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WTP Familiars (revised Find Familiar spell)


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I am sorry about the inconvenience, timechef.

 

I will test it today. In the meantime, can you tell me what familiar it is that you use? I took a quick look at my code and I could not find a problem with it. I will install the game and see if everything runs correctly on my side. I can hardly think there is some other modification that messes things up but one never knows.

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timechef,

 

I have tested version 1.6 on my local BGT install. I created 4 Sorcerers (NG, NE, LN, CN) and leveled them up (from Level 1 to Level 2) and the level up option in the dialogue is indeed there (It's the first: "Show me what you learned.").

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I'm running a CE sorcerer with a quasit most of the time. I tried the other familiars available and for all of them the first option is to put the familiar in my pack. I think I poked at the mods too much and broke my install, so I need to rerun big world setup. That'll take a while...

On an unrelated topic, have you considered an animal companion mod for rangers and druids? One exists, but the gradual improvements from this mod are much better.

 

Edit: Ok, not broken after all. Fixed it. So my familiar is lvl 11 and my sorcerer is lvl 12. talking to my familiar i get the following options (not verbatim):

 

1. get in my pack

2. pet

3. slap

4. feed

5. advice?

6. all is well?

7. don't wander off

8. never mind

 

Option 7 comes from your mod, right? Why would that show up and not the level up option?

 

Update: Ok, so I just hit 13. Now when I talk to my familiar, there is an option to level him up, and he advances from 11 to 13. Maybe lvl 12 is broken?

Edited by timechef
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Hello!

Well spotted! There is indeed a typo (actually more than one) in the code and the level up routine would not work from 11 -> 12. I tested the mod but I did not test each single level up possibility. I will release a new version very soon.

 

 

And honestly, I never thought of working on an Animal Companion mod (although I quite like the idea) because revising the Find Familiar spell was the last project I wanted to work on before retiring from modding. I am very glad you enjoyed it and I am sorry about the inconveniences it caused you. Unfortunately there has been a certain amount of copy pasting that have resulted in a few typos here and there. I thought I had got them all but it was not the case.

 

And yes, option 7 is introduced by my modification. I thought it was a nice option to have the familiar follow automatically (it will not do it during combat though).

 

If you talked to the familiar in the BG1 part of the game, you might have enjoyed quite a number of new lines I made for them (option 5). The ones for the evil aligned familiars are by far the funniest.

Edited by Salk
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Hey Salk,

 

I don't know if this is the right place to give you a review, but I've been running WTPFamiliars in the current Version in my last BGT run and wanted to share my thoughts with you. I almost always Tag-Team the whole game with a Sorcerer and a Thief NPC, so some of my experience may be biased because of that, but anyway, here it is.

 

First, the positive stuff ;-)

- I like very much how the familiars behave more with PnP standards

- I'm very fond of the choosing feature and not be stuck with a cat only when I'm chaotic neutral for example

- Also, its somewhat deeper personality is a fun addition as I'm not having too much banter otherwise in my group (that is, if I don't pick up Jan^^)

- It makes the game a lot better if your familiar isn't able to solo tank almost all of BG1 because of its natural armor class, so thanks for that

- And most of all: The voice of the Dust Mephit might just be the most awesome creature sound in the whole game SCOOBADOOBEGOOOOO!

 

But:

- SoA is waaaaay more about group combat than running around and I'd say around the time of the Planar Sphere I realized that the little feller is definitely not going to fight anymore. Seeing it getting two-shotted by every second enemy in Watcher's Keep (although I was way deep into HLAs then) I chose to have it sit in my backpack just to have his dialogue trigger always interrupt my clutch spellcast in an ambush as I want to cheese as little as possible by overly preparing ahead of time. So lastly the best solution to me was to pick up Otiluke's just to babysit it as too many of the dangerous enemies see through invisibility later game or just immediately cast True Seeing...

- This time, I especially picked up the Dust Mephit due to its voice and because of its innate fire immunity to go with my evil fire-centered Sorcerer. But, as its friendly fire leaving does trigger on zero damage, it was sadly not even able to reliantly scout for fireball positioning anymore :/

 

So in the end the familiar ended up as only being useful to invisibility-cheese Golems in narrow doorways and boosting me out of Power Word: Stun range just as all the time before while trading a little PnP flavor for majorly getting trolled by it when both me and the mean Lich I'm facing are trying to cast Timestop. I like the idea and the changes very much, but for gameplay reasons I think I will never install it again and just pretend that my familiar climbs out of my backpack and scurries through my robe and so.

