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

24

Comments

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 697
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    SOD didn't change BG1, it added new areas and it's own ending. TOSC didn't change BG1 either and it added it's own areas and it's own ending before the original ending of BG1. I am proposing they do the same thing with TOB. It could be done. The contractual limitations are there to prevent them from changing what is already in TOB. They have already added new adventures in TOB and there is nothing stopping them from adding even more that have there own endings. The game would be released as it's own expansion pack so it wouldn't have any effect on TOB which is part of BG2EE and has already been re-sold. It would be a repeat of SOD only a little bit larger and sold for BG2EE instead of BG1 EE. The end of BG1EE already adds content to the end of the game and bridges the gap between the two games. Nothing is stopping them from adding more before and after the ending of TOB as far as I can see.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,132
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil


    Ascension is a bit different. ... it does supposedly represent the "true" ending as it was intended by some people at some point,

    Just, sorry, it's somehow become a big pet peeve to keep seeing people post this, when in fact it is not true. Ascension not a "true" version intended all along, but rather is a "wouldn't it be cool if..." version, by some people at some point after the game was out. In other words: a mod.

    AstroBryGuymlneveseThacoBell
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    Aye

    Just, sorry, it's somehow become a big pet peeve to keep seeing people post this, when in fact it is not true. Ascension not a "true" version intended all along, but rather is a "wouldn't it be cool if..." version, by some people at some point after the game was out. In other words: a mod.

    That was what the "supposedly" and the quotation marks were supposed to imply. It's such a widespread belief now most people don't even question it. Not that it REALLY matters, but I guess some people like to point to it as some sort of legitimization (which, also, doesn't matter; if it's good it's good who cares where it came from or how it came to be).

    SomeSort
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 182
    Aye
    Asking SCS to be made part of BG does not make too much sense to me. Why would they spend the effort doing something which is already achievable by mods? What is not achievable is SOD like AI and monster encounters for whole series, and I believe it is necessary to make the game complete. I found SOD's difficulty levels to be so good and the combat to be very satisfying. What lacks now is the consistency of the BG series as the difference in AI and the combat in different difficulty levels are much more apparent now.

    I can only imagine it would take quite a bit of effort to change all encounters in BGEE/BG2EE/IWDEE to SOD like encounters, so it would cost money to the company. If they don't see any gain from this financially, they might not go into that road, which is only fair. A solution to this can be making the effort to do it but not for free. Beamdog can make it downloadable content and sell it. Now that the Beamdog Client is up and going as well, I believe this can be doable. I would gladly pay whatever the cost would be for that. I'm curious about what the guys in Beamdog think about that.

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,310
    Aye
    Any improvements in the AI should be optional though.. or maybe tied to a higher difficulty setting. We still get new players in the newbie area who have difficulty fighting the xvarts in normal difficulty...

    lolienSomeSortThacoBellsemiticgod
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Nay
    Ludwig_II said:

    Asking SCS to be made part of BG does not make too much sense to me. Why would they spend the effort doing something which is already achievable by mods? What is not achievable is SOD like AI and monster encounters for whole series, and I believe it is necessary to make the game complete. I found SOD's difficulty levels to be so good and the combat to be very satisfying. What lacks now is the consistency of the BG series as the difference in AI and the combat in different difficulty levels are much more apparent now.

    I can only imagine it would take quite a bit of effort to change all encounters in BGEE/BG2EE/IWDEE to SOD like encounters, so it would cost money to the company. If they don't see any gain from this financially, they might not go into that road, which is only fair. A solution to this can be making the effort to do it but not for free. Beamdog can make it downloadable content and sell it. Now that the Beamdog Client is up and going as well, I believe this can be doable. I would gladly pay whatever the cost would be for that. I'm curious about what the guys in Beamdog think about that.

    If they did that I would pay anybody/somebody double the money for a copy of BG/BG2 without the addition. And never, even though I like to support Beamdog, buy one of their games.

    I dislike intensely SOD combat. It's boring, repeatative and unimaginative. In fact just posted much the same in the no reload thread. It's actually made me abandon my latest run. Just can't be bothered with another and another and another mob encounter.

