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SCS v31 Release Candidate (Now No. 3) Now Available for Testing


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It's not a great idea to install the "initialize" component early in the install. It does a lot of resource-collecting and item-flagging that will miss things. (Yes, it's arguably flawed design to require that component for the non-AI bits of SCS; v32 won't.)

 

If I've understood what you're after, the reason you want SCS improved shapeshifting installed is because you want SCS's AI components to detect it and use symbolic-paw shapeshifting for opponents?

 

If so, you can probably do a quick-and-dirty version like this:

 

 

- harvest dw#shapeshift.mrk and all the ITM files with names beginning "DW#SHN" from the override of a local copy of SCS with "Improved Shapeshifting" installed.

- include them with your mod and drop them in the override.

 

 

dw#shapeshift.mrk is the marker file that SCS uses to detect the "Improved shapeshifting" component, so putting it in the override will fool SCS into thinking the component is installed. And (I think) the DW#SHNxx.ITM files are the only files actually used by enemy shapeshifters, and don't rely on dialog entries.

 

 

I haven't tested this, though.

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Exactly: I want SCS AI to use the Improved Shapeshifting exactly as it normally does; however, the reason I mention mucking about with install order it, I want to lightly patch the SCS shapeshift paws. It's been a loooong time since I played with that component, but I'm guessing it scripts enemies to operate the way an aggressively optimization-minded human player might: lightning-quick switches between human and animal forms, in order to (more or less) squeeze spellcasting and physical attacks into the same time period.

 

My mod allows at-will shapeshifting, but it's not quite instantaneous the way symbolic paws are. I'm concerned it will be odd or off-putting to see enemies shift back and forth at super-speed in ways the player can't or won't. So I figured I would patch the SCS paws to slow them down a bit, with something like a 1-second application of opcode 165 (pause actor) whenever the paws are equipped.

 

On reflection, if I want to do a tweak like that, I can just do it through an extra mini-mod after SCS. And if v32 moves the gameplay tweaks in front of the initialize component, then I can revisit the issue if necessary.

Edited by subtledoctor
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No, I simply want SCS AI to use the Improved Shapeshifting exactly as it normally does; however, the reason I mention mucking about with install order it, I want to lightly patch the SCS shapeshift paws. It's been a loooong time since I played with that component, but I'm guessing it scripts enemies to operate the way an aggressively optimization-minded human player might: lightning-quick switches between human and animal forms, in order to (more or less) squeeze spellcasting and physical attacks into the same time period.

From a technical perspective, do that by distributing your own copies of DW#SHNxx.ITM and a copy of dw#shapeshift.mrk. SCS will think Improved Shapeshifters is installed and use your versions. (They'll be overwritten if someone installs the actual Improved Shapeshifting component but presumably it's conceptually incompatible anyway.)

 

From a design perspective, I fairly strongly discourage it, because the SCS scripting assumes shapeshifting is instant and optimizes on that behavior. If you slow down the shapeshift, SCS druids will probably behave unwisely.

 

 

Incidentally, "squeez[ing] spellcasting and physical attacks into the same time period" has been part of BG strategy, and AI scripting, pretty much since the beginning - it's a natural consequence of the real-time-with-pauses implementation of the AD&D ruleset replacing a turn-based one.

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Incidentally, "squeez[ing] spellcasting and physical attacks into the same time period" has been part of BG strategy, and AI scripting, pretty much since the beginning - it's a natural consequence of the real-time-with-pauses implementation of the AD&D ruleset replacing a turn-based one.

 

There are no polymorph/shapeshifting abilities that work that way. There is no version of D&D that I've ever seen in which shapeshifting wasn't something like (to use recent parlance) an "action." This turns a spell ability into something like the Staff of the Magi - notable really for how it breaks what you know about the rules of the game, rather than doing interesting things within those rules. Worse, there are all sorts of other shapeshift/polymorph abilities that do play by the rules, so it creates a fairly massive inconsistency that I personally find jarring. Finally, I just don't envision druids turning their bodies into animals as something that happens at the speed of computer programming - faster than my fingers could even do it using a mouse and keyboard. It's basically just an aesthetic issue: that's not how it works in the story my brain tells, and so the visual of druids flipping back and forth like light switches is grating. A very slight delay - not something to change the tactics, but something to visually suggest the druid just underwent a process, would go a long way toward making me want to use that component. Maybe a split-second stun, since I believe that pauses scripts. Or maybe even just a short movement speed penalty, while the shapeshift animation plays.

