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BWS for non-Windows OS

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#21 @vGur

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 06:46 AM

Sorry, question was directed to Roxanne, or anyone who played Vecna.



#22 subtledoctor

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:40 AM

This thread is going to be incredibly skewed toward people like Roxanne who like these mods; most people who don't like them don't use them, and are not likely to provide any balancing opinions or votes. So, I seriously question the ultimate utility of this.

For my part, I think Fishing For Trouble is a solid 4.5 (it would be perfect if not held back by a couple small bugs). And the Colors of Infinity mods are fantastic. So big votes for them.

Tellingly, those are all pretty small quest mods that focus intently on their particular events.

The bigger "mega" mods that add more super-powerful spells!! more super powerful magic weapons!! more super powerful enemies!! reach level 30 before starting SoA!!... I think they are generally buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk that affirmatively *harm* the experience of playing the rest of the game. Strip them of all loot, magic, artificially-buffed enemies, and XP rewards and turn them into good quests with interesting characters and well-written stories, and I'll take another look. But for now, '1's across the board.

Edited by subtledoctor, 23 December 2015 - 08:41 AM.


#23 wizardcorp

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:01 AM

I think you're right about why the results are likely to skew positive, but I think you're being unnecessarily harsh on the mega-mods. Certainly I remember the first release of DSotSC and TDD, and it would be fair to say they were over-bloated, poorly balanced, and painfully buggy, and my opinion was similarly dismissive. But with the various bug-fixes, the rebalancing, and the other mods that allow you to rebalance your own game, a lot of what you're asking for is already done if you're willing to use BWS and put some thought into your overall selection. They're not to everyone's taste, and some are definitely better than others, but if you can get over the occasional bad writing or poor design decision and reused art assets, it's easy enough to enjoy them for what they are.

 

One thing I'd definitely like to see is to have some of the larger mods broken into components - main content section, rule changes, spell additions, etc, to allow more granular control. 


Edited by wizardcorp, 23 December 2015 - 09:05 AM.


#24 Roxanne

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:15 AM

This thread is going to be incredibly skewed toward people like Roxanne who like these mods; most people who don't like them don't use them, and are not likely to provide any balancing opinions or votes. So, I seriously question the ultimate utility of this.

For my part, I think Fishing For Trouble is a solid 4.5 (it would be perfect if not held back by a couple small bugs). And the Colors of Infinity mods are fantastic. So big votes for them.

Tellingly, those are all pretty small quest mods that focus intently on their particular events.

The bigger "mega" mods that add more super-powerful spells!! more super powerful magic weapons!! more super powerful enemies!! reach level 30 before starting SoA!!... I think they are generally buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk that affirmatively *harm* the experience of playing the rest of the game. Strip them of all loot, magic, artificially-buffed enemies, and XP rewards and turn them into good quests with interesting characters and well-written stories, and I'll take another look. But for now, '1's across the board.

I fully agree with this assessment - you will hear positive/neutral votes from those you play the mods in a balanced BWS/BWP installation and you will not hear any votes from those who dismissed megamods years ago. (unless you count *generally buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk* as a vote)


The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*

 


#25 subtledoctor

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:41 AM

I did say "1s across the board" :P

@wizardcorp, if people would be willing to make BWS not Windows-only (I mean come on, it's 2015!) then I would "be willing" to use BWS. Unfortunately, right now, I can't. So I don't think BWS ibstallation should be considered as the baseline.

More generally: look I don't like crapping on other people's work. I generally don't. But when someone creates a thread saying "let's be judgy and distill complicated opinions down to simple numerical values!" it really invites that sort of thing. Roxanne's opinion, that the content of those mods is nicely expansive and she doesn't mind, of doesn't mind ignoring, the balance problems they present, is completely reasonable. Others like me feel differently - the expanded content does not make up for the aspects of the mod that don't just co-exist, but actually damage the base game's gameplay. So I'm going to give those mods low scores. It's honest and reasonable, but it's not very nice. So I guess I really don't love the whole idea of this thread.

Especially since the selection is so cherry-picked. Why no tweak mods - like mine? :P (Actually I wouldn't mind people scoring and critiquing my mods, it would be good feedback and help me improve them.)

#26 The Imp

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:52 AM

Still, try and make a good mod and then tell us about how majestic it is in every respect and that everyone that has come across it has loved everything it in and we'll see... how well it integrates itself into the BWS.

