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For (iii) I may add that for such tweak I should also have to remove 'sanctuary' opcode and its hardcoded animation (only the latter if possible), else players would still see it, and the whole invisibility thing would be pointless. :thumbsup: If I'm not wrong, turning Sanctuary into a self cast Invisibility is exactly what we are discussing.

 

This reminds me that in my to do list I have something like 'II-spells make the caster immune to spell overlays', though I'm not sure it's fully doable. I do hate those supposedly invisible caster walking around with visible, sparkly animations (e.g. Spell Deflection/Turning/Trap).

Agreed (this is on my to-do list too). But actually, the awkwardness in both cases is that ideally the animation should be visible when the player casts it but not when enemies do. But implementing that in SR is probably impossible. (I can do it in SCS because enemies can use modified versions of the spell.)

 

If you like, leave the invisibility off Sanctuary and the graphic on, and I'll offer it as a tweak, for enemies only, in SCS. I don't think enemy spellcasters in vanilla use Sanctuary anyway.

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For (iii) I may add that for such tweak I should also have to remove 'sanctuary' opcode and its hardcoded animation (only the latter if possible), else players would still see it, and the whole invisibility thing would be pointless. :thumbsup: If I'm not wrong, turning Sanctuary into a self cast Invisibility is exactly what we are discussing.

 

This reminds me that in my to do list I have something like 'II-spells make the caster immune to spell overlays', though I'm not sure it's fully doable. I do hate those supposedly invisible caster walking around with visible, sparkly animations (e.g. Spell Deflection/Turning/Trap).

Agreed (this is on my to-do list too). But actually, the awkwardness in both cases is that ideally the animation should be visible when the player casts it but not when enemies do. But implementing that in SR is probably impossible. (I can do it in SCS because enemies can use modified versions of the spell.)

 

If you like, leave the invisibility off Sanctuary and the graphic on, and I'll offer it as a tweak, for enemies only, in SCS. I don't think enemy spellcasters in vanilla use Sanctuary anyway.

 

I already have a working tweak (but isn't yet released) that does all of this (deactivates enemies' animations while II).

 

-Galactygon

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Agreed (this is on my to-do list too). But actually, the awkwardness in both cases is that ideally the animation should be visible when the player casts it but not when enemies do. But implementing that in SR is probably impossible. (I can do it in SCS because enemies can use modified versions of the spell.)
You can use enemy-only 177.

PS Galc was faster :thumbsup:

Edited by Ardanis
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Sanctuary

For (iii) I may add that for such tweak I should also have to remove 'sanctuary' opcode and its hardcoded animation (only the latter if possible), else players would still see it, and the whole invisibility thing would be pointless. :thumbsup: If I'm not wrong, turning Sanctuary into a self cast Invisibility is exactly what we are discussing.

 

This reminds me that in my to do list I have something like 'II-spells make the caster immune to spell overlays', though I'm not sure it's fully doable. I do hate those supposedly invisible caster walking around with visible, sparkly animations (e.g. Spell Deflection/Turning/Trap).

Agreed (this is on my to-do list too). But actually, the awkwardness in both cases is that ideally the animation should be visible when the player casts it but not when enemies do. But implementing that in SR is probably impossible. (I can do it in SCS because enemies can use modified versions of the spell.)

 

If you like, leave the invisibility off Sanctuary and the graphic on, and I'll offer it as a tweak, for enemies only, in SCS. I don't think enemy spellcasters in vanilla use Sanctuary anyway.

Fine with me, but my point was that this way players would see AI clerics vanish in an instant (as per Invisibility spell) which is clearly not what you'd expect from Sanctuary. :thumbsup: Are AoE spells so problematic? I know players could counter this spell by casting them AoE spells but their options are relatively thin imo. Most offensive AoE spells aren't party friendly (e.g. Fireball), thus I'd assume in most cases they should rely on disabling spells (e.g. Hold Person/Monster, Confusion/Chaos) but you could easily protect the priest with a Potion of Clarity (though vanilla's one is easily dispelled *). I mean, Sanctuary obviously isn't the perfect solution to all your problems for making boss-like priests more effective (see discussion below), but it's a 1st lvl spell after all, and it still offers you quite a lot of potential anyway, no?

 

(*) have you ever thought about taking advantage of IR's revised potions? Some of them could greatly enhance your possibilities imo.

