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Randomized Enemy Equipment details


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This is a new component added in RC2:
 

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Icewind Dale routinely randomized the weapons and other equipment of enemy mobs, e.g. skeletons in IWD could attack with just about any melee or ranged weapon in the game. This component does the same for BG and BG2 random enemies. It is limited somewhat by the animation system of the game: gnolls, for example, only support weapon animations for long swords and halberds so the randomization is limited. You can optionally install high-quality items--these are non-magical items that provide an additional +1 to-hit over their normal counterparts--to provide a little more variation. If the Two Handed Axes component is installed, these will also be added to the mix.

At present, this component only randomizes equipment on truly random mobs, e.g. most hobgoblins in BG will get randomized equipment but special, fixed groups (such as the ones with Joia's ring at the Friendly Arms Inn) will not. This is done primarily to avoid conflicts with other mods which may alter equipment.

I wanted to add a few more details for players and modders.The idea was to mix up loot a bit without nerfing the monsters, so you'll notice that in most cases it's equipment getting minor improvements or an equivalent. While this does make loot slightly more valuable, this is really only an issue in early BG--but that's also when the enemies having marginally better items might actually matter, tactically, so it's an acceptable tradeoff.

Items to be Randomized
I only randomized basic, non-magical equipment with one exception. Outside of weapons, I gave basic armor a chance to upgrade, e.g. a creature normally wearing leather could spawn (10%) with studded leather instead. Shields are randomized among cosmetic variations of the same type. Creatures using the basic helmet (helm01) now have a chance to spawn with a fancier non-magical helmet (helm08-helm15). The one non-magical variation I introduced was for Black Talon Elites, where other arrows--acid, biting, fire, piercing--are mixed in to vary their normal cold arrows.

Proficiencies
Creatures which have the chance to end up with a different weapon will have their current proficiency copied to all of the other potential weapon types. So a skeleton which is normally armed with a short sword, who can end up with an axe or dagger, will receive the appropriate updates to use these replacements with at least the same proficiency as the original short sword.

High Quality Weapons
IWD has high quality items, a non-magical variation of normal items that add +1 to-hit, and these are optionally available. While the component does make high quality versions of everything, it does not use them all, so HQ katanas, wakizashis, and ninja-tos are added but not placed anywhere. HQ items are only available through enemy equipment and not placed in containers or stores. HQ items in IWD were worth 5x their normal counterparts, but I've lowered this to only 2x in IWDification.

Animation Limitations
The animation limitation was the most severe restraint of this component. Everything that follows will not be a surprise to folks who have worked with animations before, but it was generally all new to me. Pretty much only skeletons and character animations support all weapon animations; everything else was limited. In some cases the animation included the weapon in the base animation itself (e.g. tasloi). Where the animation supported it, I mixed in new weapons (e.g. yuan-ti can now spawn with any sword or an axe). On more limited animations, I mixed what I could--gnolls will use halberds, 2H axes (if installed), and long swords, with high-quality items mixed in as well (if installed).

For some of these animations which only provide a couple of supported weapons, I used a 1pp-esque method of using a fake, undroppable weapon with a supported animation paired with the actual weapon in inventory to promote variety while keeping loot intact and the animation not being barehanded.

Creatures Changed
As mentioned above, the idea was to target truly random enemies, so the list of creatures was derived from spawngrp.2da, area spawn points, and examining scripts in random encounter areas. The net effect is that a random group of hobgoblins will have more varied equipment than the group with Joia's ring, but this seems to me an acceptable tradeoff for not interfering with other mods that want to alter inventories. I'm open to suggestions if someone wants to see more creatures included. Unique creatures (e.g. Suna Seni) caught by this were ignored, as were creatures with no equipment to randomize (e.g. ettercaps or other creatures using 'claws' as attacks).

The complete list
What's added, and to whom, is in the spoiler below. The random item resource, cdrdXXXX, is noted in parentheses for each item.

