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SR v4 (detailed list of changes - ongoing update)


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Find Familiar

I guess there won't be any improvement for this spell even in version 4?
Unfortunately this is among the most time consuming things and low on my priority list, thus yes, the upcoming version will not have revised familiars. That being said, I'm probably going to better learn how to handle this matter working on Beastmaster animal companion, and by doing so I'll raise the chances to effectively be able to implement all that cool stuff we talked about for familiars (e.g. the Lantern Archon actually looked quite good in-game, I hope I haven't lost its files!).
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Cone of Cold

A thought has occurred to me - shouldn't it freeze the targets? E.g. halve the damage output (we have Sunfire/Fireburst for that) and freeze/slow everyone for one round. If they fail the save, they're also frozen for X rounds (HD-dependent?) and unable to move/cast/attack, maybe just use a Hold opcode.

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Cone of Cold

A thought has occurred to me - shouldn't it freeze the targets? E.g. halve the damage output (we have Sunfire/Fireburst for that) and freeze/slow everyone for one round. If they fail the save, they're also frozen for X rounds (HD-dependent?) and unable to move/cast/attack, maybe just use a Hold opcode.
If something needs to be added, and I'm not sure, I would add a slow effect rather than a "mass hold" one. It would be easier to balance imo, especially considering that we have Hold Monster at the same level, and that sooner or later we'll have Icelance and Otiluke's Freezing Sphere to perform what you suggest.

 

When it comes to Sunfire/Fireburst vs. Cone of Cold, they don't overlap so much anymore imo, as we greatly reduced Sunfire/Fireburst AoE, while making its casting time almost instantaneous. Cone of Cold has a different damage type, and gets a larger AoE with bigger "reach" in exchange for a slower casting time.

 

If there's a consensus, and/or it helps creating more variety I could imagine capping the damage at 15th level while adding a slow effect.

 

P.S @Arda, you know that we do have a Cone of Freezing Cold ability within IR, don't you? :D

 

Edit:

Blur vs. True Seeing

Mike has gone MIA :( thus I'm messing with SR and KR in these days and one thing struck me...I actually think we can make True Seeing work as per PnP even against Blur, and the solution seems very easy (so much that either I was blind or I'm missing something now).

 

Technically:

- Blur cast a secondary spell to apply a -x penalty to attack rolls to attackers (*) instead of improving caster's AC itself

- True Seeing grants immunity to this secondary spell

--> the result should be that a creature under TS can attack a blurred creature without suffering the thac0 penalty, but all the other creatures still suffer those penalties because TS doesn't dispel Blur anymore. :)

 

(*) I need to test if cast spell on condition (when attacked) can impose the penalty on the first attack itself

Edited by Demivrgvs
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Regarding barkskin :

Why the need to implement another stacking AC bonus, rather than improving the vanilla effect ?.

 

One of the few things that irk me about SR is that there are a ton new ways to lower AC, and these all stacks together (Haste, Improved haste, barkskin, blur - that even had to be changed to stack over the current cap -)

 

In Vanilla, Barkskin provides a character with a +1 to saves except vs. spells and set their base AC to 6 (- 1 per 4 level, IE : AC1 at Caster level 20)

It's basically the same as an armor spell, but for druids, capable of buffing either a Kensai or a thief to ensure it has the same protection as a fighter (IE : Base AC1, AKA fullplate)

 

The only change that was required there was an increase in the duration of the spells. The effect itself was quite fine.

 

Is it redundant with the Armor arcane spells ? Yes, somehow, but it lets druids (IE : Avengers) or rangers (IE : Stalkers) be able to reach base AC1 even without a Wizard in the party.

Edited by Aranthys
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Cone of Cold

P.S @Arda, you know that we do have a Cone of Freezing Cold ability within IR, don't you? :D
If you must know, I just loaded Dragon Age and remembered the fun with its own CoC that freezes everyone for a short duration without a save :)
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Blur vs. True Seeing

Technically:

- Blur cast a secondary spell to apply a -x penalty to attack rolls to attackers (*) instead of improving caster's AC itself

- True Seeing grants immunity to this secondary spell

--> the result should be that a creature under TS can attack a blurred creature without suffering the thac0 penalty, but all the other creatures still suffer those penalties because TS doesn't dispel Blur anymore. :)

Same old issue - can't grant thaco mod vs specific creature.

