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General Information about Icewind Dale

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Q: What is Icewind Dale?
A: Icewind Dale is a single, or multiplayer, role-playing game set in Wizard of the Coast's granddaddy of all fantasy game worlds, the Forgotten Realms. Icewind Dale focuses more on classic dungeon adventuring than on an overland quest. The focus in Icewind Dale is on the party rather than a sole hero.

Q: Who is developing/publishing Icewind Dale?
A: Icewind Dale is being developed and published by Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. The Icewind Dale team consists of the core team from Black Isle Studios' award winning Fallout 2 role-playing game and members from the RPG of the Year 1999, Planescape:Torment, team.

Q: What engine is Icewind Dale using? 
A: We're using a modified form of the BioWare Infinity Engine, the same game engine that was used to create
Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment.

Q: What rules system is Icewind Dale using? 
A: We'll be using AD&D Second Edition rules, the same system used in Baldur's Gate.

Q: Where is Icewind Dale set, exactly? 
A: Icewind Dale is set in, well, Icewind Dale, the setting for the popular Icewind Dale trilogy of books, written by Robert Salvatore, and published by Wizards of the Coast.

Q: How many new areas will we have to explore? 
A: Right now there are more than ten new, major, areas as well as several smaller locations to explore. We're currently working on over fifty dungeon levels and that number is likely to increase, as we get deeper into production.

Q: What are they like? 
A: We've come up with a diverse set of environments for you to explore. We have ice-filled mountain passes that lead to steamy geothermal cave systems, to haunted Elven ruins, to tunnels carved through the heart of a living glacier-and that's only a small part of what you'll get to explore.

Q: How many new NPCs can we get?
A: You'll be creating your entire, six-person, party at the beginning of the game, or you may choose to use one of the parties we've created for you. So you won't have any NPCs in your party. However, there are a large number of important NPCs that you'll encounter, some of which may accompany you for a brief time.

Q: Will we be able to use our characters or NPCs from Baldur's Gate? A: No, you'll be creating a new party of six characters with which to explore Icewind Dale.

Q: Are any of the characters from the Icewind Dale series of books (i.e. Drizzt, Wulfgar, Artemis, etc.) going to be in the game?
A: At this time we have no plans to include any of the more famous denizens of Icewind Dale in any pivotal roles. We want you to have a clear slate to create your own tales of heroism. However, it's possible that some of your favorite heroes, or foes, may show up in a cameo role. Oh yeah, you definitely will not be able to play, or slay, Drizzt. ;)

Q: Are the races and classes the same, or can I play new ones?
A: There are no new races or classes but we're including new, higher level, skills, spells, and abilities for all of the classes.

Q: Can I play a Drow?
A: No, you won't be able to play a Drow. We will not be providing a platform for you to exercise your Dark Elf fantasies. ;)

Q: Are there going to be new magic items?
A: Yes, a boatload of them. Many of the magic items that the player can find in Icewind Dale are ones that are familiar from the Forgotten Realms. Others are new, unique, items that may surprise the player. There may even be a few artifacts hidden away in Icewind Dale.

Q: Are there going to be new spells?
A: Yes there are going to be quite a few new spells as well as some exciting changes in the way the spells appear onscreen. One of the big changes that you'll notice are the addition of quite a few higher level spells, including a few ninth level ones! Some horrific new spells are only useable by your enemies.

Q: Are there going to be new monsters?
A: We have a horde of new monsters for you to match brawn and wits against. Something that you'll notice right off the bat is the size difference between your party members and some of the larger, fiercer, monsters. We made sure that all of the critters that you'll encounter are the right, Monstrous Manual, size compared to your characters. That means that when you encounter a Cyclops, a Rhino Beetle, or a Frost Giant-these monsters are BIG. Overall we're adding about over fifty new monsters.

Q: Will there be scimitars, whips, flamberges, and/or machine-guns in the game?
A: The weapons available to your party will be similar to the weapons found in Baldur's Gate. No assault rifles ;), however we are adding a lot of unique magical weapons that you haven't seen before.

