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Revised SCS (link here)


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#1 Demivrgvs

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 03:03 PM

Revised SCS is a modified version of SCS specifically designed for Spell Revisions. Install it instead of the standard SCS.
 
Provided by Kreso (or Aasim for old Bioware forums no-reloaders and BGEE forums) this variant of SCS will be dedicated to make sure the AI can take out the most from SR's changes, tweaks and new spells. Thanks again to DavidW for providing us the base for this project (I'll try to contact him asap to be sure he's ok with it). Long live to SCS+Revisions installs. :D
 
Some examples of the modified AI behaviour:

Spoiler


Edited by Demivrgvs, 21 September 2016 - 03:17 PM.


#2 Shin

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:14 AM

Very nice release, thank you!

 

Compatibility-wise, is it designed for BG2EE as per the hotfixes at https://forums.beamd...#Comment_806853 ? And what are the recommendations on BWP/EET?


Edited by Shin, 22 September 2016 - 03:15 AM.


#3 ALIENQuake

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:40 AM

Thanks kreso  :beer:  :worship: I'm gonna replace SCS with this build soon.


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#4 kreso

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:15 AM

Very nice release, thank you!

 

Compatibility-wise, is it designed for BG2EE as per the hotfixes at https://forums.beamd...#Comment_806853 ? And what are the recommendations on BWP/EET?

All hotfixes are included per default. ALIENQuake sent me the links, so I've (f***in copy/paste from Github....no less than 60 min of work since I *accidentaly* copy-pasted "+"  several times... :schimpf: ) implemented those EE-specific issues as well. Also, some other bugs (Blade Barrier not being used in BG2, Ascension woes etc.) are also fixed and included.

 

BWP should work (I ran test install on Ascension/BGT/Revisons/Refinements/SCS + some other small mods), EET shoulwork (if the original SCS works, I don't know why my version wouldn't. Untested, but if it installs it should work properly.)

 

 

Thanks kreso  :beer:  :worship: I'm gonna replace SCS with this build soon.

Cheers, thank you.



#5 K4thos

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:26 AM

EET shoulwork (if the original SCS works, I don't know why my version wouldn't. Untested, but if it installs it should work properly.)

 

SCS doesn't work with EET as it is. It has to be patched first: https://github.com/K...ster/stratagems
If your version edits the same files than it won't be compatible with EET unless you add those changes related to EET compatibility (they don't affect any other platform, so it's safe to implement them)



#6 kreso

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 07:08 AM

Augh...I'll implement it then. Might take 2-3 days for that. 

 

Anyhow, Demi asked me to write sort of an introduction for this. I wrote 2 pages of text, then my computer crashed. I'll write it tonight, I need a long walk.



#7 kreso

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 09:43 AM

SCS for SR (or viceversa)

What might one expect from this dowload?

Few years ago when I noticed that on SR+SCS installs some spells were misused by AI. Since SCS's main concept is "don't do anything stupid" this bugged me a lot. So I decided to change it. This mod is a compilation of my own tweaks I used in numerous No-Reload games. 

Most of the changes are found in Demi's first post. I'll go into how this affects gameplay, since  with newest SR it will differ from ur usual SCS experience. BG1 part may not be so affected, but BG2 is a much different experience than before.

 

The biggest two changes are

 

1) Dispelling Screen. This tweak probably changes  gamplay the most. It's a substitute for the uber-cheese SI:Abj (fwiw, Spell Immunity in PnP worked by absorbing a single spell, and then dissapearing). The difference between Dispel Screen and SI:Abj is that SR makes Dispel Screen work much more like it's PnP counterpart. It will now absorb a dispel attempt (by "dispel attempt" I mean anything that dispels - Carsomyr, Dispel Arrow, Anti-magic ray and similar) or Breach, then dissapear. As a balancing factor, the spell now has AoE similar to Protection from Evil, so even your fighters can enjoy beeing buffed bit longer.

AI will use Dispel Magic and Breach against it to bring it down. As in-game effect, this will make early BG2 a bit easier, it will make late BG2 a bit harder, and it will make ToB a living hell for your mages. :D 

If you're enjoying vanilla mage omnipotence, this change you will not enjoy. With ToB Demons using Dispel at will you'll see that mages are no longer as overpowering as they used to be. Dispelling Screen *always* gets removed, regardless of dispel level check.

