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Should Beamdog improve AI in BG:EE and BG2:EE up to SoD's level?

13

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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited May 2017
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Arctodus
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,299
    Aye
    Ardanis said:

    It's certainly doable, albeit like with all good things it takes 10% of time to make and 90% to balance, polish and pass through QA.
    Whether it's going to be done or not, is above my pay grade to say, though.

    no need for balancing, just do it for a higher difficulty level. it's going to be fine.

    tbone1Luke93
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil

    The thing I don't understand from reading threads discussing the AI or the gameplay of SOD is why was SOD made with any influence from IWD at all?

    I have never played IWD and have no desire to.

    I bought a game with Baldurs Gate in the title.

    Where does IWD come into the equation?

    The devs wanted larger scale battles, and BG wasn't equipped to give them. Think about assaulting Ust Natha in unmodded Bg2. Does it feel like taking on an entire city of drow? Nah, it's just like a half-dozen dudes milling about here and there. It's the opposite of epic, and was a major letdown the first time I psyched myself up and decided I was going to go nuts and try it.

    Or think about the "siege" of Saradush. Occasionally a Fire Giant ambles up to the wall to get shot down. What a siege! The Fire Giant "army" is really more like a Fire Giant "band".

    BG is really, really good at set-piece battles. Davaeorn, Firkraag, Sarevok, etc. But it's woefully bad about depicting armies or hordes or swarms, which is kind of what SoD is all about.

    IWD, though? Hordes and swarms and armies are kind of its thing.

    [Deleted User]ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996
    Aye
    bob_veng said:

    no need for balancing, just do it for a higher difficulty level. it's going to be fine.

    This. Some of us aren't as skilled as others, and newcomers might need to learn the game at an easier level. Keep in mind that newcomers help keep the game alive and bring in new revenue streams. So a new difficulty level will allow both groups to be satisfied.

    Luke93ThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Nay
    @SomeSort

    Yes I can understand that, but why with a game with BG in it's title?
    Why was there no consideration given to players who see a game with lots of big battles and say "ugh, no thanks", it's maybe why they play BG in the first place.

    And the Ust Nathar part.
    SCS Ust Nathar part is pretty epic and that's good.
    But SOD basically says lets turn every fight, every conflict into the same sort of thing.

    Just thinking about the dragon cave part, that was set up to be a really good, cat and mouse battle with a dragon. Dragon maybe able to teleport, turn invisible, your party getting spread out, having to be really aware of where each NPC is.

    For me what it turns into is another staged fight, your party hemmed into an area at the entrance with strict battle lines against a hoard, because on insane (I personally found) that was the only way to beat it and everybody to survive.

  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    Nay
    Voted no as it'll probably be another thing they would mess up.

  • MadrictMadrict Member Posts: 141
    Aye
    Can't seem to vote anymore, but I vote YES! :D

    Updating the old AI with SoD AI would be awesome.

    Luke93
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 289
    Aye
    Wow, very insightful post @SomeSort . I agree with everything you say.

  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 69
    Nay

    Ark_Tolei said:

    At some point I'll be convinced to at least try SCS, but given its emphasis on weakening every class that doesn't have arcane spells at its disposal,

    You may be misinformed, SCS doesn't really do that. Some components boost casters to make them behave more like you might make your own casters behave (going into life-or-death battles prepared with the tools in your arsenal) but it doesn't weaken anyone. And the more aggressive components are completely optional.

    Mixing SCS with IR and SR moderates things, since they balance everything out a bit. And the feats component in my mod adds a slight boost to AI fighters and thieves, if you want to equalize their challenge a bit (though it makes lots of other big changes as well).
    http://www.gibberlings3.net/scs/


    Try to think of a single ability or item that is available to people who do not have arcane spellcasting as a class ability, that allows them to deal with even the lowest tier of arcane spell defenses (i.e. protection from normal missiles). Thought of that ability/item? do a ctrl-f for it and you'll see it's been nerfed, removed from the game, or pushed beyond all the difficult wizard fights.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,308
    edited May 2017
    Ark_Tolei said:

    Try to think of a single ability or item that is available to people who do not have arcane spellcasting as a class ability, that allows them to deal with even the lowest tier of arcane spell defenses (i.e. protection from normal missiles). Thought of that ability/item? do a ctrl-f for it and you'll see it's been nerfed, removed from the game, or pushed beyond all the difficult wizard fights.

