What to do With Icewind Dale?

When I recently wrote my piece about the tweaks to the campaign dailies I realized how utterly fucked up the Module 3 content is. There are not enough gameplay relevant systems attached to the areas any longer.

Sure players still need to complete the campaign, but it’s a fast one. Even though Icewind Pass and Dwarven Valley are largely abandoned you will probably find enough players that do Demonic Heroics for the daily. And Black Ice is a free farm since nobody needs it any longer. I’d recommend covering the campaign currency with Genies because they are super cheap and the dailies super annoying. And after completion there is little incentive to come back. The campaign store offers no moneymaker, the HEs no rewards, the open world PVP no players. Even the story of the Ten-Towners has moved on to Bryn Shander.

IWD has never been a success story

Caer Konig Icewind DaleThe demise of the module is probably fitting because it never has been a success story. Asterdahl recently answered critics and said that Black Ice performed well on their end, but I think it’s safe to say it hasn’t been a fan-favorite. And it’s undoubtedly true that in PVE endgame it never had any relevance whatsoever. Players just switched sets as soon as they entered Kessell, the only dungeon for which you ever needed the resistance found on the original sets of the module.

Other introduced system like Overload Enchantments and Heroic Encounters are more annoying than refreshing nowadays. Additionally Kessell’s Retreat is the inferior skirmish when it comes to daily ADs. Shores of Tuern is slightly faster in case you find a tank. Players however still do Biggrin’s Tomb for the weekly AD and need to farm Black Ice whenever they want to upgrade certain gear.

PVP campaign

PVP campaignAttached to the whole mess is the PVP campaign, which can currently not reliably be completed. This is not only a matter of the open world PVP not happening though. Gauntlgrym has been reworked too and experiences too little traffic. Some tasks like slaying NPCs are outright impossible to complete. The only reason players are completing open world PVP is because it resolves the Stronghold “Fight to the Finish” quest. But more often than not it’s no competition, just a matter of finding an active instance and wait for the completion.

The campaign has to be reworked entirely to match the current state of PVP. I personally would completely go away from the task based structure. It was never fair across all classes, builds and tiers anyway. I would let players collect a campaign currency (Scrimshaw Trophy ?) by playing PVP and let them buy the campaign rewards for it. That way you could also make Caches, Black Opals or even the fashion set repeatable tasks so PVPers can get something after the initial completion.

You could still hand out currency for objectives like killing someone or capturing a node. But this way at least some classes that are not DPS could still get currency by just winning and participating in other areas instead of simply not being able to complete a certain task. It of course would still help to make Gauntlgrym and open world PVP relevant again.

Big zones, little use

One of the big tragedies of the forgotten module is that two massive zones are mostly rendered useless. As I’ve already said in my campaign tweaks, that’s wasting assets. Yes Icewind Dale is still relevant for minor stuff, but first and foremost the dailies that use the maps are not. My condolences to those that need to run them because of Stronghold progression by the way. That’s true dedication. Other than that I don’t see why you should mess with them.

Dwarven Valley Icewind DaleIt’s hard to find a smart solution for all this. The easy way out would be to severely upgrade the dailies so they make sense on a daily basis. In the end what separates Dread Ring and Sharandar from Mod three is just viable rewards on top of the campaign currency. Both campaigns have BoE rewards that can be sold and refining points for personal progression. You could probably also attach the zones to newer content, but the devs thematically missed that chance with Storm Kings Thunder. I assume it’s also not what they want because they want players to majorly play new content in new modules. Whenever you are forced to go back to old zones, there’s a lot of crying about recycling stuff.

A warning sign for Storm Kings Thunder

Speaking of Storm Kings Thunder though, Icewind Dale sort of should be a warning sign of how the latest module could look long-term. It’s based on the templates of module three and could go down a similar road. With Voninblod the dailies have a reward that’s closely attached to the campaign and doesn’t offer a whole lot after completion.

I’m probably only doing the campaign and will never look back. In case Voninblod will be an issue, I’d rather farm Relics than do the dailies. For now players also still need to run the Heroics, but that won’t last forever. So longterm the three zones might find themselves looking for players as well.

A solution for Icewind Dale is not as easy because we are talking about retooling or reworking two full campaigns. The devs have shown they are willing to assign resources to old stuff in their campaign changes that came with the Maze Engine. A similar effort would be needed to rescue Module 3 from its insignificance.

What’s your take on Icewind Dale? Do you still frequently visit the zones or forgot about them? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.


j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

10 thoughts on “What to do With Icewind Dale?

  • October 25, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Only reason to go to iwd is the need for meat to get a yeti treat and sell it for ad, well, and biggrins, other than that I’m so bored by the game these days. Yes, it’s and mmo and grinding and needing long time when leveling up enchantments is part of it but if u play only free than its almost impossible to get all enchants to level 12. I agree with you on the part that mod 10 zones will face a similar situation. Players are there now because it’s new but the gear is not even bis. Elemental dragon flight gear is according to in game notifications still bis. And shirts and pants fail to deliver entirely. So much for only having to carry one set of armor.

    • October 25, 2016 at 11:16 am

      The devs ruined even farming yeti once they added the Rare Young Yeti to lockboxes it caused the one we can farm to go from 140K in ad to only 40K. But then you can add in the mindless people that post at auction house and don’t even think maybe to stop undercutting each other by 50K per post or look at what green yeti was selling at and thin well it cost 250K to make it blue so guess i will post blue for 160K LOLZ rather than try to make some ad by selling it at the value that would be around 350K in ad.

  • October 25, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I’ve nevdrliked iwdthe dailies completely suck I stopped running all of asap. Storm kings so far is a clone so I ha enemy been impressed with it so far on week one of console play lately it seems the devs have getting so greedy I’m about ready to retire altogether. Just my take ty for the excellent write ups j ma . Good read!.

  • October 25, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Very sad i have always thought Dwarven Valley was one of the best maps when it comes to detail and environments.There are a few hidden treasure’s “Locations” that have a look like they stopped in the middle of development but also are kinda amusing to explore when you find them for the first time .As for open world PvP If they had some kinda a timer as to let players know when black ice dom was about to start it would have helped bring more players to the map. But sadly the devs seem to just keep ignoring most suggestion that might help to restore the game to a better player base.

  • October 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I know with the upcoming key ‘bug fix’, a large number of players will be abandoning the game on ps4. Drop rates are horrific as it is….forcing us to use keys every time has pushed what’s left of the f2p aspect out the door. Honestly…not only do some of these campaigns need a rework…whomever is in charge of the in game economy needs to be replaced.

  • October 25, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve been play the game for about 3 months. And in already getting board with it I’ve went back to playing fallout 4 and call of duty because it is more entertaining than this

  • October 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

    “I’d recommend covering the campaign currency with Genie’s Gifts because they are super cheap the dailies super annoying.” Quick question can you explain more please because i tried this but for some reason i was not progressing apparently i need Caer-Konig Reputation.

    • October 26, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Sorry this was not very well worded. You indeed still need to do Safe Keeping, Needless Distractions and/or Demon Hunting to get the reputation. But can skip a ton of grindy dailies to get the other currencies. Doing Heroic Encounters and getting the needed Black Ice is relatively easy.

  • February 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I actually quite enjoyed IWD. Throw it in Heart of Fury, and it becomes a very interesting challenge.

  • April 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I liked the actual zone very much. It’s one of the few that feels properly lived in and ‘real’, and I’d have no qualms about going back there for new reasons. Shame the Black Ice isn’t more useful though.

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