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The Adventurer's Lounge: Guidance and Support for No Reload Challengers- Newbie or Veteran


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#26
Alesia_BH

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Awesome! Great post!

 

More comments soon!

 

Best,

 

A.



#27
Borco

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Hello everyone!

 

After encountering several bugs I finally decided that my current install is somewhat broken (most probably as result of unsound combination of various modes and tweaks) and I do need to get a new clean one. 

 

As I am not very experienced with the available modifications (and their mutual behaviour), I was wondering whether you could advise on a reliable set-up you'd found satisfactory in you experiece, irrespective of whether it is built around (i) BGT or (ii) BG:EE/BG2:EE. I intend to get SCS, whereas the remainer of modifications (apart from fixpack/widescreen) are generally expendable. Basically, I prefer the improvement of existing stuff over adding additional content. 

 

Many thanks in advance. 

 

Regards,

 

B.


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#28
Alesia_BH

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Hi Borco. It's good to hear from you!

 

I sympathize with your search for a stable and satisfying BG install. For me, the search is on going. It's complicated somewhat in my case by my use of OS X.

 

Before I advise, may I ask whether you use OS X?

 

Best,

 

A.


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#29
Alesia_BH

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Oh. And a quick list of my preferred mods. The modding community has done a lot of great work over the years, but there are only a handful of mods that I've chosen to retain

 

For BG1

 

Fixpack (of course)

BG1 NPC Project (well done, enjoyable if you party)

Hard Times (excellent, sensible, but it slows progress- recommended for those who really love BG1)

SCS (essential, I can't imagine playing without it)

ATweaks (a candidate)

 

For BG2

 

Fixpack

Ascension (essential, this is the ending of ToB)

SCS (again, essential- even more so in BG2)

ATweaks (great, but in limbo. I have concerns about balancing. The quality and professionalism are there, however)

 

Best,

 

A.


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#30
Jabberwock

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Alesia, you asked for my thoughts on suitability of BG2EE for no-reload play. Note that I am running EE + BP Ascension + SCS v30.  EE as you probably know includes fixpack.

 

My overall view is that yes it is suitable, but I will no longer play without recording at all times, and would generally suggest that other players adopt a similar rule. I have had charname deaths that I believe were extremely likely to be the result of bugs three times during 15 games (the first ~12 of which didn't make it out of chapter 3 and several of which ended in Jon's dungeon, back when I wasn't any good at no-reload play...).

 

The three were:

 

Random death during fight with improved Shade Lord while at full hp + death warded. I have also seen random NPCs die during this fight with no related damage or effect listed in the combat log, so something is occassionally screwy here

 

The previously mentioned fight with Mencar where the game landscape cleared, portaits for the entire party turned black and game over animation played

 

A probably fireshield collision where charname was killed by a large number of concurrent fireshield hits as his fireshield triggered Lavok's fireshield reciprocally in an infinite loop

 

The quality of life improvments in EE are substantial, so I like it, but it sucks to have a run muddied or ended by a bug. I think a lot of the reason my charname fell during the fight with Jon in hell was because I was upset with the quality of the run and knew I was going to have to redo it at some point anyway.


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#31
Serg BlackStrider

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Alesia said: I used to hate Gessen, due to the slow projectile. I've gotten over that. Gessen is great.

 

Me too is pretty unfond of the slow projectile of Gesen. Do you think, it was intentional that it has only 20 speed compared to 60 of Tansheron's, for example? THREE times slower! Tansheron's is speed of 3 while Gesen is speed of 4, so that's not the case, I think. Personally, I'm leaning to tweak Gesen to have the same projectile speed as Tansheron's but it might be good to know if this will be a *fair play*  :)


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#32
GrimJim

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Random death during fight with improved Shade Lord while at full hp + death warded. I have also seen random NPCs die during this fight with no related damage or effect listed in the combat log, so something is occassionally screwy here

There's a known glitch in the vanilla version of this fight and it seems that it's in the SCS version too. Anyone that the Shade Lord kills is supposed to get turned into a Shadow, which permanently kills them. But if a summon dies, a party member may get turned into a Shadow instead. Could this have happened in your case?

Edited by GrimJim, 18 August 2015 - 11:07 AM.

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#33
Alesia_BH

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The quality of life improvments in EE are substantial, so I like it, but it sucks to have a run muddied or ended by a bug.

 

Understood. Your perspective is helpful and consistent with my concerns.

