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Baldur's Gate 2 No-Reload Challenge


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#13776
Serg BlackStrider

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The Helm of Balduran is her personal item, basically.

 

I prefer the Claw, even with shorty warriors (Claw/Gaxx/CoP +2/Lavender Ioun Stone is my preferred arrangement for most characters). But if you look at Arkona's portrait, you'll note that she has horns. Since the horns of the Helm of Balduran fit her so well, I decided to allow her to import both items.

 

These days, she doesn't even use Balduran typically: she uses the Helm of Defense. I only put Balduran on her for her snapshot, because it looks so much nicer: it has horns, as Arkona should, and the color matches that of Ages.

 

In Arkona's upcoming play-through, I may leave Balduran behind and instead mod the appearance of the Helm of Defense.

Got it. Even though I can't normally get Claw in SoA (import from TuTu final save to SoA doesn't work as intended for me and I usually just get *default* Helm of Balduran/Mail of the Dead +2 in Jon's dungeon) I'm leaning to allow myself to buy it in BG1 and then SK it in SoA next time as I see Helm of Defense slightly more useful overall. 


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#13777
Alesia_BH

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 I'm leaning to allow myself to buy it in BG1 and then SK it in SoA next time

 

That's fair. That's a bug fix, really- not even a mod.

 

 

Helm of Defense slightly more useful overall. 

 

Agreed. For general use, I prefer the Helm of Defense to the Helm of Balduran. The Helm of Balduran can be marginally more useful in battles that lack magic, however.

 

I don't miss the Helm when I don't have it. I would miss the Claw.

 

Balduran looks way better on Arkona's avatar.

 

Best,

 

A.


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#13778
Serg BlackStrider

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Balduran looks way better on Arkona's avatar though.

And how it looks with Infinity Animations (Restored vanilla BG1 character animations), yum!  ^_^


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#13779
Alesia_BH

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Jim begins the Illasera fight with a rather prescient trigger.

 

 

I like that Trigger/Contingency combo. Arcadia used something similar, although she typically went Trigger: ProMW/SI:A/SI:D Contingency- Improved Invisibility, with RoAC II having been cast pre-battle. The logic there being that she'd have full coverage even if there was a delay in the Contingency.

 

I'm leaning towards enabling sorcerers to place Spell Immunities in Triggers and Contingencies. In the past I've been inclined to treat that inability as a class disadvantage, rather than something to be modded around. It helps rebalance mages relative to sorcerers. I'm over that now though. It's time to tweak.

 

Great to have you back Grim Jim! Good hunting!

 

Best,

 

A.


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#13780
Alesia_BH

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@Serg. How does Blade Barrier behave in your install? Is it wonky from time to time?



#13781
Serg BlackStrider

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@Serg. How does Blade Barrier behave in your install? Is it wonky from time to time? I have issues with it in all my ToBex based installs.

I don't get what do you mean by *wonky* but it's rather *cheesy* in my install to say the least. If you have *autopause: spell cast* enabled and then unpause with some delay it will hit many-many times effectively shredding the nearby victims. It just not fair. Other than that I haven't paid much attention to its behavior (i.e. how it works when someone approaches the char with Blade Barrier already running).


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#13782
Alesia_BH

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It will hit many times

 

Yes. That's what I was referring to. I noticed that both enemy and player Blade Barriers behaved like that some times but not others.

 

It's not a problem in v15. It is a problem in the ToBex SCS installs that I've tried. I've encountered that issue in v21, v28, and v30.

 

The next time I set up a ToBex based version of SCS I'll check whether Autopause: Spell Cast is the relevant variable. 

 

As an aside, that's one of the reasons why I'm working with SCS v15 or in the alternative EE v30. The Blade Barrier issue doesn't occur in either of those setups (although I need to do more testing in EE).

 

Best,

 

A.



#13783
Alesia_BH

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@Aasim. Could you compose a mod that would increase the levels of the ATweaks demons so that they can't be nixed by Greater Deathblow? Would you be willing to do that?

 

Best,

 

A.



#13784
Serg BlackStrider

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Yes. That's what I was referring to. I noticed that both enemy and player Blade Barriers behaved like that some times but not others.

