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Request for feedback (again)


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I haven't heard a great deal back about SCS in the last couple of months, other than a few persistent bugs. This could be because


- everyone loves it

- no-one is playing it

- everyone hates it

- there are persistent problems with it that make it unplayable/uninstallable


In any case, if people who've tried it (or decided they hate it) do have comments, I'd love to hear them - I'd especially welcome specific comments (good or bad) on creature AI.

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There are some components that I never do an installation without, like skipping CK.


These days, I'm not using the challenge-enhancing features so much, because I'm trying to gauge how well an NPC stays alive in a vanilla game, but they worked fine before, so I think they work fine now.


BTW: had the same problem with enemy priests buffing the party with strength of one/defensive harmony in my own scripts. Had to ditch them both. Is there something in the spell description that gives ALLY access to enemy caster use? Oh well, more spell slots for other things :)

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- everyone loves it




- no-one is playing it


Not likely.


- everyone hates it


Certainly not!


- there are persistent problems with it that make it unplayable/uninstallable


Not really.


I love this mod. The added challenge to a game that I could run through in my sleep makes this one of my favourite mods for ANY game (though, JediPlus for Jedi Outcast comes close :)).


I love that harder/smarter kobolds componant by the way, it makes the Nashkel Mines really interesting :).

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I love it. Just played through for the third(? I think) time with a wild mage protagonist.


Managed to keep all my party alive in the final battle for the first time! :)




Excellent mod, easily the best for Tutu & one of the best for either BG1 or 2

General AI seems good - calls for backup etc seem to work well (too well sometimes - occasionally enemies converge on you from all over the place!)

Hardest fights for me were actually the 2 bounty hunter encounters after the mines/Tranzig - I do the mines fairly early so wasn't really high enough level for them (I should have learned this lesson by now)

Agree with the earlier comment on the beefed up Nashkel mines - very good, particularly the positioning for ambushing the party near the end of the third level (have you considered moving traps around like in Fields of the Dead?)

Hate the giant spiders & their webs :)

I think Daveorn needs beefing up - perhaps the two Battle Horrors could attack at the same time Daveorn goes hostile rather than before?

Party at the top of Iron throne is now a pretty good scrap - although still vulnerable to the "tempt them down to the lower floor a few at a time" exploit (which I shamelessly used)

Sarevok and co now much more of a challenge, but still fairly easily beaten via near endless spamming of summons via wands of monster summoning (perhaps limit the availability of these wands, especially from Sorcerous Sundries). Also managed to separate some of the individuals in Sarevok's party & kill them off one at a time - shouts for help not working properly?


Just some thoughts, hope they help. :)

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I really like SCS, but there are a couple components I just don't use. I think most of the components I skip are largely going to be categorized as a matter of taste (which is why I've never complained about the features I didn't like), but I'm going to go ahead and let you be the judge of what is and isn't subjective. What I'm going to do is list off the components I don't use and tell you why.

Make Protection from Normal Missiles affect magical projectiles: No real complaint. I just see too much room for abuse from my end.


Replace many magic weapons with fine ones: I do have a beef with this one. While I like the concept, I just had too many instances early on where I would run into an enemy which requires magic weapons to hit and all I had was 5 +1 arrows....or a magical staff with which no one was proficient. Since I don't use any spawn fixes, I had things like this happen to me a lot.


Allow player to choose NPC proficiencies and skills: This one is kind of obsolete with Nythrun's Level 1 NPC Mod. I wouldn't deprecate it, though, because it is much quicker to install. A lot of people will still use it.


NPCs go to inns I don't know if it was SCS, tweaks, or both, but when leaving the fight against the illusionary monsters in Candlekeep, all the temporary party members had a leaving dialogue where I could tell them to go to an inn. Since I had no compelling need to keep the component (I play with a more or less canonical party in Tutu), I uninstalled both the SCS and Tweaks version.


