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[Known] Firewine dungeon respawn rate

GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
edited September 2014 in BG:EE Bugs (v1.3)
Gate70 said:

Firewine Dungeon should respawn kobolds

1. Load attached save.
2. Enter Firewine dungeon area AR5201 through the nearby door.
3. Travel to the two closest spawn points (refer to attached picture).
4. Kill any kobolds.
5. Return outside.

*Observed*
Repeating steps 2-5 several times will result in no further kobolds spawning.

*Expected*
Repeating steps 2-5 several times should result in more kobolds spawning.

*Note*
Have tested on the original game and can confirm respawning is quite aggressive in this area, with kobolds turning up every 2-5 visits or once per circuit if you explore the entire dungeon. Enhanced Edition spawns nothing in a comparable time.
There are more spawn points in this area, evidence is they have the same discrepancy to the original game.
& there are other high spawn areas that might have similar issues.
- AR3200 (High Hedge, exterior)
- AR5100 (Gnoll Stronghold)

I'm not sure whether this is a bug or a deliberate change in v1.3, but I'll post it in Bugs just in case it's a bug.

Context: in original BG1, the respawn rate of kobolds in Firewine dungeon was very high, arguably excessive, and it's been noticeable ever since BG1ee came out that the devs had tuned down the respawn rate. Fair enough, that was clearly a deliberate decision, and I'd probably agree that it was a little excessive before.

But now, however ...

Observed: I've just cleared the Firewine dungeon in v1.3, going in-and-out thrice to carry away all the loot, and met not one single respawn in the whole process. Have the devs turned off respawn altogether, or maybe turned it down so low that respawns are now rare? Or is this sudden lack of respawns a new bug?

Expected: there ought to be some respawning kobolds in the Firewine dungeon, at the very least there ought to be some if you exit and re-enter. It was always the respawns which put a little challenge into this dungeon, it's too trivial otherwise.

Post edited by Gate70 on
ErgGate70elminster

Comments

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I don't believe anything has changed in the code that would directly affect this. Can you upload a saved game where you encounter this issue?

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    You're in luck, @Dee: I had a save from part-way through the Firewine dungeon, so I've replayed a little from there, and made a special save just for you.

    At the time of this save, the fog-of-war is all cleared, and I've just sent Jaheira on a run round the dungeon, and found no respawns currently active. There are kobold corpses on the floor, but they're all first-instance corpses, not respawns, and were all killed before I carried out heaps of loot to a container in Gullykin and came back in again to get the rest ... all without seeing a respawn.

    Firewine devoid of respawns is certainly not what we're used to seeing, so I reckon something has changed, either deliberately or inadvertently.

  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,598
    I'll try and look at this one tomorrow @Gallowglass‌ but could you confirm whether you are referring to unmodded BG1 or one using either EasyTutu or BGT. Asking because this affects spawn rates and many players of the original version use one of these two conversions.
    Thanks

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Thanks, @Gate70. This is about an absolutely unmodded install of BG1ee v1.3. The only potential variation is that it's a game which was already in progress (started under v1.2) at the time of installing the v1.3 patch.

  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,598
    Thanks @Gallowglass‌ but the bit I wanted to check was what you were comparing BG:EE to. BG1, EasyTutu or Baldurs Gate Trilogy as that makes a considerable difference.
    Regards

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Oh right, sorry, I was missing your point, @Gate70.

    When I compared to "original BG1", I meant original BG1+TotSC, with the last official patch and nothing else except the Baldurdash and Dudleyfix bug-fixes. No mods, no TuTu, no BGT.

    BG1ee (from initial release through to v1.2) had a significantly slower respawn than that original BG1, but it seemed fairly consistent through those versions, and I recall the devs stating that they'd deliberately adjusted some respawn rates.

    However, BG1ee v1.3 seems to have stopped respawn entirely in Firewine dungeon, or close enough that none are happening, and that doesn't seem right.

    Gate70
  • ErgErg Member Posts: 1,756
    Gate70 said:

    Have tested on the original game and can confirm respawning is quite aggressive in this area, with kobolds turning up every 2-5 visits or once per circuit if you explore the entire dungeon. Enhanced Edition spawns nothing in a comparable time.
    There are more spawn points in this area, evidence is they have the same discrepancy to the original game.