 

It's not a problem in v15. It is a problem in the ToBex SCS installs that I've tried. I've encountered that issue in v21, v28, and v30.

 

...

 

As an aside, that's one of the reasons why I'm working with SCS v15 or in the alternative EE v30. The Blade Barrier issue doesn't occur in either of those setups (although I need to do more testing in EE).

Not that I'm going to set a v.30 at the moment but then does that issue occurred in v.30 or not in the end?



#13785
Alesia_BH

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Not that I'm going to set a v.30 at the moment but then does that issue occurred in v.30 or not in the end?

 

I have observed it in all of the Classic ToBex based SCS installs that I've tried: v21, v28, and v30.

 

I have not observed it in EE v30, nor have I observed it in SCS v15 (last pre-ToBex).

 

I need to do further testing in EEv30.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

Btw. As an aside, I think a subset of my crashes may have been related to the Blade Barrier issue and then manner in which it intersected with the GoG OSX Wine environment. 


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#13786
Alesia_BH

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@Grim Jim. While testing my EEv30 SCS-Ascension setup with my F/M Arcadia, I saw a Fallen Solar open with Mordy D on two occasions. Watch out for that. It's a low probability event, but it pins the suck-o-meter when it happens. Have a contingency plan.

 

Screen%20capture%2027_zpsorra7zjg.jpg

 

 

@SCS v30/Ascension users. Do you see L9 spells and HLAs from Ascension Irenicus? I observed them regularly in Classic v15, but I haven't observed them in EE v30. I'm assuming this is a script bug, but I'd like to know whether it is local or general. 



#13787
Serg BlackStrider

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I have observed it in all of the Classic ToBex based SCS installs that I've tried: v21, v28, and v30.

 

I have not observed it in EE v30, nor have I observed it in SCS v15 (last pre-ToBex).

 

I need to do further testing in EEv30.

 

Btw. As an aside, I think a subset of my crashes may have been related to the Blade Barrier issue and then manner in which it intersected with the GoG OSX Wine environment. 

Got it, thanks! And what is your opinion on BP Ascension for bg2ee in general? Is it good/stable enough?



#13788
Alesia_BH

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And what are your expectations for BP Ascension in bg2ee? Is it good/stable enough?

 

That's the big question right now.

 

BP Ascension minus SCS is a no go, I've been told. I can confirm that, to an extent. That's largely irrelevant though: I wouldn't consider playing without SCS.

 

BP Ascension with SCS and some minor patches seems promising- more promising than I anticipated.

 

So far, I've only tried Illasera and the Irenicus battle. Some comments on the Irenicus battle.

 

Bodhi, the fallen solars, and the demons all look great. The battle is smooth and stable. I'm loving the animations and vigorous screen shakes. I expected to hate EE -and especially Ascension EE- but I've been pleasantly surprised.

 

There is an issue, however: Irenicus's script. I have concerns. In my old install (v15), he'd go Time Stop->Improved Alacrity->Debuff->HLA spells. In my EE v30 setup, he tends to run around and spam mid level stuff. I'm not a fan. He's been totally ineffective even when I've deliberately skipped buffs, such a Protection from Energy. V15 Ascension Irenicus was better. I suspect that something is wrong here. I'd like to know whether it is local or general.

 

Now that I think of it, it is possible that he's skipping Time Stop in order to prevent Balthazar from hammering Bodhi or the Fallen Solars. That wouldn't explain why he isn't dropping Comets on Arcadia in the absence of fire resistance, however. Perhaps I should try the battle without Balthazar, and with HLAs as innate.

 

I should note that Classic V30 Ascension Irenicus may have had the same problem. In Aphril's run, I assumed he was buff stumped, but it may have been something else. Unfortunately, I deleted Aphril's install since the final battle turned out to be unplayable, on account of crashes.

 

So, the word, at present, is that I can't give EE v30 BP Ascension a thumbs up: yet. But then again, I'm not in a position to give Classic V30 a thumbs up either: I need to do more testing. EE is a lot more promising than I anticipated, though. I still really like my Classic v15 setup. V15/v10/ATweaks (SCS Demons) should hit the sweet spot. If I were content with the scripts, I'd give EE v30 a chance, nonetheless.

