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IR Revised V1.3.500 (2021 June 29th)


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1 hour ago, Salk said:

I sympathize with the straight-up buffs to some items but I generally welcome the +STR items replacing the original ones. It is a good choice to avoid making unique and supposedly beneficial items be completely or almost completely useless.

I also don't think including Rasaad's quest belt can support your argument when talking about IR(R). It's an external item and IR cannot strike a balance with modifications that add new items. It must work on the original Bioware assets.

I'm also genuinely curious about how you managed to combine IR items to reach STR 25 on multiple characters (I assume multiple means at least 3 out of 6 party members) in BG2, let alone BG1🤔 

 

Well to be fair you can't get 25 on three characters unless you use barbarians and custom characters. However that's not an uncommon way to play. Restricting ourselves to one barbarian and custom characters you can do:

half orc (PC) barbarian 19+4(rage)+2(duhm) = 25

half orc berserker 19+3(gloves)+3(belt) = 25

human lathander->fighter 18+2(duhm)+2(other gloves)+1(tome) = 23

This is a very powergamey setup, but it's also within the rules of how most people play BGEE

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1 minute ago, Salk said:

My bad.

I misunderstood Rasaad's belt to be an item added by a third party modification and not being introduced by EE (I have nothing against BG EE, by the way). But even so, IR does cater to both the classic and the EE players but cannot shift its core balance in favor of EE added items. It is more sensible to strike a balance considering what items both classic and EE do have rather than assume every IRR player is going to obtain EE items.

But this is the point, besides providing EE compatibility it doesn't favor EE's at all. Maybe IRR does some more groundwork on a technical level to play better with EE's, but that's it. EE items, and especially BGEE ones, need IR updates badly. Unfortunately in majority of those cases it would need to be a complete rewrite, just loosely inspired by item overall theme. 

But setting those items aside... I can live without them. What is a showstopper to me (as silly as it sounds) is that both IR and IRR does not offer also EE style item descriptions. Having a mix of vanilla(ish) and EE style descriptions in one game is immersion breaking for me. I tried to fix that by myself, I really did, but all I can do is to update descriptions. I'm not skilled enough to update those regexp dependant components that patch all mod added items. 

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I understand what you are saying about IR(R) needing to improve in order to better support EE but I think there is a misunderstanding.

I was not saying that IR(R) was favoring EE. I was just saying that IR(R) should, at least in my opinion, be built with the classic BG items in mind as base modification. That is because both classic and EE players will both share the same items. If IR(R) shifts its core balance to account for EE added items, it would end up penalizing non EE players.

What can be done (but it is a big work) is to customize its changes in order to have (slightly) different item properties depending on whether IR(R) is being installed on an Enhanced Edition game.

The item descriptions should not be that hard to update depending on classic or EE edition (I don't think it is silly that it bothers you - it would bother me as well).

Can you give me an example of big discrepancy between IR(R) item description and EE item description?

I am currently working on porting the BG2 EE game text into BG2 classic so I am seeing quite a difference between the description of original items and spells so I think I understand where you are coming from.

Cheers!

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5 minutes ago, Salk said:

I understand what you are saying about IR(R) needing to improve in order to better support EE but I think there is a misunderstanding.

I was not saying that IR(R) was favoring EE. I was just saying that IR(R) should, at least in my opinion, be built with the classic BG items in mind as base modification. That is because both classic and EE players will both share the same items. If IR(R) shifts its core balance to account for EE added items, it would end up penalizing non EE players.

What can be done (but it is a big work) is to customize its changes in order to have (slightly) different item properties depending on whether IR(R) is being installed on an Enhanced Edition game.

The item descriptions should not be that hard to update depending on classic or EE edition (I don't think it is silly that it bothers you - it would bother me as well).

Can you give me an example of big discrepancy between IR(R) item description and EE item description?

I am currently working on porting the BG2 EE game text into BG2 classic so I am seeing quite a difference between the description of original items and spells so I think I understand where you are coming from.

Cheers!