    Sorry to be so negative, but BG and BG2 have proved their longevity, and now you think it's a good idea to change them so completely?
    For who?
    Play other games that consider it fun to have endless pitched battles against foes you neither care about or who have no "personality" and leave BG/BG2 alone.

    lefreutKilivitz
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    I haven't gotten to SoD yet, but I'm disappointed to learn that it borrowed enemy behavior towards invisible targets from IWD. I love IWD, but enemy behavior towards invisible targets is by far the stupidest thing in the game.

  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 159
    edited May 2017
    @Ark_Tolei: you were playing on LoB though. It's my understanding that AI in SoD varies depending on difficulty setting. You picked the highest difficulty(actually you picked beyond highest difficulty); obviously it's going to be stupidly unfair requiring reliance on cheese and metagaming to win. That's kind of how difficulty works in RPGs.

    But the normal difficulty is... well, Normal, or Core according to some. So play through SoD on Normal/Core and tell me again how cheesy it is.

    semiticgodArctodusThacoBell
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,144
    @WatchForWolves the AI behavior @Ark_Tolei particularly objects to (following and congregating round invisible characters no matter where they are on the map) is standard for SoD even on Core. Personally I agree that behavior makes no sense and should be changed - as I nearly always play solo I can't even respond to cheese with cheese in the way @Ark_Tolei outlines :D. That AI behavior does cut down on the range of strategies that can be pursued in the game and I think that is likely to make it generally less rewarding for those seeking replayability (which will be most people on this Forum).

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Nay
    @semiticgod

    The issue of enemies not doing anything should the player turn invisible is solved by the players actions. There's no point driving yourself nuts over a "problem" if it's solved eventually anyway.

    So player goes invisible, enemies stand around, but player always ends up attacking or performing some action and breaking invisibility.

    So the whole "I'd marshall my forces and sweep the area" becomes a little redundant because the invisible player (within the game) ends up revealing themselves in 90% or more of cases. Just as invisible assassins always reveal themselves eventually because they always attack (the challenge is to keep everybody alive while they are doing their thing).

    This is a game, players are compelled to complete the game (otherwise they wouldn't be playing) so invisibility is solved from an enemies point of view, by the player themselves, surely?

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,301
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    I've recently played through all of BG1, SoD and halfway through BG2 SoA with a shadowdancer and I've experienced that most of the times when enemies gang up on you even if you are invisible, all it takes is to stand still so they bump into you, then you move again. When you do that, they don't follow until you uncloak and strike again. I have not experienced that enemies come rushing in from out of sight to gang up and mob around my invisible character, not in BG1, not in SoD and not in BG2. In SoD there are usually more enemies around, especially since I play on Insane, which makes the mobbing of invis chars more likely to trap them compared to BG1 and 2 where usually encounters even on insane means less enemies per group encounters.

    So, with that said, I actually think the way it works is good enough. I RP that when enemies follow my trail even when I am invisible they are following the sound and smell of me, but then I relocate and they lose track until I strike again. This also works as an explanation for the dreadful bonebats since they perhaps use bat sonar and not sight so they can find you without 'seeing' you as normal enemies. Annoying is hell, but understandable and logical.

    One thing I noticed was that when I started BG2 I continuously lost stealth due to missed rolls to a much, much higher degree than in BG1 and SoD even with the exact same Hide/MS percentages. Very strange. Only after leveling up and up'ing the skills over 200 each could I maintain stealth for a prolonged period of time. ~150/150 was not enough in BG2 as it was in BG1/SoA. It made me wonder if the penalties from direct light is more harsh in BG2 than in the other games, but I doubt it since I have never seen anyone else mention it.

    ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    Aye

    @semiticgod

    The issue of enemies not doing anything should the player turn invisible is solved by the players actions. There's no point driving yourself nuts over a "problem" if it's solved eventually anyway.

    So player goes invisible, enemies stand around, but player always ends up attacking or performing some action and breaking invisibility.

