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Older versions archive part 5: Shadow Thieves


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#41 aVENGER

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 07:04 AM

You actually fight a weaker version of Arkanis Gath at the docks for Bodhi's first quest. He is tough with 3 attacks per round thanks to 5 short sword proficiency points but you could still improve him as you have done with his chapter 6 counterpart.


To get a better overview of the situation, I have recently started a new game with an evil party and joined Bodhi. Today I faced Arkanis Gath as a part of the first task which Bodhi gave me. It turns out that this 'weakened' version of Arkanis is almost on pair with my improved CH6 version. He is defined as a Fighter 7 / Thief 21 (Dual Class), and has somewhat better stats than my version. He does have the correct Thac0, HP and saving throws for those levels but unfortunately, he was gifted with the wrong proficiencies ;)

He had five points in Small Sword which is a leftover proficiency from BG1 and no longer used in BG2 I believe. I replaced this with 5 points in Short Sword, 3 points in Scimitar and three points in Two Weapon Style. He will now dual wield a Short Sword +2 and a Wakizashi +1. I've also replaced the Splint Mail which he was wearing with a Studded Leather Armor +2 so he now actually looks like a Shadow Thief. B) Arkanis was then given 5 Potions of Invisibility, one Oil of Speed and 5 Potions of Extra Healing. I'm still working on the proper AI but in general he should first use the Oil of Speed than backstab and heal when necessary using the other potions.

BTW, I'll probably improve the AI for Mook and the rest of the Thieves that fight alongside her, and I might check out the Aran / Thief Guild battle in a couple of days. As for Gaelan, I'm considering making him escape his home to fight alongside Aran in the culmination of the Guild Battle.

#42 Longinus

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 08:23 AM

Excellent. I'm surprised the killable Gath wasn't tougher already. Bioware really toned him down.

I think those defunct small sword proficiency points do affect a creature file; it's obvious the Gath you fight at the docks has more than 1.5 attacks per round. He was ok, but he's the only decent assassin you fight normally. The others are worse!

When approaching the Shadow Thief guildhall if you're working for Bodhi, the door guard will say something along the lines of "You've made quite a mistake showing your face around here" and attacks you. All three door guards around the guild then become hostile and some DASSIN creatures spawn around the guild. However, only one spawns at the front and I was hoping they'd spawn all the way around to encompass the whole building. In other words, two more of those assassins near the front would be cool.
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#43 aVENGER

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 10:02 AM

I think those defunct small sword proficiency points do affect a creature file; it's obvious the Gath you fight at the docks has more than 1.5 attacks per round.


This was so because his default number of attacks was set to 1.5 (Bioware often does that to .cre files instead of giving them real proficiences) but I have changed it back to 1. Arkanis now gains his extra attack(s) solely from proficiences and his Fighter levels.

He was ok, but he's the only decent assassin you fight normally. The others are worse!


Bah...he only managed to backstab ONCE before I upgraded his AI as he had no potions of invisibility just an undroppable ring of one-time invisibility. My upgraded version backstabs and heals a lot more efficiently. I could send you the files for beta testing if you wish.

In other words, two more of those assassins near the front would be cool.


No problem, and while I'm at it, I'll update their AI as well :ph34r:

#44 Longinus

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 08:14 AM

Yeah, I found Gath disappointing too, considering his invincible plot savior status. More night fights should've been in the game too. Bioware really had fun portraying the Shadow Thieves as wimps.

Now when asked to fight the thieves, players will dread every encounter!
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

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#45 aVENGER

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Posted 09 May 2003 - 11:41 AM

Here's another example from the improved guild which I'm currently working on. I've recently improved the encounters in the main guild hall, the ones with the two Elven mages and a bunch of fighter thieves. The mages were defined as level 14 yet they cast only minor spells. I remedied this and gave the thieves some more potions and an improved AI as well.

The battle now goes like this...when the player enters the guild all thieves immediately drink Potions of Freedom while the mages cast Minor Globe, Greater Malison and Web followed by Spider Spawn. It's a lot of fun watching the thieves and spiders stab at helplessly webbed opponents while the mages buff them up :)

EDIT - Longinus, I've just sent you the beta version!

#46 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 05:37 AM

Beautiful improvements. :) I love the new AI. The thieves even run away to heal! Wands of paralysation threw me off guard at first and yet add much needed diversity to their tactics.

As usual, I have some suggestions:

The new Gath was great, and Mook's defenders fight well, but I think Mook could hang back with a missile weapon like the two thieves throwing daggers do in oder to allow Gath and the melee fighter/thief to fight their way up the stairs. Otherwise, all three become packed into the steps and fight one at a time. Keep Mook back at first, or keep her firing bolts of biting from a crossbow (because crossbows look cool) unless she's attacked close up.

