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Salk

SCS v23: A few questions

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Hello, Davidw!

 

I have a few questions for you about SCS v23:

 

1) You mention about a dozen creatures getting a kit in BG1 when installing the Smarter General AI component. I tried to check the spoilers section to find out which ones (I had made extensive research about BG1 creatures which would character- and/or story-wise be obvious candidates for receiving a kit and I would have liked to compare and perhaps suggest you more, with motivation, of course). Could you tell me where I need to look to find out?

 

2) Customizing stratagems.ini 1: I am not sure I understand how the Do_Not_Fix_Save_Errors and the Do_Not_Fix_THAC0_Errors work. What does "inappropriately weak saving throws/attack rolls are automatically fixed" means? Are they changing illegal saving throws and attack rolls into legal ones or not? The way I see it, only the former qualifies as fix so I'm interested to know what we are in for.

 

3) Customizing stratagems.ini 2: about Mage_Level_Scale (and Priest_Level_Scale). Despite SCS not being made to make the game easier, you still allow for reducing mages' and priests' levels by using a lower than 100 scaling mechanism. My question is: how does that deal with those originally memorized spells that theoretically should no longer be available due to mages' (and priests') new, lower level? And conversely, does SCS care about providing new spells in the opposite case when possible (mages and priests gaining levels)?

 

Thanks for your attention and... welcome back!

Edited by Salk

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I can answer number 3 from my personal experience. I tried upping the levels of enemy casters, it works up to lvl 6 spells, if a mage hits lvl 12 after adjustments. Scs limits the scripts up to lvl 6, and then mages only use a very limited selection (prot from magic weapons, globe of inv, chain lightning if not enchanter) You can up their lvls and give them lvl 8-9 spells manually but they don't use them, for it's beyond the scope of the scs mod. Enemies need advanced scs2 scripts to employ more powerful spells and HLAs.

Edited by Silverstar

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Hello, Davidw!

 

I have a few questions for you about SCS v23:

 

1) You mention about a dozen creatures getting a kit in BG1 when installing the Smarter General AI component. I tried to check the spoilers section to find out which ones (I had made extensive research about BG1 creatures which would character- and/or story-wise be obvious candidates for receiving a kit and I would have liked to compare and perhaps suggest you more, with motivation, of course). Could you tell me where I need to look to find out?

The full lists are in stratagems/genai/kit_override - the format is hopefully self-explanatory. (Each file is named for the appropriate kit and contains a list of creatures to be given that kit.) You can edit it yourself if you feel like it (before installation), and sure, I'm happy to take additional suggestions.

 

2) Customizing stratagems.ini 1: I am not sure I understand how the Do_Not_Fix_Save_Errors and the Do_Not_Fix_THAC0_Errors work. What does "inappropriately weak saving throws/attack rolls are automatically fixed" means? Are they changing illegal saving throws and attack rolls into legal ones or not? The way I see it, only the former qualifies as fix so I'm interested to know what we are in for.

 

The former. Creatures' saves and THAC0s get checked against their class and level and improved if they're weaker than they should be. If they're correct (or too high) they're left alone.

 

3) Customizing stratagems.ini 2: about Mage_Level_Scale (and Priest_Level_Scale). Despite SCS not being made to make the game easier, you still allow for reducing mages' and priests' levels by using a lower than 100 scaling mechanism. My question is: how does that deal with those originally memorized spells that theoretically should no longer be available due to mages' (and priests') new, lower level? And conversely, does SCS care about providing new spells in the opposite case when possible (mages and priests gaining levels)?

 

SCS chooses spells from scratch according to the caster's adjusted class, level and kit. The original set of spell choices is wiped. (IIRC I don't give BG1 casters spells above 6th level, as Silverstar notes.)

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The full lists are in stratagems/genai/kit_override - the format is hopefully self-explanatory. (Each file is named for the appropriate kit and contains a list of creatures to be given that kit.) You can edit it yourself if you feel like it (before installation), and sure, I'm happy to take additional suggestions.

 

Okay, thanks. I checked through the list of kits that Stratagems assigns. I have a few suggestions but many would require that more kits be available. Anyway here it is:

 

Halacan (halaca): He's a gnome Fighter/Mage. According to canon AD&D rules, gnomes arcane practitioners can be exclusively Illusionists. Suggested kit: Fighter / Illusionist

 

Nalin (nalin): He's a Cleric. The Helm kit would suit him due to character background ("Helm guards over all the Realms and his servants are at your disposal.")

 

Kelddath (keldda): He's a Cleric. The Lathander kit would suit him due to character background ("The traveling adventurer is never turned away from a house of Lathander...")