What you suggest will work, but will also affect attacks made against non-blurred opponents if the attacker chooses to switch targets.

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What you suggest will work, but will also affect attacks made against non-blurred opponents if the attacker chooses to switch targets.
Shouldn't the blur kinda be area of effect spell anyways ? Yes, it will power up the spell ... so what ...
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Blur vs. True Seeing

Technically:

- Blur cast a secondary spell to apply a -x penalty to attack rolls to attackers (*) instead of improving caster's AC itself

- True Seeing grants immunity to this secondary spell

--> the result should be that a creature under TS can attack a blurred creature without suffering the thac0 penalty, but all the other creatures still suffer those penalties because TS doesn't dispel Blur anymore. :)

Same old issue - can't grant thaco mod vs specific creature.

What you suggest will work, but will also affect attacks made against non-blurred opponents if the attacker chooses to switch targets.

Does cast spell on condition (AttackedBy - 7) makes the thac0 penalty take effect on the first attempted strike? If yes, we just neeed the penalty to last 1-2 seconds each time the attacker tries to strike the Blurred creature and switching target in such a short time would be very unlikey to say the least. If opcode 232 doesn't allow for that, well, the entire idea is just not implementable.

 

Barkskin

Why the need to implement another stacking AC bonus, rather than improving the vanilla effect ?.

 

One of the few things that irk me about SR is that there are a ton new ways to lower AC, and these all stacks together (Haste, Improved haste, barkskin, blur - that even had to be changed to stack over the current cap -)

This has been done on purpose to counter a few things such as AC quickly becoming irrelevant in the later stages of BG2, and mages never picking AC enhancing spells (mind you, DavidW still doesn't consider them a valid option even after SR's buffs).

 

Otoh, if too many things stack and/or I overdid something just let me know and we will see if something has to be done (e.g. v4 Barkskin will have a slower progression and no longer stack with Potion of Defense).

 

In Vanilla, Barkskin provides a character with a +1 to saves except vs. spells and set their base AC to 6 (- 1 per 4 level, IE : AC1 at Caster level 20)

It's basically the same as an armor spell, but for druids, capable of buffing either a Kensai or a thief to ensure it has the same protection as a fighter (IE : Base AC1, AKA fullplate)

 

The only change that was required there was an increase in the duration of the spells. The effect itself was quite fine.

Unlike mages, druids and rangers can use armors, making vanilla's Barkskin pretty much useless for themselves (leaving aside the most powerful BG2 dragon armors, even just BG1's Ankheg Armor has the same AC as vanilla's Barkskin when cast by a level 20 caster!), not to mention that with Ranger's caster level capped at 9 the spell was crippled for them.

 

The only real use I could see for vanilla's Barkskin was to buff your thief, but even then it is just a matter of getting a very small AC bonus considering they can wear light armors (and those armors are great with IR installed), making it behave pretty much as SR's one, simply less "stackable". The thing is, do we really want a spell to have such a small niche and be utterly useless for the very same classes that can cast it?

 

Regarding Barkskin raising saving throws, I can imagine it raising save vs. death if we really want it (though all editions after AD&D dropped this idea entirely), but making it grant better saves vs. breath makes really no sense (a wood-like skin is now resistant to a red dragon breath? o.O).

 

Special mention on buffing the Kensai with armor spells, it's a very stupid game design imo, because it implies that Kensai's AC is pathetic without a caster buffing him, and that armor spells on him are ridiculously more effective than on everyone else. You end up with a class which is poorly balanced by himself, and too much buffed by a single spell (a vanilla Kensai gets +9 AC from Spirit Armor, that's insane!).

I'm really glad we fixed this with IR and KR.

Edited by Demivrgvs
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Blur vs. True Seeing

Technically:

- Blur cast a secondary spell to apply a -x penalty to attack rolls to attackers (*) instead of improving caster's AC itself

- True Seeing grants immunity to this secondary spell

--> the result should be that a creature under TS can attack a blurred creature without suffering the thac0 penalty, but all the other creatures still suffer those penalties because TS doesn't dispel Blur anymore. :)

Same old issue - can't grant thaco mod vs specific creature.

What you suggest will work, but will also affect attacks made against non-blurred opponents if the attacker chooses to switch targets.

Does cast spell on condition (AttackedBy - 7) makes the thac0 penalty take effect on the first attempted strike? If yes, we just neeed the penalty to last 1-2 seconds each time the attacker tries to strike the Blurred creature and switching target in such a short time would be very unlikey to say the least. If opcode 232 doesn't allow for that, well, the entire idea is just not implementable.