    @Ark_Tolei you can choose whether to install any particular component of SCS. In relation to your point about normal missiles you thus could:
    - replace +1 arrows with fine ones
    - improve mages and give them HLAs
    - allow fireshields to defend against insects
    but you don't have to do any of that. The AI improvements from SCS can be installed without any of the other components.

    Post edited by Grond0 on
    ArctodusJuliusBorisovsemiticgod
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Nay
    @SomeSort

    "What matters is "Is this a good game? Is it fun to play? Does it pay respect to the source material without being slavishly bound to it? Does it properly honor, advance, and expand upon the story of Charname?"

    And I'd say SOD fails on all of those accounts.

    I don't know what I am doing differently playing SOD to the way anybody else plays it. But SOD combat never varied much other than call up summons just in case, send your mage out in front to web/grease/disable then cloudkill/firebomb the mobs, finish them with missiles.

    In between having overlong voiced conversations that people can read far faster, so half the time after the first playthrough, you are followed by disembodied voices telling you stuff you have already read.
    Don't they ever shut up?

    Practically every fight was a "battle lines drawn up between them and us". I mentioned the dragon battle, that was the one which annoyed me, a ridiculous amount of enemies simply means you only have one way to fight.
    To change the combat, I have to nerf myself rather the game doing anything.

    OK, that's my personal opinion of the game.

    But then to be told that I am wrong because a decision was made to make a BG game with a different game's combat ethos to show off the advances made in the engine?

    That's not a development that stems from BG, that's not an advance because the people who made BG or the people who now control BG wanted to go off in a different direction.
    It's the opposite.
    It's shoehorning in an existing different game instead of doing those things.






  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited May 2017
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Ardul
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil

    But then to be told that I am wrong because a decision was made to make a BG game with a different game's combat ethos to show off the advances made in the engine?

    What did I say you were wrong about? I said Beamdog opted for larger-scale battles, that's absolutely their call to make, and that this doesn't mean that no consideration was given to players who liked the smaller battles of BG1 and BG2.

    Also, borrowing from existing games is not "shoehorning in" existing games. Icewind Dale obviously borrowed a lot from Baldur's Gate. It wasn't "shoehorning in Baldur's Gate". Baldur's Gate, in turn, borrowed from Icewind Dale (especially the Throne of Bhaal portion). That wasn't shoehorning in Icewind Dale. Siege of Dragonspear is not an Icewind Dale game. The sum of Icewind Dale is not its AI workaround for dealing with invisible parties. That's like the 18th-most-notable thing about the game.

    Is there random loot in SoD? Does the game structure encourage multiple playthroughs? Is there a level cap instead of an XP cap? Are there no NPCs and no banters, leaving you to create the entire party by default? Is the art style the same? Did they upgrade druids and bards? Did they add copious class and alignment-based reactivity?

    Or did they perhaps say "here's the story we want to tell, and by the way, this one thing from IWD would fit that really well, let's borrow it instead of reinventing the wheel?"

    You're free to like or not like big battles. You're free to like or not like Siege of Dragonspear for reasons unrelated to the big battles, too. There's nothing "wrong" about personal preferences. But when developers take games in new directions, it's not a personal attack on or callous disregard of the people who liked the previous installments as they were.

    (For what it's worth, unless I'm misremembering, the original Baldur's Gate developers said they *would have* put in larger battles, but computing limitations at the time meant most players' machines wouldn't be able to handle them. And the Icewind Dale team spent a lot of time and effort finding workarounds to get them to work in the IE engine. In which case, by making the battles bigger Beamdog is doing what BioWare wanted to do originally, but couldn't.)

