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Lighting, fires and re-presentation - continued (mod)

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#1 temnix

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:30 PM

This ongoing mod adds, recolors, improves and replaces some of the visual effects of spells and projectiles. In other cases a spell's presentation is made completely different. For example, on the following screenshot you see a changed Spook, where there is no missile but the caster appears as a monster. There is no installer for this mod so that players can pick the changes they like in the archive. The latest, cumulative version of the mod will always be on the bottom of the thread. You can read about already made decisions in the original thread at Beamdog's: https://forums.beamd...ghting/p1?new=1


This mod began as a collection of updates for my own use, so the earlier changes are not laid-out in order. At this point it would be too time-consuming to put each in its separate folder within the archive, as I did with later changes - Petrification, Wail of the Banshee etc. Basically, if you like what you see, you can extract everything in the root directory of the archive in your override file. The folders take precedence over the root. The "ring-style" fireball is the wild spread on the image with Edwin; this is provided as an alternative to the huge-blast fireball that is one of the files in the root directory.


For all of the changes installation is the same: drop the files in override. In some cases the visuals could be changed separately without affecting your possibly-modded spell mechanics. Other spells had to have their SPL files replaced. For those cases the archive contains SPLs with correct text string references for Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 (Enhanced Editions). Except for the changed looks and sometimes sounds, these spells (and items) are simple, vanilla versions. The only exception at this point is the breath weapon of winter wolves. They now exhale a much more dangerous cone of cold.


You are welcome to leave comments and bug reports.




The mod continues


In this update some early, unsuccessful BAMs were improved or done away with altogether. Fireballs' smoke trail is now drawn correctly. The Incendiary Cloud plays scattered:


Incendiary Cloud.jpg


The standard fireball, for the 3rd level wizard spell, was also updated.


Latest firebal.jpg


A little special flash has been added to the effects of Arrows of Fire, it plays in addition to the improved fire damage flash. The ITM files for the arrows are included in the archive.




Also there is a new hit burst for Melf's Minute Meteors and Fire Seeds:


Fire seed.jpg


Edited by temnix, 18 March 2018 - 10:14 AM.

#2 temnix

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 06:29 PM

A small update.


First, I finally and completely fixed the trailing smoke paths for the classic and default fireballs. They trail correctly this time.


Second, I changed the coloring effect of petrification. There are now darker and more varied shades where the game engine allows it. The result is more stone-like, I believe, and closer to the color of statues we come across. Also takes care of helmets and weapons refusing to turn into stone together with the rest.




This screenshot shows the new Branwen next to the old Branwen. A basilisk gets a taste of its own medicine in the upper left. Basilisks are among the creatures that cannot be recolored almost in any way; the nearest thing to stone for them is this kind of black lump. (Formerly a basilisk did not get changed outwardly at all, if you managed to turn the tables on it.)


This being an installer-free mod, the scrolls and spells that petrify and remove stoning, and the coloring, had to be edited by hand. They are in the Petrification folder, along with basilisks' updated gaze weapons; the files are otherwise vanilla. Put them in override. Obviously this will overwrite any other custom versions. If you are going to use these files, make sure to take all of them, otherwise you are going to de-stone but be stuck looking like a piece of rock!


I might edit Stoneskin later, but not now.


Attached Images

  • Petr1.jpg

Edited by temnix, 25 January 2018 - 01:49 PM.

#3 temnix

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 12:37 PM

Asking everyone to hold off downloading. Some strangeness with the spells. Will fix tomorrow, so nothing lost.

#4 temnix

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:53 PM

The files have been fixed and rearranged. Take the Petrification folder again. Inside you'll find a subfolder with vanilla versions of two spells that petrify (Chromatic Orb and Prismatic Spray), updated to use the effect. You can write here if there any problems. Also a bonus: petrified characters no longer produce body heat to infravision or scream when shattered. Instead they fly to pieces with a nice "Crack."


The potion of stone form also benefits from the recoloring.

Edited by temnix, 27 January 2018 - 12:46 PM.

