I'm working on bringing back multiplayer deathmatch functionality that has been cut out from the game due to time constraints. Here is some basic information from the old interview with Biowere employee:
"Deathmatch was a feature that should have been cut early on, but persisted until close to the end of the project. It then became obvious that the ship date would have to moved back in order to accommodate deathmatch. Considering that multi-player code was some of the most fragile in the engine, and deathmatch wasn't being very well received by QA, we reluctantly decided to cut it."
Full article: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131493/baldurs_gate_ii_the_anatomy_of_a_.php
I investigated the files and found out that the whole thing is already partially coded within the game. What has been cut are area graphic where the match should take place, but thanks to the leftovers (AR0060-65) I was able to identify most of the missing graphic files - Durlag Tower from BG1:TotSC. The other important stuff that has been cut is a special multiplayer mode that I will explain at the end of this post.
Here is how the deathmatch mode works:
- All participants start at the AR0060, there is announcer there that will explain the rules and healer that will offer resting and healing. You can't attack or cast spells while you are in this room.
- The goal of this contest is to retrieve the three death match rogue stones from the AR0062 dungeon (Durlag's Tower, second subterranean level) They are hidden in random containers via script.
- There are 3 different entrances from announcer area to deathmatch area, that will teleport participants into different parts of the dungeon.
- While on the deathmatch area, you can use any form of attack to take other rogue stones from fellow deathmatchers.
- When you are killed, you are respawned on AR0060, so that the contest may continue.
- The deathmatch ends when someone brings all 3 rogue stone to announcer. In such case other players are killed and teleported back to AR0060.
- There is also a time limit for the whole match.
With just a few adjustments and file import from BG1 I was able to re-implement the above mentioned functionality for AR0062. Dialogue for announcer and healer is already present in dialog.tlk. The only thing missing now is area graphic for AR0060.
AR0061, AR0062, AR0063, AR0064, AR0065 are different levels of Durlag Tower. I already identified them and I will add the above described AR0062 deathmatch functionality to them.
The mod will also allow pvp battles between players on arenas: Irenicus Hell, ToB Forest of Tethyr, Black Pits II arenas, maybe more. I've already finished converting them for this purpose.
You may ask how is it even possible to fight against each other in multiplayer when there are pauses, party spells etc. Well, for now it can't be done in Enhanced Edition, but it is already possible in original BG2 release thanks to the ToBex: http://www.shsforums.net/topic/47661-complete-enable-arenas-game-type/
According to @AndreaColombo
devs will at least consider adding missing ToBex features if there are mods that use them: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/comment/514768#Comment_514768
So there is a chance that the deathmatch mod will be also compatible with BG(2):EE in future.
I have a request to Beamdog devs, that would help me finish the work. I can't identify which area graphic should be assigned to AR0060. None of the Durlag Tower areas seems to fit with the containers already coded in AR file. I assume that devs have access to old Biowere design docs and old beta builds, so I would be grateful for information about this. Any other information that could be shared regarding planned features for this mode would be also very helpful. Not sure who should I ask... maybe @Dee
I'm also looking for community brainstorm about the above mentioned features. What should be changed to make it more fun? Anything you would like to see implemented?
The mod is meant to be played among friends, so balance issues and cheating is not a problem. Battle each other using whichever house rules you and those who you play with agree on.
edit: some people may not visit general modding section regularly, so I will mention a few nicks that belong to those who have shown interest in such functionality in the past, just in case they would like to share their opinion/ideas: @cLogik @Kaltovei @Artemis_288 @Edwin_Odesseiron @ZelgadisGW @SpaceInvader @queenofamsterdam