 

On a side note, why do you think animations should still be visible under II for players? Is there a negative effect I'm not aware of? I usually play with feedback options set to zero (e.g. no green circle under party members) and I actually like my characters to really become almost invisible when they hide. As Gal and Ardanis say I can use 177 to limit the effect on AI opponents, but my real problem is another: I can handle the whole thing easily for II spells, but handling normal invisibility (e.g 2nd lvl spell) is a real pain (specifically, the problem is that you'd need to make all animations reappear as soon as the creature attack or cast an offensive spell/innate). Long story short you'd need to do a huge revision much like the one I was suggesting for Sanctuary (sec type, and patch every attack/spell to remove it).

 

 

Priests effectiveness

@David, I've given a thought or two on this matter and I'd gladly try to offer my help on this matter.

 

First of all something non-SR related, give boss-like priests a good class. A plain cleric is supposed to be used to enhance a party (and they truly shine when correctly used this way imo), not to fight alone against a full party (they suck at it). Instead, a high lvl fighter-cleric can be a different story (especially considering most of his offensive buffs are not affected by Breach), and a cleric/mage can be even more deadly than a plain mage (e.g. I think Sendai is a good example). The latter solution is not always viable for roleplaying reasons (e.g. Nyalee is a druid, and other boss-like priests may clearly not have a C/M "background"), but the former is almost always viable, and I can hardly imagine players complaining because of it.

 

Then, speaking of things I may do within SR. What is you need the most? I guess PfMW-like spells and spell protections (mainly for anti-Breach purposes), right? You'd also like contingencies/triggers but it seems you agree with us that such spells really don't (and shouldn't) be part of priest's repertoire.

 

For PfMW-like spells it might be possible to do something. There are two PnP spells I know of that are almost identical to this kind of spell, Shield of Lathander and its greater version (and I planned granting Mantle to KR's Watcher's of Helm). Leaving aside for a moment the details, what I'm trying to say is that these spells kinda fit this class (they might even fit clerics more than mages imo), and if they are crucial to you we may try to do something about it.

 

That being said, you probably need spell protections more than PfMW-like spells, am I wrong? On this matter I can say a few things too, for example that AD&D Shield of the Archon (evil priest should have Shield of the Tanar'ri instead) is much much more powerful than this lame copy of Spell Deflection, or that priests do have Spell Immunity (though PnP SI is a 4th lvl spell, and it's much less effective than BG one).

 

Long story short, I can do some research and suggest various solutions, but all of them would obviously involve changes to vanilla's "status quo", thus the question is, are you interested in some of the above mentioned things?

Edited by Demivrgvs
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Regarding the current discussion of spell protections and Sanctuary, much seems to revolve around ability to target II (as far as I understand it). Could this from the TobEx wish-lish possibly help:

* Flags for spells/item abilities to allow targeting of invisible characters
This should be possible.
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Regarding the current discussion of spell protections and Sanctuary, much seems to revolve around ability to target II (as far as I understand it). Could this from the TobEx wish-lish possibly help:
* Flags for spells/item abilities to allow targeting of invisible characters
This should be possible.
The discussion around Sanctuary is not tied to the ability to target II, but that hack could probably interest David indeed for anti-magic purposes.

 

while we're turning clerics into mages so they can solo vs the party, give mages some healing spells, too.
Healing potions are enough. :thumbsup: Jokes aside, I've only mentioned PnP spells (Shield of Lathander can be found in IWDII too), I'd never suggest things like Stoneskin for clerics or Contingency for druids. Rest assured I'm quite strict when it comes to these things, SR isn't going to go wild on new spells. For example there actually is a 6th lvl cleric spell, Immunity to Weapons (starts as a PNW spell and improves with caster lvl up to Mantle-like status) within AD&D Spell Compendium, but in theory it's for Oriental Setting's shukenja (aka kara-tur clerics). I haven't mentioned it just because of that "oriental flag" in its description. Edited by Demivrgvs
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Sanctuary
For (iii) I may add that for such tweak I should also have to remove 'sanctuary' opcode and its hardcoded animation (only the latter if possible), else players would still see it, and the whole invisibility thing would be pointless. :thumbsup: If I'm not wrong, turning Sanctuary into a self cast Invisibility is exactly what we are discussing.

 

This reminds me that in my to do list I have something like 'II-spells make the caster immune to spell overlays', though I'm not sure it's fully doable. I do hate those supposedly invisible caster walking around with visible, sparkly animations (e.g. Spell Deflection/Turning/Trap).

