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I *HATE* this fix!


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#1 Nythrun

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:41 PM

A palliative in three parts: Why is the Fixpack like this? What can I do to change it? What are my other options?

Q: "Why isn't the Fixpack in the 'Ask about each change' format I've come to expect, and why don't you just rewrite it, so it is?"

CamDawg likes to joke that there's bound to be something in a project of this size that you won't agree with. That's funny :mad: but also not just a joke. You may think that switch to a modular format would make everyone happy - it's a little optimistic, though.

First we'd better come to an agreement about how many changes a fix consists of. That sounds like a foolish semantic game, but isn't really. We're going to look at familiars for a bit, as they have lots of issues (and because of an ulterior motive ;) ).

There are familiars you can have as a protagonist, and simulated familiars for some NPCs. One fix, or two?
There's a different familiar for each alignment. Still one fix, or two, or nine, or eighteen?
There's problems with cat familiar soundsets, with bad targetting effects accidentally skipping familiars, with the familiar's attacks doing the wrong damage, with their statistics, with losing spells when level drained...how many fixes now?

Search around at the various Baldur's Gate 2 fora, and sooner or later you'll find a post by someone who thinks each one of these problems isn't one and must be bundled seperately, and a post by someone who thinks that same problem is obviously a core fix and we're being absurd even inquiring about it. (I told you I had an ulterior motive! Try starting at Sorceror's Place and looking for posts by Extremist - these opinions are real, and finding them is like an Easter Egg hunt only without the fun!)

So, there's one option where the definition of a "fix" is as broad as possible. The Fixpack has maybe two thousand seperate components and can be installed over the course of en evening. Or rather, it could be, once someone recodes portions of the Fixpack, tests those recoded portions, and writes descriptions for each and every fix. Those descriptions have to be intelligable, too: if I write a component description that reads "Would you like to fix broken IDS targetting in some .eff files?" some users are going to nod, and some are going to "Say wha?" - meaning that description had better be expanded until you can tell what you're getting. All of which adds up to a few months of work, during which new fixes aren't added, old fixes aren't debugged, and at the end of which many people still aren't happy (remember the forum search above?).

There's also the option from Crazy Town where the definition of a "fix" is as narrow as possible. This Fixpack has over a hundred thousand components, can't be installed in less that a week, won't be released this decade - and still doesn't make everyone happy. We're going to back away from this option slowly.
"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."

#2 Nythrun

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:46 PM

Q: "Okay, so there won't be a version of the Fixpack that asks about each change individually. Fine - that's no help, I still don't like this fix!"

Quite right. You already have CamDawg's welcome to post about why you think a fix shouldn't be included, and if you make a good case it'll be changed. Really - it's happened before. You also have another option, which is to alter the Fixpack yourself.

What you'll need:

1) A decent programming editor (most of the code in the Fixpack is just written in plain old text files with a different name). My preference is ConTEXT: it's free, it works on Windows and on Linux through WINE, and it won't pull a Notepad and mangle in the linebreaks in your files for you, but if there's something else you prefer, by all means use that instead.

You can download ConTEXT here. If you use a Macintosh, I'm not sure what alternatives are easiest to use, though I've heard encouraging things about NEdit.

2) The two commands that are used in Baldur's Gate WeiDU mods to comment out a section of code.

These are very simple. Two slashes means "ignore the rest of this line"; it's also used a lot for comments, which are reminders and debugging tools for the programmers, never applied to the game. Here's an example, three bugfixes long, from the Fixpack:

// gorf the squisher fixes
COPY_EXISTING ~gorf.bcs~ ~override~
DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~SetGlobal("GoKillEm","LOCALS",2)~
~SetGlobal("GoKillEm","LOCALS",2)
SetGlobal("GorfBystander","GLOBAL",1)~
COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

// prevents Tamoko from running away and making PP challenge unfinishable, see chtaz02.cre for other half
COPY_EXISTING ~gpkensai.bcs~ ~override/cdtamoko.bcs~
DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~!HasItem("POTN55",Myself)~ ~False()~
COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

