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
The 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.
Attached 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.
It’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.