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Bug Report: Shadow Aspect in Bhaal's Temple

hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
Hello,

I'm reporting what I believe are a few bugs in the game.

Game version v2.6.6, Steam client. Kindly look into it, and consider a possible fix to be included in one of the upcoming patches.

1. The spell Silence applies to enemy Shadow Aspect, but it does not stop it from casting Mislead and other spells in its arsenal.

Expected behaviour: Shadow Aspect can't cast spells until Silence expires, as per description/spec of spell Silence.

2. Spells Invisibility Purge nor Detect Invisibility work as intended against Shadow Aspect on LOB difficulty -- The Mislead decoy stays in tact; the original Shadow Aspect doesn't become visible for a period long enough that any character regardless of its build could produce an attack on it.

Expected behaviour: Shadow Aspect remains visible and susceptible to attacks for at least one (1) round after Invisibility Purge or Detect Invisibility is cast; the Mislead decoy disappears.

Troubleshooting #2: According to spec of LOB difficulty, enemies get more APR, but the Shadow Aspect shouldn't get a twice as frequent invisibility which effectively eliminates the window opportunity to produce a counter-attack against it. (Is the Shadow Aspect hard-coded to receive invisibility after each of its attacks? That would explain the unexpected buggy behaviour on LOB difficulty)

Regards,

Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,644
    These are not bugs.

    First, Silence only works against spells cast in the normal way. Many enemies - particularly those that are more monstrous - have scripts that "force" spells, bypassing the normal process.

    Second, the lower-level invisibility-removing effects simply aren't powerful enough to stop Mislead. As long as the clone exists, the original creature will have invisibility constantly reapplied. In order to actually reveal the creature in a lasting way, you need to eliminate the clone. Either attack it, use a thief's Detect Illusion ability, or use True Seeing/True Sight.
  • hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
    edited March 29
    hsenpar wrote: »
    Hello,
    Troubleshooting #2: According to spec of LOB difficulty, enemies get more APR, but the Shadow Aspect shouldn't get a twice as frequent invisibility which effectively eliminates the window opportunity to produce a counter-attack against it. (Is the Shadow Aspect hard-coded to receive invisibility after each of its attacks? That would explain the unexpected buggy behaviour on LOB difficulty)

    Ignore the above troubleshooting idea. Shadow Aspect returns invisible after the smallest-possible measure of time in game -- whether it walks or attacks. If the Mislead decoy is destroyed, it recasts Mislead without any delay, and there appears to be no limit to how many times it can cast Mislead.

    Also note that True Sight, the Inquisitor's innate ability, does not work on LOB difficulty.

    Therefore, all invisibility-removing solutions are unviable against it as of v2.6.6., and killing the Mislead decoy just results in another being cast without any meaningful time in between to produce damage against the original. Seems broken beyond intentional design, but I'm no longer sure what needs to be done about it.
  • hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
    edited March 29
    jmerry wrote: »
    These are not bugs.

    First, Silence only works against spells cast in the normal way. Many enemies - particularly those that are more monstrous - have scripts that "force" spells, bypassing the normal process.

    Noted. That is not a solid design concept. Pretty much not a bug, but a complete lack of qualification on behalf of a developer. What is the point of having a negating-spell if it's always a mystery if the spells cast by an enemy is a "real spell" or a "forced spell" that bypasses the normal process. Duh...
    Second, the lower-level invisibility-removing effects simply aren't powerful enough to stop Mislead. As long as the clone exists, the original creature will have invisibility constantly reapplied. In order to actually reveal the creature in a lasting way, you need to eliminate the clone. Either attack it, use a thief's Detect Illusion ability, or use True Seeing/True Sight.

    Noted. I also took some time to load up a custom game with Inquisitor vs. Shadow Aspect. The innate ability True Sight does not produce the desired effect - v2.6.6. LOB difficulty
  • hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
    edited March 29
    :D Someone tell me with a straight face that this enemy is not bugged. :smile:

    1. The is my solo run on v2.6.6. LOB with a half-orc barbarian. The SS is of an actual preparation to face Shadow Aspect on LOB difficulty.

    2. Used Nymph's Cloak from BG1:EE to charm Arkanna, both of her air aspects, and all the mobs from the mind flayer room except for the mind flayer itself that is resistant to magic (effectively immune to charm). Additionally, I summoned one lesser stone golem from the trinket.

    3. A big nasty army that beats most 6-party comps goes in, but I always come out with zero (0) damage against the Shadow Aspect. I'm not an expert but not below average; I play to the best of my ability. Normally, the Mislead decoy dies 4-5 times, but there's no opportunity to hit the original before Mislead is recast and the massacre resumes.

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    Post edited by hsenpar on
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,083
    edited March 29
    @hsenpar

    I partially agree with you. I never fight the shadow aspect even on hard or insane.

    But there are some considerations on the game design you should consider:

    1) the fight is optional and yields quality loot. In BG terminology this means that the fight is going to be hard / requires some weird tactics and indepth knowledge on gamemechanics. This is the way it has been for more than 20 years.

    2) Making the game and fights neigh impossible is a fan favourite amongst many veterans - they see fights as mini puzzles they have to solve.
    There are many mods that alters the diificulty in your disfavor, and there are all loved and revers. So I understand the devs for aiming at fan favourite - and not for something reasonable.

    3) Playing on LoB is brutal. Kudos for doing so, but its not how the game is intended to be played and the gamedesign is not made for this setting - it is a an odd curveball for those who have spend 1.000 hours playing the game and has 1.000 hours they want to spend playing the game. Still some have found ways to beat the game on LoB - doing so is no small feat.

    So I understand and agree the fight is neigh impossible on LoB. But I suspect that most would like it that way - and I understand why the devs made the fight that tricky.

    4) If you have made it that far in SoD on LoB, you are quite the skilled player. There is a thread about soloing the game on LoB (and SCS). If you go through all the pages, you can see how much SoD made the players suffer, and how they got through it. Most people didnt think that it could be done when the challenge started; somehow they managed, but still the ones who did it are but a few.
  • hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
    @StummvonBordwehr

    Thanks for your remarks and the reference. I finally managed to down the Shadow Aspect and posted a solution for other maniacs:

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/62202/the-lob-scs-solo-challenge-vs-bhaal-s-cataclysm/p220/

    Ctrl + F 'hsenpar' on Page 220 of the thread above. I'm not sure how to point to an exact reply in URL.
  • hsenparhsenpar Member Posts: 30
    edited April 3
    One game development principle that works better than forced, dirty-dirty immunities:

    - Reduced effectiveness.

    Instead of completely unexpected immunities that won't be apparent before trying and reloading (or reading spoilers), spells like Silence would produce a mitigated effect.

    That advice not only goes for special enemies in SOD, but also for Melissan in BG2 ToB -- she has an absurd list of immunities. What I'm arguing is that even basic spells like "Hold Person" should have a place against Melissan if her ST fails, but apply a ~25% effect. That being said, it's general advice for Beamdog's upcoming games rather than the BG series, which is past it's development phase. In any case, SOD has a few things done right and I'm willing to give Beamdog's next titles a try.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,644
    There's basically only one good way to do fractional immunities in the IE. It's used for elven charm resistance, and very little else. That's a chance that it works, not a partial effect. Full immunities, and effects that only apply to certain categories of creatures (i.e. Hold Person only affects humanoids, so you can't catch a fire giant or a sword spider with it) are much more this system's style.
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