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Keys being Used up by Doors


Rabain

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I know a few issues have been raised in various places about this "fix" but I'm not sure I agree with mass changes to everything that opens a door.

 

I had a look down through the Fixpack TP2 and I couldn't see where the Symbol of Amaunator was being set to be used up by the door. I'd probably have to know the area the door was in right?

 

Some items in the game are standard keys, just pieces of metal that open doors. Other items have a reason for being (in an RPing sense) and though they might be technically keys with regard to their item file settings/name they should not be considered mundane items.

 

The Symbol is one of these items. I noticed Sekolah's Tooth in the tp2, this would be another. Any item that could possibly have an alternate use other than being a key. Any modder could use the item for an upgrade or as part of a quest but if the Fixpack removes the item they cannot! The modder would have to know Fixpack removes the item and include a workaround for this in their own mod, this is sub-optimal at best.

 

Considering these items are a part of the core game without Fixpack I think they should remain for use and I would consider changes to these items more as tweaks than fixes.

 

Apart from IA, I have a vested interest in the Symbol in particular. Are items such as the lightstone used up too?

 

What say you?

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Well apart from item upgrades consider those modders who would like to use items that already exist in the game for NPC related upgrades.

 

If I ever get my NPC completed I would like to use both the lightstone and the Symbol of Amaunator for upgrades or if not I would think that my NPC would want to keep the Symbol because of its history/value to his worship.

 

Anyway I don't think that trying to convince modders to use brand new components for upgrades by removing items from the game is justified or acceptable practice for a Fixpack.

 

Perhaps the BG2 developers did mean for all keys to be used up by doors but then they also didn't mean for a community of modders to evolve around the game. In this case "fixing" these items is not beneficial to the modding community.

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Some items in the game are standard keys, just pieces of metal that open doors. Other items have a reason for being (in an RPing sense) and though they might be technically keys with regard to their item file settings/name they should not be considered mundane items.

 

The reason why this was done in the first place is consistency--most of the doors that require a key consume it, so the matter of patching the remaining doors to behave in a consistent manner was fairly straightforward. Without key consumption, the engine really has no way to show that a door even required a key so the player may not even realize why they have a particular key. There's really no shortage of 'what does this key do?' threads on the various gameplay forums.

 

That being said, I think your argument is perfectly valid and I'm glad someone finally came over to the Fixpack forums so it can be discussed. :)

 

Apart from IA, I have a vested interest in the Symbol in particular. Are items such as the lightstone used up too?

I'd need to doublecheck, but I believe the light stone is not--as it's required every time to pass the cave to Adalon, it wouldn't make sense to take it anyway.

 

Personally I'm hoping it will help convince more modders to use brand new components for item upgrades, rather than existing ones.
Anyway I don't think that trying to convince modders to use brand new components for upgrades by removing items from the game is justified or acceptable practice for a Fixpack.

Concur. The purpose of the Fixpack is most certainly not to try and dictate terms for other mods or modders, but to fix bugs. Of course, fixing the bugs may cause issues regardless which is why we want to work with everyone. :)

 

Perhaps the BG2 developers did mean for all keys to be used up by doors but then they also didn't mean for a community of modders to evolve around the game. In this case "fixing" these items is not beneficial to the modding community.

True, the Fixpack does not exist in a vacuum. However, the goal of the Fixpack is not primarily to benefit modders, but players, by fixing bugs with developer intent as the primary criteria. This doesn't mean we won't change things to accomodate modders (we've got a whole component to do so, after all :) ) but, to me at least, I feel you'd be better served making a case why it's not a fix instead of pointing out that it's inconvenient.

 

As I mention above, I think you've made a good case for the Symbol and tooth and you've got me on the fence, at least. I'd love to hear more feedback from folks on the issue.

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For players I think it really wouldn't make much difference. Unless of course the player is also using a mod that requires the item.

 

Assuming that the player is using the Fixpack, you could also assume they are aware of the various mods available. This alone would make the argument for keeping the item available more valid as over time it is possible that these items will be used by modders and as a consequence benefit the player using the mod.

 

How did you select the keys to be used up? Or was it a matter of patching all doors that require keys to use them up?

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For players I think it really wouldn't make much difference. Unless of course the player is also using a mod that requires the item.

See above, though. I've seen a number of threads discussing what the sewer key does, because players pass through the door to the illithid lair in the sewers without realizing it's even a locked door. There's no mechanism in the engine, short of the key disappearing after use, to show that a key has done anything. We could add DisplayStringHeads to every locked door, but that's clearly well beyond dev intent.

 

Assuming that the player is using the Fixpack, you could also assume they are aware of the various mods available. This alone would make the argument for keeping the item available more valid as over time it is possible that these items will be used by modders and as a consequence benefit the player using the mod.

This contradicts your argument above, where you argue that modders would be unaware of the Fixpack but aware of other mods. Does knowing one mod confer knowledge of all mods or not? :)

 

To be serious, though, fixing bugs is the highest priority, ahead of modder convenience. As mentioned above, I think this is a good case without this line of argument.

 

How did you select the keys to be used up? Or was it a matter of patching all doors that require keys to use them up?

Yes, but with exceptions. For example, the doors in the Chromatic Demon level of WK don't consume the keys, as it would make the area essentially impassable--the keys are used to unlock more than one door in the area.

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The chapel key you get at Firkraag's from the vampires still doesn't do anything right?