    @Gate70, in vanilla BG1 AR3200 (High Hedge, exterior) and AR5100 (Gnoll Stronghold) had very aggressive respawning too, you may want to check also those for discrepancies.

    Gate70
  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,598
    edited September 2014
    Yes, added. Minsc always loved dragging my level 1 parties into the gnoll spawnhold...
    Cheers

    ErgSergio
  • psyactpsyact Member Posts: 75
    My most recent adventure through the Gnoll Stronghold did indeed lack any kind of aggressive respawning. As a matter of fact, I don't think there were any respawns at all, although I do try to chain my NPCs to prevent it to the extent possible.

    Erg
  • SergioSergio Member Posts: 605
    edited September 2014
    I always thought there was something sort of wrong with the spawning, but I didn't think it could be classified as a bug. Thanks for discovering it, Gallowglass. In fact, the gnoll stronghold was a desert. I was kinda surprised.

    Post edited by Sergio on
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    We may be able to fix these issues relatively easily. I'd like to compile a list of the areas where the monsters either don't spawn consistently or don't respawn after the first instance.

    So far I've got:
    - AR5201 (Firewine Ruins)
    - AR3901 (Ulcaster Ruins)
    - AR5100 (Gnoll Stronghold)

    Any others that should be prioritized for fixing?

    Sergio
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,047
    @Dee is this bug related to specific areas or a global spawn rate? Each area has its own spawn rate?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Each area has its own, and each spawn point is handled separately, so fixing it will take some time. But it does look like the fix itself is more or less straight-forward.

    Something else that should be considered, however, is how this change will affect the game's difficulty. Going from "one and done" to "one every time you leave the room" would be devastating to a lot of players who might not be used to it (and doesn't make a whole lot of realistic sense, to be honest).

    It's likely that this fix won't be in the next patch, since if it affects all the areas that I think it does it's going to take a whole lot of testing to make sure it doesn't break everything (both from a technical standpoint and a "fun value" one), but I'm looking at the issue right now and the good news is that it's not related to the engine at all (which means it's a lot less likely to break everything).

    Sergio
  • SergioSergio Member Posts: 605
    edited September 2014
    Dee, I know I shouldn't probably be asking, but is there a "credit" sheet for everyone inside Beamdog? I'm actually curious to who does what. :P
    For example, who remade the whole engine? Who made the new npcs? etc etc

    Sorry to Gallowglass for hijacking the thread..

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited September 2014
    @Sergio‌ If you post your question in General Discussions, I might be able to get you a full list. I don't want to derail this thread.

    In the mean-time, I'm attaching a small sample of modified areas. This includes the Gnoll Stronghold, Ulcaster Ruins, Firewine Ruins, Lion's Way, and Coast Way. Load them up, try them out, and see how they feel, then post here to offer feedback. This may not be the final solution we use, but it's just what I've cooked up while I'm on weekend-time.

    What's been changed:
    - All respawn points will respawn after one hour of game-time
    - All spawn points should fire consistently when encountered (particularly the gibberling, wolf, and xvart combination in Coast Way)

    Again, this isn't a final draft, more like a work in progress. Vanilla had these spawn points respawning immediately after leaving your field of view, which may have been why they were initially cut down to "one and done" events. Setting them to one-hour timers means you're unlikely to encounter a new band of kobolds while backtracking your way through Firewine, but if you rest then all the spawn points will regenerate for that area, and any time you come back from town the area will have a fresh group of spawns waiting for you.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Erg‌ @Gallowglass‌ @Sergio‌
    Here's an updated archive including the areas noted above, as well as High Hedge.

    CrevsDaakSergio
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Gate70‌ , @Cahir‌ and @psyact‌ too. Anyone who wants to try it out and let me know how it feels, go ahead. Most of the spawn points in the game are one-and-done in BG:EE, mainly because respawning every five seconds is punishingly hard on newer players (punishing being bad, as opposed to satisfying), but if the one-hour timer works well for people (and it might be worth making a poll in General Discussions), we can look at maybe implementing it.