// move grae's minhp1 destruction to dialogue options where she dies; see soa-dlg.d for rest of changes
COPY_EXISTING ~grae.bcs~ ~override~
DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~DestroyItem("minhp1")~ ~~
COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES
When you install the Fixpack, it's like everything written after those slashes isn't even there. So if you don't want to play without the option to break your game by allowing Tamoko to disappear in one of the Pocket Plane challanges, you can restore this bug by changing the code to:
// gorf the squisher fixes
COPY_EXISTING ~gorf.bcs~ ~override~
DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~SetGlobal("GoKillEm","LOCALS",2)~
~SetGlobal("GoKillEm","LOCALS",2)
SetGlobal("GorfBystander","GLOBAL",1)~
COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

// prevents Tamoko from running away and making PP challenge unfinishable, see chtaz02.cre for other half
// COPY_EXISTING ~gpkensai.bcs~ ~override/cdtamoko.bcs~
// DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
// REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~!HasItem("POTN55",Myself)~ ~False()~
// COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
// BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

// move grae's minhp1 destruction to dialogue options where she dies; see soa-dlg.d for rest of changes
COPY_EXISTING ~grae.bcs~ ~override~
DECOMPILE_BCS_TO_BAF
REPLACE_TEXTUALLY ~DestroyItem("minhp1")~ ~~
COMPILE_BAF_TO_BCS
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES
The Tamoko fix has been commented out - i.e. it's been changed from working code to comments, and when you install the Fixpack, it will be ignored and make no changes to your game. The other way to comment out a section of code is to enclose it between /* and */ : think of these as complicated parentheses. In a fix that looks like "Fix the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker." you can insert these characters thus: "Fix the butcher,/* the baker, */ and the candlestick maker.". Now the butcher and the candlestick maker are still being fixed, but the poor baker isn't.


3) The location in setup-bg2fixpack.tp2 of the fix that you want to remove.

You've probably noticed from the snippet of code above that there are lots of comments in the Fixpack, and if you're looking for something to remove, you can probably just have your text editor Find the fix you're looking to delete. If you can't find it, you can ask about it here, and someone will help you. I mean, I'd rather go play with my doggie, but if I see a thread asking for this kind of assistance, I'll answer - and so will the other nicer people who post in this forum. In this thread there's a poster who doesn't want the elven sleep/charm fixes (which run from lines 12,421 to 12,480 of setup-bg2fixpack.tp2) or the alignment fixes (which run from lines 4,159 to 5,011 of setup-bg2fixpack.tp2). To change this:
1) Open up bg2fixpack.tp2 in your text editor.
2) Go to the lines I've mentioned and put a /* at the start of lines 4,159 and 12,421 and a */ at the end of lines 12,480 and 5,011. Save your changes, close your editor, and install the Fixpack.
3) Play the game, with your elves not getting the abilities mentioned in their racial description. Done and done.

If you've already installed the Fixpack, you can still make these changes: just uninstall it and then run through the steps above. Voila! The Most Holy Order of the Radiant Heart is full of lawful evil paladins again.
"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."

#3 Nythrun

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:48 PM

Q: "No, that's too much work." or "I'm not a programmer, don't ask me to be one." or "The game seems to be working fine without the Fixpack, I don't want to bother."

Well, that's okay too. You can play Baldur's Gate 2 without even the official patch if you want to to - the game will crash more, and lag more, and have more chances to muck up, but if you're getting by without it, then go have fun. And if unzipping the old non-WeiDU version of Baldurdash into your override folder after running the offical patch is as much programming as you want to do, then do that, and go have fun. And if you prefer one of the WeiDU versions of Baldurdash or the Sorceror's Place fixpack, then use those and go have fun. None of this is worth leeching away your enjoyment of the game. It does mean that you'll miss all of the additional bugfixes in this Fixpack and that the people who post here may not be able to help you with problems if you do encounter them - but it's your choice.
"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."

#4 Azazello

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 06:03 AM

Thanks for doing this write-up! Every time I see a request to not use a fix (more will come, don't you worry...), I'll link them to here.

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#5 Smoketest

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 06:41 AM

My two cents...

