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So, what is this "beta" thing?

 

Officially, a "beta" is a version that has most of the good stuff already in place. According to wikipedia, "Open betas serve the dual purpose of demonstrating a product to potential consumers, and testing among an extremely wide user base likely to bring to light obscure errors that a much smaller testing team may not find."

 

In this case, with the exception of the adult materials in the female romance portion, most of the content prior to tweaking/installation is already on the forums. There are some surprises, too, as installation and pre-alpha and alpha testing sometimes showed places where some tweaking needed to happen. BUT - I am releasing this as a check-up on how successful the code on the forums translates to actual play. The best dreams sometimes don't translate well into reality, and that is what we are going to find out here.

 

What is missing?

  • The major SoA quest is still under construction, and is not implemented.
  • ToB has content, but very few LTs or FT's, and no banters (They stank - I'm redoing them).
  • The LT sequence gets you up close to the Big Question, then drops you cold - there are several ways to make this a successful arc, and I am seeking feedback from the beta test before adding (writing) the final talks.
  • Some of the swimming and bathing responses, both male and female, are currently marked with PLACEHOLDER while I track down better ways of entertaining more by saying less.

 

So, what is in?

  • Rough creature voicing and music for talks.
  • Most of the SoA FT series.
  • Most of the SoA LT series.
  • Flirts, both PC and NPC initiated. (Hundreds. Literally hundreds. Randomized and stratified by your romance level.)
  • Interjections. Lots of them. And the ability to tell him to shut up if he gets too mouthy.
  • SoA Banters with all BioWare Canonical NPCs.
  • Scroll creation.
  • Moonlit Swordfights, male or female.
  • Seduction, and a huge interactive tree of potential nookie in various forms (hopefully only found in female PCs without the girdle of gender-bender).
  • Easter Eggs. The "click on me multiple times and something new probably happens at least twice, and often up to 5 or more times for the same worded reply" kind, not the one that hangs out with chocolate bunnies (Nythrun, i miss you!).
  • Multiple replies to the same question both over time and dependent on area, time, friendship progression and/or lovetalk progression, or just plain asking him for advice in each and every area of SoA and ToB. Sometimes multiple times. Really, a huge amount of the content is PID-driven.
  • A new inn with several interacting characters, and a minor quest if you keep on going back and talking to the bartender.
  • Stories of war, love, and otherwise.
  • Colorful and inventive swearing at inopportune moments.
  • Flexible customization of Aran's stats/role, equipment, etc.
  • ToB includes summoning, unsummoning, and sending him to an inn. You can even send him to Hell. Well, your little pocket corner of it, unless you are killing the dude. I think you can even send him "home" to Amn, though he'd sy home is wherever you are.
  • ToB includes the "important" canonical talks; SoA the same (Tree of Life, Wraith Talk, Etc., Etc.)
  • SoA includes sending him along to somewhere else, or having him stay put where you leave him - without breaking the romance, if you are so inclined.
  • Watcher's Keep materials on both SoA and ToB.
  • Awareness of several mod-added NPCs, whether in dialog or when they try to initiate PID with him instead of PC doing the initiating. Even some awareness and use of kit materials if you add the AranAware sub-mod at the end of your installation.
  • Drunk talks. Multiple. Get him drunk once or twice, perhaps even three times. That is, if you can stand the belching.
  • An occasional odd talk out of the blue, or green, or dark, whatever your current sky looks like.

 

What if I really don't want to read bad purple-prose amateur crappy fanfic 'erotic' depictions?

 

Don't play as a female. Or, play as a female, and shut him down when he tries to flirt - don't romance him. While every step of the romancing talks has exits and "just friends" and such, one of the goals of the beta is to discover places where you expect Aran to hold hands like a good little boy, and instead he starts taking his clothes of (or worse, starts trying to take yours off). That, and letting cmorgan know when the depiction just plain sounds as fun as watching paint dry. The standard lovetalks and flirts are not going to get you into heavy territory unless you have asked to go there through your replies, at least supposedly. The PID is the biggest access point, so if you flirt with him a lot or if you ask him to step around the corner with you, expect that he will have busy hands and a lecherous intent. Of course, you can always say no... sometimes he might get mad and go off in a snit for a day or so, and then you get to have a little spat. Or apologize to him. Or make him apologize to you. But it is darned hard to get through his thick skin enough that he drops the whole thing.

 

Why should I try this out and risk a bug messing up my game?

 

It is darned unlikely that there is a game-breaking bug. That was for the pre-alpha and alpha testing. The most likely scenario is some kind of weighting in an install with other mods, and a worst case scenario might be just kicking him out of the party; the good news with Aran in Beta-Land is that he comes with a PID that allows you to literally change history and reset globals by just talking to him. Running into an annoying stutter in a lovetalk? Break up with him. In a friend talk? Kick him out. Plus, I have a troubleshooting mod ready to go that the bigg came up with and berelinde pioneered, which proved extremely successful at tracking stuff in Gavin. But why try him out now? Well, primarily, feedback. If you see stuff that is just no fun, you get to suggest changes and watch me implement them if I can. Worst-case scenario, you tell him to shut up, and you have a relatively quiet configurable Dual-Classable that can create scrolls.

