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Ser Elryk

Request: An in-game reason to go to IWD

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I'm not a huge fan of the scaling idea, suggest making it optional in IWDinEETTweaks.

 

Same, here.

 

When discussing this in the IWDinEET context, it would mean that any party at any time should be able to do any campaign. This makes little sense. It is far more realistic gameplay that you meet challenges you are not (yet) up to and it is part of role playing to find another solution in such a case (where a solution may be just to run away - come back later when you are fit). All over the game there are situations where a specific item/skill/weapon/abilty is required before you can solve it. Would be quite boring if all of IWD is just full of goblins because you took your level 1 party up there.

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When discussing this in the IWDinEET context, it would mean that any party at any time should be able to do any campaign. This makes little sense. It is far more realistic gameplay that you meet challenges you are not (yet) up to and it is part of role playing to find another solution in such a case (where a solution may be just to run away - come back later when you are fit). All over the game there are situations where a specific item/skill/weapon/abilty is required before you can solve it. Would be quite boring if all of IWD is just full of goblins because you took your level 1 party up there.

That's not at all by what the above people mean, what they mean is that you take on a map and be done with it, then you take another and decide to turn around cause you hate goblins that explode with in humongous fireballs... go to adventure another place and return to the "same area as before", but now the goblins just do 10x the damage cause you got a few levels up, or 20. And you run the F away AGAIN because of that F-ing Goblin monster.

The IwD itself is balanced, it doesn't have goblins everywhere, it has elementals etc that can compete with strong BG2 characters with no serious problems, and if they need a bit boost, it can be given to make the IwD monster as good as those that the IwD would have at the same stage*, but that doesn't mean that they should scale 1:1 with the player, they should be of a set challenge decree and never ever move anywhere from their place ... whether the player moves on or not.

 

*Stage, like the HoWs end game dragon needs to be better than Firkraag... or similar level to of say Abazigal, who is also a blue dragon and almost probably equal in other perspectives.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola

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However, if the content is left untouched it'll also be problematic which is why we need some kind of scaling I think, we've got campaigns competing for the level of their content so if you do IWD before the BG1 plot, you'll end up cutting sarevok in 2 with unarmed fight without even being a monk which would make 0 sense and not be interesting at all. On the otherhand, if you first go through BG1 then move on to IWD, it'll make early IWD almost irrelevant and you'll be over leveled all along IWD which will make it very easy.

 

There are flaws to both scaling and non scaling in terms of role playing in RPGs, (i.e a guard from saradush could probably solve BG1 plot by himself even though it makes CHARNAME a hero)

 

It makes sense to meet challenges you aren't up to, but it doesn't make sense that you get to an area and everyone is "OMG WE ARE GONNA DIE" when it's just ennemies you can kill by looking angrily at them. But it doesn't make sense either that bandits are on the level of a fully leveled bhaalspawn which would happen with any scaling that would keep a challenge.It also doesn't make sense that you can leave an area and come back 3 weeks later with 5 more levels while the guys are just the same.

 

Hence why I said it's a pretty complicated issue that goes beyond just IWD in EET imo, BG2 has some scaling to make do with the ability to do the side quests at any time ( but 2 liches in the amaunator temple doesn't make much sense, does it?).

 

A way to have both "places too hard for you" and avoid the ridiculously easy "we're gonna die" moments would be to have scaling kicks in only when you're higher level than the monsters but it would still leave many other problems like 2 bandits from athkathla being technically able to sack the whole of baldur's gate by themselves.

 

The "only" good way to make scaling would be to have it handmade (ie, npcs talk about new monsters in the area, reactive dialogs to the enemies' strength) but that's just way out of scope of EET.

Another option would be to have it be an UI option so it can be more finely handled by everyone.

Edited by GrimLefourbe

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However, if the content is left untouched it'll also be problematic which is why we need some kind of scaling I think, we've got campaigns competing for the level of their content so if you do IWD before the BG1 plot, you'll end up cutting sarevok in 2

Well yeah, but if your level progression is that of a 1/10th of the original game ... adjusted by you, not the EET, then you'll run to a giant that will do the cutting you fairly before you obtain the most powerful IwD item that can make it easily to cut Sarevok in two.

 

The "only" good way to make scaling would be to have it handmade (ie, npcs talk about new monsters in the area, reactive dialogs to the enemies' strength) but that's just way out of scope of EET.

Another option would be to have it be an UI option so it can be more finely handled by everyone.

