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Do The 'New' Item Icons Suck In Baldur's Gate?

WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
I don't like the new Item BAMs (Icons) in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition for in my opinion they have a far worse level of quality when compared to Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast Items. This is my reasoning:
-The New System wastes the close up details of the 'Zoomed In' BAM 'frame' by using tiny icons with only the 'Large Frame' as both the 'Zoomed in Frame' and the 'Zoomed Out Frame'.
-Item BAMs do not scale correctly 100% of the time and create misshapen and 'jagged' images. (This never happened in the Original)
-Most New Items have no 3D Base to them and thus turn out to be just blurry messes.
-Beam Dog could not be bothered to give all Items Item Depictions when being inspected.
-Some Item BAMs have been swapped and other have been traded when more creative solutions were available.
(Above is the nitty gritty' of my rant and the rest is below)
[Spoiler]Strangely enough for being such a deep fan of Baldur's Gate (to the point where I first started playing when I was 9 years of age), just yesterday was my first time playing Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition.. *I Stayed up all night and beat The Black Pits on Baldur's Gate Rule Set Difficulty with a ~70% pre-generated party -custom cleric of Helm + cleric/thief-*. The long AGONIZING wait was for that It took me THREE YEARS, _I cannot advertise this point much more_ Three Very -LONG- Years to be able to purchase anything online; namely Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.. -No, I did not have nor do I any legal issues that created the said wait; in case as if you were wondering as to why.. (" ͡° ' ͜ʖ ͡° ')-

I have got to say that Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition (excluding the new pieces of story, atmosphere, amazing voice acting, new areas and new content etc) is 80% Great and Amazing.. and 20% "What the hell were they thinking"..

The 'New' Item BAM (Item Icons) File Format is such a complaint.. Why are the Item BAMs microscopic and why are they using the 'large' BAM for both small and large item frames? Again, why is the 'Close Up' BAM used only for the 'Using Weapon' on the portraits? Also when one picks up certain items they can fail to scale and they end up 'jagged' and misshapen..

[Spoiler]I started to play the main story within Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition and when I saw the 'switched' BAMs and Animations for the helmets and when I saw the Switched Long Bow and Composite Long Bow BAMs and I lost my shit and closed the game.

Take note that I try hard to be very patient and understanding in general, but I respect my favourite game and The King of Western Role Playing Games far too much to take ANY crap from no one; Not even the original developers of Baldur's Gate whom are 'currently' a part of Beam Dog Studios. Although please realize that I have only done this type of reaction once before and that was when the Massively Multiplier Action Game "World of Tanks" removed my favourite tank and the developers wanted to force me to buy a shittier version of said favourite; to which I responded by quitting the game and working on my own 'internet tanks' game instead.

I am very unhappy about the 'new' Items within Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition and I plan to immediately get my ass in gear and fix these issues. My favourite part about Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast (With The Grey Clan in Candle Light Micro Expansion Pack Installed) was and is the Items (right behind the ground breaking story/plot and setting). When one goes to pick up the PROPER ITEMS in Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast they get bigger and make a cool novel sound effect when 'picked up' and they show a zoomed in version of themselves when 'put down'. When one right clicks on an item, the marvelous game gives the player a cool lore and ability write up along with an incredulous item depiction.. MY FRIEND that is the best way that I have found to do an Inventory Item in ANY game, Period - End Of Story. Bioware / Black Isle Studios 1998 copied and improved upon Diablo's pseudo 3D Items Icons, They gave them the rich lore of The HUGE world of Faerûn (mostly) and they gave the heart from golden age of Nuance of Player-GUI Interactions as in the form of the Splendid and memorable item inventory sounds (The Flail goes 'FWUFF!'). It was a child of so many worthy parents; and I don't like the new Bastard in-law that was born on the 28th of November, Year: 2012.[/Spoiler]
Now what do we really get with the new item 'improvements'? We get Crappy Item BAMs that you need a microscope to see, Blurry Rushed shit from Baldur's Gate Two, 'Revamped' nostalgia destroying item BAM TRADES (Have both, the new ones look good but put the original ones back you skimpwits!) and some Items that don't even have frigging' Item Depictions.. (I am looking at you case of plenty) This is Inconceivable!?!

