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Continuous Jaheira


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#21 Vlad

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:27 AM

I don't understand your trolling here.



#22 The Imp

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:34 AM

I don't understand your trolling here.

It's very much not actually that, but a comparison of the ME3's dialog links[aka you get someone killed in ME1(Urdnot Wrex), it's replaced with someone else ME2 & 3(Urdnot Wreav) and so on, if use that savegame] and it is what is proposed here.


Edited by The Imp, 05 August 2015 - 07:15 AM.

Yep, Jarno Mikkola. my Mega Mod FAQ. Use of the BWS, and how to use it(scroll down that post a bit). 
OK, desert dweller, welcome to the sanity, you are free to search for the limit, it's out there, we drew it in the sand. Ouh, actually it was still snow then.. but anyways.


#23 cmorgan

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:04 AM

tl; dr - Definitely not trolling - apt analysis. Direct parallel - Shep vs <CHARNAME>. They even have the same plot-mandtory "game over on player1 death" - a pretty universal BioWare concept, and one of the few things that give players some sense of actual consequence for actions.

 

 

the "too long" part -

 

ME[1,2,3], DAO, etc. have one basic premise that the player is at the center of the game. In ME[1,2,3] a regular combat can only end in a reload by a player death; your "team" can die in combat and then be up and ok, but if Shep/FemShep dies, reload is prompted. There, like in BG, is patently silly to have Player1 replaced by an in-game NPC. For BG, they are not the Bhaalspawn... in game terms, in plot term, and in story terms, Player1 survivies to fulfill destiny, or the game is pointless - "Jaheria has a hidden secret - she is actually Neo/Shephard/Bhallspawn, and the game up until this point is really a trick!" [The Dallas TV show syndrome - recast an entire season as a dream so that the plot can actually continue after the writers have written themselves into an untenable situation]. The only way it makes sense is if the player1 situation can be reolved at the end of combat with ressurection - but even then, the whole point is that the essence of Bhaal is *released by killing a bhaalspawn*. So no matter how you justify it, you can't have player1 die in BG/SoA/ToB.

 

BUT in ME[1,2 and to an extremely limited extent 3] if a quest requires a "joinable" NPC or a plot "non-joinable" NPC death, the game consequences are carried through with a clone of the bit-player's plot, a new quest giver, and a slight tweak to the existing sub-plot. This means that the overall gist of the game is relatively immune from Plaer Choice™. It means that the player is re-cast from the lead in an interactive movie, to a script director in an interactive movie. The actor's choices have consequences for the way the story plays out, but the same basic "scenery" elements ae brought to play for each and every actor in places where player choice matters long-term; "forced choice points" that are needed to advance the story remain in play even if the player does something like wipe out a plot-needed character.

 

SO, the crux of the matter is why change the story elements that were put into place in the first place. We modders have answered that question -  because the ruleset is not a satisfactory replication of 2E rules; because there are bugs that were never addressed; because there is a subplot or experience that will enhance the regular story; because the modder in question feels the self-empowering need to insert their demi-god MarySue/Stu and have a story where Harry Potter is a bit-player foil to Ron or Hermione rather than Harry; because the game world needs more scenery and differnt ways of interaction; even simply "because we can". But from a storytelling standpoint, the story can only be warped and changed in specific ways before it is not the story, but a completely new one. We are not talking about just massive hi-jacking of plot like Saerileth and Chloe, where the Goddesses are the real players and "player1" is basically along for the ride left to marvel in the wonder that is a 15 year old etra-planar Paladin - we are talking about changing an *imperative to plot development* element, because we can.

 

So, if you completely rewrite the story plot points removing Khalid's death, you now have a completely different movie for Jaheira, and any other mod that expects that event to occur (which is any story mod out there - unless it is a fixpack or ruleset or item mod, it expects that point). Ditto Imoen's involvement. Doable? Probably - with enough time and effort, you could even rewrite BG to have a completely different cast of characters, and an altered storyline that has no Bhaalspawn plot at all. You could even use the basic engine and set up a completely different game - AND WE HAVE!! "Total Conversions" like Classic Adventures!

 

Is that a bad thing, that we technically can completely change the experience and plot and redirect atention from individual NPC story development in favor of a "Jaheria dies and is replaced by her Twin Sister Aheiraj, but she is clobbered so a random blue cloaked NPC named Heiraja steps in..."? Well, for some players, it is completely ridiculous, and they would never play a mod that warped the core experience of the game that way. (By the way, that same statement has been used about the Fixpack, BGT, and even adding NPC mods to an install). For other players, it would be the best thing since Betty White (she came along before Sliced Bread, so the old catchphrase needs updating).