    Grond0ArctodusThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    Nay
    @SomeSort

    You write a lot but you don't answer the argument.

    BG/BG2 has a pedigree, BG achieved a loyal fanbase still discussing the games 18 years after they were made.
    A decision to move in a different direction at this juncture is very difficult to justify.
    However, I do respect Beamdog having earned the right to do that.

    But I don't believe Beamdog have only done that. It's not "moving in a different direction" that is the problem, it's the disregard for where you started. And with SOD, as it's an insert, disregard for where you finish.

    SOD inserts itself in a saga that is built around the charnames journey to come to terms with their heritage. BG2 moves in a different direction for sure, but never loses sight of it still being the charname's journey.
    SOD strips Charname of all automony, ignores their journey and says "here do this".

    And the justification is "they wanted bigger battles"?

    Interestingly, you say that TOB did the same, borrowed from IWD.
    And which part of BG is universally thought of as lacking compared to the other parts?
    And that's with TOB making a real effort with the pocket plane and trials ect. to keep that focus on Charname.

  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    Nay
    Arctodus said:

    @Ark_Tolei Well, if you're talking about arrows of dispelling, they were indeed nerfed in IR but in SCS alone, the nerf is entirely optional. You can leave them as is, in power and in quantity.

    If you're talking about the dispel ability of the Inquisitor, again the nerf is optional. It's still an awesome mage killer, even with SCS.

    These are also not the only way for a non arcane casting character to deal with mages : potions, Greenstone Amulet, Ring of Free Action, items with elemental resistances, items that lower savings throws, ... You have plenty of options, often undispellable, to counter mages. It's also why, in my opinion, the arrows of dispelling and Inquisitor's dispel nerf is welcome : they render even the staunchest mage fight absolutely trivial. One hit with one arrow (or two in case of contingencies) or one uberdispel, you whack them, they die. A bit trivial if you're playing a tactical mod.

    Even without those items/abilities, a pure fighter can outlast a mage defenses with the right combination of items. It takes more time, but its totally doable.

    @Wesboi : Well, the only thing I can say is that the AI in SoD is not "messed up". It's, to me, the best feature of the expansion. You might not like it, which is absolutely legitimate, but to call it messed up is unfair. The encounter design is largely superior in SoD than in vanilla SoA.

    Didn't say the ai in SoD was messed up. Just the upgrade of the ai in the original games would be something they would probably mess up. Why change it when scs does the job better.

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    Aye
    @Wesboi Yeah, I know what you meant. But my point was, if they could do it right in SoD, what make you believe they would mess up in the regular game ? To think they would do a decent job is a fair assumption.

    But at the end of the day, I kinda agree with you : since SCS is already there, improving AI is just not something they should focus their energy on.

  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,369
    Aye

    Question being whether it's worth the effort, when we have SCS.

    Well, you should know about this strange creature called mobile user......

    I mean, this is probably another topic, but when you guys state something like: "SCS is already there", you are wrong..... We definitely deserve more love......

    semiticgod
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    I think the idea of a mods tab in the game menu like mentioned earlier would work great for multiple reasons. You could still install the latest version of a mod if you didn't want to wait for beamdog to update. What it would give us is a version of the mod that is tested and stable and ready to be enabled with the click of a button. If they scale the difficulty options properly even SCS could be included. It would allow a quick and easy way to install major mods for all users (including mobile) and would take the headache out of having to install major mods over and over again. Beamdog mentioned that the game would be more mod friendly than ever. Supporting major mods and making life easier for everyone, while still allowing the user to manually update them would help push that idea further.

    Many people will only use a mod one time or mix them up on different runs through the game. I am suggesting they only support major mods that are used regularly by a large part of the user base. Unfinished business, Ascension, SCS, ect. That way you would have the most stable version of major mods that were available when the latest version of the game was patched, already installed but not enabled unless the user wants to use them. It would be a win for everyone.