Agreed (this is on my to-do list too). But actually, the awkwardness in both cases is that ideally the animation should be visible when the player casts it but not when enemies do. But implementing that in SR is probably impossible. (I can do it in SCS because enemies can use modified versions of the spell.)

 

If you like, leave the invisibility off Sanctuary and the graphic on, and I'll offer it as a tweak, for enemies only, in SCS. I don't think enemy spellcasters in vanilla use Sanctuary anyway.

Fine with me, but my point was that this way players would see AI clerics vanish in an instant (as per Invisibility spell) which is clearly not what you'd expect from Sanctuary.

Well, it is what you'd expect from sanctuary if you've installed a tweak that says that.

 

:thumbsup: Are AoE spells so problematic? I know players could counter this spell by casting them AoE spells but their options are relatively thin imo. Most offensive AoE spells aren't party friendly (e.g. Fireball), thus I'd assume in most cases they should rely on disabling spells (e.g. Hold Person/Monster, Confusion/Chaos) but you could easily protect the priest with a Potion of Clarity (though vanilla's one is easily dispelled *).

 

Party-unfriendliness is much less of a problem for the player, because they can just get out of the way. My own experience playing against Sanctuarying clerics says that iterated Fireballs (and the like) are a pretty effective counter.

 

(*) have you ever thought about taking advantage of IR's revised potions? Some of them could greatly enhance your possibilities imo.

 

Although I'm answering a particular question, I think the point is going to apply more broadly. In some sense, I'm just not interesting in greatly enhancing my possibilities. What I find interesting about tactical coding for BG2 is taking a framework over which I don't have control, and trying to find the most interesting and optimal strategies and encounters within that framework. Now, I'm not religious about it - occasionally I make a localised change because I think it drastically improves the puzzle, or because something is just broken or boring without a tweak, or occasionally just because it looks fun, but overall I'm really serious about the minimalism thing. It's very core to SCS's flavour, and quite core to my own interest in writing it.

 

Having said all of which, it's also interesting to work in other peoples' frameworks, which is why I'm generally quite keen (in principle) to write AI that makes allowance for SR. That probably goes for potions too, in principle, but it would always be as some additional step, not as part of the core project.

 

On a side note, why do you think animations should still be visible under II for players? Is there a negative effect I'm not aware of?

Feedback really. (Plus, if you can see your clothes, why can't you see your Fire Shield?) I don't think it's a big thing though.

 

Priests effectiveness

 

I think I've given the wrong impression in some of this discussion. I am interested in improving priests' effectiveness, but I intended to convey that as an interesting puzzle and to seek insight into what makes it difficult, possibly with a view to very small shifts that might make things more interesting, possibly just in the hope of getting good suggestions. (The Sanctuary thing falls into the former category, especially now I realise that it already has an Invisibility effect when the player casts it.) It's not the kind of thing that makes me want to make big changes in vanilla's status quo.

 

The point about fighter/clerics is well taken. I do play with cleric/mages a bit, but they're quite hard work and also I'm not really comfortable making in-game clerics into cleric/mages, given the flavour is so different.

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Sanctuary

...my point was that this way players would see AI clerics vanish in an instant (as per Invisibility spell) which is clearly not what you'd expect from Sanctuary.
Well, it is what you'd expect from sanctuary if you've installed a tweak that says that.
Point taken. Then I assume the tweak will more or less consist of splitting the spell in two different spells:

* player's version will still use 'sanctuary' opcode (with the animation)

* AI version will be an Invisibility spell

Right?

 

For SR I could handle everything within sppr109.spl via 177 but I may as well do nothing to player's version (like you suggested) and you can use DW#op109.spl for the AI.

 

There's still a small problem for me, I wanted to make Sanctuary unaffected by Divinations, but if you turn it into an Invisibility spell it's hard to do. Perhaps you can handle it using a non-detection opcode via script. This assuming you care about this feature...else I guess I'll have to live without it.

 

Party-unfriendliness is much less of a problem for the player, because they can just get out of the way. My own experience playing against Sanctuarying clerics says that iterated Fireballs (and the like) are a pretty effective counter.
But considering the large AoE of most of these spells is the 'invisibility' state going to really help? Unless you plan to have the cleric run away (and fast) from where he cast Sanctuary it's not going to be hard for players to still guess where to cast those spells...and if they guess right it's even better for them if the cleric ran away because they are even more free to use non-friendly spells. :thumbsup:

 

 

Non-SCS tweaks for SCS

(*) have you ever thought about taking advantage of IR's revised potions? Some of them could greatly enhance your possibilities imo.
Having said all of which, it's also interesting to work in other peoples' frameworks, which is why I'm generally quite keen (in principle) to write AI that makes allowance for SR. That probably goes for potions too, in principle, but it would always be as some additional step, not as part of the core project.
It's more than enough for me to know that there's at least a small chance you'll take those things into account.

