Jump to content

Polytweak, initial release


Recommended Posts

I've had hardly any time for BG2 this year, but I've finally got around to making my first mod. I'll probably update it soon depending on feedback. I've tested it and it seems bug free but please report any bugs in this thread.

 

Like most weidu mods, simply unzip into your BGII - SoA folder and run setup-polytweak.

 

Readme follows.

 

Polytweak version 2.0 (download from Mediafire) has ten main components. More are in development.

 

Improved Creatures

 

1) PNP MIND FLAYER ATTACKS: Several mods (Tactics, Questpack and SCSII) already improve mind flayer scripting and psionic powers, so I don't touch their AI; instead this component changes the behaviour of the mind flayer's "Devour Brain" attack. The vanilla game implementation as as a short duration penalty to the target's intelligence score with each hit was a bit ridiculous, since your character's half-eaten brain grows back in 30 seconds, and highly intelligent characters (presumably having brains toughened by exercise) survive their attacks for longer.

 

Each hit from a flayer strips 25% of the target's hp to simulate this monster's PnP ability to kill with four successful tentacle hits. Note that this damage cannot "gib" a character, doesn't bypass stoneskin on grounds of "realism" (some would say this makes fighter/mages overpowered vs mind flayers, I'd say F/Ms are already broken beyond repair) and doesn't affect elementals, slimes, skeletons, wraiths or very large creatures. Fighter NPCs with low-average intelligence such as Minsc are now more viable against illithids.

 

XP is now gained for kills made while shapechanged into a mind flayer, which also properly sets magic resistance to 90%.

 

Additionally the THAC0 of most mindflayers is corrected. Ulitharids gain six attacks per round (as they should have) and "Supra-genius" intelligence that allows them to ignore low level illusions. Vampiric illithids are a bit more dangerous since they can devour brains as well as drain levels. The latter critters are recoloured slightly to stand out from regular mind flayers.

 

Compatibility: This will work best if installed after the g3 fixpack and before SCSII (though SCSII is not required). Installing my mod after SCSII shouldn't break anything, but Alhoon(s) won't be affected in that case.

 

2) IMPROVED (LESS BUGGY) TROLLS: The behaviour of trolls in the vanilla game (i.e. often "forgetting" to die while in combat and being unable to die while webbed) makes battles with trolls unnecessarily long and full of micromanagement and is a source of frustration to many players including myself. This component allows trolls to be killed directly, providing fire or acid is used, it is somewhat similar to the "Streamlined Trolls" component of Tactics, however unlike Tactics the trolls gain no damage resistance and still require fire or acid damage to be finished off, trolls are also now susceptible to mind affecting spells (they were immune to script-breaking effects like confusion in vanilla BG2, mainly so that their "lie down when near death and become immune to everything except fire/acid" script would function).

 

Spectral and spirit trolls, being undead creatures get appropriate immunities and may now be turned by paladins or priests. They will not be encountered during the daytime (outside De'Arnise keep or in the druid grove).

 

Vanilla game spirit trolls had claws which work like the Staff of the Magi, i.e. granting invisibility on equip, this interacts badly with SCS melee scripting because the troll "equips" their claws before attacking (and thus becomes invisible) several times per round. Their invisibility is now applied by script and less frequently, they also drain more strength per hit, but only by their claws (not their bite) and for a shorter time.

 

Add this as late as possible in the installation order.

 

3) IMPROVED UMBER HULKS: These beasts receive a number of stat fixes, they had fewer HD than they should in vanilla (6 rather than 8+8) and their saving throws were too high. Their AI scripting is improved (an Umber Hulk is supposed to have 8-10 intelligence, equivalent to an average human), although their gaze attack is intentionally random (it's supposed to affect anyone who happens to make eye contact, nearby characters are the most likely). Umber Hulk claw/bite attacks are now coded correctly as slashing weapons.

 

Elder umber hulks now have a tougher save penalty against their confusing gaze, and their claws cause bleeding wounds. The random monster spawns of umber hulks now have one elder umber hulk leading them rather than a minotaur.

 

Install order shouldn't matter too much here, as few mods touch umber hulks, but ideally last and certainly after Quest Pack.

 

4) IMPROVED YUAN-TI: The snake men had a variety of spell like abilities in 2nd edition (cause fear, poison, darkness and suggestion), which weren't implemented in game, these are restored. Being a highly intelligent race Yuan-Ti also have a chance to wield magical swords or axes and lesser Yuan-Ti now have proficiency in their weapons. The XP awards for defeating Yuan-Ti are increased a little.

