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Ineth

Story/lore similarities with "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter" - coincidence?

  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you explain this similarity?

    • Coincidence.
      3
    • Josh Sawyer really has a thing for those themes.
      5
    • Josh Sawyer's underlings in the PoE team *assumed* he has a thing for those themes based on his previous work, and tried to imitate it to kiss up to him.
      2
    • Don't know / Other / Your mom / This poll is stupid
      4


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After finishing PoE, I felt the urge to play some Icewind Dale (IWD) again, so I loaded up a savegame from the Heart of Winter (HoW) expansion of that game - and couldn't help but notice some of the same themes I had just encountered in PoE. For example, both games prominently feature:

  • A long-running historical conflict between a "less civilized but more-in-tune-with-nature" indigenous people, and settlers with a more European-ish culture - with these properties:
    • The natives are in a more "direct" contact with the gods.
    • The natives feel displaced by the settlers, but are no innocent pacifists themselves.
    • The threat of attacks by the natives' war parties shapes both the backstory and contemporary events.
  • A "Burial Isle" of the natives, that becomes important for the main plot of the game.
  • A monster type ("Cean Gŵla" / "Wailing Virgins") based on the idea of "women who died under particularly tragic or traumatic circumstances" who are now, in death, taking "revenge" against any living who cross their paths, and are one of the toughest monster type in the game.

 

And who was one of the main designers of HoW? The very same Josh Sawyer who was also the "Project Director" and "Design Lead" of PoE! :yes:

Coincidence?

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Well, Dyrwood is based on the USA, so the Glanfathans are supposed to be Native Americans, but also draw inspiration from the Celts. 

 

So, not really a coincidence, as much as "both games draw on the same source material, since Josh Sawyer already knows it well from his previous work." 

Have a very nice day.

-fgalkin

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Really? A conflict between nature and civilization, a necropolis, and banshees are your evidence of sameyness? Isn't that all fantasy gaming 101?

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Really, you couldn't find more generic tropes if you tried. Just click through the links at TVTropes' Noble Savage entry, and you will stumble over lots of those themes, and with probably thousands of other works of all genres to use them.


Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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Really? A conflict between nature and civilization, a necropolis, and banshees are your evidence of sameyness?

 

You dropped some of the specifics there to make the examples sound more generic than they are.

 

For example it's not just that "some place with lots of graves exists somewhere in the game" (which would indeed be very generic); it is in both games:

  • A burial isle that has to be reached by boat/raft
  • that is used by the natives (rather than the settlers)
  • and has to be visited as part of the main plot
  • and is literally called "Burial Isle" on the world map.

Considering that there are not too many games in this genre (classic isometric party-based fantasy cRPG), that's a rather particular similarity for two of them to share methinks.

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Uh, you do realize that Islands of the Dead were a big part of Celtic culture, right, because their afterlife was supposedly set on an island? 

 

That's like saying PoE is the same as Mass Effect, and the same as Halo, because both involve technology built by an ancient civilization.

 

Have a very nice day.

-fgalkin

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Really? A conflict between nature and civilization, a necropolis, and banshees are your evidence of sameyness? Isn't that all fantasy gaming 101?

Um, it's done by basically the same team. He's not accusing them of ripping off Tolkein.

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I noticed the burial isle thing as well, in the easter egg thread. The game is full of references to the other IE games and that is mostly certainly a deliberate nod. Remember, the Fallout series also featured "natives" prominently.

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