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How EEs structure fare when compared to vanilla?

MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
edited February 2015 in General Modding
Hi all!!

I've my own modded version of BGT (Bg1+2+ToB), which I like to play and adjust as a "hobby" every now and then, I've constructed it adding and changing bits and pieces over the last years, between all the .exe hacks and mods added, its immensely massive.

I was thinking about acquiring EEs and rebuild my modded version on top of it, for my own hobby purpose, but for that I must ask first:

1- how does EEs file structure fares with the originals? Is it the exact same engine or are there one too many caveats?
2- Does DLTCEP and NI work as good on EEs?
3- How stable and malleable are EEs? I don't mind having to go over, say, the baldur.bcs or many BAM sequences and fix or adapt it to my own tastes, however I would hate to face limitations or bugs that do not exist, or are long fixed, in the original games.

I would thank if these questions can be answered with no wishful thinking, have been meaning to ask those for some time now.

Also, I believe these would be the questions that modders need to know about EEs, I tried searching for a topic about it but could not find, if there is one, please point me to, if there is not, please make one and stick.

Post edited by Meaningless on

Comments

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568
    That's a big question. In developing my mod I've been working a lot in both systems (really 4 different games: BGT, BGEE, BG2EE, and IWDEE).

    My rough sense is this: there are a few TobEx features that were not and cannot be implemented in the EEs (at least not until another patch, so at least 6-12 months away). If one of those features is important to you, the EEs will not suit you.

    But if none of those few missing features is a dealbreaker, then the EEs are the same-to-better, and more stable. They're perfectly fine to work with as far as Weidu and NI go.

    JuliusBorisov
  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    Oh thats very good to know! Thanks!!

    Do you perhaps have information about which tobex features are not implemented, or is there somewhere where this information can be found?

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568
    My personal pet peeve is that I can't enable 'concentration check to avoid spell disruption on hit.' It's one of those features that once I used it, I could never go back to not using it. EE doesn't allow it, so I'm still playing BGT.

    If you search for posts by Erg, he has discussed a few more things. Basically about half of TobEx is present in the EE. And because the executable is different, the rest can't be applied by modders. We're waiting in vain on more patches, which are very, very, very few and far between.

    But if the TobEx features that are left out are not ones that you happen to care about, then I'd venture you'll probably find the EEs more stable and generally superior for working with than a BGT installation. Especially if you want to get away from Windows - Beamdog has been great about supporting multiple platforms. (Even if the iOS versions' UI is still broken... but that's a different story.)

  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    I takes less than half an hour for me to find a pet peeve: tobex makes only valid attacks to be displayed, now I'm stuck back to the attack animations that just play for the sake of displaying something.. its beyond silly to have an attack thats false, its misleading as well.

    Can you forward a feature request in the http://forum.baldursgate.com/categories/feature-requests
    I'll endorse yours and add mine as well.

    By contacting a dev thats how we must proceed anyway, and I'm not about to let it go without some trial ^_^

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,081
    I think I won't fully get to play the Enhanced Editions with many mods until EET (enhanced edition trilogy) is out and someone makes a good GUI mod that can be used consistently in EET (because, let's face it, BG2:EE's GUI is the suckiest thing in the game), but since I have to run BGT through Wine (because I'm on Mac OSX) I think that just with EET I'll do well.

    I takes less than half an hour for me to find a pet peeve: tobex makes only valid attacks to be displayed, now I'm stuck back to the attack animations that just play for the sake of displaying something.. its beyond silly to have an attack thats false, its misleading as well.

    I think the EEs have something like that. Check the baldur.ini. It has lotsa new things from IwD:EE and other that are completely new. I think one of them is something like "Disable fake attacks" or something like that.

    JuliusBorisov
  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    edited February 2015
    CrevsDaak said:

    I think the EEs have something like that. Check the baldur.ini. It has lotsa new things from IwD:EE and other that are completely new. I think one of them is something like "Disable fake attacks" or something like that.


