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Splicer_777

Criticism of SCS mod

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Posted (edited)

So I felt the game was getting too easy on insane so I downloaded and tried to install this.

But this mod feels so broken.

Firstly, the installation time is WAY too long, I never know if I've managed to install the entire thing because the dos installation program seems to go on forever and I always Quit at some point.There are consistent display bugs with the text. Sometimes I wonder wtf y'all did with the game. Just way too many bugs, too many things to sort through, too much experimentation.

I set the Inquisitor Dispel at 1.5 his level but now the spell is completely useless.

I muscled through it, coming up with such briliant ideas like casting Time Stop before the mega-lich could cast the bubble and then having a souped-up Aerie beat it to death with her staff before the fight even begins. Every winning strategy consists of cheesing the algorithm of the game, its ridiculous.

But I couldn't do the final Irenicus fight. I wasn't about to spend 12 hours on it and wait to get lucky with every roll. What is the point if my characters instantly die at start of the fight, or 1/10 times I manage to keep them alive, and almost get to the end but then my main character gets mind controlled and instantly killed. This is the one fight where I can't save right before, and I have to watch the damn conversation OVER and OVER again and I just started spilling over with frustration so I turned on Story Mode just to get the fight over with.

It's too much tinkering, trying to set the difficulty just right. I wanna get on with it and play the game.

Moving into Throne of Bhaal, I wonder if I should simply uninstall this so I don't run into unexpected text bugs or very tiresome situations such as having mages with stupid immune bubbles that last forever and the way to deal with it is figuring out how to "cheese" the battle through save-scumming or whatnot. I understand the D&D rules are intriguing and open-ended and for people who maybe have vastly more experience with Baldur's Gate its a needed challenge.

But I think too much of the difficulty is artificial, its all about immunities, instant death, and spells that take control away from the player. The difficulty amounts to "insanely overpowered mages with bubbles that are immune to everything". FUN

I admire what you do but for a player looking for a decent challenge this mod is so impractical and all over the place.

Maybe I just suck at Baldur's Gate but that's all I have to say.

BTW how do I completely uninstall this thing?

Edited by Splicer_777

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Splicer_777 said:

BTW how do I completely uninstall this thing?

Run the setup-modname.exe again and choose to uninstall with the U key in the dos-windows/command prompt options when they are presented.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola

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46 minutes ago, Splicer_777 said:

I always Quit at some point

I have problems taking any bug report serious if this is what you did upon installation. EDIT: (I'm not the mod author and have nothing to do with SCS.)

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Thanks for the feedback.

Pretty much every protective spell in the BG2 ruleset has a counter - Ruby Ray of Reversal for Spell Turning, True Seeing for Improved Invisibility, etc. sounds as if you haven’t tried to use any of them - that’s entirely up to you, the move-and-countermove aspect of the spell system isn’t for everyone, but if so you probably shouldn’t use tactical mods in that spell system (or should turn the difficulty way down, at least for the mage components).

I’m not sure what ‘way too long’ means really, but I’m pretty sure the mod is up-front about install times in the readme. (But I’ll check.) There is an unavoidable trade off between install time and complexity/responsiveness to other mods.

I’m not going to engage with the technical bug reports for the reason Jastey gives (though I’d be interested in specific examples of the text bugs if you have some).

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, DavidW said:

Pretty much every protective spell in the BG2 ruleset has a counter - Ruby Ray of Reversal for Spell Turning, True Seeing for Improved Invisibility, etc. 

Well, thing is, you have build the enemies so that the player has no chance against them... the spells have counters, but the fact is, the player has to counter ALL of them, and to that, they have no answer... unless they somehow pop up themselves to be 4 level 20 mages. Aka, the problem you create is that they have too many defenses and those have no single counter... unless we use the 9th level spell that gets rid of very many of them.

You have at your usage, Protection from Magical Weapons. That alone is not a big deal... but combine that with Spell protections and invisibility and it becomes a headache to take care off, or to find away around it. Or a waiting game. Or a constant fight againts the improbable... as you can remove it with Dispel Magic, but the enemy is always higher level than the player is, even with 1.5 multiplier with their paladin levels, so there. Your suggestion of taking care of that, is: What ?

57 minutes ago, DavidW said:

sounds as if ..

