Icewind Dale 2 - so I wonder

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale Total Conversion' started by anatoliy, Aug 24, 2021.

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  1. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    I suspect IWD2's encounter design was because the game makers were new at 3.x stuff. BG1 & 2 were generally much more freeform compared to the rules as written.

    Maybe the game makers simply wanted to give less EXP compared to RAW which is understandable. 2e D&D seemed bulit with the assumption of adventurers taking a long time to level so they could explore a big world. 3e D&D was seemingly built around the notion that people wanted to focus on a story or set of dungeons and reach level 20 from level 1 in 2 years of real time at max.

    What about working with the Icewind Dale II EE team to port that version to ToEE?
     
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  2. hammyh

    hammyh Established Member

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    Idk if there is much difference btw porting iwd2 vanilla and iwd2EE for @anatoliy.
    • both use the same areas
    • the weidu changes can't be ported to ToEE. The ideas and concepts can, though. A play-through of iwd2 EE could communicate these concepts. But all this code would have to be written for ToEE.
      Some stuff already? exists in ToEE. The menu has settings to increase monster difficulty, reduce xp, and such.
    • the team is basically one IE specialist and one manager. ToEE has a bigger team to draw from if it had to: @anatoliy, @Sitra Achara , the many ones that made prcs and spells, etc.
    • Npcs are a bit different, in that certain monsters (not core to the story) are designated as npcs, compared to npc projects that BG or iwd uses to start a game.

      Also, imho ToEE characters gain power faster. Consider all the new spells, prcs, crafting. Enemy AI and difficulty would need balancing for that.
     
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  3. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Established Member

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    @Endarire - you might find this retrospective interest:

    It is a little lengthy and I only watched the first part, but one thing is pretty clear: IWD2 was developed under intense time pressure with lots of changes made at the last minute to support some version of 3.x rules and a lot of ambitious plans were dropped due to limitations of the engine and time constraints. It is a little sad that the IWD2 source code appears to be completely lost according to the game developers...
     
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  4. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    IWD2EE is not released yet. I suspect you were given beta testing access to try out. If I had data sources, I would certainly took a look and compared what was done. Btw two of key EE developers have Ukrainian names))
     
  5. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Yeah, 2e D&D and before were quite different indeed. I've read one printed adventure recently, and it was truly remarkable towards exploration in comparison to 3e D&D.

    In any case, I strongly agree, that D&D 3.5 XP leveling is too fast for videogaming. Being DM for tabletop games I agree that levelup after 3-4 sessions is good gameplay balance.

    On other hand I strongly dislike messing with leveling rules.

    For example Pierre did remarkable design for KoTC. And I believe messing with 3.5e rules was the biggest erroneous design decision he did for KoTC2, which is NOT 3.5e D&D. He swayed too much from original rules. He went even further than Pathfinder did.

    In real-time tactical game combat is quick. But in turn-based it is not.
     
  6. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    I agree .... but I will never forget that single moment in all of those more or less hack n slash games when in IWD2 my invisible thief was scouting ahead like usual when he saw this big group of really nasty enemies and then all of a sudden one of the oppsosing spellcaster used "see invisibility". Wow, I was so impressed I just could watch my pour thief getting slaughtered within moments.
     
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  7. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    That's the code:
    Code:
    IF
        ForceMarkedSpell(MARKED_SPELL)
        SetSpellTarget(Nothing)
        See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0)
    THEN
        RESPONSE #100
            MarkSpellAndObject("2104",[PC.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.CLASSMASK_GROUP_WARRIORS],SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_CHARM_PERSON]
            MarkSpellAndObject("21122118",[PC],SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE, WIZARD_CHROMATIC_ORB]
            MarkSpellAndObject("211221182318",LastMarkedObject,SPELLCAST_IGNORE_SEE | SPELLCAST_IGNORE_VALID_SPELL_TARGET | SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE, WIZARD_CHROMATIC_ORB, WIZARD_ICELANCE]
            MarkSpellAndObject("2205",[PC],SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_HORROR]
            MarkSpellAndObject("2220",ThirdNearestEnemyOf(Myself),SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_SNILLOCS_SNOWBALL_SWARM]
            MarkSpellAndObject("2203",Myself,SPELLCAST_IGNORE_SEE | SPELLCAST_IGNORE_VALID_SPELL_TARGET | SPELLCAST_RANDOM)  // [WIZARD_SEE_INVISIBILITY]
            Continue()
    
    It means, that that wizard had list of spells he would cast if applicable. First ones were not applicable as your Thief was invisible, therefore last spell is bound to be See Invisibility.