    Yup there is a an option for that but solely in BG2EE baldur.ini (btw whats the deal with making these new .ini files so contrived?? It seems some devs are chaotic aligned).

    Hoping devs include that for BG1 as well and soon, I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE engine and somebody else to go and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start. Please devs get to work on whats important and coherent (theres a reason why everyone plays BGT and why tobex is in every install).

    Sorry if it looks like I'm bitching but this kind of nonsense makes me mad ;)

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686

    CrevsDaak said:

    I think the EEs have something like that. Check the baldur.ini. It has lotsa new things from IwD:EE and other that are completely new. I think one of them is something like "Disable fake attacks" or something like that.


    Yup there is a an option for that but solely in BG2EE baldur.ini (btw whats the deal with making these new .ini files so contrived?? It seems some devs are chaotic aligned).

    Hoping devs include that for BG1 as well and soon, I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE and somebody else to go and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start. Please devs get to work on whats important and coherent (theres a reason why everyone plays BGT and why tobex is in every install).

    Sorry if it looks like I'm bitching but this kind of nonsense makes me mad ;)
    I have a feeling that you'll find more people playing BG:EE today than BGT. I used to play BGT myself and it took me a long time to move over to BG:EE, but i'm here now and not going back to BGT anytime soon.


  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    edited February 2015
    SionIV said:



    I have a feeling that you'll find more people playing BG:EE today than BGT.

    You're missing the point here, please don't be naive...

    EE doesn't allow it, so I'm still playing BGT.

    SionIV said:

    I used to play BGT myself and it took me a long time to move over to BG:EE.

    CrevsDaak said:

    I think I won't fully get to play the Enhanced Editions with many mods until EET (enhanced edition trilogy) is out.

    And what did I say?


    I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE engine and somebody else to go and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start.

    Conslusion?? If someone makes a mod to play BG1EE using BG2EE full engine options, WE'RE ALL be going to use it as default, if someone makes an EE .exe hack for additional consistency/features and cuts out the crap, WE'RE ALL going to use it.

    Me, you, subtledoctor, CrevsDaak, all grandmas and all grandsons, want to play an UP TO DATE engine. Enhanced something has to mean moving it forwards, not backwards...

    Sorry for the context of the post this subject does make me mad ;)
    Please no more nonsense to topic xD.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568
    CrevsDaak said:

    but since I have to run BGT through Wine (because I'm on Mac OSX)

    Ooh, that always sounded like an annoying solution. I myself use WinXP and VirtualBox, solely for IE games. The proper Windows environment makes reinstalls/modding pretty easy and the options for mouse capture outstanding. (The game can be in a window but I can still throw the mouse to the edges of the screen to scroll around. Even the EEs can't do that!).

    It is admittedly MUCH nicer to start up the BGEE directly in OS X... but I can't stand to play it until the devs give me a way to apply a concentration check.

    :sigh:

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited February 2015

    SionIV said:



    I have a feeling that you'll find more people playing BG:EE today than BGT.

    You're missing the point here, please don't be naive...

    EE doesn't allow it, so I'm still playing BGT.

    SionIV said:

    I used to play BGT myself and it took me a long time to move over to BG:EE.

    CrevsDaak said:

    I think I won't fully get to play the Enhanced Editions with many mods until EET (enhanced edition trilogy) is out.

    And what did I say?


    I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE engine and somebody else to go and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start.

    Conslusion?? If someone makes a mod to play BG1EE using BG2EE full engine options, WE'RE ALL be going to use it as default, if someone makes an EE .exe hack for additional consistency/features and cuts out the crap, WE'RE ALL going to use it.

    Me, you, subtledoctor, CrevsDaak, all grandmas and all grandsons, want to play an UP TO DATE engine. Enhanced something has to mean moving it forwards, not backwards...

    Sorry for the context of the post this subject does make me mad ;)
    Please no more nonsense to topic xD.
    I'm the one being naive when the amount of people playing BGT is probably 10% of the BG:EE player base today? And gaming developers tend to focus on the majority, not a small minority?