 

Barkskin

Why the need to implement another stacking AC bonus, rather than improving the vanilla effect ?.

 

One of the few things that irk me about SR is that there are a ton new ways to lower AC, and these all stacks together (Haste, Improved haste, barkskin, blur - that even had to be changed to stack over the current cap -)

This has been done on purpose to counter a few things such as AC quickly becoming irrelevant in the later stages of BG2, and mages never picking AC enhancing spells (mind you, DavidW still doesn't consider them a valid option even after SR's buffs).

 

Otoh, if too many things stack and/or I overdid something just let me know and we will see if something has to be done (e.g. v4 Barkskin will have a slower progression and no longer stack with Potion of Defense).

 

In Vanilla, Barkskin provides a character with a +1 to saves except vs. spells and set their base AC to 6 (- 1 per 4 level, IE : AC1 at Caster level 20)

It's basically the same as an armor spell, but for druids, capable of buffing either a Kensai or a thief to ensure it has the same protection as a fighter (IE : Base AC1, AKA fullplate)

 

The only change that was required there was an increase in the duration of the spells. The effect itself was quite fine.

Unlike mages, druids and rangers can use armors, making vanilla's Barkskin pretty much useless for themselves (leaving aside the most powerful BG2 dragon armors, even just BG1's Ankheg Armor has the same AC as vanilla's Barkskin when cast by a level 20 caster!), not to mention that with Ranger's caster level capped at 9 the spell was crippled for them.

 

The only real use I could see for vanilla's Barkskin was to buff your thief, but even then it is just a matter of getting a very small AC bonus considering they can wear light armors (and those armors are great with IR installed), making it behave pretty much as SR's one, simply less "stackable". The thing is, do we really want a spell to have such a small niche and be utterly useless for the very same classes that can cast it?

 

Regarding Barkskin raising saving throws, I can imagine it raising save vs. death if we really want it (though all editions after AD&D dropped this idea entirely), but making it grant better saves vs. breath makes really no sense (a wood-like skin is now resistant to a red dragon breath? o.O).

 

Special mention on buffing the Kensai with armor spells, it's a very stupid game design imo, because it implies that Kensai's AC is pathetic without a caster buffing him, and that armor spells on him are ridiculously more effective than on everyone else. You end up with a class which is poorly balanced by himself, and too much buffed by a single spell (a vanilla Kensai gets +9 AC from Spirit Armor, that's insane!).

I'm really glad we fixed this with IR and KR.

Part of the problem, I'd guess is that you're making theses changes with KR and IR installed in mind.

While I understand why (Hell, you're the one behind these three mods) remember that not everyone that uses SR will also install KR and/or IR, and that buffing spells such as spirit armor/barkskin are basically MADE for classes that do not have access to the best armor class items - the disadvantage beeing susceptible to dispell / breach and the loss of time casting the spell & memorized spell slots.

 

A Vanilla kensai may be getting 9 AC when a thief/avenger/stalker is only getting 6 AC, but several spells benefit some classes / kit much better than others, so I don't see how this is relevant here : It's perfectly fine for a spell to grant a better benefit to some classes :D

 

Actually, having spells that grant great benefits to some kits/classes (and not accross the board) makes for a less bland spell system, because any buff that it a must have and grants the same boost to everyone basically becomes a no-brainer "I just rest, okay, let's cast barkskin on everyone".

 

Regarding the balancing, that's another matter entirely, because the balancing factor of the base AC limitation depending on the class has always been able to be overcome through spells or equipment in AD&D (IE : Base AC doesn't matter much since you can always get bracers of set ACX OR a spell that grants you an incorporeal armor that will defend you just as well as a full plate armor)

 

But this is your mods, in the end and I guess I'll have to agree to disagree, or make my own "mod from your mod" since it's basically nitpicking about a few spells here and there ;p

Edited by Aranthys
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Barkskin

Part of the problem, I'd guess is that you're making theses changes with KR and IR installed in mind.

While I understand why (Hell, you're the one behind these three mods) remember that not everyone that uses SR will also install KR and/or IR, and that buffing spells such as spirit armor/barkskin are basically MADE for classes that do not have access to the best armor class items....

As I said, vanilla's Barkskin was actually useless for pretty much everyone except a Kensai. Even without IR, druids and rangers had access to armors with equal or superior AC values.