    Nice trick though )))

    In tabletop situation, I as DM, would constantly ask the Player to roll Move Silently vs Listen check. And when heard, then would do the See Invisibility or even start combat if foes were alarmed.
     
  8. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Thanks @FredSRichardson ! Well given 4 month of development is crazy, to say the least.

    It's another argument why encounters need to be redesigned :(
     
  9. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Does your code also make the NPC use spot/listen checks to determine if there is an actual threat present before casting See Invisibility? An invisible Rogue sneaking about is supposed to be exceptionally hard to find, auto-casting see invis in the first moment an invis character sneaks into the area is too unfair in the NPC's favour IMO.

    RE: IWD II XP balance - from the experience I've had with IWD so far, my advice would be to use ToEE's engine to the advantage of the conversion. The IWD II team obviously got building D&D 3.X game design wrong whereas ToEE didn't. So use the base IWD II game as a script, and make it 3.5 compliant to take advantage of what ToEE's engine brings to the table.

    EG: Your 7th level Goblin Wizard Boss with Int 13 obviously should be using the Elite Array for stats (adjusted by Goblin racial abilities) as it is a named Character, not rank and file goblin cannon fodder so they would have an Int score of 15 - not 13.

    Elite Array:
    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm
    Goblin's as PC's:
    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/goblin.htm

    A lot of time and effort was put into a Co8 mod to fix the stat lines for every creature in ToEE to accurately reflect their pen and paper contemporaries, and it fixed a lot of issues in the process - so I would urge you to do this from the beginning. In IWD at least (not checked IWD II) most NPC's and humanoid monsters had ability scores of 9 for everything instead of the elite/non-elite array as they should have.

    Set CR's to what they should be in 3.5 D&D. ToEE has a built in method to scale the XP gained already, so there is no need to tailor the XP to match the original IWD II, just use the proper values, let the game do the work the right way and adjust the XP% gained once you have a good frame of reference to adjust it to.

    IE: For IWD, I added all the encounters and quests for the whole prologue chapter and completed that section of both the original game and ToEE conversion with the default party from the original game (I recreated and included those characters in the mod as well), and compared the levels of each party at the end of the Prologue Chapter after defeating all combats and quests identically. I then fine tuned the XP% gained until both parties were approximately the same level - just after reaching Party Level 4. IIRC the ToEE conversion party originally topped out around level 6, so I reduced XP% gained to reflect what level they should be at that point in the game.
     
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  10. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Thanks for good advices, @Allyx :)

    My thinking of requirements would be:
    • Stay with XP granted by encounters and / or a map.
      • So if some wilderness map would grant 1000 XP it should remain somewhat the same.
      • Leave room for XP tuning.
    • Stay with monsters given, e.g. race, role (melee, archer, etc), but redesign levels and quantity of NPC
    • Leave XP modifier to be 50%. Due to videogame, not tabletop.
    • Stay true to D&D 3.5 rules. So no CR altering, e.g. Fighter 4 should be counted as CR 4, and not altered to be CR 2 for less XP.
      • So if CR expected, levels, HP etc should correspond to CR.
    • Give "power game abilities boost" to monsters. Not sure Elite Array would suffice. It's not tabletop PB 25, bit Point Buy 38!
      • This is Pathfinder's approach. They increased PCs abilities but also increased abilities for monsters.
      • For example increase all abilities by 2 or 4 points, plus 2-4 natural armor bonus. That would compensate for Point Buy 38 power play initial PC stats.
    As for Stealth - it's impossible to be hidden in plain sight, except, off course, when you do have such feat (extraordinary ability) of Hide in Plain Sight)). I think it grants -20 to hide check.

    In any case Hide works very differently in ToEE, and is not worth buffing up in practice.
     
  11. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Re: Monsters, they should have their own stats from the Monsters Manual - they should not be using the Elite or Non-elite array which are for NPC's of humanoid races (then adjusted by racial adjustments)

    Re: Difficulty, I think tuning Monster stats up to Hard Mode by default breaks the players expectations of those encounters, 3rd edition is over 20 years old now and while not perfect, is still well loved by people who enjoy a crunchier D&D (and/or Pathfinder 1e) than the current edition of D&D, straying from the RAW for any reason will upset some people. And it may even make this conversion unbeatable if the game's original fights are reproduced verbatim and the difficulty is also increased, people may not even be able to complete Chapter 1 let alone the remainder of the game.

