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Is the bard song nerf in 2.1 intentional?

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
edited April 2016 in Troubleshooting
I'm a little surprised no one else has asked about this.

BG:EE 1.3 and IWD:EE have an un-nerfed bard song that has a good range and is easy to keep cast on the whole party at all times.

BG:EE 2.1 has gone back to the old vanilla nerfed bard song range, where it is no more than 10 in-game feet, and constantly winks out on party members while walking around, even when the bard is right behind the suddenly unbuffed character.

This is very familiar annoying behavior of the bard song to me from the vanilla game. One of the things I loved about the EE's was that they made the bard song range very solid and easy to use.

Was going back to the old behavior intentional? If so, why? Or, was this an accident of upgrading that can be fixed in a future patch?



  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,381
    I thought it was just me. Since I learned that the Blade bardsong gives +1 luck my Half-Elf Blade chick has been sitting in the back giving orders and using her bardsong until she has 2 pips in dual wielding.

    I noticed sometimes Jaheira would be right next to me and the Bardsong wouldn't be on her and that my Bard essentially needed to be in melee range to give everyone the buff.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @Abi_Dalzim , I'm still hoping it was just an accident that they can fix. I wish one of the devs would tell us something official about this, to at least either say, "Yes, we did it on purpose because we thought bard song was too strong", or "Whoops, we made a mistake. When we reprogrammed the game, we forgot to put the bard song fix back in."

    I could swear that fixing the bard song range problems was one of the things they did in the EE's in one of the early patches when BG:EE first came out. Am I remembering incorrectly?

    I'd tag a developer to try to get an answer, but I'm pretty sure we'd just get "Create a ticket and file it on Redmine". Onto the huge list of things that may or may not ever get fixed.

    On the whole, I'm a supporter of this update, and I appreciate everything Beamdog's done for our game, but this bard song thing and the problem I've pointed out about the class description window not scrolling do bother me a little.

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Also since 2.0, Bard's song now breaks invisibility.

    It got nerfed significantly like Poison Weapon for (in my opinion) no good reason.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    edited April 2016
    @semiticgod , Sorry, my experiences do not support your assertions. The bard song in 2.1 is behaving exactly the same way it did in vanilla. Remember, I've been playing this game for 18 years, since the first BG was released. I know what I'm talking about here.

    There is no "around corners" or "being in the wrong place" going on. The buff gets lost on several party members even *when I'm walking right behind them*, if we are moving.

    The being in motion with the party is an important factor here.

    This was fixed in 1.3 and IWD:EE. It is *not* fixed in 2.1, nor was it ever in vanilla. The song is *not* behaving the same as in IWD:EE and in 1.3. Everybody who plays bards regularly should find this new fact of life quite obvious, I would say.

    Nevertheless, I am learning to live with it. It just takes more micromanagement than before of the commands and controls.

    Post edited by BelgarathMTH on
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    Considering it is a class that requires multi-tasking to truly excel, it makes little sense to add even more micromanagement to Bards.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    Agreed, @jackjack .

    @semiticgod , Also, I can't help but notice that your "test" involves a solo bard with no party. Huh? Get back to me when you have "tested" a bard with a six member party, and walked around in the game trying to keep that bard's buffing on six characters.

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    Hell, just try kiting an enemy with a singing bard and another character. It's nowhere near reliable enough to make a truly useful tactic anymore.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,074
    @BelgarathMTH: I re-did the tests with a full party and tried keeping both the bard and the other party members in motion at all times. At first, I thought I saw the range of the song decreasing by about two circles' width when in motion, but then I compared the screenshots and there is no change in distance. I think the reason motion is causing the song to vanish on certain characters is because, when the party is moving, it's not surprising for one character to be briefly out of range.

    I know it can be very difficult to keep a bard song on multiple party members, but my tests suggest the game isn't behaving differently. The spells have not been changed, the projectiles don't appear to have been edited, and when a party member in motion doesn't get hit by the bard song, they are always just barely out of reach of the radius I saw before.

    The bard song's range is very unforgiving for chaotic situations, but on conducting those tests (which actually surprised me) and reviewing the game's files, 2.1 bard songs have the same range as a Haste spell, which uses the same projectile.

    I did notice the bard sometimes canceling the song. I'm not sure what that's about, but it only happened twice out of many rounds.

  • TarlugnTarlugn Member Posts: 204
    I can imagine the bard being able to play their instrument and sing while moving on comparably flat surface, like paved streets, but I think roots, rocks and foliage might make the bard to cancel their song while moving in a forest.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @semiticgod , Do the same test in Icewind Dale:EE, and tell me you still don't notice the difference.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,297
    edited May 2016
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,074
    edited May 2016
    @BelgarathMTH: It's even more forgiving in IWD:EE. The song reaches a little bit farther; is less likely to vanish while one or more party members are moving; it still doesn't reach around corners; and my bard never canceled the song while in motion.

    The extra range is probably because the IWD:EE bard songs use a separate projectile: "ohvrpo" instead of "INAREAPA." IWD:EE uses a lot of different projectiles.

    I'm doing my best to find the problem, but I'm just not seeing it happen in my game. I have no mods on IWD:EE and only SCS on BG2:EE; my IWD:EE game is 1.4 and my BG2:EE game is 2.1.