    For the moment, however, this is a feature request, since - from what I can tell looking at the areas in question - the current implementation is working as intended. (Note that it being a feature request doesn't mean it won't happen, just that it's not a sign of the game being broken.)

    SergioGate70
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    edited September 2014
  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,598
    edited September 2014
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    So there's a reason why we don't let me actually implement fixes. Those attached files aren't going to work as well as I thought they would. Thankfully, the actual developers are better-acquainted with how these elements fit together. If I manage to get a version that does what I said it should, I'll attach it here.

    SergioCrevsDaak
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Oh ... it's a good thing I hadn't yet got around to trying out the tweaks, then! :-) Actually, I probably won't have time for it this week anyway.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Gallowglass‌ So we've been poking around in the code since Friday(ish), and the way that the spawn points currently work is that they do respawn, but only after an 8-hour rest, world travel longer than eight hours, or basically anything that instantly skips ahead eight or more hours. At that point the spawn points re-trigger, repopulating the area with all its usual spawns.

    It won't respawn if you just sit and wait for eight hours, though; and at the moment there doesn't appear to be a simple way to shorten the wait for make it more intuitive. We may be able to look at it later, but there's the answer.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Ah, I see. Thanks very much for looking into it, @Dee.

    It's odd, though: in original BG1, there was a very high (probably somewhat excessive) re-spawn rate in there, and obviously Overhaul managed to reduce it substantially (probably too much), yet now I think you're implying that Overhaul don't quite have a handle on how to change it, even though they've changed it before ... I'm sure you'll understand that I'm left scratching my head in puzzlement, even though I appreciate having the situation explained!

    However, never mind, you have more valuable work to do than trying to explain further to me, since I don't really need to know the ins-and-outs. I pointed out a problem, and you've clearly taken the issue on board, so I think I'll just declare "mission accomplished"; the rest is up to you.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    It does look like the change was made intentionally; at some point it was decided that the "Every time you close your eyes the kobolds come out to wreck your day" rate was too punishing to be fun, and so the areas were updated to only spawn once in an 8-hour rest. I wasn't part of the discussions back then, which explains why I didn't know about them. :)

    We could restore the vanilla behavior, but at this point there are a lot of players who have gotten used to the new behavior that is much less punishing, and suddenly adding the spawns back in would likely be detrimental at best.

    Sergioelminster
  • SergioSergio Member Posts: 605
    edited September 2014
    I sort of agree but you could try finding a medium point...

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    But @Dee, I've agreed from the start that the original BG1 rate was over-the-top, indeed I'd be tempted to call that an unfixed bug in the original game, since I'm not sure the original devs would really have intended it to be so fast.

    However, somewhere in between lightning-fast and glacial-slow, so that you do at least have to keep your eyes open when backtracking through the dungeon (or when exiting and re-entering) would be more "BG-like" without being a heart-stopping shock to new players.

    Sergio
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    But @Dee, I've agreed from the start that the original BG1 rate was over-the-top, indeed I'd be tempted to call that an unfixed bug in the original game, since I'm not sure the original devs would really have intended it to be so fast.

    However, somewhere in between lightning-fast and glacial-slow, so that you do at least have to keep your eyes open when backtracking through the dungeon (or when exiting and re-entering) would be more "BG-like" without being a heart-stopping shock to new players.

    I don't disagree, but that's where it gets into "stuff the engine doesn't do right now". I have it on my cork board for later discussion though.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,725
    edited September 2014
    I had originally been editing the area files, removing the spawn points altogether, and then applying scripts to the area to manage random encounters. This also allowed me to scale encounters based on party size and average party level, as well as fine-tune the monsters which spawned based on the area in question.

    For whatever that input might be worth. If I find random spawns are a problem again (not that I expect it but just in case) I will go back to that and pick up where I left off.

  • ScutziScutzi Member Posts: 3
    Looking forward to a version where the spawns are working as they should. Walking around devoid of encounters is, well, very lonely.

    Ergswit
  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    If you can sleep IN the area, try that. 8 hours sleep should give time to the buggers to reproduce.

    elminster
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