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NPC_EE ... new class and kit options for BGEE and BG2EE NPCs


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#31 Roxanne

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:08 AM

 

they will simply not work within their mod context anymore but they will work as the thralls the player wants them to be.

Meaning ? That sounds very much as "if imoen is not a mage, I'll kill 90% of this mod content cause I just can." a thread. And not, "If Imoen is not a mage, so what, she'll still talk as if she was." -like every one of the other mods do. Cause they don't script idiot checks of the character classes but only if the wished person is conceptually present(via death variable), in what ever incarnations they decide to be in today in this age.

 

Again - this is not about critisizing or preventiing mods to do something to other mods. This is all about gaining information about what kind of changes are done to mod-provided creatures. Because, is something seems to be bugged in your mod, people will make a report to the modmaker - so it is good to know that the source of a specific problem may lie somewhere else but in the mod itself.

 

Just one recent example - some mod added random walk to all creatures it could find in the game meeting specific criteria, including mod-provided quest creatures. So there were reports about two mod NPCs shouting all across the city (they were no longer standing side by side but wandering all over town) or guards having left their post to take a stroll. You do not get to the source of such problems unless you know that a mod introducing random walk exists.

 

This is the only reason to see what a new mod adds to the game.

Here, Level1NPCs had a defined list of NPCs it could affect while the new mod is a global tool. I understand what it does and can take it into account when troubleshooting. This is the only reason for having asked for information here. Nothing else.


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*


#32 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:30 AM

Just one recent example - some mod added random walk to all creatures it could find in the game meeting specific criteria, including mod-provided quest creatures. So there were reports about two mod NPCs shouting all across the city (they were no longer standing side by side but wandering all over town) or guards having left their post to take a stroll. You do not get to the source of such problems unless you know that a mod introducing random walk exists.son for having asked for information here. Nothing else.

That's very easy to detect... you --change-log the .cre, the .bcs'es etc until you find the tweak that is odd/uncalculated/whatever and ask them to use a little restrain on the moding bad things in, if it can be universally seen as such. The random walk script are not actually very randomized.

:devlook: So it's just the way you said something above that came off as totally unintended. Still not evil, darn. :wallbash: :p


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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.

#33 subtledoctor

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 09:06 AM

they will simply not work within their mod context anymore but they will work as the thralls the player wants them to be.


Is it so hard to wait and see if that actually happens before claiming is as a fact? And respond to any issues at that point? Roxanne you have a habit of throwing around statements that this or that will break, without first seeing whether it is in fact true.

Anyway this mod is geared toward replayability - someone using this will have generally already played various NPCs in their vanilla states, and has seen that content. And is now looking for a different experience. I'll add all the warnings in the world to the Readme so that people know what they are getting into... but I'm not going to tie their hands. If and when we see *specific* reports of issues with *specific* NPCs, I'll add specific notes to the Readme. But the only way to find that out is to play! :)

Edited by subtledoctor, 26 February 2016 - 09:08 AM.

Faiths & Powers: Spell spheres and kit pack for priests and paladins
Might & Guile: Tweaks and kits for warriors and rogues
Scales of Balance: Game tweaks and rule overhauls
NPC_EE: More options for NPCs in BGEE, SoD, & BG2EE


#34 Mike1072

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:17 PM

Here, Level1NPCs had a defined list of NPCs it could affect while the new mod is a global tool. I understand what it does and can take it into account when troubleshooting. This is the only reason for having asked for information here. Nothing else.


If you're talking about NPC_EE, from what I understand, it only affects a few specific NPCs, much fewer than L1NPCs.

The biggest difficulty in making a mod like L1NPCs that would affect any NPC is handling all of the special situations where an NPC might have custom items or scripts that expect them to be a specific class (or one of several classes, like Kulyok's Xan or Cmorgan's Aran). It's hard to find out all of the peculiarities of every single NPC. (I think that's why L1NPCs has a thread for NPC authors to submit their approval along with additional info like custom items.) It's also hard to test a mod like this, because to witness all of the content of all of the NPC mods would require a huge number of runs through the game. And maybe changing X from a Wizard to a Sorcerer doesn't cause any problems, but changing X from a Wizard to a Bard does.

It would be completely fair to blame that mod if it got something wrong. Players should know not to expect miracles and that if they are using a mod that affects NPC X and they encounter a problem, then one possibility is that NPC X is to blame and the other is that the mod affecting NPC X is to blame.