 

So much for my two cents

 

Greetings

 

Phil

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Hello Siebenfinger.

 

Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.

 

I also understand the criticisms although I'd say the vanilla familiars are less effective in fights than the WTP familiars. Before the player could just conveniently keep them in the backpack at all times to leech free HPs with no risk.

 

One of the goals of this modification was to avoid that. The familiar is supposed to be protected and cared for, it is supposed to be weakish at later stages of the game when the party and the enemy are often demigods.

 

Said that, I am sure the balancing can be refined and I would love to receive more feedback from other players as well.

Edited by Salk
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Concerning their early fighting capabilities my main point was directed at the possibility of like a -4 AC Rabbit with 24 Hitpoints at level 1 being pretty much ridiculous. So that was an improvement for sure.

 

Otherwise, maybe a solution might be to at least give the scariest things something like a "familiar fear aura" that overrides their dialogue, because the point to really make me drop everything was when I (given: somewhat casually) walked into the Baatezu room in the Watcher's Keep's Maze Level, somehow managed to dispel the immediate Power Word: Stun on the Mephit and get the defenses going for everyone to not get torn to pieces, then walked over to my familiar to save him and he's like 'Sorry, Boss, my wings haven't recovered from last time, yet. Gonna play with the nice demons here for a while. Maybe they like Monopoly' :/

 

I don't know how your nagging timer works but might it not be enough to just add more and more ruckus the longer it stays in while only completely resetting the timer after a few hours of being out? Dunno, maybe it could 're-order' your backpack or even throw things out / break potions and the like. One might even consider adding some dialogue variations like 'Hey Boss, I found your scroll of Protection from Fire. Turns out, it was not REALLY protected from fire itself. Sorry...' if you leave him in there for too long. And if that happens to happen during a fight and interrupt your spellcast, so be it. Quite fitting for a little rascal like a Mephit, I'd say. That would be an incentive to get him out asap and would otherwise make sure, it is not immediately killed. However, you still need to talk to it to get it in and stuff like Dragon Fear still puts it at risk since you have to dispel it first before talking. Maybe worsen the risk a little by scripting it to usually stay a little astray? Because if he's just as plain retarded as to chill next to Pit Fiends... I don't know...

 

In the end, it's your mod of course, it's just how I feel about it having it installed for the first time now. I think the penalty for having it out in the open is far too great if there always are the two conditions of

a) the familar quite surely dying every other fight and

b) the familiar not wanting to go back in for hours after being taken out

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Hello!

Your concern is noted and I will give some thought to your suggestions.

 

First of all though... Do you know what version of the mod you played?

 

About the nagging... I built this modification with the idea of making it hard for the player to keep the familiar in the backpack because of two reasons:

 

1) The original spell is just a cheap exploit to get some free HPs

2) A Familiar wouldn't want to spend its natural life stuffed into a backpack

 

On the other hand, I also do not want my solution to cause the familiar to risk its life each time there is a fight. In this sense though, the BG 2 part of the game does not help because of how the power of enemies scaled (and it does not surprise me that you do not seem to mention any issue for the whole first part of the game, which I know much better). I do not know what difficulty level you play at and I do not know whether or not you use AI enhancing modifications but this modification is built on the assumption you play at the Core difficulty and with a full party. Playing solo, at higher difficulty level and perhaps with SCS slapped on top of all of it and hoping that the familiar can make it through is asking for too much. In that kind of context it is normal that the familiar dies each time.

 

Said that, I have not tested it extensively on SoA/ToB, especially because I am much less fond of the sequel, so I believe you might have fair remarks.

 

What I can say is this: the familiar is scripted to return to the backpack automatically when its life is threatened. Did you notice such behavior even in those cases when the familiar refuses to return to the backpack?

 

The nagging mechanic is built in such a way that the familiar will feel mistreated if confined to the backpack for too long too many times. It will eventually leave. And it already works the way you suggested. After 8 hours (iirc) from being let out, the familiar will accept to return to the backpack. During combat, the nagging dialogue should *not* happen at all! If that is what happens then it is a bug which I need to remedy.