Scaling summon scripts are better than scaling each of the already present monsters. A goblin does grow to be a giant, it gets eaten by it and thus now there's a giant too there... but it's only rare that that happens, and it won't be realistic for it to scale per the character level... cause the thief gets ahead more than say a mage, or druid(at level 13, cause it takes 2x to gain that single level).

One could throw in the time the game has taken in ingame days. 100 days +few goblins, 200 giants, 500, well it seems there's a few unwelcome undead... ouh and everything else is already dead. :p

Edited by Jarno Mikkola

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I see what you are saying about things like the Saradush guard soloing bg1. IWDEE and BGEE + BG2EE are for overlapping character levels.

 

Maybe it'd be good to be able to hop back and forth between campaigns. Maybe a gem that allowed travel between the north and the south instantly or something would be a good idea.

 

Also if scaling is to be introduced, perhaps an install option to add 2 hit dice to all creatures, 5 levels or automatic scaling which k4thos was already talking about.

Edited by smeagolheart

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I'm sorta fine with leaving it up to players to regulate their own experience, with scaling as an optional feature. Scaling is never going to be a "perfect" solution but it is a solution of a kind. Another idea is just lowering the total XP gained in game by a percentage which I think probably works better but still will result in issues since it means you will need to switch between IWD and BG campaigns to not be underleveled.

 

My own personal method of solving this is going to be to just swap in and out companion characters frequently throughout my adventure, trying to get at least a little bit of time with everyone which should even out the XP gains (and regularly just deducting XP from my PC to keep them at around the same curve). I was even thinking about making a mod around the idea of swapping characters in and out of your party frequently which I might look into after this releases.

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Rearding scaling - I was thinking more about something to make let's say level 7 or 14 Cleric not automatically destroy every single undead in Vale of Shadows by just turning on 'Turn Undead' skill. Not necessary making the monsters a hardcore challenge or constantly improve them like in Skyrim. More details regarding this idea:

- Average Party Level could be checked when you enter the area and compared to the level that is expected in vanilla game. By subtracting expected level from average level the script would know overall how much overlevelled the party is.

- Script that improves monsters would than use one of let’s say 4 possible improvement steps for a monster - 1 improvement step gained for each 5 levels of the party above the expected level.

 

The problem here is to come up with a fair system for these monster power incensements to not make them too hard compared to vanilla game by modestly altering the stats. Simple things like few additional levels to prevent undeads from exploding but running in fear instead when Turn Undead is used, additional Hit Dices, so creature don’t die on a single hit, improved saving throws to not always be affected by most devastating spell effects, better THACO to somewhat take into account that overlevelled party is likely wearing better armors compared to vanilla game etc. Nothing hardcore like Legacy of Bhaal mode.

 

Of course if something like this will be implemented than it would require feedback from players if it still feel fair or makes the game frustrating. I don’t see a problem with adding a feature for disabling the system alltogether if player don’t care about monster power at all - in fact such thing could be added to in-game options menu, so that player could disable it mid-game if it becomes too frustrating (yep, patch 2.x GUI system is that awesome)

 

Notice that with components installed that reduce XP in whole game (see: EET Tweaks) the system would most likely not even trigger in later parts since the party wouldn't be so much overpowered compared to expected levels and the content already have reduced XP gains by default compared to vanilla games - in case of IWD:EE 1/4 XP for quests to make them more in line with BG1 rewards, also existing monster XP reward is compared with re-calculated value using 2nd edition D&D rules for default Hit Dice based XP (Ravenloft Compendium) - lower value of the 2 is chosen for creature.

 

-----------

 

If anyone have idea how to design monster scaling in a fair way than we are very interested in such help. Modding skills are not needed (I can code everything), what’s important here is a grand vision how exactly it should work.

Edited by K4thos

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If a level 20 party is going to the vale of shadows, maybe they should just chunk everything and cruise along until they get to a point in the story that challenges them. But yeah iwd is so linear you don't have a choice but to run through everything in order.

 

Your idea of average party level and different tiers of upgrades sounds good. How it will work in practice will have to be tested. Again suggest options being available. No increase, encounters scaled by average party level adjustment, and maybe a flat increase of the tiers as well (1, 2, 3,4). If you offer the flat increase, people can plan their attack of iwd at a certain point in their adventure and expect a certain level of difficulty.