    I believe the problem is that enemies will keep focusing on the invisible player as long as there are no others in LoS - if, for example, they are being bombarded by various area of effect spells or whatnot from out of their LoS. As long as you don't break invisibility or have other people move in, they'll stick to you. And die.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Nay

    @semiticgod

    The issue of enemies not doing anything should the player turn invisible is solved by the players actions. There's no point driving yourself nuts over a "problem" if it's solved eventually anyway.

    So player goes invisible, enemies stand around, but player always ends up attacking or performing some action and breaking invisibility.

    I believe the problem is that enemies will keep focusing on the invisible player as long as there are no others in LoS - if, for example, they are being bombarded by various area of effect spells or whatnot from out of their LoS. As long as you don't break invisibility or have other people move in, they'll stick to you. And die.
    Yes, I get that's a problem now with the bug.

    My answer was more about the initial behaviour needing to be changed in the first place.

    It doesn't matter if enemies stand around doing nothing because the player will eventually resolve the issue by doing something to break invisibility. Or they will run away and come back later because they have to get through that section of the game. But the player will do something because you are playing a game.

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,413
    Nay

    *(following and congregating round invisible characters no matter where they are on the map)* is an unfortunate bug (and not only SoD-related) and shouldn't be used as an argument while evaluating the AI enhancement. As it's a bug, it's not intended. It's very sad to see how the immense work on the SoD AI is neglected because of this bug.

    http://support.baldursgate.com/issues/23662

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/53495/ipad-enemies-should-not-know-where-you-are-when-invisible-hof#latest

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/38208/ios-hostile-orcs-should-not-continue-to-follow-player-character-after-using-hide-in-plain-sight#latest

    It may be a bug but it's what we have right now because the bug is still not fixed. Do not wait one year to fix a bug that have a very negative effect on a feature you want to promote. You are the only ones to blame if people do not give the correct evaluation to the AI enhancement.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,045
    Aye
    lefreut said:

    *(following and congregating round invisible characters no matter where they are on the map)* is an unfortunate bug (and not only SoD-related) and shouldn't be used as an argument while evaluating the AI enhancement. As it's a bug, it's not intended. It's very sad to see how the immense work on the SoD AI is neglected because of this bug.

    http://support.baldursgate.com/issues/23662

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/53495/ipad-enemies-should-not-know-where-you-are-when-invisible-hof#latest

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/38208/ios-hostile-orcs-should-not-continue-to-follow-player-character-after-using-hide-in-plain-sight#latest

    It may be a bug but it's what we have right now because the bug is still not fixed. Do not wait one year to fix a bug that have a very negative effect on a feature you want to promote. You are the only ones to blame if people do not give the correct evaluation to the AI enhancement.
    That's still just a single facet of the AI however. Is BG2 similarly ruined because Mislead can be cheesed to win the whole game? What about sleep or web in BG1? Those spells two can win an exhorbitant percentage of encounters. The bug is unfortunate, but is still only a small part of the whole.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,144
    edited May 2017
    Skatan said:

    I've recently played through all of BG1, SoD and halfway through BG2 SoA with a shadowdancer and I've experienced that most of the times when enemies gang up on you even if you are invisible, all it takes is to stand still so they bump into you, then you move again. When you do that, they don't follow until you uncloak and strike again.

    That works in BG1 and BG2, but not in SoD. If you play with a solo character in SoD then once enemies are aware of you they will continue to follow and crowd round you despite invisibility and irrespective of where you are on the map. Because of the large numbers of enemies in many locations that makes playing something like a thief much more of a chore than it should be, so I will welcome it when that bug is fixed. I do agree, however, that generally the AI is better in SoD than in BGEE or BG2EE and personally would like to see the latter games benefit from the improvements.