Actually it doesn't.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola

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22 minutes ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Well, thing is, you have build the enemies so that the player has no chance against them... the spells have counters, but the fact is, the player has to counter ALL of them, and to that, they have no answer... unless they somehow pop up themselves to be 4 level 20 mages. Aka, the problem you create is that they have too many defenses and those have no single counter... unless we use the 9th level spell that gets rid of very many of them.

That doesn't match my experience or that of quite a lot of people who have given feedback. But sure, if it's your experience, probably don't play SCS or else play on a lower difficulty setting.

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24 minutes ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

You have at your usage, Protection from Magical Weapons. That alone is not a big deal... but combine that with Spell protections and invisibility and it becomes a headache to take care off, or to find away around it. Or a waiting game. Or a constant fight againts the improbable... as you can remove it with Dispel Magic, but the enemy is always higher level than the player is, even with 1.5 multiplier with their paladin levels, so there. Your suggestion of taking care of that, is: What ?

The basic logic is the same as it's been for over a decade, and isn't far from the implied logic in the vanilla game:

- spells like Ruby Ray, Warding Whip etc to drop spell protections

- True Seeing, Oracle or a thief's Detect Illusion to remove improved invisibility

- Breach to remove PMW

(Or else bypass with area effect spells, depending on what other defenses are in play and what level you are.)

Wizards have multi-layered protections and you have to do multiple things to drop them. It's totally fine not to like that style of play, but I'm unlikely to alter it now, when SCS has been using roughly this format for 10+ years and remains pretty popular. (Of course, if you turn the difficulty of the mage component down to Basic, it gets simpler.)

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Sorry if I was a little rude, it was after 3 hours of getting owned by Irenicus over and over again.

Honestly it would be interesting to make a custom party and try to powergame through this at highest difficulty. I probably won't because I never play games twice. But BGII companions are kind of limited. There are so many classes and custom characters you can create that are drastically better.

I got screwed out of getting Edwin because I sided with Bodhi,  which sucked, because I really liked him in BG1 and SoD.

So I am working with: sword and board tank (me)

                                       Keldorn

                                       Korgan

                                       Aerie

                                       Viconia

                                       Valygar (who is totally worthless, all he can do is tame animals yay!)

Probably not the best party to beat this on hardest difficulty. I'll stick it out,  because I do appreciate the added challenge where I won't just steamroll through the game like a knife through butter which is all too common in RPGs when your characters become so powerful.

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Don't worry about it, you were fine.

You have a very melee-focussed party, which is challenging in SCS - Aerie is your only wizard, and her multiclassing starts to impose a painful restriction on spell numbers by ToB. You probably want to be using her wizard spells mostly for countering enemy spells.

If you're playing SCS on its hardest setting, though, and it's your first playthrough of BG2, I can see why you're finding it hard work. I normally assume people playing at that difficulty have played the game multiple times before. 

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1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

Well, thing is, you have build the enemies so that the player has no chance against them... the spells have counters, but the fact is, the player has to counter ALL of them, and to that, they have no answer... unless they somehow pop up themselves to be 4 level 20 mages. Aka, the problem you create is that they have too many defenses and those have no single counter... unless we use the 9th level spell that gets rid of very many of them.

I find it odd that a long-time user like yourself with so much knowledge about the game would say something like that.

Isn't this "chess" game of using the correct step to countering X defense so that you then can counter Y defense the point of a tactical mod ? And "the player has to counter ALL of them" usually translates to using a sequence of just 2-3 spells (of course if you know which spells). For example, if you watch mivsan's playthrough, he plays with a full party (so we are not talking about people leveling fast) and uses his F/M PC and 1 other mage if i remember correctly (and at some point he removed edwin for imoen or some other "lesser" mage to make the game more challenging), so you definitely don't need a lot of mages or high-leveled ones to cope with enemies's defences. Also, one is not obligated to install the prebuffed components.

There are of course mods that you can only beat encounters by reading the enemies' scripts and deduce what tactic you need to use or in which order you need to kill the enemies (because if you kill enemy X before enemy Y, you immediately die) but SCS plays fair. How is it that the player has no chance ? Unless we are talking about a first time player who doesn't know much about the game and shouldn't install a tactical mod.