 

In this day and age of http://www.goodreads...ritten-classics "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", and the lack of a large and engaged modder base, it is hard to say no to any idea in concept. So if a modder really wants to rewrite the game this way, it is their time and energy, and the reward will be the time and energy spent and the addition to their own game. After all, ME is still a playable popular game, even though they "cheat" by dumping individual NPC development and backstory and importance by creating

 

{ J aheria | A heiraj |  H eiraja | E irajah | I rajahe | R ajahei | A jaheir  - creeeeepyyyyy! :)

 

For me, I'd rather play with well-developed new NPCs, or new quests that relate to the main plot. But I am not you. I think it is tough put a value judgement on these things any more.



#24 Roxanne

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 07:06 AM

tl; dr - Definitely not trolling - apt analysis. Direct parallel - Shep vs <CHARNAME>. They even have the same plot-mandtory "game over on player1 death" - a pretty universal BioWare concept, and one of the few things that give players some sense of actual consequence for actions.

 

 

the "too long" part -

 

ME[1,2,3], DAO, etc. have one basic premise that the player is at the center of the game. In ME[1,2,3] a regular combat can only end in a reload by a player death; your "team" can die in combat and then be up and ok, but if Shep/FemShep dies, reload is prompted. There, like in BG, is patently silly to have Player1 replaced by an in-game NPC. For BG, they are not the Bhaalspawn... in game terms, in plot term, and in story terms, Player1 survivies to fulfill destiny, or the game is pointless - "Jaheria has a hidden secret - she is actually Neo/Shephard/Bhallspawn, and the game up until this point is really a trick!" [The Dallas TV show syndrome - recast an entire season as a dream so that the plot can actually continue after the writers have written themselves into an untenable situation]. The only way it makes sense is if the player1 situation can be reolved at the end of combat with ressurection - but even then, the whole point is that the essence of Bhaal is *released by killing a bhaalspawn*. So no matter how you justify it, you can't have player1 die in BG/SoA/ToB.

 

BUT in ME[1,2 and to an extremely limited extent 3] if a quest requires a "joinable" NPC or a plot "non-joinable" NPC death, the game consequences are carried through with a clone of the bit-player's plot, a new quest giver, and a slight tweak to the existing sub-plot. This means that the overall gist of the game is relatively immune from Plaer Choice™. It means that the player is re-cast from the lead in an interactive movie, to a script director in an interactive movie. The actor's choices have consequences for the way the story plays out, but the same basic "scenery" elements ae brought to play for each and every actor in places where player choice matters long-term; "forced choice points" that are needed to advance the story remain in play even if the player does something like wipe out a plot-needed character.

 

SO, the crux of the matter is why change the story elements that were put into place in the first place. We modders have answered that question -  because the ruleset is not a satisfactory replication of 2E rules; because there are bugs that were never addressed; because there is a subplot or experience that will enhance the regular story; because the modder in question feels the self-empowering need to insert their demi-god MarySue/Stu and have a story where Harry Potter is a bit-player foil to Ron or Hermione rather than Harry; because the game world needs more scenery and differnt ways of interaction; even simply "because we can". But from a storytelling standpoint, the story can only be warped and changed in specific ways before it is not the story, but a completely new one. We are not talking about just massive hi-jacking of plot like Saerileth and Chloe, where the Goddesses are the real players and "player1" is basically along for the ride left to marvel in the wonder that is a 15 year old etra-planar Paladin - we are talking about changing an *imperative to plot development* element, because we can.

 

So, if you completely rewrite the story plot points removing Khalid's death, you now have a completely different movie for Jaheira, and any other mod that expects that event to occur (which is any story mod out there - unless it is a fixpack or ruleset or item mod, it expects that point). Ditto Imoen's involvement. Doable? Probably - with enough time and effort, you could even rewrite BG to have a completely different cast of characters, and an altered storyline that has no Bhaalspawn plot at all. You could even use the basic engine and set up a completely different game - AND WE HAVE!! "Total Conversions" like Classic Adventures!