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

    lefreut said:

    *(following and congregating round invisible characters no matter where they are on the map)* is an unfortunate bug (and not only SoD-related) and shouldn't be used as an argument while evaluating the AI enhancement. As it's a bug, it's not intended. It's very sad to see how the immense work on the SoD AI is neglected because of this bug.

    http://support.baldursgate.com/issues/23662

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/53495/ipad-enemies-should-not-know-where-you-are-when-invisible-hof#latest

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/38208/ios-hostile-orcs-should-not-continue-to-follow-player-character-after-using-hide-in-plain-sight#latest

    It may be a bug but it's what we have right now because the bug is still not fixed. Do not wait one year to fix a bug that have a very negative effect on a feature you want to promote. You are the only ones to blame if people do not give the correct evaluation to the AI enhancement.
    That's still just a single facet of the AI however. Is BG2 similarly ruined because Mislead can be cheesed to win the whole game? What about sleep or web in BG1? Those spells two can win an exhorbitant percentage of encounters. The bug is unfortunate, but is still only a small part of the whole.
    You're kind of comparing apples and quantum mechanics here. If Mislead cheese or Web spam negatively impacts my experience, I can just not cheese Mislead or not spam Web. If enemies deciding to give me a big group hug every time I go invisible negatively impacts my experience I can... ask them politely not to, I guess? I'm skeptical of the efficacy.

    If you want to compare it to something, compare it to some other unintended, entirely non-optional enemy behavior. Like when the werewolves in the circus tent used to instakill you with every attack.

    lefreut
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Ultimately, we are all Neutral Evil
    Grond0 said:

    Skatan said:

    I've recently played through all of BG1, SoD and halfway through BG2 SoA with a shadowdancer and I've experienced that most of the times when enemies gang up on you even if you are invisible, all it takes is to stand still so they bump into you, then you move again. When you do that, they don't follow until you uncloak and strike again.

    That works in BG1 and BG2, but not in SoD. If you play with a solo character in SoD then once enemies are aware of you they will continue to follow and crowd round you despite invisibility and irrespective of where you are on the map. Because of the large numbers of enemies in many locations that makes playing something like a thief much more of a chore than it should be, so I will welcome it when that bug is fixed. I do agree, however, that generally the AI is better in SoD than in BGEE or BG2EE and personally would like to see the latter games benefit from the improvements.
    I haven't gotten to SoD yet, but if SoD imported the behavior from IWD, then yeah, those buggers will follow you until their death. They'll cross area transitions, they'll deftly navigate mazes, they'll stop when you stop and start when you start again, they'll intuit your every change of direction and alter their angles of pursuit to arrive where you're going to be rather than where you already are.

    Basically, casting invisibility doesn't actually make you invisible, it just makes every enemy in the entire game a pacifist who really, really wants to give you a hug. (Or it does make you invisible and enemies become psychics as well as pacifists.)

    For a more thorough look at the insanity that is IWD enemy behavior in the face of invisibility, read @joluv's minimum-kill IWD playthrough.

  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 69
    Nay

    *(following and congregating round invisible characters no matter where they are on the map)* is an unfortunate bug (and not only SoD-related) and shouldn't be used as an argument while evaluating the AI enhancement. As it's a bug, it's not intended. It's very sad to see how the immense work on the SoD AI is neglected because of this bug.

    http://support.baldursgate.com/issues/23662

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/53495/ipad-enemies-should-not-know-where-you-are-when-invisible-hof#latest

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/38208/ios-hostile-orcs-should-not-continue-to-follow-player-character-after-using-hide-in-plain-sight#latest

    Given that it's standard HoW behavior that was implemented to counter the player's ability to reset fights and split packs, calling it a bug is a bit strange. It's been a core mechanic ever since Icewind Dale's first expansion came out, and SoD borrows heavily from IWD in terms of encounter design. It's cheap and moderately obscene that the ai does it, but it's not a bug, it's a feature you imported from the source material and no longer want. That is not the same thing as a bug.

    There is no ai fix for bombing from out of LoS, so pretending that the beacon effect somehow makes LoS bombing happen is silly. It certainly makes it more efficient (you can drag entire SoD or Icewind Dale zones into a killfloor because each pack will aggro the other packs while following you) You would have to give the ai the ability to summon characters back into melee like everquest bosses to prevent a scout+aoe bomb combo, regardless of whether the enemies follow you, because the enemies have no strategy that protects from the status effect of "not able to see you" except "walk in your direction more slowly than you can walk away".