I did say "1s across the board" :P

@wizardcorp, if people would be willing to make BWS not Windows-only (I mean come on, it's 2015!) then I would "be willing" to use BWS.

Hmpff... Somehow I see the "1s across the board" as a lack of judgement based on the system they use, not actual opinion about the mods themselves.

 

Or you could move to a system that's not using cases sensitive characters and other insanity. But who am I to judge, I am not using your system.


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#27 wizardcorp

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:59 AM

@subtledoctor The problem is that unless you're very patient and fairly knowledgeable about mods, manually installing a lot of mods is a massive pain - hence why I consider BWS the baseline for big installs (and we are, after all, in the mega mod forum), I wouldn't bother without it personally. That it's unavailable to you is a shame (can't comment on reasons why), but it certainly opens up your options as a mod user, and gives you the benefits of others' testing.

 

As for the purpose of this exercise - I agree that numerical values are of little value and that's why I haven't offered any ratings. What would be better is to discuss categories, such as:

  1. Content - does it add new content? Is it story or tactics driven? Does it fit well around the main story or does it take you out of it? Is it lore friendly more generally?
  2. Bugs - are there regular bugs? How severe are they? Do you see crashes to desktop? Is it OK if played on its own but cause issues when installed with other mods?
  3. Options - does it force you to play in certain ways (such as bundling rule changes with content with no opt out), or does it offer a range of options to tailor to your own tastes?

Edited by wizardcorp, 23 December 2015 - 10:11 AM.


#28 -@vGur-

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:04 PM

Thank You subtledoctor for bumping the thread  :devil:

Anyone who can remember map quality \ fun \ bugs or weak components are welcome! There still mods to vote.

p.s. I'm deeply glad that so many artists put their time in BG modding, so we have planty variants to add to our games, but I don't want to beta-test them all or play annoying quests, sorry for that.



#29 dabus

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:42 PM

@subtledoctor:

That sentence (it's 2015) is so odd when...

...most talk here goes around modding a game that is "stone old" in terms of the fast paced computer age. Fascinating that we even talk about it.

...Linux is even relying on an "api-translator" to even play the original game on Linux.

...Linux having trouble to gather more folks than those that use Windows XP or X, which is trying to give the developers your data on a silver plate.

...Linux not being supported by a lot of mods that were essential to build that fat cat most guys were after for a long time -- at least the last time I was considering some kind of shell-script-creation a few years ago; it may have changed until now.

 

Everyone was free to create something compatible to support the OS that WeiDU runs on, but it seems like nobody that saw those flaws got enough time/endurance to do that. So my guess would be that Linux users just have the short stick here. A mac guy tried to create a conversion script for the BiG World Installpack, but as that batch got more and more out of the ordinary, it was discontinued.

 

Please mind that I've used Linux when kde and gnome had an 0 as the major version number and I still use Linux for surfing on an older PC. So I'm not against using Linux. It's just the same oddity as guys wanting to use a mac for business and still want their windows office applications to run on it and use parallels or bootcamp to do that and me being a bit bored to consider writing this. :)


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#30 subtledoctor

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 03:54 PM

Just to be clear, I don't use Linux. I played around with Yellow Dog Linux back around ~2005, it nicely sped up an aging PowerPC Mac that had trouble running OS X Leopard. Those were the days when BG2 for Mac was a Classic app that ran in emulation under Rosetta, and Weidu was not fully functional on Macs and OpenGL was dog slow and if you wanted to play games you *had* to have a computer with WinXP, and BG2 mod makers only cared about Windows and a few of us labored to convert Weidu scripts to use Mac-compatible Weidu and make Mac-compatible sound files etc. etc. etc.

But now OS X runs on Intel PCs. The HUGE majority of consumer PC purchases are Macs running OS X. A HUGE majority of games (especially relatively non-graphics-intensive games like BGEE) run on OS X, and huge game distributors like Steam and GOG sell tons of games for Macs. The VAST majority of active BG mod-makers make their mods compatible with Macs. I mean some older mods that are no longer maintained might have platform-proprietary code, but almost everything being actively developed now works on Macs.