 

This component does not affect Yuan-Ti mages whose AI is already improved by various mods, it should be installed after SCS otherwise my changes to Yuan-Ti scripts may interact badly with SCS scripting.

 

5) IMPROVED MINOTAURS: Most were weak creatures in the vanilla game (they're still not very tough), their movement rate, HD and morale are fixed to match their MM descriptions and they gain the ability to charge targets who aren't yet in close combat; a minotaur's charge deals crushing damage with a chance of knocking the target down if a save vs death is failed, charging minotaurs also take double damage if struck by a piercing weapon (excepting missiles).

 

6) CORRECTED VAMPIRE STATS: As with the mind flayers (and for the same reason) I haven't touched vampire AI, this component just matches vampire XP values, physical stats and saving throws to their level. All vampires except fledglings gain a little magic resistance. Vampires without names are now labelled according to their level of power, which seems to have been intended but unimplemented in game.

 

More powerful varieties of vampire impose a greater saving throw penalty against their charming gaze. Vampire fear also now applies a -2 penalty to all of a victim's dice rolls (rather than just THAC0) if the save is failed, and doesn't stack with itself (as it used to).

 

Durst and Gellal, the special vampires the party may meet in Bodhi's lair in Chapter 2 get a level boost to match their vanilla XP values, as does Lassal.

 

 

NPC and rule Changes

 

1) RELATED WEAPON PROFICIENCIES: I always thought it strange that a grandmaster of the longsword would fumble with a bastard sword, or that a crack shot with a longbow would be unable to hit the side of a barn with a short bow.

 

Polytweak RWPs groups similar weapons together: Long swords and bastard swords; scimitars and katanas; clubs and maces (...depending on install choice); shortbows and longbows. Specialization in a weapon type automatically grants proficienct use of similar weapons (however class restrictions are respected i.e. fighter druids can't get proficiency in katana or mace nor can swashbucklers get proficiency in bastard sword), likewise high mastery of a weapon imparts specialization in all "relatives".

 

You will need to turn party AI on for a couple of seconds after joining a new NPC or allocating their proficiencies in order for this component to work, as the changes are applied by script.

 

This component should be compatible with "Rebalanced Weapon Proficiencies" from BG2 Tweak Pack.

 

2) BETTER NPC PROFICIENCIES FOR SOA: I find it frustrating on the nth replay recruiting NPCs who have useless spells memorized and - worse - mispent proficiencies. Admittedly it only takes one rest to refresh their spell slots but NPC's have time-limited quests and if you play with tactical mods (like me) you can easily find yourself running out of time.

 

You'll be asked about each NPC:

 

Anomen: More useful spells memorized and specialized in warhammer and flail, if you recruit him at level 12+ he will have mastered flails.

 

Cernd: Kit changed to avenger, stats reallocated - though stat point total is left the same - to 12, 16, 9, 10, 18, 15 (previously 13, 9, 13, 12, 18, 15 - he was the only NPC without a single good physical stat!).

 

Jaheira: Better spell choice and either

i) Specialized in quaterstaff and sling, with one star in two handed style and spears

ii) Specialized in scimitar, dagger and two weapon style

 

Keldorn: Gains halberd and two handed proficiency or specialization (depending on level)

 

Minsc: i) Keep Minsc as a ranger but give him specialization in bastard sword rather than two handed sword and an extra star in two weapon fighting

ii) Change Minsc to a barbarian but keep vanilla game proficiencies (except two weapon style)

iii) Change Minsc to a barbarian specialized in two weapon, axes and bastard swords

 

Minsc receives an appropriate hp boost with either "barbarian" option.

 

Nalia: Most players think of her as a less useful Imoen clone, I’ve tried to make her more distinctive; now swashbuckler 5 -> mage (slightly less XP on joining).

 

Valygar: Racial enemy changed to demon (a THAC0 bonus vs golems is almost useless as they have poor AC), gains an extra star in two weapon fighting, specialization in long sword rather than spear and in short bow rather than long bow (he doesn't have sufficent strength to use the "best" longbows... which are a pretty useless weapon category anyway).

 

Viconia: Largely empty spellbook filled

 

 

Items and Icons

 

1) DISTINCTIVE ICONS FOR BLACKRAZOR & fLAMETONGUE: Blackrazor looked a lot like Haer'Dalis's Chaos sword (it's blade is supposed to resemble the night sky) and Flametongue shared an icon with the sword of flame (it now has a wavy, flamberege design).