 

Btw, it is obvious for Revisions mods to take into account each other, it would be stupid not doing it. I always strive to make everything work in all the possible scenarios (e.g. vanilla BG, BGEE, without mod x, with mod x+y, etc.) but it is granted that depending on your install things may work a little different, it is straight impossible to make huge mods like IR, SR and KR work the very same way on all installs, there's simply too many variables and tweaks one can apply.

 

A Vanilla kensai may be getting 9 AC when a thief/avenger/stalker is only getting 6 AC, but several spells benefit some classes / kit much better than others, so I don't see how this is relevant here : It's perfectly fine for a spell to grant a better benefit to some classes :D
If you think that it is fine for a long lasting, mid-low level spell to grant +9 AC to a warrior than we have completely different views of what "balance" means.

 

A thief/avenger/stalker getting +6 AC is very unlikely considering that a studded leather +2 (surely not the best armor around even in vanilla) has the same AC of a vanilla's Barkskin with caster level 8-11.

 

Actually, having spells that grant great benefits to some kits/classes (and not accross the board) makes for a less bland spell system, because any buff that it a must have and grants the same boost to everyone basically becomes a no-brainer "I just rest, okay, let's cast barkskin on everyone".
To put Barkskin on everyone you need all your 2nd level spell slots, and the first Dispel Magic will wipe out all of them at once. That being said, if I have to pick one between:

- a spell which works good on everyone

- a spell which is completely useless for almost everyone, meh for 1-2 classes, but brokenly good for the Kensai

It's a no-brainer indeed which one I would want in my mods.

Edited by Demivrgvs
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As I said, vanilla's Barkskin was actually useless for pretty much everyone except a Kensai. Even without IR, druids and rangers had access to armors with equal or superior AC values.

Well, I'd have used barkskin more if it lasted longer in vanilla. But I actually used it quite a bit before having access to the shadow dragon armor on my party thief to ensure she survived on the front lines in my last BG2:EE playthrough.

 

Btw, it is obvious for Revisions mods to take into account each other, it would be stupid not doing it. I always strive to make everything work in all the possible scenarios (e.g. vanilla BG, BGEE, without mod x, with mod x+y, etc.) but it is granted that depending on your install things may work a little different, it is straight impossible to make huge mods like IR, SR and KR work the very same way on all installs, there's simply too many variables and tweaks one can apply.
Aye, I understand. But try to keep an agnostic view on how you implement your different mods , because if you're altering things mainly/exclusively due to what you did in another of your mods, that means that they basically are just one huge mod in the end, rather than three separate mods. (Note the emphasis on the mainly:exclusively words :D)

 

If you think that it is fine for a long lasting, mid-low level spell to grant +9 AC to a warrior than we have completely different views of what "balance" means.

It's fine since that +9 AC is a limitation from the class that you overcome with a magic spell.. Hell, even wizards recieve +9 AC from that spell if they are not using rare/pricey items.

 

A thief/avenger/stalker getting +6 AC is very unlikely considering that a studded leather +2 (surely not the best armor around even in vanilla) has the same AC of a vanilla's Barkskin with caster level 8-11.

Barkskin + Ring of protection +2 is in every way better than studded leather +2. Actually, bracers of AC6 + Ring of Protection +2 is better than Studded leather +2.

 

To put Barkskin on everyone you need all your 2nd level spell slots, and the first Dispel Magic will wipe out all of them at once.

Only those with low base AC (IE : Not warriors / clerics) will lose that since the others don't need it :) , and, well... isn't beeing susceptible to dispell magic part of the deal of using magic to increase your defense and overcome a class weakness in the first place ?

Edited by Aranthys
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Barkskin

As I said, vanilla's Barkskin was actually useless for pretty much everyone except a Kensai. Even without IR, druids and rangers had access to armors with equal or superior AC values.
Well, I'd have used barkskin more if it lasted longer in vanilla. But I actually used it quite a bit before having access to the shadow dragon armor on my party thief to ensure she survived on the front lines in my last BG2:EE playthrough.
Shadow Armor (available even within BG1) has AC4, but even using less powerful light armors I would not waste a spell to give my thief +1 AC, especially considering he is supposed to be the most elusive target of all. Otoh, Druids (not to mention vanilla's F/D) and rangers simply do not get anything from vanilla's Barkskin.

