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IWD2 isn't that bad...


ramza

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After having completed IWD1 last June and having reached today chapter five in IWD2, I believe I have played enough in order to make a comparison between those games. First of all, I like both of them. IWD was a pure dungeon-crawler, with few side-quest, little interaction with NPCs, very little story but had some positive points like the music, the landscapes, and the story behind each place you visited which gave some charm to those gloomy dungeons. On the other hand, while IWD2 is also a dungeon-crawler, I actually believe it is better than its predecessor. It has great music, some "glorious battles", nice landscapes AND (which is very important in my opinion) has several interesting sidequests, interaction with NPCs (wherever you go, you will meet someone to talk to and receive a quest). Moreover, IWD2 HAS a story: the bad guys appear in front of you early on (even if you knew their identity before that event) and actually HAVE a background story of hartred towards the Ten-Towns. While playing IWD1, I had the impression I was chasing ghosts, instead of discovering a vast plot against the 10 towns.

 

The only problems I can think of with IWD2 are that clearing some areas can sometimes become terribly annoying and boring (like the ice temple) and that some areas don't have a very profound background story (you just get some pieces of info about each place, but you do not discover step by step -through books or testimonies- what happened exactly to that place -like the way you did in IWD1).

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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Oddly enough there is more story in IWD2, it is better written and is more detailed. After saying that, the story in IWD was better, because I thought the premise of the story was silly in IWD2. IWD also had better atmosphere to its locations. Your right IWD did this very well when describing the history of the current location you were in. IWD2 couldn

Life is like a clam. Years of filtering crap then some bastard cracks you open and scrapes you into its damned mouth, end of story.

- Steven Erikson

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Many people in these forums have bashed IWD2 and were saying that it was the worst IE game. I had the same impression at first but as I went deeper into the game, I noticed some common points with BG2 (which is my favorite game). The main difference is that IWD2 doesn't have party interaction, but that is forgivable.

In addition to that, some people claimed that IWD1 is better. The point of my first post was to show that this wasn't exactly the case and that IWD2 was a strong solid game that didn't get enough advertisment in order to become a successful title.

 

Anyway, I would be glad to discuss with those of you who don't share the same opinion as me.

 

Cheers.

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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I'd just like to point out that I now find it impossible to read a post by you without thinking of how Jefferson showed up to say it was dead and forgotten  >_<

 

Ever since I kicked his sorry AsS, I seriously doubt that he will make another appearance... I don't like phony jeffersons after all...

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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Hey guys!!! Shame on you! :angry:

Don't digress, please! Only Ellester has given a serious answer until now...

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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Sarcasm... not appreciated...

 

^A cookie to the first one to name the cartoon that quote is from

 

Alright, I'll bite into this topic.

 

As many of you remember (yeah, right), once upon a time I helped develop and maintain a fansite for IWD2 (Icebound), which had the most up-to-date info on the game, including rules, storyline, dev quotes, and so on. During the game's development, I was quite active on the forums, discussing various aspects of the game with Josh and other devs. In one spoilerish thread before the game's release, I accidentally guessed a part of the storyline, and then asked the Overseer to ban me from the spoiler forums. Icebound staff received a copy of the IWD2 press preview demo (including the entire town of Targos), which impressed the hell out of me.

 

And then the game failed to be released once... then twice... followed by the less and less frequent appearances by the devs. Finally, the game shipped, and I obtained a copy. And frankly, I was somewhat disappointed. A big part in my disappointment was probably my own damn fault, as I expected the game to be something which it was not meant to be. All things considered, though, the game could have been more. And you know what - Josh publicly admitted that. He is the only dev I can recall who came out and said that he was not pleased with how the game turned out to be. For that, he'll always have my respect.

 

The rules were implemented fairly decently, and, what's more, the 2DA files allowed for the tweaking of a few rules which I did not find to be to my liking. Targos was still just as good as I remembered id, though I missed the 3D acceleration (which made the water look a whole lot better, IIRC). The game remained challenging throughout (I played on highest difficulty, non-HoF), but the middle areas just... didn't feel right. I've said this, and I'll say it again: Targos, the Underdark, and the Severed Hand were great. The Ice Palace, Fell Wood and surroundings, and Dragontooth? Ugh. Horrible. I was really surprised with the areas Dave Maldonado did - I enjoyed his work on Torment, but it just seems as if he couldn't quite make what he wanted with IWD2, and left those ideas half-finished. Maybe the programmers couldn't make his ideas work. Maybe he just experimented a bit too much. Who knows?