 

Why would I not want to install this, but wait for the full release?

 

Oh, thousands of reasons.

  • Mod development can break games accidentally, though this one is unlikely to. And installing this on a BWP, well, it has never been done, so... who knows what will really happen?
  • You could not be thrilled with the writing you see on the forums, or decide he isn't worth the hassle of seeing an occasional line where he just says "PLACEHOLDER" or "Blighted hells. Got naught to say. Must be a writer's strike." That can spoil the immersion for some folks - Shed's mods used this idea, and I like it, but not everyone does.
  • You could be happier playing a finished product, and have the patience to wait at least 6 months (probably more realistically 9, or even a full year at next G3 Anniversary) for other people to wade through oddities like "Hey, I said I wanted Aran to kiss me, and he jumped into the sack and had his way with me, and then in the next dialog said he would love to explore more than just a kiss someday... yuch!" and for me to fix them.
  • You could be a happy lurker who is not really into giving feedback, and not want to waste your gaming time when you could be running an All Elven Retrospective Party, with Haldimir, Kivan, Xan, Coran, PC, and Jaheira. (This is a legitimate excuse. For me, it is the ever-wished-for-but-never-attempted Aerie-Imoen-Jaheira-Saerileth-Tashia-PCPaladin runthrough, with multi-romance edits and reverse-engineering of the shutdowns. I am going to try that someday, just so I can write a girl's-gone-wild conflict banter and the ultimate juvenile male fantasy sequence.)
  • You could be so hooked on the upcoming Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim that you just have to read the pre-release info every day instead of trying out a beta f a mod (f course, just remember that when ME3 hits the shelves, this boy right here is going to be definitely unavailable for a few days...)

 

Where can I see if you are actually doing any work, instead of sitting back and watching me mess about?

 

The forums, and actual integration of changes into the master copy at https://github.com/cmorganbg/Aran-Whitehand .

 

Hey - I'm serious. If I just want to know what FriendTalks and Lovetalks are in, why won't you just list them?

 

Here you go:

SoA Talkity-talk Talks

  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 1 c-aranfriendbg2 = 1 : Not Just Another Quasi-Invincible Band Of Protagonists */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 2 c-aranfriendbg2 = 3 : "My Pal the Shield Wall", or, merits of Heavy Metal (Whitesnake) vs Alternative (Feist) */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 3 c-aranfriendbg2 = 5 : "The Price of Fame", or, Whoa - *that* <CHARNAME>? Sux to be you, pal. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 4 c-aranfriendbg2 = 7 : Mongo But Pawn In Great Chess Game of Life? */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 5 c-aranfriendbg2 = 9 : "Irresistible Forces and Immovable Objects", or, is the pen really mightier than the sword, or does he just have a better PR firm? */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 6 c-aranfriendbg2 = 11 : "Creative Culinary Conundrums", or, Whaddaya like to eat, 'cause I make this mean curry... */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 7 c-aranfriendbg2 = 13 : "Alternate Paths to Sun Tsu", or, tactics are fun, but sometimes you just gotta whack 'em. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 8 c-aranfriendbg2 = 15 : "Warning - Objects Are Closer Than They Appear", or, why you want to check carefully behind your target area before firing that arrow. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 9 c-aranfriendbg2 = 17 : "Bhallspawn, Shmallspawn. Meh.", or, Gods and Monsters. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 10 c-aranfriendbg2 = 19 : "Weapons Practice for Fun and Profit", or, never bet with a Sicilian when death is on the line. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 11 c-aranfriendbg2 = 21 : "Optimists, Pessimists, and Realists, Oh My.", or, the glass is half full, half empty, who cares - as long as it is a glass of good scotch! */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 12 c-aranfriendbg2 = 23 : "What's under all that Armor, Anyways?", or, take it all off, baby - take it all off. Emotionally, dude[ette] - jeeze, get a life. */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 13 c-aranfriendbg2 = 25 : "So once there were three men, sitting around a fire. And one of them got up and said..." TrailTalk, FR style */
  • /* BG2 FriendTalk 14 c-aranfriendbg2 = 27 : Bonus Round - Simple Word States, Maximum Effect: The Teacher's Workroom. */

 

FT 10 sets up a "shoot hoops FR-style" for Male PCs (no way of turning it into a romance) and a "moonlit sparring" encounter for female PC's (can end up having a flig with him even if not in a romance, or simply fight him for fun).

This is added "scenery' content, and does not reset the FT timer. Perhaps is should?