#35 Ishad Nha

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 06:10 PM

I had an idea for an interim alternative to L1NPCs for the EE world:

http://gibberlings3....topic=27726&hl=

It works okay in practice, NPCs are the same wackos and neurotics they always were.

Eventually there will be a proper L1 mod for the EE world but it won't be any time soon.



#36 subtledoctor

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:10 PM

If you're talking about NPC_EE, from what I understand, it only affects a few specific NPCs, much fewer than L1NPCs.

Actually Mike, this only makes class changes to vanilla NPCs - and, for the sake of continuity, versions of vanilla BG1 NPCs that are added to BG2 by mods. But one component does affect every joinable NPC, mod-added and vanilla: they receive an innate ability that lets them change their kit, to any kit available to their class.

So this is a lot like the "Kit Tomes" mod, but much more flexible because it doesn't need to include a tome for each kit; my mod automatically detects every kit present in kitlist.2da and makes them available to the player.

Of course, one of the responses in the innate ability is "no change." So this mod doesn't necessarily change any mod NPCs. The player can decide not to use that ability, or they can use it and make no changes, and the ability will disappear.

Edited by subtledoctor, 26 February 2016 - 07:19 PM.

Faiths & Powers: Spell spheres and kit pack for priests and paladins
Might & Guile: Tweaks and kits for warriors and rogues
Scales of Balance: Game tweaks and rule overhauls
NPC_EE: More options for NPCs in BGEE, SoD, & BG2EE


#37 jastey

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 01:49 AM

but there are mod characters that are very much depending on their stats, effects, abbilities and kits to work within their own scripts and plots - take (...) Ajantis etc.

Not sure why Ajantis is on that list. He doesn't have any custom kit, not even a custom (fighting) script. The mod content is designed for him to be paladin, of course, but so is every NPC designed with a special NPC background in mind. I have no objections against Ajantis being included in this mod. I do recall from Level 1 NPCs, though, that some extra information and mod author's consent was wanted before inclusion (something hard to come by nowadays with so many authors no longer active, I am aware). Advantage was that the mod authors could give information about e.g. custom weapons of their mod NPC etc. the mod could include. There is a certain risk of adding bugs if mod NPCs are changed without restriction if e.g. a quest relies on an ability the NPC should have but is removed by a new kit. It would be cool if this mod would / could include information about these risks - it's the main advantage of changing stats with the help of a mod like this one instead of wildly applying EE Keeper, imho.

 

Great mod, btw. I appreciate everything that gives the player a greater replayability and possibility to customize. I would have spared the hassle of offering two default kits for Ajantis if mods like this would have been available earlier.



#38 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 02:30 AM

Not sure why Ajantis is on that list. He doesn't have any custom kit, not even a custom (fighting) script. The mod content is designed for him to be paladin, of course, but so is every NPC designed with a special NPC background in mind. I have no objections against Ajantis being included in this mod.

Don't know why Roxanne put him to the list... but the need for the character to be any specific thing, can be made unnecessary with utilizing script commands that don't require specific things.
So instead of this:
Spell([ENEMY],WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE)
Just use this:
ForceSpell([ENEMY],WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE)
And similar actions. This is what Imoen uses in the fight after the Irenicus dungeon cinematic... she can be a donkey for all the game cares.
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.

#39 jastey

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 03:49 AM

Of course. Problem would be older mods with no support.
I am more thinking about e.g. a special ability the NPC gains by a quest in BG1, that would be stripped from the BGII cre, I guess (if the player starts playing in BGII)?

#40 Roxanne

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:24 AM

 

Here, Level1NPCs had a defined list of NPCs it could affect while the new mod is a global tool. I understand what it does and can take it into account when troubleshooting. This is the only reason for having asked for information here. Nothing else.


If you're talking about NPC_EE, from what I understand, it only affects a few specific NPCs, much fewer than L1NPCs.

The biggest difficulty in making a mod like L1NPCs that would affect any NPC is handling all of the special situations where an NPC might have custom items or scripts that expect them to be a specific class (or one of several classes, like Kulyok's Xan or Cmorgan's Aran). It's hard to find out all of the peculiarities of every single NPC. (I think that's why L1NPCs has a thread for NPC authors to submit their approval along with additional info like custom items.) It's also hard to test a mod like this, because to witness all of the content of all of the NPC mods would require a huge number of runs through the game. And maybe changing X from a Wizard to a Sorcerer doesn't cause any problems, but changing X from a Wizard to a Bard does.