You'll want a balanced party to play SR/SCS game now. Fwiw, my longest no-reload run using this ended in ToB, Sendai enclave Lich Odamaron.

Anybody finishing this battle on this install w/o cheese deserves a medal. :rolleyes:

 

 2) Spell Deflection targeting.

I made this change after SR introduced "NWN-style Deflection" component. What I noticed is that, since SCS was already scripted to ignore Deflections with AoE spells, Spell Deflections I used on my mages would get "burned through" with ADHWs, Fireballs etc. This seemed cute in action. Then we had a lenghty discussion about it. Implementing this always had some bad effects. Either Breach spells would be wasted, AI could be screwed etc.

The idea is now refined, more specific checks are used (I even added a custom trigger in SCS library file to account for Archons/Trap and seperate them from other Deflections), and in practice you'll be witnessing a fairly dynamic combat against AI mages.

Spells like Spell Deflection, as far as AI is concerned, have two possible values. Either it's 1 (active) or 0 (not active). This made AI ignore casting spells at a character protected by Deflection, even if it had only one more spell level apsorption left.

No.of spells absorbed was completely irrelevant, for AI it doesn't matter if it's 1 or 99 - no spell would ever be used against it. Some people complained it was a bug. In reality, it's not a bug, it's a scripted thing. If stat=1, don't cast vs it.

This is now changed. AI will use even single-target spells to bring down your Deflection, in addition to usual removal methods via spell removals like Ruby Ray of Reversal. In some cases, this will make the game easier (like absorbing a Finger of Death). In some cases, it will make it harder (you have one Deflection layer left and AI blasts you with 3xFlame Arrow sequencer, which would never happen before. First will be absorbed, but two will go through). SCS randomizes such stuff, so it's hard to predict how this changes the overall difficulty of the game.

In ToB, difficulty will rise drastically (Demons will simply eat your Deflections with Charms/Unholy Blight, Glabrezu will use PW:Stun (7th level, usable at will! WTF?!) vs it etc.)

In short - watch your mages' buffs carefully. Just as an example of a scenario: Say you have Greater Spell Deflection active. AI will consider you a valid target for 3xDisintegrate trigger (previously you'd not be valid target). GSD absorbs 12 levels. Disintegrate is level 6. First two are absorbed, last one goes through....even if you survive, you're left w/o Deflection and exposed for further spell bombardment. 

 

Not all is bad for mages however. You can make your Deflection spells last longer by buffing with specific protections like Chaotic Commands, pro x type spells, Globe of Invulnerability etc. If you play wisely, these can go a long way in keeping your caster ass safe.

Moreover, Spell Trap now has unlimited spell apsorbtion. Hence, AI will not use spells against someone protected by it - this (and Archons Shield) work as "old" SCS targeting - if stat=1, don't cast vs it. They will need to remove it or wait it out. They will protect you from AoE provided u use relevant SR component (and you should), so they're "high-priority" spells to memorize.

This works best with "NWN-style Deflection" tweak in SR and hasn't been tested w/o it. Likewise, I highly reccomend using Item Revisions as well. 

 

Other changes are more-less fine tuning of some SR/SCS compatibility, with some targeting priorities tweaked etc. One more tweak I added is that enemy clerics use Break Enchantment on disabled fighters. I also made virtually all priests  have this spell memorized. This will make spells like Charm-Cofusion-Feeblemind-Greater Command a bit less game-enders for AI fighters, provided they have an operational priest nearby... There might be a few instances where this will might heavilly affect an encounter difficulty, depending on your spell choices (Sendai in Ascension + Yaga Shura camp battle come to mind....) but overall it shouldn't affect gameplay much. It's a very cool feature however, so it's there.

 

 

For some advices:

- mages may be nerfed, but they're still the most powerful class in the game

- druids (up to ToB) have similar offensive power as a sorcerer devoted to summoning and evocations

- priests can become very tanky characters which hit for massive damage. They're legit frontline fighters with SR. 