The ambush outside the guild was really tough... which is great. However, I don't think all the thieves should be fighter/thieves. The DASSIN creature file actually spawns in Maevar's guild so they shouldn't be too tough. Perhaps you could make them regular thieves dual wielding like they are already but with a short sword in the off hand. A thief doesn't have to dual to a fighter to dual wield. :) Besides, I think it's important for players to realise that mere thieves can prove to be deadly opponents.

The fight inside the guild couldn't get any better even if you tried. You tweaked each combatent's respective AI to perfection. The combination of spells is ingenious and more importantly... legit!

There's a landing in the first part of the guildhall you could put some archers on, but I like the encounter as it is.

Also, on the lower level, there are thief archers firing arrows from unreachable plateus. You could add more archers to those areas and give them arrows of biting.


Ok, back to your actual mod. I noticed you didn't change the animation used for the short sword of backstabbing to its BG1 counterpart. The BG1 icon looks so much sharper and cooler. I hope you change it.

And about the Shadow Thieves who aid you against the vampire guild... they are sweet. I do feel their status should be blue because when invisible, you can't see them. I don't mind losing XP at that stage of the game anyway. Gath is great here, too, by the way. On par with Drizzt without cheating like the dark elf does. :)
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#47 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 05:42 AM

I love the elite guard's color scheme, and the fact that when you approach the guild, the thieves swarm you! Great stuff.

Did I just notice the thieves inside the guidhall poisen their blades? The guildhall battle music is as dramatic as ever.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

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#48 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 05:45 AM

Above the dock where you fight Mook and to the left, there's a thief merchant under a street lamp. When verbally threatened, he spawns a few [weak] muggers. But in the process, everyone else in the immediate vicinty become hostile (Rylock outside the Harper building for instance). I think this could be solved and perhaps you could add some extra equipment to his stock...
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#49 aVENGER

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 08:30 AM

@Longinus:

Again, thanks for beta testing the mod, I'll try to remedy some of the shortcomings which you mentioned...

The new Gath was great, and Mook's defenders fight well, but I think Mook could hang back with a missile weapon like the two thieves throwing daggers do in oder to allow Gath and the melee fighter/thief to fight their way up the stairs. Otherwise, all three become packed into the steps and fight one at a time. Keep Mook back at first, or keep her firing bolts of biting from a crossbow (because crossbows look cool) unless she's attacked close up.


Not a bad idea, but I'd rather give Mook a bow since it offers more attacks per round and she would get an additional Thac0 bonus for being an Elf.

he ambush outside the guild was really tough... which is great. However, I don't think all the thieves should be fighter/thieves. The DASSIN creature file actually spawns in Maevar's guild so they shouldn't be too tough.


Damn, I didn't notice that! I'll change the creature files to something else and leave the original DASSIN.CRE alone. As for them being dual classed...well the Thac0 and Hit point benefits are significant, so I'd rather not remove this. Unlike most PnP sessions BG2 is pretty much combat focused, so making them regular rogues would merely prove disadvantageous :(

The fight inside the guild couldn't get any better even if you tried. You tweaked each combatent's respective AI to perfection.


Actually, I managed to improved it even further :lol: The characters should now have better targeting routines and try not to clump near the doorway.

There's a landing in the first part of the guildhall you could put some archers on, but I like the encounter as it is.
Also, on the lower level, there are thief archers firing arrows from unreachable plateus. You could add more archers to those areas and give them arrows of biting.


I hope I can get to upgrading the second level of the guild in the next few days...

Ok, back to your actual mod. I noticed you didn't change the animation used for the short sword of backstabbing to its BG1 counterpart.


Ah, I must have forgoten about that, no problem it can be done with ease.

And about the Shadow Thieves who aid you against the vampire guild... they are sweet. I do feel their status should be blue because when invisible, you can't see them.


Hmm, perhaps you are right, after all Drizzt and the paladins are 'blue' as well. I'll consider this.

Above the dock where you fight Mook and to the left, there's a thief merchant under a street lamp. When verbally threatened, he spawns a few [weak] muggers. But in the process, everyone else in the immediate vicinty become hostile


Damn, I forgot to remove a command I used for testing from the beta AI scripts, I'll fix that immediately. BTW, if you are still interested, I could send you some more betas once I get them done. Next in line should be the improved Gaelan encounter...

#50 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 08:43 AM

Actually, the thief merchant is bugged without any mod enhancements. He's scripted to be a civilian so naturally when attacked, other civilians around him will become red too.

