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Older versions archive part 2: Betas


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#41 aVENGER

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 01:32 AM

Thanks Littiz, I'm glad you like the mod! (yay, someone actually bothered to read the included documentation) B)

About the intro cutscene, it contains the necessary prep sequence for the opposing party so that part can not be shortened. The character dialogue part could perhaps be excluded but I think that might cause some problems with the following cutscenes (again an IE quirk) so I decided against it. BTW, I have been playtesting that encounter thoroughly (about a zillion times or so) so trust me, I *know* that the intro can get a bit boring :lol:

#42 aVENGER

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 07:54 AM

Mod updated to v2.32 (hopefully) FINAL :rolleyes:

A player who recently tested my mod sent me an e-mail today with a (yet another) bug report on the Chosen of Cyric component. It seams that the Cyric party had no viable means of detecting invisible characters! Heh, and to think I was bragging so much in the readme about Venduris' enhanced Detect Illusion :lol:

Anyway, in summary it seams that his Detect Illusion ability wasn't configured properly. Firstly, since I based it on the original BG2 "THIEF_DETECT_ILLUSION" spell, it inherited a few of its quirks. Most notably, it was erroneously defined as a Wizard spell (instead of an Innate ability) and thus could be stopped by various arcane protections. This was corrected. Secondly, the spell didn't work on invisible targets which it was actually supposed to reveal! I fixed that as well. And thirdly, the spell was used (although it didn't work) with 100% efficiency meaning that in theory it would never fail. This was certainly not my intent, so I lowered the detection success rate to 75% as even Venduris shouldn't be unfailable :)

Except for fixing Venduris' ability, I also added a True Seeing spell to Kerith's repertoire and a True Sight scroll to Zaeron which they will now employ at need, but OTOH, now that their leader can actually detect something, this shouldn't really be necessary.

#43 Littiz

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 01:16 AM

Of course, I've read everything except the battle spoilers B)
I haven't *really* tried the battle though, I will the next run through..

The changes to the kits really make sense, nice job!
Ever forward, my darling wind...

#44 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 04:57 AM

Once again, the "test-play" is complete. B)

Before I start to write about the encounter, let me add one small thought about something you've said earlier: you said, that this encounter is suited for "normal" NPCs and caracters. I see your point, but please don't forget, that the time, where it was only the original NPCs and normal kits is actually over. There are many player made mods, and NPCs, and most of them are very well balanced. As for me, I often use Valen, Silver Star and Solaufein, but I rebalanced them, so now they aren't overpowering compared to other characters. Right, I often play with non-original characters, and some of them are above the abilities and effectiveness of others, but in my version they are just as all the others. So believe me, they don't make a difference. At least they shouldn't.
This time my party was just the same, but with a somewhat lowered XP (around 2.800.000) and absolutely NO special powers, only the original abilities and the ToB high-level abilities.

-Just as you said, Selina TRULY casts Remove magic at the beginning of the battle, but ONLY then! I just had to wait 2 seconds and cast my protection spells AFTER that. She never tried to remove my mages combat protections thereafter.
-I concentrated three of my fighters on Venduris (I managed to hit him with my monk before the ha could go invisible). He backstabbed the PC once, doing much damage, but he hadn't had the time to drink another toast... ;) A monk who attacks around 4-5 per round, and deals 25-35 damage per hit can be quite dangerous... :P
-Bodak is still unprotected (not a problem at all!). He managed to hit Edwin before PfMW, so he had some nasty time suffering from poison and failed his protection spell. He escaped to the left to recover.
-Grok assaulted Imoen (already protected from MW) so he wasn't a great threat for a short time. Imoen also cast R.Magic, so the the opposing partys protections (including Zaeron's Mislead) were dispelled.
-Selina escaped to the north. Kerith was nowhere to be found.
-After Venduris I killed Bodak, again, by using a concentrated attack on him. I've send my monk afetr Selina, since he is immune to magic.
-Grok and Zaeron attacked Edwin, who menaged to cast Stoneskin, but then he was stunned by Grok. :( Kerith also appeared and attacked Edwin as well. I' ve tried to save him by attacking Grok with all party members possible, but I failed, and he went down quickly. This could have been very tragic, but it was also a part of my plan against them.. :ph34r:
Edwin had a Chain Contingency active... containing 2 Horrid Wiltings and one Chain Lightning. Just as he was around 15 hit points, the battle was already over. Kerith, Zaeron were dead, and Grok was Badly injured. He managed to kill Edwin with his last breath, but shortly after he was cut into pieces by Korgan, Silver and Valen.
- The Chosens had the most problem with the Monk because of his great speed and magic immunity. Selina tried to attack him with Horrid Wiltings several times, never noticing he was immune to that effect. After she used many of her damaging spells, she cast Lower resistance on him, but a bit too later. She was completely out of the action, and couldn't help her comrades with her spells.