    Could you put your bard song files in a zip file and post them here? Just to see if there's any difference at all. For IWD:EE, that would be SPCL115-SPCL120; FJBARDA, FJBARDB; FJBLADEB; SPCL751A; and SPCL542A. For BG2:EE, that would be FJBARDA, FJBARDB; FJBLADEB; SPCL751A; and SPCL542A.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @semiticgod , I don't think there's any difference in our games. That different projectile you mention may be at the root of it. My party *never* loses bard song in IWD:EE; never. It used to be that way in BG 1.3 as well.

    Were you doing your BG test on 1.3?

    Any way, I think we may just have to agree to disagree on this one. I've spent a *lot* of time on all versions of the game since 1998 doing complete bard runs, as it's one of my favorite classes, so I may just be more sensitive to the two versions of the song mechanics: the older one that's hard to keep active on the party, and the newer one that fixed it, as seen in IWD:EE.

    Also, "The song reaches a little bit farther; is less likely to vanish while one or more party members are moving;..." *That's* the problem. The fact that BG 2.1 is not using that same bard song.

    Thank you for spending some of your time trying to get to the bottom of it. At least @elminster has done us the kindness of creating a ticket for it, so the devs might eventually check it out.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,074
    @BelgarathMTH: I was never trying to compare the range to 1.3 or any other version. I figured that a change in range would be a normal change in an update to a newer version, but the fact that the song would vanish in your game seemed like a bug, which is what I was trying to find.

    BG 2.1's bard songs don't have the same projectile as IWD 1.4 because the projectile doesn't exist in BG to begin with (like before, they don't even show up in Near Infinity). I'm afraid I don't know how to move a projectile from one game to the other; IWD has always had unique projectiles like Lance of Disruption that don't port to other games. Unless Beamdog adds them in at some point.

    Anyway, projectiles only matter if the target for the spell is set to "Preset Target" and the like. If you switch it to "Caster group" or "Party," it should apply to the entire party no matter where they are on the map. That's how the HLA bard song does it.

    Attached are edited files for the Blade, Bard, and Skald songs. They won't give you the original range, but they will give you infinite range on those songs, which should ensure that your party doesn't lose the song bonuses due to range issues.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @semiticgod , Thank you for the override file to change the song to infinite range if desired. You are very generous with your time.

    What I'm complaining about is the song winking out on individual party members when they move, seemingly at random, not about the whole song suddenly disappearing, so I'm still not 100% sure you understand why I've got my knickers in a bunch about it. It doesn't happen in IWD:EE, and I don't think it should be happening in BG:EE 2.1 either.

    But again, thanks for the file. I don't really want to mod my game, though. Like I said before, I've just learned to live with the shorter range song for now. It's not *that* hard to keep the party covered, but it's very inconvenient, and does occasionally leave front line fighters uncovered even when I'm standing right behind them.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,074
    @BelgarathMTH: When you say "winking out," do you mean the icon vanishes and then reappears a fraction of a second later?

    If so, then the reason is simple: area-effect projectiles don't strike all targets at the exact same time; it can be a few frames apart. The song activates every round without variation, but if the projectile strikes a fraction of a second too early one round, and then a fraction of a second too late on the next round, the icon will disappear and reappear because the song isn't hitting the target exactly one round after it last triggered.

    In other words, the song hits certain targets a few frames out of sync whenever characters are in motion, due to the variation in projectile strike time.

    And I just saw this "winking" happen in IWD:EE 1.4, while the party was moving. The icon vanished and reappeared after a frame or two. In fact, I've always seen this happen in all my games, from vanilla BG2 to IWD to BG2:EE to IWD:EE. I don't know about vanilla BG1, since I've never played the original game, but in all the other games, the winking has always been there.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460
    In which case the real fix is to change the speed of the projectile. Which I think is possible.

  • PteranPteran Member Posts: 388
    Is this an issue with RR installed too? I'm slowly making my way through BG for the first time with 2.1. I haven't even touched my BG2 install yet (by the time I get there it might be 2.2 lol).

    If the RR songs have the same limited range, would your modded files work ok? I just don't want to drop them in my override folder and break the songs totally =/

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    I'm pretty sure we didn't modify the kit based bard songs. They are a spell, so you can easily confirm this for yourself (if you know the spells/projectiles involved). A slightly different topic: you can mod the vanilla bardsong by a spell called 'bardsong'. Feel free to give it any range or effects.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460

    A slightly different topic: you can mod the vanilla bardsong by a spell called 'bardsong'. Feel free to give it any range or effects.

    If I'm not mistaken, this is the case as of 2.0.

  • ChadChad Member Posts: 90
    So is there any mods that increase the duration of the bard song once the bard stops singing? My understanding is it is supposed to have effects of the song remain for 1 round / level after the bard stops singing. Would be nice if a Bard could sing before combat and then participate in the combat while still keeping the bard song bonuses up for a short time (in BGEE, would obviously become a non-issue in BG2). I'm just wondering because of the comment that says it is a spell, so if that is the case could the duration be set to round/level?


  • St. AndrewSt. Andrew Member Posts: 85
    edited March 2017
    I was just wondering, but was this ever fixed? I logged back on the other day and noticed my cloud saves were wiped, and in remaking my jester.. he kind of sucks now. The song doesn't work except in almost melee range, and now you can't use jester song while invis? If anything wouldn't being invis make a jester MORE confusing?

    I'm totally open to modding the game, just really hoping for this to be fixed cause I was going to buy bg2 for a jester bg1 - tob playthrough

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,381
    playing on my Blade I haven't noticed the issue at all where as before I noticed it often. So I suppose it has? /shrug

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