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Incidentally, "squeez[ing] spellcasting and physical attacks into the same time period" has been part of BG strategy, and AI scripting, pretty much since the beginning - it's a natural consequence of the real-time-with-pauses implementation of the AD&D ruleset replacing a turn-based one.

There are no polymorph/shapeshifting abilities that work that way. There is no version of D&D that I've ever seen in which shapeshifting wasn't something like (to use recent parlance) an "action."

 

You can shapeshift in Pathfinder as a swift action, as I recall, if you're willing to give up a level or two in creature power; that sounds fairly instant to me.

 

More substantively, in many editions of D&D you can spellcast while shapeshifted. I don't like *that* aesthetic, but it addresses the obvious problem with AD&D shapeshifting, namely that it's just not really effective for a spellcaster in the action economy. That's always been what that component tries to address; the symbolic paws are a means to an end since you can't really do free actions in IE.

 

This turns a spell ability into something like the Staff of the Magi - notable really for how it breaks what you know about the rules of the game, rather than doing interesting things within those rules. Worse, there are all sorts of other shapeshift/polymorph abilities that do play by the rules, so it creates a fairly massive inconsistency that I personally find jarring.

At some level we're getting towards "don't install that component then".

 

Finally, I just don't envision druids turning their bodies into animals as something that happens at the speed of computer programming - faster than my fingers could even do it using a mouse and keyboard. It's basically just an aesthetic issue: that's not how it works in the story my brain tells, and so the visual of druids flipping back and forth like light switches is grating. A very slight delay - not something to change the tactics, but something to visually suggest the druid just underwent a process, would go a long way toward making me want to use that component.

I don't mind looking to see if a very short delay can be made to work - though as I recall you've had a visceral dislike of that component for years and for lots of reasons, so "don't install it" is probably still the best advice!
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Actually, just as an addendum, since I didn't pick up on the Staff of the Magi point: from a game-balance point of view (and I appreciate your objection is partly thematic and aesthetic) the problem with the Staff of the Magi is that it breaks the action economy by applying a power (turning invisible) that's normally gated by action economy. Shapeshifting doesn't itself apply any power; it just changes your attack and protection portfolio - something you can do anyway for free in the IE action economy by equipping a weapon. (Indeed, mechanically the shapeshifter paws in Improved Shapeshifting are literally weapons with a bunch of associated on-equip effects, as you probably know if you've been modding them.)

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I should say, all of that is meant through the lens of my mod, in which player shapeshifting is run through innate abilities. It's not an indictment of the SCS component on its own, should a player use that system. It's really a question of inter-mod compatibility and refinement. My shapeshift abilities are at-will and fast, but not quite instantaneous the way symbolic paws are. So my concern is largely about appearances: enemy druids would be using the SCS paws, but I want to hide that difference by making enemy shapeshifts look roughly like what the player can do. Basically by ever-so-slightly slowing down the symbolic paws.

Edited by subtledoctor
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Hi,

 

today i reinstalled BG2:EE and SCS v31, this time in english, but i have the same problem: All strings in the game remain unchanged after installing SCS. The spell descriptions do not show the changes made by SCS, dialogues as well. This is the first time i have installed a mod for BG2 and i have no other mods installed. Can someone answer me please?

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In my current BGEE game, the component "better call for help" looks not effective, enemies are not helping each other.

Can you say more on what you are expecting ?

They don't really help "each others", they just jump against the same enemy when one sees one and calls the others to their "help". Aka they don't start to cast healing and defensive spells out of the blue. But if their scripts say that, then they will...

 

This just makes it so that the player can't sharpshoot each bandit with their bows individually at the periphery of their vision, but the party is attacked by all of the bandits nearby(that would see each others), well the visible char is, and thus if the other chars enter vision range, they too can be attacked.

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