One more thing! Don't misunderstand me: this battle is VERY interesting, and it requires much thought and fine tactics. I think it is pretty well balanced, and your AIs are pretty good as well. I have a question however: why start the cutscene after you killed Bodhi? Many players kill her first and go to collect the loot from the crypt-battle thereafter. It is somehow annoying that you have to go back and collect your comrades dead bodies and the loot as well. I think starting the cutscene after you exit Bodhi's dungeon would be a better idea.
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#45 aVENGER

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 07:30 AM

Mod revision 2.33 released:

Chosen of Cyric encounter
  • Fixed a strange bug that apparently caused the encounter to start in Bodhi's dungeon. This was not intended. The encounter should now only occur in the outside graveyard area (AR0800).
  • Added limited support for detecting and dispelling Protection from Magical Weapons and similar spells.
  • Selina and Zaeron now cast slightly different spells in the prep sequence.
  • Venduris should no longer stand still or stutter for a while at the start of the battle.
T.G. Maestro wrote:

I have a question however: why start the cutscene after you killed Bodhi? Many players kill her first and go to collect the loot from the crypt-battle thereafter. It is somehow annoying that you have to go back and collect your comrades dead bodies and the loot as well. I think starting the cutscene after you exit Bodhi's dungeon would be a better idea.


Fixed! Thanks for the report T.G. I can't believe that everyone else missed this part! It was originally supposed to work just the way you described - the cutscene should ONLY start after you exit Bodhi's dungeon. I've checked the area script in question (AR0800.BCS) but it seamed to be in proper order. Yet somehow, AR0808 and AR0809 (Bodhi's dungeon level one and two) BOTH seam to rely on the AR0800 script (Graveyard outside area) and that apparently caused the Chosen of Cyric encounter to start right after the player has acquired the Lanthorn :( I've corrected this, so now the encounter should spawn only if the Protagonist is truly in AR0800 (Graveyard outside).

BTW, I've added a couple of script enhancements to the Chosen party. As you may have noticed, they previously haven't reacted to Protection From Magical Weapons and similar spells. This was so because it's not possible to exactly determine when a character is under the effects of such spells via scripting. I tried to bypass this a bit by ordering Zaeron and Selina to cast Breach or use a Wand of Spell Striking when anyone casts PfMW, (Improved) Mantle...etc. Unfortunately, even this method is pretty unreliable and will not work with 100% accuracy but it should make the battle at least a bit more challenging. Download and install revision 2.33 for the improved scripts to take effect.

Now about the encounter test - which mod version have you been using ? As noted above, I've tweaked the scripts quite a bit in v2.32 and v2.33 so download the latest revision for the most challenging battle :ph34r:

This time my party was just the same, but with a somewhat lowered XP (around 2.800.000) and absolutely NO special powers, only the original abilities and the ToB high-level abilities.


That should be ok, but since I'm not familiar with the custom NPCs which you are using so I can't really judge how they would affect the difficulty level.

Just as you said, Selina TRULY casts Remove magic at the beginning of the battle, but ONLY then! I just had to wait 2 seconds and cast my protection spells AFTER that. She never tried to remove my mages combat protections thereafter.


That is partially because she also uses a lot of disabling spells (Chaos, Emotion Hopelessness, Kerith's Greater Command etc.) which could be unintentionally dispelled by subsequent castings of Remove Magic.

I concentrated three of my fighters on Venduris (I managed to hit him with my monk before the ha could go invisible).


There was a strange bug which could cause Venduris to 'stutter' right at the beginning of the battle. He would often just stand still for a couple of seconds, but I think I've managed to correct this.

Bodak is still unprotected, Selina escaped to the north. Kerith was nowhere to be found.


I've modified his script slightly, and he should now run away from close combat more efficiently. Same goes for Selina and Kerith who should be hiding in a safe spot until he casts Harm. Did he ever employ it in your battle ?

Edwin had a Chain Contingency active... containing 2 Horrid Wiltings and one Chain Lightning.


Heh, that's always efficient for clearing things quickly. In fact, I think a Chain Contingency with three Abi Dalzim's Horrid Wiltings could probably eliminate most non-resistant opponents in BG2 (such as the Chosen party).

The Chosens had the most problem with the Monk because of his great speed and magic immunity. Selina tried to attack him with Horrid Wiltings several times, never noticing he was immune to that effect.


I fixed that earlier. She now only targets opponents with less than 55% MR.

BTW, if you are still interested in testing the encounter v2.33 is up as of now. Also, if you do find the time, try the battle with a standard SoA party, just for comparison purposes.

#46 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 03:14 AM

Hi there! I'm back once again, and tonight I will go and test your encounter (2.33) - the last one of my reports was about 2.32. I will do it with the party presented above, and with another one as well, containing a pure Kensai PC, Korgan, Viconia, Edwin, Minsc, and Solaufein (sorry, a custom character, and even an overpowered one, but I will weaken him for the encounter).
Until then, some comments:

"now the encounter should spawn only if the Protagonist is truly in AR0800 (Graveyard outside). "
-Perfect.