    Seems like I've learnt a new definition of naive today, thank you.

    ronaldoMusignyGodKaiserHellKilivitz
  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    If you want to play a game deprived of features, congrats, you got it! Must feel great to be you.

    Now is there anything else you want to add to the subject, or came in solely for deprive?

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686

    If you want to play a game deprived of features, congrats, you got it! Must feel great to be you.

    Now is there anything else you want to add to the subject, or came in solely for deprive?

    No i'm done here, though a little hint from one gamer to another. You'll find a much better response on a forum if you keep civil instead of calling people names and being rude in general.

    Thank you for your time.

    GodKaiserHell
  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    edited February 2015
    And yet I'm sure you'll install mostly any mod that adds game features, contradicting your very line of thought... but thats hardly up do debate eh?

    Theres always problems with people that can't grab the full scope of things, be sure to grab the bits and pieces on the way out, you oughta figure it out sometime.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568
    edited February 2015
    SionIV said:

    You'll find a much better response on a forum if you keep civil instead of calling people names and being rude in general.

    To be fair, you (Sion) have been kind of dismissive and unhelpful throughout this thread.

    I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE engine

    Well the nice thing is, BGEE, BG2EE and IWDEE are all basically on the same engine. There are little differences here and there, but nothing like the difference with the old BG, BG2, IWD, PST, etc. You don't need to play BG1EE in the BG2EE engine - for the most part, you already are.

    and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start.

    But this, the devs are not as good at. They kind of just picked some TobEx features and added them from the start; others are now trickling into the engine very... very... sloooowly. The idea of waiting for a new patch, months and months away, and then maybe feature X that's already in TobEx isn't in it, so now we're looking at maybe mid-2016... yeah, forget it.

    Thing is, the devs are generally cool people, they engage with players and modders and genuinely listen to what people want. They're just... not so great at delivering. I guess no one's perfect!

    My advice, make some feature requests, be good-natured about it, and in the meantime continue to enjoy playing BGT. Seems like rather a lot of people are doing that actually - myself, Crevs, s bunch of people on the G3 boards, etc. Including a bunch of very good modders... hey, maybe if we really want to put a little pressure on the devs we should get together and keep our mods off the EEs. That would really give BGT a leg up and incentivize the devs to get more of the basic TobEx stuff done that should have been done 2 years ago. But... nah, it'll never happen. :(

  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    edited February 2015
    Yup, I was going to open the toolbox and "setup shop" for BG1 but then noticed some engine features are different, like the fake attacks (can turn off in BG2, can't in BG1?), and it occurred to me: Today its the attacks, tomorrow its another thing, and the next week another.. limitations start to pile up and it becomes a chore to mod for BG1.

    I don't want to start it and down the road realise it was much faster/better to simply wait a full BG1 port to BG2 engine.

    Since I currently have no idea about the differences from one to the other.. I better just lurk around until I feel informed enough to make a decision, and yeah the waiting is quite a bother.

    Didn't meant to be rude at Sion, perhaps he/she thought I meant most people play BGT nowadays, when I was actually talking in retrospect and thinking it would be obvious to all who read (meaning vanilla games turned into BGT, and the same is gonna happen here in due time, its more or less proven).

    I made another topic in BG2 section but dunno if someone actually can or even has what to say about it:
    http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/39456/bg2ee-bg1ee-engine-functions-please-enlight-me

    Guess I'll have to sit a bit, let experience, trial and error be the guide, as it was before \o/
    (sigh.. and I'm so much better at being grumpy than being patient.. oh the wasted potential!)

    Post edited by Meaningless on
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414

    CrevsDaak said:

    I think the EEs have something like that. Check the baldur.ini. It has lotsa new things from IwD:EE and other that are completely new. I think one of them is something like "Disable fake attacks" or something like that.


    Yup there is a an option for that but solely in BG2EE baldur.ini (btw whats the deal with making these new .ini files so contrived?? It seems some devs are chaotic aligned).