Allow Yeslick to use axes/Move NPCs to more convenient locations:

Nothing wrong with either one. I just use Nythrun's AOE-esque component (and before that, I just used AOE) and am happy enough with the NPC locations as they are in "unmodded" (heh) Tutu.


Mages/Priests pre-cast defensive spells First of all, I don't pre-buff, myself. Also, I don't always have a "can-opener" in my party, so I often find the pre-buffed mages to be a bit much without resorting to meta-gaming.


Harder spiders: I don't like the fact that spiders can cast web as per the spell. If they could only Web individual targets (perhaps a 10-25% chance per hit which allows a save at -2 or something), then I'd use it.


Smarter basilisks I still use this one, but sometimes the basilisks are able to bypass my spell protections (I was using the level one wizard spell, Protection from Petrification). I don't know if it's by design, an oversight, or something weird about my own install (I always play with a substantial number of home brewed tweaks), but I thought I should probably let you know. .


There you go. I don't know if you would want to change anything I'd brought up or not, but that's my feedback.

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The tutorial party members rejoining is actually a Tutu issue (though the extra dialogue for wait at an inn comes from tweaks). They really need their own treatment, or even in vanilla Tutu they'll do the "Goodnight Ladies" speech and promptly crash the game :)

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The tutorial party members rejoining is actually a Tutu issue (though the extra dialogue for wait at an inn comes from tweaks). They really need their own treatment, or even in vanilla Tutu they'll do the "Goodnight Ladies" speech and promptly crash the game :)
Weird. Before installing the party members go to an inn tweak, I don't recall ever having any party leaving dialogue whatsoever with them.
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Guest Guest_Michael_*

First, I just want to say that I'm just finishing up chapter 3, and so far the mod is great. I especially enjoyed the bounty hunters coming after me and ambushing.


The only tweak I would suggest so far is with the Mage (I forget his name) at the Friendly Arm INN. He casts a three-missle "magic missle" which insta-kills any level-one characters, and since I don't have any NPCs with me until I meet Jaheira and Khalid it's basically game-over.


If I time a healing potion just right I can survive one burst, but with his protections and mirror-image spells I can't kill him before he casts his second burst even with guards assisting. Eventually I just had to cheat a potion of resist magic, to get by him, and I don't like doing that.


Other than that one problem, its been great. Thanks for making it.

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In BG1, I have a habit of making extremely underpowered parties, and playing SCS has made it a whole lot harder to get through a game. I ended up just giving up on BG1 altogether for a while when those mages outside the Cloakwood mines CONSTANTLY detected invisibility and there was just no way to get past them and I kept getting annihilated.


While smarter mages and priests made the game a lot more fun and challenging for me, it was a bit -too- hard, especially considering my entire party relied on stealth and invisibility to survive. (3-person party- single class thief PC, Imoen, Xan with invisibility spells).


For me, the game became a lot more difficult, and while fun sometimes, losing 30+ times struggling through one battle and barely surviving at the end eventually lost its appeal.


I'm not particularly good at the game itself, and I was probably underleveled to face those battles, yeah, but while I enjoyed SCS, I don't think it's the kind of mod I should play with for too long.

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I'm really looking forward to the same AI improvements with SoA/ToB.
Same here. I've not played it unfortunately cause i'm too busy in real life (and modding BG II :) ) but from what i've heard it's a mod i'm eager to play and possibly the only reason that could make me install BG I (i would have played it some years ago but Tutu at that time was too complicated to me).
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I've been playing through Tutu with this and have been very impressed with SCS so far. The AI is really very nice, and most battles get a bit harder and a few quite a lot harder. The AI realism is nice and while I've had a few more times where the whole party gets killed, I've had a lot fewer times where single NPC's have died, due to intelligent enemies sticking with active targets preferentially over disabled ones.


Some specific points:

1. The battle at the Friendly Arm is likely very hard for non-mages (mages have the shield spell which pretty much blocks all of the assassins attacks of note and make the mage difficult enough to hit that the assassin can be killed in combat; note that another viable strategy is to run like hell and let the FAI guards kill the assassin). This battle is likey easier if Monty and Xzar are in the party.