-Hm. Maybe I just haven't noticed, but... does Selina cast Greater Malison? Maybe she should cast it at least 2 times.

"I've modified his script slightly, and he should now run away from close combat more efficiently. Same goes for Selina and Kerith who should be hiding in a safe spot until he casts Harm. Did he ever employ it in your battle ?"
-This sounds fine on Bodak (Selina did a good job by hiding in the earlier versions as well). About Kerith: yes, he TRIED to attack me with Harm, but he did it in the wrong fashion. I still believe that he is casting very few buffs. The needed spells are (not definetly in the following order - and I know, he is casting some of these):
1.:Shield of the Archons
2.:Magic Resistance
3.:THAC0 and STR enhancing spells like Draw upon holy might and other higher level spells like Righteuos Magic, at least 2 of them
4.:Blade Barrier
5.:Physical Mirror (despite his high AC vs. Missiles, I've menaged to hit him a few times with poisoned arrows)
6.:then Harm (target opponents with lower AC when possible, except Mages)
After he attacked with Harm (no matter if he managed to hit the target or not) immediately drink a potion of Invisibility and flee the battle. Then again: cast spells like Confusion, Flame Strike, Symbol: Fear, Stun, Death (make the party immune to these effects by Chaotic Commands, or potions) the again attack with Harm/Invisibility. This should work fine, my priests use this tactic with great efficiency on harder opponents and partys.

"I fixed that earlier. She now only targets opponents with less than 55% MR. "
-This is good, but in version 2.32 she still tried to protect herself against my Monk, and failed to aid the party by attacking other opponents. This was because she fleed to the north (and I chased her up to the gates) and the battle took place at the southest part of the map. Selina hadn't had the chance to spot any other opponents but the Monk. While she is invisible, let her walk around (Improved Haste should help a lot) to avoid being trapped with a magic resistant party member (there are others, like Viconia, Solaufein).

I will be back with the latest test results, until then have a nice day!

TGM
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#47 aVENGER

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 04:59 AM

T.G. Maestro wrote:

Hi there! I'm back once again, and tonight I will go and test your encounter (2.33) - the last one of my reports was about 2.32. I will do it with the party presented above, and with another one as well, containing a pure Kensai PC, Korgan, Viconia, Edwin, Minsc, and Solaufein (sorry, a custom character, and even an overpowered one, but I will weaken him for the encounter).


Thanks for your support T.G. I wouldn't have discovered many of the AI errors if I didn't have such dedicated players B)

Hm. Maybe I just haven't noticed, but... does Selina cast Greater Malison? Maybe she should cast it at least 2 times.


I believe she currently casts it only once, at the very beginning of the battle. I could add some more castings, but it's hard for the script to preciselly detect when the first spell expires or is dispelled. I wouldn't want her to waste time by casting multiple Malisons since they are not cumulative.

About Kerith: yes, he TRIED to attack me with Harm, but he did it in the wrong fashion. I still believe that he is casting very few buffs. The needed spells are [snip]


Some good suggestions there. I'll try to put them in the some next revision (whenever it happens). I especially like your Blade Barrier suggestion, somehow I was always forgetting to add that nifty spell.

After he attacked with Harm (no matter if he managed to hit the target or not) immediately drink a potion of Invisibility and flee the battle.


Well, that's the way it should work in v2.33 unless of course he gets disrupted by True Sight or some such spell.

(Selina)While she is invisible, let her walk around (Improved Haste should help a lot) to avoid being trapped with a magic resistant party member (there are others, like Viconia, Solaufein).


Noted, I'll try to make her actively seek out non resistant enemies, but that could take some time to script.

I will be back with the latest test results, until then have a nice day!


Great! Thanks again for offering your support for the mod, it's much appreciated :) BTW, I have some questions about your battle experience if you don't mind.

First, about Zaeron, does he occasionally disrupt casters with Spelldiver and does he ever employ the wand of Spell Striking (Breach only)? He should try it at least occasionally in v2.33.

Second, about Venduris, how well does his new and improved 'Detect Illusion' special ability work? It should prove useful against illusions and invisibility and he should try to detect invisible opponents every couple of rounds or so. Also, how well does he employ his backstab ?

And lastly, about Grok. He used to 'get lost' if there were no enemies in his sight range. He would just stand there without actively seeking out new targets. Did you ever notice such or similar strange behavior on his part? I hope that was corrected in rev v2.33 btw.

#48 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 11:19 AM

Well, an indepth response :lol: :lol: :lol: (LOL, I just llove that damn old Firkraag..)

