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Sword Coast Stratagems v34 (edit: 34.3) now available


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Sword Coast Stratagems is a collection of interconnected mini-mods for Baldur's Gate (on the BGT/BGTUTU/BGEE versions) and Baldur's Gate II. It is primarily a tactical and AI-enhancement mod: the idea is to make the game's combat more interesting, tactically challenging, and realistic by more effective use of, and choices of, creatures' abilities. It also contains a few rule tweaks and ease-of-use features.

Version 34 is largely a bug-fixing release: it fixes several issues (some critical) caused by the release of version 2.6 of BGEE/BG2EE, corrects a severe bug in mage AI accidentally introduced in v33.5, and solves 20-odd more minor issues. It also updates the Icewind Dale spells to IWDEE 2.6, makes those spells available on non-Enhanced-edition versions of the game, adds a small new component for BG1 (Improved Carsa/Kahrk interaction), allows enemy spellcasters to use Icewind Dale spells even if the Spell Revisions mod is installed, and makes a few other minor AI and spellsystem tweaks.

 Grab it direct here. You can also visit the extensive project pages, readme, or SCS forum for more information.

Full changelog in the next post.

EDIT: Updated to v34.1 (9/18/21). Changelog:

  • Aec'letec can now be killed on EE installs (critical incompability with 2.6).
  • Revised batch mode a bit to deal better with reinstalls.
  • Fixed a library-file glitch which was preventing installation of IWD spells on some installs.
  • Creatures that are summoned offscreen by mages and priests are now summoned using the correct level of the spell, instead of the lowest level.
  • Wand of Spell Striking now reduces MR by 20% rather than a level-dependent amount.
  • Rakshasas and liches are no longer immune to the cleric version of True Seeing.
  • Mind flayers have grown tired of waiting for unber hulks to turn up and now work with umber hulks instead (typo in level-dependent spawn component).
  • Improved the handling of non-English-language numbers in the 'increased cost of Spellhold' component.
  • Carsa's new dialog entries are now tra-ified, so they can be translated into non-English languages; so are a couple of stray phrases from the spell tweaks. (Thanks to Roberciik for spotting these.)
  • Smarter Mages modifies Mae'var's Shadow Armor so that it permits spellcasting, rather than removing it entirely from the game. (I thought of just giving it to someone else but the description is a very good fit to Mae'var specifically.)
  • The 'casting failure' icon from beholder/hive mother antimagic rays now has the correct duration.
  • 7th and 8th level druids no longer illegally get Iron Skins.
  • Beholders now use their central eye to destroy illusions (e.g. the Mislead spell clone).
  • Rearranged the order in which we install Detectable Spells and the spell-tweak system, hopefully sorting out a minor compatibility issue with SR.
  • Fire Elemental token now grants correct Dexterity and number of attacks.

EDIT: Updated to v34.2 (9/20/21). Changelog:

  • Updated French, Polish, and Russian translations.
  • Druid spell allocation now works correctly on non-IWD installs
  • Another tweak to the batch-mode installer (to enforce component order on reinstall).
  • Description for Mordenkainen's Force Missiles is now correct.
  • Fixed a bunch of compatibility issues between Spell Revisions and the IWD spells components (mostly on oBG2).
  • Fixed some problems with 'Improved NPC customization and management: cleric/mages get spells; thieves don't regain their bonus-skill abilities on rejoining the party.
  • Reverted a mistaken (undocumented) fix to the spellhold-cost component.

EDIT: Updated to v34.3 (9/20/21). Changelog:

  • Updated Italian translation.
  • Slight further update to French and Polish translations.
  • Some IWD spells weren't having their projectiles correctly assigned.
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Changelog:

New or Substantially Modified Content

  • New experimental 'batch mode' install option, allowing you to choose all components before any of them install.
  • Substantial revision to the IWD spells components, incorporating the latest version of IWDification (joint work with CamDawg):
    • IWD spells are now available on original BG2 as well as on the Enhanced Edition
    • Updated to v2.6 IWDEE spells
    • Spells now match BG2 cosmetic style for visual/sound effects
    • Many bugfixes
  • New component: Improved Carsa/Kahrk interaction
  • New spell tweak: the blinding effect of Nature's Beauty is no longer dispelled by a hostile creature's True Sight spell.
  • Restored 'Improved Abazigal's Enclave' on non-EE installs, thanks to TotoR chasing down the ambient-sound naming issue that was causing crashes.
  • If IWD spells and Spell Revisions spells are both installed, we now use the IWD spell lists, not the SR ones. (You can reverse this in stratagems.ini.)
  • Deprecated the 'innate sequencers' component, at least for now, as it's causing bugs I don't have time to track down.
  • Updates to French and Polish translations.