I had to edit and parse the TP2 manually because I have roughly 40% of the fixes already in place through prior efforts and I didn't want the fixpack messing them up. The remaining fixes that I hadn't gotten around to yet were good catches and I had fun implementing them, though I did save the bigger blocks for WeiDU after I made sure they were 'safe' for my install.

As to the fixpack's effect on the game, as you say it will either be noticed or not noticed depending on the player and their play style. I have a reputation for noticing minute details, and indeed I make a living from doing so, so with the combination of my fixes and the fixpack's fixes, the game is subtly improved. Quests that were erratic now work great, sounds that didn't exist can now be heard, animations are noticeably different in some places, most male/female magi and priests no longer sound like cross-dressers while casting*, and so on. The powergamer and person who likes to play through the entire game in an hour won't notice these fixes, but the role-player and people like me who appreciate the details will definitely notice improvements.

As to what constitutes a fix, well, that can be subjective. Some try to go with what Bioware would have done, which works in many cases. Others prefer to tune the game according to the rules it's supposedly based on, which can be difficult because of shortcuts Bioware took in this regard. I'm sort of the third type; I definitely squash obvious errors, I bring the game more in line with the rules where possible, and I implement changes where I feel something could have been done better. All in the name of making the game a more enjoyable experience for myself.

This fixpack is for the public, so it's going to rub some people the wrong way. If they haven't the skill or inclination to change the code themselves, then they're stuck with what's offered or they must decline to use it. This is nothing new; people always find something to complain about when an official patch is released, and it's no different, and may even be amplifiied, in the case of a fan-made unofficial patch.


*some males still have female soundsets and vice-versa, but this is a separate issue that isn't specifically addressed by the fixpack. For example, one of the servants in the BG2 tutorial is obviously male from appearances, but has a female soundset, and his internal CRE data suggests he may originally have been female. :mad:

#6 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 08:42 AM

My two cents...

I had to edit and parse the TP2 manually because I have roughly 40% of the fixes already in place through prior efforts and I didn't want the fixpack messing them up. The remaining fixes that I hadn't gotten around to yet were good catches and I had fun implementing them, though I did save the bigger blocks for WeiDU after I made sure they were 'safe' for my install.

As to the fixpack's effect on the game, as you say it will either be noticed or not noticed depending on the player and their play style. I have a reputation for noticing minute details, and indeed I make a living from doing so, so with the combination of my fixes and the fixpack's fixes, the game is subtly improved. Quests that were erratic now work great, sounds that didn't exist can now be heard, animations are noticeably different in some places, most male/female magi and priests no longer sound like cross-dressers while casting*, and so on. The powergamer and person who likes to play through the entire game in an hour won't notice these fixes, but the role-player and people like me who appreciate the details will definitely notice improvements.

As to what constitutes a fix, well, that can be subjective. Some try to go with what Bioware would have done, which works in many cases. Others prefer to tune the game according to the rules it's supposedly based on, which can be difficult because of shortcuts Bioware took in this regard. I'm sort of the third type; I definitely squash obvious errors, I bring the game more in line with the rules where possible, and I implement changes where I feel something could have been done better. All in the name of making the game a more enjoyable experience for myself.

This fixpack is for the public, so it's going to rub some people the wrong way. If they haven't the skill or inclination to change the code themselves, then they're stuck with what's offered or they must decline to use it. This is nothing new; people always find something to complain about when an official patch is released, and it's no different, and may even be amplifiied, in the case of a fan-made unofficial patch.


*some males still have female soundsets and vice-versa, but this is a separate issue that isn't specifically addressed by the fixpack. For example, one of the servants in the BG2 tutorial is obviously male from appearances, but has a female soundset, and his internal CRE data suggests he may originally have been female. :mad:



Good points, and I appreciate the instructions/reminder about editing the tp2 file, which, although can be a lot of work, is fairly doable for me although it can at times be an impractical solution just due to the size of the file and amount of content that I'll need to sort through.

But it does give me an alternative if I suspect that a component may be buggy or if I just can't agree that it should be a part of core fixes; this combined with Cam's terrific response about supporting the mod may be enough to convince me that I should give it another go even though it's still in beta stage...