 

2) PNP DISTUPTION WEAPONS: Disruption weapons in unmodded BG2 were rather overpowered versus undead, because the chance of disruption was implemented as a saving throw with a -4 penalty, meaning even the highest level vampires and liches were almost guaranteed to be disrupted in a round if assaulted by someone with multiple attacks. Disruption weapons now use the following table:

 

HD of undead__________________Chance of Disruption____

 

6 (such as wraiths) or less_________95%_________________

7 (such as mummies)_____________80%_________________

8 (such as spectres )_____________65%_________________

9 (such as fledgling vampires)______50%_________________

10 (such as ghosts)______________35%_________________

11 (such as basic liches)__________20%_________________

12 or more_____________________5%__________________

 

On the other hand, evil extraplanar creatures like demons and rakshasas are also now affected by disruption weapons, suffering extra magic damage with each hit and a chance of destruction as if they were 12+ HD undead.

 

This component affects Azuredge and of course the Mace of Disruption (both versions), which gets a new icon. The price of Azuredge is also increased to 10,000 gp.

 

 

************************************************

 

Acknowledgements

  • Westley Weimer and Valerio Biggiani for Weidu
  • aVENGER for his similar PnP creatures components in aTweaks (a partial inspiration for this mod)
  • Avenger_teambg for DLTCEP
  • Kreso for playtesting and bug reports
  • And of course Bioware and Black Isle for making the games in the first place

Edited by polytope
Link to comment

Thanks kreso, I'd be interested to hear back from anyone who has tried the mind flayers; intelligence no longer matters when fighting them, so fighter NPCs like Minsc are now more viable frontliners... I'm curious how much this affects the difficulty of battles (it might be considerably harder with the SCS component to give flayers damage resistance since you've only got 1 round to kill them if they latch onto a target).

 

@Miloch; I know of lvl 1 NPCs but it does things in a different manner; you can't create a dual-classed character, hp are re-rolled for new recruits, spellcasters start with only 1 spell memorized (and arcane spellbooks are completely changed)... Not to bash that mod, it's just rather different in implementation.

Link to comment
@Miloch; I know of lvl 1 NPCs but it does things in a different manner; you can't create a dual-classed character, hp are re-rolled for new recruits ...... Not to bash that mod, it's just rather different in implementation.
Well, the character being at level 1 actually makes it easy to cheat to make a dual-classing very easy, as you just need to set the XP level after requiting the NPC the two times. And the HP max is easy to archive by setting the difficulty level under the D&D rules(to ~normal). Yes, it's totally different approach. Both are valid of course.

 

You might make the readme a little more formative(as in, use the forum codes to make it less uniform) by editing it.

Link to comment

Great, very usefull mod.

 

Thanks kreso, I'd be interested to hear back from anyone who has tried the mind flayers; intelligence no longer matters when fighting them, so fighter NPCs like Minsc are now more viable frontliners... I'm curious how much this affects the difficulty of battles (it might be considerably harder with the SCS component to give flayers damage resistance since you've only got 1 round to kill them if they latch onto a target).

 

didn't play it yet, but much more interesting and refreshing, that's for sure. illithids should be dangerous, aggravating enemy...

Link to comment

I ended up redoing the mind flayers due to bugginess, it took me quite some time and I can see now why Bioware went with a much simpler implementation.

 

The main change in gameplay terms from my first release is that mindflayers have a chance to grab with every hit rather than requiring two consecutive hits (they have poor THAC0 so they practically required two crits) and PC's can break free of their hold by killing the mindflayer.

 

The new version can be installed after SCSII (I know that takes a while to reinstall).

Edited by polytope
Link to comment

If I might suggest, to add this:

BACKUP ~polytweak/backup~

AUTHOR ~Polytope, hatpinlamma@yahoo.com~

VERSION ~v1.02~

LANGUAGE ~English~ ~english~ ~polytweak/english/setup.tra~

 

BEGIN @50 DESIGNATED 50

On the next version... and by the way, the post looks much more pleasant, so well done.
Link to comment

Hmmm... No bug reports (which is good) but no player feedback either (not so good :(). I've yet to meet the tweaked mindflayers in a legit playthrough with normal levels (as opposed to spawning them via console in ToB for testing), I guess I'll be my own play tester for balance.

 

Anyway, I'm bumping this topic because polytweak has been updated to v1.2 with a new component (Related Weapon Proficiencies), you can install this over the previous components, which don't need re-installation. I couldn't upload it to topic this time so linked to Mediafire (of course, it would be nice if G3 would host my mod...).

Link to comment

Lynx, you know a lot about the infinity engine; can you please tell me how weapon proficiencies are stored on a dual classed character who hasn't yet regained their original class abilities? This is the source of a bug in the "related weapon proficiencies" component.

 

Also updated polytweak to version 1.3... meh, I know only 10 people downloaded it, but it's there.