 

Separate UnderDark Talks:

  • /* SoA UnderDark FriendTalk 1 : Nightmares on Elm Street */
  • /* SoA UnderDark FriendTalk 2 : Moving Bowels */
  • /* SoA UnderDark FriendTalk 3 : Don't Look Now, but your Isaiah 2:19 is showing... */
  • /* SoA UnderDark FriendTalk 4 : Weather forecast for tonight... dark. (George Carlin) */
  • /* SoA UnderDark FriendTalk 5 : "I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is to arrange the meeting." ("Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf)*/

 

at the 30 minute timer, talks cover 7 hours of SoA outside of underdark and 2 hours 30 minutes in underdark.

at the 60 (default), of course, 14 hours outside and 5 hours drow-ing.

 

For the female PC, these play out as well if the PC doesn't shut down the romance:

  • /* BG2 Love Talk 1 : Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Take My Chances : c-aranbg2rom = 1 > 2 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 2 : Dixie Chicks, Ready To Run : c-aranbg2rom = 3 > 4 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 3 : Queen - Somebody To Love, A No-Talk Lovetalk - or an extended Aran-Initiated Flirting Opportunity : c-aranbg2rom = 5 > 6 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 4 : ABBA - Name of the Game : c-aranbg2rom = 7 > 8 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 5 : Billy Joel - You may be Right/We Didn't Start The Fire mixology : c-aranrombg2 = 9 > 10 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 6 : ABBA - Take A Chance On Me : c-aranrombg2 = 11 > 12 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 7 : I want you - do you want me? : c-aranrombg2 = 13 > 14 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */
  • /* BG2 Love Talk 8 : Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic : c-aranrombg2 = 15 > 16 c-aranromtimer,ARAN_LTT */

 

Need to finish romance arc for SoA; with the huge, way-over the top flirting possibilities, the occasional non-sequential scenery talks, the interjections, and the banters, it is a darned good thing much of that can be shut off via PID. The adult materials (including extensions to the streams, baths, garden, Inn, the "booty call through PID in a romance" and "the Romantic Encounters sparked from PC response in FT or LT") are almost finished, though it has been draft after draft and I'm less than thrilled - but hey, I wanted a challenge.

Edited by cmorgan

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No problem! It would be great if you would! He will be an Open Beta. We are still working out how to set up a sub-forum that everyone can access but only if they want to; some of the reports may have some stuff that is less family friendly and more awkward. But things should be moving along soon.

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Great! I will wait for everything to get set up then. Do you know how long it will be until the beta starts?

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No problem! It would be great if you would! He will be an Open Beta. We are still working out how to set up a sub-forum that everyone can access but only if they want to; some of the reports may have some stuff that is less family friendly and more awkward. But things should be moving along soon.

 

There are no proper words, in any of the languages I know, that express the immense joy this statement has brought me.

 

I don't know if I died a little on the inside or if my heart jumped for joy. I should probably see a doctor...

 

Good luck! I hope all goes well with this Beta.

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There are no proper words, in any of the languages I know, that express the immense joy this statement has brought me.

 

THIS

 

I'm pretty sure the Aran mod came to my attention pretty soon after I joined G3 and you, CMorgan, helped me out with some BG1NPC problems I was having. Which was back in early09 or the end of 08. The idea of an actual Beta made me squeal just a little.

 

Good things come to those who wait :cool:

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Oh my god fate, here I was sitting and lamenting how nothing will ever compare to my precious modded Baldur's Gate and how no characters can compete with the gems out there that the modding community has created and WHAM oh my god the mod I've been anticipating for forever is going to have a beta! Count me in!

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Congrats for the beta and getting closer to realising the mod! I've been lurking here for years just to see your progress with Aran! I hope we will have the possibility to play with him soon! I literally wait for him to finally replay BG2:)

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Woot!

Seduction, and a huge interactive tree of potential nookie in various forms
This should be the marketing byline of your mod.

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Heya is the beta supposed to already be available? I noticed a download link in the In Progress area for Aran but it leads to a 404 Error - Not Found page. :cool: I want to play Aran so badly...

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I don't think so. I've looked everywhere and can't find it. The link on the in progress page has been there for awhile too. Sadly nothing is there I've clicked it several times to check. It seems we'll have to wait a bit more. :cool:

 

Just know your not alone in wanting Aran. I've been stalking this forum for days.

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I'm sorry, folks - a little delay while the forum stuff gets set up. It should be any day now. I'll make big splashy announcements, get an obvious download link, etc. up just as soon as we can get our house in order behind-the-scenes, so to speak.

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As another of the, uh...incredibly patient ladies waiting eagerly to participate in the beta, all I can say is YAY. :cool:

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I'm sorry, folks - a little delay while the forum stuff gets set up. It should be any day now. I'll make big splashy announcements, get an obvious download link, etc. up just as soon as we can get our house in order behind-the-scenes, so to speak.

 

 

As another of the, uh...incredibly patient ladies waiting eagerly to participate in the beta, all I can say is YAY. :grin:

 

 

DOUBLE YAY! :cool:

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