 

And then there were the bugs. I remember several very annoying bugs, including a few "features," such as the accidental omission of decent armor from the game (somewhat fixed in the patch, but the armor still pretty much sucked), and the incredibly poor random item generation tables ("Would you like a returning frost dart with that, m'lord?").

 

Overall, I'd rank the game the same as the original. It has an edge, graphics-wise and rules-wise, but it doesn't have the required atmosphere, and there is way too much combat - at some points, there were so many creatures on screen that my game slowed down to a crawl - which 3D acceleration would have probabaly fixed, but they never got around to putting it in.

 

In the end, I came to view IWD2 with certain animosity, considering that its development hindered the development of The Black Hound, and quite possibly nailed its coffin shut (even if BIS wasn't aware of this at the time). For this, I blame FU, and the corporate heads over at IPLY who encouraged the slam-dunk policy. IWD2 was supposed to be made in three months. An entire game! Then the dev team got another month extension, then another, then Josh pushed for the 3E rules, which certainly made the game better but took about two months to develop, then Vivendi screwed up publishing it on time, and so on. The rest is history.

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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All things considered, though, the game could have been more. And you know what - Josh publicly admitted that. He is the only dev I can recall who came out and said that he was not pleased with how the game turned out to be. For that, he'll always have my respect.

Actually, Peter Molyneaux did just that after Fable was released: a few weeks after the release of Fable he posted a public apology for hyping the game too much. I liked that.

 

Warren Spector did the opposite after Deus Ex: Invisible War came out. Almost every fan of Deus Ex thought the sequel stunk, but Spector kept insisting they were wrong and all the changes they'd made (unified ammo, removal of skills, even the crappy graphics engine) were the right ones. To me, that only means he's totally lost his sense for what gamers in general want, and he's also too stubborn to admit (or maybe he doesn't realize it?) when he's wrong. I didn't like that.

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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I liked IWD and IWD-II. They were alot of fun. Completely linear, lots of hack and slash - but lots of fun.

 

IWD-II had a good story - and did an especially good job with the mechanics of spells. :)

 

JE Sawyer was too critical of his work, I think.

As dark is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good.

If you would destroy evil, do good.

 

Evil cannot be perfected. Thank God.

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I liked both games as well. It's been quite awhile since I've played both but I thought the gameplay aspects IWD2 were on par with the original. I don't really remember being frustrated with anything about the gameplay.

 

Storywise, I think the original had a better story, or I rather I think it had a better antagonist, although he wasn't revealed until the end. IWDs main antagonists sounded childish in comparison.

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Both IWD games were a lot fun. One of those rare games that dosnt require any big suprises to make it work.

 

IWD II missed it's niche really, by the time it was out everything had moved on and it looked very archaic.

 

A lot of people found some of the areas frustrating too, although I rather enjoyed the change of pace. The traversing back and forth through an empty Dragons Eye though, that I could have done without (and thats solving the puzzle on the first try) I have great pity for anyone who got stuck in those events.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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A lot of people found some of the areas frustrating too, although I rather enjoyed the change of pace. The traversing back and forth through an empty Dragons Eye though, that I could have done without (and thats solving the puzzle on the first try) I have great pity for anyone who got stuck in those events.

Yea, this was a big complaint; Dragons Eye and the quests/puzzles you had to do to move on. I remember a lot of people whining about this area. Even I

Life is like a clam. Years of filtering crap then some bastard cracks you open and scrapes you into its damned mouth, end of story.

- Steven Erikson

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Personally I dislike IWD2 primarily for the fact that it feels like you are entering a series of ambushes one after another. This I felt most acutely during the first chapter on the way to shaengarne ford and the Goblin base. Of course it would make sense that there are guards standing vigil over various strategic points but it doesn't add to playability imo. I actively question the use of Wilderness lore in the game cos in pretty much every map except fellwood it is useless. If you want to know what units you are going to face on the stage you just need to pause the game after the loading screen and look at all the units already arrayed against you. Furthermore it did feel just like a hack 'n' slash with little or no respite and limited variation. Having played HoF mode up to the destruction of Viscermera (or whatever it's called) in the underdark I can say that there is no improvement in that mode. It wasn't particularly hard (though the ambushes and 'cutscenes' deserve special mention as some of the most malicious manifestations of bastardly behaviour displayed by the BI team!) as the same startegy fitted every encounter - summnos out front - a few high level spells, bows and twelve paces did the rest!

 

Personally I felt that Isair and Madae were a bit ****e as enemies and the whole setup proved very predictable and missable. IMO if you don't already have IWD2 but like BG, BG2 and/or PS:T you should give this a miss cos the advantages of 3ed rules and 1024x768 display fade v. fast!

 

IWD2 = a bit **** really imo!

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