- saving throw system is *much* harsher than in vanilla. Previously, you had to worry for your spell save, rarely death, breath was almost non-existent, same as poly. This is changed. Not even dwarfs are safe anymore, and a failed save is nothing uncommon. Item Revisions will help a lot for buffing your save vs x type (ex.breath for fighters, death for mages). 

- touch-attacks are a great way of killing a mage under PfMW, and are very valid picks

- Dispelling Screen can be refreshed if it gets removed mid-battle. It's rather expensive (5h level) but it may save you. Trigger with DS/Imp.Haste/Deflection goes a long way.

- both mages and priests have access to Break Enchantment. This is a valid sorcerer pick, and a must have for a priest.

- for personal experience, use Boots of Grounding on your PC if he's a fighter. While a spell trigger with 3x Chain Lighting was pathetic in vanilla, with SR if used against a fighter it will often kill him instantly or cause massive damage. Same applies for Skull Traps, but in this case buff with Pro Mag Energy. Luck spell will also decrease the damage you take from such spells.

- make a habit of carrying around Stone to Flesh scroll. 

- Dispel Screen protects you against the dispelling abilities of Anti-magic Ray. Spell failure, inability to use items etc. will still affect the character however.

- all cure x wound spells are cast *much* faster with SR. Don't just sit there with your cleric and waste potions.

- experiment. SR goes a long way of making all spells useful. Some might not be so great for a sorcerer, but a thief-mage has great use of them. Some spells work best on fighters, some are exellent on mages, some destroy thieves. SCS will make enemies have same weak(and strong) saves as your characters, so use this to your advantage. Fighers will often survive a Finger of Death, but they may not be so good against Feeblemind.

- SCS sometimes uses a 3xDispel Magic sequencer. Dispel Screen will only block one instance of it, other two will affect your PCs.  



#8 Demivrgvs

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 09:45 AM

Augh...I'll implement it then. Might take 2-3 days for that. 

 

Anyhow, Demi asked me to write sort of an introduction for this. I wrote 2 pages of text, then my computer crashed. I'll write it tonight, I need a long walk.

Well, 2 pages of text couldbe ok for a "list of changes" like the one I posted. Just try to summarize what's the idea behind the mod (pretty much what I already wrote) and what you did, aka that long list of changes turned into something much more easy to read. Also, I think your AI has a slightly different behaviour too (e.g. tries to burn through Deflections instead of always wait for a spell removal? less focus on defences and a bit more focus on offense? you know what you did better than me :D ) maybe it's worth spending a few lines on that too. 

 

If you really want you could mention the eventual goals for future development (e.g. make SCS use more stuff from KR if detected? re-balance a few components like the much hated blood drain from vampires or beholder's anti-magic rays?). By working together we could try to get the most from every aspect. :)



#9 janoha

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:06 AM

I am simply stunned by reading about this new addition to SR. Sounds absolutely amazing! Wonderful job Kreso!

 

And I am very much in favor of you and Demi working on his suggestions :D  :thumbsup:


Edited by janoha, 22 September 2016 - 10:08 AM.


#10 kreso

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:49 AM

 If you really want you could mention the eventual goals for future development (e.g. make SCS use more stuff from KR if detected? re-balance a few components like the much hated blood drain from vampires or beholder's anti-magic rays?). By working together we could try to get the most from every aspect. :)

I hope you've read my above post :) . Anti-Magic Rays are handled just fine by Dispelling Screen. Mages can use Spell Shield (fully blocks AM Ray) as well for an additional protective layer. SCS Beholders don't really fire Anti-magic Rays like a machine gun, I fight them w/o some specific anti-beholder equipment and imo they're fine. Lesser variants like Gauths are pretty straight-forward, regular Beholders are dangerous in groups, Hive Mother in Underdark will make you cry, Abazigal cave golem/beholder interbreed specimens will very likely kill you. What's not to like :D?

 

Per vampires, I made a mod called "condrain" a while ago. It removed the annoying drain from vamp claws, but it still allowed vamps to heal up as they hit you. Personally, I don't use it but it works fine. Goes after SCS, in any case.

 

I'd love to make some aspects of KR usable in SCS, but it's not as straightforward as with SR. 