That key is supposed to unlock the door that leads to Semia in the default game. Nobody knew this because the door has a pickable lock, making the key completely useless. Fixpack makes the door lock unpickable, making the key work as intended.

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I agree with the OP of course. The Fix Pack is impressive, and obviously a ton of work has been put into it, but it changes way too many things that frankly don't need changing. The aforementioned keys are one.

 

Another instance where things are changed (needlessly imo) is in the section dealing with alignment fixes. Kish may have considered the Lawful Evil Majordomo to be an oversight, and that's fine for a mod like his; but I'd think a true set of fixes would leave that alone. Besides, we don't really know the heart of the majordomo. He could be evil and it just not ever manifest itself in the game.

 

I think if you guys are really wanting this to be the new standard in unofficial patches, then it should place an emphasis on significant bugs and errors. The main question should be "what can the Fix Pack leave out?" rather than "what can it include?"

 

Baldurdash already had too much bloat, imo. I can't fault Dorner though, since obviously he and the other contributors (including myself as I remember sending some stuff to him as well) were just enthusiastic about fixing bugs, and eager to be complete.

 

Luckily I am able to compile my own Baldurdash redux: a slimmed down version that just fixes the nastier bugs. (Another good reason why full documentation is a good idea: it lets people know what they are getting.)

 

Anyway, I'm just saying this out of a genuine desire to be helpful. Feel free to ignore my raving. :)

 

P.S. In the Fix Pack version I was using just a few days ago, I had a crash when I tried to enter the Temple of Helm in the Bridge District. (I assume that was altered to fix the odd script there?) I did install the FixPack with an on-going game, but no other mods were present. The game was fairly new though, and I hadn't yet visited the temple (or even the Bridge District at all, iirc) in that game. Uninstalling the fix pack cleared up the problem. Just wanted to let you guys know if you haven't had this reported yet.

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Anyway I don't think that trying to convince modders to use brand new components for upgrades by removing items from the game is justified or acceptable practice for a Fixpack.

 

I didn't mean that a new modding practice was the reason why item destruction was added to the fixpack; what I meant is that it could be a positive consequence of the feature :).

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There's no mechanism in the engine, short of the key disappearing after use, to show that a key has done anything. We could add DisplayStringHeads to every locked door, but that's clearly well beyond dev intent.

 

There's the whooshing SFX, different than the SFX you get for opening a normal door. You don't know WHICH key did it, but you know there was a key involved.

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Guest Sezion

As a player, I've always found the keys to be problomatic. Some keys get consumed while others remain; sometimes it's obvious which key opened the door while other times I'm unable to remember if I've used a specific key yet. I believe key consumption was intended to make key usage obvious so I like the idea of making keys consistant.

 

I would also like to see "keys" like the symbol stick around. They do offer RPing potential and the symbol has already been included in a mod. Since you already make exceptions for keys that need to be reused, then why not for known mod issues or RPing ability? Sadly, if most keys are consumed, my keychain will be empty. :)

 

I don't mind either way, just be consistant in how it's handled.

 

I believe the options are:

1) All keys will be consumed, except: those needed more than once.

2) All keys will be consumed, except: those needed more than once, 'symbols' for RPing, and keys for known mods.

3) No keys will be consumed allowing: everyone's keychain to be full, RPers will need to pay attention to key usage, and modders will have full flexibility to make us more confused. :)

 

If it were possible to make key usage more obvious, I'd vote for #3. However, with the original game release, I think #2 is more practicle.

 

-Sezion

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i'm all for removing cruft from the game, and used (but unsellable) keys certainly meets my definition of cruft - but not all used items with filenames *key*.itm are cruft. my rule of thumb suggestion would be: if the item has an identified_name that doesn't include the word 'key' and a bam that doesn't represent a key then it shouldn't be consumed.

 

my reasoning is: there are lots of items ingame that are effectively keys, in that they are required to trigger specific events or actions - the harper's necklace being a good example - but neither look like keys nor get consumed like keys; the symbol of amuanator, the light gem and sekolah's tooth would all fall into this category as well.

 

if it looks like a key it should get consumed like one; otherwise - even if the item does nothing else ingame, such as the harper's necklace - it should be considered part of the game's colour, and not consumed.

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OK, it looks like we got this one wrong. :) Look for changes in beta 3.

 

I think if you guys are really wanting this to be the new standard in unofficial patches, then it should place an emphasis on significant bugs and errors. The main question should be "what can the Fix Pack leave out?" rather than "what can it include?"

Fair enough, but I think this is something on which we're simply going to disagree: the goal is to fix bugs, significant or not. We've done our best to make the process as transparent as possible--there's simply too much to fix to expect that everyone would agree with everything we fix (or how we fix it), but we want folks to at least understand why we've made our decisions. Folks can then dispute them or suggest better ways to address issues, just as we've done here. :)

 

P.S. In the Fix Pack version I was using just a few days ago, I had a crash when I tried to enter the Temple of Helm in the Bridge District. (I assume that was altered to fix the odd script there?) I did install the FixPack with an on-going game, but no other mods were present. The game was fairly new though, and I hadn't yet visited the temple (or even the Bridge District at all, iirc) in that game. Uninstalling the fix pack cleared up the problem. Just wanted to let you guys know if you haven't had this reported yet.

ar0512 is lifted straight from BG--unfortunately this resulted in empty lime-green pits in the braziers where water is supposed to be. We fix the .wed and .tis file for the area to address this. devSin had a few issues with the area but none of the other testers reported anything, so we wrote it off as a local issue. We'll take another look into it now.

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