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Sarevok battle - when was it changed?


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#1 chuft

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 10:59 PM

I am curious about something.  I just tried to play the Temple of Bhaal battle and found it challenging, to say the least.  Semaj fires off Death Spell and Flesh to Stone, Angelo seems to have a bottomless quiver of Arrows of Detonation, the enemies all seem to have immunity to a lot of spells and damage types...I looked at some of the files in the Override file with Near Infinity and can see the modifications to make Sarevok's group much tougher.  Angelo for example has a necklace making him immune to lots of spells. All the henchmen start off invisible.

 

When did this become a part of BGT?  I can find a lot of accounts in various forums of people saying this started around 2010 or so, but in another forum, people swear they have played  BGT often and never run into this. I don't see it anywhere in the BGT readme, nor have I seen it mentioned in release notes that I have read for the period 2012-2009.  But the timestamps of the files in my Override folder make it obvious BGT is the mod that made these changes.

 

It sounds like it should be an option during install, but I don't recall being asked for a tougher final battle or anything like that.

 

Any info would be appreciated.



#2 Vlan

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 01:10 AM

What BGT version are you even using? lol



#3 The Imp

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 03:26 AM

I think chuft is just seeing things...

 

Well, it actually sounds like chuft installed the regular BGT-weidu. This is how the original battle was in BG1.

Angelo has an amulet that makes him immune to spells of 1 - 3 levels. Probably because he doesn't want to fireball his ass to hell.

"modifications that make the group much touher." Like what ? Cause this is straight from data/Creature.bif and data/items.bif from BG1(+TotSC).

 

If memory serves, the henchmen aren't exatly invisible... they just aren't there in the first place before the dialog/battle starts. And they have a caster that can use mass invisibility. That get applied to everyone else exept to Sarevok ... cause he is immune to magicTM. TM, cause that included friendly spells too in BG1, but not so in BG2.

 

"But the timestamps of the files in my Override folder make it obvious BGT is the mod that made these changes." I wonder, if it's that ... or just that the data got converted from one game directory to another so you won't need the BG1 install anymore to play that part of the game. 

 

... as they were in the first place.


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.


#4 chuft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:30 AM

Was hoping to get some answers here, but instead, just the usual Jarno trolling.

 

For anyone else interested in the facts.

 


http://blackstrider....ml#entry8180780
(" I can confirm these are standard BGT changes and have been there for at least 2-3 years. I had at least two major rants on these forums about it since then, even went back to EasyTutu/vanilla for a while as a result.")

https://www.gog.com/...y_sarevok/post3
("It's Semaj casting Death Spell. He will only use this spell once at the beginning of the battle in BGT (in vanilla, Tutu or BG:EE he doesn't use this particular spell). )"

https://gamefaqs.gam...of-amn/67793181
post #7 ("BGT shenanigans")

https://gamefaqs.gam...of-amn/66570717
post #4 ("BGT dickery")

https://forums.beamd...3/#Comment_7603
("Semaj will start the battle with death spell (killing everything you summoned), greater malision, flesh to stone...i played my last sarevok battle in BGT")

 

 

 

From discussions elsewhere I have found out SCS overwrites these changes, and a lot of people using BGT also use SCS, which could explain why not everyone sees it.  Still doesn't explain why an extreme difficulty change is not shown in the options or ReadMe.

 

 



#5 chuft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 06:32 AM

What BGT version are you even using? lol

 

1.20, but I have found lots and lots of posts on various forums with people complaining about this change since 2010, so it seems to have been around for awhile.

 

The fact SCS overwrites it could explain why some people haven't experienced it.



#6 chuft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 07:36 AM

An example.  Angelo's necklace.

 

Version in BG1 folder

 

8NaxGWV.jpg

 

 

Version in BG2 overrride folder after running BGT

 

0GOdnDm.jpg



#7 The Imp

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:09 AM

Have you --change-log'ed the file ? In BG2... and have you looked EXACTLY what those spells are that are protected against ? As they can be a level 3 spells that are not assigned to be a level 3 spells cause of various things. 


