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Guest grodrigues

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Guest grodrigues

Hi all,

 

Have been replaying BG2 with SCSII. Some other mods are also installed (e.g. some tactics components), but SCSII is installed last, as per the readme. I am really having a blast. Vanilla BG2 was just too easy (I always play at core rules) and I did not have the stomach for som of the tactics components. Anyway, here are a few remarks.

 

- Mages are overpowered. Really overpowered. Whenever I fight a battle, any battle, the number one priority is to nail mages. Since I play with the hardest option, even lowly mages launch an ungodly amount of protections right at the start and then go on to disable and make short work of the party. By comparison, fighters are... harmless. Priests are dangerous still (as they can disable, summon nasty critters, Unholy Blight which spells certain interruption for any good spellcaster in the party, especially priests with their long casting times) and thieves will intelligently target party members (e.g. those without skins) and make short work of them. But still, compared with the havoc that even a half-decent mage can cause, it seems disproportionate.

 

- Things get worse, if you are facing high-level mages. The fight with Mekrath was a nightmare. Lavok and Tolgerias in the planar sphere? Starting chain contingency with simulacrum, then a Time Stop... what the heck... went NearInfinity editor to check their stats and they are level 20-ish mages. Isn't this a bit too much? Even if justifiable on RPG reasons (Lavok is a several hundred years old necromancer and Tolgerias a high-ranking cowled wizard) it just seems too much. My party was over the 1M xp when we entered the Planar sphere. Lavok was nailed because we had a RRoR scroll; Tolgerias did not throw Spell Trap but still needed our other dispel-spell-prot scroll (Khelben's warding whip).

 

This leads me to report on what looks like a bug: Secret Word does not cut through Globe of Invulnerability but Spell Thrust does. I tested this, by having Haer' Dalis GoI and Minor Spell Turning, then attack him to turn him hostile and then have the mage throw the spells.

 

- Now imagine a high-level mage + beholder... shudder. Fortunately, there are some standard tactics that work in cleaning out the Unseeing Eye lair (Balduran -- it is only stolen once in a while, Misleaded sorc chucking Skull Traps, etc.). I shudder at what I will meet in the improved beholder lair in the underdark.

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Question:

- Mages are overpowered...

- Things get worse, if you are facing high-level mages...

Is this a good thing? As the mod is fully user adjustable, you can turn things around if you wish...

 

But do comment more. :thumbsup:

PS, the difficulty doesn't affect the SCSII AI, just the damage, just so you know.

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- Mages are overpowered. Really overpowered.

I partially agree. The original game is to blame though, since it gave mages all the potential for being the most cheesy class, and all SCS2 does is giving mages good scripting. The only aspect I find unrealistic is their überbuffing: sure, a mage could buff that much before each and every battle, but realistically, how many players do that (and rest and rebuff every single time)?

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- Mages are overpowered. Really overpowered.

I partially agree. The original game is to blame though, since it gave mages all the potential for being the most cheesy class, and all SCS2 does is giving mages good scripting. The only aspect I find unrealistic is their überbuffing: sure, a mage could buff that much before each and every battle, but realistically, how many players do that (and rest and rebuff every single time)?

 

The mod does give the option to have smarter AI for mages and priests without prebuffing. Everyone can choose it just like I did.

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- Mages are overpowered. Really overpowered.

I partially agree. The original game is to blame though, since it gave mages all the potential for being the most cheesy class, and all SCS2 does is giving mages good scripting. The only aspect I find unrealistic is their überbuffing: sure, a mage could buff that much before each and every battle, but realistically, how many players do that (and rest and rebuff every single time)?

 

The mod does give the option to have smarter AI for mages and priests without prebuffing. Everyone can choose it just like I did.

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

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I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

 

Just for the record, SCSII actually decrements the amount of available spell slots of the Mage in accordance to the amount of his precast spells.

 

For example, if a Mage precasts Protection From Electricity, Shadow Door and Spell Immunity: Divination he expends three 5th level spell slots and thus can't use them during the reminder of the combat (i.e. exactly like a PC Mage). IMO, that's fair play and by the book.

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I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

 

Just for the record, SCSII actually decrements the amount of available spell slots of the Mage in accordance to the amount of his precast spells.

 

For example, if a Mage precasts Protection From Electricity, Shadow Door and Spell Immunity: Divination he expends three 5th level spell slots and thus can't use them during the reminder of the combat (i.e. exactly like a PC Mage). IMO, that's fair play and by the book.

Well said, and one of the main reasons SCS2 should be considered a fixpack (as yarpen puts it) in many cases IMO.