The only things i can recall disliking about SCS are a) the long install time and b) the script lag; and both are the engine's problems and not SCS's. The second is made worse, in my case,  by the fact that i play the game through wine on linux and sometimes when enemies appear and their scripts fire, everything lags to a crawl. Other than that, SCS (and IR) is the greatest thing that happened to BG.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, DavidW said:

- True Seeing, Oracle or a thief's Detect Illusion to remove improved invisibility

That's a nice theory... but, you seem to have the habbit of adding Spell Immunity: Division to that... or other similar like effects. And what's worse is that the projected images etc also happen to protect themselves, with the same 4 minor spell combo. (invisibility, spell protection, spell invulnerability, weapon invulnerability). 

And did we ever talk about the ecology of REQUIRING a 6th level spell to dispel a 4th level one, or better yet a 2nd and a 3rd one ?

 

11 hours ago, khelban12 said:

I find it odd that a long-time user like yourself with so much knowledge about the game would say something like that.

It should tell you that the mod is not perfect and the criticism in the thread is accurate.

11 hours ago, khelban12 said:

How is it that the player has no chance ? Unless we are talking about a first time player who doesn't know much about the game and shouldn't install a tactical mod.

I don't know if you read the second post by the original poster, but people happen to sometimes play games with their prefered NPCs, which in this game exclude the wizard somewhat. These's the thief->mage that goes away in the most convinient spot in tha game, the begining; a cleric/mage that also needs to keep the party alive, or rather her self; evil jerk OP mage; a gnome mage/thief... and a wild mage. Pick 3 valid candidates out of those. And stuck them in the party the whole way through.

PS, the Player Character, just like in BG1 is supposed to be a warrior of a kind... not a mage. Or fun facts like player death happen more often than NPC ones, and that's a no thanks most of the time 

 

12 hours ago, DavidW said:

(Or else bypass with area effect spells, depending on what other defenses are in play and what level you are.)

Yeah, this would be nice... but that doesn't happen as the spell protections also protect from spells, the weapon immunity protect from summoned weapons, and there's no one to see the darn invisible enemy mage 1 feet away from the summons. And you can't control the gated ones, so they don't help either. What you need is an excess of mages, able to help out.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
Added the "a" article to the "3rd" word.

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@Jarno Mikkola it sounds like a mod like Improved Anvil might be more of your taste.  I hear its one of the premier tactical mods out there for the truly discerning player.

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@Splicer_777, SCS is not a mod i would recommend for a first playthrough, the difficulty of the vanilla spell system is sometime frustrating enough for reasons already mentioned without buffing mages.

A full installation of SCS takes a very long time to install because it patch almost every file in the games, several times.

@Jarno Mikkola Easy...

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1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

That's a nice theory... but, you seem to have the habbit of adding Spell Immunity: Division to that... or other similar like effects.

Then take it down with Pierce Shield, Warding Whip or similar.

 

1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

And what's worse is that the projected images etc also happen to protect themselves, with the same 4 minor spell combo. (invisibility, spell protection, spell invulnerability, weapon invulnerability). 

I don't know how long it's been since I used projected images in SCS, but it must be at least five years. (They're too much hassle.) And even when I did, they didn't get Spell Triggers or similar, so you can kill them before they get their defenses up. There is limited value in engaging with you if you're just making stuff up about the mod.

1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

And did we ever talk about the ecology of REQUIRING a 6th level spell to dispel a 4th level one, or better yet a 2nd and 3rd one ?

Tell it to Bioware, or to Gary Gygax. Fixing oddities and imbalances in the vanilla spell system isn't SCS's remit, except insofar as I think I have to tweak it to make spell combat viable.

 

1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

people happen to sometimes play games with their prefered NPCs, which in this game exclude the wizard somewhat.

It is unsurprising that in a game based on the AD&D rule system, different party mixes are going to find things variably difficult. SCS is, yes, a lot harder if you don't have at least a couple of wizards in the party. That's just the nature of the rule system. To a large extent it's true in the vanilla game too. (That said, it's been solo-no-reloaded by people playing melee classes, so it's clearly not impossible even then.)

1 hour ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

PS, the Player Character, just like in BG1 is supposed to be a warrior of a kind... not a mage.

Nonsense. The game is obviously and explicitly designed to be played by whatever PC class you like. If that wasn't obvious enough from the explicit way the game is presented, the presence of content specifically written for each character class should drive the point home.

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