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WTP Familiars (revised Find Familiar spell)


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Hey

 

sorry for not being around for the last week, I was needed outside of Faerûn ;-)

 

Anyhow, I just finished a little playtesting on the WTPFamiliars1_7 this second. Not too much, and no mods apart from this one. Actually I killed only Ilasera (the first encounter in ToB). Like 25 times.

 

Here is what I found out:

  • I wasn't able to reproduce nagging in battle even if resting until the familiar sometimes climbed out itself (awesome!)
  • With the almost non-existent burst damage of the otherwise unmodded game I finally observed in awe how the little dude's HPs dropped to 25% and it then climbed into the backpack by itself
  • The familiar still doesn't care if a Project Image hits it in the face with Magic Missiles etc.
  • I engaged Ilasera, personally Magic Missiled my familiar in the face, killed her -> no leave (side-effect, it seems, not that important, who would single-target the familiar anyways)
  • I both sunfired and skulltrapped a Rabbit and sunfired a Fairy Dragon to near death whilst

a) The familiar was attacking Ilasera

b) We both were invisible through Invisibility and Mislead while she was attacking a summoned Skeleton Warrior and

c) We both were invisible through Invisibility and Mislead and I just killed her without any combat reaction from herself

and the familiar didn't leave afterwards (note: it did also not matter who got hit first or last due to positioning) (bam! nice!)

  • Now for the little twist to our story: The Imp, the Quasit and the Dust Mephit, although completely immune to the aoe damage from Sunfire, Fireball (and Ice Storm for the former two), fought until Ilasera was dead and then left. The same, if caught out of combat
  • If almost killed by a Skulltrap, which they are not immune to, however, they would fight on and stay with the party afterwards
  • Only the Fairy Dragon with its 96% resistance to magic didn't care about getting hit by just about anything (out of combat) except Sunfire which seems to bypass magic resistance and to only care about fire resistance. And Acid Fog for some reason though this one didn't even need to do damage to trigger leaving

So, in conclusion, there seems to be something wrong with their immunities, otherwise everything according to plan! If this is fixable, 1000 virtual Bro-fists, man. (Side note: This may mean your previous combat check might have worked as intended, because back then I only played with a Dust Mephit)

 

Oh, and I'm excited to see how the scaling to the backpack trigger will hold up in my next run. My instinct would want to see it possible at any lost health or a way heavier AC scaling in ToB to not get hit twice in a row as easily, but maybe I'm a little overprotective here^^

 

LIKE IT!

Edited by Siebenfinger
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Hello Siebenfinger!

 

Thanks for the great feedback.

 

I will take a better look at each of your reports when I will be back to IE modding.

 

At the moment, my focus is elsewhere.

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Heidiho

 

So I finished a new SoA run by now with TotSC beforehand. And I toyed with different familiars while doing that. This is not a totally structured list, but I guess it’s easier to read like that. Anyway, here’s my thoughts in Detail, just dig in when you have the time =)

 

Pro:

  • Absolutely no problem with having my familiar out during the first part of the saga. Like all the time. In times of danger, escape always possible, sometimes difficult but hey
  • Really liked the feeling of having a furry pal by my side or sometimes a scaly one
  • The thieves were able to pick some locks and find some traps, but not all as a dedicated thief (N)PC would
  • The speed of the hasted ones makes nice scouting

But

  • Don’t ever let them fight. Ever
  • Seriously, it’s not worth it
  • They’re melee with the damage of about three Magic Missiles per round, which is not too bad (this one is actually a pro^^)
  • Except they don’t hit anything *note: noone is hitting anything until about level 5, which is actually where my loathing for Kiter’s Gate: Kites of the Kite Coast comes from **notenote: sure, it would be awesome to make a winterwolf hunt more dangerous and also more rewarding as a means of de-trivialize monsters but then again, this is a game where you will end up as a half-god eventually
  • Oh, and if they get crit, you’re having fun for three whole days...
  • Yes, they’re supposed to not be a full character, but considering game mechanics and AI there is one word pulling all the fun out of a harrassing and annoying little familiar with its hit-and-run combat tactics: micromanagement
  • You simply can’t risk a Gnoll that’s consistently critting for 16 take a liking to your Fairy Dragon
  • After that, Gnolls die to a Fireball or a Raging Rashemen Ranger in a split second and the nastier things you’ll have to run from again
  • Their perceived usefulness is Thief>>>Mage>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Fighter

The familiars ordered by alignment are still basically like that

I don’t like Imoen

Red Scout

Yellow Scout (Lich tank later on)

I want a Pickpocket

I don’t have enough ‘Web’ casts per day

I want to skip True Seeing

Bad Red Scout

Bad Brown Scout

Bad Green Scout

 

With the thieves’ abilities being the only upgrade to vanilla familiars in my eyes, that’s very nice to okay for TotSC and let’s say for Chapter one and a half in SoA. No later than that everyone but the rabbit and sometimes the Fairy Dragon is 99% useless, but with a huge tradeoff. And even the rabbit is actually too fragile to be running around with it when everything is out to kill you. I really wanted it to work. I refrained from sending it 'to its room' as long as I could. To have the little guy frolicking around for as long as possible. But in the end I again had to place the familiar in a solitary corner far from the group far too often to not get ravaged by Illithids, Demons or some other dudes who needed a whacking when the familiar didn’t feel like going back in. And their self-sustain is sadly that bad that it makes absolutely no sense to run across half the map for two turns instead of just taking a nap in the backpack. And their 'not yet'-timer linked to dmg only is a lot less useful as hoped. In BG1, you have two means of CC: Hold Person and Wand of Paralyzation. Plus almost nothing see through Invisibility. In Shadows of Amn there is much much more going on and their saving throws are actually really bad too.