    When I say major mods, I am not saying some mods are held on a higher pedestal or that they are superior. Only that they are used on a more regular basis by a larger portion of the player base. For example, an NPC mod might be of the highest quality but it only appeals to people who want to add new characters to the game, so it wouldn't be considered a major mod that is used regularly by a large portion of the user base and therefore, wouldn't be supported in the game menu itself.

  • Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    tbone1
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,113
    Nay
    Ability to load mods would be interesting though. Just a generic method, mod independent.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    Aye
    People that could make better mods would continue to do so and if they were used regularly then they would be added if beamdog felt the need to. If they were not used regularly then people could still download them and use them as they do now. It would be a win for everyone.

    As for my comment about mods not being held on a higher pedestal, I said exactly what I meant. So I don't know why you would argue with me about what I meant because clearly I am correct.

    If you would refuse to buy the game because of superior mod support then that is your loss. Same with people that would rather buy the old version off of GOG and continue to add 15 mods to get it in running order.

    Either way, I don't work for Beamdog and I have no say in what they do so there is no point getting upset about it. It's just my opinion on what would improve things for me personally.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    Another idea, they could even include advertisments in the mods tab for the latest mods released so that new mods would get more attention from the community. The purpose of including mods that are used the most with the install of the game would simply be to make things easier for the largest portion of the player base. It would have nothing to do with the ego's of the modders themselves.

    Many people are interested in mods but they are intimidated by them and fear they will mess up their game. Some people are on mobile platforms and can't install mods. Some of us only use one or two very popular mods and would like to bypass searching for them on google and downloading them and quick fixing them and setting up all the options again and again. I don't see how this would cause any issues with anyone to be honest.

    Modders would get more exposure for their works and mods would be used more often because people who are afraid of them or are on mobile devices would have easier access to them and people like me would have less of a hassle when they install the mods that they want.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
  • Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    GallowglassronaldoThacoBell
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    I agree they are both pipe dreams. However, my idea doesn't just serve just me. It serves mobile users, modders, people who are afraid of mods and me. I would rather have great support for widely used mods and some support for other mods than no real support for anything at all. Getting a license and building a menu for mobile users would be welcome but far less beneficial to the community in my opinion. It would still require that people get a read me and go though a ton of options and know little of what they are doing. A page that has links to new mods that explain what the mod is about and how to install it and who made it would improve things for new users and new mods alike. The old mods that many of us use on every play through would be a button press away with no hassle.

    BTW, I don't mind if you disagree and I want you to know that I mean no disrespect by pushing my opinions out there. Your contributions to the community are appreciated.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Aye
    But what is a "widely used mod", @the_sextein? I strongly suspect that there's no such thing as a mod which is used by a major proportion of the total number of BG customers.

    The handful of dedicated hardcore fans on this forum (a few dozen people who write most of the posts!) is not even remotely a representative sample of typical customers.

    The mod which is mentioned here more than any other, indeed perhaps more than all other mods combined, is SCS. Yet how many people in the whole world actually use SCS? Hundreds for sure, but I'm not so convinced that it runs far into the thousands ... which must therefore be a tiny proportion of total BG sales (else the developers would have gone bust!)

    [Deleted User]semiticgod
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    Aye
    I don't know what the numbers are. It could be very little for all I know. How hard would it be to include it and a few other popular mods in the installation and include a tick box to enable it? Add a tab to the menu that includes the tick boxes and uses the rest of the page to give some exposure to newer or smaller mods while pushing for a better relationship between developer, modder, and everyday users? Maybe it would be to much work or too much to ask but it sure would be nice for many of us.

  • Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 711
    Aye
    So you are saying that you didn't like your experience with Civ 5? I have never played the game personally. I am for any and all methods of improving mod support and much more importantly to me, improving the ease of use. Weather it be a few favorites of Trent Oster's or a huge list it would be better than nothing.

    I never said it would be easy. I was honestly asking how hard it would be. I figure if they put some effort into it they could deliver something that would ease the use of major mods and increase awareness of some lesser known mods. That is all I am saying. I don't have a problem with them doing nothing because of apple or some other reason but I am all for improvement if it can be done.

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