Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
|Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter|
|Developer(s)||Black Isle Studios|
|Release||February 21, 2001|
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter is an expansion pack to the role-playing video game Icewind Dale developed by Black Isle Studios. It introduced many changes and additions to the original game, and included a new campaign. A downloadable add-on to this expansion pack, titled Trials of the Luremaster, was released for free. Both the expansion and add-on were included in the Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.
Some notable changes include a much higher experience point cap, new magical items and spells, a special "Heart of Fury" difficulty setting for increased enemy power and higher experience point-gain, and a maximum resolution of 800x600. The game is still based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition ruleset.
In order to access the new campaign, the player must either enter a previously locked door in the town of Kuldahar while possessing a party of characters level 9 or above or import the party after completing the main campaign, when the party is exported.
In Kuldahar, the player's characters are greeted by a barbarian shaman, Hjollder, who reveals that he has visions of a great conflict and that the party is the key to stopping it. The party journeys to Lonelywood, where they discover that a great barbarian force is gathering nearby, threatening to destroy the Ten Towns. The force has rallied to Wylfdene, a great barbarian warlord killed in battle the previous season. He claims to be host to the spirit of the ancient barbarian hero Jerrod and is now eager to strike the Ten Towns in the name of the war-god Tempus.
The party journeys to the barbarian camp and meets the resurrected chief himself. Hjollder believes that something is off with Wylfdene, and is in turn exiled from the camp. The party later finds the exiled Hjollder in the barbarian burial grounds Wylfdene rose from, though it is now plagued by undead and spirits. On his recommendation, the party journeys to the Gloomfrost to consult the Seer, an old woman with vast mystical powers. She reveals that it is the soul of great white dragon Icasaracht who inhabits the body of Wylfdene and seeks to wage war, not Jerrod.
The party returns to the barbarian camp, where the Seer herself approaches Wylfdene. She is killed by him, but succeeds in tricking the dragon spirit into abandoning his body, revealing the deception to the gathered barbarians. The last task of the player's party is to journey to the Sea of Moving Ice where Icasaracht's Lair is located. There, they battle through her minions (including the remaining loyal barbarians, trolls and sahuagins) and ultimately find the white dragon herself. She explains she wished to avenge herself upon the Ten Towns for the seizure of dragonkind's lands, and for her death a century past.
She claims she saw a kindred spirit in Wylfdene and sympathized with the barbarians, who she says face extinction from the encroaching Ten Towns. She had thought they would be fitting instruments for her plan. The party kills her, and shatters the Soul Stone that had saved her from death a century before, ensuring her death is final.
Trials of the Luremaster
Trials of the Luremaster is a free, downloadable add-on to Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter. It was released by Black Isle Studios due to criticism that, on its own, Heart of Winter was too short. It contains a large dungeon-like location with several new areas to explore, and a handful of new enemies to combat and items to find. It also acts as the game's final patch, fixing a number of bugs and bringing the game's version number up to v1.42.
The player meets a mysterious halfling, Hobart Stubbletoes, who introduces himself in the Whistling Gallows Inn in Lonelywood. He seeks a party of stalwart heroes for a quest to a place of great wonder, with treasures beyond the imagination. Should the party accept, they will be transported to a new place, far from the icy terrain of the Ten Towns, finding themselves within the walls of a ruined castle in an unfamiliar land, the Anauroch desert. The Castle itself is a place where a mad spirit of a bard named Luremaster is constantly challenging adventurers with many traps and monsters. The only way out of the place is to defeat all monsters, avoid traps, find good loot if possible, and defeat the Luremaster.
Upon its release, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter debuted at #6 on NPD Intelect's computer game sales chart for the February 18-24 period. It fell to 10th place in its second week, and climbed back to ninth in its third week. By Heart of Winter's fourth week, it was absent from NPD's weekly top 10.
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter received fairly positive reviews, with multiple reviewers complimenting its new features and areas. According to GameSpy, the writer suggests that "when the entire Icewind Dale saga is available at bargain prices, this expansion marks a fun portion of the entire game".
Chris Glassel of the Dallas Morning News and Greg Kasavin of Computer Shopper magazine criticized the game for the length of its campaign, which was much shorter than the original. Chris Chan of the New Strait Times called out a number of minor technical glitches, such as pathfinding problems and the occasional system lock up.
- Chan, Chris (March 19, 2001). "Battle against blood-thirsty barbarians and deadly giants". New Straits Times. Retrieved December 10, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Kasavin, Greg (June 1, 2001). "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter: The Icemen Cometh Again". Computer Shopper. Retrieved December 10, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
- "Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
- Walker, Trey (March 7, 2001). "NASCAR Racing 4 climbs the charts". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 4, 2001.
- Walker, Trey (March 14, 2001). "Undying makes the list". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 30, 2001.
- Walker, Trey (March 21, 2001). "Top-selling games for the month of February". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 30, 2001.
- Staff (March 28, 2001). "Top of the Pops". IGN. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001.
- Glassel, Chris (April 3, 2001). "Electronic adventures: Video and computer game reviews". Dallas Morning News. Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Retrieved December 10, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Cappellini, Matt (May 31, 2001). "Sequel pumps up 'Icewind Dale'". The Herald-News. Joliet, Illinois. Retrieved December 10, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Rausch, Allen (2004-08-19). "A History of D&D Video Games - Part V". GameSpy. Retrieved November 17, 2012.