 

 

Priests effectiveness

I think I've given the wrong impression in some of this discussion. I am interested in improving priests' effectiveness, but I intended to convey that as an interesting puzzle and to seek insight into what makes it difficult, possibly with a view to very small shifts that might make things more interesting, possibly just in the hope of getting good suggestions. (The Sanctuary thing falls into the former category, especially now I realise that it already has an Invisibility effect when the player casts it.) It's not the kind of thing that makes me want to make big changes in vanilla's status quo.

 

The point about fighter/clerics is well taken. I do play with cleric/mages a bit, but they're quite hard work and also I'm not really comfortable making in-game clerics into cleric/mages, given the flavour is so different.

Ok, it's just that sometimes it's difficult for me to understand when a tweak is "minimalist" or not (e.g. tweaking Breach to affect liches is worse than tweaking Shield of the Archon to be more like PnP for me). Thus sometimes I might be tempted to suggest things thinking they are fine for SCS too when they're not, other times I suggest things thinking I'm daring too much and instead they are widely accepted (e.g. tweaking Breach to reduce the huge amount of spells it removes).

 

If you want to stay almost completely true to vanilla there isn't much to say about making boss-like priests much more effective...they can't be very effective (I'd probably fear more an enraged epic Berserker).

 

Cleric: as we already said fighter-cleric class is much much more effective than a plain cleric for a solo character. Many divine buffs are not affected by Breach but most of them are kinda weak too in vanilla. Ironically 2nd lvl DUHM is the most powerful in vanilla and have a very fast casting time, but Righteous Magic is quite good too. In combo they're pretty effective, but they are both short lasting, and the latter has a very long casting time, thus the AI may find difficult to properly buff unless using Sanctuary. If you tweak Breach then Blade Barrier can be a real pain, and you may use Armor of Faith to absorb some damage in the heat of the battle considering its instant casting time. If you make use of Sanctuary I might also suggest trying to cast Chant as it's an extremly powerful spell (in fact it's A LOT more powerful than its PnP version), but once again it shines on encounters with tons of creatures, not for a boss-like cleric unless he/she has plenty of summons (the only good summon in vanilla is the Skeleton Warrior, but it's more than good, it's outstanding). Other than that, the real problem is that within BG system it's quite hard to have a solo cleric cast offensive spells without being interrupted. Physical Mirror could help, but it's far from cheap, and covers only ranged attacks. Long story short, if the cleric is a boss-like solo character than I'd dare to say that unless we're talking about a fighter-cleric (as we exclude cleric/mages) he's not going to be threatening at all.

 

Druid: here we have less buffs and you don't have Sanctuary too (though a Potion of Invisibility can do exactly the same if necessary, especially after your tweak) but we have Stoneskin (Ironskin in vanilla) which is one of the best. I'd dare to suggest making Breach not affect Stoneskin too, because that would drastically increase the chances of druids being able to cast the vast arsenal of offensive spells at their disposal (though weapons with elemental dmg are kinda common mid-late in the game). With vanilla's resources we're pretty much done discussing what a solo druid can do imo (just hope he/she manages to cast an Insect Plague while under Stoneskin). :thumbsup:

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Assuming we do not really care about AI other than from SCS/RR.
We don't :thumbsup:
Well, that's a little negative approach, and possibly stupid, especially as the game itself has already has AI that probably should be taken into account.

Another approach perhaps can be that you make sure the other AIs don't get killed just because of the spell changes on targeting etc.(so you don't overwrite every spell, but make new once that you offer to the player and the possible AI), and live with the fact that there's different kinds of same spells. :thumbsup:

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I'm thinking that early on in the life of BG(2) the importance of vanilla/no mod compatibility was more pronounced, but now we should just strive to deliver the perfect Infinity Engine experience. And that includes SR/SCS - as well as IR/RR/1PP etc etc.

Supposedly not too many agree, but that's my opinion anyhow (and somewhat OT to this discussion really).

Edited by Dakk
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