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#1 K4thos

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:34 AM

Time to give an update on the IWD-in-EET project, sorry for the long no news period.

 

The mod itself was on a long hiatus due to road blocks that I've encountered during IWD2 conversion:

- missing PST:EE stuff (BitSet, BitClear, BitCheck) - added in patch 2.5, so now content like Battle squares can be implemented without issues,

- problems with random tables - still not fixed, but whatever, this is not important enough to block whole mod from being released. Especially considering at least for the first release I don't have urge to convert all IWD2 items into 2nd ed dnd rules either way (unless Aquadrizzt succeeds with doing this automatically - he mentioned that he is interested in working on it),

- several missing AI related triggers and actions that forces us to write IWD2 AI scripts from scratch - thanks to Bubb's recent developpments (alternatives for Assign and Eval TobEx triggers/actions via lua) this is no longer a road block - I think I should be able to write a conversion code that will handle the AI stuff automatically now.

 

Taking all of the above into account IWD-in-EET comes back into developpment. I'm not mentioning IWD:EE portion of the mod here since everything related to it has been already done long ago (recently I've just updated it to patch 2.5).


Edited by K4thos, 02 August 2018 - 12:50 AM.


#2 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:08 AM

...

Taking all of the above into account IWD-in-EET comes back into developpment. I'm not mentioning IWD:EE portion of the mod here since everything related to it has been already done long ago (recently I've just updated it to patch 2.5).

Erhm, is this somewhere so people can download and use it in say BG1EE(... or EET ? Aka IWD:EE-in-EET.. kehkeh.

And no need to drop everything and run, it's just a friendly question... even though I'll never use just the first portion of the series... cause I'll megamod my EEE game.


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Here's how to install all the ... mods you ever really could want to Infinity Engine games. I removed the stable word from there as Roxanne began to add BS mods that are likely to break compatibility from the BWS.

#3 K4thos

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:25 AM

Nope, there won't be an option to install IWD:EE portion of the mod without IWD2 content. And the IWD2 stuff is not ready yet.


Edited by K4thos, 02 August 2018 - 03:25 AM.


#4 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:44 AM

Nope, there won't be an option to install IWD:EE portion of the mod without IWD2 content. And the IWD2 stuff is not ready yet.

I am not asking for the option... just the --- never mind... hopefully you do have a person that has a backup of your code(s). I am not wanting to be that... maybe I would suggest say CamDawg to be that person personally, nor to reveal whom they are, cause that can be bad to them... but that's besides the whole point... the point being that there's a lots of backups.  :jump:On and off-line.


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Here's how to install all the ... mods you ever really could want to Infinity Engine games. I removed the stable word from there as Roxanne began to add BS mods that are likely to break compatibility from the BWS.

#5 K4thos

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:07 AM

don't worry, there are backups. And once there is something playable there will be github repository



#6 Grammarsalad

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 09:07 PM

...Awesome!

#7 Renzokuken

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 11:45 PM

I have to question the wisdom in trying to convert assets from a separate system into EET (3.5 and whatever engine IWD2 uses to 2E and Infinity), but it's good to know the project wasn't abandoned. I hope that, even if the IWD2 content is required, that there's a way to disable it.



#8 K4thos

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 12:42 AM

I have to question the wisdom in trying to convert assets from a separate system into EET (3.5 and whatever engine IWD2 uses to 2E and Infinity)

it's actually not that hard. Quoting AstroBryGuy:

In fact, IWD2 was originally going to only incorporate "some 3rd Edition rules", while hanging on to many 2E features like kits (including new ones announced for IWD2: Votary, Giant Killer, Arcane Rogue, Aes Dana, Mercenary, etc..). It wasn't until later on that the developers announced the scrapping of kits and conversion to a full 3E class implementation (feats, 3E multiclassing, etc..). So, there's nothing fundamental about the adventure that requires 3E.

 

 

I find the difference in game play between IWD2 and ToEE to be greater than between IWD and IWD2. Yet, IWD2 and ToEE both use 3.XE D&D rulesets (i.e., they are far closer in ruleset than IWD2 and the other Infinity Engine games).

 

 

The developers wanted to make it 3rd Edition. At first, Interplay wanted the game as fast as possible (they needed cash to keep the company afloat), so a 2E/3E hybrid was being developed (e.g., BAB instead of THACO, positive AC, but a 2E class/kit system, 2E proficiencies). Josh Sawyer and his team pushed for a more complete 3E revision (subject to limitations of the Infinity Engine, e.g., no Attacks of Opportunity) and got a 3 month extension on the release date (originally announced as May 2002, delayed to August).
 
If you delve into the .bif files in IWD2 with NearInfinity or DLTCEP, you'll see the evidence of the 2E/3E hybrid that was originally planned.

