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Changing Action Bar Buttons


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At the same time, making all those assumptions doesn't bother you?


Hacks and Tobex are personal projects and up to the developer's motivation. But I did go and check and found no requests for anything like that in the latter's forum. Looks like a case of an un- or unsufficiently voiced want. The same could easily be said about bd, but it says little about complexity of such a feature.


Where I'm going from is engine internals. It's hardcoded now per class, but moving it outside is just an extra table away. We're not talking about externalising the special wild magic effects, which could require a lot of refactoring/generalisation, but just reading a file or two before using the same values in the code. It's how gemrb got the feature in the first place.

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I haven't made any assumptions, I've made inferences. There have been a number of feature requests and discussions about this on the Beamdog forums for several years. About fixing the horrible cleric/thief UI problem, about improving the way modal abilities work, etc. But there has been no result across multiple different patches. We got a new class with a new action bar, but it's not changeable and the existing ones were not changed. I infer that the devs looked it - well, I know they looked at it, because they discussed it. But I infer that after looking at it, they decided something like, "this will involve a non-trivial amount of work, which outweighs the benefit."


If you think it actually is trivial, then how do you explain the fact that it hasn't happened? Beamdog is evil? I'm a reasonable person; give me a logical narrative for how this works, what is involved in changing it (and making sure there are no unintended consequences of the change in a shipping software product), and why it might not have been changed, and you'll convince me. But in the meantime, I can only base my conclusions on the evidence in front of me.


I know GemRB can do various things that even the EE engine can't, but crucially, I can't use GemRB. I can play the EE games, and mod the crap out of them in all sorts of interesting new ways. If you are asserting that GemRB can have customizable action bars and that's a good trade-off... well, I disagree.


tl;dr: looking more more actual information, less argument.

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any? :jump:


They get thousands of feature requests and bug reports, why would this one be special? Would it enable something really cool in the future for them, provided they'll continue using the same engine? Unlikely, so a waste of time. They have hundreds of other less obscure and more impactful things to pick from. Time spent on easy stuff is still time spent and it reminds of the 80/20 rule.

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Here's a bug report for you:

My monk can't disarm traps although he has the "requirements" for it. I made him able to detect traps via a spell, and he has the pick pockets ability that normally makes the thieves able to highlight the trap and thus disarm it(and the points in the skill)... but nothing. The thing doesn't light up as it's supposed and so the he can't disarm it. Yeah, you can actually see this kind of reports here, in the Beamdogs own forum, and in SHS. Sames goes for picking locks and so forth.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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To summarize:

  • I never said this change would be trivial (although it wouldn't be dramatically difficult to implement either).
  • So far they've made two major overhauls to the UI and both times they've decided not to tackle this.
  • We know this clearly isn't impossible and they already have similar code required to implement it.
  • It would drastically improve a major part of modding, which is what they need to keep the franchise alive.

All of this simply adds to my disappointment regarding the matter. Obviously, this isn't as trivial as adding a simple 2DA table and reading from it since the actions triggered by buttons are also hard-coded to a degree (e.g. a sorcerer can't pick pockets even if you try to trigger that action via hotkey or script), but I've done a reasonable amount of UI coding in the past and I refuse to believe that this is something so complex that they couldn't have afforded to get it done. They simply chose not to. There didn't have to be any particular reason for it, no one's saying they chose to keep it hardcoded out of spite, but everything beyond that is pure conjecture.

The simple fact is, it's currently not doable in the EEs. If they choose to tackle IWD2 after Ps:T and then after decide to backport the UI changes, it might be doable in the future. Or it might not, who knows. All I knows is this has been a major thorn in my side for over a decade and I was hoping things would have changed by now. I'll just have to work around it for the foreseeable future.

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