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Spells that don't interrupt

I know this isn't down to particular spells because sometimes the same spell will be interrupted, sometimes it won't.

For example, fighting Bassilus just now and was sure I generally interrupt his rigid thinking spell (his first cast), then use a potion of free action if I cannot interrupt his hold spells next. This time, hit him with an arrow during casts of both and he has pain animation but spell is still cast.

I've noticed this since vanilla but have never understood it... as I understand a spell should be interrupted 100% of the time if the enemy has the pain animation.

Comments

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    My understanding is that it has to do with how a spell is scripted, and whether or not it's cast from a scroll. Certain spells are scripted to be uninterruptable, and scrolls can't be interrupted.

    Gotural
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    It would make sense if some sort of logic prevailed, but have deffo interrupted spells in the same part of the game, only to be unable to interrupt them at other times.

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    I heard cleric spells are supposed to be harder to interrupt.

    Gotural
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,469
    Jarrakul said:

    My understanding is that it has to do with how a spell is scripted, and whether or not it's cast from a scroll. Certain spells are scripted to be uninterruptable, and scrolls can't be interrupted.

    This. Some NPCs play normally and can be interrupted by the slightest bit of damage; others are scripted to cast their spells no matter what and cannot be interrupted in any way. From what I understand the latter group amounts to developer laziness (I mean the original developers, not Beamdog). Except in some rare cases where, for story reasons, some particular spell must be cast.

    It's definitely annoying when certain parts of the game play by the rules, and other parts don't. But, it's been that way since the beginning. It's not some rule you're not aware of, it's just a bug.

    jesterdesu
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    In that case I won't feel bad about reloading if it occurs with undesired results!

    Spjuv3rn
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,169
    Scripted spells can be a good thing, too. Keeping casters interrupted by as little as looking at them angrily is a somewhat weird system in the first place. While the other binary extreme is perhaps not the BEST solution, if it's used sparingly it at least adds some extra sense of danger to spellcasters, instead of making them pincushions for your archer.

    Jaheiras_Witness
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,469

    Scripted spells can be a good thing, too. Keeping casters interrupted by as little as looking at them angrily is a somewhat weird system in the first place.

    I agree with the second sentence. You should maybe add your voice to my feature request for the devs to implement TobEx's Concentration Check as an .ini or .2da option. It makes the game play much better, it means you're more sure of interrupting a mage with a 20hp strike from a greatsword than with a little 1hp scratch from an insect.

    But either way, whichever rule you use, imho all casters should be playing by that same rule.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,169

    But either way, whichever rule you use, imho all casters should be playing by that same rule.

    Ideally, yes.

    However the limitations of scripted AI sometimes make it necessary for the computer to cheat a little so as not to be a complete pushover. Great scripts minimize the times where this happens, but it remains a common recourse even for the most creative scripts simply due to the inherent limitations. As always though, it is of course a matter of degrees.

  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373

    Scripted spells can be a good thing, too. Keeping casters interrupted by as little as looking at them angrily is a somewhat weird system in the first place. While the other binary extreme is perhaps not the BEST solution, if it's used sparingly it at least adds some extra sense of danger to spellcasters, instead of making them pincushions for your archer.

    I can understand your point of view, however casters already have so many ways of mitigating damage and nobody can say that casters are underpowered as the game currently stands.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,169

    I can understand your point of view, however casters already have so many ways of mitigating damage and nobody can say that casters are underpowered as the game currently stands.

    That depends on what you mean by "the game". In both BG1 and IWD casters are mostly a joke. IWD especially makes them complete pushovers because you can interrupt with little to no effort. Even on many bosses you can literally stick an archer on them and never worry about ANY spell being cast at all, ever.

    BG2 casters are tougher because of their defenses, but in the unmodded state they're still ridiculously easy to interrupt. Just get something that deals elemental damage, and watch as you poke through twelve dozen layers of Stoneskin as though it wasn't there. And that's just on mages, clerics are completely irrelevant because they basically have no defenses that can stand up to dedicated interruption.

    I find that crippling casters so severely so easily is not where I want my game to be. Things like SCS address this issue by use of smart scripts, but they also frequently go back to "cheating" on spells with uninterruptable scripted spells, or scripted instant buff sequences, etc. I am completely fine with that, because while it's technically outside of the rules, it adds much more to the experience for me than it takes away.