    Hoping devs include that for BG1 as well and soon, I don't want to have to wait years until someone has to create from scrath a full mod that export BG1EE to be played into BG2EE engine and somebody else to go and fix the EEs .exe to include features which should be there from the start. Please devs get to work on whats important and coherent (theres a reason why everyone plays BGT and why tobex is in every install).

    Sorry if it looks like I'm bitching but this kind of nonsense makes me mad ;)
    BGEE, BG2EE, and IWDEE are all under active development, and the releases/updates are staggered. The attack animation feature made it into BG2EE v1.3, but wasn't ready yet when BGEE v1.3 was released. I'm sure it'll be in the v1.4 release of BGEE.

    In the meantime, you can use a little mod @Dee made for attack animations: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/comment/531469/#Comment_531469

    The ini files are written in SQL, a standard database query language. It's actually kinda cool, the ini file is read and processed directly into an in-game database of options. I guess a more "hip" solution would have been XML.

    JuliusBorisovMusigny
  • MeaninglessMeaningless Member Posts: 51
    Thanks a lot Astro!

    Well... so long as both engines do strive to keep matched, have no other choice but to open shop in BG1!
    Was probably gonna do that anyway, I really suck at waiting ;)

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    1 - if you meant the fileformats, most are the same with unused fields having a new meaning. There are some graphic formats that got a different version (BAM/TIS/MOS), but their old versions are still working.
    2 - DLTCEP/WeIDU/NI are used in development, they are updated as the engine is improved. EE Keeper is also maintained by a staff member.
    3 - if malleable means, moddable. Then the EE has many of the originally hardcoded features externalized. You don't have to hack the exe to get these. Obviously, mods will need to alter 2da's or other files to get the same result as the .exe hack did for the old engine. Bugs, are always present. We still fix old engine bugs that people insist we put in the EE :D Of course, there are new bugs as well, caused by adding the features. But, patches come frequently compared to the vanilla engine. After all, when did you get the latest patch for vanilla BG2? Even if ToBEx counts.

    Someone else mentioned ToBEx features. Well, we mostly implement them as we need them. I'm pretty sure, by now, we got 80% of them. I don't know which ones we still miss, but i know which ones are in. I would advice maintaining a list of ToBex features, mark which ones are working, which ones are different but available, and which ones are still missing, but actively used by some mod.

    MusignyAndreaColomboCuv
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568

    Someone else mentioned ToBEx features. Well, we mostly implement them as we need them. I'm pretty sure, by now, we got 80% of them. I don't know which ones we still miss, but i know which ones are in. I would advice maintaining a list of ToBex features, mark which ones are working, which ones are different but available, and which ones are still missing,

    How about the ToBEx features which are themselves a mod? And which cannot now be used, or added by any mod, because you guys decided not to externalize them?

    My personal pet peeve is that I can't enable 'concentration check to avoid spell disruption on hit.' It's one of those features that once I used it, I could never go back to not using it. EE doesn't allow it

    As soon as you guys externalized CLSWPBON.2da, I took it upon myself to re-create the old "Taimon's WSPATCK For All" mod from the_Bigg's Tweaks to work for EE players. Externalize everything (I mean everything in that last 20% of ToBex features), and let us modders run with it!

    :)

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    edited February 2015

    Someone else mentioned ToBEx features. Well, we mostly implement them as we need them. I'm pretty sure, by now, we got 80% of them. I don't know which ones we still miss, but i know which ones are in. I would advice maintaining a list of ToBex features, mark which ones are working, which ones are different but available, and which ones are still missing,

    How about the ToBEx features which are themselves a mod? And which cannot now be used, or added by any mod, because you guys decided not to externalize them?
    Same.

    About the concentration check: yeah, it is a good feature.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,568

    About the concentration check: yeah, it is a good feature.

    Quite. And yet, impossible to use on EE games for the foreseeable future. :(

    If only there were some group of people with access to the game's source code, who could release a modification to that code - a "patch," if you will - to enable the feature! Ah, one can but dream of such fanciful propositions...

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