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compatibility of The Vault with SCS?


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Has anyone tried playing the game with both SCS and The Vault installed? Near as I can tell, the Vault increases the difficulty of encounters by upgrading enemy weapons and items. And it also adds entirely new items to the game which will be in the possession of enemies as well as being available to the party. And finally, the mod adds three new quests.


The Vault sounds very promising. But I wouldn't want it to mess up the excellent rebalancing of the game that SCS implements. By the same token, if The Vault makes the game more difficult without interfering with SCS's improvements that's great. Personally, that's what I seek.


Link for the Vault: http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/azenmod/ReadMe-Vault.htm#About

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The Vault is original (and hard) work with some creative ideas, and I found it very interesting awhile ago. Unfortunately, although it is installed via WeiDU, it is designed to be installed on your BG1 game prior to the Tutu conversion; it also has a history of game-stopping bugs on the Tutu side of things. If the original author is back at work on it, it is definitely worth contacting him and asking, if only to check on the progress of fixing Tutu bugs.

I doubt that SCS and The Vault would make a good combination for a role-player. Unless lots has changed since I looked a few months ago, The Vault overwrites .cres rather than patches, and it adds a number of (very cool) items, many of which are strong enough to dominate combat with low level parties BEFORE SCS comes along and makes the AI smarter. Then, if you win, you have some serious firepower or cash at your disposal, with few or no balancers in-game; want that Ancient Artifact for 100,000,000 pg? No problem!

I suspect The Vault works well by itself on a straight BG1 game, but I have not gotten past Cloakwood with it on a regular Tutu conversion game (and it will not work with EasyTutu, for obvious reasons). Plus, unless you know to avoid it, a demon drops in on your 3rd level characters in Beregost temple annex; instant game-over, man.



OK, now that is out of the way for the general public, Lermetis, you post lots of stuff about party builds, tactics, and use of some interesting variant characters. You sound like you are able to walk both sides of the PowerGamer vs RolePlayer fence, so the worst you would get out of trying the combination is a game crash relatively early on (certainly before Chapter 3); you might be the right person to test the combination out and see if things have changed. If it turns out to be a crazy-difficult thing, you get a good meta-gaming powergame with cool items; if it turns out more balanced, you can then review/report for us role-player types. Just make sure you put The Vault on your BG1, then convert using Tutu v4 :p

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I'm not familiar with The Vault, and I don't think it'll be on my "officially supported" list since it's not TUTU.


But I've just downloaded it and looked through the code, and I've got a few comments:


- I don't think there are any game-breaking incompatibilities. So if the game crashes, I think it would have crashed anyway because of a problem with the Vault (or SCS, I guess!) rather than because something's actually incompatible.


- Pretty much all the SCS AI is unaffected by the Vault. Two exceptions that I can spot: Centeol and Denak will use Vault AI (mostly force-casting spells) rather than SCS AI (using a wand in one case; non-force-cast spells in the other), though I think SCS will still buff Denak. [edit: no it won't.]


- The Vault adds a basic potion-drinking script to most creatures. This will turn up at the bottom of the SCS generic-combat script, where I *think* it will be harmless (it doesn't do anything that the SCS potion-drinking script doesn't already do). In fact, I'm somewhat at a loss to understand how it did anything even in The Vault by itself.


- SCS non-destructively edits many of the creatures previously overwritten by The Vault. I imagine that this is going to make them less dangerous in most cases. So if you want the ultimate difficulty I guess you might want to avoid installing those components of SCS that predominantly improve monster power rather than AI. In particular, you might want to leave out the Improved Chapter 5 End-Battle and Improved Miscellaneous Encounters components.


- SCS overwrites the wizard Yago (he doesn't have any spells in unmodded BG1; this is a bugfix, though SCS doesn't make it if EasyTutu is installed since Macready has already fixed it there).


- I haven't looked at how SCS interacts with the new quests that The Vault introduces. Nondestructively, I suspect but can't be sure.


So much for technical issues. On conceptual ground, I'm with cmorgan - with the proviso that I think the roleplay issues are entirely with the Vault, rather than something about the Vault-SCS synergy. All SCS will do to the Vault (other than the above conceptual problems) is make the fights (even) harder.

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IRT cmorgan:


Thanks, I think I will try out the Vault and SCS together at some point. I may contact the author of the Vault as you suggest, though on his site he says he doesn't really have time anymore for the BG modding hobby.


I have other things I want to try out first, though. For one, I want to try a game with almost every compatible Tutu mod avilable installed.


The distininction you draw between roleplayer and powergamer reminds me of a discussion I recently had about the whole subject of 'roleplaying' for a SP computer game such as this on another forum. Apologies in advance for waxing philospical here....


For me, 'roleplaying' in the BG series consists of self-imposed restrictions dictated by a PC's entire character concept, all the character's alignments, NPC personalities and backstories, and perhaps an entire party concept, etc.


I suppose it's actually a sort of quasi-roleplaying, though. I mean, I don't even bother to try to pretend that I somehow don't have all the 'meta' knowledge that I do in fact possess about every little facet of the game. Eg, as a player I'm aware there are certain items available that will make my game more fun, but which the characters couldn't possibly know of. If suppose if I were the most hardcore RPer possible I would not obtain those items on that basis. (By the same token, would one then ever sidequest at all?) But it is a game, and I come down on the side of having the most fun with it, heh. I want that item! So in that light, for me 'roleplaying' then becomes a matter of dreaming up a rationale that's 'in-character' for the party to obtain such loot. I find there's a certain creativity to that, that's fun in its own right.


Anyway, for me the fun of so-called 'roleplaying' in this game will always boil down to a need for 1) creativity and 2) fresh strategic challenges. Mods are a huge part of that for me. So that's why I post so prolifically about the offbeat stuff. Just hope it's not becoming a bore. :p I won't be offended if anyone ever let's me know if it ever does (or is now). :p

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Definitely not a bore... and I agree completely! I know I would not call what you do Powergaming in a true sense... I find myself doing the same sort of quasi-roleplaying (I do want to be the hero, and in the stories "luck" is like foreknowledge [metagaming] in BG1/2). I try to roleplay, and it is fun, but when things are going badly, I swing down an area and pick up an NPC, or take a good item-laden sidequest!

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