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Dale 2 Interview with Doug Avery (09/04/2002)
acting in the original Icewind Dale was something most people were not
very pleased with. Can we expect a wider and more varied selection of
sound sets to pick from this time around?
are including all of the original character voices from both Icewind
Dale and Heart of Winter along with some new ones that we recorded
in the studio while we were doing our voice over sessions. I think
that players will appreciate the detail and consistency that is
used throughout the game with regard to our voices.
portraits in Icewind Dale and its expansions were excellent. Will all
the previous portraits be included in IWD2? How many new ones can we expect?
once again all of the original portraits by Jason Manley and Kevin Llewellyn
are included as well as some original work by Justin Sweet. Justin has
done some published work for Wizards of the Coast on their new FR Dungeon
Master's Screen and it is really impressive.
High-Level Class abilities (as seen in Throne of Bhaal) going to be implemented
in IWD2? If not, are you implementing anything similar to it?
high-level abilities are going to be used other than the ones listed in
the PHB. Instead we've implemented a true 3E feat system that allows players
to choose new feats to complement their particular characters. They will
also be able to select new feats as they level up based upon their characters'
races and classes.
was the decision to go about implementing kits made? Did you always plan
on changing/adding them according to the wishes of those fans who frequent
your message boards?
note: At the time this interview was submitted kits were still in.)
intended to use kits from the get go as we had the code from BG2
and it was pretty trivial to implement. The decision to cut the
kits and go with true 3E multi-classing was nowhere near trivial
and involved huge code changes. The kits have gone the way of the
dodo, but with feats and skills you can recreate your kit character
pretty easily. We've also taken some of the abilities that were
going to be kit specific and changed them to feats. Paladins, Clerics
and Monks can choose the god / order they follow which can have
an impact on the abilities of your character as well.
have heard that many extra powerful items will be available exclusively
in the 'Heart of Fury' mode. For those not familiar with it, could you
explain what this mode is and give examples of some of the items?
in Icewind Dale II we're calling it improved Heart of Fury mode (I know,
semantics). What this means is that after you've successfully completed
the game during the course of regular gameplay, you can go back and play
but this time in a super tough mode, but still using the
same party you beat the game with. The maximum monster difficulty is automatically
selected when you choose Heart of Fury mode, but the rewards are well
worth the risks. Every unique item in the game has a HoF counterpart.
This item will generally retain its more mundane attributes, but the item
will have additional powers or special abilities that make it a must for
HoF mode survival.
prompted you to change the game's interface and could you illustrate what
the new interface will be like? (Any similarities to that of Planescape:
Torment perhaps?) Will the inventory screen and others be changed as well?
decided to go forward with this alteration because we were making
so many changes to the rules that we needed a better way for the
player to interact with the game. Almost every single screen has
been or is being changed. The inventory no longer has a paperdoll
associated with your character. You will see the avatar represented
instead (the small character used in the game). You can also set
up weapon combos which will allow your characters to swap their
weapons out on the fly without having to return to the inventory
interface. The interface has styling similar to Planescape: Torment,
but it is all brand new. The spell icons have been redone by Brian
Menze, the artist responsible for the PS: T icons.
the items, weapons and the like in Icewind Dale 2 going to be brand new,
or will you include items from the original Icewind Dale and the expansions?
Possibly even some items from Baldur's Gate 2 or Throne of Bhaal?
items are being brought over from the BG series. We are only using a few
unique items from the original series. The vast majority of our unique
and Heart of Fury items were specifically created for this game. All new
icons have been made for all of the new items in the game and they have
their own style that is unique to IWD2. The generic items will remain
the same though.
druid class in the original Icewind Dale was poor in most regards. While
this has been remedied somewhat in the expansion, have any further improvements
been made to it in Icewind Dale 2?
will now get most of their 3E abilities in Icewind Dale II. This should
make them a much more viable alternative to a standard priest and also
a really cool class to multi-class to.
kind of new monsters will we fight in Icewind Dale 2? Please describe
hmmm. Visually, I really like the Driders, creatures
that are half dark elf and half giant spider. In terms of cool factor,
the Goblin Worg Rider is my favorite because the rider can be knocked
off his mount. Spookiness would have to be the Feyr because they
are really freaky looking. These are just my personal favorites
and they by no means represent all of the cool critters in the game.
our characters be able to summon familiars or animal companions?
can summon in animals in the traditional sense using Summon Nature's Ally,
or a similar type of spell. You will not have familiars like in BG2, though.
now practically everyone has heard of the infamous goblin worg rider.
But how exactly does separating the goblin from the worg work? On top
of my head, I can't remember anything similar being done in the previous
Infinity Engine games.
was our exact reason for implementing it. We are really trying to
not only push the envelope with IWD2, but to take it to the post
office, mail it and patiently await a reply. The goblin and worg
act as one creature, and as such, cannot be targeted separately.
However, if you score a critical hit on the creature, there is a
chance that it will split into two separate creatures. When split,
they do become individually targetable.
priestly and wizardly spells going to be implemented up to the maximum
Druids, clerics, wizards, and sorcerers will all have access to spells
up to level nine.
thing that bothered me in the original series was the great amount of
offensive area effect spells both priestly and wizardly classes had access
to. While I have no doubts that you will be adding more of those, I am
more interested in spells that have less chance of killing half of my
party. Can you list some of the more interesting new ones?
is one of the new defensive Wizard spells, it is called Executioner's
Eyes and it's very powerful:
Duration: 1 turn
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: 15-foot radius
Saving Throw: None
enhances the vision of allies, allowing them to see the hidden weaknesses
of all creatures. The divination grants a +4 attack bonus and a +4 bonus
to critical hits (if you critical hit on a natural roll of 20, you now
critically hit on any roll from 15-20) to all allies within the area of
effect for the duration of the spell.
many and what kind of dragons can we expect to see? Will they be using
the dragon animation from Heart of Winter, or will you import the dragon
animations from Baldur's Gate 2?
I don't want to give away too much here, but there are at least white
dragons in the game. As to whether or not there is more than one, you'll
just have to wait and see.
your time Doug! Now get us this game already, we're dying to play it!