 

Is that a bad thing, that we technically can completely change the experience and plot and redirect atention from individual NPC story development in favor of a "Jaheria dies and is replaced by her Twin Sister Aheiraj, but she is clobbered so a random blue cloaked NPC named Heiraja steps in..."? Well, for some players, it is completely ridiculous, and they would never play a mod that warped the core experience of the game that way. (By the way, that same statement has been used about the Fixpack, BGT, and even adding NPC mods to an install). For other players, it would be the best thing since Betty White (she came along before Sliced Bread, so the old catchphrase needs updating).

 

In this day and age of http://www.goodreads...ritten-classics "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", and the lack of a large and engaged modder base, it is hard to say no to any idea in concept. So if a modder really wants to rewrite the game this way, it is their time and energy, and the reward will be the time and energy spent and the addition to their own game. After all, ME is still a playable popular game, even though they "cheat" by dumping individual NPC development and backstory and importance by creating

 

{ J aheria | A heiraj |  H eiraja | E irajah | I rajahe | R ajahei | A jaheir  - creeeeepyyyyy! :)

 

For me, I'd rather play with well-developed new NPCs, or new quests that relate to the main plot. But I am not you. I think it is tough put a value judgement on these things any more.

Thank you - and even not *long enough* - a clarification that is long overdue.

I am not saying that we need a guideline for modders and some overseer telling us what to mod and what not. But we need some self-discipline as modders and not do-it-because-it-can-be-done. Always ask ourselves why we still love this game after all these years and after the x-time played. There are holes and contradictions in the original story - true - but we have lived with them and filled them with our fantasy. Every *good* story mode has tried to integrate with the original game story and thus enhanced the game and that is why many modders are still contributing stuff to the game.

A new game engine (GemRB + 10pp) etc opens new possibilities, and tools like BWP and BWS make it easier to install large modded game in (reltatively) little time, but in the end BG is still the Bhaalspawn tale that was in the beginning. And as modders we need the original story's orientation points to integrate our mods, otherwise we end up with a large number of diversions where a helpless PC stumbles through the game without focus or goal as just another lost adventurer from dungeon to dungeon but not as a figure with some destiny.


Edited by Roxanne, 05 August 2015 - 07:08 AM.

The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*

 


#25 Almateria

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 11:42 AM

This is exactly what I meant, to the word.

#26 Fiann of the Silver Hand

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:25 PM

Well, what happened with the Urdnots was just substitution, essentially the same character but with slightly different incidentals.  I would assume this would follow the same tack as the Khalid mod that keeps him alive into BG2.

 

I agree with both... sides?  Player agency and impact on the game world is paramount for me in an rpg, so anything that puts more power into the hands of the player is good.  It is often enough for a dev/modder to say "this is what happens and there is nothing you can do to prevent or alter it".  But then, by default, modders ignore that all the time, as long as the quality justifies that decision.

 

So now we're getting into ridiculously subjective stuff.  Some people are simply so used to the canon stories that nothing, no matter how well done, will ever be as satisfactory as the original.  And there are certainly low effort and low quality attempts out there to justify that belief.

 

The reason to not deal with this is because you have to entirely rewrite BG2

 

One of the best Skyrim mods does exactly this with the main plot, making the civil war much more complex and simultaneously consistent.  Even the various *Revisions mods would be excluded by an argument of scope.  I also don't think it'd be as much of the undertaking as "entirely" implies.

 

I really don't like the judging of mod ideas like this.  We should be concentrating on helping to implement the ideas, not deciding if it's worth doing or not.  I could make a strong case for many mods to have never been made, but I'm glad they did because of the ideas they used, not to mention all the code templates they engendered.



#27 Fiann of the Silver Hand

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:26 PM

>not worth it


Edited by Fiann of the Silver Hand, 17 October 2015 - 12:07 AM.


#28 Fiann of the Silver Hand

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:32 PM

So what if entire plot points have to be rewritten?  The game is 14+ years old, and all people are doing is expanding 5% of the game with slightly altered classes/kits/spells/items.  How many top-level mods are there going to be before it doesn't matter whether you have a choice among 60 kits or 80, 15 joinables or 30?  That's like your girlfriend/wife wearing a different hat on date night and pretending it's a substantial improvement.


Edited by Fiann of the Silver Hand, 17 October 2015 - 12:08 AM.


#29 Vlad

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:04 PM

That's like your girlfriend/wife wearing a different hat on date night and pretending it's a substantial improvement.