#7 Wounded_Lion

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:10 PM

I *HATE* this fix! hehe. Just kidding.

One subject not covered above: Fixpack Fixpacks

What is a fixpack fixpack? It's a fixpack written to fix things that a fixpack breaks, of course. For example, I authored a fixpack that restores the THAC0 bonus to the Arrows of Fire that the BG2 Fixpack erroneously removes and then adds an equal THAC0 bonus to the Arrows of Ice. Whenever I install a new version of the BG2 Fixpack, I simply rerun my fixpack for the Fixpack instead of hunting down and commenting out sections of code in the new tp2.

- D

EDIT: Grammar, Spelling

Edited by Wounded_Lion, 16 October 2006 - 08:12 PM.


#8 pro5

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 11:53 PM

I *HATE* this fix! hehe. Just kidding.

One subject not covered above: Fixpack Fixpacks

What is a fixpack fixpack? It's a fixpack written to fix things that a fixpack breaks, of course. For example, I authored a fixpack that restores the THAC0 bonus to the Arrows of Fire that the BG2 Fixpack erroneously removes and then adds an equal THAC0 bonus to the Arrows of Ice. Whenever I install a new version of the BG2 Fixpack, I simply rerun my fixpack for the Fixpack instead of hunting down and commenting out sections of code in the new tp2.

- D

EDIT: Grammar, Spelling

Arrow of Fire is of 0 enchantment, and its default description doesn't mention any bonus.

#9 Smoketest

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:57 AM

Most of the arrow types have some reference to "magical", "enchanted", or words like those in their general "An arrow is..." descriptions. Given that just about everything in the game uses magic to attain a "better than normal" state, it's safe to assume that all non-normal arrows (and other missile ammunition) are magical.

Arrows of Fire also allow a save to avoid the fire damage, which is silly because if the arrow hits you at all, you will be burned, unless you have 100% or better fire resistance.

Kobold arrows of fire have +2 THAC0 and damage, the little cheaters. (They also use composite long bows which are too big for them, and so do goblins.)

#10 Wounded_Lion

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:02 AM

Arrow of Fire is of 0 enchantment, and its default description doesn't mention any bonus.


You can think whatever you want. I want my Arrows of Fire (and Ice) to have a +2 THAC0 bonus. My fixpack for the Fixpack also restores the AC bonus to the Ring of Earth Control. So... Ha! :) :) :D

- D

#11 Kulyok

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 12:44 AM

My fixpack for the Fixpack also restores the AC bonus to the Ring of Earth Control.


The ring of Earth Control has its AC bonus all right, it's just the saving throws bonus has been removed.

My only concern with Fixpack is that it keeps introducing bugs: my last but one Fixpack version had "De'Arnise Guards are mute and do nothing" bug, and SoTM "Protection from Evil". Fortunately, it's been fixed in a timely manner, but the taste, so to say, lingered.

#12 CamDawg

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:33 AM

(That's why it's a beta. Please see this thread.)

Why is this Hypnotoad video so popu... ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.


#13 Wounded_Lion

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:30 AM

The ring of Earth Control has its AC bonus all right, it's just the saving throws bonus has been removed.


Right. Whatever bonus was removed is restored (in my game). Been a while since I coded that little bit up... hehe.

- D

#14 Doune

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 11:34 AM

On the off-chance that there are 'crazy' people who generally like the fixpack but would prefer to have Jaheira and Viconia still being able to cast "Zone of Sweet Air" and "Holy Smite" respectively which parts of the fixpack.tp2 would they have to comment out?

* innocent whistling *

#15 CamDawg

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 11:49 AM

Round about line 11717, you'll find the Viconia changes--the spell removal is wrapped up with her prof changes so it's not as easy as commenting out/deleting some stuff. At line 11735 as part of the patch, you'll see this:

SET "fx_delta" = 1

Add these two lines below it:

SET "known_num" = 0 
SET "mem_num" = 0

This will prevent the two spell removal loops from executing.

Jaheira is much easier as hers is a standalone patch. Simply comment out/delete her patch at lines 10494 - 10546.

Why is this Hypnotoad video so popu... ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.




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