 

 

So, in conclusion, I had several brainstorm ideas

  • How easy would it be to only make this mod work in BG1 and revert to the old style later on?
  • The Fighter familiars desperately need love! Like a helmet and better AC (one of them was at 6 I think :/)
  • How would you feel about a distribution where every alignment has access to one thief, one mage, one fighter familiar?
  • How easy would it be to enable say a ‘share spells feat’ to copy eg stoneskin to the familiar?
  • How would you feel to reverse the psychology and get rid of the nagging and instead grant a bonus spell or a bonus dexterity point as long as the familiar is active?
  • Last but not least: If I can be of any help with something that isn’t coding, let me know ;-)

Hope this wasn't too detailly =)

Edited by Siebenfinger
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Hello Siebenfinger!

Excellent feedback, as usual. And a few good suggestions, too. I did know, creating this modification, that it needed thorough testing through BG2/ToB, something that I have not truly done myself, just because, like you said, player and NPCs/Monsters become demigods. To strike a good balance between plausible survival skills for the familiars and the new familiar mechanics that would suit the enemies on steroids was going to be real hard.

 

Especially if you use SCS' tactical challenges. I hate reloading (in fact, I play without it myself) but if you really make the game very challenging for yourself then it is pretty much normal that your familiar is not going to survive. There is only so much that I can do to not make the familiar itself ridiculously overpowered.

 

As I said though, there are a few good ideas there. And more might come to me as well once I return to it, which is not going to happen in the very near future though.

 

Oh and I love the details!

So thanks again!

Edited by Salk
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Well, I'm looking forward to hearing from you again, then

 

And yes, I too try to come by with as little reloads as possible, usually only do when the main character dies or the fight is somehow buggy to not make sense to have gone that way. That sometimes is a love-hate situation with the game, but hey, as long as the story in my mind fits, I'm fine^^

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If I may suggest another mod of mine (see signature), you might find it is a nice way to limit the number of reloads.

 

Anyway, I will for sure implement the immunity to critical hits for the fighter class familiars, as you suggested.

The other suggestion I do like is the share spell feat for specific spells but I do not know whether or not I am capable of coding it myself.

 

What instead won't surely happen is to revert the Familiars to the original ones for BG2/ToB or the removing of the nagging (which is, in my opinion, a key point).

 

But as I said, I will return to this eventually! :)

Edited by Salk
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I am working on the next version and I have already introduced Empowerment for thief and warrior class familiars (a boost to AC and STs for the first and AC, THAC0 and HPs for the latter, if master and familiar are close) and Spell bounce for the mage class (chance for the familiar to mirror the effects of personal protective spells, if master and familiar are close).

 

The Quasit, Dust Mephit and Spider are also now immune to Critical Hits, to make them less fragile in combat.

 

Initially I had removed those immunities that the familiars had in the original game (IMMCLOUD.ITM) because rather arbitrary: Level Drain, Petrification and Sleep but I am considering putting those back, especially because I am unsure whether a level drain susceptible familiar might cause problems.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Salk
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Some feedback on spider:

1. Squishy. Even at level 7 it barely survives against BG1 cannon foddler.

2. The spell that is supposed to increase poison resistance by 2 instead sets it to 2. So all the time I walk around with a familiar with 2% poison res.

Anyway, poison resistance that isn't 100% is going to get him killed quick on any level. I'd just go for 100% from start. It's not fire or magic.

3. Casts web like a mage... I think more fitting would be like an innate ability (cast time 1, or instant). And more useful would be to have (in addition) a targeted, single-person web (scs-like).

Also, has "save vs spell" when walking in its own web.

3. HP sharing seems to be a bit overpowered, maybe I'd tone it down.

4. "Paralyzed" string seems to be delayed. Many enemies have it appear after their death. Also, many enemies shouldn't have it appeared in the first place (skeletons, etc).

5. Body placement is a off in some positions - see attach. Off the circle completely.

 

Also, sometimes after summoning the familiar gets stuck in "dialog" mode and green circle. Cannot order, but can be talked to. Not sure if that's due to the fact that I have my own familiar AI installed on top.

 

Overall, I like it, but I think it could use some variety. Plain + this, + that from level 1 to 50 is a bit boring. Maybe choose paths - grow it into a phase or sword or wraith spider.

Maybe add bond feedback - as you influence the familiar, the familiar also influences you, so you share not only hp, but also other abilities/resistances, to a degree.