I've tested your mod (version 2.33) and I've played it through 18 times.
Here are the test results:

First I tried the encounter with the "normal" party, without special characters. Heh, I must say, your AI scripts becoming better an better aVENGER, quite a nice work there! I've had some seriously bad time there while I was fighting them. I don't like this party however, and I think 5 tries were enough. I managed to kill them with good results only once. Three times my entire party was destroyed (no matter how many of the opponents were killed - around 2-3 of them in avarage), and once only the PC Kensai was left. One time I've menaged to kill them by losing Imoen, Viconia, and Minsc.
Then I realized that the scripts have been improved quite a bit, and noticed that their tactics are almost flawless. There I realized another thing however: Almost every player who reaches this encounter will be above 2.800.000 XP. Even without Tactics Mod, it is possible. And I know, you've designed this encounter for a normal party, but since almost every player uses custom characters (Valen, Sola, Tashia, etc.) I think we can say they should be a challange for these "improved" partys as well. And they are. So I decided to test the Chosens of Cyric with my best party, the one I already presented many posts before this. They are all around 3.000.000 XP, and some of them uses ToB high level abilities. If the Chosens manage to beat them many times, then they are just as they were meant to be B) . Begin :angry: :lol:

Quick results: 13 rounds, PC: 7 Chosens: 6. This tells everything I guess ;)

Details:
-Venduris now acts hella good. He does excellent work with the backstabs, and his "escapes" are very well organized. Since I hadn't had any characters who could cast True Sight or Detect Invisibility, I suffered a great loss against them. Still, Venduris can be hit at the start of the battle. A character with Boots of Speed or a Monk can reach him before he may use his ring. His detecting skills work fine (he menaged to cancel my invisible or illusioned creatures every time...) But to say the least, he is perfect. Leave him as he is ;)

-Grok does the same good job as in the earlier versions, though he can still be fooled by PfMW. His AI is fine, there is no need for further changes. He has no problems when left alone, he is searching the area for new targets.

-Bodak is still the weakest member, once he becomes visible he is an easy prey for a concentrated assault. His attacks on mages are annoying, so he is good after all. Perhaps let him to flee further and attack a bit later, after Grok has appeared, so the barbarian can call the attention of the strongest tanks, not Bodak.

-Kerith: I failed to notice, but what exactly does he cast while he is invisible (After Greater Command)? The next time I see him he attacks with Harm (and much better than before, I must add!). He is still very vulnerable, and if he is dispelled or fails to drink his potion, he falls every time. Take a look at my suggestions in my last post, and give him a few more offensive spells like Flame Strike!

-Zaeron: yes, he works very well this time. He uses the Wand of Spell Striking at least a few times on mages, and his sword dooes nice job on them as well. However, I think Spelldivers "miscast magic" ability has a too high succsess score, you should reduce it to 25% or so. You know, this 50% could highly disturb game balance, for example against Irenicus. Either reduce the %, or lower the effects duration to 1 round, just as it was before. His Mislead is perfect, its hiding location as well. He Mazes opponents with good efficiency, and his backstabs can be annoying as well.

-Selina: good work on her, she is much better this time, though she still sucks with Magic resustant opponents if there are no other enemies. Her Power Word:Kill spells are a kick in the arse, she managed to surprise me with them. Beiside them however she cannot cast too much spells without being molestataed and she still suufers the lack of protection spells. The Potions work fine, and she manages to heal herself correctly, but once she becomes vulnerable, she falls from 2-3 hits.

I have to go for a short while, but I'll be back in an hour or so and tell you the tactics I used against them, some detailed battle experiences and suggestions. Stay tuned!

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#49 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 02:05 PM

And so, just as I said, here comes a little bit more detailed battle description:

To introduce the my party here is a small list (unique abilities included):

1.: Sygius (PC Monk): lvl23, 108% MR, -12 AC, -10 THAC0, 104 HP.
Special abilites: normal monk abilities, Shadowless Kick (1) -one-time attack, opponent falls uncounscious for 6 sec. and will be knocked back if the save vs. breath is failed ,Chant(1) Physical resistances are set to 60%, 10% bonus to elemental and magic resistances for 3 rounds,Dragon Fist(1) Removes Spell/Specific/Combat protections and lowers magic resistance - there is a different saving throw for each effect.
2.: Korgan: lvl.22. -13AC, -11THAC0, 174 HP
Special abilities: War Cry(1), Hardiness(1), Power Attack(1)
3.: Edwin: lvl.19 57HP
Special abilities: Dragon's Breath, Improved Alacricity
4.: Imoen: lvl.14 81HP
No special abilities
5.: Valen lvl.14-16 Fighter-Thief (Vampire) -7AC, -4/-4 THAC0 77HP
Special abilities: vampire immunitiesand abilities, level drain(2/hit), Whirlwind Attack(1), Assassination(1), Use any item
6.: Silver Star: lvl.24 Assassin 61 HP
Special abilities: Sulphurous Poison(1) -improved Poison Weapon, Dirty Fighting(1) -ToB ability, for 2 rounds the thiefs attacks either slows(50%) or blinds(50%) the target for 24 sec. if the attack is succesful. The thiefs attack rolls and damage suffers a 5 points penalty.
Many of my characters use powerful euipment. Some of them are from the Tactics, or the Item Upgrade mods.

Tactics: (SPOILERS!)