 

:coolthumb:

 

Anyway, that's why I've always been advocating total conversions. SimDing made a strip many many years ago when you have a clean platform for installing a total conversion game. I've started making NeJ with that in mind. I haven't removed the BG2 game content, but it's not needed to play NeJ. Ideally, the begee team shouldn't run for money and release the same 15-17 years old games with 5% improvement or added material, but do the total conversion. However, I understand that it requires to be creative, come with new interesting ideas, plots, artistic talents, everything that the begee team lacks, in my opinion.   


Edited by Vlad, 17 October 2015 - 12:07 PM.


#30 Roxanne

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:39 PM

That's like your girlfriend/wife wearing a different hat on date night and pretending it's a substantial improvement.

 

:coolthumb:

 

Anyway, that's why I've always been advocating total conversions. SimDing made a strip many many years ago when you have a clean platform for installing a total conversion game. I've started making NeJ with that in mind. I haven't removed the BG2 game content, but it's not needed to play NeJ. Ideally, the begee team shouldn't run for money and release the same 15-17 years old games with 5% improvement or added material, but do the total conversion. However, I understand that it requires to be creative, come with new interesting ideas, plots, artistic talents, everything that the begee team lacks, in my opinion.   

Try to change the selection of ales at Friendly Arm Inn and wait for the reaction...


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*

 


#31 -Erik_T-

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 02:53 AM

That's like your girlfriend/wife wearing a different hat on date night and pretending it's a substantial improvement.

 

:coolthumb:

 

Anyway, that's why I've always been advocating total conversions. SimDing made a strip many many years ago when you have a clean platform for installing a total conversion game. I've started making NeJ with that in mind. I haven't removed the BG2 game content, but it's not needed to play NeJ. Ideally, the begee team shouldn't run for money and release the same 15-17 years old games with 5% improvement or added material, but do the total conversion. However, I understand that it requires to be creative, come with new interesting ideas, plots, artistic talents, everything that the begee team lacks, in my opinion.   

 

With that kind of total change you would have a new game - even if it uses the same underlying engine.

It would no longer be a mod to an old and beloved game, but something else.

 

New games are certainly not a bad thing - but if that is what one is making there is little point in starting with any of the Baldur's Gate games.



#32 Roxanne

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 03:38 AM

That's like your girlfriend/wife wearing a different hat on date night and pretending it's a substantial improvement.

 

:coolthumb:

 

Anyway, that's why I've always been advocating total conversions. SimDing made a strip many many years ago when you have a clean platform for installing a total conversion game. I've started making NeJ with that in mind. I haven't removed the BG2 game content, but it's not needed to play NeJ. Ideally, the begee team shouldn't run for money and release the same 15-17 years old games with 5% improvement or added material, but do the total conversion. However, I understand that it requires to be creative, come with new interesting ideas, plots, artistic talents, everything that the begee team lacks, in my opinion.   

 

With that kind of total change you would have a new game - even if it uses the same underlying engine.

It would no longer be a mod to an old and beloved game, but something else.

 

New games are certainly not a bad thing - but if that is what one is making there is little point in starting with any of the Baldur's Gate games.

There are many shades of grey here between mod excursions within the game (Baldur Gate) and total conversions, mostly defined by the degree by which the mod takes you off from the main story.

Just some example - Longer Road and Ascension are mods that are fully integrated into the original game - while on the other hand Secret of Bone Hill may already be considered as a different game - it takes you to a remote island, you go through a number of quests, you return to the Sword Coast. This episode is very very losely coupled to BG1, some mentioning of Elminster and Bhaalspawns on the side, that is all, except it uses the game engine and inventory. What makes it a Baldur Gate episode nonetheless is that it has the same look and feel like the rest of the game.

You could look at all the current mods, especially the larger mods, in this way and find a different magnitude how that mod relates to the main game (or not). The question is where to draw the line.

The adventurer exploring a new area for a limited time may be different from one travelling through time and space to spend weeks of gameplay in a different plot before returning to the game he started from.

In the end, my vote is that modmakers should make clear how they want their contribution to be considered (just like Vlad does for NEJ) and whether they consider it as a contribution of the Big Picture of Baldur's Gate to be played in that context - or whether it is an independent contribution using the common game engine (whichever).

The starting point of this thread was *continuous Jaheira* (which I read as *continuos game experience*), where you would start in Candlekeep and after a longer or shorter road through the game one day end at the Throne of Bhaal. Using the game outside of these confines is possible but in contributing a mod or conversion to the game you should decide that clearly and make it visible to those who want to install it.


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*