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Icewind Dale Sequels

IWD Forgotten Realms Faerun

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#1
Krikkert

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So, Fergus and Josh, and whoever else are there from the good old days (Black Isle), when will you throw everything else to the side and return *home* to Icewind Dale?? I'm talking about Icewind Dale 3. and IWD 4. and IWD 5... and possibly IWD 6, eventually. If this doesn't tickle players' fancy, then I don't know what will?

 

Many Obsidians on these forums may be too young to have played the blockbuster work of art the original game from 2000 happened to be (and they may not have played the sequel either), at least not when it was fresh and sitting top of the world. It's time to take RPG home to the dale, for the old guard's sake, such as me, having passed 30 now, and for the younger generation. No?

 

Surely, it can't be impossible to obtain the necessary licence(s) to get going with this? What are you waiting for??? I've been waiting for IWD 3 for some 17 years now, and I'm still waiting. I'm aching to return to the dale, the north beckons.

Even to this day, I've never laid eyes on a place more magical than the town of Kuldahar. I want to return. I need to return. Vale fo Shadows, Temple of the Forgotten God, Dorn's Deep, you name it... The feeling we had while walking through those great halls, temples and dungeons was that of sheer ancient and mystery. Not to mention the history that clung to the walls of these places, of which you could learn bits and pieces by reading journals and written pages you came across as you explored…

Sometimes, almost out of the blue, that gloriously pompous main theme of Jeremy Soule's come to me in my mind, as well as other themes from the soundtrack, and there's a mixture of nostalgic beauty :wub: and a stab of disappointment  :banghead:  as I feel how much I miss the place.

 

Do move IWD 3 to the top of your list of priorities  :biggrin:


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#2
Amentep

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I love IWD, but unless Microsoft gets the D&D license, I doubt Obs will have anything to do with an IWD3 if it happens.

 

But since we're reminiscing, the thing that comes back to me from IWD at times is when someone says "promise", I hear in the back of my mind Kresselack saying "Promise? I made you no promise..."

 

RIP Tony Jay.


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#3
Krikkert

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I love IWD, but unless Microsoft gets the D&D license, I doubt Obs will have anything to do with an IWD3 if it happens.

 

But since we're reminiscing, the thing that comes back to me from IWD at times is when someone says "promise", I hear in the back of my mind Kresselack saying "Promise? I made you no promise..."

 

RIP Tony Jay.

 

Yeah. Kresselack the Black Wolf. "Promise? I made you no promise, adventerurer." There weren't many voiced characters in the game (or in any game in general at the time), but the the ones that were; Kresselack, Arundel, Everard, Larrel and such, great voice acting. Always a highlight encountering them. Lots of highlights in that game to be sure.

 

Why is it important that Microsoft has the licence? Am I missing something? Has it to do with cost/finances or creative freedom? I admit I don't know whether we are talking about great sums when buying a licence like this. I also imagine that there potentially could be a matter of the developers having their hands tied a little on the creative side of things if the owners of D&D (Wizards of the Coast, is it?) say you can't do this and you can't that. So I imagine that if obtaining the licence it would have to be With full freedom.


Edited by Krikkert, 25 January 2019 - 01:10 AM.


#4
Amentep

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Obsidian doesn't have a D&D license so unless they or Microsoft license the IWD setting from Hasbro/WotC they are not going to be able to make a game in the setting (even if they want to, which we also don't know that they do).



#5
Krikkert

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Obsidian doesn't have a D&D license so unless they or Microsoft license the IWD setting from Hasbro/WotC they are not going to be able to make a game in the setting (even if they want to, which we also don't know that they do).

 

Yeah. I know Obsidian doesn't have the licence, which is why I spoke of obtaining it in my original post. I'm just unsure why Microsoft would be in the picture. It seems strange to me that Microsoft having the licence would help Obsidian towrads this end, but again, maybe I'm missing something here.

 

Either way, I would find it extremely odd, and unlikely, that Obsidian wouldn't want to make IWD 3, and possibly more after that. They know how much the fans cherish IWD, and one should think that the people involved in making IWD would feel the same way. 

For all I know, maybe they did try to obtain licence. I just know I miss it, and live in some futile hope that we'll all travel back to the dale some day.



#6
majestic

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Yeah. I know Obsidian doesn't have the licence, which is why I spoke of obtaining it in my original post. I'm just unsure why Microsoft would be in the picture.

 

Cuz they liek, own Obz. :biggrin:



#7
Chairchucker

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I got the impression that one of the reasons they kinda liked moving away from D&D games is not being bound by the restraints of someone else's IP.



#8
Krikkert

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Yeah. I know Obsidian doesn't have the licence, which is why I spoke of obtaining it in my original post. I'm just unsure why Microsoft would be in the picture.

 

Cuz they liek, own Obz. :biggrin:

 

 

Seriously ? Oh, well. Ok.



#9
Krikkert

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I got the impression that one of the reasons they kinda liked moving away from D&D games is not being bound by the restraints of someone else's IP.

 

Yeah. A matter of creative freedom then.



#10
kanisatha

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Yeah. I know Obsidian doesn't have the licence, which is why I spoke of obtaining it in my original post. I'm just unsure why Microsoft would be in the picture.

 

Cuz they liek, own Obz. :biggrin:

 

 

Seriously ? Oh, well. Ok.

Yup, and inXile too. Both were bought by Microsoft last November.

 

As @Chairchucker said, working with a D&D license has become a major pain in the ass on account of how overprotective WotC has become lately. Developers would rather just make a game similar to the old IE games but where they own the IP.