I AM PERSONALLY VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH THE 'NEW' ITEMS! But I LOVE the new and enhanced content, the story ideas, the plethora of bug fixes, the multi-platform support, bringing new hearts into Baldur's Gate, The Immersive and Respectable New Music and those New Fully Voiced Dialog Interactions and 'Plot/Quest Cut-Scenes' and Character Voice Sets! (Although the new portraits for the new Recruitable Non-Player Characters are 90/100 compared to the old ones and the portrait pack looks a bit shit when compared to the Original Portraits in my un-humble opinion for I Know how gifted the Baldur's Gate community is and what was out there on internet for 'free' pre-2012).[/Spoiler]
For you fine ladies and gentlemen; THIS is how one is supposed to make an Item for Baldur's Gate.
[spoiler]image
image
image
image
image
image
image
*Note that Osprey's Two-Handed Sword +1's 'Small Icon' in the top right hand corner of the item description is a prototype version and that I do not currently have a internet share-able screenshot of the 'Non-Prototype' Greatsword Description Available.. Yet. (The Computer that took those item description pictures Fried:-/)*[/Spoiler]
What do you, fine forum members think of this subject? What do you think about the Beam Dog Item Changes to Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, do you love them or do you hate them? Do you think that I am some random forum 'dumb-ass' tooting his incompetent horn where it does not need be? Or do you think that I may have a discerning brain in-between my ears and that I may have a point or two herein?

Post edited by WithinAmnesia on
Balrog99TuthAndreaColomboAdul

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,479
    I'm sure you're right but I have to admit that before you mentioned it I didn't even notice. I guess I'm not an artist (or a perfectionist). The only real complaint I have about the new content is how annoying Neera's voice is. To be fair to Beamdog though, I find Imoen's voice in BG1 to be equally annoying...

    WithinAmnesia
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    @Balrog99 I guess you are right eh? Not everyone is an artist and everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. I suppose that I personally like art stuff and that is why I am so critical, but now that you say your opinion I now reflect upon myself that there is most likely some other field of media that has some 'anomalies' that allude me; of where in I too miss possible 'anomalies' for I am not 'super into' those other fields of media within the game. Hmmn thank you for your comment for it made me gain a better perspective of the myself and others around me. +1 Insightful.

    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,479
    I do have an ear for music and find I am much more critical of the singers in American Idol than the rest of my family. It's probably just human nature...

    WithinAmnesia
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,938

    Do you think that I am some random forum 'dumb-ass' tooting his incompetent horn where it does not need be?

    Your words, not mine. My words: go easy with the aqua text, maybe.

    SxphxrxthWithinAmnesia
  • AlexisisinneedAlexisisinneed Member Posts: 470
    I am confused at what exactly you are complaining about. Are you saying the Item pictures when you pick up an Item is too small and you prefer the original bigger pictures? Also it was really hard to read your post with all the aqua it's a too bright of a contrast to the forums background.

    WithinAmnesia
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    Okay Death to the Aqua Text by popular demand! I have abbreviated my points to be more 'easily digested' so that my points are more defined and easier to focus upon instead of 'maze reading'; thank you both @joluv and @Alexisisinneed for the constructive feed back.

    Alexisisinneed
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    Wow, I just found another game with amazing Item BAMs, Icewind Dale II! Here Look!
    image
    image
    Also here is what I plan to go through, so I give this Ice Wind Dale II Item BAM list to the 'adventurous' forum members: http://en.beregost.com/iwd2/objets/recherche/
    (Edit: I have 're-discovered' my 'special version' of Icewind Dale II and I can now look through the Game Files via Near Infinity with the ease of a greased far.. Lightning Bolt!; Huzzah!)