Called shots use could be scripted however, similar how archers would use their. Stances I'd stay away from, since it's not possible for the AI to judge if one or the other should be used. And if I could mingle up something IF_X=disbaled use offensive stance; IF_X=!disabled use defensive stance; result would be less than stellar - AI can't rethink the situation that easilly and it would overflow the scripts even more.

I'll see what I can do with Called Shots.

One last thing I'd really love to implement is AI using Mind Blank as a prebuff. However, spwi802 doesn't have a symbolic name identifier. And I wouldn't just give this to anybody who can cast spwi593, for sake of balance and fair play. I'll see how this can be made, I'm sure some forced casting a la Tactics could work. However, that'd mean that 

a) enemies don't need to have this spell memorized

b) they get an extra "free" 8th level slot

 

then again, given this spell's duration, this might be perfect actually...

 

Mind you, if there are suggestions, please go ahead. This I'd call a "preliminary" build - just to see how people like this kind of gameplay. It's easy to build upon it further. 

What we could do (and I'd like it since we can make AI not suffer from it and play along) is

a) ADhW - cold damage. This sharing damage type with magic missile is nuts....

b) magic missile - ? missile damage? I only fear it would be too effective vs stoneskin, but given Shield stops them who cares

c) Skull Trap - slashing, MR bypassing damage? Less effective overall (innefective vs stoneskin, damage reduced by physical resist) but a good spell if it would bypass MR.

d) Pro Magic energy- changed into something more appropriate for it's level, a substitute for SI:Necro, removable by Breach



#11 Demivrgvs

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 01:52 PM

I hope you've read my above post :) .

Ehm...I missed it before. Nice read, but I'll try to summarize it a bit to post it as mod description.
 

Anti-Magic Rays are handled just fine by Dispelling Screen.

 Ok, let's see what players think about this DS.
 

Per vampires, I made a mod called "condrain" a while ago. It removed the annoying drain from vamp claws, but it still allowed vamps to heal up as they hit you.

I wouldn't remove it. Just add a save for it, or lower its duration  or even better let's make Lesser Restoration cure it.
 

What we could do (and I'd like it since we can make AI not suffer from it and play along) is
a) ADhW - cold damage. This sharing damage type with magic missile is nuts....
b) magic missile - ? missile damage? I only fear it would be too effective vs stoneskin, but given Shield stops them who cares
c) Skull Trap - slashing, MR bypassing damage? Less effective overall (innefective vs stoneskin, damage reduced by physical resist) but a good spell if it would bypass MR.
d) Pro Magic energy- changed into something more appropriate for it's level, a substitute for SI:Necro, removable by Breach

a) mmm...I see were that is coming from but I'm not fully convinced (only a truly "unspecified" dmg type would make perfect sense imo). Necromancy spells using magic dmg is kinda established right now...

b) Mordenkainen's Force Missiles is still a good candidate to be added and it's supposed to do some concussive (crush?) dmg. When it comes to MM, full missile dmg would be odd imo, while splitting it could be interesting yes, but maybe too good.

c) I was thinking to add some slashing dmg indeed, but magic dmg is fine there because it simulates negative energy dmg. Why do you think ST needs a change? Buff? Nerf? Trying to make it more unique?

d) Arda is asking for this since 2010 :laugh:



#12 Shin

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 01:58 PM

SCS for SR (or viceversa)

What might one expect from this dowload?

 

Pretty exciting just reading about it. Great job; really looking forward to EET compatibility for an even more complete experience.



#13 kreso

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:20 PM



a) mmm...I see were that is coming from but I'm not fully convinced (only a truly "unspecified" dmg type would make perfect sense imo). Necromancy spells using magic dmg is kinda established right now...

b) Mordenkainen's Force Missiles is still a good candidate to be added and it's supposed to do some concussive (crush?) dmg. When it comes to MM, full missile dmg would be odd imo, while splitting it could be interesting yes, but maybe too good.

c) I was thinking to add some slashing dmg indeed, but magic dmg is fine there because it simulates negative energy dmg. Why do you think ST needs a change? Buff? Nerf? Trying to make it more unique?

d) Arda is asking for this since 2010 :laugh:

 

a) didn't you say "magic cold" somewhere? It won't crash the game anymore.

b) it would be odd but MM is such a power-spell that I think it would be fine

c) yea. But Skull Trap/ADHW/Magic missile have zero similarity in what and how they do, yet one spell makes all of them innefective...Skull trap is imo better not doing "negative energy damage", it even has breath save.  

d) I'm all for it. The spell is too weak for it's level (you have Pro Energy at level 8), AI uses it anyway, so...

