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of Winter Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is
Heart of Winter?
A: Heart of Winter is an expansion pack to Black Isle Studios' previous
release, Icewind Dale. You must have a copy of Icewind Dale installed on
your computer in order to play the expansion, but you don't have to have
played the original Icewind Dale in order to play the new areas in the expansion.
is developing/publishing Heart of Winter? A: Heart of Winter is being
developed and published by Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay
Entertainment Corp. The Heart of Winter team consists of much of the core
team from Icewind Dale, most of whom also served tours of duty on the
award-winning Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment CRPGs.
engine is Heart of Winter using? A: Heart of Winter is an expansion
pack to Icewind Dale, so we're using the modified version of the BioWare
Infinity Engine that was used for Icewind Dale with improvements from
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and a few others developed by Black Isle
Studios. The Infinity Engine is the core game engine that was used in
Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment.
rules system is Heart of Winter using? A: Heart of Winter uses AD&D
Second Edition rules, the same system used in Icewind Dale, but some of
the special powers and abilities in the Third Edition are available in
the expansion. As an example, thieves will have access to Sneak Attack
and Crippling Strike abilities, and the new spell progression tables for
rangers and paladins have been taken from the Third Edition rules as well
because… well, just because it's cool.
I bring my characters from Icewind Dale? A: Yes. Whether you are halfway
through an Icewind game or have finished Icewind Dale, you can transfer
your characters over with all items, experience, and spells intact and
ready to kick some monster tail. There is only one provision - all of
your characters must be at least 9th level in order to explore the Heart
of Winter (for multi-class and dual-class, this level 9 cap is the sum
of all the character's levels, so a 5th level fighter/4th level mage could
travel to the expansion if they wanted to).
is there a level minimum for the Heart of Winter? A: Just trust us.
We're looking out for you.
I just play Heart of Winter without playing Icewind Dale? A: Absolutely.
You can either generate some brand-new characters of your own, or you
can choose from pre-generated party members available in the expansion.
I uninstalled Icewind Dale, can I play Heart of Winter? A: No, you'll
need to have Icewind Dale installed on your computer in order to play
Heart of Winter.
if some of my characters died at the end of Icewind Dale? A: Never
fear. As long as you beat the endgame, the computer will have saved your
characters and recorded their information (minus their death, poisoned,
diseased, or other harmful states) and will allow you to import them into
the expansion with no hassles. So don't run through the end battle again
and again to make sure that none of your party members die - as long as
one of your characters survives, all your party members will be ship-shape
when you go to Heart of Winter.
I'm in the middle of playing Icewind Dale, can I still play Heart of Winter?
A: Absolutely - when the expansion is installed, you'll be able to travel
to the Heart of Winter within the game, provided you are at least 9th
Level and you can find someone to take you there.
do I get to the expansion while playing Icewind Dale? A: The expansion
can be reached via a small house in the great tree town of Kuldahar (a
town which you'll come across early on in Icewind Dale). This house was
formerly locked up tight in Icewind Dale, but once the expansion is installed
the door will unlock and you can head on in.