2. The AI can actually make some fights easier as the advanced calls for help can cause enemies to cluster making them easy pickings for AoE spells (early on Sleep and Web; later Fireball, Skull Trap and Hold Person/Animal). One Fireball incinerated 75% of the bandits in the bandit camp after all the archers clustered to fire away at my tank. The best thing about this is the ability to set ambushes against some monsters (before it was harder as the you basically had to keep the whole pack in view at all times or stragglers would lose interest).


3. Boy are spiders difficult! I don't think I could have gotten to the Spider's Bane without a good deal of scouting/invisibility. The Giant Spider variety is the hardest; even sword spiders are reasonably easy if I can get them after Jaheria (spiders have relatively poor THAC0 as far as I remember), but Web is a nightmare without potions of Freedom. With proper scouting I could have Xan and the PC pepper them with Sleep spells (their saving throw against on casting seems to be made about 1/2 to 2/3 of the time) and then kill them at leisure.


Got to run now, great mod; it's been a real blast so far (not finished yet)!



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Many thanks to everyone who's commented - it's very helpful (and reassuring!)


One quick point: several people have commented on Tarnesh (the Friendly Arm assassin) being too hard, so I thought I'd explain the logic here. The way SCS works is that it starts by maxing out the AI to make the creatures fight as intelligently as I can manage with their game-standard resources (plus potions and prebuffing, to be fair). When that still left a key battle too easy, I then upgraded the opponents stats a bit, but (at least with human and demihuman opponents, and with a couple of exceptions) this is always minor tweaking - an extra level or two - nothing radical.


And Tarnesh? His CRE file hasn't been changed at all except to swap one of his Magic Missiles for a Sleep (which seemed a more intelligent choice for him to make). Other than that, he's the same L5 mage as in the vanilla game. It's just that at first level, a L5 mage is pretty challenging!


I think I'm not inclined to change it, though - running past him to get Khalid and Jaheira works (and is fairly understandable in-game), and you're also given a chance to recruit Xzar, Montaron and Imoen before you get to the FAI, after which it's fairly doable. Solo characters have only themselves to blame...

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And if that doesn't work, there's always:

another viable strategy is to run like hell and let the FAI guards kill the assassin.
Or even my way, which is to let the guards "soften him up" a bit, then swoop in at the last minute to get the XP. "My way is not very sportsmanlike."
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Guest Guest

Well, I just about finished my first SCS game (and I played through on Insane, no less :D ), and I have a few things I would like to mention.


When I went to fight the crazy entropy chick, I was taken off guard a bit by the invisibility potion (why would a fighter use one, I mused.) Then she did some more potion buffing and then ... chunked Minsc with a backstab. That raised an eyebrow. Was she always a dual class fighter - thief? It just seemed so out of the blue. I had always imagined that she'd have been a kensai under BG2 rules (sure kensais can't use guantlets, but Koshi got away with a helmet, and it would make a little more sense to me.)


Speaking of backstabbers, I was at a bit of a loss when Slythe resisted all eight of my party's memorized detect invisibility spells. :) I just re-read the readme and found out why, but there's no in game feedback about the non detection spell he gets. Also, in one reload, Slythe got sad over the death of his wife (I can find Krysten well enough) and stopped attacking my party. I wandered all over the place for quite a while, and never found him. Had to reload and coax him into being nice and hostile. :D Maybe a bit more feedback in the game feedback box about what spells those two use.


The potions for warriors and calls for help made for some interesting and fun fights. The bandit camp became an interesting two front battle. The xvart villiage became a bit of a dogpile. :D I did notice that, in the third floor of Durlag's tower, one group of dopplegangers must have called for help from the other, and that other group literally killed themselves on the traps between us. It fits the game - the dopplegangers didn't build the traps after all - but it was unexpected.