I'm not at my PC now, but I can send you examples later tonight. As I've said updating descriptions is easy (even if time-consuming). The problem is to updste the code of Armor and Item revision components, that patch all modded items according to IR changes. Those components rely on using a regexp (in a complex way) and I'm not able to update them in a satysfying way. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, yakattack said:

Not sure if you have much interest in changing BG1 around, but I've been playing it recently with IR and I have a few thoughts...

At the moment IR increases the player's power in BG1 quite a lot. The main thing is the +strength items, of which there are three if you include the belt from Rasaad's quest (I would personally prefer that any EENPC items be relatively weak so I can happily remove them). You can get two characters to near-max strength, plus many items like varscona are straight-up buffed compared to vanilla. In fact, two of the strongest weapon classes (longswords and scimitars) receive considerable buffs, while many "bad" types like axes, flails, katanas, and halberds, remain bad. Missile weapons are a little bit nerfed, but you forget about that pretty quickly when you have a 25-strength level 5 fighter dual wielding varscona and the new and improved vampire's revenge. With so much strength available, dual-wielding is supreme. Generally I am not a fan of the conversion of strength-setting items to +strength items, even in BG2. It favours powergaming or custom parties, since if you have good stats already it makes you even better, and the items can often be combined to reach 25 strength on multiple characters, which is mostly impossible in vanilla. In vanilla these items are a great way to improve suboptimal bioware NPCs, while powergaming is somewhat limited since they can't be stacked.

At some point in the distant past, I actually reverted the +stat items to be like the old "set to X"-style of the original games. Later, I looked at the strength table bonuses and realized that 2E-style stats are absolute pants - why are strength values between 8 and 15 functionally equivalent, and you get barely anything for 16-18, and then suddenly the second you get past 18 the bonuses become utterly ludicrous? Then I looked at dexterity and realized the same thing: between 6 and 14 are all the same, then between 15 and 18 you get an AC bonus for every single point. What in the world is going on with these terrible 2E-style stats? I eventually realized that 3E-style stats were superior for a number of reasons (most of all balance between enemies and players), and I realized that it seems like IR's stat bonuses seemed to be almost designed for that instead, and ended up reverting my reversion. I haven't looked back since - I'll never play with 2E statistics again. I can only recommend that other players do the same. However...I seriously doubt most players are using 3E-style stats like I am - perhaps it would be worth providing an optional settings.ini tweak to provide the reversion you seek.

@Cahir On the subject of EE-only items, it is difficult for me to revise EE items for a few reasons:

1. I do not play on the Enhanced Editions and thus it is difficult for me to fully grasp the consequences of revising said items to begin with.
2. Many (most?) EE-added items are absolute utter garbage designs that feel, look, and sound like they're borderline (or not even borderline) fan-added.
3. This has the added effect of making them even more difficult to revise, especially since many of them have *very* specific names and lores that do not lend to any natural/obvious revisions.
4. The ones that are overpowered I am loathe to nerf because I know how much people like their overpowered items and I literally don't even play the EEs and so again, I can't fully grasp what exactly I would be doing as a result - in terms of where items are located, for what character(s) they're specifically designed for, how soon you can realistically get them in the game, etc.
5. Even if I were playing on the EEs, the first thing I would do is wipe everything the EEs added to begin with. I can't understate how much I despise EE content - NPCs, items, spells, and quests alike.

While I did at least add all BG1:EE items at some point so they're at least included in a rough sense (with a few VERY obvious mild revisions for some of them), I looked at BG2:EE items and was even more frustrated with them. I don't really know what the heck to do with any of them - I am more than open to suggestions for any and all EE items, especially because any suggestions I implement literally won't affect me, and therefore I am significantly less inclined to protest any possible changes.

In regards to EE-style descriptions, I know we had a dialogue going months ago and you were trying to figure out how to best effect those changes optionally via a settings.ini switch. I personally dislike EE-style descriptions (big surprise!), so I cannot convert the item_descriptions.tra to it. I'm not sure how to resolve that situation either.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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19 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Can I get a copy of your SHLD07.itm from your override? I'm looking at my own right now and staring at a "Protection from Spell: SHLD07A" opcode and wondering how in the world SHLD07A.spl could be applying to the character wearing the shield, especially after testing this danged shield so many times already.

