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SR v4 (detailed list of changes - ongoing update)


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Innate Contingencies & Sequencers

These spells will be turned into innates at will abilities gained by mages at lvl up. Such change should make SCS fights more fair (as SCS mages always have all triggers/contingecies ready), and it will eliminate the odd "rest - prepare triggers - rest again" routine I hear from too many players.

 

What happened with this idea? Are you going to be able to implement it? I think it is an awesome idea!

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What happened with this idea? Are you going to be able to implement it? I think it is an awesome idea!

It's going to be on the Kit Revision mod, probably. At least I think I saw such a thread somewhere... Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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So, how is the testing going? ;)

It's about to speed up. I'll run through the game in (give or take) 7 days, post bugs/feedback, then Demi has to fix/maybe change stuff that needs fixing or changing, we have to agree at least somewhat about changes, after that I don't know what will happen. :D

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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 http://forums.gibberlings3.net/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/biggrin.png

Not to necro an old point, but the obvious way to balance stuff like this is to eliminate every instance of an item of spell *setting* AC at a particular value, and make everything give AC bonuses. The every item and dpell can be balanced against each other and for determination of stackable use.

 

I can't wait to see this in SR/IR v5. Get to work!

Edited by subtledoctor
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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 http://forums.gibberlings3.net/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/biggrin.png

Not to necro an old point, but the obvious way to balance stuff like this is to eliminate every instance of an item of spell *setting* AC at a particular value, and make everything give AC bonuses. The every item and dpell can be balanced against each other and for determination of stackable use.

 

I can wait to see this in SR/IR v5. Get to work!

 

I don't think Revisions mods will be going this way - what you're implying isn't really such an "obvious way to balance things" (everything giving AC bonus rather then "setting"). Balancing this out (i.e. Full Plate + Spirit Armor+Armor Spell+Ghost Armor on Fighter/Mage character, for example; ) would probably be impossible. Add in SCS compatibility (potion use) and impossible is a mellow word for what you end up with.

Discussion about what can, and what should and should not stack would very probably never come to a viable conclussion (one thing is saying - "these two can't stack because it's imbalanced"; saying "these two can't stack because they theoretically shouldn't" is arguably another; but you can probably see the point.

KR and IR Armor Dex Penalties / abilities/resistances already do a decent job balancing AC use(fulness)- you have a choice of making a superb AC decoy, a bad AC-you hit me-you get burned character, etc.

KR kensai, for example can't be very resistant, but he can dodge hits both physical and magical. Berserker otoh, suffers from bad AC and poor breath saves but is best built around regen/HP stacking items, and does a ton of damage in return for as long as he's alive. Barbarian is somewhere in between - can be built however one wishes to. Cavalier has both resistance + AC.......; I'll stop my rambling here. :p

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I actually don't think IR's armor is truly balanced the way it needs to be, I think you really have to adopt a FPPS system (slightly modified, though) to get it right. But that's pretty subjective, and not relevant to the post, and anyway I was only kidding above. Revising the entire way armor works could be balanced, but would be WAY too much work for very little reward. We have a reasonably good system, with tweaks like SR/IR, and the occasional hiccup like you see in Barkskin is not the end of the world.

 

Anyway looking forward to SRv4, so I can kick the tires and see what further modifications I want to layer over it in my mod! (For the minority who hates PfMW, I'm doing away with it.)

Edited by subtledoctor
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I actually don't think IR's armor is truly balanced the way it needs to be

It probably isn't, I agree. How would you balance it? More DR, less AC? Less DR, less AC? I'm very curious about armor balancing.

 

, I think you really have to adopt a FPPS system (slightly modified, though) to get it right.

FPPS is already compatible with IR for people who choose so, but the system as such breaks badly at both high and low levels. Unfortunately, non-percentage based damage resistance isn't really implementable in BG.

 

 

the occasional hiccup like you see in Barkskin is not the end of the world.

Fixed in V4, will be even more "fixed" when Demi writes down a new XP chart for KR. Druids themselves with SR have usually much better spells to cast than barkskining your fighters. ;)

 

 

(For the minority who hates PfMW, I'm doing away with it.)

Heh. My proposed tweak to this spell (which is; unless you're fighting Liches/Vampire mages/few select oponnents; simply countered by freakin' non-enchanted weapons - this is the real apsurdity of this spell, not it's relative power )

is that it protects against all weapons, so AI benefits from it just as the player (SCS won't use normal weapons against PFMW; then again, neither will I so.....).