 

Dawn Priest Blane (blane): He's a Cleric.The Lathander kit would suit him due to character background - he assists Kelddath.

 

Dawn Priest Bran (bran): He's a Cleric.The Lathander kit would suit him due to character background - he assists Kelddath

 

Pallonia (pallon): She's a Mage. The Diviner kit would suit her due to character background - she's a fortune teller. [i understand a Diviner kit is not in the plans for SCS]

 

Nestor (nestor): He's a Ranger. The Beast Master kit would suit him due to character background ("My bears have sensed an evil about you that I had failed to see...")

 

Carbos (carbos): He's a Thief. The Assassin / Bounty Hunter kit would suit him due to character background - he's been planning to assassinate CHARNAME in Candlekeep

 

Shank (shank): See above

 

Marek (marek): He's a Thief. The Assassin kit would suit him due to character background (from Lothander's dialogue: "I am Lothander, partner of the assassin Marek.")

 

Voltine (voltin): She's a druid. The Shapeshifter kit would suit her due to character background (from Journal Entry: "In the midst of rather... unfortunate circumstances, I have learned from Voltine, a shape-changing druid...")

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Thanks!

 

As you say, in most cases I can't do this (or not easily, at any rate) because it means expanding the range of kits I can do.

 

For my own sake as much as anything else, here's the current kit logic:

 

Cleric (all):

It wouldn't be terribly difficult to code a cleric kit, but it means expanding the spell-generation code. For good and neutral clerics, at least, there aren't enough that you're likely to fight. (I have a couple of rudimentary appearences of Divine Remix-style clerics of Talos, iirc).

 

Druid:

Avenger: included

Shapeshifter: included

Totemic Druid: there's no deep reason I haven't used this, but there aren't that many enemy druids and between Avenger, Shapeshifter and the core type, I've probably got enough variety already. (Open to consideration, though.)

 

Fighter:

Berserker: included

Kensai: included

Wizard Slayer: included

 

Ranger (all):

You fight very few rangers (mostly because of the 2e alignment restriction). I got most of the way through implementing an Archer and then decided in practice I wouldn't use it. I could do a beast hunter relatively easily but I'm not sure it's worth it. (Implementing new dialog, a la the Nestor suggestion, is a bit beyond my scope.)

 

Paladin (all):

There are virtually no hostile paladins so it's not worth it.

 

Mage (all):

This has been fairly extensively discussed. I've implemented evokers, enchanters, necromancers and conjurers. I can't do abjurers or transmuters because they lack critical spells (Stoneskin and antimagic). I'm not doing illusionists or diviners because I can't think of a way for them to do anything interestingly distinctive. (Specialist mages should be distinguished by their active abilities, not just their lack of some spell type.)

 

Thief:

Assassin: included (quite extensively, arguably too much so!)

Swashbuckler: included, but not used much, as I don't think a Swashbuckler is interestingly distinguished (as an enemy) from an underpowered fighter.

Bounty hunter: the interestingly distinguished feature is traps but that's virtually impossible to use via the AI.

 

Bard:

Blade: implemented, I think. (There's code; I can't recall how much it's used.)

Skald, Jester: it's awkward at best to use a bard's combat song via the AI, and there are too few bards to make it worth the effort of finding a way.

 

 

Looking at the residual suggestions:

 

Halacan: I have some time for this, though it's mostly a case of blocking spells (writing illusionist-specific code isn't time-effective). I'll look into it.

Carbos and Shank: they need to be kept extremely simple given they occur in a tutorial (even in SCS). If I make them rogues their natural strategy is to start hidden and backstab CHARNAME, probably one-shotting her.

Marek: Assassin needn't be a class, it can be a job description. And Marek is clearly designated as a multi-class spellcaster in the core game. (Apart from fidelity to the material, six-on-one fights against thieves aren't fun.)

Voltine: I could do, but aren't all druids (virtually) shapechangers? Indeed, aren't shapeshifters less able to shapechange interestingly (one form against two)?

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You have a point in each of your observations, DavidW.

 

The only things I can say is about Nestor and Marek: the piece of dialogue I quoted for the first is taken directly from the game. About Marek I agree with you, but he could be a dual Mage / Assassin, right?

 

One more small thing: a kit that would be successful (I think) would be Divine Remix's Strifeleader of Cyric. There'd be a good number of villains which would belong to it. I can think of Mulahey, for instance but also the ambush led by the Lamahla and company ("You were foolish to even try, as my god Cyric allows me to see through all falsehoods.")...

Edited by Salk

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