    Post edited by WithinAmnesia on
    TuthJuliusBorisov
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    Well, it seems that I'm not the only one that noticed that the artstyle in the first Baldur's Gate is much more polished, clear and distinctive. BG2 items are just a mess and not pleasant to look at, at all. As you mentioned, they feel rushed and I believe they tried too much for them to look "original". So, weapons are not practical and it look as if they were created by a primary school student. EE falls somewhere in between, but still BG1 is way better in this regard, but I understand that the team was smaller etc.

    To this day I'm still waiting for a way to use BG1 character animations and original stone GUI, I'm not touching EE otherwise.

    WithinAmnesiaAndreaColombo
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    I have completed a New Item BAM for Baldur's Gate: Path of the Lost Odyssey! (It is an improved version of a ring found within Icewind Dale).

    I Christen It: Eye of the Gorgon!
    image
    Behold its majesty and splendor?
    deviantART Image Source: http://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Eye-of-the-Gorgon-532378845?ga_submit_new=10:1431334413

    Tuth
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    @Tuth I agree very strongly with all of your points and I wish that I had 5 agrees for your comment. I wish to 'heal' Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition into a much better game. I look at the whole thing as if it hit puberty and it is gained new improving aspects, but much like with puberty one looks like shit.. So I am to be the make up crew.. A one man crew.. Oh well, LAY ON!

    So what do you @Tuth think of my new ring: Eye of the Gorgon?
    Also you mentioned that you are not playing Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition? If that is true I am with your venture for I STILL Prefer the Original Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast (With Free Micro-Expansion: The Grey Clan Episode One: In Candlelight) for THAT game does not have shit blasts hastily smeared all over the inventory screen. Although it sadness me somewhat that all of the efforts in everything BUT the Game User Interface and Inventory 'choices' are very good! I give then new additions a solid 87/100 _Without_ the corn-peppered shit smeared all over the screen and I rate Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition a 'Kick in Nuts' of 71/100 -With- said toxic shit smeared all over the Screen. As any world weary Baldur's Gate adventurer will tell you, content comes and goes but the Game User Interface is a constant enemy.

    ( @Tuth Did you get the reference?:S)

    Tuth
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    @WithinAmnesia The ring looks very good. I agree about IWD2 items, those were amazingly well done. Pillars of Eternity as some really nice items as well. The thing is they have almost like photo style to it and less like a painting/drawing of BG2/EE. I remember some mods that were using the IWD2 item icons, they fit with BG quite well.

    Yes, I'm still playing the original BG on 5+1 discs, some minor mods/tweaks here and there, nothing massive. I tried BG:EE shortly after it came out, got to chapter 5 and I reflected that even though there are some nice improvements and additions to the game, something felt wrong. It was more of BG1 story shoved into a different system, rather than expanding on the original game. Last year I even went back and played without the expansion, 1998 style. Very refreshing and fun experience.

    So, I agree with you that the visual style is simply out of place. Sadly, I didn't get the reference, but I feel that it's not only the artstyle that messes up the game. Some gameplay changes made the whole experience worse as well.

    WithinAmnesia
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    I have spent ~6 hours *it is 7:12 AM 11/05/2015 with birds cheeping outside* on this helm, working pixel by pixel. Until I Present to you kindly people: *Benign Drum Role*
    image Ta da! (The rightmost helm is the original BAM from Icewind Dale)* I have been up since ~4:00 PM 09/05/2015 so I have been awake for around ~40 hours give or take.)

    @Tuth I again agree with you 100% and I have the same heart as yourself on the issues and the case examples of which you have touched upon. Also the reference is a remixed dialog line of the closing line on the Ankheg Platemail item description. Also I want to make an options panel that one can customize all of the Game User Interface so that Baldur's Gate: Path of the Lost Odyssey's Game User Inter Face will at least be able to turn back into The Original Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast Game User Interface. I have been thinking also that the player can choose what they want 'Enhanced' (>.>) and what they want to be Original e.g. Item BAM Swaps, Animation Sets and Cut Scenes / Movies! I Plan to basically release a 'Super Super Super Super Tales of the Sword Coast Expansion' as a life project of my own design; so one way or another Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast should get that Super Expansion Pack that it always deserved..

