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Important information missing in the manuals and the games

AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
While the documentation in the manuals and the games is quite impressive, there are a few important bits missing. The aim of this thread is to create a list of those missing bits. First and foremost, I'd like to highlight the existence of the Adventurer's Guide, which seems to be a very improved version of "Mastering Melee and Magic". You can download it here. Much information missing in "Mastering Melee and Magic" has been added in the Adventurer's Guide, so this thread is only about information which is still missing in the Adventurer's Guide (or the last versions of the other manuals).

Updated list of missing info:
  • There's no documentation for the interface of the game. The documentation in the manual was written in 1999, i. e., 17 years ago! That means most of it is obsolete now, so you can essentially say there's no documentation.
  • Humans can choose any class (except Dwarven Defenders), but the other races have limited choices. The manuals don't tell you which choices each race has.
  • When a thief has a set snare score lower than 100 and fails to set a trap, he has a chance of being hurt by his own trap.
  • Swashbuckler kit HLAs: Whirlwind Attack replaces Assassination.
  • Shadowdancer kit HLAs: Shadow Twin is missing.
  • The minimum Armour Class value is -20 (with some caveats).
  • The feedback messages options are not described, and the names alone are not enough to know what each option does (except maybe "To-hit rolls").
  • Deva and Fallen Deva are missing from the Bestiary section.
Do you have more?

Post edited by Alonso on
semiticgoddessDJKajuru
«1

Comments

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,773
    Specialist mages also get +2 to saving throws vs. incoming hostile spells from their school.

    Specialist mages get a +15% chance to scribe scrolls of their school, and a -15% chance to scribe spells from other schools.

    Gnomes get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand and spell. Dwarves and halflings get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand, spell, and death. All get an additional +1 to their saves at Constitution 7, 11, 14, and 18.

    Alonso
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Alonso said:

    Specialist mages add another -2 to target's save vs spells of their chosen school.

    Specialist mages also get +2 to saving throws vs. incoming hostile spells from their school.

    Specialist mages get a +15% chance to scribe scrolls of their school, and a -15% chance to scribe spells from other schools.

    This is all in the specialist mage class descriptions on pages 30 and 31 of the Adventurer's Guide.

    Gnomes get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand and spell. Dwarves and halflings get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand, spell, and death. All get an additional +1 to their saves at Constitution 7, 11, 14, and 18.

    This is on page 13.

    semiticgoddessAlonso
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,773
    @joluv: I think we're focusing on information missing from the manual and game descriptions, not the Adventurer's Guide, which did not come with the game.

    It has always been kind of a big thing that BG mechanics aren't fully explained either in the manual or in the game itself. For a long time, trap damage was completely undocumented, and nobody knew about specialist mage bonuses or penalties until very recently. Dwarf, halfling, and gnome save bonuses also went unnoticed by many people for years.

    Alonso
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,773
    Also, the -20 AC cap was never documented. Same goes for Kundane's extra attack per round and Defensive Harmony's original 10-round duration despite the spell description (though EE fixed many such descriptions).

    joluv
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    @semiticgod: Oh, I assumed that by "the manual," we were discussing the Adventurer's Guide and Sword Coast Survival Guide, since those are the manuals for the EE games.

    This stuff all should have been in the original manual, but I guess I don't see the point of cataloging the deficiencies of the original manual when a significantly better one already exists.

    semiticgoddessjtthAlonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    edited June 2016
    joluv said:

    @semiticgod: Oh, I assumed that by "the manual," we were discussing the Adventurer's Guide and Sword Coast Survival Guide, since those are the manuals for the EE games.

    Hold the phone, the Adventurer's WHAT? Don't tell me there is a manual of the game I've been missing all this time. Not that I'd be very surprised, though. I bought BG2EE from GOG and when I opened the manual I found out they had bundled the BG1 manual in the BG2 game. Eventually I just downloaded the manuals from elsewhere, but what I downloaded was the survival guide and the "Mastering melee and magic" guide. So where's this adventurer's guide we're talking about?

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    Alonso said:

    joluv said:

    @semiticgod: Oh, I assumed that by "the manual," we were discussing the Adventurer's Guide and Sword Coast Survival Guide, since those are the manuals for the EE games.

    Hold the phone, the Adventurer's WHAT? Don't tell me there is a manual of the game I've been missing all this time. Not that I'd be very surprised, though. I bought BG2EE from GOG and when I opened the manual I found out they had bundled the BG1 manual in the BG2 game. Eventually I just downloaded the manuals from elsewhere, but what I downloaded was the survival guide and the "Mastering melee and magic" guide. So where's this adventurer's guide we're talking about?
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/49871/get-your-siege-of-dragonspear-manuals-here/p1

    Alonso
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    They could do a better job of publicizing the Adventurer's Guide and making it clear that it also applies to BG2EE. baldursgateii.com still links to Mastering Melee and Magic.

    mf2112Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Wow, I've been playing these games for months and I didn't even know this manual existed! Thank you, guys! I've read a few pages and it looks very promising.

    The aim of this thread would be to create a list of the information missing in the current manuals, of course. Of what we've said so far, the only thing not covered in the current manuals (if I'm getting it right this time) is the traps self damage. Apart from that, the descriptions of the "shorty" saving throws is a bit different from

    Gnomes get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand and spell. Dwarves and halflings get a +1 bonus to saves vs. wand, spell, and death. All get an additional +1 to their saves at Constitution 7, 11, 14, and 18.