The cult was an unexpectedly big challange. Bigger than their Tanari, I think. The big deal is that you start off in such an exposed position. I think even Fredrick the Great would have been hard pressed to win that three front war. But I found a cool strategy - my party all drank potions of speed and ran into Mendas's vacant house. Defending one door was a heck of a lot easier. :D That was a fun fight. I also noticed that the two cult assassins in the ground floor of the house behaved a bit oddly. When I dispelled their last invisibility potion, I found that they had wedged themselves into corners where Kivan (and his base thaco of -3) couldn't get at them. :) Were they supposed to do that? I had to send my tanks after them to get them to resume fighting.


The mage in the basement that summons the deamon seems to have some left brain/right brain issues. ;) I pulled my usual Tanar'i au fromage trick; by charming the mage and having her waste her spells killing the other six cultists. When I attacked her to end her charm, she had all her spells back. She lasted longer against me than the bloody deamon! :)


I didn't use the mage or cleric pre-buff. I only pre buff when I have an obvious advantage of surprise. (Before the Durlag Doom Guards, before assulting the fifth floor of the Iron Throne when I made it to the fourth without a fight, etc.)


But these are really minor.


I think that the flavor texts when mages try to detect invisibility don't feel right. Most of the mages in the Baldur's gate world are overconfident, and sadly underestimate "riff raff" opponents like thieves and rangers. Dyneheir, Edwin, and Quayle, for instance, I do not see as being the type to detect competent rangers or thieves sneaking up on them. In fact, the only mages I can think of with training in ambush spotting, a lack of overconfidence, and/or enough paranoia to spot properly stealthed characters are:




That one paraniod guy on the ice island




Gorion ("We are in an ambush :) ")

That guy in the thieves' guild who wants the skyship parts (would know about thieves, then.)


Now, I don't mind that they all do. In BG2, the mage of the sewer party will try to detect you, as will the mage in the guarded compound. But they don't draw attention to what they're doing; they just make the game a little more challenging in their own way. But when they call attention to their 1337 ambush detecting skills, in spite of being Faerun's equivalent of preppy ivory league dropouts, it just doesn't feel right. ;) If they just silently detected for invisibility, it might feel more natural (after all, I never really considered the sewer party mage or the guarded compound mage to be acting oddly in all the time I've owned these games.)


Other than that, it's just the mage in Firewine. The Ogre-mage goes down easily enough. Then turn the corner and there he is. I attacked him and he instantly disappeared. And teleported away. I fought him several times, and I suspect he's using something cheesier than a demension door spell. Area effect spells cast after he disappears don't hit anything at all, even though DD takes a while (I often kill Deveron while he's hopelessly waiting for that spell to kick in.) Then he instantly casts twelve (!) pre buffs. Then he walks up to my party and suicide casts a fireball; taking most of my party and himself out. This happened a lot. It was only when Finch got off a luckily timed dispel magic, and Kivan plugged him with four arrows before he could finish casting Suicide Ball that I beat him. Even if you ignore the rest of my message, please seriously consider toning this guy down. A BG1TUTU player might to to Firewine pretty early; to do Finch's book quest, or pick up Indira, or to try their hand at that assassin party to the south of the map. Or maybe they just like halflings. ;) Firewine is a notoriously hard place to fight anything; and anything tougher than a kobold doesn't need much in the way of tweaking to prevent a player from sleepwalking through the encounter.


That's a lot of negative, I know. Don't get me wrong. Virtually all of the mod is so uberly awesome that I'll probably never play without it again. The enhanced chapter fights are all good (haven't done the Sarevok fight yet), the tweaks for picking NPC proficiencies eliminates a lot of frustrations over things like thieving skills, etc. And it's always fun when phase spiders drop by for a chat. Or a chew. ;) But, as you did ask for feedback, there were these things I kind of felt strongly about. Well, in proportion to how it's a component to a video game.


Thanks for doing all this hard work for us; and then not charging us anything for it. :D This mod, along with the NPC project, makes BG a whole new game.

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