You want to remove it from the game? Ummm...cool.

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As I told to subtledoctor on EE forums, there are things I simply cannot do on a large scale mod like SR. Removing or replacing PfMW is not an option. SCS relies on it too much and aVENGER's AI even needs its non-magical vulnerability to be there. Some (most?) players might not notice the AI inefficiency if we replaced PfMW with something like Stoneskin (that's what you suggested, isn't it?) or a similar protective spell, but we would still be hampering the AI and risking to create serious issues to a highly optimized AI like SCS (e.g. check for PfMW, cannot find it, re-cast it twice in a row).

 

Mind you, I would actually prefer the AI to not be 100% optimized (e.g. I don't like the AI always knowing your exact resistances & immunities), but that's another story, and I'm pretty sure I'll never find the time to write my own SCS, nor I would ever be a good script writer like DavidW.

 

When it comes to Revised Armor system, may I ask what you guys find not balanced there?

There's one thing I would partially agree on, heavy armor should have even worse AC and better resistance, but:

- with a % dmg res implementing something like that would quickly become unbalanced if not completely broken

- as always within Revisions mods, I opted for the least "drastic" solution possible, something which preserves the original system as much as possible (e.g. all vanilla AC values are still there and non-hardcore players can easily use armors as they always did without having too much to think about).

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. Removing or replacing PfMW is not an option.

No, it isn't. What will happen (even if it's "replaced" by Stoneskin of a similar duration - but what will happen to original Stoneskin then?)- mages will get shredded in no time by melfs, arrows, and ultimately hasted melee grunts, when the entire party massed together has a total of over 20 attacks per round. GL customizing Detectable spells for such tweaks....

I do hate stoneskin much more than PFMW anyway. That spell is imbalanced.

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Removing or replacing PfMW is not an option. SCS relies on it too much... but we would still be hampering the AI and risking to create serious issues to a highly optimized AI like SCS (e.g. check for PfMW, cannot find it, re-cast it twice in a row).

Ahh, so you say the SCS is optimized, then it should work here as well, see if we do not overwrite the spell, but remove it completely from the spell list, the optimization should work great here, say as none of the wizards would have the PfMW, they would need to use the Mantle spells instead.

 

The other option in my opinion to the removal is to make the PfMW user unmovable... well without teleporting.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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Ahh, so you say the SCS is optimized, then it should work here as well, see if we do not overwrite the spell, but remove it completely from the spell list, the optimization should work great here, say as none of the wizards would have the PfMW, they would need to use the Mantle spells instead.

Yeah....it doesn't work this way. They wouldn't just "use Mantle". It's a much higher chance SCS won't even install on top of removed PFMW.

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Whoa! Didn't intend to kick up a sh- uh, sandstorm here. I should say right off that I didn't mean any criticism; SR and IR are basically behaving exactly as I like them to. When I say something like "PfMW should be erased," I mean that's how I want my particular game to work; not that every game with SR should be that way.

Yeah....it doesn't work this way. They wouldn't just "use Mantle". It's a much higher chance SCS won't even install on top of removed PFMW.

Well, that's why I'm erasing it after SCS is already installed! :p

Heh. My proposed tweak to this spell (which is; unless you're fighting Liches/Vampire mages/few select oponnents; simply countered by freakin' non-enchanted weapons - this is the real apsurdity of this spell, not it's relative power )

I agree - the idea that you can be immune to attacks from a Holy Avenger but can be killed by a nonmagical club, strains credulity enough to make the game unfun. Not to mention, I found myself simply carrying around one nonmagical weapon for each character, in their 2nd weapon slot, just in case any enemies cast that spell. It was horribly annoying and at some point I just smacked myself for putting up with it. For players like that, and mobs with RR AI, PfMW is more useless than a 2nd-level spell. For lazy players and non-optimized (even SCS!) AI, it is as good as a 9th-level spell. (Likewise with your tweak.) It is completely inappropriate at 6th level, no matter which way you cut it.

