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[help needed] IWD2 item descriptions feedback


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As mentioned in the last progress report both automatic IWD2 item conversion code as well as EE style item generation code has been finished. Here is a HTML file that I've generated to make descriptions checking a bit easier.


If someone would like to review the outcome and will be able to find some problems (for example bad grammar, wrong % chance for some effects, effect mentioned in IWD2 item not present in generated description etc.) please share them here or via comment on dropbox page. Since almost all of it has been generated automatically finding an issue in one place will also fix other items and/or descriptions, once bug fix is implemented.

Some info regarding IWD2 items conversion and the above file:

- for now no balancing has been implemented whatsoever,

- in short the item conversion code works as follows:


The conversion aims to be as close as possible to original design of the items while still following 2nd ed ruleset. During IWD2 items and creatures conversion I've used sources like Character Conversion Book, DMG books, Shandar the Ashen blog and more. When it comes item conversion specifically I've also referenced how Black Isle implemented items that exists in both IWD1 and IWD2.

For details you will have to read the descriptions, but the most important fact that may not be obvious are the base stats differences. Different base AC, weapon damage, item weight, speed factor, minimum requirements etc. are NOT a result of balancing, but outcome of making the item follow AD&D rules (or rather - the version of it used in BG games). The general stats conversion process looks like this:
1. Take a base, non-magical item from IWD2 and read all its stats
2. Take a base, non-magical item from BG2 and read all its stats
3. From now on each time a magical equipment is converted, its IWD2 items stats are compared to base IWD2 item stats and the actual bonus is the difference between these stats (either subtraction or percentage change), which are then applied to base BG item. For example:

Base AC = AC of BG2 base armor type + (AC of the converted item - AC of IWD2 base armor type)

Similar calculation is done for damage and since the result is added on top of BG2 base item the outcome of IWD2 "Greatsword +1" (which btw. is also automatically renamed to Two-handed Sword during description generation) is 1d10+1 (BG AD&D), not 2d6+1 (3rd ed).
Some of the other base stats calculations are made using percentage in order to get the correct outcome value (for example if IWD2 magical item is 30% lighter then IWD2 base item of the same type, then we're decreasing outcome item weight of the BG2 base item by 30% too)

- IWD2 has very powerful loot designed for Heart of Fury difficulty only (also present in EE games under the name of Legacy of Bhaal). You can check which items are unique to this special mode by checking the column titled "FURY". There is a good chance that this feature will be implemented to EE engine via EEex too.

- Items marked as not spawnable in both NORMAL and FURY difficulty in the table means that they are not present during game at all (same should be true for vanilla IWD2 - please let me know if you encountered any of these items in IWD2, without spawning them with cheats)

- As you can see in "Item" column, even though none of the IWD2 item file names conflict with BG resources they had to be renamed due to engine differences - in EE engine when item name starts with numbers it's automatically swapped with gold, so I've decided to simply move 2 numbers that are present in all IWD2 items from the beginning to the end of file (example: 00AMUL11.ITM => AMUL1100.ITM)

- The table columns can be sorted, so for easier description reviewing it's better to sort them by "Type" and just check those labelled as DESC_IDENTIFIED

- changes in lore descriptions have been done by @bob_veng. In future, based on his work, some of the items will also have names altered to fit more closely to BG naming conventions


edit: link updated, previous html file missed 150+ items (forgot to include 1 directory).

edit2: Implemented resistance cap convention based on Mourner's Armor (exists in both IWD1 and IWD2)

edit3: Third version - changelog

Edited by K4thos
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congrats on this, it's really cool :)

i've checked around 1/4 of the descriptions starting from top, and everything looks alright, except for one issue

Save vs. x at -14 negates (replaces the original "x save to resist")

Edited by bob_veng
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@bob_veng, could you please elaborate what you mean? The "Save vs. X at -Y negates" form is used in vanilla EE descriptions. Exemples:





Combat abilities:
– Miscast Magic affects the victim for the next turn on each successful hit (80% chance of victim's spellcasting failure, Save vs. Spell at -2 negates)


Charge abilities:
– Summon 8-HD Shambling Mound
  Range: 40 ft.
  Duration: 100 seconds

– Enhanced Charm Animal (Save vs. Spell at -4 negates)
  Range: 40 ft.
  Duration: 1 hour


Combat abilities:
– 10% chance of decapitating opponent with each successful attack (Save vs. Death at -4 negates)


If you're referring to the amount, which in this case is -14, it may look weird at first, but it makes sense considering most items with such high ST mod values are exclusive to Heart of Fury (Legacy of Bhaal) mode only, in which all creatures have extra 10 bonus to Saving Throws (so the -14 is as effective as -4 when fighting the same monster in non-HoF mode). In IWD2 the save penalties/bonuses information is hidden (which I think is bad considering applying save penalty or bonus makes all the difference in weapon effectiveness). In EE descriptions they are always listed, so that's the convention I've used too.  Let me know what you think should be changed here.