 

Sure there are feats, multi classing and a bit different spells in IWD2 but at it's core the game doesn't feel that much different

 

All IWD2 spells are being converted to 2nd edition, cre and items stats altered to follow BG rules, AI and encounters will behave just like in IWD2 (if Bubb succeeds with implementing his lua script expansion functionality). While I can't say for sure since the work has not been finished I think the overall gameplay feeling of IWD2 portion of the mod should be similar to IWD2 (unless the balance will be ruined after the conversion - we will see).

 

I would love to do the conversion the other way around (EET content in IWD2 engine), but that won't happen unless IWD2:EE is released.

 

btw. most of the stuff unique to IWD2 has been implemented one way or another via BG mods - e.g. subtledoctor's and Grammarsalad's work. With gui local variable reading things like feat selection probably could be even implemented directly in the GUI rather than using workarounds. Although it's outside scope of this project, at least for now.


Edited by K4thos, 04 August 2018 - 02:40 AM.


#9 Silverbalde

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 11:04 AM

K4thos - thanks for all the great work on eet. I'm contemplating a full BG/soa run after more than a decade, three questions:

1) are we a month or so away from iwd in eet being released or several months? Just trying to get an understanding of the timing, because

2) im currently awaiting the 2.5 update to roll out before starting that run I mentioned. Once iwd in eet is out, would it work with a current in progress game or would I need to restart (ie, should I wait for 2.5 and then iwd in eet before even starting).

3) given i haven't kept up much, could do a eet run without BG/sod in 2.5? Ie start now without having to wait - would megamods work in this situation?

Thanks all

Edited by Silverbalde, 04 August 2018 - 12:08 PM.


#10 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 11:19 AM

Once iwd in eet is out, would it work with a current in progress game or would I need to restart (ie, should I wait for 2.5 and then iwd in eet before even starting).

Very unlikely, as the mod needs to add into the dialog files, which the game copies during the start of "a new game", and saves it at the savegame's file.

Meaning that you have to start a new game after you install a mod that adds to the dialog file. This has always been true, the last 15 years, that we have used weidu.exe to install mods.


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Here's how to install all the ... mods you ever really could want to Infinity Engine games. I removed the stable word from there as Roxanne began to add BS mods that are likely to break compatibility from the BWS.

#11 K4thos

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 12:03 PM

Very unlikely, as the mod needs to add into the dialog files, which the game copies during the start of "a new game", and saves it at the savegame's file.

? No idea what you're talking about here.

 

Meaning that you have to start a new game after you install a mod that adds to the dialog file. This has always been true, the last 15 years, that we have used weidu.exe to install mods.

Dialogs are not stored in save games. You can install any mod on your on-going playthrough as long as it doesn't patch files that are stored in a save (in such case the mod should be installed before the file is added into save file - for example before you visit the area that the mod patches.) Another problematic thing is worldmap, which is added at the game start - mods that add new worldmap areas has to be installed before the game is started (unless you're using my function that can patch save files during worldmap patching). And of course some mods triggers thier content with specific conditions (for example dialogue shows up only during the first time conversation with particular NPC), so obviously if the conditions are not met in your on-going game the mod won't work correctly. Another problem is your actual install order - it's not a bright idea for example to install quest mod after tweaks and re-installing many mods is (and always was) risky (who knows if the mod you want to add won't break some other mod installed later on etc. leaving you with broken installation - always make backups)
 
For these reasons it's not recommended to install quest mods during on-going game (especially since you, as a player, have very limited information what the mod actually changes in game files).
 

Technically nothing in IWD-in-EET main component looks like stuff that would be problematic in on-going game - quest is initiated by new CRE file spawned via script and worldmap areas can be patched-in to saves during mod installation. Optional tweaks may be problematic though (for example optional changes to kits, iwd:ee style spell and level progression etc.)

 
edit: the main component distributes IWD:EE spell scrolls into vanilla stores by default, so in on-going game they wouldn't show up if you visited particular shop already.
edit2: btw. EET has TLK ranges reserved for both IWD:EE (111000-154999) and IWD2 (155000-199999) content, so save files can be freely shared among players, just like it's the case with regular EET and vanilla games.
 
1) are we a month or so away from iwd in eet being released or several months? Just trying to get an understanding of the timing, because 

no point in delaying your playthrough, it's likely months before a build that can be consider stable is released. Even if beta shows up earlier (can't say yet, I have limited time for modding activity) it will be for beta testers (voluntaries that are not afraid to encounter a bug here and there and report it describing the problem), not regular players

 

edit: Jarno Mikkola, if in your post you're referring to EET_end component (which does stuff like automatic dialogue merging etc.) there is absolutely no problem with re-installing it during on-going game.


Edited by K4thos, 04 August 2018 - 12:46 PM.


#12 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 01:17 PM

? No idea what you're talking about here.

Generally about the fact that that the .dlg files just refer to the dialog.tlk files numbers, which is the file that contains all the "numbers to text" translations.