 

So the AI depends on being untouchable after casting a 6th-level spell? Due respect to DavidW, but that isn't very good AI. If you turn it into Absolute Immunity (the non-SR version), which is fine, then it shouldn't be a sixth-level spell. Keep the same .spl name, keep it in all the scripts, keep SCS mages using it, but put it at 8th level. It shouldn't matter for the AI - they'll cast what they're scriped to cast, no? But it will better situate a ridiculous spell for the player. Of course then you have to re-level, or else simply remove, or else completely re-imagine, all of the Mantle spells. Which is a crying shame, because those spells, in concept and execultion, are much better than PfMW. Therefore, my preference is to eliminate PfMW and make better use of the Mantles.

I do hate stoneskin much more than PFMW anyway. That spell is imbalanced.

Stoneskin is indeed overpowered, which is why my original thought was to move it to 6th level. And while I'm adding a 6th-level combat protection spell, and removing a 6th-level combat protection spell... at first it made sense to just rename SS with PfMW's filename, and let the scripts run as normal. On paper, ignoring the AI, it is very well-balanced. Demi pointed out the weakness of this though, and indeed it was a kneejerk, lazy, imperfect solution. My current idea is to give druids Stoneskin and re-purpose Ironskins as a souped-up version, giving 3 rounds of elemental protection in addition to some extra skins. So you can't just plink away at an Ironskinned mage with fire arrows or the Flail of Ages and expect to interrupt his spells. That mage will be much better protected. Not perfectly protected, of course, because

mages will get shredded in no time by melfs, arrows, and ultimately hasted melee grunts, when the entire party massed together has a total of over 20 attacks per round.

Well, them's the breaks man. It's a 6th-level spell. The idea that the AI should be designed around the assumption of near perfect invulnerability with a mid-level spell is very, very flawed. Mages should be casting the best, highest-level protection spells they can; this is a fight to the death, their lives are on the line. Sometimes, though, your best isn't enough - the enemy breaks through your best defenses and slays you. That's life. That's great role-playing!

 

tl;dr: PfMW as implemented was a very bad design decision. We're all modding here, changing a million parts of the game to suit ourselves better. Seems to me making a dozen changes to deal with that one bad design isn't optimal; why not change that one bad part instead? This is not the job of SR - Demi, you're doing everything right. But for instance, if I was doing SCS AI I wouldn't use PfMW regardless of whether a mod removes it or leaves it in. It's a bad spell; the best AI should use better spells. Then modding it wouldn't make a difference. (And let's keep things in perspective, this is not really a knock on Davidw either, he does great work. It's just one instance where I disagree with his decision.)

Edited by subtledoctor
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I apologize in advance because this discussion is more apporpriate on teh IR forums. But:

 

FPPS is already compatible with IR for people who choose so, but the system as such breaks badly at both high and low levels. Unfortunately, non-percentage based damage resistance isn't really implementable in BG.

 

Yes, it is perfectly easy to install FPPS after/with/on top of IR. Which is why...

 

When it comes to Revised Armor system, may I ask what you guys find not balanced there?

There's one thing I would partially agree on, heavy armor should have even worse AC and better resistance, but:

- with a % dmg res implementing something like that would quickly become unbalanced if not completely broken

- as always within Revisions mods, I opted for the least "drastic" solution possible, something which preserves the original system as much as possible (e.g. all vanilla AC values are still there and non-hardcore players can easily use armors as they always did without having too much to think about).

 

I just don't think the revised armor system gets done what it aims to, and I'm not sure I would even do it. (Mind you, I appreciate how crappy that must be to hear after spending lots of hours and effort making that mod component... but hear me out.)

 

Trying not to stray too far from vanilla play for those non-hardcore players, while also earnestly trying to change the way armors work... these two goals clash, and I just don't think the BG2 ruleset permits a good compromise. We all agree on the problem: Leather +3 at 1,000gp is the same as Chain +1 at 250 gp is the same as Splint at 45gp. Yeah it's different for thieves and in a few other ways but it's still flawed. On the other hand the best way do something about it is to implement a drastic solution like (but not exactly like) FPPS. If you're not going to go there, then I say focus on making the armors the best the are under the current, flawed system. People have plenty of fun playing BG without FPPS, and IR v1-3 made that a lot better, even with the flawed armor system. It wasn't a big deal.