 

The Shade Lord and Fireshield issue could have occurred in other installs. The Mencar issue was bizarre and unique to EE, as far as I am aware. I can't help but wonder: If that can happen what else can?

 

The EE engine is well suited to heavy combat, in my experience. At the same time it appears that transient anomalies are more common in the EE world. I've heard multiple reports of un-explained EE deaths. The duplicate charname issue you reported is bizarre. Again, what else?

 

For reloaders and or casual players these anomalies may be of little concern. For us, they matter. A lot.

 

Were it not for the stability issues I've encountered with ToBeX in Wine on OS X, I'd probably stay away from EE. The situation being what it is, I intend to give it a try. We'll see how it goes. 

 


I think a lot of the reason my charname fell during the fight with Jon in hell was because I was upset with the quality of the run and knew I was going to have to redo it at some point anyway.

 

 

I sympathize. I had a similar experience with my C/R Aria and, to a lesser extent, with my sorcerer Aphril.

 

When crashes and anomalies compromise a run, you can lose concentration and focus.

 

That's why I'm inclined to thoroughly play test installs before entering characters these days. I want to be sure that my install is capable of providing a suitable game world before I begin my adventure.

 

That's also why a thread like this seems like a good idea to me. It may help players evade game breaking bugs before they happen.

 

Good luck with your next run, Jabberwock! Have you considered trying a Classic (BGT) run?

 

Best,

 

A.



#34
Alesia_BH

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Personally, I'm leaning to tweak Gesen to have the same projectile speed as Tansheron's but it might be good to know if this will be a *fair play*  :)

 

This is well within the scope of what mods accomplish. Mods are allowed in the challenge. If tweaking the speed of the Gessen projectile will enhance your enjoyment of the game, feel free.

 

I considered doing that once, but I've gotten used to the slow Gessen projectile. That said, I hate trying to disrupt a Stoneskin cast only to see my Gessen arrow hover in the air for an eternity. It's an arrow. And a lightning bolt. How could it possibly be that slow?

 

If I changed the animation, I might change the sound, too. Have you noticed that the sound seems to pair with the slow projectile?

 

Best,

 

A.


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#35
Blackraven

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Hmm interesting input here. I've been thinking of doing an relatively simple EE install with Alesia's mods plus Rogue Rebalancing (which I only use for its adjustment to Bards and some nice bonus items). I'm curious to revert to SCS demons I'm no longer used to rather than aTweaks demons. (Fiendish gating has in the past proven too overwhelming for my solo characters.)

 

However, taking into account current bugs and issues I'll probably wait for a couple of months. The release of Siege of Dragonspear might be a good moment. I think it will also introduce (or be followed by) new patches for BG1 and BG2 that further stabilize the EEs. 

 

Great post btw GrimJim.

Jabberwock, you asked in the BG2 Challenge thread whether magic played a big part in BG1. It's inevitably less complex due to lower level setting and thus fewer Abjurations you have to pierce, but it's still an important aspect of the game. Mind & movement altering spells are especially common and dangerous: Sleep at low levels, Charms that end solo runs, Horrors, Hold Persons, Confusions etc abound (and are valuable tools for your own party as well). It can be difficult to protect oneself against these effects because there aren't many items that grant immunities athough Berserkers, Barbarians and Paladin kits have it easier. Therefore I said potions are very important: I often buy almost everything that Thalantyr, a Nashkel Carnival merchant, and the Sorcerous Sundries have for sale.


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#36
Alesia_BH

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This is well within the scope of what mods accomplish. Mods are allowed in the challenge. If tweaking the speed of the Gessen projectile will enhance your enjoyment of the game, feel free.

 

PS: I feel I should add a brief footnote here. While I often myself tempted to make minor personalized tweaks like this, I've never actually done so. I've refrained from making tweaks in the interest of maximizing relatability. Personalized tweaks can make it more difficult for readers to fully appreciate the action. That's also why I stick to widely circulated mods, and avoid mods that add additional kits or items.

 

Ultimately, your enjoyment is the paramount concern. But always remember that sharing is a part of the fun, and that disparate game worlds can make it more difficult to share.    

 

Good hunting!

 

Best,

 

A.


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#37
Alesia_BH

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Hmm interesting input here. I've been thinking of doing an relatively simple EE install with Alesia's mods plus Rogue Rebalancing (which I only use for its adjustment to Bards and some nice bonus items). I'm curious to revert to SCS demons I'm no longer used to rather than aTweaks demons. (Fiendish gating has in the past proven too overwhelming for my solo characters.)

