Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Axis & Allies 1942 Online is now available in Early Access! Buy it on Steam. The FAQ is available.
New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

[MOD] PS:T Unfinished Business - Reloaded

1235710

Comments

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,767
    You can try to convince Beamdog to restore some of the removed content. However, they mentioned on several occasions that the content was cut for a reason and not because of time or budget constraints.

    Personally, I think the Yemeth quest is probably the least polished quest restored by UB. It differs much from the usual procedure how quests are given and completed. For example, triggering the quest itself is difficult. There are no journal entries guiding your steps. And there is no obvious reward, except maybe a role-playing reason to kill fiends.

    lujoJuliusBorisov
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    I know content was cut for a reason, execpt some of it didn't need to get cut. We very likely could get some of the stuff implemented.

    Err, textwall. Srry.

    Some of the stuff that in the game didn't get cut simply because there'd be a hole in the scenery but is obviously unfinished completely (Ojo, anyone?), and some of the stuff was literally written by someone in a rush one afternoon and is dripping with cinycism about having to just slap it up and be done with it (There's a dialogue in curst where you ask a guy about himsef, he avoids it and you reply "And what a detailed backstory that is!"). Also, some of the modding changes they implemented actually made things worse in obvious ways. For the best written western RPG ever, there's dialogues in there which are probably the worst written dialogues in a western, or really any, RPG ever :D

    So between even just me and argent, if the question is whether we could get say, the candlestick quest and the yemmeth quest to be up to standard and fit seamelessly the answer is very likely yes. It'd take work, ofc, which we might not feel like doing, but we are certainly capable of doing it well enough to even get a pass from the original devs if they cared to take a look at it.

    I mean, when I do that Rats mod (and wait till you hear about that) I'll not settle for anything less than "this guy read the minds of the original devs and patched up all the obviously missing stuff about cranium rats and wererats in the game, and the game is comedicaly awful without this mod once you've played it with the mod once" level of quality. You know, the kind of thing you can just buy off me and sell as a patch, because, hey, why not? It's possible to do because the game has a glaring hole in this regard, and also, I suspect, because the various modders who's handywork got into the EE messed up how the Cranium Rats work entirely. Just saying. Or because the rats never worked the way they were supposed to (although I kind of remember them working a lot better).

    Also, yes, Yemeth obviously needs work, but I do in fact know what work it is, I just lack experience (quickly catching up though) with editing the game to help with it. Polish the thing properly, though, and at least bits of it can be implemented without problems. I mean, take away the whole Rake bussines, and there's no reason for Ratbone himself to not be in, clue you in about rats and such. They could, with a small tweak, put him in right now, and make the other guy Carver. Then a mod maker can make a quest for, say, Ojo, to kill him because he's killing rats, and then this can get you an audition with Many-as-one in a way which doesn't include going to the catacombs first, and then suddenly you've got the Weeping Stones Catacombs approachable from multiple angles properly etc etc etc.

    Does Beamdog want a cool mod which makes this possible and makes EE an enticing buy? "Hey, some guys finally made the Rats work, there's cool evil quests in there, and fights, and the early game is sooo much cooler and all that! Planescape is due for a reinstall!" - they very likely want that. How do they get that? By helping out with fixing bugs, and implementing safe bits like, say, most of Ratbone, who IS original material and rather fine all in all.

    Post edited by lujo on
  • stibiusstibius Member Posts: 17
    edited January 2018
    I absolutely agree that we should make the restored content as polished as possible. What is the point of restoring something that is obviously unpolished or even half-broken? I think that it is better to add a few lines of new dialogue (which can be made to have the same style and feel as the original with some effort) than leaving it in it's unpolished state.
    argent77 said:

    However, they mentioned on several occasions that the content was cut for a reason and not because of time or budget constraints.