 

Ideas for future polytweak: I have a lot of changes to the spell system coded up but not packaged in a mod yet. If any one is interested I can add them for a new version.

 

Spell school changes

 

The conjurer is an OP kit with no disadvantages, the only useful divination spells are True Sight and Far Sight and clerics get them - all the Power Word spells would be changed to divination magic to make up for the imbalance of a conjurer (best mage specialization) vs a diviner (one of the worst). Transmuters are pretty bad too, they'd get Spell Turning (minor and regular versions) which is similar enough to Physical Mirror (also alteration) as well as dispel/remove magic (made universal).

 

Spell changes:

 

Dispel magic uses a 10% chance of success/failure per level of difference (rather than vanilla 10% per level below the target and 5% per level above), the chance of automatic success and failure is increased to 5% each. Will now destroy Nishruus and magical swords if the dispel check is successful, potions will now be counted for dispel purposes as the same level as the user. No more "dispel effects" feedback string or animation playing on a creature who wasn't actually affected.

 

Remove magic is now a single target spell - previously too powerful, not a chance that you'd prefer dispel magic over this. I know SCS/Rogue Rebalancing mages may cast remove magic on themselves to catch nearby PCs, I can work around this by making it affect the nearest enemy if cast on self.

 

Inquisitors get both remove and dispel (alternating every 4 levels) and both are cast 4 levels above their actual level (i.e. +40% chance) rather than twice their level.

 

Priestly remove fear spell is single target: area-of-effect protection from fear is too powerful for a 1st level spell, and there was no use for the 2nd level mage spell resist fear.

 

Improved haste; now an AoE like regular haste, but lasts only 30 seconds, this change is designed to make it more useful for the AI, specifically in mixed groups of fighters and mages.

 

Protection from magic weapons; only protects from actual enchanted weapons, not from the attacks of creatures who strike magically like dragons, demons and mind flayers, finally gives a use for those mantle type spells.

 

Prismatic spray (and one effect of Sphere of Chaos); just replaced the annoying disintegrate effect with phasing into another plane (short duration maze, with either level drain or elemental damage).

 

Polymorph other (and another effect of sphere of Chaos); in vanilla game polymorphed enemies would continue to use scripted attack actions like dragon breath/wing buffet and beholder eye beams, whilst hilarious, this made the spell rather useless. The target (if outside the party) will now drop its inventory and be considered dead (granting XP) upon transforming to squirrel, it's still the easiest of the save-or-die spells to resist.

 

True Sight; would now allow direct targeting of improved invisible enemies rather than waiting for the once per round "tick" to reveal them (as would Detect Invisibility, but only for 3 rounds) - but it would no longer dispel improved invisibility from enemies, so only the caster of TS could target them (the way it was handled in vanilla made absolutely no sense). Spell Immunity:Divination would not be useless because PW spells are divination now.

 

Anyone want to see this made into a mod?

Link to comment

@polytope

 

I've installed the newest version of your mod, alas after SCS. Readme says that Alhoons won't be affected by relevant component, but that's fine (SCS Alhoon is crafty as he is). I will give you feedback once I meet the bastards head-to-tentacles, which should happen before next weekend.

For spell system, I usually use SR+SCS component of Antimagic tweaks - if I didn't I'd use your tweaks and Spellpack. Any buff to Transmuter is good (for some reason, I never found Diviner so weak - he has ADHW, he has PFMW, he has Abjurations, what more does one need? :D apart Wish that is).

What I'd like to see more than spell changes is creature changes. Trolls, Umber Hulks, Yuan-ti, Githyanki (such an interesting concept of a race) and similar stuff. Since you have the know-how, know the game well - why not make them more interesting?

NPC changes are good - even if I'd prefer having Jaheira with a shield, I can't see her dualwielding ever since I played with Weimer's Item Upgrade poison scimitar.

And a few suggestions:

- make your mod EE compatible (I doubt you will but....)

- do rename Weidu into setup file - it's not like "common knowledge" :)

- ask admins for a proper forum

Anyhow, will get back to you when first Mind Flayer dies to my sword. Or vice versa, he eats some brains.

Link to comment
I never found Diviner so weak - he has ADHW, he has PFMW, he has Abjurations, what more does one need? :D apart Wish that is).

 

I'm not so much bothered that Diviner is weak as that conjurer gives up nothing useful for his extra spell slots, unless he's solo.

 

What I'd like to see more than spell changes is creature changes. Trolls, Umber Hulks, Yuan-ti, Githyanki (such an interesting concept of a race) and similar stuff. Since you have the know-how, know the game well - why not make them more interesting?

