Currently playing: Nox Archaist

September 19, 2014

Icewind Dale - like wading through mud

My adventure in Icewind Dale has continued for several more hours. My party has now reached level 7 and I am beginning to access third and fourth level mage spells which includes the popular fireball. Unfortunately the town´s magician is not selling any level 3 or 4 spells so the only spells I know is the ones I have found.

When you find a scroll and is of adequate level you can try to scribe it into your spellbook. The success is dependable on you intelligence so it could fail and the scroll is lost forever. Once copied the spell itself is removed but is now accessible for you to memorize when you are resting your party.

Anyway after having looked around the whole of Vale of Shadows I still didn´t know the source of the evil. I returned to the druid Arundel in village Kuldahar to report my findings. He said that the only thing that would help us is to find the Heartstone Gem, a scrying stone that could help us find this source of evil. 

He suggested I might seek the Heartstone in the Temple of the Forgotten god and marked that place on my overland map. I went there and not surprisingly the place had been overrun by evil forces that had killed all the priests and temple guards. By wading through hordes of monsters and combats I finally reached the place where the heartstone should have been....except it had been removed. 

My only clue was a green potion I found on a priest and when I returned back to Kuldahar and told the druid about my experience he examined the green potion and concluded it could only have been coming from the Dragon's Eye. This initiated chapter two of the game.

So now I got another place to visit and this place consisted of several large levels with reptiles and shamans that made my progress quite slow. Fortunately it is quick to use quicksave and quickreload because I had to rest many times here. There are half a dozen levels that gradually gets more difficult. On the last levels you couldn´t even rest which means I have to return two levels back just to rest. That takes huge amounts of time since I have to do that after every other fight. Needless to say there are fights in almost every room so it becomes abit tedious.

A few reflections of the game so far:
  • It is very linear. So far I haven´t even been able to choose from two different areas to visit. The drawback of strict linearity is that the items you find just barely makes you keep up with the stiffening opposition. There are no shortcuts to get you good weapons or magical items unless you find them on your path.
  • The game is filled with combats after combats after combats. *Sigh*. When repeating the same type of encounter over and over again with not much variety it tends to get rather boring. The only thing that helps up the progress is the few NPC encounters and dialogues with the minions of evil or finding good equipment.
  • There where a few very tough fights in Dragon´s Eye. Here I met trolls that refused to die unless you torch them up in order to die. I had to use fireballs to kill them off or throwing flamable potions on them. If you don´t have access to any of that you have to flee in order to rest and memorize fireball. Also, those trolls was often followed by several spellcasting priests. They where extremely difficult because they always cast Hold Person on my fighters and the trolls hack them to pieces after that. After almost 10 tries I eventually managed to take down the priests first and then retreat to heal and get back to finish the trolls. 
  • My priests "Turn undead" almost never works against the undead I am facing. This ability is so far pretty worthless.
  • My thief has yet to succeed in backstabbing anyone. It seems that as soon as I order him to attack when he is sneaking he immediately gets visible and lose the edge.
  • The last levels of Dragon´s Eye is filled with very dangerous traps that either poisions you or freezes you. I have lost half my inventory of antidote potions in just one single level.
  • The prices of magical items in the Kuldahar village is ridiculous. Certain items costs several tens of thousands of gold each and the few I can afford with my 4.000 gold cash is never as good as the ones I have already found.

  • The story so far is way beyound Baldurs Gate as far as I remembered. This feels like a very ordinary story. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by it further into the game.

The game is testing my patience right now. I want to complete Dragons´s Eye and see what happens next before making any decisions on my continuation of this game.


  1. This game also tested my patience a lot near the middle. Stick with it, I think you will definitely enjoy the ending :)

    1. Thanks..This very night I finally completed the Dragon´s Eye and got hold of the Heartstone gem. At least a new phase is beginning and morale is rising :-)

  2. Icewind Dale might look similar to BG but it's a different type of game. BG games were almost open-world with lots of side quests and little forced linearity. The 2 Icewind Dale games are mostly dungeon crawls, meaning that they are totally linear with little effective choice. I also think it's a much tougher game, maybe just because of that. It has beautiful locations though and I thought it was a really interesting and challenging game even if it's frustrating some times.
    By the way, if you have fire-arrows or any fire-enchanted weapon you can try to use it on the fallen trolls before they get up.

    1. Thanks for the hint. I am still playing....

    2. if I remember correctly Icewind is more hack'n'slay with an archetypical fantasy plot, while BG is much more story-driven

  3. Sounds like you aren't playing your Thief properly.
    Make sure he's next to the target (I always place him behind, but any angle will work), is either stealthed or invisible and carries a weapon suitable for backstabs. As long as he doesn't have to walk a long way to attack the enemy, this works. Of course he will start coming out of stealth after starting the attack, which is why you want to be as close as possible.

    Also, don't you use your thief for scouting and detecting traps? You avoid a lot of traps and other surprises by using your thief correctly.

  4. Just found your blog...good stuff.

    I recently stopped playing near the end of Dragons Eye for the same reason. Its combat after combat after combat.....I'll have to go back and finish it at some point