    I can understand why the Elyce thing for example was cut. It is very trivial and uninteresting. Maybe it was originally supposed to be more involved but they never finished it and what is in the game is just a bare bones version that was supposed to be expanded upon. But the Yemeth quest has an interesting story behind it that is already in the base game. The Candlestick quest has an interesting premise as well.
    argent77 said:

    Personally, I think the Yemeth quest is probably the least polished quest restored by UB. It differs much from the usual procedure how quests are given and completed. For example, triggering the quest itself is difficult. There are no journal entries guiding your steps. And there is no obvious reward, except maybe a role-playing reason to kill fiends.

    The Yemeth quest may be the least polished but it is also the most interesting one imho. We can make it easier to trigger it. Perhaps the fiends can offer you the quest on their own without the need to talk to Ratbone at all. Why not? The day-night thing doesn't seem like a big problem to me. Journal entries could be easily added. Options to get the Pendant without killing the Rake-Chaser could be added. Or perhaps an option to kill the abishai for the Rake-Chaser after you tell him that they want the Pendant.



    Btw. I don't believe that there weren't time or budget problems. The entire last third of the game (after Ravel's maze and especially after Curst) is noticeably less fleshed out than the earlier parts. You go from Trias straight to Fhjull straight to the Pillar and back with nothing in between. The portals are conveniently always right around the corner and the key something that you just happen to have. The portal to Baator is the worst thing as it lies right in front of Fhjull's house which makes no sense story-wise as he is supposed to be hiding from the baatezu there. He should be long found out and dead :lol: But they obviously haven't had the time to implement content that would have the player travel to another gate town and all that. And then Baator itself is just one valley filled with monsters instead of an area with NPCs and interesting quests. Such a shame. Baator has so much potential and they haven't utilized it at all.




    lujo
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Just a chime, wife and me have been marveling about how Curst itself is eyewateringly unfinished and rushed. As I said, there's in-jokes in the dialogues about it. You could without kidding just rebuild it ground-up using the assets and as long as you did it competently at all it would be hard to make it worse. Wifes never seen it before and we were laughing out loud and rolling our eyes at every other streff. If you just gave only Curst, the town, to someone to play it would be impossible to explain how and why PST ever got any acclaim, truly.

    Just saying. From what I've seen in this thread alone, we're spontaneously capable of making stuff much better than Curst is. My other mod I have planned is a rework of how things work post-ravel working towards what I have puzzled out to have probably been intended instead of the steaming pile that it is. And if I ever get to do it, you can bet folks will want to see it.

    Post edited by lujo on
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    edited January 2018
    stibius said:

    I absolutely agree that we should make the restored content as polished as possible. What is the point of restoring something that is obviously unpolished or even half-broken? I think that it is better to add a few lines of new dialogue (which can be made to have the same style and feel as the original with some effort) than leaving it in it's unpolished state.

    i agree
    a major historical reason for a minimal-intervention approach is fearing a bad reaction from some purist players who will say that it's not original content and that it's not what they want. this perspective is outdated, i don't think that these fundamentalists are around anymore, and some of the restored material, without intervention, now actually looks (and has always looked) like mod content, simply because it didn't go through the normal polishing and Q&A...

    even beamdog in all of their wisdom ( :p ) didn't do a great job when they released iwd:ee with the restored stuff integrated; for example there was a pretty unpleasant bug in the durdel anatha quest

    so yeah, obvious things like a quest missing a reward (also in iwd:ee beamdog integrated TotL to be playable in the middle of the campaign, as a normal side-quest, but they forgot to include the quest reward for it /no experience reward for killing the quite difficult final boss of that quest, which is also the hardest encounter in the whole game/, since at the time of the original release it was the point at which the game ended . . . fail :D )***, an illogical quest plotline etc, i think should really be fixed

    ***incorrect, as pointed out by @AstroBryGuy down below ... dunno how I could get so confused about the past

    Post edited by bob_veng on
    lujostibius
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Speaking of quests missing elements you'd expect from quests, what's the actual deal with journal entries @argent77 ? I get that they're hard to implement, but why?