My (winning) tactic against the Chosens was the following. First my monk used a Wand of Frost (damaging every opponent), Valen cast PfMW, Korgan Cast Hardiness, Silver used Sulphurus Poison, Imoen and Edwin fled to the south immediately to avoid the attention of Bodak. The Chosens are going invisible, Selina uses her Spell trigger and sequencer (since no one had any protections, she dispelled nothing).
Bodak and Kerith appeared first, so I attacked Bodak and let Kerith cast Greater Command (it hasn't affected anyone). Bodak went down to Badly wounded, and used a potion to disappear. Since I hadn't had any party members to dispel their invisibility, they had a seious advantage by their constant disappearing/healing. I had 3 Remove Magic spells which did the job perfectly and dispelled the I.Invisibilities, but I've planned to use them later. Silver tried to attack every appearing opponent, but this time with little success, plus she was confused with Chaos and rushed forward... Edwin cast PfMW, Imoen cast Stoneskin and she went forward in the heat of the battle. She was attacked by Grok immediately (his axes electrical damage hit through the Stoneskin). Venduris attacked my monk and did 90 damage, so I fled to the south to heal myself. Zaeron attacked Edwin, but because of the PfMW, his attacks were useless. Edwin cast Timestop. During the Timestop he cast I.Alacricity, then a protective Spell Sequencer (Stoneskin, M.Image, Fireshield red), Dragon's Breath and Horrid Wilting (centered, so it will affect Zaeron, Bodak, and Grok as well), and a Greater Malison. Zaeron and Bodak always dies after this, and Grok goes down to injured/badly injured. Then I attack him with melee, but more often then not he manages to become invisible and flee to the north. Venduris works incredibly efficient, and kills Silver (destroying her completely :lol: ) backstabbed Valen, but missed. Selina stunned Edwin with Power Word: Stun. Grok attacked once again (Barely injured). Kerith attacked Korgan with Harm, and managed to hit him :o -99% HP, oooh yess.) So Korgan fled to the south to recover. The Monk and Valen attacked Selina after Imoen Breached her, and brought her to Near Death - she menaged to become invisible). Kerith was the next target (after all of them were made visible via RM) and he fell quickly. Every time Selina appeared she was immediately attacked by Valen or the Monk, so she had to concentrate on Stoneskins and potions of invisibility/healing and wasn't able to cast HW or such at all. A few rounds later she eventually fell. Grok attacked Edwin, and brought down his Stoneskin just in the same second he became controllable again - a quick PfMW, and he escaped quick death. The rest of the party attaced the barbarian (Monk, Korgan, Valen), Imoen was waiting for Venduris to show up (to lower his resistances). After a long battle Grok died (huh, he IS STURDY after all! :) ) and there was only the boss left (who backstabbed soem of my party members during all this, and even managed to kill Valen). As I've said, his AI is fine and he is very elusive (not to mention that I ran out of RM :( ).. I used Korgan as a bait, and he survived the backstab (102 HP!). Allk characters attacked the assassin, bringing him to Badly Wounded before he drank his potion. After he fled behind the left gate, I summoned some monsters to block his way out (I know, not very fair, but hey! Neither is he :P ) He had to cut his way through Ogres and Hobgoblins, and each time he attacked I fired him with Malison, M.Acid Arrow, Magic Missiles, and attacked him with Korgans throwing axe and the monks melee (which has an attack range of 2, so I was able to hit him from behind the Ogres). He did his job so well, he managed to kill 3 Ogres and actually ESCAPE my blockade :D to the south. He wasn't able to heal himself however, because Edwin was already waiting for him with a big bad HW. He died in battle, and with great honour ;) .

Comments, suggestions, ideas:
-I question the logic of the encounter in one point. If the cutscene takes "2 days" to lose all beneficial spells and effects, than I think it would be at least fair to let the party re-memorize the lost spells. You know, if someone plays the Improved Bodhi fight with Undead Solaufein included, he/she will lose almost every notable spells. Without these this encounter is a bit too hopeless, even for a high level party. So let the party memorize every lost spell before the encounter.
-Grok shouldn't attack mages only. This makes him very vulnerable to the PfMW/concentrated fighter-attack combo. Maybe attack the Nearest creature(?) soemtimes. Bodak should attack a bit later, and he could take care of the spellcaters. Use the potions more often with him, since he falls very fast!
-Selina should cast more protection spells to avoid becoming vulnerable.
-Think about my suggestions on Kerith! I think he should either attack with Harm, or Flame Strike (or something similar). Use both spells and melee - always bringing him into the middle of the rage is very suicidal.
-Zaeron and Venduris are perfect, there is no need for a change.