In short, while BWS used to be unexceptional in being Windows-only, today it is very much the exception - a throwback to a less civilized era. Even though it is being actively developed and lots of great and generous people are putting time into it, not one iota of that time is being spent trying to expand its reach to the large and growing group of players who play on Macs.

In 2015, as someone who enjoys using lots of BG mods and has to install them all manually every. single. time... that just makes me sad. :( That's all I'm saying.

Edited by subtledoctor, 23 December 2015 - 03:56 PM.


#31 agb1

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:24 PM

Well... I've recently been looking at the dependency rules parsing code in BWS, and it has some limitations due to how it is implemented (unclear AND/OR precedence). I would be happy to see a new cross platform BG auto-install tool emerge with some different design choices ... It's just that is a lot more work than maintaining and incrementally improving the tool we have.

Any coders interested in building a new tool are welcome to speak up... I will happily contribute to such efforts in addition to BWS.

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#32 subtledoctor

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:39 PM

^ if this were the Beamdog forums and you could do extra stuff in posts, I would give you a 'like' or an 'insightful' or something.

Unfortunately IANAC (I Am Not A Coder), in fact IAAL (I Am A Lawyer) so I don't have the time or skills to do this myself.

But I fear I have threadjacked. Apologies to @vGur. Here is your thread back.

#33 @vGur

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:56 AM

Just about time, You was on thin ice.

Don't be shy and vote for mod!



#34 kreso

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 05:25 PM

down


Edited by kreso, 24 December 2015 - 05:30 PM.


#35 kreso

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 05:30 PM

buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk 

This pretty much sums it up I guess....



#36 @vGur

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 09:07 AM

Ok, even You, who think they all are buggy & unbalanced, can tell that a few was little better than others, or worse.

With all this Linux stuff - go f--k'n out of here



#37 Almateria

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 09:09 AM

- MAC/OSX user are still minority (face the reality, please), none of maybe 30 players install more than 3 mods (BG2Tweaks,SCS, NPC) and if someone love BGT and mods, he already use windows + BGT/MegaMod installation. Besides, you can use virtual machine for BWS. Besides, you can always use simple shell script and use --force-install-list 1 2 3 ...
says the guy using windows xp

#38 agb1

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 09:16 AM

Has anyone looked into splitting the big mods into more separate components?

BiG World Fixpack (community collection of mod fixes and compatibility patches, with user-friendly cross-platform script)

 

BiG World Setup (tool to automate best-practice installation of Infinity Engine mods on Windows, with conflict analysis)

Latest version:    https://bitbucket.or.../get/master.zip


#39 Roxanne

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 12:36 PM

Two more votes that I forgot

 

Stone of Askavar 2 for areas (pretty bare - most contents however is in existing BG1 areas) - 3 for contents - 5 for being bug free

Tortured Souls 3 (most of it is during BG2 areas) - 4 for contents (starts interesting but fizzles out) - 3 (ending was pretty buggy - but last played it two years ago, may have improved)

 

One more to mention

The Grey Clan (in BG1) - 4 for areas (uses existing ones in excellent way - e.g.FFA under Siege) - 4 for contents (is called part1, there never was a sequel, the end somehow asks for more) - 5 completely bug free

 

Not sure if those qualify for another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*:

Planar Sphere Mod

Aurora


Edited by Roxanne, 25 December 2015 - 12:37 PM.

The Sandrah Saga

another piece of *buggy, cheesy, unbalanced junk*

 


#40 subtledoctor

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:56 PM

@ALIEN first of all nond of that is true. Plenty of OS X users use plenty of mods (I use 100+ on BGT) but unfortunately we have to do it manually. I don't know where you get your numbers from - the fact that not many OS X players post around here? Why would they post on boards dedicated largely to BWS when BWS is not available to them. I certainly wouldn't, if I didn't make a mod.

If you build it they will come.

Second, I cannot see what Windows-only APIs make BWS glued to that platform. WeiDu does all sorts of things, moving and copying files, patching files, patching executable files, yet it works fine on different filesystems. Near Infinity does all of that and more, and adds a nice GUI, and it works everywhere.

BWS doesn't have to do any of that stuff - it calls Weidu to do the real installation work; BWS just has to deal with logic detailing the order in which Weidu is called for different mods, and a basic GUI, and remembering identified conflicts. That could be coded in Java, or Python, or Applescript or Basic. It just needs people who have the ability.