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System requirements


Strontium Dog

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I just read a recent thread on the original SCS forum, and was worried re mention of system requirements. I have a 2 or 3)-year-old 2 GHZ Athlon (64 or XP?) processor and 512 MB RAM - would this mean I'd get extensive lag if I installed all of SCS II instead of the Tactics mod? Actually, I'm planning on only installing most of the spell-modifications and only one or two of the other components, (basically the Improved Fiends component). Would even one major SCS II component cause any lag? Also, would there be any conflict with the PnP Celestials mod if I didn't install the "Improved Celestials" component of SCS II?

 

(I'm probably needlessly worried re this potential system-lag, since the original SCS I seemed to work marvellously on my computer while playing BG1Tutu, with no noticeable lag, I 'm just curious).

 

Also, I've read the basic readme re comparison between Tactics and SCS II. I would be particularly interested in a component-by-component comparison between the parts common to both SCS II and Tactics. My gut-assumption, after playing with BG2-Tactics and SCS I-Tutu is that where Tactics states "slightly improved" such as with demons/mages/liches, that the SCS II versions would likely be much harder, but that a number of the really major enhancements like Improved Beholders/ Improved Irenicus/Improved Bodhi/Improved Ilyich etc. would be harder with Tactics, given that the latter mod uses various cheats to a greater extent.

 

Lastly, just wanted to say how much I liked the SCS I-Tutu version - given the success of the former, I'm sure SCS II will be very useful indeed.

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System requirements: I don't really know, but I don't think you need to worry. It's a bit more demanding than SCS I, but not massively more. You'll get one-off lags of a second or so at area transition and at the start of fights with mages, but other than that it should be fine.

 

Component comparison: yeah, that sounds about right. Almost all SCS II components are pure AI or nearly so (the major exception is the Improved Fiends component), and I think the AI is better than Tactics (it's certainly a lot more sophisticated; how much difference that makes in practice is another matter). So SCS II has the edge on pure-AI components of Tactics but not necessarily on other components. In detail (for the components that SCSII improves):

 

Smarter mages/liches: probably SCS II is much harder

Smarter beholders: I'm fairly certain SCS II is harder - the only cheese in Tactics is the poisonous bite, so it depends how much trouble that causes you

Improved fiends: SCS II almost certainly harder - the Tactics component doesn't in practice use its spells that effectively

Smarter Mind Flayers: SCS II probably harder, but Tactics illithids have high physical resistance, so that makes some difference

Smarter Dragons: not sure about this one. SCS II is supposed to be harder but I'm unsure as yet how well it's worked.

Improved Irenicus: very different. The one person I know who's played both reckons they're about as hard as each other.

Improved Demon Knights: not sure. I suspect SCS II has the edge but I wouldn't bet on it.

 

I think that's all of the overlap.

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It'd be fantastic if we could lure Six of Spades to do a review of SCS II. I think his treatise on Tactics (and the resulting back-and-forth with Wes) is a signature case of the usefulness of in-depth feedback.

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I just read a recent thread on the original SCS forum, and was worried re mention of system requirements. I have a 2 or 3)-year-old 2 GHZ Athlon (64 or XP?) processor and 512 MB RAM - would this mean I'd get extensive lag if I installed all of SCS II instead of the Tactics mod? Actually, I'm planning on only installing most of the spell-modifications and only one or two of the other components, (basically the Improved Fiends component).

 

Strontium Dog, my system is very similiar to yours (2GHz, 896MB). Playing with the BGConfig options on max, SCS II is very playable. But it does run a bit slower compared with vanilla BG2 or Tactics (which I found to not lag at all). The main difference between Tactics and SCS II performance-wise is that in SCS II, the game will 'freeze' for about 0.5 to 2 seconds when new creatures are loaded into memory. For the most part, this occurs during area transitions and when creatures are created in the game. After the scripts are loaded, the game returns to running relatively smoothly, although I'd say it is still slightly laggy (especially in multi-mage battles) compared to vanilla/Tactics.

 

If you don't install the mage/priest AI components, then you probably won't experience any performance issues at all. (that is my guess, DavidW correct me if I am wrong).