    The manual says "Gnomes receive a +2 bonus to Saving Throws vs. Spell and Rod/Staff/Wand. Gnomes also receive an additional bonus to these saves based on their Constitution, as shown on the next page." So a gnome with 18 CON would get a +7 bonus. Is that right? I mean, that's a lot!

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,773
    @Alonso: Nope. I meant that gnomes get bonuses to their saves vs. (1) spell and (2) wand, while dwarves and halflings get bonuses to their saves vs. (1) spell, (2) wand, and (3) death. Gnomes don't have superior saves vs. spell and wand; they just have no save bonus vs. death, unlike dwarves and halflings.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Yeah, the manual's wording about shorty saving throws is a bit misleading. The correct bonuses, which are shown in the chart, are the same as what semiticgod said. I think the manual is trying to communicate that +2 is the "default" bonus, since it is what shorties with average constitution get.

    I believe the -20 AC cap (floor?), which semiticgod also mentioned, is still missing from the current manual.

    Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Ooops, you're right, I missed that post.

    OK, get it. Yeah, the manual's wording is misleading.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Humans can choose any class, but the other races have limited choices. The manuals don't tell you which choices each race has.

    joluvsemiticgoddess
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    Alonso said:

    Humans can choose any class, but the other races have limited choices. The manuals don't tell you which choices each race has.

    Actually, that's not QUITE true. Humans cannot be Dwarven Defenders, the one kit they cannot play.

    Alonsomf2112semiticgoddess
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I could be misremembering , but did you check the class descriptions in the manual? I'm reasonably sure that this information was included there.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    @Dee: I had noticed this too. I don't think it's in there. It's definitely not on any of the six pages that contain the word "halfling."

    Alonso
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    joluv said:

    @Dee: I had noticed this too. I don't think it's in there. It's definitely not on any of the six pages that contain the word "halfling."

    Chalk one up for misremembering, then.

    mf2112Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    The feedback messages options are not described anywhere, and the names alone are not enough to know what each option does (except maybe "To-hit rolls").

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I can speak to that: We decided not to include UI information in the manuals in order to focus on the mechanics. If the Feedback options aren't clear, that's something that we need to remedy in the UI itself (and would be worthy of a Feature ticket on Redmine, I think).

    Alonsojoluv
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    There you go, straight from the oven: Redmine ticket.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Shadow Twin isn't in there, and it isn't mentioned that Whirlwind Attack replaces Assassination in Swashbucklers' HLA choices.

    Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    I have updated the first thread to reflect what we have gathered so far. Also, I have created a thread about the new manuals and a request to include them in the installations of the games, so that everybody knows they exist.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    edited July 2016
    Regarding the updated list, Shadow Twin is an HLA for Shadowdancers, not Swashbucklers. Sorry if I was unclear.

    Also, Kundane and Defensive Harmony are correctly documented now. @semiticgod was talking about the original documentation.

    Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    There's something so big missing in the documentation I didn't see it: The game interface! The documentation in the manual was written in 1999, i. e., 17 years ago. That means most of it is obsolete now, so you can essentially say there's no documentation.

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,427
    The bard song gives a +1 luck bonus to hit at 1, +2 at 15, and +3 at 20.

    Even the Blade song gives the +1 luck at 1 but it doesn't improve. This isn't documented anywhere.

    semiticgoddessAlonso
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Speaking of which, the luck mechanic is never explained.
    Alonso said:

    There's something so big missing in the documentation I didn't see it: The game interface! The documentation in the manual was written in 1999, i. e., 17 years ago. That means most of it is obsolete now, so you can essentially say there's no documentation.

    Does the game interface really need to be documented? Dee mentioned above that they decided not to put that information in the manuals, which seems perfectly reasonable to me.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    joluv said:

    Speaking of which, the luck mechanic is never explained.

    Alonso said:

    There's something so big missing in the documentation I didn't see it: The game interface! The documentation in the manual was written in 1999, i. e., 17 years ago. That means most of it is obsolete now, so you can essentially say there's no documentation.

    Does the game interface really need to be documented? Dee mentioned above that they decided not to put that information in the manuals, which seems perfectly reasonable to me.
    This, precisely. My philosophy when it comes to UI instruction is, generally: If it's so complex that you need a manual to understand how it works, then we need to make the UI clearer.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Are you serious, guys? This is arguably the most complex game I've ever played, and I've played quite a few. The interface has an accordingly high complexity, and it is certainly not intuitive. Actually, I don't think it's even possible to make an intuitive interface for such a complex game. That's perfectly fine for me, if I wanted a simple and intuitive interface I would play Tetris. But of course we need documentation to understand the interface!

    The autopause feature has an option called "end of round autopause" which doesn't pause the game at the end of the round. It took me three threads (including this one) and more than a hundred messages just to clarify that. The Character screen has a line that says "Ability bonuses" which actually lists spell bonuses (or maybe not, that might need more clarification). Do you really think this is intuitive?

    Of course, the list goes on, there are hundreds of bits like those in the interface, which most people won't understand (intuitively or otherwise) in their whole life unless someone explains them.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    I wouldn't describe those as instances of the UI needing documentation, though. I think they're quite minor, and they could be resolved by the UI being clearer (i.e., renaming the auto-pause option and not calling spell bonuses ability bonuses), perhaps supplemented by a bit more in the manual about time mechanics.

    You should recognize, @Alonso, that your level of focus on precise meaning is rare. Most players are relatively comfortable with some degree of uncertainty about the exact workings of games, or with figuring things out from context. I'm not saying your way is wrong, just that the demand for meticulous documentation might be lower than you imagine.

    mf2112[Deleted User]
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