It would be completely fair to blame that mod if it got something wrong. Players should know not to expect miracles and that if they are using a mod that affects NPC X and they encounter a problem, then one possibility is that NPC X is to blame and the other is that the mod affecting NPC X is to blame.

 

Even though I am constantly accused to make statements about mods I have not tested here are my findings from (testing) the mod in question.

The selection of kits for single class and multiclass NPC works fine, you get the expected results.

When you select a spellcaster (I only looked at mage or priest) of any type, regardless of multiclass or single class, the change removes whatever initial abilities/spells the NPC has and replaces them with features from the chosen new one. As such it works as expected. When levelling up, new abilities gained are from the new kit, just as expected. This is what I tried to express with saying *they will work as the thralls the player wants them to be.*

If, however, an NPC would require some initial ability or some later-on-gained ability in the context of its own mod, this feature will be missing and the quest or whatever will not be solved, this is what I tried to express with *mod character does no longer work within its own quests.*

Fact is that this is only testable in many cases by playing the NPC mod until some event and knowing what to expect at a given point, i.e. the changed NPC will appear to be working well until you sooner or later come to the point where the missing ability/spell/item usage or whatever plays a role. (Using my own fighter/cleric NPC the test was quite easy, she fails within 20 minutes of gameplay as her healing abilities were removed by the kit change.) And I completely disagree with the Imp to use ForceSpell as an alternative - enemy spellcasters may do that but your own NPC doing such things?? (Imoen vs Irenicus is not a valid example as this is a cutscene and you cannot verify whether Imoen has the spell she casts at that moment).

And of course this is completely irrelavant for NPCs that have no such events in their mod (which is the majority of NPCs).


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*


#41 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 06:23 AM

And I completely disagree with the Imp to use ForceSpell as an alternative - enemy spellcasters may do that but your own NPC doing such things?? (Imoen vs Irenicus is not a valid example as this is a cutscene and you cannot verify whether Imoen has the spell she casts at that moment).

Sounds to me that you confuse the NPCs character to what happens in battle.
The NPCs battle script and override&dialog script are two different things. In a override script you can do this, but ONLY in case it's ran very limited times in game, not every 4-6 seconds... cause that would be a OP cheat.
You can't do that in battle script(in Near Infinity it's called "Class Script") either*, for the same reason, but that can be changed by the player so they can pick a better one that allows them to actually do things as with the new kit. It sounds like your NPC is the mother of the Player, trying to hold the little baby's hand a little TOO MUCH. See the players have until now, been able to hold their own without your cleric, hows yours going to change that ?

*The only caveat to this is that, for example the SCS allows limited use of this cause the enemy also can do the same thing(and it doesn't use the Force... either, but the other instant casting), so as to not break it's own rule, the player is allowed to a premade list of allowed easy to use actions by the SCSs attached scripts, and their quick action keys. I personally never use them though.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 27 February 2016 - 06:40 AM.

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.

#42 subtledoctor

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 06:30 AM

The mod content is designed for him to be paladin, of course, but so is every NPC designed with a special NPC background in mind. I have no objections against Ajantis being included in this mod. I do recall from Level 1 NPCs, though, that some extra information and mod author's consent was wanted before inclusion (something hard to come by nowadays with so many authors no longer active, I am aware). Advantage was that the mod authors could give information about e.g. custom weapons of their mod NPC etc. the mod could include.

 

Cool, good to know. I took a quick look at about ~45 mod NPCs when creating this mod, but it's hard to follow the different code of so many authors. To keep my code simple, it applies a very simple filter: find every joinable NPC, and give them a special ability.  I don't think I'm violating the intent of any mod NPC author (except, see below) because the mod does not force any changes to any .cre.  It just adds a single, optional ability that brings a little bit of ShadowKeeper into the game.  The saving grace is that the play need not use it for NPCs they don't want to change.  The consequence of this, of course, is that players need good information about what can be changed without risk, and what should not be changed at all.
 

There is a certain risk of adding bugs if mod NPCs are changed without restriction if e.g. a quest relies on an ability the NPC should have but is removed by a new kit. It would be cool if this mod would / could include information about these risks - it's the main advantage of changing stats with the help of a mod like this one instead of wildly applying EE Keeper, imho.

 

Indeed. Unfortunately, RL does not allow me the luxury of spending uncounted hours playing BG and extensively testing every possible interaction with other mods.  I'm reliant on player to report conflict issues, and I try to be good about responding quickly with updates or hotfixes... generally within days, sometimes within hours.