 

This has been on my to do list for a while.

 

Trolls: only change I think they need is to make them less buggy. I thought about setting all trolls XP value to zero and having them vanish and spawn a "downed" troll on death if not disintegrated, or killed by fire or acid. XP would be granted solely by death script. This would avoid the frustration of a troll forgetting to die (or being unable to do so while stuck in web...). Hmmm, It's guaranteed to cause compatibility problems with mods that add trolls, and trolls with unique scripts like Tor'Gal. Then again I could leave unique trolls alone and just apply this change to the generic trolls which are terribly boring to fight because of their bugginess.

 

Umber Hulks: I'd just change them to have better saving throws and 9HD as they should, maybe elder Umber Hulks could get an AoE gaze or a tougher save penalty on their confusion. They had the interesting ability in PnP to burrow and cause cave-ins, I just know that implementing this would be a buggy mess like the mind flayers' grapple (I'm embarrassed of how much time I wasted trying to get that to work properly, suffice to say if it's applied by script it can be broken by disabling effects, if it's applied as a property of their melee attack it can break when the mind flayer switches targets or if someone other than the "grappled" character kills the mind flayer).

 

Yuan-ti: They are supposed to be able to cast a limited range of spells; cause fear (could only be used defensively, for a creature relying on melee attacks), darkness 15’ radius (it'd work something like Blackmist halberd's blindness), snake charm, sticks to snakes (we'll skip those, pointless and unimplementable), neutralize poison (a "reversible" spell in ADD, could also poison a target), suggestion, and polymorph other (skip that one too). I'm unsure if these should be implemented as spells or spell like abilities. Spell like abilities, I guess, to distinguish the regular Yuan-Ti from Yuan-Ti mages. To compensate I might have to either increase their XP value or weaken their melee abilities a touch (SCS makes them fairly strong fighters with weapon grandmastery, whereas in vanilla they had no proficiency at all in the weapons they used), probably the former, as most players who'd install this would want more difficulty.

 

Githyanki/Mind Flayers: I think of adding a few extra Psionic powers like Psionic Displacement, did you notice some (like ballistic attack and detonate) don't have any associated animation or projectile? Ulitharids Psionic blast should cause feeblemindedness, no more protection with the ring of free action (I'd make the feeblemind ability temporary or it would be too annoying - not that anyone's likely to survive being disabled with mindflayers around). Psionic powers should have a random "activation time" between one segment and one round. Ulitharids have 20 intelligence, so should be immune to 1st and 2nd level illusions like blindness and spook (doubt it will matter, they are 95% magic resistant anyway), they should also have the ability to dispel mirror image and blur on hit.

 

Others: Gauths should have a kind of lesser anti magic ray which drains item charges and disrupts spellcasting in that round. Well, the drain item opcode is buggy in SoA and nonfunctional in ToB (dunno about EE) so it would drain a spell instead, like a Nishruu's touch. Juggernaut golems and sand golems are almost carbon copies of stone and clay golems (though Juggernaut is slashing resistant) inspite of being worth twice as much XP, they need some unique abilities too.

 

NPC changes are good - even if I'd prefer having Jaheira with a shield, I can't see her dualwielding ever since I played with Weimer's Item Upgrade poison scimitar.

DW a scimitar and dagger just looks cool for some reason, and daggers are arguably a better choice of ranged weapon at low levels than slings because of poison throwing daggers, at high levels Jaheira should be in melee anyway, because of Ironskins, but even if you prefer a shield, there's no reason to put proficiencies in sword and shield style.

 

And a few suggestions:

- make your mod EE compatible (I doubt you will but....)

 

I'd be happy to make it EE compatible if I knew how to do so, I can't test it without buying EE myself though. It might be enough to update to the latest WEIDU version and replace "REQUIRE_PREDICATE ENGINE_IS ~tob~" with "REQUIRE_PREDICATE GAME_IS ~tob bgt bg2ee~" but I have no idea how the weapon proficiency component will work in EE as there are some engine level bugs relating to how the game stores weapon proficiencies from the inactive class on a dual classed human character. Does EE add mind flayers to the game? I'd guess there are some in the Black Pits, but if they use the default mind flayer weapon they'll be covered.

 

- do rename Weidu into setup file - it's not like "common knowledge" :)

 

OMG, how did I forget to do this? No wonder I didn't get more player feedback, as the mod apparently can't be installed for players who don't know about that.

 

- ask admins for a proper forum

 

I PM'd CamDawg as he seems to manage the miscellaneous released mods section, this project is not on the scale of Sword Coast Stratagems and I doubt it needs a forum of its own.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...