 

Rogue Rebalancing is well done. I tried it once. I've been curious about the RR bards.

 

Do you intend to run a RR bard at some point? I tend to avoid customized kits, as I noted a moment ago, but I'd be interested in seeing a RR bard. They seem cool. Sensible.

 

Best,

 

A.


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#38
Serg BlackStrider

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PS: I feel I should add a brief footnote here. While I often myself tempted to make minor personalized tweaks like this, I've never actually done so. I've refrained from making tweaks in the interest of maximizing relatability. Personalized tweaks can make it more difficult for readers to fully appreciate the action. That's also why I stick to widely circulated mods, and avoid mods that add additional kits or items.

 

Ultimately, your enjoyment is the paramount concern. But always remember that sharing is a part of the fun, and that disparate game worlds can make it more difficult to share.    

It's true. I didn't tweak Gesen myself as of yet and truth be told I quite seldom use it anyway for this slowness to be an unbearable issue. Still... It's just not quite right when arrows flies that slow...


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#39
corey_russell

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I would think slow animation would only be a minor problem in party play. It could be a serious issue for a solo-er, I suppose. Personally, though, I just accept it as it is. You don't really need +4 ammo in SoA, and in ToB, there only a few enemies that require +4, and for those you can use Firetooth's Crossbow and +4 bullets from slings, as well as the +4 throwing axe (where's the +4 throwing dagger, I wonder...)


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#40
Blackraven

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Rogue Rebalancing is well done. I tried it once. I've long been curious about the RR bards.

 

Do you intend to run a RR bard at some point? I tend to avoid customized kits, as I noted a moment ago, but I'd be interested in seeing a RR bard. They seem cool. Sensible.

 

Best,

 

A.

 

The two Bards - read: Skalds - I've run were Rogue Rebalanced. None reached SoA though; Euphonia, the most memorable one, died in Durlag's Tower. In my current BGT install RR Bards aren't working. (I've just finished retransforming Aerie, who's going to roll with Bartholomew, into a Cleric/Mage again after discovereing her Bard song didn't do anything.)

I really like RR Skalds, both conceptually and how they convince me to play full parties, so in my future EE install Skald is again high on the list :)


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#41
Grond0

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Jabberwock, you asked in the BG2 Challenge thread whether magic played a big part in BG1. It's inevitably less complex due to lower level setting and thus fewer Abjurations you have to pierce, but it's still an important aspect of the game. Mind & movement altering spells are especially common and dangerous: Sleep at low levels, Charms that end solo runs, Horrors, Hold Persons, Confusions etc abound (and are valuable tools for your own party as well). It can be difficult to protect oneself against these effects because there aren't many items that grant immunities athough Berserkers, Barbarians and Paladin kits have it easier. Therefore I said potions are very important: I often buy almost everything that Thalantyr, a Nashkel Carnival merchant, and the Sorcerous Sundries have for sale.

You might also bear in mind that the Greenstone Amulet is on sale cheap at Ulgoth's Beard and protects against the vast majority of the status affecting spells you find in BG1.  I almost never use it these days, but it's a great option to have if you're not sure what tactics you want to use for an encounter.


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#42
Gate70

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I don't know if this question should come under this thread or not, but this is the question, does anyone know if there are any issues regarding Windows 10?

 

I haven't installed it yet and have windows 7, I would like to know if there are any issues before doing so.

 

 

AFAIK there are plenty of issues at the moment. Starting with screwed update routine and finishing with drivers problems. Personally, I'm going to wait at least a half year before switching (if at all...). It offers too little worth switching from Win 8.1 for me and even less so compared to Win 7 you have, in my opinion.

 

I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 on my low end laptop with Intel HD graphics. BGT seems unchanged in single player and less laggy in multiplayer, while the EE games are running smoother than before.

 

I have seen EE forum reports where 3 or 4 people have reported lag on Windows 10 that they didn't have before. I've asked for graphics card details to see if there is a hardware/driver pattern but don't have that information as yet.


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#43
Alesia_BH

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It's good to hear from you, Gate!

 

Best,

 

A.



#44
corey_russell

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You might also bear in mind that the Greenstone Amulet is on sale cheap at Ulgoth's Beard and protects against the vast majority of the status affecting spells you find in BG1.  I almost never use it these days, but it's a great option to have if you're not sure what tactics you want to use for an encounter.