 

About the friendly fire... I will take a look at the script because I would rather avoid friendly AoE spells causing the familiar to leave the party and that is what you told me it happens, right? I am going to have to investigate and see if I can find a way to stop this from happening.

Edited by Salk
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Well, I made my install about three weeks ago with the Big World Setup so I have been assuming, it was the latest version. But I have to admit, I deleted the install a few days before my post so I'm not 100% sure.

 

Yes, I am always playing with SCS, Ascension and some other minor tactic mods. Only the 'green ones' in the BWS though, nothing spectacularly challenging. Also, I'm sticking to the core rules. And yes, you're absolutely right, in BG1, everything went according to plan. The problems arose when every second opponent had True Seeing in his Sequencer or could just regularly see through invisibility. And yes, SCS introduces a lot of those. In SoA that is.

 

I did realize it took a couple of hours to be able to get it to climb back in again, but not that it was a whole eight. Noted.

 

Also, I have never seen it hop in by itself. On the other hand I cannot recall a case where it dropped to somewhat near death and didn't die a split second afterwards due to the heavy burst damage because generally I had round about five eyes on him the whole time. Or maybe I talked to it always just in the time it would've. I'm afraid, I can't say more here.

 

Sadly, I'm much more fond of the sequel than of BG1, so this might be the reason to our kind of different approach to the whole scenario ;-)

 

Concerning combat nagging, since you say it is not intended: I'm a 100% sure it happened from time to time because later on I shifted to always cast Project Image first when possible and the spell Interruption didn't happen anymore even if the dialogue triggered. So it seems it actively uses an F1 on Charname so to speak. Also mentionable is that the familiar doesn't care about friendly fire from the Project Image I think (there I'm not totally sure), but it was definitely leaving on every Charname Fireball hit, even if it was immune to the damage.

 

Oh, and yes, I'm almost always only two-manning the game so my frontline ist more or less non-existent. Maybe one has to accept that and skip this particular mod with that in mind. At least not in BG2.

 

Edit: Well, thinking about it, it could be that the spell interruption happened just with Mislead up when the enemies don't see Charname yet and somehow the familiar script thinks I'm not in combat, hmmm

 

For now that's all I can contribute I think, if I recall anything else, I'll let you know. Or maybe I will give it another shot next time.

Edited by Siebenfinger
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Thanks for the extra feedback.

 

I am actually working to try and meet your demands because it is obvious that this modification must also be functional in BG2 and ToB and you are also the only one that bothered giving me a detailed feedback about how the experience with WTP Familiars has been.

 

I might have something ready for testing in a couple of days or so.

 

The nagging should most definitely not happen during combat. I am using !ActuallyInCombat() as trigger and it should just stop the nagging script from activating but I did learn that the engine (which I am still very unfamiliar with and always will be) has its own quirks and I cannot guarantee that there are no glitches.

 

And about the friendly fire, I would like to check with more expert modders whether or not there is a way to make sure the Familiar's breaking script does not fire in case of damage made by AoE spells. I was hoping that AttackedBy would not return true in case of damage from AoE spells but I suppose it is not so.

 

At this moment, I created new dialogue lines to use for when the player requests that the Familiar moves to the backpack during a battle.

 

I will have to do some testing.

Edited by Salk
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Siebenfinger,

 

I have a new version of the mod ready with a few changes you might like:

 

  • The familiar will no longer refuse to move to the backpack if the mage or the familiar itself has lost considerable health (50% for the latter; 70% (BG1), 55% (BG2) and 40% (TOB) for the first) - in every other condition the familiar will stay and fight. This is necessary considering that I do not want to completely eliminate the risk to have the familiar involved in battle and also to properly value the special ability of rabbits and ferrets (burrow) which keep them safe in fights
  • Hoping that qwerty1234567's testing of CombatCounterLT(1) proves to be reliable, now there should no longer be any nagging in battle
  • I am using a hacky workaround to the problem of the familiar turning hostile and leaving because of unintentional friendly fire: the script won't fire when there is a battle going on, the familiar will still take damage normally

 

The familiar should still return automatically to the backpack if its health sinks to 25% or lower, provided the Mage is not too far.

 

About the first change, I am open to suggestions. I have considered allowing for the familiar to accept being confined to the backpack in case of death of other party members, the presence of a number of particularly tough enemies or based on the game's difficulty setting but in the end I opted for the simplest solution.

Edited by Salk
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