    The invisible beacon mechanic isn't the core reason I don't think the ai is an improvement, as I stipulated in my earlier post.

    If you read the entire post, that behavior is the nuclear option used to resolve the fundamental issue that SoD AI cannot be worked around, only eliminated entirely from the equation. If the enemies in SoD didn't trail me I'd still end up aoe bombing them from out of LoS, just using standard kiting methods. I didn't aoe bomb at all for the BG1 content on LoB, in fact I went through multiple outdoor zones at a time without resting, including some rather hard fights like Kahrk, who took me about 45 minutes to kill because I refused to rest or just paralyze him. I ended using every method of spell cancellation I had on me, including invis canceling while his orb was still up to deal with the fight in the state my party was in, because it could technically be done. The whole point of the difficulty is to make it harder, and fights like Kahrk exemplify that, but not everything that kills you is hard.

    The actual issue with the SoD ai is that it behaves perfectly in a system that relies upon imperfections to mimic crowd control effects. If enemies will never attack a person in plate armor, what purpose does plate serve? What's the point in free action if every spider pre-emptively knows you're invulnerable to their webs and will ignore the guy hitting them in the face in lieu of shooting a web directly through the tanks torso at the spindly archer 30 feet away, then immediately switch targets along with literally every other enemy in the pack the second a failed save happens?

    BG1 ai behaves in ways you can manipulate and adjust to. The ai doesn't simply do the exactly optimal thing at all times because that's boring and leads to stale gameplay. Want to fight a pack of BG1 bandits with SoD AI? Leave your wizards, druids, rogues, bards sorcerors low str clerics (hi viconia) and anyone else not wearing decent metal armor out of the party entirely until they have access to stoneskin, because they will instantly die to an easy pack of level 1 bandits the second they're in line of sight. With stoneskin it takes maybe a full round for a full pack of 5 level 1 bandits. They do have bows and thus 2 attacks per round after all. There's a reason people wander through the bandit forests tank first, but that safety protocol ceases to matter with the way SoD ai works. That is the issue. Closing off your ability to influence the way your enemies behave does not make for compelling fights. There's a reason D&D implemented attacks of opportunity. That degree of danger trying to remove yourself from a person with a giant axe is necessary for the axe guy to do his job, and if it isn't mechanically implemented, it has to be implemented in ai patterns.

    Hobgoblins and those that share their ai patterns behave erratically and require constant attention and significant care to deal with in vanilla if they have enough hp that their ai is relevant, but I never felt like "whelp, time to cheese another encounter" throughout the entire game on LoB until I reached the massive hive mind swarms SoD throws at you.

    There are dozens of solutions to most problems in BG, but as soon as you make archers, spiders, and other similar creatures have perfect target prioritization on LoS range instant cast death effects all those strategies vaporize and you're left with "I can either fight with exclusively the friends that can aoe bomb from out of LoS, or I can fight exclusively with people who are immune". Again, there's nothing difficult about dealing with the ai, it's just an uninteresting slog because aoe bomb from out of LoS is the strategy that consistently works to kill packs of 20 enemies, particularly when they can and will instagib anyone who isn't immune to them the second they enter LoS.



    TL:DR aoe bombing isn't the problem, and can't be prevented without the enemies outright cheating. It's the nuclear solution to swarms that are unmanageable by standard tactics, which conveniently includes nearly every single encounter on SoD on LoB mode. If you aren't playing on LoB mode nothing has enough hp for its ai to be terribly relevant, and thus any discussion on enemy ai that relies on experience in the lower difficulties misses the entire point of ai. A creature needs to be alive for its ai to function, and almost all the dangerous ai improvements focus on low hp enemies that normal players simply won't experience at all.

    SomeSort
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Nay
    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?