Another option that works great are potions of magic blocking. They only work for 5 rounds and only stop up to level 5 spells, but that stops cold all disablers you meet in BG 1 (sleep, hold person, rigid thinking, confusion, chaos) - 5 rounds is usually enough to kill the caster (as well as having them drain their spells uselessly on your protected character). And if the enemy has a deep spell book, you can just gulp another potion of magic blocking when the 1st potion expires. I have found this potion invaluable for my soloers in BG 1. Would  love to have in BG 2, but alas, it was naught to be...


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#45
Alesia_BH

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Personally, though, I just accept it as it is. You don't really need +4 ammo in SoA, and in ToB, there only a few enemies that require +4, and for those you can use Firetooth's Crossbow and +4 bullets from slings, as well as the +4 throwing axe 

 

Makes sense.

 

The wonderful thing about Gessen is that it applies 1d8 electrical damage at range, via a short bow- with short bows being one of the game's more desirable ranged proficiencies.It's an excellent choice for disrupting and killing Stoneskinned mages.

 

In SCS installs where Protection from Normal Missiles protects against Arrows of Cold, Arrows of Acid and Arrow of Fire, it becomes more valuable.

 

The Firetooth crossbow has similar merits, but it was a lower APR and applies less elemental damage. Also, Protection from Fire is taken more commonly than Protection from Electricity. A similar argument applies to the Firetooth dagger. 

 

The speed of Gessen becomes an issue precisely because it is relevant in the application that it is best suited for: disrupting mages.

 

Gessen can be sped up by equipping it with physical ammo. This has always seemed to cheesy to me, however: I've never been fond of equipping Firetooth, Gessen, and Everard with physical ammo, although I do tend to cave with Everard.

 

Best,

 

A.


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#46
corey_russell

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I see what you are getting at, Alesia. The thing is, though, most mages don't require +4 to hit. Whey not use the Tasheron's bow, which also does electrical damage, and has a faster rate of fire? And surely in party play this is not remotely relevant, as the melees of the group's elemental damage is significant, if the mage doesn't have PfMW up.

 

EDIT: You can imagine things like Stonefire, Frostweaver, Flail of Ages,and Dragon's Breath all whacking on a mage with no PfMW up - he won't be long for the world.



#47
Serg BlackStrider

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I see what you are getting at, Alesia. The thing is, though, most mages don't require +4 to hit. Whey not use the Tasheron's bow, which also does electrical damage, and has a faster rate of fire? 

Tansheron's applies not electrical damage but just 1D6+0 missile so it's ineffective vs stoneskinned Mages (i.e. it not has an elemental damage which pass through the stoneskins). 


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#48
Alesia_BH

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I see what you are getting at, Alesia. The thing is, though, most mages don't require +4 to hit. Whey not use the Tasheron's bow, which also does electrical damage, and has a faster rate of fire?

 

As Serg noted, Tansherson doesn't do electrical damage.

 

Again, it's not about the +4, usually. It's about applying 1d8 elemental damage per hit at range.

 

The +4 can be nice in some circumstances, such as when facing Mantles

 

 

EDIT: You can imagine things like Stonefire, Frostweaver, Flail of Ages,and Dragon's Breath all whacking on a mage with no PfMW up - he won't be long for the world.

 

Those are melee weapons. Meleeing mages can be dangerous, since it exposes you to touch spells and compresses your counter window.

 

I find that there are some jobs for which Gessen is the best tool.

 

But, of course, there are multiple ways of achieving tactical ends. I'm sure your choices work for you.

 

Best,

 

A.



#49
corey_russell

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@Alesia: It sounds like you are saying you have to use Gesen's, as there are drawbacks to all other options. In my install, PfNW does not stop arrows of ice, fire or acid, so thus Gesen's peculiar qualities just aren't needed for me. And melee elemental damage is just fine in a group. Good tip about the Tasheron's bow, I'll have to remember that, thanks Serg. 



#50
Alesia_BH

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@Alesia: It sounds like you are saying you have to use Gesen's

 

I'm not sure how you got that impression. Note the quote below.

 

 

But, of course, there are multiple ways of achieving tactical ends. I'm sure your choices work for you.

 

 

My point was that Gessen has attributes which make it particularly well suited to certain specific tactical situations and that I like to use it in those situations. That's all. 

 

In my install, PfNW does not stop arrows of ice, fire or acid...And melee elemental damage is just fine in a group. 

 

I'm aware.

 

And as I said earlier, I'm sure your choices work for you.

 

Sorry if I was unclear!

 

Best,

 

A.