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Fix for improved ivisibilities is bugged


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#16 Nythrun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:30 AM

Not adding a saving throw bonus wasn't on Cam's list of options here.

It's mentioned because it's the only thing that will work correctly - any implementation of a saving throw bonus here is going to run into problems.

Spell descriptions are often wholesale cut and pastes from the 2nd ed Player's Handbook, and don't always represent things that are even possible in the Infinity Engine, let alone intent (Bless doesn't have an area of effect of a 50' cube, it's a 30' disc because .pro files can only describe discs).

There are plenty of cases of unimplemented developer intent that we just can't do either (see the "dying" icon in states.bam - they never got around to implementing the -10 hitpoints rule. There's no way for us to do so).

In this case, adding the absent saving throw bonus also adds bugs or at least counterintuative results. And while it will probably be retained in the next version, this is Fixpack adding bugs to the game, which isn't desirable. The question is "which is the least of these evils"?

With all due deference to Xyx, devSin knows some things that Xyx didn't. The IE modding community has not been sleeping since Spell Reference was put online.
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#17 CamDawg

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 03:16 AM

I'm not in favor of dropping the save bonuses from improved invisibility, no. We're still left with the dilemma of which option to implement here is least worst:
  • The current implementation: save bonuses are added, and a character under the influence of improved invisibility is immune to improved invisibility spells for the spell's duration. The bug here is that if the character leaves the invisible state via their own means, they can not re-cast the spell (if it's dispelled by other means, it's fine).
  • Add save bonuses, but let it stack. Same as above, except that a character under improved invisibility is not immune to improved invisibility spells. The bug here is that you can get ridiculous save bonuses by stacking the spell--cast it twice and you get +8 to saves, thrice for +12, etc.
  • Add save bonuses and protect against stacking from itself only. A variation of the first two options, and simply provides a slightly different bug profile--you can only get ridiculous save bonuses from different sources (i.e. Improved Invisibility + Mass Invisibility) but you still can not re-cast the spell if you leave the invisible state voluntarily.
You can also envisage these three options without save bonuses. In that case, the only issue with #2 is that we've ignored dev intent wrt the save bonuses.

None of these are particularly good options, but they're all we have.

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#18 Nythrun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 03:31 AM

Option #3 matches every other non-cumulative spell best (you can't refresh the duration of any non-cumulative spell) and matches the interaction of, e.g., Protection from the Elements + Protection of Fire with regard to similar bonus types stacking.

I guess.
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#19 CamDawg

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 04:06 AM

Option #3 matches every other non-cumulative spell best (you can't refresh the duration of any non-cumulative spell) and matches the interaction of, e.g., Protection from the Elements + Protection of Fire with regard to similar bonus types stacking.

I guess.

Heh.

One other thing I should have noted above is that invisibility is unique in that the spell effects can be ended by means other than being dispelled or nullified by a counter-spell, which is why we're in this mess to begin with.

Myself, I'm inclined to #2.

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#20 Nythrun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 05:06 AM

Well, there are a couple of other analogous situations. You can counter the slow effect by casting haste, but that won't automatically remove any additional penalties that have been grafted into a particular spell (which is why I don't update slow locally). You can add the missing penalties to blindness, but then cure blindness won't remove them anymore.

It's kind of a pickle.
"You tell lies, too."
"Not I." The witch laughed; her laughter was clear and yet unpleasant. "I used to as a child, I confess. But I soon found the truth more disconcerting."

#21 Kulyok

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:15 AM

Not adding a saving throw bonus wasn't on Cam's list of options here.


Oooh, sorry. I misread your quote:

The +4 to saves doesn't ever happen with invisibility (either kind), it has to be added manually - and the only spell to do so is Mass Invisibility.


- and got scared it would be removed. To me, my list of sorcerer picks is everything, so. Phew...

#22 Guest_Truper_*

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:51 AM

Not that my opinion counts for much, but option #2 strikes me as the worst option. Its more open to abuse than the other options. Can you imagine someone writing a walkthough suggesting that before every battle, the player should cast as many Improved Invisibilities as possible, thereby obtaining near-unhitability, and near-guaranteed saving throws? There are just some things that obviously shouldn't stack, and the bonuses from Imp. Invis. are one of them.

