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Drizzt Encounter Repeats

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As per the title, I encountered Drizzt and friends twice in my last game, both times when traveling from the elven outpost to Athkatla.


The quick solution was to add a variable to the area script (I may have added an area script to begin with) that is set when Drizzt is first spawned. I still end up visiting the area every time I try to leave the elven outpost, but at least now Drizzt & Co. only spawn the first time.

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The last thing I need is more mindless combat. I'm thinking of adding the area to the world map and putting some special encounter there. Maybe a merchant or traveling druid sanctuary. That way the place would be avoidable, yet still visitable.

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Sim had mentioned a while back that he suspected the 'Probability of a random encounter' field in area links has other functions. I can now confirm this. The current (Fixpack) worldmap has links from the Underdark to the de'Arnise Keep (sronghold/non-stronghold), City Gates, and Small Teeth Pass. Every link has ar2601 (Drizzt'a area) set as the random encounter area with a 100% probability. With this, you get Drizzt every time. With a 101% probability set, you get him once and only once, going off any edge.


There's one additional issue even with the 101% probability set: you get Drizzt once for each of the four possible destinations from the area, so you'd get him once from the Underdark exit to the City Gates, once from the Underdark exit to the Small Teeth Pass, etc.


At the very least, all random encounter probabilities need to be set to 101%. In addition to that step, we're set with three possible solutions:

  1. Alter ar2601's area script as devSin suggests. Multiple visits will get monsters instead of a Drizzt repeat.
  2. Remove ar2601 as a random encounter area from some links. This opens up the possibility of not encountering Drizzt at all.
  3. Remove links from the Underdark Exit to some other areas. The original worldmap made all links from all chapter 6 areas to the city go through the Underdark Exit-City Gates link, which forced this encounter.

I'm in favor of a little of #1 and #3. We can purge the Underdark Exit-de'Arnise links, and let the encounter still be forced on Underdark Exit to City Gates and Small Teeth Pass. Altering the script will simply make the second visit to ar2601 (if it happens at all) be with random monsters.

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Sounds good for a fixpack idea. I'm going to mod the area instead and make it visible on the world map. As I said already, I don't want "just another random fight", and I like this map enough to use it for something more meaningful. I'll leave Drizzt for the initial encounter, provided Bodhi is still alive, but will have someone else appear there later. It'll be an optional area though, not a forced visit.

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You may want to look into restoring some of the unused random encounter areas (AR0044 and something or something). There's one that has some static trolls (which would show up every time if it were used as a random encounter) that's similar to AR2601 and another one that reminds me of the oasis map.


So you're saying the original game only had this encounter once because there was only one link from AR2600 (to AR0020) and the probability was set to 101? I'm really not in favor of deviating from the original (clearly intended) behavior of never having the player come here more than once, which makes all the options seem a little suspect. But I really don't want too many changes since I steal the world map and already make changes to the behavior.


What to do?

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Well, that's the tradeoff. We can only make it occur once if we deny all other routes back to the City Gates. This would mean restoring the 60+ hour travel time from the Forest of Tethir to the Druid Grove, for example, as it would force the party to travel Forest of Tethir-Small Teeth Pass-Underdark Exit-City Gates-Trademeet-Druid Grove.


If we remove the de'Arnise-Underdark Exit link, the party would visit the Drizzt area twice at most--if they traveled from Underdark Exit to the City Gates, and then later traveled from the Underdark Exit to the Small Teeth Pass. As the chapter 6 areas now have multiple links to and from them, it's actually not that likely to get the two visits anyway.

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just brainstorming, but it might be worth a thought:


I have never reached a randomspawn area after all spawns where done and it would just be empty with the other spawns (e.g. Suna Seni, Renfeld, etc.)


After a little research in my old savegames from after meeting Drizzt, the areas, etc. I have got an idea, where the bug could caused by...


All these areas are working upon random probability, but also on the running script, that is assigned. All these areas are flagged as (No Save allowed). But the area script, that is assigned for the first three random encounters works on a Global variable, which is saved in the Savegame. Might be, that hardcoded there is something programmed, to prevent you from empty random areas, if there is nothing more event possible - I don't know. They all use the same script based on this variable:



and increment this Global with spawning: SetGlobal("RandomEncounters","GLOBAL",1)


The ONLY area with an assinged AREA-script is that, where you meet Drizzt. The variable for his spawn is:



and set to: SetGlobal("DrizztEncounter","AR2601",1) with spawning.


I have found the Global variable from the first spawns in my Savegame - but not the one assigned only to the area, of course, as area scripts are never saved there (only in the area, to which it is assigned, and this save will only be called, if you visit this area again).


If there is something hardcoded, that refers to the Global (for the first spawns), but cannot refer to this unsaved area variable, that might be the reason, that you ever will come to this area again, and eventually meet Drizzt again...


I have never had this, because I also only have visited the Underdark Exit area once in former times. (But with my repaired lens plot, I fear, I will have to go there more times, as it was supposed this huge plot...).


Well - as I said: just brainstorming, but it might help, so I don't wanted to keep my thoughts by my own... :)





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Could you perhaps make use of a dummy area, say a duplicate of the Underdark exit located in the exact same spot as the normal Underdark exit?

It'd be better to create a dupe City Gates. At any rate, the big problem here is that this would cause severe compatibility issues with mods.


If there is something hardcoded, that refers to the Global (for the first spawns), but cannot refer to this unsaved area variable, that might be the reason, that you ever will come to this area again, and eventually meet Drizzt again...

Changing it to a global will prevent Drizzt re-spawning, but you'll still get dumped into the random encounter area with nobody there. Rather than some new random encounter, I'd suggest simply re-using the existing random encounter scripts:


COPY_EXISTING ~ar2601.bcs~ ~override~
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~"DrizztEncounter","AR2601"~ ~"DrizztEncounter","GLOBAL"~
COPY_EXISTING ~ar0043.bcs~ ~override~
EXTEND_BOTTOM ~ar2601.bcs~ ~override/ar0043.bcs~

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Perhaps 2 world maps, one which preserves the original behavior, and the other would be OBC and fix up the Chapter 6 links? Do we do patches to the WMP (that you could make the Ch6 changes without a new WMP)? Does anybody else actually patch the WMP in a way that we'd break?


Changing the script is the least impure approach, but it still doesn't seem a healthy compromise.

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Duh. Duh, duh, duh.


COPY_EXISTING ~ar2601.bcs~ ~override~
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~Explore()~ ~Explore()


I also noticed that we add entry points to the chapter 6 areas so you won't get dumped randomly into the areas, but we're not using them. :)

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I also noticed that we add entry points to the chapter 6 areas so you won't get dumped randomly into the areas, but we're not using them.
What on earth are you talking about here?

All of the chapter six areas have no entry points--meaning whenever you traveled to them, you would get dumped randomly into the area along an edge. (In the Small Teeth Pass, you could get dumped right in the middle of the area since the eastern edge isn't accessible at all.) Fixpack altered the areas to have a defined entry point, but the worldmap wasn't referencing it--resulting in the party getting dumped into the area randomly, just as before.

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