Summary: this is an excellent battle, I really enjoyed it. It is beatable with a normal party, but offers much chellange to higher level parties, even with high-level abilities. I wouldn't offer to start this encounter before 2.900.000-3.000.000 XP, but it IS beatable with an XP bellow that. Tha AIs now work properly - and some of them are extremely well written! - and the opponents use their equipment and abilities with great efficiency. Their teamwork is well balanced. Nice work aVENGER! If you need any other support, just give me a call, and I'll be happy to "work" with U once again! :P
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#50 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 05:27 PM

After another 4 test-play, I've menaged to beat them 3-1, and its quite satisfying to me now.
I've noticed two things that needs to be corrected (at least this is my opinion ;) ):

1.:I understand that Venduris carries a bunch of Invisibility potions, and every other 'Chosen' carries at least 15 Potion of Extra healing, but this is somehow a bit too much. I think the number of the potions should be reduced as it follows:
Venduris: 10 PoEH, 15 PoI;
Grok: 7 PoSH, 5 PoI;
Selina: 5 PoEH, 5 PoI;
Zaeron: 7 PoEH, 7 PoI;
Kerith: 7 PoEH, 5 PoI;
Bodak: 7 PoEH, 10 PoI.
This amount should be more than enough for them. I've never noticed any of them using more potions than I've listed above.

2.:I would request that you change Zaerons armor (Sylvan Chain) to anything else. This is because of another very popular mod, Weimer's Item Upgrade. This mod has an item that can normally be made only in ToB, because one of the components is this armor (it is worn by Illasera in ToB). The new item created by using these items is VERY powerful and is suited for ToB. To avoid this problem, please change his armor to something else. THANX!

TGM
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#51 aVENGER

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 11:36 PM

T.G. Maestro wrote:

I've tested your mod (version 2.33) and I've played it through 18 times.
Here are the test results:


Wow, that sounds great! B) Now, let's see what we have here...

First I tried the encounter with the "normal" party, without special characters. Heh, I must say, your AI scripts becoming better an better aVENGER, quite a nice work there! I've had some seriously bad time there while I was fighting them. I don't like this party however, and I think 5 tries were enough. I managed to kill them with good results only once. Three times my entire party was destroyed (no matter how many of the opponents were killed - around 2-3 of them in avarage), and once only the PC Kensai was left.


Nice! So it is a bit harder on the default SoA level as I supposed, but nonetheless, you are right. Mod NPCs are a reality and I'll have to take them into account for future revisions.

Venduris now acts hella good. He does excellent work with the backstabs, and his "escapes" are very well organized. Since I hadn't had any characters who could cast True Sight or Detect Invisibility, I suffered a great loss against them. Still, Venduris can be hit at the start of the battle. A character with Boots of Speed or a Monk can reach him before he may use his ring.


Good to hear that he has improved! BTW, Venduris is supposed to use his ring during the final stage of the intro cutscene (just before the actual battle begins) but due to some scripting issues he fails to do so :( I'll try to find an alternate solution to this.

Grok does the same good job as in the earlier versions, though he can still be fooled by PfMW. His AI is fine, there is no need for further changes. He has no problems when left alone, he is searching the area for new targets.


Whew! Glad to hear that, I really had some problems with that part of his script. BTW, I'll try to work a bit on the PfMW deal.

Bodak is still the weakest member, once he becomes visible he is an easy prey for a concentrated assault. His attacks on mages are annoying, so he is good after all. Perhaps let him to flee further and attack a bit later, after Grok has appeared, so the barbarian can call the attention of the strongest tanks, not Bodak.


Heh, well I suppose every group must have a weak link of some sort :P

Kerith: I failed to notice, but what exactly does he cast while he is invisible (After Greater Command)


He casts Holy Power and Magic Resistance in the prep sequence, and he will recast them if they are dispelled before attacking with Harm. He sometimes casts Armor of Faith and Regeneration but the chances are randomized.

Zaeron: yes, he works very well this time. He uses the Wand of Spell Striking at least a few times on mages, and his sword does nice job on them as well. However, I think Spelldiver's "miscast magic" ability has a too high succsess score, you should reduce it to 25% or so. You know, this 50% could highly disturb game balance, for example against Irenicus. Either reduce the %, or lower the effects duration to 1 round, just as it was before. His Mislead is perfect, its hiding location as well. He Mazes opponents with good efficiency, and his backstabs can be annoying as well.


Very good. I'll try to further improve his use of the Wand of Spell Striking. About SpellDiver, (as I already mentioned this in the other thread) I will consider rebalancing the item if it proves too powerful in actual playtesting (taking it through CH6/ToB) more on that below.

Selina: good work on her, she is much better this time, though she still sucks with Magic resustant opponents if there are no other enemies. Her Power Word:Kill spells are a kick in the arse, she managed to surprise me with them. Beiside them however she cannot cast too much spells without being molestataed and she still suufers the lack of protection spells. The Potions work fine, and she manages to heal herself correctly, but once she becomes vulnerable, she falls from 2-3 hits.


I'll try to make her seek out non resistant casters as I noted above, but since I can currently spare little to no time for modding, that will have to wait a bit.