Spoiler

The following are included only if HQ items are installed:

  • Quivers of normal arrows (cdrdarow) or bolts (cdrdbolt) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Affects just about anyone using a crossbow or bow.
  • Staves (cdrdstaf) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for orc shamen since they have a hardcoded staff animation.
  • Short swords (cdrdkob) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for kobolds since they only support short sword animations.
  • Long swords (cdrdhgls) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for hobgoblins since they only support long sword animations.
  • Light crossbows (cdrdcbth) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for thieves who cannot use heavy crossbows as there is another replacement, below, for light crossbows.
  • Short bows (cdrdsbth) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for thieves who cannot use long bows as there is another replacement, below, for short bows.
  • Composite long bows (cdrdclbw) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for creatures using these, as I didn't want to randomly downgrade them to normal long bows or even short bows.
  • Heavy crossbows (cdrdcbhv) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Mainly used for creatures using these, as I didn't want to randomly downgrade them to light crossbows. Mainly affects rakshasa or sahuagin.
  • Axes (cdrdgaxe) will have a 10% chance to be HQ. Used for goblins, as they have a hardcoded axe-and-shield animation.

The following variations are always available. If HQ weapons are installed, any listing of a weapon generally carries a 1-in-10, 1-in-8, or 1-in-6 chance of being HQ in addition to the other variations; e.g. "Creatures using long bows have a 20% chance to be upgraded to a composite long bow" means there's also a chance for the existing long bow to be upgraded to a HQ long bow, and even (rarely) the upgraded composite long bow to become a HQ composite long bow. Also, only one of these bullets apply to a given item--a creature with leather armor has a chance to get studded leather, but not a second chance to move from studded leather to hide armor.

  • Creatures using the normal, basic helmet (cdrdhlm) will have about a 1-in-5 chance to get a cosmetically nicer helmet.
  • Creatures wearing leather armor (cdrdlt1) will have a 10% chance to have studded leather instead.
  • Creatures wearing studded leather armor (cdrdlt4) will have a 10% chance to have hide armor instead.
  • Creatures wearing chain mail (cdrdch1) will have a 10% chance to have splint mail instead.
  • Creatures using normal bucklers (cdrdshb), small shields (cdrdshs), or medium shields (cdrdshm) will randomly receive one of the three cosmetic variations of their shield type.
  • Black Talon Elites (cdrdbte) will now have equal chances of having cold arrows, fire arrows, acid arrows, arrows of biting, or arrows of piercing.
  • Xvarts (cdrdxvrt) use hardcoded sword animations; their short swords have a 20% chance to be bumped to long swords. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Gnolls (cdrdgnl) only support halberd and long sword animations. They spawn with 80% halberd/20% long sword unless 2H axes are installed, in which case its 60% halberd/20% 2H axe/20% long sword. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Sahuagin (cdrdsah) support staff animations in addition to spears, so they now have a 20% chance to spawn with a staff instead of their default spear. HQ chance is 1-in-10.
  • Half-ogres (cdrdhogr) use hardcoded sword animations, so their normal bastard sword is replaced with 40% bastard sword, 20% long sword, 20% short sword, and 20% scimitar. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Creatures using short bows (cdrdsbow) have a 20% chance to be upgraded to a long bow. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Creatures using long bows (cdrdlbw) have a 20% chance to be upgraded to a composite long bow. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Creatures using light crossbows (cdrdcblt) have a 20% chance to be upgraded to a heavy crossbow. Mainly affects kuo-toa and sahuagin. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Lizardmen (cdrdlman) support halberd and staff animations. They spawn with 80% halberd/20% staff unless 2H axes are installed, in which case its 60% halberd/20% 2H axe/20% staff. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Yuan-ti (cdrdyuan) support axe and sword animations, so their normal long sword is replaced with an equal weighting of axe, two-handed sword, bastard sword, long sword, short sword, and scimitar. HQ chance is 1-in-6.
  • Creatures using one-handed blunt weapons (cdrd1hmb) will now have equal chances among club, mace, flail, hammer, and morningstar. Mainly used for character animations (mainly clerics) and skeletons. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Creatures using one-handed bladed weapons (cdrd1hms) will now have equal chances among axe, dagger, bastard sword, long sword, short sword, and scimitar. HQ chance is 1-in-6.
  • Thieves using one-handed melee weapons (cdrdth1m) will now have equal chances among club, dagger, long sword, short sword, and scimitar. HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Creatures (primarily skeletons) using darts or throwing daggers (cdrd1hth) will have a 50% chance to change from one to the other.
  • Creatures using two-handed melee weapons (cdrd2hm) will now get equal chances at halberd, spear, staff, two-handed swords and (if installed) two-handed axes. HQ chance is 1-in-8 with 2H axes installed, 1-in-10 without.
  • Kobolds are given a 25% chance to upgrade from a short sword to long sword. HQ chance is 1-in-8. Both variations will appear as a short sword on their animation.
  • Hobgoblins wielding long swords will be randomized among equal chances of bastard, long, and short swords and scimitars. HQ chance is 1-in-10. Hobgoblins with bastard swords will keep the bastard sword 60% of the time, 20% long sword, and 20% scimitar.  HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Ogre magi with bastard swords will keep the bastard sword 60% of the time, 20% long sword, and 20% scimitar.  HQ chance is 1-in-8.
  • Hobgoblins, kobolds, and sirines using short bows will have a 25% chance to upgrade to a long bow. HQ chance is 1-in-10. Both variations will appear as a long bow on their animation.