On the other hand, as I understand it, with the current implementation, a casting of Imp. Inv. gives a player what he/she wanted, invisibility plus bonuses. In all probablility, casting Imp. Inv. a second time after having attacked after casting it the first is not something players are likely to want to do, both because its unlikely to have more than one Imp. Inv. memorized, and because situations which call for it make it unlikely that a second casting is going to make any sense. Personally, I use it for attacking Gauths, and I can see why somebody more into backstabbing than I am would want to use it for that. In either case, trying to cast the spell a 2nd time is likely to get you killed. But, if I understand correctly, other options for becomming invisible again, like Potions of Invisibility and the like would still be available.

#23 CamDawg

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:22 PM

Keep in mind that Mass Invisibility has had this exploit available since the game shipped and I don't think it's ever been mentioned in a walkthrough or exploit list. Of course, now that we're discussing it at such length... :)

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#24 devSin

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 02:24 PM

There are no good solutions. We suck.

Edited by devSin, 30 April 2007 - 02:27 PM.


#25 Kulyok

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:52 PM

Keep in mind that Mass Invisibility has had this exploit available since the game shipped and I don't think it's ever been mentioned in a walkthrough or exploit list.


You've been reading very few walkthroughs. :) It's been discussed at Sorcerer Place to death(and in quite a few walkthroughs), much as Blur spell stacking.

(Oh, and both option one and option 3 work for me - I just don't see any point in option 2, since it's clearly buggy).

There are no good solutions. We suck.


I'm really curious: how can "I don't like this solution", and mod critique in all its forms, be equalled to "The mod author sucks"?

#26 DavidW

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:50 PM

Am I right in thinking that, under the stacking block (options 2 and 3) a character who casts II, becomes visible voluntarily, and then casts II again will not be affected at all? (That is, not only won't get extended-duration shimmer invisibility, but will remain visible).

That strikes me as inconvenient, tactically speaking. Sometimes it's urgent to become invisible and you (or the enemy mage you're scripting for) don't have a standard invisibility or potion handy. Indeed, in a really tight corner the casting time advantage of Shadow Door might outweigh the wastefulness of using it instead of II.

I know Ardanis' solution has its own inelegances but it might be worth keeping on the list of options - it's neither exploitable, nor massively inconveniencing.

#27 CamDawg

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 02:57 AM

The main reason I prefer option 2 is that it leaves legitimate players full use of the spell, even though I know it opens exploits. Making just the save bonuses unstackable may be a nice alternative to all three of those--but as mentioned above, it still won't result in a nice, clean fix.

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#28 Nythrun

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 03:14 AM

Am I right in thinking that, under the stacking block (options 2 and 3) a character who casts II, becomes visible voluntarily, and then casts II again will not be affected at all?


That would be options one and three from Cam's latest list, but yes. Option two is no stacking prevention at all. Option three is only II again does nothing, Shadow Door and Mass Invisibility still stack fully.

I tend to use Improved Invisibility, then Invisibility in my a.i. rubbish, as Invisibility has the same casting time as Shadow Door but comes at a much "cheaper" spell level - but that doesn't jibe well with the (much better) stuff you're doing.

Clearly, the only solution that would make us not suck is:
  • Force all Mac and *nix users to partition their drives and install Windows Vista © .
  • Force everyone to install only Windows ToB with the correct patch.
  • Write a bgmain.exe patch that decompiles and rebuilds the effect definition.
  • Bill Gates profits! This is good because he told me so, and we believe this because he has 20 charisma..

"You tell lies, too."
"Not I." The witch laughed; her laughter was clear and yet unpleasant. "I used to as a child, I confess. But I soon found the truth more disconcerting."

#29 devSin

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:34 AM

I'm really curious: how can "I don't like this solution", and mod critique in all its forms, be equalled to "The mod author sucks"?

That's not quite the way I meant it to be read. In this case, we're extremely limited in what we can do, and every potential solution will introduce something undesirable. It's just one of those cases where there isn't a clear candidate for patching this "the right way."

The original post there was more along the lines of Nythrun's post. Although mine involved stealing into BioWare HQ and walking out with any copy of the IE source we could find. We could fix it all then!

#30 SimDing0

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:39 AM

#2 appears to introduce the least unpleasent side-effect. Inability to recast invisibility after attacking is really a very severe problem and is going to show up an awful lot more frequently than save stacking. The likelihood of players legitimately casting 4 improved invisibilities with significantly overlapping durations is low compared to the likelihood of wanting to turn invisible a second time after breaking it.

That said, I'd be all for just dropping the damn save bonuses. Protection from spell targetting is a pretty hefty bonus alone, and there's nothing really broken about the old implementation, just textual inaccuracy. OBC.



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