    There's original content that is missing journal / quest entries, and this has been noted for a long time, like the whole Decanter of Endless Water thing (which is a good example of even content which did make it into the game "not having it's pants on"). I'm thrilled at the idea that there's finally a place where I can at least complain about this and HOPE it gets fixed. For, like, 20 years, PST was like "lets see what bugs, blunders, inconsistencies, rushjobs, crap, and sillyines I find this time" :D I'm all hyper just imagining all this stuff maybe getting fixed now that I can report it (too much is still right there for me to report, unfortunately).

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    i think it's ok and even a bit cool if there's a sort of a "hidden quest" that has an obscure trigger, and with no journal entries, as long as there's ~1 such quest.

  • stibiusstibius Member Posts: 17
    obscure trigger is fine if it makes sense (which in the case of the Yemeth quest it really doesn't because there is no reason why the fiends can't give you the quest on their own, they already know about the Rake-Chaser) but every quest should definitely have a journal entry at least when you receive it and when you complete it.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    The journal entries are in general very wellcome for new players and people not playing with a guide open. PST is overwhelming and confusing and people very easily get lost without at least a reminder that they've even picked up a quest. I'm also fine with something being a "semi-secret" kinda-sorta quest, but if we're trying to get an unfinished quest to feel like a proper quest...

    But all that's theory and there's a lot to test. I'm just very curious about why it's so hard to implement journal entries, because argent's been mentioning it.

    Also, I think the restored citizens in the Curst Prison don't really bring much to the game, and I think they' mess up the guard's aggro. Like, when I went in there on an unmodded game, the guards behaved differently. They were way more passive this time.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    edited January 2018
    i think that it's good that there should be a single hidden quest, because i've experienced that in CRPGs before, it's not unconventional at all. the main thing for me is - the reward for any hidden quest should be either something good, or something funny

  • stibiusstibius Member Posts: 17
    There already is a hidden area in the game, the Modron Maze, and inside of it you have a hidden reward, Nordom, who is both good and funny. But I understand that this isn't exactly a quest. I heard somewhere that originally there was supposed to be a quest in the Modron Maze that involved either Annah or Grace being abducted by the Evil Wizard Construct and the player had to rescue them. Perhaps someone could make a mod which would add that quest into the game :smile:

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    The whole Annah - Grace - Ravel - Nameless One love quadrangle thingy kinda went nowhere (As did Grace's whole story, which is why she's missing her "upgrade" dialogue. There was supposed to be quite a bit more to that but it never got made. Also, the cellar of the Brothel was supposed to involve quests and puzzles, in the end they only left the area in because they loved how it looks and were sad to cut it entirely. The game is all loose ends.)

    stibius
  • stibiusstibius Member Posts: 17
    How do you know that about Grace? Sounds very interesting.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,767
    lujo said:

    But all that's theory and there's a lot to test. I'm just very curious about why it's so hard to implement journal entries, because argent's been mentioning it.

    Journal entries in PST are implemented differently than in BG or IWD. In BG/IWD you'd simply set a flag in the dialog file or call a script action to add or remove journal or quest entries. In PST this is controlled indirectly by global variables, which requires a lot more planning to get it right. Depending on the complexity of the quest this can be really hard.

    For now I want to concentrate on fixing remaining bugs (if there are any left) until the first stable release. More improvements, like polishing or expanding the Yemeth quest can be done afterwards.

    lujoSoulReaverbob_veng
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    stibius said:

    How do you know that about Grace? Sounds very interesting.

    I read it somewhere, an interview with some of the devs. Actually I read it again recently by following some link Argent gave me and then backing up to some folder (on Sorcerer's place I think) which included that document where I found links to a few other things the original devs shared. Some I've read before, some not.