    Re Sneaking: Sneaking while Invisible is not the same as Sneaking in Plain Sight. Invisibility grants a +20 to your hide check if you are moving, or +40 if not. Your NPC should be checking Spot and more importantly perhaps Listen vs the Rogues Move Silently (not affected by Invisibility) before casting See Invisibility as without seeing OR hearing the Rogue's presence they would have no reason to suspect there was an Invisible creature nearby.
     
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  12. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Well, as Dungeon Master for 4 years and more than tabletop 80 sessions, I got to tell you that MM monsters are easy even if PC created with 25 Point Buy (with 15 top ability), plus half HP for PC as well. Not to tell you about some broken classes like Warlock or Tome of Battle classes.

    We even experimented with full HP for PC and Monsters, which led to boring "safe" combat.

    It started to become more interesting for Players when I lowered starting PC level for high level adventures. So if 8th level is recommended for some adventure I would set level 7 for everybody.

    For example, there are several Orc Archers in one of the encounters of Shaegan River map. Each Orc Archer has DEX 10 (!), CON 11 (but HP: 8?) and level 1 Fighter. He has Attack Bonus of 1 and, unexpected for me, simple Longbow actually grants +1 attack bonus as well. I guess it's leftover from the IWD1.

    In any case attack of +2 means that they will hit 20 AC guy in 10% chance and a Wizard AC 17 (3 DEX + 4 Magic Armor) for 25%.

    So even if you swap STR 13 => DEX 13 due to Archery role, such Orc would have +2 attack: +1 BAB, +1 DEX. And maybe +1 from Weapon Focus Longbow: Atk = +3

    KoTC from Orc Fort had also Orc Archers, but they had 12-15 range for random abilities, focused on DEX. That's in the game and in my unfinished port. It's +4 Atk.

    Atk of +4 means that they will hit 20 AC guy in 20% chance and a Wizard AC 17 (3 DEX + 4 Magic Armor) for 35%. If you add Bless (+1 atk) from some Shaman - now we are talking. Btw, +1 atk leads to +5% hit chance. E.g. hit 20 AC guy in 25% chance and a Wizard AC 17 (3 DEX + 4 Magic Armor) for 40%.

    So as you can see, increasing abilities by 2 led to very interesting gameplay.
     
  13. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Your Orc Archers are using the Warrior NPC class - basically the same as a 1st level fighter but D8 Hit dice, with less Feats and Skill Points. Maybe he had Weapon Focus Longbow for the +1
    An Orc with the Non-elite array would have ability scores of STR 17, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 8, WIS 7, CHA 6. So it's clear the ability scores you are reading off are incorrect RAW, yes you could swap the STR and Dex around for the extra benefit, sure.
    I understand the numbers, and I understand some people want a challenging game, and while I would also LIKE a Hard Mode option, I don't beleive it should be the DEFAULT option. Not everyone power games ToEE. Not everyone is super familiar with the 3.5 ruleset, especially now that "D&D lite" or 5e as some people call it is drawing many newer players into the hobby.

    We here at the Co8 always primarily focus on RAW as the default option. If it's in the 3.5 SRD, it should be the same in Co8. I'm not trying to dictate my personal view here, but to convey to you that the communal expectation of Co8 members is that our content IS the game they expect to be playing using the 3.5 RAW.
     
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  14. hammyh

    hammyh Established Member

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    For the iwd2EE beta version access, you can post an access request here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussi...d-chimera-group-is-looking-for-playtesters/p1 or you can simply msg OlvynChuru and ask to be allowed to test (his msg details are in the linked thread. I don't think this would be a problem, as the whole point is to have more players try it and see how it plays. Iwd2EE is at the point where the main focus is catching all the bugs of the changes.

    That said, imho the best way to approach this is to play a complete game of vanilla first -even if that does get a little boring for you.

    Then, request access to the Iwd2EE beta, play around with the various new features, and try.

    This would give you more insight to what changes were added to make it more interesting/fun. And also, you would have access to the Iwd2EE discord. This forum has some general discussion threads, which I'd think would be appropriate for any questions you might have about anything Iwd2->Iwd2EE. Like any mod, it has a concept direction...but the author(s) are quite willing to discuss the reasoning for the various additions to the mod.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
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  15. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Doesn't IWD2 have difficulty options to address just that sort of thing?
     
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