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I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

 

Just for the record, SCSII actually decrements the amount of available spell slots of the Mage in accordance to the amount of his precast spells.

 

For example, if a Mage precasts Protection From Electricity, Shadow Door and Spell Immunity: Divination he expends three 5th level spell slots and thus can't use them during the reminder of the combat (i.e. exactly like a PC Mage). IMO, that's fair play and by the book.

I know that. Maybe I haven't been very clear. Mages cast a huge quantity of buffing spells, basically everything they can. While it's fair and legal and, theoretically, the player could do the same, I think no player would do that because it entails a tedious routine of resting after each battle. Hence, I don't find it entirely "believable" when enemies do it.

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Guest Guest_Loz_*

As DW mentions in the readme, whether or not you use prebuffing mages should largely depend on how much you prebuff yourself. Option 3 mages DO still prebuff, but only with longer duration spells. Personally I played with option 1(full prebuff) mages but if and when I play again I think I will go for option 3 mages. I found that I was buffing much more than I usually do in order to get a level playing field when playing the game and in the end it got a little tedious and not fun. My usual was to buff about like option 3 mages do, with stoneskin and meteors and maybe a needed energy protection spell or a short term buff or two, and this I find a much more enjoyable and fluid game experience.

 

The problem of course comes in the fact that the difficulty is somewhat reduced, particuarly in the tougher fights. Many mages begin the fight almost 'naked' and are very easy targets. And for the boss fights, I do tend to buff alot and get ready to use more resources, I just don't enjoy buffing for every single fight. I believe this problem could be helped by doing several things:

 

1) Have option 3 mages use their triggers/sequencers more as defenses as in vanilla BG2. Surprisingly, option 3 mages often have even less defenses than vanilla BG2 mages. Those triple flame arrow triggers aren't going to do much good if you don't make it out of round 2! They of course do redefend themselves well, but there is a couple of rounds lost that could easily be made up with well chosen triggers. A GoI/Spell Deflection/PFMW trigger from a level 16 mage for example will give him a great starting defense. A chain contingency of simulacrum/wilting/spell turning followed by a quick trigger containing GoI/PFMW/Shadow door or fire shield brings the level 20 mage almost to similar defenses that the full prebuff mage is at. These are just examples of course, i'm sure there are lots of great defensive combos that could be thought up, I just think that right now triggers are optimised around option 1 mages and option 3 mages need a different set. GoI def needs to get in those starting defenses more.

 

2) I have seen suggestions to make certain 'boss' fights automatically prebuff regardless of option(or have an option where they do this) and I think this might also be a nice idea. It isn't 100% realistic that they would get buffs while other mages of similar levels would not... but it DOES make for the most enjoyable game experience on what I believe is likely many peoples playstyle(i.e. 'coast' until the boss fights). My list of fights that the mages should prebuff in no matter what are as follows:

-Lavok(first 'true' high level mage boss you are likely to find, important part of planar sphere quest, unique avatar, memorable fight)

-Twisted Rune(Best high level caster fight in SoA, awesomely fun, want it to be a challenge and for them to be all out)

-Kangaxx(Perhaps not the guardians though)

-Irenicus in Hell(Final fight, elven archmage, time to prepare for final showdown in hell)

-Sendai(ToB ultimate caster, teleports into battle after having as much time as she likes to prepare)

-Azamantes(THE ToB lich/alacrity merchant introduced with scsii, plausible he'd have buffs up after being 'awakened')

 

Perhaps there are more - I don't know, and perhaps such a feature would be less nessesary if triggers/contingencies were optimised differentely for option3/option1 mages, but certainly I think many people like seeing mages perform 'to their full potential' a few times throughout the game, just not every single fight. Take traps as an example, a part of the thief class, we can imagine some of the fights where thieves have prepared traps in the area, but if it happened in every single fight it would be extremely annoying.

 

Basically I suggest these things because they are keeping with the flavour/spirit of the original game and make for an enjoyable game experience while still providing a challenge. In the end, scsii is still a massive improvement over the original scripts in terms of diffculty, realism and enjoyment so i'll continue playing it regardless of whether changes like these see implementation. :thumbsup:

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Guest Guest_Loz_*

Or perhaps you could make it so that 16+ mages always stored one of their triggers/sequencers for defense/buff and one for attack. I.E. one mage might have an offensive trigger and defensive sequencer, and the next a defensive trigger and offensive sequencer. this might systemise even the option 1 mages a little, as I often saw them unable to fully utilise all their triggers as they didn't last long enough(bet they would have loved an extra defensive trigger when they were getting chopped to pieces) or they had 2-3 based on defense and kept eluding death even though they had little offensive power left. One offensive one and one defensive one might create a balance.

