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DavidW

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Re Mithykyl: it's maze, not imprisonment. I'd intended, but never got round, to having a console option to disable Maze so soloers are immune... having said that, you do get a saving throw against illithid Mazes (in SCSII, at any rate) and if you start disabling everything that's instant death for soloers it gets a bit out of hand. Thoughts welcomed.

 

I think it's fine. Actually I don't really mind having casters casting imprisonment either...the main problem was that I just wasn't sure what it was (as you just get the load game screen, you can't see the feedback window anymore to be sure what just killed you - the icon on my portrait looked like maze, but the animation looked like imprisonment...)

 

I'll give some thought to demiliches. Is there a consensus that giving them lots of wizard spells is a good idea, then?

 

The P&P demilich powers sound cool, but with 50 HP and -6 AC, it won't last long unless it has some powerful spell protections. In terms of beefing up existing powers, the existing demilich howl seems a bit weedy, I don't think I've ever had anyone die from it - by the time you are facing off demiliches, the party's saving throws are generally very low. Is it save vs death? Could the required saving throw be lowered?

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Sorry for the delay in replying.

I seem to be duly chastised regarding some points, so I'll not press them further.

 

 

1. I don't know how you've done the whole randomisation of the spell repertoire for spell casters, but I noticed that some spell casters (including one of the liches guarding Kangaxx' remains) only cast combat protections in their start-of-battle sequence (contingencies, sequencers etc). No spell protections at all. While I don't have a problem with it as such, it feels a bit wrong to be able to chunk them after just one Breach. That's not what I installed SCSII for, after all :)

Okay, sounds like I ought to look at the sequencer randomizer - there's only a certain amount I can do without the workload going mad, but I can probably improve it a bit. What level of prebuffing have you got installed? (Liches like the ones guarding Kangaxx ought to get autocast defences on the first two settings.)

"Medium" - where just hostile mages bent on mischief prebuffs.

 

Overall, however, I think you've done a very good job at improving spellcasters (with one further caveat, see point #2). EDIT#2: The battle against Zallanora and entourage was one of the best in the entire game, I think.

 

2. The whole deal with some mages running around and just lobbing the occasional Melf's Meteor at my spell casters doesn't sit well with me. Maybe it's just because having spells interrupted annoys me, but I don't see how it's anything but a fundamentally flawed tactic (from the mage's PoV). Sure, you have the occasional spell disrupted, but other than that, the mage doesn't accomplish anything. Just working towards sabotaging the efforts of your opponent is not a good way to win, you need a plan of your own as well.

Unless something's going wrong, they're only lobbing Melfs while waiting to be able to cast another spell. If you cast, say, a Power Word: Stun then there's about five seconds before you can cast again. SCSII uses that window to chuck meteors. Due to a limitation in how the engine works, sometimes they'll spend a second or two longer doing it than they should, but they should still be casting spells at a rate of about one per round. If that's not happening, it's either (i) a bug, or (ii) because they haven't got any spells worth casting - perhaps because you're too shielded for them to be able to affect you, in some cases.

May be my mistake. Lacking any actual evidence, I'll drop it.

 

3. Improved Fiends.

Vorpal weapons are seriously not fun (eg. final battle in SoA), at least not in my opinion.

I'm reluctant to get rid of it entirely (it's in vanilla ToB, and in PnP), but I'll have another look at the percentage chance. Possibly it's too high. (Bear in mind that Death Ward can block it: they'll try to dispel it, of course, but that's all part of the fun...)

Since I apparently enjoyed the thrills of vorpal weapons before they allowed for a save throw and you are protected from them by Death Ward, they're probably fine now.

 

The whole deal with Protection from Evil is likewise a bit of a turn-off, in my opinion.

I can see where you are coming from in making those changes, but I'd still like to see enemy mages playing by the same rules as you do.

It's a difficult one. (And one that doesn't directly affect me in practice: I play goody-two-shoes characters who wouldn't summon demons anyway). Game-engine limitations mean it's very difficult to script round the existing functionality. I suppose I could make player versions that Pro/Evil doesn't affect, if the worry really is double standards.

The double standards aren't a huge issue for me personally. Well, maybe a little. Having thought about it a bit more, though, I'm actually fine with the way it is (assuming you still get the AC/save throw bonus from having PfE). It is a bit silly having a level 1 spell completely neutralising Pit Fiends and whatnot.