 

Edited by CamDawg
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(I'll jump in before any attempts to derail your announcement.)

Wow this is such a super cool concept! thanks CamD for taking time & effort to create this mod and share it for all to enjoy.

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5 hours ago, CamDawg said:

Credit to @DavidW who gave me an idea around the animation limitations. I now have a functional workaround, so I'll be re-vamping these further.

Wait WHAT?! This gets even more awesome now?! Okay, I guess there will be a restartitis on my side again...

Pretty sure this'll be among my favorite changes.

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9 hours ago, Graion Dilach said:

Wait WHAT?! This gets even more awesome now?! Okay, I guess there will be a restartitis on my side again...

Pretty sure this'll be among my favorite changes.

Well, you can always make, say, a mace whose equipped appearance (@ 0x22) is "S1". In so doing, Ogre Mages can wield maces without swinging an invisible weapon...

The only "problem" is that they'll be swinging a sword while dealing crushing damage...

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36 minutes ago, CamDawg said:

I'll still be matching animations. This allows me to give hobgoblins a wider array of weapons, but it'll still be tied to a sword and bow animation so e.g. no maces or crossbows.

So basically different variants of bows and/or swords...?

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27 minutes ago, CamDawg said:

Yes. Previous melee option for hobgoblin was only HQ variations of long swords; now I can mix in bastard swords, short swords, and scimitars.

I see.

So the creature weapon will always use the "S1" animation but the actual drop can be either a long sword (S1), or a bastard sword (S0), or a short sword (SS), or a scimitar (SC). And in all cases it'll be a bladed weapon, so as to minimize the mismatch between the dropped weapon and the creature animation...

Edited by Luke
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4 hours ago, Graion Dilach said:

Can we have taslols affected by this? They seem to be omitted from the scope.

The tasloi spear is part of their core animation, i.e. can't be changed. And there aren't really multiple spear types they could carry (halberds are implausible and it's hard to think where they'd get high-quality weapons from).

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6 hours ago, Graion Dilach said:

Can we have taslols affected by this? They seem to be omitted from the scope.

This was actually in an earlier version and it looks like I accidentally removed it. Tasloi should basically have a 1-in-10 chance of having a HQ spear. As David says, their spear animation is hardcoded so there's not really a lot to be done.

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