 

Anyhow...taa-daam...

Any mage who can cast level 8th level spells gets this one now as a long prebuff spell. Have fun hitting them with PWords. Muahahahahhaa....

 

minblank_zps8qw7mxzu.jpg

 

 

I'll add EET compatibility tomorrow and upload a new build. (SCS will skip some SR checks, Truesight vs blindness checked for SR so it's skipped as well, Breach vs Lich remains optional, Mind Blank used in prebuffs for high-level mages, hopefully EET-compatibility sorted.)



#14 kreso

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 01:06 AM

Uploaded new version, same link.

Change-log:

- added EET compatibility code

- Mind Blank should be used by AI as prebuff sequence (provided one installs some "mage use prebuffs" option). Due to it's long duration and the fact it doesn't have a IDS name it's force-cast, and doesn't count per spell limit (like stoneskin)

- SCS will now pick up on some SR spell changes and skip redundant options. "Breach affecting Liches" can still be installed should one desire to.



#15 Demivrgvs

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 03:04 AM

Let's keep in mind SR will have to work fine with vanilla's AI (or base EE's AI) because we cannot impose SCS, revised or not. Anyway, let's analyze suggestions a bit more...

 

On a related note, it seems like you are trying to remove magic dmg from pretty much everything. :D

 

a) didn't you say "magic cold" somewhere? It won't crash the game anymore.

b) it would be odd but MM is such a power-spell that I think it would be fine

c) yea. But Skull Trap/ADHW/Magic missile have zero similarity in what and how they do, yet one spell makes all of them innefective...Skull trap is imo better not doing "negative energy damage", it even has breath save.  

d) I'm all for it. The spell is too weak for it's level (you have Pro Energy at level 8), AI uses it anyway, so...

a) even if we changed ProMagicEnergy as discussed below to still cover Horrid Wilting, I cannot imagine ProCold blocking Horrid Wilting, nor fire creatures taking dmg from it. Even the opposite, making it deal magic cold but bypass ProCold and deal no dmg to fire creatures, would seem starnge imo. The way I see it, magic dmg is the only dmg type which is vague enough to cover multiple things (positive energy from Holy Smite, negative energy from Unholy Blight or Cause Wound spells, necrotic dmg for ADWH, unspecified dmg for Disintegrate).

b) a drastic change to a spell like Magic Missile without a really good reason can easily ged some dislikes from players imo. If we make it deal only missile dmg, can we still call it MM? Is it a matter of "concept" or there's also something gameplay related (e.g. you want it to destroy stoneskins?) behind your suggested tweak?

c) ehm... Skull Trap deserve to keep magic dmg even more than the above two spells imo. A bit of slashing and/or piercing dmg from the exploding skull is understandable but having multiple creatures taking massive dmg from small splinters coming from a human-sized skull makes much less sense imo than assuming that the skull was just a mean to unleash a blast of negative energy. I'd suggest to make it deal 2d4 physical dmg with no save (slash/pierce?) on top of the curren 1d4/lvl negative energy dmg (when you get it 2d4+5d4 is pretty much like Fireball's 5d6), then if we want to set it apart from Fireball a bit more we could change its save from breath to either death or spell.

d) my issue with turning ProMagicEnergy into Shadow Shield is that the latter never existed outside of NWN game, that's pretty much my biggest issue with our Dispelling Screen too. That being said, ProMagicEnergy never existed outside of BG.  :undecided:  Let's assume we tweak it as per Arda's wish, should we keep the magic dmg res or not? MM could become too effective at disrupting spellcasting if SCS doesn't rely on Shield regardless of ProMagicEnergy (does it?), and what about Disintegrate (my tweak assumed ProMagicEnergy as a counter, and I don't see any alternative...)?





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