Other Content Changes

  • Experimentally removed the requirement that SCS is installed after EET_end.
  • Druid shapeshift tokens are now createable by the player once per day, rather than just being applied once. (This is a reversion to pre-v33 behavior.) I dislike this aesthetically but it's the only convenient way to allow for various edge cases, e.g. losing the shapeshift tokens when fighting Faldorn.
  • Beholders are a bit more careful not to target obviously-immune creatures like Golems.
  • Intelligent opponents (like, again, beholders) don't try to petrify Mordenkainen's Sword.
  • Enemy wizards now have a moderate preference for Protection from Fire over Protection from Cold.
  • Kaishas now calls a maximum of 15 werewolves as reinforcements.
  • On Enhanced-Edition installs, Smarter Fiends and Celestials now uses a repaletted (green) version of the fiend animation for Nabassus, to distinguish them visually from Balors. (You can turn this off via stratagems.ini).
  • Removed a previous attempt to do something like this through opcode 51 that just looked ugly.
  • Added katanas and wakisashis to 'replace some magic weapons with fine ones'.
  • Standardized item descriptions in 'replace some magic weapons with fine ones' on the EE style.
  • Minor documentation updates.
  • Updated to ToBEx version 28.

Bugfixes

  • The script controlling mages' moving and shooting between spells inexplicably got wiped in 33.5, and is now restored. (Thanks to various people, but especially GrimJim, for tracking this down.)
  • Fixed a number of problems caused by the 2.6 update to BGEE and BG2EE:
    • The 'Improved Final Battle' component for BG1 made BGEE impossible to complete due to script changes in 2.6; this is now fixed.
    • 2.6-era mages are now wiser in the deceptive ways of genies and no longer accidentally grant wishes to their opponents.
    • The Balor's Aura of Flaming Death is now patched correctly
    • Suppressed a (harmless) warning in the dragon component
  • 'Better Calls for Help' should now install correctly on EasyTUTU.
  • Tweaked 'Party's items are taken from them in Spellhold'. It's possible this will fix the glitches people have been seeing in this component. (I can't reproduce those glitches myself, which makes fixing it difficult.)
  • 'Wider range of random spell scrolls' should no longer create undroppable items.
  • Hard-difficulty hit point boosts should no longer expire if you go away and come back.
  • Fixed a small glitch in easy-difficulty cleric/mage scripts due to a typo (thanks, Bartimaeus).
  • Fixed a number of other typo-caused glitches (thanks, TotoR).
  • 12th-level necromancers no longer get Invisibility.
  • Beholders now avoid Flesh to Stone at lower difficulty levels.
  • Ease-of-use AI no longer casts healing spells on characters with Spell Deflection or similar.
  • Scrolls of Protection from Magic correctly block spellcasting by the affected creature. (I think it's a bit of an exploit to use this offensively, but I don't block exploits; this was just a bug.)
  • The increased hit points certain creatures (notably dragons) get on harder difficulty settings no longer expire if you go away for a long time and then return.
  • Druid shapeshift tokens should (for real this time) not be taken from you by the Spellhold-items component.
  • Pre-cast versions of spells now receive any changes made by the various spell-system tweaks (previously they were being made before the tweaks, and so missed them.) Notably, this means pre-cast Protection from Normal Missiles spells should block elemental arrows.
  • The BG1 assassin parties can no longer spawn into an ongoing random encounter.
  • Aec'Letec and the Demon Knight in Durlag's Tower can now teleport in combat (as per other SCS fiends) - previously a bug was preventing them doing so in most circumstances.
  • Fixed an EE-specific bug in 'Improved Doppelgangers' that prevented the improved versions from spawning in Aldeth Sashenstar's home in certain scenarios (EE codes this differently from oBG2 and I hadn't caught on). Thanks to a forum poster for a careful analysis of this - I've lost the post but I'm still grateful for it.
  • We (hopefully) no longer mangle hidespl.2da on classic (non-EE) installs.
  • Checks for race=myconid now work correctly on classic (non-EE) installs.
  • Drow katanas are not automatically identified.
  • A few other miscellaneous typos fixed.
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54 minutes ago, DavidW said:

IWD spells are now available on original BG2 as well as on the Enhanced Edition

Whoa. Hm, might have to try that, although I tend to think of IWD's spells as being a bit of a mess, but curious to try it out nonetheless...