  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 69
    edited May 2017
    Nay

    @Ark_Tolei: you were playing on LoB though. It's my understanding that AI in SoD varies depending on difficulty setting. You picked the highest difficulty(actually you picked beyond highest difficulty); obviously it's going to be stupidly unfair requiring reliance on cheese and metagaming to win. That's kind of how difficulty works in RPGs.

    But the normal difficulty is... well, Normal, or Core according to some. So play through SoD on Normal/Core and tell me again how cheesy it is.

    The issue I have with the difficulty isn't that it's hard, because it's not. It's extremely limiting in the same way that a dragon that has completely unmitagable instagib damage, a swarm of easily kiteable greater wyvern adds, and a baby dragon with the same breath weapon is limiting. Dragons can be polymorphed into squirrels. Squirrels with deadly breath weapons, but squirrels nonetheless. Turning a dragon into a squirrel with a wand you could use at level 1 and shooting it in its very tiny head with an arrow is not hard, and it is the only option available because you absolutely cannot fight a baby dragon, a half dozen greater wyverns, and a dragon with hundreds of hp and 50-100 unmitigable damage every few rounds in addition to normal dragon tearing your face off damage (100-200 if the baby isn't CC'd, same breath weapon damage as the adult for some reason) all at the same time.

    I suspect that it would be virtually impossible to burn down the dragon on LoB before dying in an unmodded game even if it was alone since none of the protection from poison options in BG1 actually impact poison damage, only the poison status effect. It would have been fun to try though. Being cheated out of an epic dragon fight because you can't do anything but turn it into a squirrel with a wand (or instagib it with a non-magical throwing dagger while it sleeps, fun easter egg) is depressing.

    It's a mistake to think I say any of this because I want things easier. I want challenging playstyles to be rewarding, and I want to stem the tide of "just bring a wizard to nuke everything from out of LoS and/or turn it all into hamsters using power word reload because the encounter design prevents any other strategy from gaining purchase".

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    Aye
    Definitely understand the concerns about such AI behavior. The solution is obviously a more differentiated script, which is exactly what SCS does. Lack of SCS has been exactly what turned me off of IWD after like 2.5 playthroughs, and it's also what stopped me from buying SoD in the first place. The IWD-based AI is just not particularly fun to fight, even though larger, more meatier battles are very much something I do like. But without AI, number tweaks in the vein of HoW/LoB are simply not enough. The core behavioral problems persist, and force you into uncomfortable strategies. IWD-style AI just does not compare to BG1/2 on SCS, and if SoD mimics IWD more than BG, that is just another confirmation for my decision not to buy it (at least not until there is SCS).

  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 69
    Nay

    Definitely understand the concerns about such AI behavior. The solution is obviously a more differentiated script, which is exactly what SCS does. Lack of SCS has been exactly what turned me off of IWD after like 2.5 playthroughs, and it's also what stopped me from buying SoD in the first place. The IWD-based AI is just not particularly fun to fight, even though larger, more meatier battles are very much something I do like. But without AI, number tweaks in the vein of HoW/LoB are simply not enough. The core behavioral problems persist, and force you into uncomfortable strategies. IWD-style AI just does not compare to BG1/2 on SCS, and if SoD mimics IWD more than BG, that is just another confirmation for my decision not to buy it (at least not until there is SCS).

    I think you're missing out if you don't pick up SoD to experience the campaign at least once. I wouldn't do the SoD campaign on LoB mode again, but it's definitely worth experiencing the campaign itself, and I'll definitely replay it sometime offstream to dig into the writing a bit more. The expansion has some interesting characters to interact with, a multitude of interesting dungeon themes, and at least one extremely unique combat encounter that blew my socks off thematically and is nothing like anything else in any infinity engine game that I can recall.

    I think the team made a mistake removing important ai features and replacing them with perfect automatons, but don't get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for the team and what they do, and I think the mistakes they made in encounter design are in line with what the BG community believes difficulty is about.

    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, while repeatedly buffing the most overpowered classes in the game, I find it unlikely that I'll find it enjoyable. There's no problem in the saga that can't be resolved by a solo wizard with ease, and giving them even more power inevitably makes the game easier not harder.