Sorry for raising a fuss about nothing :D

 

4. HLAs.

I don't know if you've simply added them to every character meeting the level requirement in vanilla BGII, but I wouldn't mind seeing some middle ground between

A) your party are the only ones with HLAs and

B) (what feels like) every Tom, Dick and Harry has them.

But as I said, this may really be an issue between me and ToB.

 

For mage and priest HLAs, this should be there already. You can choose to have HLAs in ToB only or through the game, and you can choose whether to have them for anyone who meets the level requirements or only for special opponents.

 

SPOILER list: "special opponents" means :

 

ToB mages: Yaga-Shura's lieutenant; Sendai and her statues; the Skeleton Mage; the fire giant mages; Karun the Black; the Hell Trial form of Irenicus; Semaj; Draconis; Illasera (non-Ascension version); Iycanth the Mad; all named liches.

 

ToB priests: Yaga-Shura's lieutenant; Sendai and her statues; the Skeleton Priest; Nyalee; Berenn; Ameralis Zauviir.

 

SoA mages: Alchra Diagott; Suneer; Irenicus (all forms); Shangalar; the Shade Lich; the Elemental Lich; Layene; Kangaxx the Lich; Lagole Gon.

SoA priests: Matron Mother Ardulace, Stalman, Hindra Jae'llat

 

Or do you mean fighter HLAs? These are given out to anyone who meets the level requirements, I think (in practice this means almost only people in ToB) - do you think they should be more stringent requirements?

Fire Giants using Smite springs to mind (especially since the knockback effect is broken, sending you through closed doors and what have you), but I'm not positive that's in SCSII.

 

Out of the ones in the list, I'm not bought on Yaga-Shura's lieutenants, the fire giants mages (not that I can recall ever having met any) and maybe a couple of the others.

 

Generally, I don't think henchmen having HLAs adds up well. But that's just personal preference, I guess.

 

 

I'll give some thought to demiliches. Is there a consensus that giving them lots of wizard spells is a good idea, then?

I would agree demiliches could benefit greatly from some spicing up. Mage spells would seem like the obvious choice.

Considering BG differs so much from PnP already, getting anything but inspiration from them (EDIT: referring to the rule books) may not be the best idea. Consequently (they already require +4 weapons to hit and can already Imprison once per round, after all), it may be for the best to boost them in accordance with the spirit of BG magery. Defensive spells alone would go a long way towards making them tougher (though probably not enough).

I, personally, don't like force-casting or instant casting time, but lower casting time than default would be acceptable, I think. Obviously it'd make quick spells instant, but the player can get the same effect with equipment, after all.

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Sorry for the delay in replying.

I seem to be duly chastised regarding some points, so I'll not press them further.

 

Don't feel got at! - I really appreciate the feedback even when I don't agree. What you've been writing has been massively helpful.

 

On one detail: Smite pushing you through doors is an annoying problem with BG2's engine which I can't solve. If it's causing concrete problems with fire giants, I might turn it off though.

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Agree wholeheartedly with the above. The Demilich in WK was also a bit of a let down. One SI:Abjuration and he's finished.

 

I'd like a demilich to be...well, like a lich, but with a few extra spell slots per level, high damage resistance (do they have this already? A floating skull ought to be fairly robust, there are no limbs to hack off for a start :) ) and perhaps they can violate the general rule that no Imprisonments are cast on the protagonist...not sure how this squares with P&P demiliches though!

Having given this a little more thought... demiliches are immune to spells of all levels. This means that nothing the party can do will bring down their magical defences... this could make for a dull battle?

 

I guess it would probably be possible to tweak it so that spells like Ruby Ray got an exemption from the general immunity.

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Having given this a little more thought... demiliches are immune to spells of all levels. This means that nothing the party can do will bring down their magical defences... this could make for a dull battle?

 

I guess it would probably be possible to tweak it so that spells like Ruby Ray got an exemption from the general immunity.

 

IMO, this is just too much work for too little gain. If I remember correctly, there are exactly two demiliches in the entire game - Kangaxx and the one in Watcher's Keep. As far as I can tell, their abilities are already pretty close to the PnP description, and while this may be a bit off putting in BG2 gameplay terms, that's simply how it's supposed to work.

 

I'd rather that you just improve their targeting a bit, restore the PnP curse which greatly lowers the party's saves, restore the fear aura of the ghost form and add a saving throw to their imprisonment ability (since Trap the Soul can be saved against in PnP). Also, you might want to discourage them from imprisoning the protagonist while other viable targets are around.