does Heart of Winter add to Icewind Dale? A: Other than the new areas
available in Heart of Winter, you'll also have a lot of new features,
spells, items, interface mechanics, and special abilities available to
you once the expansion is installed. Here's a short list of what you can
expect from Heart of Winter:
- New Portraits
- New Player
Character Sound Sets
- New Experience
Point Cap for All Character Classes, Allowing Them to Reach 30th Level
- New Experience
Point Tables for Druids, Allowing Them to Advance to Much Higher Levels
Resolution (800 x 600) - and even more detailed resolutions for the
especially brave (although these higher resolutions are not officially
- Drop Away
- Gem Bags,
Potion Bags, and Scroll Cases
- Cool New
Special Abilities for Bards, Thieves, Paladins, Druids, and Rangers
- New Priest,
Druid, and Wizard Spells
- New Spell
- Hot Key
That Highlights Normal Doors and Ground Items
to Buy Multiple Items from Stores
Special Abilities for Paladins, Rangers, Thieves, Bards, and Druids
(Much thanks to BioWare corporation for several of the new features
above, which were pioneered in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
kind of "Cool New Special Abilities" are we talking about? A: Bards
get a selection of different songs they can play as they go up in levels
that give their allies additional luck, bonuses to damage, regeneration,
and improved saving throws, rangers can now "track" on every map in the
game, paladins can smite their enemies with holy light, druids can transform
into elementals, and thieves can perform Sneak Attacks and hit their opponents
with Crippling Strikes. And that's just a few of the new abilities these
does Heart of Winter take place? A: Heart of Winter takes place a
little north of where Icewind Dale took place. Icewind Dale itself is,
well, set in Icewind Dale, the setting for the popular Icewind Dale trilogy
of books, written by R.A. Salvatore http://www.rasalvatore.com/
, and published by Wizards of the Coast. In the Heart of Winter, your
party arrives in Lonelywood, the northernmost (and smallest) of the Ten
Towns of Icewind Dale. Suffice to say, trouble rears its ugly head not
long after you arrive.
many new areas will we have to explore? A: Heart of Winter contains
five new major areas, including the beginning town of Lonelywood. Each
of these areas has numerous sub-locations, so gather your exploring gear
and wrap your cloak around you - some of these new locations are pretty
much playtime are we looking at in Heart of Winter? A: Current estimates
place Heart of Winter's playtime at 20 to 30 hours. Not counting bathroom
you get any NPCs to join your party in Heart of Winter? A: You won't
have any NPCs in your party. You'll be creating your entire, six-person,
party at the beginning of the game, or you may choose to use a selection
of pre-generated player characters provided in the game.
we be able to use our characters or NPCs from Baldur's Gate? A: No,
you'll be creating a new party of one to six characters with which to
explore Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter. You cannot use characters or
save games from Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldur's Gate I, Tales
of the Sword Coast, or Planescape: Torment.
I play a Drow? A: Only cosmetically. You can change you characters'
skin to black and hair to white, but there are no rules in the game to
give dark elves their Underdark powers.
there any new magic items? A: Oh, yes - our resident itemsmith, J.E.
Sawyer, has been industrious. Expect a bunch of new magic items scattered
throughout the Heart of Winter, some of which are placed in specific areas
or on specific creatures, others of which have been incorporated into
the random treasure tables. So keep an eye out for them - once you get
a hold of one, you won't be disappointed. Though your enemies might be.
there any new spells? A: There are over fifty new spells in Heart
of Winter. These spells have been equally divided between the druid, cleric,
and wizard classes, so feel free to unleash your new arsenal of magic
on your enemies. Some of these spells have alignment restrictions (Unholy
Word, for example, can only be cast by evil characters... for obvious
reasons), some are reversals on more common spells (Cause Light Wounds
instead of Cure Light Wounds, Cause Disease instead of Cure Disease),
and some are brand new, never-seen-before spells. The team has taken care
that the new spells are spread out across many different spell levels,
all the way from 1st Level to 7th Level for priests, and all the way up
to 8th Level for wizards.
are some of these new spells? A: Expect spells like Seven Eyes, a
7th level wizard spell, which summons a series of protective eyes that
defend against specific attacks and can be employed as special abilities.
Soul Eater, a 6th level wizard spell, does damage to creatures, but on
a successful kill, will raise a skeleton from the remains under the control
of the caster. Blood Rage, a 5th level priest spell, can make a character
tough and extremely powerful in melee, but you lose control of the character
and can no longer track his or her hit points. And that's just a few of
the spells you'll be able to use to hammer your foes into submission.
there any new monsters? A: The Heart of Winter introduces a horde
of new beasts for your party to put into graves. Aside from the Uthgart
barbarians themselves, you'll be slugging it out with giant polar worms
(Remorhaz), the specters of wailing virgins, waterlogged drowned dead,
and vicious barrow wights.
whips, flamberges, or any other new types of weapons in Heart of Winter?