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It'd be fantastic if we could lure Six of Spades to do a review of SCS II. I think his treatise on Tactics (and the resulting back-and-forth with Wes) is a signature case of the usefulness of in-depth feedback.

 

As long as SixofSpades plays the mod first, because, um, the treatise on Romantic Encounters, useful though it has been, was a signature case of how much misunderstanding there can be, if one doesn't play the mod in question first. :)

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Component comparison: yeah, that sounds about right. Almost all SCS II components are pure AI or nearly so (the major exception is the Improved Fiends component), and I think the AI is better than Tactics (it's certainly a lot more sophisticated; how much difference that makes in practice is another matter). So SCS II has the edge on pure-AI components of Tactics but not necessarily on other components. In detail (for the components that SCSII improves):

 

I have to admit I generally prefer an improved AI to damage-resistance or similiar dodgy extras - I always hated the damage-resistance given to enemy NPCs by Icewind Dale's tedious Heart of Fury mode, for example, as it forced me to use absurd tactics such as summoning endless creatures etc. to win fights with minor villains like goblins(!).

 

Also, the trouble with AD&D 2nd edition-based PC games is that most villains are hopelessly weak versus a mid-level or higher party with decent magical-weaponry, so it's a good thing that the innate spell-like abilities of fiends have been increased/improved, for example - I do hope that you'll consider eventually enhancing the various demon-lords, such as Demagorgon etc. with the literally dozens of spell-like abilities they are actually supposed to have, according to AD&D 2nd edition.

Smarter beholders: I'm fairly certain SCS II is harder - the only cheese in Tactics is the poisonous bite, so it depends how much trouble that causes you

Not sure re this - you state that you remove the eyestalk-abilities from beholders as soon as they're heavily reduced in damage - this sounds similiar to what happens in the DOTQuestpack - and most reviewers put the DOTQuestpack as lowest in terms of difficulty levels after Tactics and the HoF-style Improved-Anvil.

 

After looking closer at the details in the readme, it seems as though almost all the other components mentioned are definitely better than Tactics, so I'm sorely tempted to try them, instead - for example, the Tactics' version of the demon-knights didn't(as I recall) have all the extra spell-like abilities added in by SCS II - and as you pointed out, Tactics doesn't do much re improving demons/fiends' spell-abilities etc.. I'd be astonished, though, if SCS II's version of Irenicus turns out to be harder than the Tactic's version - the Irenicus from Tactics was an incredibly tough fight, with several "splinters" of Irenicus fighting at the same time etc. - yet, the SCS II version of Irenicus seems to have him only as a 20th-level fighter/mage with demonic abilities plus the standard 4 demonic allies he got in the original game. I will eventually have to play another megamod with just SCS II installed, later on, to see the difference.

 

One last question:- I'm probably going to use the Tactic's "Improved Dragon" component in this current game, as it enhances Adalon as well. If I were to try an install of Tactics' improved Dragon-component to cover Adalon, then SCS II's component for the other dragons' after Tactics , would the SCS II "Improved Dragon's" component interfere in any way if I then installed the "Super-Firkraag" mod after the previous two? I'm about to try this SF mod for the first time in this game, and, from all accounts, it's supposed to be way more difficult to beat than any equivalent mod, in terms of tactics/AI/prevention of cheesy tactics by the PC etc.

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There's something else I forgot to mention:- my current install is going to include the Bigg-tweak-pack's "Improved Difficulty" component which allows you to fight enemies on an "Insane"-mode-setting (while technically on "Core" etc. on the slider) without allowing the ridiculous 200%-inflicted damage that the Insane-mode normally insists on. Is this the same as your difficulty-setting component re level-dependant NPCs ? If so, I suppose I'll only be able to install one of them, not both.