    This is why you can't read Grace's Journal. They kinda only left it there because it was cool, but originally it was meant to be a way to discover she was thinking about betraying you somehow. Quite a few dialogues in the game hint at it and work towards it, or rather, towards her making a choice about it, but like so many other things in PST - time and money ran out. Really, she's quite unfinished, she lacks her "upgrade speech", and both her and Annah kinda lack a character arc. Bits of it just aren't there, literally.

    I guess trying to figure out what PST was suppose to be instead of the mess it is was always a bit of a hobby of mine. Not that I don't love it and all :)

    stibius
  • stibiusstibius Member Posts: 17
    Do you still have the link? I would like to read it too.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Another interesting thing is that, from what I've gathered and analyzed, you were supposed to go back to Sigil after Ravel, and then the portal to Curst underground was supposed to be in the Undersigil, in that "room" behind the door in the corner. That's why a Sohmein runs out, and why there's Trelons in undersigil, and that's why later when you return there are Greater Glabrezu there - they got in through that portal.

    Also, most of the dialogue in Curst is barely (if even) glorified placeholders. You were supposed to start underground, have a meaningful conversation and interaction with the batezu, run into brick walls and not be able to get into the prison, and then go up through the junkyard and figure out how to get into the prison. But, well, time and money ran out. Curst was meant to work somewhat differently.

    Or at least it was something along those lines. Fhjull was supposed to have a much bigger role, so it's quite possible you go to the Outlands through the portal and he's the one who sends you to Curst hoping you would kill Trias, but that's all details.

    EDIT:
    Oh, and I think it's quite possible that the Mercykillers in the Smoldering Corpse were supposed to tell you about the portal to Curst, when you start asking around how to get there and questions lead you to Candrian, Ebb (who shows up in Carceri, later) and generally the "planeswalking" Smoldering Corpse Bar. It's because one of their guys, Vhailor, went to Curst but never came back, and probably went through that portal. Since Curst never got properly implemented, Vhailor comes as a complete surprise there, but in fact you would have likely been told either to watch out for him, or see if you can find out what happened to him.

    Post edited by lujo on
    argent77stibiusQueegon
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    stibius said:

    Do you still have the link? I would like to read it too.

    I'll try to find it tomorrow.

    stibius
  • CanzahCanzah Member Posts: 37
    Does this mean you're ready to release final version?

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,767
    edited January 2018
    Canzah said:

    Does this mean you're ready to release final version?

    Almost. There will be another beta to test the latest changes. But the first stable release shouldn't be long in coming.

    JuliusBorisov
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Keep in mind that nobody has really tested the additions to the later part of the game. For example, I've had the guards in the Curst prison behaving very passively compared to how they are without the restored citizens, and I've yet to test all the post-quest stuff.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,767
    lujo said:

    Keep in mind that nobody has really tested the additions to the later part of the game. For example, I've had the guards in the Curst prison behaving very passively compared to how they are without the restored citizens, and I've yet to test all the post-quest stuff.

    I've noticed that when the riot starts in Curst Prison both guards and prisoners where close together in several clusters, both being hostile to the party. I don't remember if that was also the case in original PST-UB. My last run on classic PST was many years ago. Now it's very difficult to make classic PST run at all on my system (and only with tons of glitches).

    The "Expanded Deionarra's Truth" content worked almost flawlessly however.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    I did an achievement bug-hunting run on a clean instal (Finally got the computer back so now I'm REALLY hitting the bug report board. Pretty much every spell, or at least every priest spell, is bugged in some, often different way. Not counting the wrong tooltips. And that's just to start things off.)

    In the clean run the guards in the prison, when you were comin in, were very likely to properly gang up on you. With the citizens restored it takes getting very close to particular guards to aggro them, and this leads to situations where you're beating one up whicle three are twiddling their thumbs.

    I'd move it to "optional" content, honestly. Harder to get it tested, but still.

    Also, I need to check the read me out because I'm sure there's things I've missed.