 

Btw, I'm really curious to know if anyone agrees with you, as of now every single time this spell has been mentioned it was either a "cool, this spell can finally be used" or "cool, but slighty nerf it", I really don't remember anyone saying "noo this spell was so great in vanilla, you ruined it".

 

Btw, it is obvious for Revisions mods to take into account each other, it would be stupid not doing it. I always strive to make everything work in all the possible scenarios (e.g. vanilla BG, BGEE, without mod x, with mod x+y, etc.) but it is granted that depending on your install things may work a little different, it is straight impossible to make huge mods like IR, SR and KR work the very same way on all installs, there's simply too many variables and tweaks one can apply.
Aye, I understand. But try to keep an agnostic view on how you implement your different mods , because if you're altering things mainly/exclusively due to what you did in another of your mods, that means that they basically are just one huge mod in the end, rather than three separate mods. (Note the emphasis on the mainly:exclusively words :D)
Well, in the long run they are actually intended to be a sort of single huge mod. By doing so I can actually achieve things I would not be able to do if we had no control over other aspects of the game. You can still use any Revisions mod by itself, on any install, and they would still work fine, they simply do not show their full potential imo.

 

If you think that it is fine for a long lasting, mid-low level spell to grant +9 AC to a warrior than we have completely different views of what "balance" means.
It's fine since that +9 AC is a limitation from the class that you overcome with a magic spell.. Hell, even wizards recieve +9 AC from that spell if they are not using rare/pricey items.
No, it's not fine and I've already explained why this mechanic is broken: you cannot design a class behind a weakness and then completely get rid of it with a single item/spell - either the class sucks without such item/spell or it becomes overpowered with it. In your case the +9 AC seems fine because a vanilla Kensai by itself was kinda "meh". The same broken mechanic can be brought to the extremes, such as Kensai-Thief's UAI allowing him to actually wear armors. In this case they managed to allow turning a slightly underpowered kit into a ridiculously broken one (seriously, I played one ages ago and even Ascension seemed easy-mode with this combo).

 

Bracers of AC 6-7-8 are actually far from rare (even within BG1 you can get them), and within vanilla BG2 your mage could get base AC 5 via bracers or robes extremely easy. Short story: for a mage (or a KR's Kensai) Spirit Armor is more like a +4 or +5 AC, which is much more reasonable, and unlike vanilla Barkskin, armor spells are actually useful to the caster himself.

 

Barkskin + Ring of protection +2 is in every way better than studded leather +2. Actually, bracers of AC6 + Ring of Protection +2 is better than Studded leather +2.
Both Tweakpack and IR allows to wear Protection items alongside armors, but even assuming you can't, don't forget you could have used those ring/bracer slots for something else by picking the armor, thus your comparison isn't really a fair one. Not to mention you had tons of much better armors than a Studded Leather +2 even in vanilla (afaik Ankheg Armor wasn't even treated as magical there, and you could equip a Ring of Protection alongside it). Edited by Demivrgvs
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I guess we just don't understand each other and don't have the same opinion about the use of a spell that sets base AC, exactly like we disagree about spells/items that set stats (I prefer spells/Items that set abilities to <Value> you prefer spells/items that grant a bonus to that ability)

 

Finally, about stacking armor and rings of protection, even in PnP both didn't stack, but it's part of IR, and I have no interest in IR (Due to that, but also due to other changes that I dislike - even if I acknowledge the fact that it's a great mod for those that like it :D)...

For me, the fact that both don't stack is compensated by the fact that protection rings grant additional bonus to saves :)

 

IE : You can either get "great AC" + other ring or "Good AC + Saves bonus", and it's pretty well balanced for me that way :D

Edited by Aranthys
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I prefer Barkskin's SR implementation over the vanilla one by far. However, it was not as useless in vanilla as Demi is painting it as due to the fact that you do not start off with those powerful armors but must accumulate them throughout the game. Barkskin was pretty useful on several characters early on in vanilla BG. However, it is now useful throughout the game on basically everyone, which is a nice improvement.

 

I should mention that, when you talk about nerfing the duration of a buff like Barkskin, the difference between 1 turn/level to 5 fixed turns is not particularly meaningful to me. This is because I see a buff as one of the following: a cast-after-rest buff, a cast-before-battle buff, or a cast-during-battle (emergency) buff. 1turn/level and 1hour still both fall into the cast-after-rest buff category, for me at least.

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