 

Alternatively, if you want to rely on 3.5E D&D, check out the Demilich template.

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Sorry for the delay in replying.

I seem to be duly chastised regarding some points, so I'll not press them further.

 

Don't feel got at! - I really appreciate the feedback even when I don't agree. What you've been writing has been massively helpful.

 

On one detail: Smite pushing you through doors is an annoying problem with BG2's engine which I can't solve. If it's causing concrete problems with fire giants, I might turn it off though.

As I recall, there are two doors inside Marching Mountain which can only be opened with the right ward stones, and another two which can only be opened by someone with at least 22 strength. All but one of them have enemies behind them, so there's definitely a chance of reloads or dead party members there.

 

 

Having given this a little more thought... demiliches are immune to spells of all levels. This means that nothing the party can do will bring down their magical defences... this could make for a dull battle?

 

I guess it would probably be possible to tweak it so that spells like Ruby Ray got an exemption from the general immunity.

Another idea would be to just give them some damaging spells. Something to fix their quality of being a one trick pony.

Making their Howl a bit more fearful could be a nice idea as well, but it's all the same as long as SI: A makes a character invulnerable to their one and only means of getting at the character.

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Having given this a little more thought... demiliches are immune to spells of all levels. This means that nothing the party can do will bring down their magical defences... this could make for a dull battle?

 

I guess it would probably be possible to tweak it so that spells like Ruby Ray got an exemption from the general immunity.

 

Hmm, well with general spell immunity I'd be more inclined to suggest giving them something like the following:

 

-pre-cast stoneskin and/or PfMW

-a casting or two of the above

-a couple of uses of spellstrike/remove magic

-a much larger battery of offensive spells akin to a high level lich (including contingencies and whatnot)

-Uninterruptable instant spell casting

 

And leave off the magic defences such as Spell Trap etc. Stoneskins can be hacked through, and PfMW is short duration - I don't think it's too much to ask for the party to survive for a few rounds which PfMW is active (I assume demiliches are immune to normal weapons anyway?)

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Having given this a little more thought... demiliches are immune to spells of all levels. This means that nothing the party can do will bring down their magical defences... this could make for a dull battle?

 

I guess it would probably be possible to tweak it so that spells like Ruby Ray got an exemption from the general immunity.

 

Hmm, well with general spell immunity I'd be more inclined to suggest giving them something like the following:

 

-pre-cast stoneskin and/or PfMW

-a casting or two of the above

-a couple of uses of spellstrike/remove magic

-a much larger battery of offensive spells akin to a high level lich (including contingencies and whatnot)

-Uninterruptable instant spell casting

 

And leave off the magic defences such as Spell Trap etc. Stoneskins can be hacked through, and PfMW is short duration - I don't think it's too much to ask for the party to survive for a few rounds which PfMW is active (I assume demiliches are immune to normal weapons anyway?)

 

Um, out of curiosity, do you mean that a demilich would cast any spell instantly without any disruption possible? Or just some spell levels/special spells? I can't stop to imagine something like "Improved Alacrity, Timestop [maybe use Wish for a double length Timestop with Improved Alacrity], TPK" if the first idea would be put into the actual game, now can I?

Spelltrap and other spell protections would be meaningless anyway because only spells such as Comet could even affect the demilich after all, if their spell immunity is not changed. One might "even" think about something like Improved Invisibility (+ SI:Divination) as a protective measure - you can't hurt him with him anyway so not having the ability to actually aim at him with spells wouldn't be too useful. A little AC/saving throw boost for him might be quite handy though. Also think about the initial invisibility, allowing for repositioning. I'm wondering what the demilich should do when he's not casting spells? Spit meteorites or energy blades at the party? ...wait... *visualizes a "spitting" skull floating around the room*

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Um, out of curiosity, do you mean that a demilich would cast any spell instantly without any disruption possible?

 

Yes, in line with SCS2's approach elsewhere - eg. fiends (from readme):

 

. If you visualise fiendly magic as being an innate power, cast at will and instantly, you can choose for fiends to have "fast, uninterruptable magic". Fiends will still cast spells only once per round, but do so instantly and cannot be interrupted.

 

As for what the demilich is doing when not casting...like the spitting skull image, but how about a level draining chew-attack? :)

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I think I ought to stop auto-granting fighter HLAs until ToB and WK; I'll add that for the next version. (I think the only reason I didn't bother originally was that there are so few high-level fighters in SoA - but you're right, there are some.) [...]

