Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Interview

RPGFan has an interview with Overhaul Games' Trent Oster focused on the upcoming Enhanced Edition of Icewind Dale, which is coming with some restored content, a revamped UI, and the kits, classes and spells of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, among other things. A couple of snippets on game balance and the company's future plans:

JS: Are you adding in any extra original content similar to the Baldur's Gate: EEs? With no recruitable characters in Icewind Dale, you seem to be limited to just storyline or side-quest content.

TO: We've added all the classes and kits from Baldur's Gate II: EE (as well as a couple of new ones), and over 150 new spells and class abilities to improve the game. There are over 60 new items added to the game. As Icewind Dale was always about creating your entire party, we chose not to implement new characters, but retain the nature and feel of the original.

JS: Are you worried about affecting the overall game balance and difficulty by adding in the new character kits, items, and spells? How do you try to balance this, or can you?

TO: The new additions will affect the balance, but Icewind Dale was a very hard game to start with, so the challenge will remain. With "Heart of Fury" mode, the challenge is even greater, making monsters smarter and more powerful, increasing an already daunting challenge to new heights. On the other end, we've added what we call "Story Mode" for the players who want to enjoy the epic storytelling that the Infinity Engine games are known for without having to wade through hours of combat. I think, in summary, we've got something for everyone.


JS: Do you plan to follow this up with Icewind Dale II: EE?

TO: If Icewind Dale is a brother or sister to the Baldur's Gate games in terms of code and gameplay differences, Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment are more like third cousins. You can see the lineage, but the changes are deep. At this point we haven't gone spelunking too deep into those changes, but we are aware of many differences which will drive up the effort to do our thing on those projects. We hope to do more spleunking once we finish up with the 1.3 Updates for Baldur's Gate: EE and Baldur's Gate II: EE and ship Icewind Dale: EE.