Yeah sure, I'd enjoy testing your enhanced thief encounters.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#51 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 08:59 AM

Have you considered putting more traps in the lower guildhall, if that's possible. A few more might demonstrate to players why a thieves' guild is called a thieves' guild.

There are orcs down there as well, probably muscle hired by Aran. What I hate about the orcs is that they are animated with axes yet wield bastard swords.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#52 Longinus

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 11:17 AM

I noticed that in the Swashbuckler kit description, it still says "can put three points in two weapon style fighting".

The werebane dagger, Eagle bow and long bow of marksmanship still have their old BG1 weapon proficiency types.

What you could add are some high level assassins, pure, as opposed to dual classed. If they were level 16, then their higher than 5 backstab multiplier would prove deadly indeed. Perhaps they could dual wield daggers of venom.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#53 -KaPe-

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 05:41 AM

I have a question - Is this component really included in newest version? Or do I need to restart the game? Just finished Aran, and didn't notice any differences about entire ST Guild/Mook.

#54 aVENGER

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 07:08 AM

@ Longinus:

Have you considered putting more traps in the lower guildhall, if that's possible. A few more might demonstrate to players why a thieves' guild is called a thieves' guild.


While this is indeed possible, it would require some area editing, and admittedly, I'm not too keen on that but I'll see what I can do.

I noticed that in the Swashbuckler kit description, it still says "can put three points in two weapon style fighting".


Hmm, I must have forgot about that as well. As all rogues may now dual wield freely that sentence is quite pointless so I'll remove it.

The longtooth dagger, Eagle bow and long bow of marksmanship still have their old BG1 weapon proficiency types.


No they don't, try equipping them and see for yourself, they use the appropriate BG2 proficiences. Only the item descriptions are carried over from BG1 since I didn't want to add whole new description blocks merely for the sake of one word...

What you could add are some high level assassins, pure, as opposed to dual classed. If they were level 16, then their higher than 5 backstab multiplier would prove deadly indeed. Perhaps they could dual wield daggers of venom.


I will definitively add some high level (elite) assassins but only for the second floor of the guild probably near Aran's residence. IMO, the standard Shadow Thieves are better off at a lower experience cap (XP < 300000).

@ KaPe:

I have a question - Is this component really included in newest versio


No, not yet, but Longinus offered to test my beta releases so he has it B)

#55 Longinus

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 07:56 AM

Your standard Shadow Thieves are tough considering their experience. Good use of AI, weapons and potions is the reason. The rest should be even better if you continue to creatively change the thieves' AI. The first guildhall battle is an awesome example.

You are given a little flexibility in the lower level areas because there are powerful cleric/mages who only wield mage spells. They were tough but the number of AI tweak options available are limitless. And Booter, the dwarven torturer, is begging to be upgraded.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#56 aVENGER

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:09 AM

Longinus, I've just sent you a new beta which includes the improved Gaelan fight. I haven't changed his stats much as he was already defined as a lvl 15 Swashbuckler which was pretty good, but he had an unreasonably high Thac0 and AC bonuses (above that of a normal Swashbuckler) so I removed that and upped his STR and DEX a bit to compensate. He is now dual wielding Short Swords +2 and wearing a Studded Leather Armor +2. He was given five potions of Extra Healing, one Oil of Speed and a Wand of Paralyzing with 3 charges.

I have also assigned 3 Half-Orc Bodyguards to him. They are defined as Fighter 9 / Thief 11 (multi-class) and are wearing Splint Mail +1 and dual wielding Scimitars. They also have an Oil of Speed and five potions of Extra Healing but they will also use invisibility potions and attempt to backstab and heal when possible. Also, the exits from Gaelan's home are disabled for the duration of the battle.

About the Elven thief/merchant upstairs, I didn't really see a point in giving him bodyguards, so I just corrected his stats (which were way to low for his level) and made him dual wield Short Swords +1 and backstab using Invisibility potions. He is still a lvl 8 Elven Thief though (single-class). BTW, I've also corrected a bug in the AR0312.BCS script which prevented him from attcking and reported it to Kevin Dorner as well.

About the other components, I've redefined the color schemes of most of my custom thieves so that they can be easier discerned from each other and I've improved their AI a bit further. You should now delete DASSIN.CRE from your override folder as it is no longer being used by my mod. I've replaced it with my custom STAS01.CRE to avoid any conflicts. BTW, Mook now wields a bow + Arrows of Biting as suggested, and the mage AI for the fight on the first floor of the Guild was improved some more. You might need to start another now game to see all of the benefits...I'm not really sure about this as the IE is a bit quirky about implementing new .cre files.