 

Best,

 

A. 



#13789
Alesia_BH

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@Grim Jim. Can you recommend a simple way to preserve the Mariliths in the opening Irenicus battle, while removing them from the insane fight with Mel and the 5? Separate creatures and ancillary editing, I would guess? 

 

Best,

 

A.



#13790
Aasim

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@Aasim. Could you compose a mod that would increase the levels of the ATweaks demons so that they can't be nixed by Greater Deathblow? Would you be willing to do that?

Should be easy enough I think. All demons or specific case ones?

 

I don't get what do you mean by *wonky* but it's rather *cheesy* in my install to say the least. If you have *autopause: spell cast* enabled and then unpause with some delay it will hit many-many times effectively shredding the nearby victims. It just not fair. Other than that I haven't paid much attention to its behavior (i.e. how it works when someone approaches the char with Blade Barrier already running).

I think you can actually "fix" this by disabling something in tobex.ini file. I can't remember what exactly (mayhap "repeating eff file fix").

I'm sure Polytope had it written somewhere in G3, I'll try to dig it out.

 

EDIT:

Found it.



#13791
Aasim

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~ATWEAKS/SETUP-ATWEAKS.TP2~ #0 #152 // PnP Fiends -> Mod-added fiends are also affected: v4.42

I think (will check later) that most demons will be DB-immune if you install the other option

(~ATWEAKS/SETUP-ATWEAKS.TP2~ #0 #153 // PnP Fiends -> Give aTweaks scripts to all fiends but do not alter statistics).

I have never tried the one you use. 



#13792
Serg BlackStrider

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Thanks, Alesia, for your input concerning EE/v.30/BP Ascension, much obliged!

 

And thanks, Aasim, as well for the useful link!


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#13793
Alesia_BH

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Should be easy enough I think. All demons or specific case ones?

 

 

All of them. 

 

The GDB vulnerability might be acceptable with Fiendish Gating, but without it the ATweaks demons are too nerfy. Even with GDB immunity they may be too nerfy sans-Gating.

 

If it's too much trouble, don't bother: I can just refrain from GDBing them.

 

FYI: The three configurations I intend to compare are: 1) ATweaks fiends with Gating/GDB susceptible; 2) ATweaks fiends without Gating/GDB immune; 3) SCS fiends + ATweaks mephitis, elemental, undead, and fey. I think 3 is the best option, but I'd like to try the others.


I think you can actually "fix" this by disabling something in tobex.ini file. I can't remember what exactly (mayhap "repeating eff file fix").

I'm sure Polytope had it written somewhere in G3, I'll try to dig it out.

 

 

 

Awesome. So it is ToBex, as I suspected.

 

And there are no counter indications associated with the fix? I've had to disable other ToBex options to avoid bugs (OS X specific) and I've lost functionality in the process.

 

Best,

 

A.



#13794
Alesia_BH

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I think (will check later) that most demons will be DB-immune if you install the other option

 

Noted. If it preserves the SCS fiend levels, then that should work. I'll check the read me and or try that.

 

EDIT: From the read me, it seems like the creatures would be entirely unchanged, save for their scripts? Is that actually the case, or do you get ATweaks fiends with SCS stats (hit dice, etc)? The latter would interest me, the former less so. 

 

Best,

 

A.


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#13795
Alesia_BH

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For the record, I'm now inclined to declare the ToB portion of Aphril's run illegitimate. In retrospect, Aprhil probably benefitted from the ToBex Blade Barrier bug more than I had acknowledged during game play. And even though that bug was never a factor in significant encounters, it's an asterix. Aphril also missed out on Tamah and Ascension Abazigal's script.

 

At the same time, Aphril was unfairly disadvantaged by the presence of extraneous Mariliths, attributable to an SCS bug.

 

The final confrontation should have been easier, the rest of ToB should have been harder (although probably not significantly so). Aphril was hindered by bugs more that she was enabled, but parts of her run were enabled.