So in IR, Ashideena (HAMM03.itm) becomes Rift Hammer, The Knee-Capper (HAMM04.itm) becomes Hammer of Corrosion, and Borok's Fist (HAMM05.itm) becomes Tersyus. Which of those is the least strong? I'm not a huge fan of Bassilus using Rift Hammer either - he's had a tendency to hit that 15% and absolutely clobber my party with it in the past. Honestly, I'm a little tempted to add one of the original hammers back and give it some kind of more mild property...perhaps Borok's Fist with a knockout property...

I hadn't gotten to the point of playing with my latest install, so don't have first hand experience. But I'm 90% it happened in my last playthrough, with regular IR. And as I a said, the person I was talking to over on Reddit said he had the same happen with latest version of IRR.

As for Ashideena and BG1, I'd just restore it to it's original form. If you think the +1 electric damage is inconsistent with other items, +1d4 damage would be fine as well i think. It would still be a very good weapon for the first game, but then it already was decent in the base game.

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17 minutes ago, Satrhan said:

I hadn't gotten to the point of playing with my latest install, so don't have first hand experience. But I'm 90% it happened in my last playthrough, with regular IR. And as I a said, the person I was talking to over on Reddit said he had the same happen with latest version of IRR.

As for Ashideena and BG1, I'd just restore it to it's original form. If you think the +1 electric damage is inconsistent with other items, +1d4 damage would be fine as well i think. It would still be a very good weapon for the first game, but then it already was decent in the base game.

I just installed IRR again now, gave the shield to Minsc and...nothing. His AC never goes down except for the +3 provided from the shield itself. I had him stand next to me and my character's AC went down by 2 immediately - his is still fine. I'm not sure what the issue would be.

Perhaps what I'll do for Ashideena is restore it just for BG1 with that very minor revision, while leaving the Rift Hammer in BG2. No overlap with Hammer of Thunderbolts that way, plus if I need to re-use an icon (there aren't exactly a lot of hammer icons to go around as it is), there's no issue there as well.

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56 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

At some point in the distant past, I actually reverted the +stat items to be like the old "set to X"-style of the original games. Later, I looked at the strength table bonuses and realized that 2E-style stats are absolute pants - why are strength values between 8 and 15 functionally equivalent, and you get barely anything for 16-18, and then suddenly the second you get past 18 the bonuses become utterly ludicrous? Then I looked at dexterity and realized the same thing: between 6 and 14 are all the same, then between 15 and 18 you get an AC bonus for every single point. What in the world is going on with these terrible 2E-style stats? I eventually realized that 3E-style stats were superior for a number of reasons (most of all balance between enemies and players), and I realized that it seems like IR's stat bonuses seemed to be almost designed for that instead, and ended up reverting my reversion. I haven't looked back since - I'll never play with 2E statistics again. I can only recommend that other players do the same. However...I seriously doubt most players are using 3E-style stats like I am - perhaps it would be worth providing an optional settings.ini tweak to provide the reversion you seek.

@Cahir On the subject of EE-only items, it is difficult for me to revise EE items for a few reasons:

1. I do not play on the Enhanced Editions and thus it is difficult for me to fully grasp the consequences of revising said items to begin with.
2. Many (most?) EE-added items are absolute utter garbage designs that feel, look, and sound like they're borderline (or not even borderline) fan-added.
3. This has the added effect of making them even more difficult to revise, especially since many of them have *very* specific names and lores that do not lend to any natural/obvious revisions.
4. The ones that are overpowered I am loathe to nerf because I know how much people like their overpowered items and I literally don't even play the EEs and so again, I can't fully grasp what exactly I would be doing as a result - in terms of where items are located, for what character(s) they're specifically designed for, how soon you can realistically get them in the game, etc.
5. Even if I were playing on the EEs, the first thing I would do is wipe everything the EEs added to begin with. I can't understate how much I despise EE content - NPCs, items, spells, and quests alike.

While I did at least add all BG1:EE items at some point so they're at least included in a rough sense (with a few VERY obvious mild revisions for some of them), I looked at BG2:EE items and was even more frustrated with them. I don't really know what the heck to do with any of them - I am more than open to suggestions for any and all EE items, especially because any suggestions I implement literally won't affect me, and therefore I am significantly less inclined to protest any possible changes.