54 minutes ago, DavidW said:

Restored 'Improved Abazigal's Enclave' on non-EE installs, thanks to TotoR chasing down the ambient-sound naming issue that was causing crashes.

Awesome.

54 minutes ago, DavidW said:

Deprecated the 'innate sequencers' component, at least for now, as it's causing bugs I don't have time to track down.

Dang, what happened here - were there more bugs with this than just the ones I identified? I've been using a fixed version of the file and can't say I've ever run into any issues since...but I'm not playing on the EEs, and maybe there were other problems I don't know about?

54 minutes ago, DavidW said:

Druid shapeshift tokens are now createable by the player once per day, rather than just being applied once. (This is a reversion to pre-v33 behavior.) I dislike this aesthetically but it's the only convenient way to allow for various edge cases, e.g. losing the shapeshift tokens when fighting Faldorn.

As long as the tokens can be "destroyed" by leaving them on the ground for the requisite amount of time (i.e. they shouldn't be set to a quest item) in the event of having multiples or simply wanting to clear up an inventory space, not that big of a deal, I think.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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3 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

Dang, what happened here - were there more bugs with this than just the ones I identified? I've been using a fixed version of the file and can't say I've ever run into any issues since...but I'm not playing on the EEs, and maybe there were other problems I don't know about?

To be honest it's just that I was keen to move to a release fairly quickly and it looked fairly fiddly to sort this out. I'll probably revisit it soon.

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There are several more bugs and 2.6 problems I've been informed of via Beamdog that didn't make it into v34 (I was only checking G3) but which I'll get to quite soon, so users might want to hold off installing for a day or so unless they're in a screaming hurry.

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1 hour ago, DavidW said:

There are several more bugs and 2.6 problems I've been informed of via Beamdog that didn't make it into v34 (I was only checking G3) but which I'll get to quite soon, so users might want to hold off installing for a day or so unless they're in a screaming hurry.

Thank you very much for the update, and the info! I was right in the midst of mod installation in preparation for a full playthrough 😅. Will wait for the updated release then.

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1 hour ago, Jazira said:

Thanks for this update, any change regarding translations ? Any update needed ?

There are about 15 new lines in tactical_bg1.tra for the new Carsa/Kahrk component, plus the component name itself in setup.tra. I *think* that's it.

... oh, wait: there's also a new tra file in iwdspells/lang, though most of the lines are from the old iwdspells tra files in the main lang directory.

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Thank you very much for yet another shiny looking release! One tiny question on the 2.6-affected changes:

Seems that the 2.5.17 engine introduced the fix for the spell interruption triggering when you receive 0 damage. Sadly BG2EE only had 2.5.16, so this bug triggered often on the most relevant part of the saga. Now with 2.6, both games are on par with this fix (I've not tried it yet myself). Have you deprecated the workaround that SCS added on spells for this? The "Grant complete immunity to elemental-damage spells if you are 100-percent resistant" from Universal Changes.

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Guest Ludwig

Looks awesome David, thank you for the release.

Just 1 question, do we expect this version to still work well with bgee v2.5?
I don’t want to install v2.6 due to not being able to use EEex with it yet. Cheers

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8 hours ago, suy said:

Seems that the 2.5.17 engine introduced the fix for the spell interruption triggering when you receive 0 damage. Sadly BG2EE only had 2.5.16, so this bug triggered often on the most relevant part of the saga. Now with 2.6, both games are on par with this fix (I've not tried it yet myself). Have you deprecated the workaround that SCS added on spells for this? The "Grant complete immunity to elemental-damage spells if you are 100-percent resistant" from Universal Changes.

The EE implementation of this in 33.7 should be harmless on v34, so I've left it for now. Probably it's unnecessary, but I was time-constrained in getting to a release.

6 hours ago, Guest Ludwig said:

Just 1 question, do we expect this version to still work well with bgee v2.5?
I don’t want to install v2.6 due to not being able to use EEex with it yet. Cheers

My guess is that probably it's fine with 2.5. But I don't officially support it, so you're on your own if you run into problems.

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