Maybe some HLAs for familiars - could be put to use in ToB.

post-8065-0-96135400-1485189140_thumb.png

Edited by qwerty1234567
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Thanks for the feedback and interesting suggestions!

 

There are two familiars (Imp, Pseudodragon) that grant a small Magic Resistance to charname if within the appropriate range. That comes from PnP lore. The version you played is not the last one. 1.8 has some novelties that raise warrior class inspired familiars (Spider, Dust Mephit, Quasit) odds to survive fights. Said that, they won't ever and should never be as effective as a 7th party member in the field. They are familiars... :)

 

I will take a look at the bugs you reported. I truly appreciate you took the time to inform me about them. ;)

Edited by Salk
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Well, I played whatever is available. I don't see a download link to 1.8.

By the way, the mod isn't friendly to mac os/linux systems (I'm on a mac). But it's not very hard to fix - lowercase all file names and add unix clause to audio installation.

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qwerty1234567,

 

can you elaborate what you meant above with 'has "save versus spell' when walking in his own web'? I equipped the spider with ANTIWEB.ITM which should render it immune to his own and others' webs.

 

I have already changed the Web to be innate, casting speed 0 but I am not so sure about the single target.

 

Poison resistance has been fixed. Now it gains 2% every level, starting with 50% at level 1. I prefer that to having a 100% immunity from the very start. It is true that poison resistance is not as important as fire or cold but it is still something. And as I mentioned, there has been some changes to improve the warrior-class based familiars. I was waiting for someone to test my last version before making it public but I never heard from him for months. That's why there is no link to version 1.8,

 

About the selection circle being completely off position, I am baffled... I have no idea what might be causing that. Never happened to me but then again, I had done only limited testing.

 

I like the idea of making the spider acquire the abilities of a more powerful spider. I will think about it... :)

 

I will see what I can do about Mac/Linux compatibility.

 

Thanks again for the feedback!

Edited by Salk
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1. Cast web, walk into it, see "save vs spell" in combat log. Looks like antiweb grants immunity to opcode, but not to the specific spell.

 

2. Just to be clear, I mean single target web in addition to normal one. (but anyhow, that's a minor point)

 

3. The reason I mention poison resistance is that most of its sources are applied in ticks. Poisoned arrows, spider bites, etc. I'm not sure how the engine does the rounding, but I suspect that it won't round to 0, and the least possible damage is 1. In that case, having 0% resistance and 95% are exactly the same - useless. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one instance where it could help - walking in cloudkill.

So I think it could use some tweak to be actually useful in a real playthrough, rather than "my cool spider is resistant to poison". Maybe reach immunity earlier or something.

 

4. Are you saying that the spider is normally in the circle in your game? Care to share a screenshot?

Edited by qwerty1234567
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1. Cast web, walk into it, see "save vs spell" in combat log. Looks like antiweb grants immunity to opcode, but not to the specific spell.

Okay, it should be fixed locally now.

 

2. Just to be clear, I mean single target web in addition to normal one. (but anyhow, that's a minor point)

Oh yes, I understand. I still prefer the way it is now, actually...

 

3. The reason I mention poison resistance is that most of its sources are applied in ticks. Poisoned arrows, spider bites, etc. I'm not sure how the engine does the rounding, but I suspect that it won't round to 0, and the least possible damage is 1. In that case, having 0% resistance and 95% are exactly the same - useless. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one instance where it could help - walking in cloudkill.

So I think it could use some tweak to be actually useful in a real playthrough, rather than "my cool spider is resistant to poison". Maybe reach immunity earlier or something.

It is a valid point. I should have to test "in the field" about how a partial resistance works against a single point of poison damage. I checked NI and the spider bite is inflicting 2 or 3 points of poison damage (SPIDG1.ITM, SPIDHU.ITM). In theory, a 50% resistance here would already be useful.

 

4. Are you saying that the spider is normally in the circle in your game? Care to share a screenshot?

Here is an enlarged screenshot.

 

I think the circle is more or less in a right position. The spider's long but almost invisible legs might give the wrong impression about how off centered the circle is.

 

post-453-0-16688400-1485329926_thumb.jpg

Edited by Salk
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It's a minor point about web, anyway, so whatever you prefer.

 

I did some tests with poison res/damage, and it's indeed doesn't reduce below one. Huge spider ticks in 1, phase spider in 2. With 95% res, both tick 1. I think the latest when the player has to fight a considerable amount of spiders is bg2 chapter 2, in graveyard.

In contrast to that, magic or fire resistances stay useful throughout the saga, and don't have the tick problem.

Well, anyway, I believe I got that point across, so it's your call.

 

As for the animation, yes, it's the same on my machine. I think it's way off. Maybe because it's centered like a full height sprite? See phase spider pic for example. Notice that the legs start almost from the center of the circle, because spider's body nearly touches ground. On your pic, legs start from outside the circle, that's what gives wrong impression to me.

post-8065-0-32939300-1485336891_thumb.png

Edited by qwerty1234567
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