    Thank you graciously @Tuth for your socializations and insightful perspectives; I hope that we can talk some time again in the future.

    Also Check this out... Remember that ~6 Hours that I talked about? Well here is why:
    image Also I was working with Microsoft Paint to boot!

    Post edited by WithinAmnesia on
    TuthJuliusBorisov
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    Holy moly, this is simply awesome! Excellent work on changing the perspective, now it fits with the helmets in BG.

    The way you describe your mod makes me feel that this would be the mod that I'd love to play. This would be a truly enhanced Baldur's Gate. If you'd need to test some stuff in the game, I'd gladly help.

    WithinAmnesiaJuliusBorisov
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    Well Met @Tuth , just don't die and I should be able to get it up and running in the distant future you and the community. Although for now I will work on getting the 'Actually Respectably Improved' Candlekeep Party Reintroduced into Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition as (a) standalone mod(s) or Maybe Perhaps included within an updated Dark Side of the Sword Coast or another big mod like Dark Horizons. *Fingers Crossed*

  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    edited May 2015
    Here are some Freshly 'Reforged' Maces posted for your entertainment:
    image
    image
    The Above Mace is an Actually 'Improved' Item BAM for the Original Baldur's Gate; although it is not intended as a 'BAM Trade' >.>.
    image
    image
    image
    image
    Unique Maces of +3 Enchantment. Here is the Quest Plot / Story for the Unqie Maces Thus Far: "I should add a quest chain where the player within Baldur's Gate: Path of the Lost Odyssey starts a chain of encounters with a Cleric/Mage Elf and the player can steal two of three Gem stones (Jem parody somewhere?) to stop a ritual and the *Insert sub-race here* Elf takes flight with single remaining gem stone in tow and she clandestinely creates one of three maces +3 that have unique powers depending of which two tones the player took and what sole remaining ritual gem stone she has remaining of which to craft of of three possible weapons. Plot: The *Insert sub-race here* Elf Cleric/Mage want to desperately complete an 'almost summoning ritual' but she is interrupted by the player's party and has to flee. In light of her failed plans she realizes that she cannot reclaim her two missing ritual stones for they are either with the player character or with the foreign helping organization know as the black gaunt hanging tree or also just know as Black Knights of the Gaunt Tree or just Knights of the Gaunt Tree."
    deviant ART Source: http://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Epic-Blued-Mace-Quintuple-Colour-Reforge03-3-532596632?q=gallery:withinamnesia/51118284&qo=13

    TuthJuliusBorisov
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,605
    I agree, the new icons are less detailed and inferior, and it's a major disappointment, especially because these changes are hardcoded. I've made a feature request to allow us to restore the original icons:
    https://support.baldursgate.com/issues/36102

    KilivitzAndreaColombo
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,605
    @Balquo Wouldn't that only show the 'zoomed in' frame in the EEs?

    The original game showed two icons for a lot of items, most noticeably weapons: (1) a smaller zoomed in frame that was shown when the item was placed into an inventory slot, and (2) a larger zoomed out frame that was shown when the item was selected/picked up by the player.

    As far as I can tell, BG:EE 2.0+ shows only one icon for both states, which is the 'zoomed out' image, except scaled down to fit into an inventory slot. Do you think the original behavior could be achieved by editing the BAMs like you suggested?

    AndreaColombololien
  • BalquoBalquo Member, Developer Posts: 2,703
    @Adul "1 - ISW1H02.BAM:1" is the frame that is zoomed in - the same one that is used in Vanilla... well I'm pretty sure it is...

    The Current cycle only has the zoomed out frame and that is why in the EEs the item appears the same no matter if you picked it up or not.

    Put the attached BAM in your override and then C:CreateItem("sw1h01") and tell me if that is what you expect.

    AdulAndreaColombololien
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,605
    @Balquo Thank you very much, that does seem to be what we're after.