#52 aVENGER

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 11:50 PM

And so, just as I said, here comes a little bit more detailed battle description:
To introduce the my party here is a small list (unique abilities included):


Thanks for shedding some light on the subject! I can now see how the custom NPCs and abilities could have affected the course of the battle.

My (winning) tactic against the Chosens was the following. First my monk used a Wand of Frost (damaging every opponent), Valen cast PfMW, Korgan Cast Hardiness, Silver used Sulphurus Poison, Imoen and Edwin fled to the south immediately to avoid the attention of Bodak. The Chosens are going invisible, Selina uses her Spell trigger and sequencer (since no one had any protections, she dispelled nothing).


A good starting round, although Monks are not supposed to be able to use Wands :unsure: It's a confirmed bug, and Kevin already fixed it IIRC.

Zaeron attacked Edwin, but because of the PfMW, his attacks were useless.


Did Edwin possibly cast it while he was invisible? Zaeron only uses the Wand of Spell Strike if he actually sees someone cast the spell.

(Venduris) After he fled behind the left gate, I summoned some monsters to block his way out (I know, not very fair, but hey! Neither is he  ) He had to cut his way through Ogres and Hobgoblins, and each time he attacked I fired him with Malison, M.Acid Arrow, Magic Missiles, and attacked him with Korgans throwing axe and the monks melee (which has an attack range of 2, so I was able to hit him from behind the Ogres). He did his job so well, he managed to kill 3 Ogres and actually ESCAPE my blockade  to the south. He wasn't able to heal himself however, because Edwin was already waiting for him with a big bad HW. He died in battle, and with great honour .


Sounds good, although he should have ignored the summoned creatures and went straight for the party...hmm I'll have to take another look at his targeting routine.

I question the logic of the encounter in one point. If the cutscene takes "2 days" to lose all beneficial spells and effects, than I think it would be at least fair to let the party re-memorize the lost spells. You know, if someone plays the Improved Bodhi fight with Undead Solaufein included, he/she will lose almost every notable spells. Without these this encounter is a bit too hopeless, even for a high level party. So let the party memorize every lost spell before the encounter.


Actually, that's still open to debate. I'm currently considering an alternate situation for v3.00 with similar effects. The fake Lanthorn which the party finds could interact with wards previously placed by Selina and Zaeron thus dispelling all magic from the player's party once he enters the area. I think it's much more plausible than the two days delay. BTW, you can rest and recast your spells before entering AR0800 (graveyard outside) now that the encounter no longer starts in Bodhi's lair.

Grok shouldn't attack mages only. This makes him very vulnerable to the PfMW/concentrated fighter-attack combo. Maybe attack the Nearest creature(?) soemtimes. Bodak should attack a bit later, and he could take care of the spellcaters. Use the potions more often with him, since he falls very fast!


Agreed. I'll further tweak Grok's AI in the next revisions and give Bodak more protective potions.

Think about my suggestions on Kerith! I think he should either attack with Harm, or Flame Strike (or something similar). Use both spells and melee - always bringing him into the middle of the rage is very suicidal.
-Zaeron and Venduris are perfect, there is no need for a change.


No problem!

I understand that Venduris carries a bunch of Invisibility potions, and every other 'Chosen' carries at least 15 Potion of Extra healing, but this is somehow a bit too much. I think the number of the potions should be reduced


I'll think about this, but remember that multiple instances of invisibility can be easily dispelled by a singe casting of True Sight.

I would request that you change Zaerons armor (Sylvan Chain) to anything else. This is because of another very popular mod, Weimer's Item Upgrade.


Hmm, I believe that you can get multiple Sylvian Chains by simply attacking the Drow which appear in Elhan's Camp (Exit From Underdark map) at night. Each of the Drow warriors drops a Sylvian Chain and a Longsword +2.

Summary: this is an excellent battle, I really enjoyed it. It is beatable with a normal party, but offers much challenge to higher level parties, even with high-level abilities. I wouldn't offer to start this encounter before 2.900.000-3.000.000 XP, but it IS beatable with an XP bellow that. Tha AIs now work properly - and some of them are extremely well written! - and the opponents use their equipment and abilities with great efficiency. Their teamwork is well balanced. Nice work aVENGER! If you need any other support, just give me a call, and I'll be happy to "work" with U once again!


Thanks! BTW, I can't do any more updates in the near future (damn university exams) but I'm still collecting bug reports and balance issues and will probably release another 2.3x revision when I find the time. What I would like you to do is to playtest the new items gained from the encounter in CH6/ToB. I want to make sure that the game balance is not disrupted too much and I'll probably make some changes to them if that is not the case. Just equip some of the items on your party and make a run through ToB.

Also, if you ever get the chance, try a Bard N(PC) and my new HLAs and songs. I haven't had much time to test those and I'd like to see what effect they have on the overall game balance as well.

#53 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 01:35 AM

"he should have ignored the summoned creatures and went straight for the party...hmm I'll have to take another look at his targeting routine"
-Don't worry too much, his routines are OK. It was only that he escaped behind the left gate, and I totally blocked his way out by summons. He had no option but to attack them first to cut his way through.

