Bioware Archive V2 > Hordes of the Underdark Official Campaign

Considering Doing a Revamp of HotU -- Thoughts?

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               I've been having a lot of discussions with a woman named Lilura lately -- she has an excellent blog (found here: ) where she's been featuring several things NWN related.  That includes a seven part recapping of HotU, a *34* part recounting of The Aielund Saga, and now a recapping of the original campaign.  Her intention is to also feature more community modules in an effort to showcase them to people and help attract new players to the community (basically, make NWN look interesting even at this point -- which, of course, it is).
She's also aware of the fact that I'm working on improving Aielund (fixing some bugs, cleaning up some typos, making some tweaks to a few sections of the campaign) and has seen some of my other work and thus made an interesting proposal.  She started off by saying

Baldur's Gate is a clunky old RPG, yet there are still many people playing it due to the SCS overhauls it's received (even new players) - there are dedicated forums. Dragon Age: Origins is taken seriously by RtWP aficionados due to RAVAge, Faster Combat and Advanced tactics (tactics framework extender).

--- End quote ---

and suggested that maybe I work on a similar overhaul for HotU.  I admit I've never played BG so I have no knowledge of the former...and the thought of playing through DA:O a second made me want to gouge my eyes out -- though it's possible that extensive overhauls managed to fix many of the issues it had (particularly in regards to combat).  Because let's face it: Bioware may generally be good at story and setting, but it's usually sucked at mechanics and combat.
Along those lines, the official Bioware campaigns can basically be beaten by a strength based wizard (as I'm sure we all know).  And no, I'm not talking about Webshaman's Melee Mage build (  The idea therefore would be to ramp up the difficulty of the campaign and make the boss fights...well, actually proper boss fights.  Stuff that would be done might include...
- beef up the power of mobs in general (some need less tweaking than others but most stuff is made of tissue paper and can't hit the broad side of a barn).
- make the boss fights more engaging (and difficult) with actual unique mechanics.
- tweak some particularly...problematic...spells (IGMS, Harm, and (Mass) Heal would be three prime examples).
- tone down some gear (like, probably only be able to enchant weapons to +6 in Chapter 2 and +8 in Chapter 3, for example -- exact values are certainly open to debate but that would be the general idea)
- alter a few mechanics -- ranged characters generally suck in NWN by default and HotU doesn't do it any favors with the forge and things like the Black Pearl.  Would be open to suggestions about many other things along these lines.
- possibly do some things like allow any companion from Chapter 1 to be able to be brought into Chapter 2 and beyond and/or allow a party of 4-5 rather than 3.
- Allow user customization at the start regarding things like difficulty, romances, etc (which was directly mentioned as being inspired by Sanctum of the Archmage)
- Add in graphic improvements such as Project Q to give it a graphics facelift
At this point just passing along ideas that have been suggested to me without necessarily endorsing any quite yet while I consider them.
But you get the drift.  The idea would be to make a replacement for the default HotU for people interested in better combat.  And I'll state up front that my goal would not be to make a replacement that everyone thinks is perfect -- merely a replacement that everyone thinks is a significant improvement over the default.  Aka, you might love 80% of what I do and hate the other 20%.  While I'm sorry to hear that, someone else will love the 20% that you hate but themselves hate another 15%.  Etc.  Can't please everyone.
So, is this something that people would be interested in?  I'd be perfectly fine not doing it (I have plenty of other projects on my plate)...but HotU is generally held in high regard as the best of the official campaigns and considered a good campaign in general compared to other RPGs.  And it may help get new people interested more in NWN or revive the interest of former community members.  Which is a goal all of us share.




               Personally, I would prefer a proper remake of the OC as Bioware wished it to be, but lighter on containers. The updated storyline; not the one that got cut by Atari, WotC, etc.

In my mind, it is not the classics that need re-told, but the ones that should have been....



               HotU is fine, OC and SoU needs update much more.



Legacy_Tarot Redhand:

               If I am reading this right the intention is to make the game harder without altering the graphics at all? Are you sure this would appeal to a new audience?




               HotU is more difficult than OC or SoU.
If one were to make improved OC -> graphics, storyline, containers, new creatures, better tilesets
it would be much better than adjusting difficulty of HotU. Not all players want to have more difficult battles and if they do they turn up the difficulty.
What could be done: allowing Hardcore rules, but without harming neutral/friend factions reputations when you use AoE spells. That's the reason I stray from Hardcore dnd
Back at the old vault someone published a draft of what Bioware originally intended to do with OC plot. Basically they wanted to have "insanity" systems from using old ones' magic.
Project Q campaigns might be a good start or hindrance if you want to use CEP for example.
Of course what you mod is ultimately your call




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