When you modify a game, you usually ought to restart the game because a saved games have many assets that can refer to different version of the dialog.tlk than the one currently in usage. Example: A sword, for example, is not just a sword, but both its name strings "Bastard Sword", unidentified description "Also known as the hand-and-a-half sword..." and identified desc "..." if it's a unique, written in to the .itm file by a simple string number reference to the .tlk file(yes, the sw1h01.itm uses just one string to both it's name strings... but unique items use 2 ).

 

Now, because multiple mods change those, the weidu.exe was built just adds a new line to the dialog.tlk -file and switches the line reference to the new one in the .itm file via a simple (number) alteration... but the files in the saves doesn't get through that benefit as it's compiled info in the .gam file. Same goes through the character, dialog, spell, storage etc -files. This is why the .sto files when exported contain none of the files in the original save game, because when exported, that information is overwritten, by the "new games" files loaded from the current .sto file, that's either .bif-fed of in the override folder.

 

This line of reasoning, just puts a lot of doutb to the fact that you can just naturally continue from where you stopped, in the middle of a game, installing a new mod and then continue from the same save as if nothing had happened.


Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 04 August 2018 - 01:26 PM.

Welcome to the sanity, you are free to search for the limit, it's out there, we drew it in the sand.
Here's how to install all the ... mods you ever really could want to Infinity Engine games. I removed the stable word from there as Roxanne began to add BS mods that are likely to break compatibility from the BWS.

#13 K4thos

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 01:53 PM

ok, but you've said in your original post that there may be problems with dialogs. Show me an example.

 

When you're installing a new mod during on-going game all items added to the game will either use string existing in the TLK or will expand the TLK if needed. Same for new creatures added to the game etc. No problems at all. For dialogues and scripts there is absolutely no problem that I'm aware of (they are not stored in save, TLK file is expanded with new strings as it should).

 

 

This line of reasoning, just puts a lot of doutb to the fact that you can just naturally continue from where you stopped, in the middle of a game, installing a new mod and then continue from the same save as if nothing had happened.

I've listed problematic stuff in my previous post and why it's recommended to start a new game. But having messed up strings in game is a result of loading save made on a completely different installation (due to TLK file with different string numbers associated to different text compared to what is referenced in save file), not by installing a mod on the on-going game.

 

As mentioned, when it comes to EET and IWD-in-EET content even this is not the case since we're always using the same TLK ranges for vanilla strings, so all (not modded) BG:EE, IWD:EE, IWD2 content always displays correctly, regardless of installation, just like in vanilla games - but that's beside the point I'm making here.

 

Let me give you an example – I can start BG2:EE campaign, do tons of stuff and suddenly decide to install one of the Lava’s Colours of Infinity huge quest mods. If I remember correctly in order to start Innershade you just have to buy some book and talk to new NPC spawned by script. The mod offers worldmap save patching iirc since it uses my function for worldmap patching (not sure if Lava decided to enable it by default). As long as you didn’t visit the store that sells the book you should be able to finish the questline without issues (no problems with dialogues, TLK etc.) Of course you, as a player, can't know about these conditions, so even in this case starting new game is recommended or you may end up with unsolvable questline (no way to buy the book).


Edited by K4thos, 04 August 2018 - 02:35 PM.


#14 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 02:01 PM

ok, but you've said in your original post that there may be problems with dialogs. Show me an example.

Sorry, but all my resources are locked up in the SHSforum... which is down. So I can't show you..
 

If I remember correctly in order to start Innershade you just have to buy some book and talk to new NPC spawned by script. As long as you didn’t visit the store that sells the book you should be able to finish the questline without issues (no problems with dialogues, TLK etc.)

You remember partially correctly...
But it's as long as you didn't visit the area where the store is, things were OK, cause the game didn't load the .sto file into the save game before that.

I have had multiple game where when I load a save, the NPCs names were some random string, it's that bad. Yes, it probably has to do with the weidu's COPY function, you might be OK if you assign all the different strings to all the copied files during a move... but the problem has always been that not all mods do that.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 04 August 2018 - 02:18 PM.

Welcome to the sanity, you are free to search for the limit, it's out there, we drew it in the sand.
Here's how to install all the ... mods you ever really could want to Infinity Engine games. I removed the stable word from there as Roxanne began to add BS mods that are likely to break compatibility from the BWS.

#15 Renzokuken

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 07:47 PM

I wasn't aware that porting things 'back' from IWD2 would be as simple as that. Another concern is that BG:EE, SoD, EE2 and IWD:EE can all be purchased in a bundle together on Steam or Beamdog or whatever, while I think IWD2 is only on GoG at the moment? If an IWD2:EE came out, this wouldn't even be an issue any more.

I'm uncertain that balance could be maintained in IWD2-in-EET, but that's got little to do with the absence of 3.5 mechanics and more to do with the fact that the nature of EET, combined with making the IWD stories an optional area, makes the game very open ended and would make it hard to account for a party's equipment or power.

Also everything I have to say is that I'm super excited for this to be released some day, so a good deal of it is just me getting antsy and impatient.





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