Edited by K4thos
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yeah, just referring to the amount. i thought it would be impossible that it's the correctly stated amount, but i get it now

btw, it's only the case

edit: btw it's not only the case with HoF items, for example

Pustule's Flail




Equipped abilities:
– Charisma: -5
– May only be removed with a Remove Curse spell

Combat abilities:
– Hit target suffers 2 poison damage per second for 1 round (Save vs. Poison at -17 negates)
– 15% chance hit target is infected by Contagion disease (slowed, -2 penalty to Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma; Save vs. Death at -2 negates) indefinitely

THAC0: +3
Damage: 1d6+4 (crushing)
Speed Factor: 7
Proficiency Type: Flail/Morning Star
Type: One-handed
 13 Strength

Weight: 15

this base difficulty item has save -17 for one thing and save -2 for another at the same time

not saying anything should be changed at the automatic conversion level, but eventually, some manual tweaking could "normalize" those massive st penalties 

Edited by bob_veng
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yeah, if item is for normal mode only then normalizing huge ST mods seems reasonable. Maybe even a cap of let's say up to -5 for normal mode and -15 for HoF mode? (penalty lower then this would automatically disable saving throw check during item conversion). From what I see there are no droppable items in vanilla EE games with bigger ST penalties. The only problem with this approach are items droppable in both modes - adjusting those would have to be done on a case-by-case basis.

Edited by K4thos
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The only problem with this approach are items droppable in both modes - adjusting those would have to be done on a case-by-case basis.

Can't the system just automatically split those in two, have a version with the save penalty intact drop in HoF mode (where the penalty is 'balanced' I presume) and drop a version with a reasonable save penalty for normal? (From the looks of it, even if this approach would weaken the power level of those items, I doubt it would cause a lack of powerful enough items for the normal version of IWD1...)

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i think that if enemies get a +10 to saving throws in HoF, let it play out fairly. it's weird that HoF weapons should automatically negate that by having an additional -10 penalty. it's probably due to last minute balancing by the original team, but from today's perspective it makes no sense. my proposed solution is that all weapons HoF or not, simply get their penalties capped at -4 or -5 (and particularly -2 and 0 where appropriate which are the most common EE values), and the player can lower enemies' saves with spells. 

apparently, vanilla iwd2 is plagued with elements from the false difficulty scaling model present in more modern games - enemies become tougher, but you get arbitrarily more powerful to catch up with them (or vice versa). this doesn't exist in EE and in IWD1, and it's conceptually incompatible with the oldschool RPG approach.

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On 8/19/2019 at 9:55 AM, lynx said:

Did you apply the iwd2 fixpack first? It fixes a few items and where effects were missing, it would affect the conversion too.

yes, I'm using fixpack before resources conversion. I've also considered using fixes mentioned in this topic, but the link to that mod is offline.

Edited by K4thos
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New versions of HTML files with item descriptions have been uploaded to dropbox. Changelog:

- Implemented Saving Throws penalties following feedback from this topic
  * negated HoF -10 ST bonus
  * implemented new formula for ST penalties that converts IWD2 inflated values to BG style range of -1 up to -5
- Fixed few Saving Throws assignments:
  * Xvimian Fang / Xvimian Fang of Despair: Death => Petrification/Polymorph
  * Lamp Oil: Rod/Stuff/Wand => Breath
  * Lolth's Sting / Lolth's Cruel Sting: Rod/Stuff/Wand => Spell
- Added missing "Weapon range increased by 50%" bonus description (Sophias Flight and Sophia's Arc bows)
- Added missing "Immunity to bleeding" bonus description (Periapt of Wound Closure)
- Added missing "Damage type: " to Halbards "Slashing or piercing, whichever is better" description

Edited by K4thos
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36 minutes ago, K4thos said:

- Added missing "Weapon range increased by 50%" bonus description (Sophias Flight and Sophia's Arc bows)

Are you sure this is actually in game effect, or just description intent, which was never implemented ? ... as you can't hit things outside the visual range of the attacker. That's likely the reason why it was removed in the first place.

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10 minutes ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Are you sure this is actually in game effect, or just description intent, which was never implemented ? ... as you can't hit things outside the visual range of the attacker. That's likely the reason why it was removed in the first place.

it was not removed, the code that automatically generates descriptions just wasn't good enough to list it. Since there are no BG items with bonus like this I didn't think about comparing launcher range values. I’ve noticed it listed on the IWD2 side by randomly comparing descriptions in the HTML file. The converted item itself already had correct value (150 instead of 100 - still within visual range, I think), the bonus was just not listed in the automatically generated description.

Edited by K4thos
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it's awesome how you resolved the ST issue

here are some of my miscellaneous nitpicky observations, on the matter of repeating unique items

00BWLX04 - repeating unique BG item; needs a generic (general crossbow) description
DAGG0500 - repeating unique BG item; it would be good to switch back to vanilla IWD2 description
SWDS0400 - repeating unique BG item; needs to be replaced by generic short sword +2 (SW1H09.ITM BG2EE)
00BWHX04 - repeating maybe-unique BG item; maybe remove 'The Guide' from the name and description and leave the rest

i noticed that HAMM0400 = IWDEE HAMM03, but where in IWD2 it does +1d4 elec. dmg, in IWD1 (and BG) it does +1 elec. dmg. Being called "Warhammer +2" it probably shouldn't do so much bonus elemental damage; or it can get a unique name.

btw. it's neat how we can have those IWD1 items present in IWD2 now without conflicts... I see they are actual IWDEE items

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