So, @Roxanne, Thanks for the test!  You are not very specific, but I infer that your NPC has a unique kit?  And that the kit gives her a unique innate healing ability?  And some encounter expects the player to use that ability, and if the player does not do so the mod content fails?  In this case, I suggest a few things:

 

1) You might want to include in your own Readme that players should not change Sandrah's kit "via SkadowKeeper or any other method" lest the mod content fail.

 

2) I will add a similar note to my Readme.  In fact, I would like to know more about the extent of the problem that is causes.  I know your mod spans the entire trilogy and beyond... if we're talking about a colorful dialogue not happening I think a warning to players should be fine.  But if a problem occurs before the FAI that causes issues all through the rest of the game, then I could take the extreme step of removing the kit-change ability from her.  Like I say, I hate to restrict players from doing what they want (which is the whole point of this mod), but if the consequences are so extreme that the whole mod falls apart, then that step might be reasonable.  Feel free to give me more details in this thread, or by PM.
 

Great mod, btw. I appreciate everything that gives the player a greater replayability and possibility to customize. I would have spared the hassle of offering two default kits for Ajantis if mods like this would have been available earlier.

 

Thanks! :)


Faiths & Powers: Spell spheres and kit pack for priests and paladins
Might & Guile: Tweaks and kits for warriors and rogues
Scales of Balance: Game tweaks and rule overhauls
NPC_EE: More options for NPCs in BGEE, SoD, & BG2EE


#43 Roxanne

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:56 AM

 

And I completely disagree with the Imp to use ForceSpell as an alternative - enemy spellcasters may do that but your own NPC doing such things?? (Imoen vs Irenicus is not a valid example as this is a cutscene and you cannot verify whether Imoen has the spell she casts at that moment).

Sounds to me that you confuse the NPCs character to what happens in battle.
The NPCs battle script and override&dialog script are two different things. In a override script you can do this, but ONLY in case it's ran very limited times in game, not every 4-6 seconds... cause that would be a OP cheat.
You can't do that in battle script(in Near Infinity it's called "Class Script") either*, for the same reason, but that can be changed by the player so they can pick a better one that allows them to actually do things as with the new kit. It sounds like your NPC is the mother of the Player, trying to hold the little baby's hand a little TOO MUCH. See the players have until now, been able to hold their own without your cleric, hows yours going to change that ?

*The only caveat to this is that, for example the SCS allows limited use of this cause the enemy also can do the same thing(and it doesn't use the Force... either, but the other instant casting), so as to not break it's own rule, the player is allowed to a premade list of allowed easy to use actions by the SCSs attached scripts, and their quick action keys. I personally never use them though.

 

Thank you - thank you - thank you!!!

You put me back on the right track. I made a big mistake with interpreting the tests I made in the wrong way. In fact everything works fine.

When I changed my priestess of Mystra to a priestess of Talos, now why should she ever act like a priestess of Mystra again. No, of course not - a priestess of Talos never will get quests from the temple of Mystra - she will not constantly battle with followers of Talos (of course not). She will never receive any items or abilities from the Goddess of All Magic. Ergo, her behaviour after the change is exactly consequental to what the player wants from a priestess of Talos. And the same would be true for the other option, priestess of Lathander.

Testing my other NPCs becomes obsolete, they will follow the same pattern and be what the player wants them to be.

You change the god she follows and of course you change her plot, to expect something different was my big mistake here.


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*


#44 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 08:13 AM

I ... am at lost of words... what happened ? Never mind, I don't want to know. :devlook: Only a sane person would want to.
Again, if it tells anything, yeah, I would expect that if I were to change Sandrah's kit to a barbarian, she probably shouldn't be healing the group in her scripts. Unless it's with her rage and physical intimidation(some type of self regeneration, as she took the hits the group would have taken ), not with divine spells.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 27 February 2016 - 08:22 AM.

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.

#45 subtledoctor

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:12 AM

Thank you - thank you - thank you!!!
...
When I changed my priestess of Mystra to a priestess of Talos, now why should she ever act like a priestess of Mystra again.


Haha - well, it was unintended I guess, but I'm happy to help anyway! And yes that makes perfect sense. :)

Faiths & Powers: Spell spheres and kit pack for priests and paladins
Might & Guile: Tweaks and kits for warriors and rogues
Scales of Balance: Game tweaks and rule overhauls
NPC_EE: More options for NPCs in BGEE, SoD, & BG2EE




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