In regards to EE-style descriptions, I know we had a dialogue going months ago and you were trying to figure out how to best effect those changes optionally via a settings.ini switch. I personally dislike EE-style descriptions (big surprise!), so I cannot convert the item_descriptions.tra to it. I'm not sure how to resolve that situation either.

Yeah I agree 3E stats are a superior design, although the craziness of 2E stats does have some appeal to me 😆 . If IR(R) is designed with those kind of stats in mind then the existing items make more sense.

As for EE content, I totally agree with you. I'm thinking of switching to non-EE myself. The only item that jumps out at me is the Big-Fisted Belt which is very powerful with +3 strength.

Edited by yakattack
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9 hours ago, Salk said:

Can you give me an example of big discrepancy between IR(R) item description and EE item description?

@SalkHere is an example of original IR description and mine EE-style update. The most significant differences can be seen on armours.

Quote

@1822 = ~Viconia is one of the most promising clerics devoted to Shar. As a sign of her favor, the goddess herself imbued this armor with powers usually restricted to high-ranking clerics amongst the Nightcloaks of Shar.

STATISTICS:

Special Abilities:
 Mental Domination (1x per day)

Equipped Abilities:
 Saving Throws: +2 bonus
 Protects Against: Blindness

Armor Class: 4
Weight: 20
Requires: 6 Strength
Not Usable By:
 Good-aligned characters
 Mage
 Monk
 Avenger
 Kensai
 Shapeshifter

@1822 = ~Viconia is one of the most promising clerics devoted to Shar. As a sign of her favor, the goddess herself imbued this armor with powers usually restricted to high-ranking clerics amongst the Nightcloaks of Shar.

STATISTICS:

Charge abilities:
– Mental Domination, once per day

Equipped abilities:
– Saving Throws: +2
– Immunity to blindness

Armor Class: 4 (5 vs. crushing, 3 vs. piercing and missile, 2 vs. slashing)
Requires: 
 6 Strength

Weight: 20

As I already wrote, updating descriptions is easy. Updating Revised Armors and Revised Weapons components, unfortunately not (for me anyway).

@Bartimaeusthanks for honest reply. I guess, I need to either deal with immersion breaking descriptions, don't install Revised Armors and Revised Items components, or completely skip IR(R) in favour of other mods (i.e combo of Weimar's Item Upgrade and BG2EE to SoD Item Upgrade).

For the record, I agree that BGEE items are poorly done. BG2EE and (especially SoD items) not so much, I think these are done quite nicely, actually. If I decide to install a mod to remove some EE content from the game, BGEE items would be my only choice (I saw @Andrea C.has done something like that recently).

 

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12 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

What in the world is going on with these terrible 2E-style stats? I eventually realized that 3E-style stats were superior for a number of reasons (most of all balance between enemies and players), and I realized that it seems like IR's stat bonuses seemed to be almost designed for that instead, and ended up reverting my reversion.

 

Bartimaeus,

When you play with 3E-style stats, do you adjust NPC scores to keep consistent?

For example, Safana with a 13 Strength would receive 0 THAC0/0 Damage in 2E - but +1/+2 in 3E. Do you reduce her Strength to 10 or 11 so she continues to receive 0/0?

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The reason I can’t get with 3E stats is the idea that you only get a bonus for every other point increase. So you can have a bonus to a score but not see any functional benefit, at all. That’s garbage design.

2 hours ago, Chitown Willie said:

Safana with a 13 Strength would receive 0 THAC0/0 Damage in 2E - but +1/+2 in 3E. Do you reduce her Strength to 10 or 11 so she continues to receive 0/0?

This is the other problem, specifically in the context of BG games. They simply weren’t designed for the 3E stat table. I agree that the 2E table is garbage (in places), but for best results in these games I found it necessary to create replacement tables from scratch. 

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8 hours ago, Chitown Willie said:

Bartimaeus,

When you play with 3E-style stats, do you adjust NPC scores to keep consistent?

For example, Safana with a 13 Strength would receive 0 THAC0/0 Damage in 2E - but +1/+2 in 3E. Do you reduce her Strength to 10 or 11 so she continues to receive 0/0?