#57 Longinus

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 04:54 AM

Everything works fine. The new colors you used for each thief are nicely varied. Gath's new blood red Shadow Thief appearance blends with the Shadow Thief avatar Mook's bodyguards use. Perhaps you could alter the C6 Gath's colors accordingly, too.

Back to the mod, I feel that Gaelen could make use of more varied guards. How about an archer in each corner of the room. Also, the bodgyguards don't have to be thieves, but rather, thugs. I know, I know, they're meant to be Shadow Thieves but Gaelen is a middle man. As such, his men would mostly be muscle, if you catch my meaning. You could make his guards low level barbarians who use potions of stone form/heroism/regeneration. Ok, I'm just questioning the concepts, so back on track...

I like how you positioned the half orc bodyguards so that they surround the player. I don't think they should all be duel wielding; a little more variety is needed if you don't mind me saying. :) Maybe a combination of thieves and warriors would pay off better. The warriors distract while the thieves hit and run.

It's good to see Gaelen finally getting some guards.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#58 aVENGER

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 10:37 AM

Everything works fine. The new colors you used for each thief are nicely varied. Gath's new blood red Shadow Thief appearance blends with the Shadow Thief avatar Mook's bodyguards use. Perhaps you could alter the C6 Gath's colors accordingly, too.


Already done, I could send you the new CH6 Allies beta as well. The thieves are back to neutral status and their color schemes have been changed too. BTW, about the Kensai + armor suggestion, while I personally agree that the hooded avatar fits any rogue more than anything else, it could confuse some of the players to see a Kensai wearing (cosmetic) armor. So ultimately, I decided against giving Yeanasha any armor but I fixed the color scheme for all of my Kensais so they should now look more unique.

Back to the mod, I feel that Gaelen could make use of more varied guards. How about an archer in each corner of the room. Also, the bodyguards don't have to be thieves, but rather, thugs.


This does makes sense, and I could add a couple of lvl 7 Barbarians to the fray, not so sure about the ranged support since the area (AR0311) is pretty small and doesn't allow much maneuvering. Also, although I *really* dislike doing this, I had to make some potions which the characters have undroppable :( Reason - the player would simply acquire a LOT of potions very early in the game. All characters now drop a one potion of healing and one potion of invisibility, even if they have more.

BTW, I finally got to try out the standard second guild floor / Aran Linvail battle...*sigh*...upgrading this will be a long and painful process ;) I'm a bit confused though...could someone explain to me just what are those Orcs, Shadows and Air elementals doing there ? Monsters and Undead in a Thieve's guild...bah, IMO constructs (golems) would be somewhat more appropriate.

I'll definitively have to do some area editing in order to remove them, so I could upgrade and expand the traps on that level as well. I'll also increase their detection and disarm difficulty levels...do not expect to see a trap with less than 80% disarm probability - this is the Shadow Thieves guild after all. The characters which fight there are pathetic, and they'll be upgraded significantly, not to mention Aran himself who will also receive a couple of ELITE bodyguards + some ELITE Assassins. The bodyguards could be a Monk and a Stalker (ranger kit) + some mid level mages, clerics and fighter/thieves. Of course, his inner sanctum will be crawling with lvl 16+ elite Assassins (single-class) which could will wield undroppable Short Swords of Backstabbing + Daggers of Venom. Anyway, it seams that this will require a lot of work...

BTW, if anyone else is interested in beta testing these improvements just let me know :ph34r:

#59 Longinus

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 11:21 AM

Sure, I'd like to gaze at your improved C6 assassins. If only they were good to begin with.

While working for Bodhi, she gives you a choice between two tasks after you've collected the package from Mook. One of the tasks involves killing a noble and framing the Shadow Thieves. I'm not sure how you could improve this quest, but it might be worth looking into. The guy has two bodyguards but they're not too tough. The halfling mage doesn't wield much magic at all.

Gaelen's house is quite small, though one or two archers near the stairs would turn the Gaelen encounter into a tight trap. Maybe Gaelen could run upstairs after sicing his men on you.

I, too, was disappointed with the Shadow Thief guild hall lower level. I think Aran could've summoned the Air Elemental and Shadows -- it's within reason at least. Aran does summon a cool demon, which you should keep in his AI.

One of Aran's warriors, Dedral, is a 20th level fighter wearing full plate mail. He wasn't easy, that's for sure.
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga

#60 Longinus

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 11:25 AM

If you upgrade the traps, what will you replace them with? The traps should be less magic-based IMO. I fully support any upgrades in any case. :D
"If you remember me, then you must also remember what you did!"

~ Edge, Panzer Dragoon Saga



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