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Spell / item tweaks install by default: good or bad?


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While i understand your reasoning for putting the spell and item changes into the core component, i think it's a terrible idea. I don't think it's reasonable to expect extensive item/spell changes when installing AI components of a (mainly) AI mod... the user basically get's "blindsided" by them. 

Take my case: i installed a minimal SCS v32 setup (only smarter general ai and call for help) and didn't realise until quite a few hours played that this automatically installs the spell and item changes as well. Yes i could have read the version history of the readme, but this behaviour was/is not at all obvious during install -- not cool.

On a sidenote: can i disable the spell/item changes in the ini during a playthrough or will i have to start a new game for it to take effect?

P.S.: i love v32 otherwise, the difficulty slider ease-of-use functionality is great!

Edited by cdds
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59 minutes ago, cdds said:

Take my case: i installed a minimal SCS v32 setup (only smarter general ai and call for help) and didn't realise until quite a few hours played that this automatically installs the spell and item changes as well.

According to the ReadMe:

These are the changes made to the spell system by the "Initialise AI" component of SCS. They can be fine-tuned via the .ini file (see under customisation) but the AI will assume all are installed and you may get odd results if you disable any of them.

As far as item changes are concerned, I think you can safely disable them if you so desire.......

Edited by Luke
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2 hours ago, cdds said:

While i understand your reasoning for putting the spell and item changes into the core component, i think it's a terrible idea. I don't think it's reasonable to expect extensive item/spell changes when installing AI components of a (mainly) AI mod... the user basically get's "blindsided" by them. 

Take my case: i installed a minimal SCS v32 setup (only smarter general ai and call for help) and didn't realise until quite a few hours played that this automatically installs the spell and item changes as well. Yes i could have read the version history of the readme, but this behaviour was/is not at all obvious during install -- not cool.

On a sidenote: can i disable the spell/item changes in the ini during a playthrough or will i have to start a new game for it to take effect?

P.S.: i love v32 otherwise, the difficulty slider ease-of-use functionality is great!

I think it's reasonably clear in the readme, as Luke says (you don't have to hunt around in the version history, the main readme tells you). But it could probably be clearer in the description of the 'initialise' component itself, which is a bit out of date.

I'm fairly reluctant to go backwards here, since one of the design goals of v32 was to make sure that any install option you can choose is officially supported. I don't like the idea that options presented to the player at install time are options that I don't recommend people use and that may destabilize AI. 

However, your use case (albeit I think it's rare) does make the point that I mostly need these changes for 'smarter mages' and 'smarter priests'. I"ll think about localizing them to those components for a future version. (This certainly won't happen for v32, though, as its the sort of architecture change that invites bugs.) 

I'd welcome further feedback from anyone else who dislikes (or likes!) this change, since so far no-one has really remarked on it but it's quite a big structural change in the mod, even if my changes mostly remain low-key.

As for your current install: no promises, but I think you can change the ini and reinstall without breaking your savegames - I can't think of any significant effect of the spell tweaks that requires a new game. (But officially the advice, as always, is to start a new game when you change your mod loadout.)

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5 hours ago, DavidW said:

However, your use case (albeit I think it's rare) does make the point that I mostly need these changes for 'smarter mages' and 'smarter priests'. I"ll think about localizing them to those components for a future version. (This certainly won't happen for v32, though, as its the sort of architecture change that invites bugs.) 

This sounds like a much better idea to me. Or make it a separate component but make smarter mages/priests depend on that component. 

Anyway, thanks for the response! I started a new game after my reinstall so i can't report back if it would have broken something if i had continued.

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On 1/27/2019 at 9:55 AM, DavidW said:

I'd welcome further feedback from anyone else who dislikes (or likes!) this change, since so far no-one has really remarked on it but it's quite a big structural change in the mod, even if my changes mostly remain low-key.

Regardless of how the item tweaks are wrapped into A or B component, I believe that the description text for all ranged weapons and ammunition that are/are not magical (for the purpose of penetrating PfNM/PfMW) should be made clear when the item tweaks are installed.

I understand from the previous thread and v38 RC release notes that the description for PfNM has been updated, but that doesn't help the party that lacks PfNM yet has an inventory full of ambiguously magical ammo.

I am happy to provide the text for you, using similar description wording already present in game, if that would be helpful.

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The readme is pretty explicit: "This component improves the power of the Protection from Normal Missiles spell. It now blocks most magical arrows, bolts etc that lack a formal "plus": that is, it blocks fire arrows, ice arrows and the like. The exceptions are the Arrows of Detonation, the Arrows of Slaying, and the Arrows of Dispelling." I think that's sufficient; it's not as if the vanilla game tells you in the arrow descriptions that certain spells block them.

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On 2/21/2019 at 1:11 AM, DavidW said:

The readme is pretty explicit: "This component improves the power of the Protection from Normal Missiles spell. It now blocks most magical arrows, bolts etc that lack a formal "plus": that is, it blocks fire arrows, ice arrows and the like.

Is this responsive to the actual enchantment value if the arrows? Or is there a simple list of what is blocked and what isn't. E.g. if a mod makes Arrows of Fire into Hellfire Arrows +6, keeping the RES unchanged, will Pro Normal Missiles block them?

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There's a simple list (it's done by projectile). 

I could code it to be more reactive but I don't think it's a good idea - the point of this set of changes is to rebalance the missile/melee/spell balance in (mostly) BG1, and I can't really anticipate what happens when other major changes occur to that subsystem.

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@DavidW

I think there's actually a tweak that could be made optional (or, rather, it should not be installed by default). I'm talking about "Make elemental arrows like BG2 (TUTU,BGEE)"

Why is it installed by default? I mean, I don't think it is related to neither "Smarter Mages" nor "Smarter Priests" (i.e., the two components that mainly rely on the changes listed under "Universal Changes")... In other words: unlike the other tweaks, this one should break nothing (AI-wise), so I can safely ignore it... I find it similar to "Move or modify some overpowered magic items (BG2,BG2EE,EET)" or "Reduce the power of Inquisitors' Dispel Magic": as a result, it should be prompted to the user during the installation instead of being an ini option...

Edited by Luke
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