I keep their statistics the same, of course. What would even be the point of the mod if you just immediately negated the mod's main effect? :p Also, all creatures in the game are affected AFAIK - doesn't make sense to penalize your party members when enemy creatures won't suffer the same fate.

6 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

The reason I can’t get with 3E stats is the idea that you only get a bonus for every other point increase. So you can have a bonus to a score but not see any functional benefit, at all. That’s garbage design.

This is the other problem, specifically in the context of BG games. They simply weren’t designed for the 3E stat table. I agree that the 2E table is garbage (in places), but for best results in these games I found it necessary to create replacement tables from scratch. 

From the readme regarding strength: "This component alters the Strength tables so that the effects of mid-range values of strength are now different: for example, 8 Strength gets -1 thac0, -1 damage, whereas 14 gets you +2/+2. Previously both cases would receive +0/+0.

Thac0 is computed with the real 3rd edition rules (thac0 bonus = (str - 10) / 2), whereas the other Strength bonuses (damage bonus, bend bars/lift gates, weight allowance) use different rules. In the case of damage, the formula is similar (damage bonus = (str - 9) / 2); the value is greater because that's how it's in 2nd edition, and to ensure that advancing to an odd value is useful."

Similarly, dexterity: "This component alters the Dexterity tables so that the effects of mid-range values of dexterity are now different: for example, 8 dexterity gets you -1 AC, whereas 14 gets you +2. Previously both cases would receive +0.

AC bonuses are computed with the real 3rd edition rules (bonus = (dex - 10) / 2), whereas reaction bonus, ranged thac0 bonus and Save vs. Breath bonus is slightly lower (bonus = (dex - 11) / 2)), to ensure that advancing to an odd value is useful."

...Constitution: "This component alters the Constitution tables so that the effects of mid-range values of constitution are now different: for example, 8 constitution gets you -1 HP per level, whereas 14 gets you +2. Previously both cases would receive +0.

Bonuses to hit points and fatigue are computed with the real 3rd edition rules (bonus = (con - 10) / 2), whereas Save vs. Poison/Hold/Death is slightly lower (bonus = (con - 11) / 2). Regeneration rate and minimum dice are untouched.

As an additional consequence, all classes would benefit from a constitution over 16. Previously, only fighters/rangers/paladins would."

i.e. odd values are useful, :).

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12 hours ago, Cahir said:

Here is an example of original IR description and mine EE-style update. The most significant differences can be seen on armours.

Thanks, Cahir.

Yes, I can see how the difference style could be really bothersome and for some people (like you and me) break immersion. But wouldn't IR(R) replace the description of all items so that you wouldn't have a mix of the EE and IR(R) style?

Unlike Bartimaeus, I don't think the EE style is bad at all. I am not sure about which one I like better but it should be one way or the other.

The EE description comes without the usability text because the EE engine adds those dynamically so IR(R) would literally need to have duplicate strings for every such item. Perhaps it'd be just easier to convert to IR(R) style every item in your game that are still using the EE style.

But from what I am understanding, your main gripe is just with the Revised Armor and the Weapon Changes additional components?

I can very little/close to nothing about WeiDU so I cannot help you myself with that but @Mike1072 can perhaps help you with that, if he's around and it's not too complicated. If not, then in your shoes, I would not give up on IR(R) because of the style mismatch for two optional components. I would bear it, despite being annoying, or, if it really is unbearable for you, I'd not install the Revised Armor and Weapon Changes components.

Cheers!

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Chiming in about the 2E / 3E stats bonuses.

My position is something in between Bartimaeus's and subtledoctor's, ultimately meaning that I am not particularly happy with either one.

The 3E approach sounds much more rational to me but it's also incredibly boring. The character creation process becomes as dull as it could ever be.

The 2E approach is much more creative and specialized but it seems to have several and deep logic flaws.

Overall, possibly for nostalgic reason and what @yakattackcalls "craziness of the 2E stats", I have a slight general preference for the 2E. The fact that Baldur's Gate has been developed with that ruleset in mind for the vast majority just strengthen that position.

Edited by Salk
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