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I'm sorta fine with leaving it up to players to regulate their own experience, with scaling as an optional feature. Scaling is never going to be a "perfect" solution but it is a solution of a kind. Another idea is just lowering the total XP gained in game by a percentage which I think probably works better but still will result in issues since it means you will need to switch between IWD and BG campaigns to not be underleveled.

 

My own personal method of solving this is going to be to just swap in and out companion characters frequently throughout my adventure, trying to get at least a little bit of time with everyone which should even out the XP gains (and regularly just deducting XP from my PC to keep them at around the same curve). I was even thinking about making a mod around the idea of swapping characters in and out of your party frequently which I might look into after this releases.

I have used a similar idea for my mod's extension after ToB - while the two protagonists of the sequel get a reduction of their XP (while keeping all their abilities), the new NPCs you can get come in at varius levels according to their story-line experience when you meet them. Thus, PC hardly gains another level in the first 3/4 of the sequel while lower level NPCs learn from travelling with you. This makes challenges and encounters of various levels still interesting even when you have a PC at ToB level in the party.

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Witch the scaling I was thinking more about something to make let's say level 7 or 14 Cleric not automatically destroy every single undead in Vale of Shadows by just turning on 'Turn Undead' skill. Not necessary making the monsters a hardcore challenge or constantly improve them like in Skyrim. More details regarding this idea:

- Average Party Level could be checked when you enter the area and compared to the level that is expected in vanilla game. By subtracting expected level from average level the script would know overall how much overlevelled the party is.

- Script that improves monsters would than use one of let’s say 4 possible improvement steps for a monster - 1 improvement step gained for each 5 levels of the party above the expected level.

 

The problem here is to come up with a fair system for these monster power incensements to not make them too hard compared to vanilla game by modestly altering the stats. Simple things like few additional levels to prevent undeads from exploding but running in fear instead when Turn Undead is used, additional Hit Dices, so creature don’t die on a single hit, improved saving throws to not always be affected by most devastating spell effects, better THACO to somewhat take into account that overlevelled party is likely wearing better armors compared to vanilla game etc. Nothing hardcore like Legacy of Bhaal mode.

 

Of course if something like this will be implemented than it would require feedback from players if it still feel fair or makes the game frustrating. I don’t see a problem with adding a feature for disabling the system alltogether if player don’t care about monster power at all - in fact such thing could be added to in-game options menu, so that player could disable it mid-game if it becomes too frustrating (yep, patch 2.x GUI system is that awesome)

 

Notice that with components installed that reduce XP in whole game (see: EET Tweaks) the system would most likely not even trigger in later parts since the party wouldn't be so much overpowered compared to expected levels and the content already have reduced XP gains by default compared to vanilla games - in case of IWD:EE 1/4 XP for quests to make them more in line with BG1 rewards, also existing monster XP reward is compared with re-calculated value using 2nd edition D&D rules for default Hit Dice based XP (Ravenloft Compendium) - lower value of the 2 is chosen for creature.

 

-----------

 

If anyone have idea how to design monster scaling in a fair way than we are very interested in such help. Modding skills are not needed (I can code everything), what’s important here is a grand vision how exactly it should work.

Not a solution but one additional idea I have used for higher level parties - adding new challenges to existing maps when the party is average at higher level than vanilla. Like if you mix some unexpected type of enemy among a group of existing enemies, some goblin spellcasters among a group of normal goblins, a troll or two. The idea is to require more than one strategy against a (mixed) group of monsters instead of just increasing level of the existing ones.

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I'm sorta fine with leaving it up to players to regulate their own experience, with scaling as an optional feature. Scaling is never going to be a "perfect" solution but it is a solution of a kind. Another idea is just lowering the total XP gained in game by a percentage which I think probably works better but still will result in issues since it means you will need to switch between IWD and BG campaigns to not be underleveled.

 

My own personal method of solving this is going to be to just swap in and out companion characters frequently throughout my adventure, trying to get at least a little bit of time with everyone which should even out the XP gains (and regularly just deducting XP from my PC to keep them at around the same curve). I was even thinking about making a mod around the idea of swapping characters in and out of your party frequently which I might look into after this releases.

I have used a similar idea for my mod's extension after ToB - while the two protagonists of the sequel get a reduction of their XP (while keeping all their abilities), the new NPCs you can get come in at varius levels according to their story-line experience when you meet them. Thus, PC hardly gains another level in the first 3/4 of the sequel while lower level NPCs learn from travelling with you. This makes challenges and encounters of various levels still interesting even when you have a PC at ToB level in the party.