"remember that multiple instances of invisibility can be easily dispelled by a singe casting of True Sight."
-Yes, but this won't explain the incredible amount of healing potions, especially on Grok. Potions of Superior Healing should be rare in SoA, and I got 14 from him... not to mention the other 35-40 potions of Extra Healing from the others. Believe me, they won't use more than 6-8. The only exception is Venduris, who flees after every attack and often heals himself.

"Hmm, I believe that you can get multiple Sylvian Chains by simply attacking the Drow which appear in Elhan's Camp (Exit From Underdark map) at night. Each of the Drow warriors drops a Sylvian Chain "
-eeh, thats true, and thank you for pointing this one out.

"playtest the new items gained from the encounter in CH6/ToB. I want to make sure that the game balance is not disrupted too much and I'll probably make some changes to them if that is not the case. Just equip some of the items on your party and make a run through ToB. "
-That is exactly what I'm up to ;)
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#54 -KaPe-

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 02:49 AM

Just a little question to T.G. - did you ever use True Seeing/other detection spell? I haven't tried this battle myself, but in each of these "reports" you mention that you had no way of detecting invisibility :blink: So, what happens if you use them? Doesn't it become too easy?
I haven't tried this mod myself, but when I do, I expect to have true challenge :D , easier than Eclipse, of course, but tougher than Cyrics Chosen in Pocket Plane. BTW, would it be possible to improve those too? Actually, all pocket plane challenges suck, but this one probably the most:) Maybe making these Chosens apear there?^^(shouldn't be *too* tough, since party has ToB items&feats)

#55 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 03:53 AM

KaPe: yes, I intend to try this encounter by using detection spells just to see how much easier it is that way. It would be easier, there is no doubt, because the opposong party members would have to run away and hide much more. I used Remove Magic to detect them 3 times during the battle. It was quite difficult this way, but it can be done at least! B)
By the way, does the spell: Non Detection protect against True Seeing? If it does, than Selina should cast it on them before the battle!
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#56 -KaPe-

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 04:10 AM

Good luck. Although potion-based invisibility is fairly annoying with TS - that spell is so damn slow to reveal anything *again* :rolleyes: And what about characters immune to backstab? In SoA that's only barbarian, but still^^
I don't know about Non Detection(never used it :D ), but if it does protects against TS, does it affect this level 2 mage spell - Glitterdust or sth?(not sure of english name, it blinds&reveals inv.)
BTW. Hiting through PfMW with non-magical weapon was cool idea... even if it was just an accident:) Could this be added? Off hand non-magical sword or sth, to annoy those mages? It won't break stone-skin/disrupt spells, but it's always something.

#57 -Guest-

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 05:53 AM

yes, non detection protects you from true sight and other spells of this sort.

#58 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 06:51 AM

"non detection protects you from true sight and other spells of this sort"
-Excellent! aVENGER, I think this small bit of "flavour" should be added to the encounter, at least on Venduris (Zaeron is already under the effects of this spell). His tactics are very much invisibility-based, so try to protect him from revealing spells. If you don't like the spell-idea, simply give him a Cloak of Non-Detection.

"And what about characters immune to backstab? In SoA that's only barbarian"
-Actually in SoA there is a custom character (Silver Star) who is immune to backstab when wielding her special sword.
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#59 aVENGER

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 07:03 AM

KaPe wrote:

Would it be possible to improve those too? Actually, all pocket plane challenges suck, but this one probably the most:) Maybe making these Chosens apear there?^^(shouldn't be *too* tough, since party has ToB items&feats)


Yes, I have some plans for that encounter as well. All will be revealed in revision 3.00 (hopefully) :ph34r:

T.G. Maestro wrote:

By the way, does the spell: Non Detection protect against True Seeing? If it does, than Selina should cast it on them before the battle!


No it doesn't, at least not in BG2. Although there is a strange bug which can cause True Sight to fail if you wear the Cloak of Non Detection and have the Staff of the Magi equipped (invisibility) or you are a thief in stealth mode. This apparently works only in these two cases.

KaPe wrote:

BTW. Hiting through PfMW with non-magical weapon was cool idea... even if it was just an accident:) Could this be added? Off hand non-magical sword or sth, to annoy those mages? It won't break stone-skin/disrupt spells, but it's always something.


Hmm...I could add a non-magical Long Sword to Grok and make him use it if PfMW is cast nearby. I don't know if there is a functional script command for switching between two melee weapons though. The ones I have tried were pretty unpredictable :( I could try a workaround which I used with Bodak (SelectWeaponAbility) it might just do the trick. More details on this when I get home.

#60 T.G.Maestro

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 07:14 AM

"No it doesn't, at least not in BG2"
-Eh. A pity.

By the way, Bodak should use that Power Word: Blind and Prismatic Spray before he gets chomped.. that Power Word spell could be very useful on Mages for example, but it will cripple fighters as well.
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