A: The Heart of Winter adds no new weapon types to Icewind Dale, though
there are many new kinds of magic weapons to match every weapon type from
the original game.
changes to Weapon Specialization in Heart of Winter? A: Weapon specialization
works the same as it did in Icewind Dale. Paladins, rangers, and multi-classed
fighters are allowed to get two "stars" (specialization) in all weapon
groups (unless prohibited by another class combination). Single class
fighters are allowed to get up to five "stars" (Grand Mastery) in all
weapons other than bows and crossbows. Single class fighters are allowed
to get three "stars" (Mastery) in bows and crossbows. This change was
made to balance melee and missile weapons appropriately. Don't worry,
though, bows and crossbows are still powerful weapons in the game.
we play specialty priests in Heart of Winter? A: Clerics in Heart
of Winter are still general-purpose clerics -- they're better suited to
the role of a general-purpose warrior, healer, and undead blaster.
resolution does Heart of Winter run in? A: Heart of Winter supports
a greater screen resolution than Icewind Dale, allowing you to play in
800 x 600 resolution. You can also run the game 1024x768, 1280x960, 1600x1200,
and 2048x1536 resolution, but these greater resolutions are not officially
are the system requirements for Heart of Winter? A: Tentatively, these
are the required and recommended specifications for Heart of Winter:
32 MB RAM
Additional 200 MB of hard drive for installation
64 MB RAM
Additional 600 MB of hard drive for installation
time frame does the expansion take place? A: The expansion takes place
at the same time as Icewind Dale -- in the year 1281, the Year of the
Cold Soul. This is before the Time of Troubles.
we meet any historical characters like Drizzt or Wulfgar in the expansion?
A: No, as in Icewind Dale, the expansion takes place about 16 years prior
to the first recorded mention of Drizzt and about 80 years before Wulfgar
is even born.
there any new races, classes, or dual/multi class combinations? A:
No, they're all the same as they were in Icewind Dale.
many CDs will the expansion come on? A: Just one CD, though you'll
need to already have Icewind Dale installed in order to play the expansion.
there a level cap, and if so, what is it? A: The Heart of Winter raises
the experience point cap for all player characters, allowing them to reach
30th level (although accumulating enough experience points for this to
happen can take a very long time, and may not occur if you're playing
the game straight through - unless you're playing the "Heart of Fury"
mode, described below). Druids have a brand new experience point table
that allows them to reach higher levels.
many new portraits and voice sets are in the expansion? A: Jason Manley
has done several new portraits for the expansion (ten at the moment, and
the list is growing), and we may release more portraits for download as
time permits. We also have six new voice sets in the expansion, three
female and three male.
we import customized portraits and voice sets in the expansion? A:
Yes. You can import portraits into the Heart of Winter in the same manner
as Icewind Dale.
the best type of class-party mixture for the expansion? A: As in Icewind
Dale, a "nuclear" party (including a fighter, thief, cleric, and mage)
will always have at least one person appropriate for all situations, but
any class-party mixture can make it through the expansion. Thieves, bards,
druids, paladins, and rangers, however, have been given additional special
abilities that allow them to stand out (and strike down their enemies)
Heart of Winter as non-linear as Icewind Dale? A: The Heart of Winter
expansion is as linear as Icewind Dale. Just like Icewind Dale, however,
dialogue options and NPC reactions can change according to the speaker's
race, alignment, class, gender, or ability scores. You can also play through
the expansion multiple times and find many new and unique magic items.
the story of Heart of Winter? A: War is brewing in the North, and
the combined might of the barbarian tribes is preparing to sweep down
on the Ten-Towns. At the request of a barbarian shaman named Hjollder,
you'll travel to the northern-most of the Ten-Towns, the small town of
Lonelywood, to avert a battle and save the North from destruction. Along
the way, there's a lot of history, restless spirits, bloodshed, backstabbing,
broken hearts, dirty politics, and a little bit of fate and destiny sprinkled
in to whet your adventuring appetites.