 

Hmm... I like this idea regarding forced XP reduction without removing actual levels. Something like this can be added as an optional tweak for EET_Tweaks:

Cut Protagonist's XP at the beginning of SoA to a chosen value:

1. 89,000 (reduce XP to vanilla BG1 XP Cap range)

2. 161,000 (reduce XP to TotSC XP Cap range)

3. 500,000 (reduce XP to SoD XP Cap range)

4. Custom Value

Edited by K4thos

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I'm sorta fine with leaving it up to players to regulate their own experience, with scaling as an optional feature. Scaling is never going to be a "perfect" solution but it is a solution of a kind. Another idea is just lowering the total XP gained in game by a percentage which I think probably works better but still will result in issues since it means you will need to switch between IWD and BG campaigns to not be underleveled.

 

My own personal method of solving this is going to be to just swap in and out companion characters frequently throughout my adventure, trying to get at least a little bit of time with everyone which should even out the XP gains (and regularly just deducting XP from my PC to keep them at around the same curve). I was even thinking about making a mod around the idea of swapping characters in and out of your party frequently which I might look into after this releases.

I have used a similar idea for my mod's extension after ToB - while the two protagonists of the sequel get a reduction of their XP (while keeping all their abilities), the new NPCs you can get come in at varius levels according to their story-line experience when you meet them. Thus, PC hardly gains another level in the first 3/4 of the sequel while lower level NPCs learn from travelling with you. This makes challenges and encounters of various levels still interesting even when you have a PC at ToB level in the party.

 

Hmm... I like this idea regarding forced XP reduction without removing actual levels. Something like this can be added as an optional tweak for EET_Tweaks - Cut Protagonist's XP at the beginning of SoA to a range chosen during component installation. Let's say:

1. 89,000 (vanilla BG1 XP Cap)

2. 161,000 (TotSC XP Cap)

3. 500,000 (SoD XP Cap)

4. Custom Value

 

1. It is not actually a cap but rather substract an amount of XP from the Player1 (just used AddExperience with negative value at some transition)

2. Another thing for areas that I use is some random effect scripts for higher level parties to impact their fighting abilities. E.g. in some caves I simulate stale/poisonous air or vapours that lets a random party member get unconcious for some rounds. Similar things can be done for icy outside areas (freeze random party member for sme rounds) or overheated lizard caves (swoon from the heat)...

 

In a way the situation is similar to my after-ToB contents and revisit of former areas, i.e. keep it interesting and challenging without putting a bunch of liches and a dragon in every other area.

Edited by Roxanne

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If anyone have idea how to design monster scaling in a fair way than we are very interested in such help.

 

I don't have a grand vision, just some comments:

 

1) Moderate monster level increases, like you suggested, sound good. E.g. instead of "level 4" skeletons, you may meet "level 8" skeletons.

 

2) Give them the better HP/Thac0/Damage that they're supposed to have at the new level, but refrain from additional stat increases and immunities beyond that, to avoid breaking immersion and player know-how for beating specific enemy types.

If every little goblin is as durable and hard-hitting as an Adamantine Golem and immune to magic, that's just silly - even if your party is strong enough to beat them, it would feel ridiculous. (This is also why I don't like the Heart of Fury mode.)

 

3) Rather than increasing monster levels too much, just replace some monsters with stronger but similar ones. E.g.:

  • Imbued Wight [low] --> Vampire [mid] --> Lich [high]

  • Tiny IWD "Skeleton" animation [low] --> same but higher level [mid] --> Big BG2 "Skeleton Warrior" animation [high]

This way, it won't feel weird that the enemies are tougher: Players will recognize the more dangerous monsters and adjust tactics accordingly.

I think vanilla BG2 does something similar in the Temple of Amaunator: If you visit it with a high-level party, some of the undead parties in the side chambers have a lich.

 

4) Similar to the previous point: Mix in some rare tougher monster variants in addition to the normal ones. E.g. a group of normal trolls could get one or two Spirit Trolls added to their ranks, and a group of mundane undead could get a Demon Knight (from BG2 Underdark fame) to join them. Since these kinds of monsters are meant to be more rare, I wouldn't use them to replace weaker monsters across the board, just as an addition.

 

5) In case of monsters that come in groups, such as trolls, the group sizes could be increased. (Not too much though, because again, it shouldn't feel silly.)

 

6) Give monsters better ammo. E.g. instead of plain Arrows, the Skeleton Archers would all fire Arrows +2 at you.

Edited by Ineth

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