    ArctodusSomeSortThacoBell
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    edited May 2017
    Aye
    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, while repeatedly buffing the most overpowered classes in the game, I find it unlikely that I'll find it enjoyable. There's no problem in the saga that can't be resolved by a solo wizard with ease, and giving them even more power inevitably makes the game easier not harder.

    A fair enough point, though the right mod setup can definitely help smooth out the rough edges (highly recommend Item Revisions/Spell Revisions in concert with SCS). Arcane remains powerful, but I personally don't actually use it excessively. Most of my damage comes from warrior-types, generally with 1 arcane and 1 divine spliced in via hybrid, primarily for buff/debuff support. It's definitely possible to do hardcore shenanigans with arcane spells (e.g. repeated Wish-resting etc.) but it's far from a requirement even on SCS LoB.

    Ultimately, some restriction on what is exceptionally good and what is more or less useless is an inevitable result of high-difficulty setups. Balancing everything perfectly and still retaining a challenge is a Utopian dream. It's a matter of degrees, and SCS/IR/SR I have found delivers degrees that I personally find satisfying enough for long-term enjoyment.

    As for SoD, story and everything is fine and all but it's not why I play this game primarily. Given how limited my gaming time has become of late, it's not enough of an argument on its own to get me to play it. Not when I still have tons of LoB testing lined up that I won't get to for literal months if not years...

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Nay
    @Ark_Tolei

    "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, while repeatedly buffing the most overpowered classes in the game, I find it unlikely that I'll find it enjoyable. There's no problem in the saga that can't be resolved by a solo wizard with ease, and giving them even more power inevitably makes the game easier not harder. "


    I think some of the ambushes and increased strategy of SCS give the op magic users more problems. The call for help thing, yes a wizard can deal with a group but then another group turns up behind them?
    Beholders flank you?

    I've just finished BG, couple of fights that stand out as being affected by SCS are those in ToftheSC, the dwarven defenders in DT and the cult when you get back to UB and of course the chess board. All three of those would put serious pressure on a solo mage.

    There are a lot of enemies who are magic resistant in SOA, and if they act with a bit of intelligence?

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,301
    Aye
    SomeSort said:

    Grond0 said:

    Skatan said:

    I've recently played through all of BG1, SoD and halfway through BG2 SoA with a shadowdancer and I've experienced that most of the times when enemies gang up on you even if you are invisible, all it takes is to stand still so they bump into you, then you move again. When you do that, they don't follow until you uncloak and strike again.

    That works in BG1 and BG2, but not in SoD. If you play with a solo character in SoD then once enemies are aware of you they will continue to follow and crowd round you despite invisibility and irrespective of where you are on the map. Because of the large numbers of enemies in many locations that makes playing something like a thief much more of a chore than it should be, so I will welcome it when that bug is fixed. I do agree, however, that generally the AI is better in SoD than in BGEE or BG2EE and personally would like to see the latter games benefit from the improvements.
    I haven't gotten to SoD yet, but if SoD imported the behavior from IWD, then yeah, those buggers will follow you until their death. They'll cross area transitions, they'll deftly navigate mazes, they'll stop when you stop and start when you start again, they'll intuit your every change of direction and alter their angles of pursuit to arrive where you're going to be rather than where you already are.

    Basically, casting invisibility doesn't actually make you invisible, it just makes every enemy in the entire game a pacifist who really, really wants to give you a hug. (Or it does make you invisible and enemies become psychics as well as pacifists.)

    For a more thorough look at the insanity that is IWD enemy behavior in the face of invisibility, read @joluv's minimum-kill IWD playthrough.
    Interesting.. Like I said, I played through all of BG1 -> SoD -> half BG2 (everything up to Spellhold) and I can't say I remember it being that way. My shadowdancer cleaned out most of the maps in SoD himself while the rest of the team sat around in a corner waiting.

    Now I am curious and want to load up an old save in SoD to see if I remember it incorrectly, but I am not ready to sign up on this being the AI behaviour just yet. Need to see it with my own eyes.

    ThacoBell
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