 

The problem is that adding a 5% DR does nothing. Adding 10% DR does next to nothing, and indeed sometimes it does nothing. My understanding and experience with the system is, the resistance always rounds to an integer. When I first played with FPPS I had guys in leather with 10% DR, in chain with 20% DR, in splint mail with 30% DR. They got hit by an arrow, for 4 hp damage. The guy in leather took 3 damage. The guy in chain took 3 damage. And the guy in splint took 3 damage. So what's the point? After 25 arrows the leather guy should take 90 damage, and the chain guy should take 80, and the splint guy should take 70. But instead they all take 75.

 

In short, small bumps in resistance don't really translate into anything in-game. So I see Revised Armors giving 5% for leather, and 15% for plate, to me that's basically meaningless. Yes, with that 15% plate + 20% for Defender of Easthaven + 40% for Hardiness you can reach a nice 75% DR... but then again, with leather armor you can get 65% DR, so what is the plate mail really doing there? Inevitably you'll say it has to do something, so you'll give it better base AC than the leather, and now you're just embracing the vanilla system.

 

Which, let me reiterate, is fine.

 

You wanna know my personal solution? I think FPPS is great not because of the choices it makes for AC and DR values, but as a tool. I edited thebiglist.txt and used FPPS to install my own whole new system for armors. AC is normalized - all nonmagical armors have the same AC, all armors +1 have the same AC, etc. Armor grants +2 AC over unarmored, and each magical "+" grants +2 AC beyond that. DEX can drop AC lower, and is a bit more effective at that than in vanilla (18-19 gets you +5 AC bonus). But AC is seriously penalized in heavy armors, balanced by DR. The DR goes up in big 15% chunks, so that you can tell the different even with hits from bandit bows. I forget offhand, but something like 0% for leather, 15% for studded leather, 30% for chain, and 45% for plate. (Of course the DoE and Hardiness etc. are balanced to account for this and prevent DR from going over ~80%.) A high-DEX, lightly-armored thief can avoid blows better than anyone else in the game... but if he takes a hit from a Fire Giant, he gets hit real hard. A heavily armored fighter can have 40-60% DR, and take hits much better. But his AC is worse. He can use a shield and get his AC down to where the thief's is; or he can dual-wield or use a greatsword and try to deal enough damage to make up for it. The tactical decisions are much more interesting than in the vanilla game.

 

It's not just slapping values onto ITMs, it's a whole system, and contrary to kreso's assertion above, it worked shockingly well in my recent BGT playthroughs, from Candlekeep right to TOB. Lots of fun, to the point that it's really jarring to go back to vanilla where my 8 DEX fighter in heavy plate mail can dodge blows better than my 18 DEX swashbuckler in supple leather.

 

But, I don't suspect many other people want such a drastic change, so I don't publicize it and I don't expect IR to try to reproduce it. IR does great stuff; I just say, focus on doing what you are already doing extremely well.

Edited by subtledoctor
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Yeah....it doesn't work this way. They wouldn't just "use Mantle". It's a much higher chance SCS won't even install on top of removed PFMW.

 

Well, that's why I'm erasing it after SCS is already installed! :p

Ahaahaha... :D:D epic...

So, your mod (linked in sig) goes after you install SCS?

Well, SR/IR/KR are "optimized" for SCS, and what you're doing here isn't. Not that it's a problem anyway, just sayin'.

 

My current idea is to give druids Stoneskin and re-purpose Ironskins as a souped-up version, giving 3 rounds of elemental protection in addition to some extra skins.

Cute, but ain't gonna work on EE as it is. Or BG without ToBEx tweak . You'll have to modify each elemental weapon to use "cast spell" and then modify Ironskins to use "pro spell" for each spell you make. Spell disruption happens even on zero damage instances. Or give it "immunity do damage animation" if that's possible.

 

 

it's a whole system

Exactly. And a very delicate one as well, which gets broken very easilly, there are numerous things to be taken into account. Here's a lovely discussion we had about it.

 

 

The problem is that adding a 5% DR does nothing. Adding 10% DR does next to nothing, and indeed sometimes it does nothing.

It does a lot actually, when you realise that DR from multiple sources stacks and how that stacking beefs up the HP. Difference in between having 45% DR and 60% DR is huge, and from that point on only get more and more imbalanced. Having above 39% resistance on armor with SCS will result in a number of ToB oponnents not using Hardiness HLA (it's a very, very delicate system :p )

In short, Revision mods can't really be going this way.

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