Caster the best.

    Weapon Damage: Spears currently do 1-8 points of damage, as they did in HoW. Hammers still do 1d4+1, I believe.

    Weapon Range: Actually, spears, halberds, and two-handed swords all have a range of two melee units in IWD/HoW. They will remain that way for IWD2.

    Megavillian: One of the first megavillains you encounter in IWD2 can be seen on the homepage. See the blue woman at the far right of the title bar? That's Sherincal, an unpleasant individual. BTW, she is introduced during the prologue of the game.

    The concept art is also a little misleading. The concept makes it look like she is wearing boots and a helmet. As Dave wrote, that's part of her actual physical makeup. In the game, she looks even more monstrous.

    Sherincal = Demon?: No, but just as bad.

    Testers Favorite Class/Race/Kit Combo: Not all of our testers have internet access. However, they seem to like the Dreadmaster of Bane, Wizard Slayer, and Archer. Mercenaries and Skalds are not too popular at the moment. We might have to adjust them to make them more appealing.

    Oh, also, people seem to like the wood elf and gold dwarf subraces.

    Bonus Spells: We are working on giving clerics, druids, rangers, and paladins bonus spells for high wisdom, wizards bonus spells for high intelligence, and sorcerers and bards bonus spells for high charisma.

    Class modifications: Paladins and rangers got earlier spell access in HoW. Thieves also got sneak attack and crippling strike in HoW. Those are are all still in IWD2. Monsters follow the same rules as PCs. Classes are being modified along the lines they were in HoW. Specialty priests are still handled as kits.

    It is a mishmash of rules, but it actually works quite well.

    Ability point every 4 levels?: I think Darren is trying to work that in, but I'm not sure. We're working on implementing stat increases. By level 28, you could have +7 stat points. Of course, that's a total gain of +3 modifiers (+4 if you started on an odd stat), so it's not that big of a deal.

    18 Strength: +4 to hit, +4 to damage
    25 Strength: +7 to hit, +7 to damage

    Music Composer: Inon Zur is doing the IWD2 music, with some interaction from Jeremy Soule to keep the same feeling.

    Portraits: Justin Sweet is making new portraits. The ones he has completed look terrific. Unfortunately, he tends to be a perfectionist -- he hasn't quite put the finishing touches on them yet. You can see some of Justin's work here: http://www.justinsweet.com/

    You may remember his art from the opening of Icewind Dale; he did the illustrations of the battle between Jerrod and Arrakon.

    Magic Bucklers: Yes. There are, at bare minimum, three magical bucklers in the game: a +1 buckler, a +3 buckler, and a +5 buckler.

    Wild Mage: There will be no wild mages / wild magic in IWD2. We did not feel that they were worth the time to implement. Also, it's arguable that wild magic and wild mages don't exist at this point in the FR timeline.

    Misc: 3 saves: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.

    Currently, inventory and weapon slots work as they did in IWD:HoW.

    Tracking: like HoW.

    Familiars: None.

    Contingencies and Sequencers: No.

    Spell Protections/Counter-Protections: No.

    Multiplayer Enhancements: Same as HoW.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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