 

I do think though, that the triggers need tweaking for the option 3 mages, even the defensive ones look more like mid battle 'save me from immediete death' tactics than opening moves that are going to help throughout the fight.

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Just my 2 cents...PnP contingencies can only store defensive spells, and I'd do prefer that solution for various reasons.

 

I'd even suggest to tweak the spell to work like that, which would avoid the hugely OP 3x Horrid Wilting, and the rather cheesy tactic of casting spells on improved invisible opponents via contingency.

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I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

 

Just for the record, SCSII actually decrements the amount of available spell slots of the Mage in accordance to the amount of his precast spells.

 

For example, if a Mage precasts Protection From Electricity, Shadow Door and Spell Immunity: Divination he expends three 5th level spell slots and thus can't use them during the reminder of the combat (i.e. exactly like a PC Mage). IMO, that's fair play and by the book.

I know that. Maybe I haven't been very clear. Mages cast a huge quantity of buffing spells, basically everything they can. While it's fair and legal and, theoretically, the player could do the same, I think no player would do that because it entails a tedious routine of resting after each battle. Hence, I don't find it entirely "believable" when enemies do it.

Btw, this is only extreme nitpicking, I think the component's just great.

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Mages are overpowered. Really overpowered. Whenever I fight a battle, any battle, the number one priority is to nail mages. Since I play with the hardest option, even lowly mages launch an ungodly amount of protections right at the start and then go on to disable and make short work of the party. By comparison, fighters are... harmless.

 

I personally do not have any problems with the "strong" mages... One should be realistic, every fighter who does not turn into a mage, cleric etc. after lvl 9 or 12 is simply a looser... :thumbsup:

 

Nevertheless, there are a lot of fighters (rangers, paladins etc.) in the game. Imho it would be good not only to give them potions (helps fighters more than mages), but also kits or better abilities. Many fighters could be berserkers, for example.

Or, probably better, not kit-change them, but simply give them the ability to berserk (or the barbarian rage). Especially some dwarves and humans, orcs, ogres (trolls? drow?) etc. should have the ability..

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I'd even suggest to tweak the spell to work like that, which would avoid the hugely OP 3x Horrid Wilting, and the rather cheesy tactic of casting spells on improved invisible opponents via contingency.

And also, let the PJ be able to active contengencies a la SCSII. (when you want) ^^

 

Fortunately, David uses defensives spell in contengencies :thumbsup: but sometimes also an Horrid Wilting :hm: (witch is a bit boring and sometimes a waste imho)

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I'm fine with all mages buffing, I just find it implausible that they'd always buff with a gazillion spells.

 

Just for the record, SCSII actually decrements the amount of available spell slots of the Mage in accordance to the amount of his precast spells.

 

For example, if a Mage precasts Protection From Electricity, Shadow Door and Spell Immunity: Divination he expends three 5th level spell slots and thus can't use them during the reminder of the combat (i.e. exactly like a PC Mage). IMO, that's fair play and by the book.

I know that. Maybe I haven't been very clear. Mages cast a huge quantity of buffing spells, basically everything they can. While it's fair and legal and, theoretically, the player could do the same, I think no player would do that because it entails a tedious routine of resting after each battle. Hence, I don't find it entirely "believable" when enemies do it.

 

 

I actually think it's the other way around: I often don't find it "believable" when players don't do it. After all, the reason players don't generally buff to the hilt is that it's a bit dull, and because ultimately, if you die you just reload the game. But nobody in game thinks this way!

 

On the suggestion that only bosses should prebuff (or that this should be an option): I'm reluctant because (i) as was mentioned, it's hard to see an in-game rationale; (ii) it's a bit of a pain to code. You can fake it, though, by choosing option 1 or 2 and using the console to disable prebuffing except when you want it on. CLUAConsole:SetGlobal("DMWWDisableBuffing","GLOBAL",1) deactivates prebuffing; CLUAConsole:SetGlobal("DMWWDisableBuffing","GLOBAL",0) reactivates it.

 

On the mix of defensive vs offensive sequencers: it's certainly true that they're optimised with option 1-2 in mind. (I personally play on option 2, as a point of interest.) I might have a look at tweaking the mix a bit for option 3.

 

On the specific suggestion that I use one offensive and one defensive sequencer: it's a bit tricky to code. There are about 8 sequencer choices and about 8 trigger choices. As it is I have two consecutive blocks, each with 8 choices. To do this, I'd have to have one block with 32 choices, for the 32 combinations that would be allowed under this system. Not impossible, but a nuisance to keep track of.

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