 

The run was what it was in the install I chose to play with, but I don't think the install was up to the challenge of providing a suitable game world. Part of me feels I should give Aphril another chance in a tested install, but sadly, that idea doesn't interest me at the moment. It's time for something new. 

 

Someday I'll bring back Alanis and let her have a go at SCS/Ascension/ATweaks on Insane. I think she's up to the challenge.

 

Best,

 

A.


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#13796
Aasim

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If it's too much trouble, don't bother: I can just refrain from GDBing them.

 

FYI: The three configurations I intend to compare are: 1) ATweaks fiends with Gating/GDB susceptible; 2) ATweaks fiends without Gating/GDB immune; 3) SCS fiends + ATweaks mephitis, elemental, undead, and fey. I think 3 is the best option, but I'd like to try the others.

 

 

And there are no counter indications associated with the fix? I've had to disable other ToBex options to avoid bugs (OS X specific) and I've lost functionality in the process.

 

It's not too much trouble (trouble is finding all demon file names in NearInfinity; I have 23 different Glabrezus for example), code is few lines long.

If you could send me file names ( like finglab, enddem02, dw#sumgl etc. for all demons < level 12) I can do it in 10 minutes.

I don't know other counter-indications for Tobex fix; I think the option is something modders can use (frequency of condition check; I don't know if any mod actually uses it). 


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#13797
Alesia_BH

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Noted. Let me try the other option first.

 

There's no need for you to go through the trouble if the mod already offers a solution.

 

Best,

 

A.



#13798
Aasim

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Noted. Let me try the other option first.

 

There's no need for you to go through the trouble if the mod already offers a solution.

 

Keep in mind the "SCS + aTweaks solution" isn't as fantastic as it looks. aTweaks thrives on PnP abilities and scores, SCS thrives on sheer power of high stat numbers. Combining both leads to some odd results like this here. (scroll down to Balor battle).



#13799
Alesia_BH

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Quick Note on Arkona's Game:

 

Arkona has nearly finished SoA. I now feel like I'm in a position to comment on the install that I've been testing. As a reminder, it's a Classic SCS v15, Fixpack v10, ATweaks 4.4.2 setup.

 

On ATweaks

  • Excellent work- very high quality: A must try
  • The Elementals are great
  • The Mephits are fantastic
  • The Undead are underwhelming, but appreciated
  • The Fiends are well executed, but not entirely suitable for my purposes- especially in v15. I prefer the more substantial SCS fiends. NW: I did not try the Fiendish Gating component- that gives ATweaks fiends a large power bump, while introducing greater stochasticity

On SCS v15 versus SCS v30

  • No ToBex related bugs in v15
  • Beefier potion stacks in v15
  • More agressive demon summoning in v15
  • No Con drain from vampires in v15: running sans-Pro Undead is feasible for a wider variety of classes
  • Better Spell Shield behavior in arcane battles in v15; arguably better Spell Shield behavior against Beholders in v30
  • More sophisticated mage scripts in v30
  • Greater mage script variety in v30
  • Greater attention to detail in v30: David's efforts -and the efforts of the broader community- definitely show
  • For my purposes, v15 is stable, smart, and punishing; v30 is smarter, subtler, more refined, less stable
  • If running EE levels the stability playing field, it will be a tough call: very tough.

 

Best,

 

A.



#13800
Alesia_BH

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aTweaks thrives on PnP abilities and scores, SCS thrives on sheer power of high stat numbers. Combining both leads to some odd results like this here. (scroll down to Balor battle).

 

I understand. That's what motivated my initial request.

 

Nonetheless, I'd like to evaluate alternatives in testing. I feel I should do so before burdening you with a request.

 

I suspect that I'll end up skipping the ATweaks Fiend component entirely and using ATweaks for Mephits, Elementals, Feys, and Undead only. The SCS fiends are great. The ATweaks fiends are great, too, but they're a little on the nerfy side in the absence of Gating. Since I'm disinclined to use Gating, I feel I'm better off with the SCS fiends.

 

In my v15 install, I'll almost definitely go this route. The v15 script summons nabassus and cornugons with regularity, and it depends on the SCS specific abilities of those creatures for its efficacy.

 

Best,

A.