Q: Will damage vs. large creatures be implemented for weapons?
A: At this time, we're still uncertain due to time constraints. We've been working on getting this implemented, and hope we can get this in before shipping time.

Q: Fundamentally, are there going to be any differences between Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast?
A: There are a huge number of small changes to make the game-engine even more exciting and responsive to the player. But on a story level, Icewind Dale is going to focus much more on dungeon exploration, in the classic sense-similar to the classic Against the Giants and Tomb of Horrors modules-rather than overland exploration.

Q: Can we play specialty priests?
A: No. General purpose Clerics make more sense for Icewind Dale in that they're better suited to the role of a general-purpose warrior, healer, and undead blaster.

Q: Is poison going to be in the game?
A: We have no plans to include an aging glam-rock band of dubious talent (ok, we'll try for a cameo ;). Seriously though, player characters won't have access to poison but some monsters that you'll meet are naturally poisonous. There may be some magic items that have poison-like effects as well.

Q: Are there going to be new graphics for the spell effects and/or portraits and/or paper dolls?
A: We're working on new graphics for most of the spell effects and you'll have new character portraits to select from. There's a huge amount of new artwork going into Icewind Dale-new art for every part of the game is much more the rule than an exception.

Q: When will Icewind Dale be released?
A: We're working towards a first half of 2000 release date. As we get closer to completion, we'll have a more specific date.

Q: Will there be Dragons in Icewind Dale?
A: No, Dragons will not make an appearance in Icewind Dale. We made a decision early on that if we couldn't do it "right" we wouldn't do it at all. We tried very hard to come up with a way to do Dragons in all their glory, but were unable to do so without major engine modifications. So rather than trying to do a poor implementation of Dragons, we decided it would be best to not do it at all.

Q: Will Icewind Dale support 3D hardware?
A: Yes and no. The game will definitely be in 2D using the same kind of top down view as Baldur's Gate did. However we are exploring the possibility of taking advantage of hardware acceleration in most newer 3D video cards. If we do this, it will be done using the BioWare OpenGL implementation. This does not mean the game will suddenly become 3D. It also does not mean that we're planning on dropping support for older 2D video cards. It just means the game will run a bit faster on machines that have OpenGL hardware support.

Q: What resolution will Icewind Dale run in?
A: Icewind Dale will be staying with the 640x480 resolution used in Baldur's Gate.

Q: What are the system requirements for Icewind Dale?
A: We are working very hard to make the system requirements as close to Baldur's Gate as possible. They may be slightly higher, but not very much.

Q: Will we be able to run in Icewind Dale?
A: No. We have not added a run command. However, we have increased the walking speed of the game to compensate for it.

Q: What time frame does the game take place?
A: Our game takes place in the year 1281, the Year of the Cold Soul. This is before the Time of Troubles.

Q: Will we have any historical characters like Drizzt or Wulfgar to meet in the game?
A: No, our game takes place about 16 years prior to the first recorded mention of Drizzt and about 80 years before Wulfgar is even born.

Q: Will there be any new races, classes, or dual/multi class combinations?
A: No, we are not changing any of the classes or races at all for Icewind Dale.

Q: Will Rangers get dual wield?
A: Time constraints aren't allowing us to get this implemented in a way we'd like. To make up for this, rangers get an extra attack per round with weapons that they should have been able to use dual wielding.

Q: How big will the game be, and how many CD's will it come on?
A: The game will be smaller than Baldur's Gate in terms of data. However, we have not yet calculated how many CD's the final game will be on.

Q: Will there be a demo of Icewind Dale prior to it being released?
A: Probably not. We're very busy finishing the game and trying to fit a demo in would only delay that process. After the game ships, we may put one together, but this is still being discussed.

Q: Is there an experience cap, and if so, what is it?
A: Tentatively, we're allowing up to 1,801,000 experience points. This will let your characters get to approximately 14th-16th level.

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