#5 temnix

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 12:44 PM

The concluding update for this recolor. This one includes an update for Stoneskin, the last touches on the coloring generally, plus I changed Iron Skins, the druid spell. It was a copycat of Stoneskin. I gave it its own visual, a new sound and made the characters gleam like metal.


This party is under Iron Skins, and the spell is being cast again:


Iron Skins.jpg

Edited by temnix, 16 March 2018 - 10:04 AM.

#6 temnix

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:03 AM

A little oomph for Wail of the Banshee. The sound has been updated as well. Standard installation: vanilla spell versions, put the files in override.



Edited by temnix, 19 March 2018 - 12:07 PM.

#7 Ulb

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 04:32 AM

This one includes an update for Stoneskin, the last touches on the coloring generally, plus I changed Iron Skins, the druid spell. It was a copycat of Stoneskin. I gave it its own visual, a new sound and made the characters gleam like metal.


Wait, are you telling me they finally externalized stoneskin's color effect? :woot:

#8 temnix

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 09:51 AM

No. It's a superimposed coloring.

#9 Ulb

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:46 AM

:crying:  ah well.. maybe some day..

#10 temnix

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:06 PM

To those who have been noticing a strange displacement of casting glows for dwarf/gnome casters: this was due to a bug in my casting glows (which have been given small auras, visible in the dark). The height issue has been fixed. If you have taken all of the files from the root of the archive, you are having this problem and should download the archive again. There should be no need for such fixes in the future.

Edited by temnix, 06 April 2018 - 04:18 PM.

#11 temnix

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:10 PM

I present another update. This one changes Phase Spiders (and Astral Phase Spiders) and makes a proper spell out of Wraithform.


1) Wraithform


This official AD&D spell was not finished by Bioware and did not make it properly into the Baldur's Gate series. It is only found in the spellbook of Quayle in the first game and nowhere in the second, though the resources are included. My version changes the spell to be even closer to the Handbook mechanics and makes it an Alteration spell. It was originally both in Alteration and in Illusion/Phantasm, but one can't have it both ways with this engine, and the Wraithform change is quite real. I will include it in my own spell mod as an optional component, with a proper text, but for this installer-free mod I made use of existing text strings. This is the spell description as it should be:





Level: 3
Range: 0
Duration: 2 rounds/level 
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

When the Wraithform spell is cast the caster and all his gear become insubstantial. The wizard can pass through other creatures and may only be hurt by magical weapons. Undead except liches will take the caster for a wraith or spectre and leave him alone. While wraithformed the caster cannot attack others or use wizard or priest spells, though he can use special abilities, including the button to end the wraithformed state. The condition can also be dispelled.


This is all the spell does now, despite what the text still says. I played with colors and was able to give wraithformed characters a polarized look along with a custom casting sound, like my own spells. Here is Edwin walking through his companions.




If you want more than an update to Quyale's spell but actual scrolls to learn it, you can get them at the High Hedge in the first BG and at the Copper Coronet in the second, for a more proper price than what 3rd-level spells go at those places. The store files with the spells are included, but they will overwrite any custom modifications of those stores you might have. Go to the Copper Coronet quickly to buy, because the store improves to feature better gear with time, and only the first version contains Wraithform. Another vendor in BG2 who sells this spell is the Svirfneblin Dad (some kind of lost-son quest). Once you have the spell in the book, you can reinstall other versions of the stores to override.


2) Phase Spiders


These helpless creatures have been made a real menace. I recreated in part their hunting behavior from the Monstrous Manual: phase in from the Ethereal Plane, attack and phase out. The nearby thread here is still open for pointers to other mods that might have changed the spiders. My version may or may not be compatible, or maybe only in part. The creatures themselves are neither stronger nor weaker, but their weapon and their special script were replaced.


The spiders - hostile ones you encounter and those you summon with Spider Spawn - are very hard to see in their waiting state. They are not actually invisible as the spell, but they are hard to make out for you, the player. Spiders go back to the waiting state if nothing is going on, though they cannot do this too often. They are also silent while they wait and make no cries when they sweep in to attack (the animations were also muted). Only occasionally a spider will materialize for a moment. Here is a summoned spider looking in briefly:


Phase Spiders.jpg


Unlike the summoned spiders here, wild spiders are untargetable while they wait - they have no circles until they begin to move. You can't take them out with arrows if you found them, though a fireball would still work.