 

Also, I'm a little off-put by the removal of the beholder-reflection-shield Zyraen's miscellany simply nerfs the item so that it's only c.40(60?) % effective against any attack by a beholder - Zyraen's mod is aslo excellent for nerfing the claok of mirroring, making the game more fun. Perhaps an alternate nerfing option might be also possible? On the other hand, I suppose I suppose a complete removal does make the game a lot harder - and I'd rather have an Improved AI and weaker/fewer magical-items than many ueber-powerful magic-items requiring increased damage-resistance and cheats by hostile NPCs.

 

(Oh, I've just checked elsewhere, and it was mentioned that SCS II would completely overwrite the Tactic's Improved Dragon component - so I'm just want to know whether the Super-Firkraag mod would overwrite the SCS II version for Firkraag without problems).

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- Beholder eyestalks: good point, I forgot that. I don't think it'll make a major difference, though - SCS II beholders are very different from QuestPack ones.

 

- Dragons: if you install SCS II dragons over Tactics ones, it'll overwrite all those dragons that SCS II affects, but it won't touch the other ones - Adalon will be fine.

 

- Super Firkraag: I haven't a clue, never tried that one.

 

- TheBigg improved difficulty component: fully compatible, you can install both.

 

- removal of Shield of Balduran: that's why it's an optional component! Actually I'd have liked to make it work only 40% of the time, but I couldn't work out how to implement it (and I'm not convinced Zyraen's way works either).

 

- Tactics Irenicus vs. SCS II Irenicus: you may well be right, I'm not speaking from personal experience. Don't underestimate the power of a sufficiently buffed high-level F/M with good AI and Slayer powers, though!

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- - Dragons: if you install SCS II dragons over Tactics ones, it'll overwrite all those dragons that SCS II affects, but it won't touch the other ones - Adalon will be fine

 

 

- Super Firkraag: I haven't a clue, never tried that one.

 

Since Super-Firkraag is a WEIDU mod and is said to work fine with the Tactics mod(provided it's installed afterwards), I reckon it shouldn't conflict with the SCS II Dragons component, either, given what you just said.

- TheBigg improved difficulty component: fully compatible, you can install both.

 

Fine, I'll install both, then(first SCS II, then the Bigg-tweak mod) - so, presumably, they don't do the exact same job, in which case the relevant SCS II component presumably only dictates the extra number of enemies appearing, rather than adding extra spells like the bigg-tweaks component does etc.?

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Fine, I'll install both, then(first SCS II, then the Bigg-tweak mod) - so, presumably, they don't do the exact same job, in which case the relevant SCS II component presumably only dictates the extra number of enemies appearing, rather than adding extra spells like the bigg-tweaks component does etc.?

 

What's going on is this: neither bigg-tweaks nor the SCSII component directly change encounters in any way (spells, number of enemies, whatever)...

 

... However - the vanilla game (along with some mods) tries to tailor its encounters to you in two ways:

 

(i) if you adjust the difficulty slider, things get harder;

(ii) if you're higher level / in a later chapter, things get harder.

 

They might get harder by more spells, by tougher enemies, by more enemies...

 

Bigg-Tweaks fakes a maximal difficulty slider. The SCS II component fakes a maximum level / chapter.

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Fine, I'll install both, then(first SCS II, then the Bigg-tweak mod) - so, presumably, they don't do the exact same job, in which case the relevant SCS II component presumably only dictates the extra number of enemies appearing, rather than adding extra spells like the bigg-tweaks component does etc.?

 

What's going on is this: neither bigg-tweaks nor the SCSII component directly change encounters in any way (spells, number of enemies, whatever)...

 

... However - the vanilla game (along with some mods) tries to tailor its encounters to you in two ways:

 

(i) if you adjust the difficulty slider, things get harder;

(ii) if you're higher level / in a later chapter, things get harder.

 

They might get harder by more spells, by tougher enemies, by more enemies...

 

Bigg-Tweaks fakes a maximal difficulty slider. The SCS II component fakes a maximum level / chapter.

 

 

 

Does the game the level of the party or just the PC? If it was just the PC, then a multi-class PC potentially faces easier challenges?

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Does the game the level of the party or just the PC? If it was just the PC, then a multi-class PC potentially faces easier challenges?

 

It varies. The most common thing is for the game to go on your total amount of XP.

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