    Of course, in the end I wouldn't call even unmodded casters "underpowered" per se (though mostly because everything else is even weaker), but that doesn't mean that the system isn't inherently flawed.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,469

    IWD especially makes them complete pushovers because you can interrupt with little to no effort. Even on many bosses you can literally stick an archer on them and never worry about ANY spell being cast at all, ever.

    BG2 casters are tougher because of their defenses, but in the unmodded state they're still ridiculously easy to interrupt. Just get something that deals elemental damage, and watch as you poke through twelve dozen layers of Stoneskin as though it wasn't there.

    All true, although there are still plenty of ways for casters to stop damage from getting through: stoneskin is a relatively low-level spell, and is probably pretty effective at 7th level, when you get access to it. There is also Protection from Normal Missiles (upgraded to "Protection from All Missiles" with Spell Revisions), PfMW, Improved Mantle, Absolute Immunity, Etc. All of these techniques are made more effective with good mods and AI scripts - especially SCS and Spell Revisions.

    There are still the odd interruptors that are way too powerful: the 1hp elemental damage from any number of weapons that circumvents SS; tiny little biting insects from a mid-level druid spell; relatively minor poisons - which in the EE, for some godawful reason, goes through Stoneskin (?!), etc.

    Making spellcasting scripted to be uninterruptible is not a good solution to these things. Adding a concentration check so that the chance of interruption is relative to the amount of damage taken, is a *perfect* solution. And the devs are already sitting on the TobEx code to make it happen! So here's hoping someday we see it finally included in a patch. In the meantime, you can play with it right now on the old TOB engine. It's great.

    semiticgodArdul
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    I understand the logic but getting an arrow in the face is gna be pretty distracting for most people too!

    A caster's other protection vs interrupt is faster casting times... obviously this isn't so NPC acessible as things stand, but giving some of the tougher mages some non-droppable items to reduce cast time might help.

    Also, fixing cast times so only the more potent spells take longer to cast... no idea what logic is currently used here. If changed it would mean that a mage has to find a place of relative safety before pulling out the big spells, but could cast smaller ones much easier.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,469
    edited April 2015

    I understand the logic but getting an arrow in the face is gna be pretty distracting for most people too!

    Of course - no one's saying it isn't. But, if that arrow is absorbed harmlessly by a Stoneskin, and only being on fire causes it to singe your ear a tiny bit, maybe you could grit your teeth and concentrate hard and still get the spell off.

    Anyway consider an epic-level fighter who is a grandmaster with greatswords still rolls d20 to hit, right? Even though his thac0 is extremely low and the outcome is not in doubt, you still make the roll. And then the roll can be affected by buffs, debuffs, situational factors, etc. Applying the Concentration Check code (again, as an option turned on in the .ini) simply applies the same logic to spells. Those kind of rolls are at the heart of how this game is meant to work.

    Spellcasting speed definitely helps, but there are only *two* things in the whole game that affect it (and none in BG1), and it's not nearly nuanced enough - one of those two items is so cheesily OP that it makes you effectively uninterruptible.

    From the dev perspective, you could enable a concentration check and add an opcode that boosts concentration, then you could have a whole new aspect of gameplay, allowing items, certain kit abilities, etc. to add variation in who is good at it... presumably clerics of Helm or Tempus are better at getting spells off in the heat of battle than clerics of Lathander or Sune, right?. It would enable different play styles - to be more effective and reliable, a spellcaster could be fast OR be tough.

    And more varied gameplay = more replays, = prolonged interest in the game, = more interest in the game, = more sales.

    = Win!

    Ardul
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Playing IWD2 with its 3.0 Concentration checks really makes interrupting hard... Even a lvl 1 caster can manage a great base modifier (+12 is very possible), meaning you will not be easily breaking their concentration on a lvl 1 spell, especially with an arrow, seeing as they likely have 8 Hp if arcane. You really can't reliably interrupt without a high damage spell. This was probably too hard to interrupt, but a tough mage should have a decent shot at not being interrupted by a graze from an arrow. I'd say a crit hit should always interrupt, as it represents a blow to a vulnerable area iirc. An arrow to the face would be distracting I think, an arrow that cuts your leg though?

    I like Clerics being harder to interrupt too, seeing as they are trained for combat/danger far beyond a mage.

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