    EDIT: Also, did the UB restore individual useless items around the place, like the Pouch or the Chalk or the Hairpin? I'd very much advise against that - don't restore anything which doesn't have a clear use and a clear way to get rid off (especially the last bit). Inventory clutter is horrible, especially later in the game when you go down in curst - there's nowhere to sell junk off for a loooooooong stretch.

    Another suggestion would be that if there's really no use for the item "Pouch", and you can find 2-3 around, to simply rename it "Purse" and have it inside instead of the added "leather purse" to reduce the number of useless quest things around.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    bob_veng said:

    so yeah, obvious things like a quest missing a reward (also in iwd:ee beamdog integrated TotL to be playable in the middle of the campaign, as a normal side-quest, but they forgot to include the quest reward for it /no experience reward for killing the quite difficult final boss of that quest, which is also the hardest encounter in the whole game/, since at the time of the original release it was the point at which the game ended . . . fail :D ), an illogical quest plotline etc, i think should really be fixed

    TotL's placement isn't something Beamdog changed. Even in the original IWD, TotL was dropped into HoW as a sidequest you did before going to the Sea of Moving Ice, and HoW could be played as a sidequest to the main campaign, but you had to do it before going back to Easthaven.

    So, if you played HoW and TotL from the main campaign, you would complete TotL before completing HoW's campaign, and complete HoW before completing the main campaign. Even if you played HoW as its own campaign, you still need to complete TotL before the end of HoW.

    bob_veng
  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,767
    lujo said:

    In the clean run the guards in the prison, when you were comin in, were very likely to properly gang up on you. With the citizens restored it takes getting very close to particular guards to aggro them, and this leads to situations where you're beating one up whicle three are twiddling their thumbs.

    I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary in the guard behavior while they were on guard. Only after defeating the "dungeon master", when the riot breaks out, they are strangely 'clumped together' with the rioting prisoners. It's easy to bypass them though, since they are too busy fighting each other.
    lujo said:

    EDIT: Also, did the UB restore individual useless items around the place, like the Pouch or the Chalk or the Hairpin?

    No, only items mentioned in the readme are restored.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Ok, I did the Deionarra thing in the end. The writing is really, really bad. The plot is... the whole Undersigil part is bad... but the basic premise is really, really good.

    I could improve this a lot, if you're interested.

  • CanzahCanzah Member Posts: 37
    lujo said:

    Ok, I did the Deionarra thing in the end. The writing is really, really bad. The plot is... the whole Undersigil part is bad... but the basic premise is really, really good.

    I could improve this a lot, if you're interested.

    Please keep your fanfiction out of this.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    maybe there is placeholder text, unedited sentences (grammar), plot illogicalities etc. it should certainly be reviewed, publicly on this thread if possible. maybe minimal copy-editing can bring a much needed improvement. don't dismiss him out of hand like that.

    stibius
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited January 2018
    Canzah said:

    lujo said:

    Ok, I did the Deionarra thing in the end. The writing is really, really bad. The plot is... the whole Undersigil part is bad... but the basic premise is really, really good. It also looks at times as if it was written by a non-native english speaker, although I might be wrong on that.

    I could improve this a lot, if you're interested.

    Please keep your fanfiction out of this.
    The writing in question IS fan-fiction, very visibly so. That's why I said it was bad, because it is. Some of it is wrong in tone, some of it misinterprets game elements, some of the word choices are inexperienced to say the least, and the paragraph structure can be painful. I'm not even sure it was written by an English native speaker.

    Most of it is dialogue by a modder, and I copy-edit for a living so to me it's not very controversial to say I could improve text when I see it. I get paid to do this daily. I wouldn't say I could improve Avelone's dialogues, but there's McComb's ones any decent and experienced editor could improve. And yes, I can somewhat reliably tell who wrote what in the game.

    Whoever wrote this mod wasn't as good as them. It's written badly enough that I'm glad it's not an-autoinstall in the pack, because in the state it is I wouldn't install it next time.

    Post edited by lujo on
Sign In or Register to comment.