#11
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I'm not convinced it would 100% prevent them from making a D&D game if they had an idea they liked - after all, they were still kinda keen on making a Star Wars: Knights of the New Republic game semi-recently - but I remember someone saying that they appreciated having their own IPs because they had full creative control. Also with their own IP there's no licensing fees or anything.

 

I still want Archer Protocol tho.



#12
AeonsLegend

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Wasn't Icewind Dale just a dungeon crawler without much of a story? If that's going to stay the same I'd say it's a waste of Obsidians time.

 

Wasn't a blockbuster either. Didn't even sell half as many copies as Baldur's Gate which was released much earlier.


Edited by AeonsLegend, 27 January 2019 - 05:53 AM.


#13
kanisatha

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Wasn't Icewind Dale just a dungeon crawler without much of a story? If that's going to stay the same I'd say it's a waste of Obsidians time.

 

Wasn't a blockbuster either. Didn't even sell half as many copies as Baldur's Gate which was released much earlier.

Not quite. It did have a solid story, and sold well enough for BIS to see a decent profit. As IwD2 was being released discussion had begun on an IwD3, but then BIS imploded and that was that.



#14
Krikkert

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Wasn't Icewind Dale just a dungeon crawler without much of a story? If that's going to stay the same I'd say it's a waste of Obsidians time.

 

Wasn't a blockbuster either. Didn't even sell half as many copies as Baldur's Gate which was released much earlier.

 

Some might call it a dungeon crawler, but I say it was much more. There certainly was a story. I would agree that the conclusion to the story was a bit simple and could have been a bit better, but the whole way to the end was awesome. There is no more combat in IWD vs monsters etc. than in BG2, the story was simply more linear, which is why some label it a dungeon crawler. I would say that linear is usually not a good thing, but in IWD's case the linearity kept the story focused and created a sense of urgency that BG2 never had.

Most of the game is spent searching for answers you do not yet have, looking for this "unknown evil" (as Arundel would put it). The game succeeds in creating that feeling of urgency and importance, that this is "do or die" for the people who live in Icewind Dale, and possibly beyond. So the lack of side-quests and secondary content feels about right, as your characters need to push on find the answers they seek, there's no time for anything else, and the game ended up being of significant and satisfactory length nonetheless. 

 

You compare with BG, and let's be honest - BG1 doesn't reach BG2 to the knees in terms of story, content, interaction and so forth. So I think BG2 is the natural comparison to IWD. They were even released more or less at the exact same time, in 2000. In BG2 you've "lost your soul" or somesuch to Irenicus, or at least been reduced, and you need to regain what has been lost, and yet you have the time to do so-called fed-ex quests and secondary side-quests aplenty. The result is that BG2 never had that sense of urgency that IWD had, despite your life hanging in the balance. IWD also didn't have many of those childish elements seen in BG, such as talking swords and spacehamsters and... well, the list goes on. You'd often get the sense that BG was trying to reach out to a child audience. The underlying tone in IWD was always serious and grave, which I always appreciated.

 

It's also the whole frame around the game in IWD. The art, the visuals, the sound, the amazing soundtrack, the spectacular level designs, and the absolute magic of the region Icewind Dale, so remote and "forgotten", so shut off from the rest of Faerun. The whole atmosphere and feeling around the place and the story, it was unique. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I loved BG2 too, but IWD stand shoulder-to-shoulder with BG2 in my book, probably taller too. But opinions differ, of course. That's fair. But to label IWD a simple dungeon crawler is not fair in any sort of way.

 

For the record, I don't think that the actual story itself of neither BG nor IWD can measure up to some of the best novels I've read. But that's how ambitious a game developer ought to be, in my opinion, on the narrative side of the things.


Edited by Krikkert, 27 January 2019 - 09:21 AM.

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#15
wih

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Icewind Dale was the first RPG I played. I don't like these open world games very much, probably because of Icewind Dale. Beside the nice atmosphere Icewind Dale had focused story and clear goals for the player. It felt like an adventure where you had to keep going through numerous obstacles and enemies. For me it didn't feel restricting, it felt like a challenge.



#16
AeonsLegend

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I played IWD, so I do know it. The story is fairly simple though and I wouldn't compare it to BG2 or 1 in terms of interaction. It's about 80 monster fights and dungeoning and 20% story. Baldurs Gate is more focussed on adventuring and exploring things in the world. It's true the main story is spread thin in BG1, but there's so much more going on that allows the world to come alive.

 

The story in IWD only really develops in the starting town. Everything outside is just killing monsters as much as possible. IWD 2 was even more of a dungeon crawler. The lack of party members also weighs on the game's identity. It's basically you and some made up adventurers with no identity.


Edited by AeonsLegend, 28 January 2019 - 11:38 AM.


#17
Chairchucker

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I enjoyed IWD (and the sequel) but found the stories super forgettable. I think the linearity didn't help in this regard; plot progression that consisted of 'talk to only available quest giver, clear out only available area, return to quest giver to complain that the thing you were looking for wasn't there,' didn't particularly excite me. Given the paper thin NPC interaction, I'd absolutely characterise it as a 'simple dungeon crawler.'

 

Not that that's necessarily bad. IWD2 was actually one of the IE games that I found the most replayable, but that was almost entirely down to the fact that levelling up 3E characters is way more engaging than levelling up 2E characters.


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#18
daven

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The music in the Icewind Dale games is fantastic. I prefer the BG games overall but there is something really appealing about Icewind Dale. 

 

I fancy going back to play it again now... I feel inspired! Never did complete ID2, that bloody Dragon's Eye bit is a complete nightmare when you're going back and forward through time.







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