 

One question regarding this issue: will there be an additional component with an option like "grant HLAs to fighter types meeting the requirements" or is it totally omitted?

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I think I ought to stop auto-granting fighter HLAs until ToB and WK; I'll add that for the next version. (I think the only reason I didn't bother originally was that there are so few high-level fighters in SoA - but you're right, there are some.) [...]

 

One question regarding this issue: will there be an additional component with an option like "grant HLAs to fighter types meeting the requirements" or is it totally omitted?

 

Good question. I coded it to be totally omitted but perhaps that was a mistake. (Though v5 is with Cam now so it's too late to fix it for this version). Again, since there are only a very few eligible fighters in SoA and most of them are eligible more-or-less by mistake, I'm not that worried.

 

Regarding demiliches, I've followed the Coaster line more-or-less, with some borrowings from 3rd edition. (There's a certain laziness here: given I've got a huge amount of already-written, easily-customisable material for wizards, it's actually easier to make a spellcaster than to create something with unique powers).

 

The SCSII demiliches are by-the-book 35th level wizards. They have highly accelerated casting times (-5, I think) but can be interrupted; they have the same immunities as in the original game. Their gaze attack has actually been weakened (save at -5 to avoid imprisonment, lose 4 levels on a successful save); their howl has been left unaltered. Kangaxx doesn't use HLAs; the WK demilich does. They have 100% MR, and immunity to L1-5 spells, fire, cold, and electricity (that should mostly recover functional immunity to magic while still allowing high-level antimagic spells to work). They don't use Improved Alacrity; they disdain melee.

 

... I actually don't know how hard they are . I suspect they're horribly difficult (especially Kangaxx, given the party's level; if so, blame it on Coaster :thumbsup: ) That said, I'm usually caught off guard by how easy seasoned players find something I thought would be a challenge...

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Guest Toppo

Hi David,

 

First of all fantastic mod. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you think about your battles and not just send Minsc in with loads of buffs so he can hack everything to pieces, this is my first playthrough with the mod and only my second or third through the vanilla game, and I am enjoying it a lot. The encounters are greatly improved and I won't play through the game again without it.

I have installed the removal of equipment in spellhold component, and, after doing pretty well in the first level I entered the second with a feeling of accomplishment, and approached with optimism. But the next encounter was abnormally hard. With only minsc armoured (from the demon portal, I forget the name) and with some buffs I have to kill 8 Noble Umber Hulks, 2 powerful mages, and 2 demons?!

I wouldnt say I am a noob but I havent got a all round knowledge of saving throws etc, so maybe that could be toned down or something.

 

Thanks a lot for a great mod though :thumbsup:

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Hi David,

 

First of all fantastic mod. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you think about your battles and not just send Minsc in with loads of buffs so he can hack everything to pieces, this is my first playthrough with the mod and only my second or third through the vanilla game, and I am enjoying it a lot. The encounters are greatly improved and I won't play through the game again without it.

I have installed the removal of equipment in spellhold component, and, after doing pretty well in the first level I entered the second with a feeling of accomplishment, and approached with optimism. But the next encounter was abnormally hard. With only minsc armoured (from the demon portal, I forget the name) and with some buffs I have to kill 8 Noble Umber Hulks, 2 powerful mages, and 2 demons?!

I wouldnt say I am a noob but I havent got a all round knowledge of saving throws etc, so maybe that could be toned down or something.

 

Yeah, I'm hearing various worries about this component.

 

The new version will provide some more (non-magical) equipment, and it's worth noticing that Immy has Enchanted Weapon... but maybe it's still too much. I'll keep an eye on it.

 

Thanks a lot for a great mod though :thumbsup:

 

Thank you!

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Judging from the various comments, the SCSII version 5 should be bug-free(barring foolish combinations with certain mods) so I think I'll definitely try this game once again after I've played through TOEE one more time. Hopefully, the promised option to allow BG2-spell-casting for BG1Tutu will be included for SCSI as well by the end of March, so that I can start all over again from BG1 - it's so annoying - up till now, I've had virtually flawless games with BG1Tutu, but as soon as I do a BG2-megamod-install, it's like trying to tiptoe acrosss a minefield as far as avoiding CTDing bugs is concerned).

 

In the meantime, re the previous comment re Slightly Improved Irenicus:- this definitely didn't work when I tried a megamod-install including SCSII, no matter how I rearranged or deleted the various mods. Improved Ilyich worked fine, however.

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