In the fight the spiders have a smarter script and will teleport only from a longer distance. Nearby they are fast enough to simply walk up. The teleport is quick and stealthier, even characters in the rear are in danger. But the most dangerous ability of the spiders now is to phase out if they score a hit. They will reappear soon, and there is no telling where or by whom. Act quickly to kill them and put characters back to back to defend.


I confess to having been inspired by these great fellows somewhat.





Edited by temnix, 08 April 2018 - 07:20 PM.

#12 temnix

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 07:40 PM

I discovered that Blink Dogs use the same script as Phase Spiders, which made an update necessary. I took care of the dogs and made them distinctly different, and in mood opposite to the spiders. Among other things, they are Lawful Good in the Monstrous Manual, and now here too. Without an installer there was no way to change their sounds and little to be done with those animations, though this is an illustration of an Edwin getting bitten by one of the warping creatures:


Blink Dogs.jpg


As for gameplay, I tried to emphasize that Blink Dogs are pack animals and as smart as humans. Wherever you encounter them, you may sometimes meet them in an enormous pack. The pack size is entirely random, but it tends to escalate at larger sizes. You don't have to kill all of the animals, though. If you slay enough, the rest of the pack will do what the MM says the dogs do and leave you alone. Secondly, the dogs do not teleport to their targets as spiders do but run everywhere. On a bite, though, they will jump to the nearest enemy rather than disappear into the Ethereal Plane. They are scripted to prefer targets who have already been bitten by other dogs, so they will really gang up on people. Also I wanted to represent their ability to appear behind targets 75% of the time, which is not really possible to implement in this engine - people don't have detectable backs or fronts - but it would give them, I imagine, a chance to bite people in the ass. So I made the dogs backstab with all of their attacks, for double damage of their 1d6, 75% of the time, wherever they land; this is checked round to round.


The update replaces the dogs completely, so it won't be compatible with other mods of them. BG:EE and BG2:EE have the same text references for the dogs, hence only one folder.

Edited by temnix, 14 April 2018 - 03:15 PM.

#13 temnix

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:14 PM

This is the concluding update for this mod.


By the way, it occurred to me that I never uploaded a screenshot of the casting glows after I toned them down. Here is how they look:


Casting glows.jpg


The actual updates are two. First, there is the Stinking Cloud:


My new Stinking Cloud.jpg


It comes with its own blow-up sound.


The other one is an updated Flame Blade. It produces light in the dark and a fiery application when it strikes. Xan's moonblade has been taken care of too. Here is my Beldammon and Xan teaching Edwin that in this world intelligence is a punishable offense.




Though this update replaces the two items plus another sword in BG2, it does not change the swords of Doom Guards. This mod is over. They and others will be covered in my future "Reconceptions," where I will broadly edit and vary the appearance of individual creatures within types so that no enemies encountered look exactly the same.


Doom Guards.jpg






Good bye and good night.


Attached File  Lighting, fires and re-presentation.rar   5.95MB   123 downloads

#14 @vGur

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 12:22 PM

Looks awesome! Such an amazing work.  :clap:

I have a few hard questions, don't be offended. :devil:

How many spells\weapons should have ambient light? This light must be a standart for any lightening\fire\sunlight spell and ability. Have You made any list of such spells?

Have You think about giving the fire spells a chance to set target on fire with proper flame animation and skin\wear color changed to black\ash gray or somethin more realistic. Is there a way to change the ground colour in a radius of fireball to ash gray? It always bothered me that after fireball place and people looks the same, especially grass.

Another realistic effect for this spell should be a blow (wing buffet upcode), so affected creatures would be thrown from epicenter and fall to the ground as from grenade explosion.

Do You have any experience in weidu coding? The process isn't simple, but isn't beyond the reach and if You managed to properly patch only one spell, then You find yourself capable to patch anyo of them easily. Override mods are dead on arrival. :crying:


Edited by @vGur, 25 December 2018 - 01:53 PM.