    Here's a comparison I made using Balquo's solution with the halberd:



    While the icons themselves are a bit different looking (I assume the EE halberd icon originates from BG2), they otherwise seem to match up pixel-perfect, including scale. Obviously, the EE halberd looks a lot smaller on screen because of the resolution difference (640x480 vs 1920x1080 in my case).

    So I suppose that really solves it, and my above feature request is void. I'll be sure to update it. Thanks again to Balquo for the solution!

    AndreaColomboKilivitzlolien
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,028
    @Adul so it's possible to make a weidu mod that automatically patches all items BAM to revert to the old behavior?

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,605
    lefreut said:

    @Adul so it's possible to make a weidu mod that automatically patches all items BAM to revert to the old behavior?

    I don't know much about Weidu, so I'm not sure if it's possible to auto-patch BAM files like that, but it's certainly possible to do it for all the relevant items manually.

    In fact, I would even go so far as to check if there's a possibility for including larger 'selected' images for items like weapons, in order to restore the vanilla feel.

    I haven't checked what's the maximum image resolution for selected item icons that the game can display, but it could be worth finding out, as there are image processors out there that can produce very good quality upscaling results for images of certain visual styles. So if a mod could restore the larger size selected frames for items like weapons with a nice crisp look to them, that would be pretty cool.

    lolien
  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,605
    edited March 25
    After a bit of testing, I've found that larger resolution images do indeed work for both item icons. The unselected icon always scales down larger images so that they fit inside the inventory slot, however the selected icon displays the image at full size.

    I've run the halberd icons through an online image upscaler tool (this one, using the 'photo' filter), and the results were pretty spectacular. Not perfect, a bit rough around the edges, but as good as can be expected. And it could be edited further, to reduce the noticeable edges.



    I upscaled the unselected icon by 4, and the selected one by 2, replaced the images inside the BAM, and plopped it into the game. This is the result:



    It feels very vanilla. Took me about 30 minutes, but it probably could have been done in 5 minutes if I knew what I was doing. It would be a considerable amount of work, but it would be definitely possible to do the same for all items in the game.

    Post edited by Adul on
    AndreaColomboBalquoWithinAmnesialolien
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,340
    edited March 28
    Oooh. I would like to have a mod that can do all this for all bams automatically. I also like the original item bams more. These new ones are too small and do not feel like proper items to me, but rather just icons.

    ISW1H01.zip works perfectly for the regular bastard sword! But who uses them, other than lowly knobgoblins?

  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    @Adul this is a good solution to making Baldur's Gate better. It should be done by hand. Major uhg. But worth it? I do not know but if not it will look not great but better :|. I want to make a new Original Baldur's Gate Expansion and do most everything proper and fix all the small crappy issues like bugs and lack of polish in the Bioware and Beamdog work while also making new high quality content. I feel like posting more items but I am too lazy so here is a list of some new Baldur's Gate items that I have worked on: https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/gallery/51118284/Baldur-s-Gate-Path-of-the-Lost-Odyssey


    Also a new thing (Baldur's Gate Arms Armour Emporium): https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Baldur-s-Gate-Arms-and-Armour-Emporium-Downstairs-751243493



    Adullolien
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 776
    My brother made some good points on melee combat being unviable and or rather uncompetitive in the early chapters of the Baldur's Gate saga thus I was inspired today to make (what turned out to be) four enchanted rings (to rule them all:-P); Behold!

    Ring of Accurate Striking +1:

    https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Ring-of-Accurate-Striking-1-B-A-M-751718786

    Ring of Accurate Striking +2:

    https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Ring-of-Accurate-Striking-2-B-A-M-751718791

    Ring of Accurate Striking +3:

    https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Ring-of-Accurate-Striking-3-B-A-M-751718801

    Ring of Accurate Striking +4:


    https://withinamnesia.deviantart.com/art/Ring-of-Accurate-Striking-4-B-A-M-751718806

    (All Rings of Accurate Striking work for melee T.H.A.C.0. only and stack).

    lolienGusinda
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