Edited by The Imp, 15 September 2019 - 08:15 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.


#8 chuft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 12:20 PM

er0PqkS.jpg

 

Guns aren't any more smoking than this.



#9 chuft

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 12:27 PM

Comparison of this BCS file:

 

BG1 version

 

8uuvdDF.jpg

 

 

 

BGT version

 

xyIMWLB.jpg



#10 skellytz

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 02:36 PM

It's not BGT. BioWare devs carried over SEMAJ.bcs from BG1 to BG2 with those ReallyForceSpells. BGT uses the BG2 version of the BCS as base. For the original release of BG1, the spell IDS were set to 0 effectively disabling the level 6 spells -- possibly to tone down the difficulty. Whether the BG2 version of SEMAJ.bcs represents the original developer intent is open to debate.



#11 chuft

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 04:08 PM

If it does not happen when playing vanilla BG1, but does when playing BGT because BGT deliberately does not copy the BG1 script, then BGT definitely is responsible.

 

I am guessing the tougher Semaj script is in BG2 because of the Pocket Plane challenge involving him.  I don't see how it could be related to BG1 intent.

 

In any case as I demonstrated, other stuff (like Angelo's items) are definitely upgraded in BGT as well. And they're in the Override folder, BGT put them there.

 

This was definitely a change to BGT, as I have linked already to when people noticed it back around 2010 or whenever it was. I am wondering exactly when and why this undocumented change was made, but I guess I am not going to get an answer here.



#12 skellytz

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 11:35 PM

BGT deliberately does not copy the BG1 script

How do you know it was deliberate? Ascension64 put much work into BGT but missed a lot of small things like that. Many files were changed in BG2; it was simply a lot of busy work to find and address such discrepancies. There aren't any official replies to the threads you mentioned and no documentation because the author was most likely unaware of every little thing like that. By saying "not BGT" I simply mean BGT doesn't purposefully include any code or modified files to make the battle more difficult.

 

(Angelo's items) are definitely upgraded in BGT as well

GALDOR.cre doesn't exist in BG2. BGT has to copy the original BG1 file to override but doesn't modify Angelo's equipment. MAGEAMUL.itm is untouched by BGT -- it was changed in BG2 and further patched by BG2 Fixpack. The effects added are simply protections from level 1-3 spells on top of the original immunity to spell levels 1-3 (possibly to address some limitations of the immunity opcode).

 

I don't see how it could be related to BG1 intent

Death Spell and Flesh to Stone existed in BG1 TotSC. Semaj was supposed to cast some spells via those actions, but they decided to cut them. We don't know what spells exactly, so it's open to debate. SEMAJ.bcs lands in override for a different reason (check in bgt.tp2).

 

So, let's not assume Ascension64 deliberately made the battle more difficult -- that's unfair judgement. Let's decide together what to do with your reports for v1.21. Should we try to revert things like protections back to what it was in BG1? Then what about the player's access to BG2 spells?


Edited by skellytz, 28 September 2019 - 10:37 AM.


#13 chuft

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 03:40 AM

I think it was deliberate because of players reporting the change (and one said he stopped using BGT after it - he also said he wrote a number of threads about it at the time it happened, but this was on the old Bioware forums and they are very difficult to access now so I can't find those threads - it sounds like they are from 2010, he mentioned it in 2012 in the archive of part of those forums I linked to above,

http://blackstrider....ml#entry8180780

). 

 

The Tales of the Sword Coast manual does not include any sixth level spells like Flesh to Stone or Death Spell, nor would the XP cap allow a player to ever get to the level where they could use them.  So I am puzzled about your remark about them existing in TotSC, unless Flesh to Stone is how they implemented a basilisk's ability behind the scenes.

 

I wanted to have the same battle as I would have had at the end of BG1, but the enemies were so tough I just had to Ctrl-Y through the thing, and felt cheated of the climax of the campaign.  I have talked to another player who had to do the same (Ctrl-Y to get past it and on to BG2).

 

I think there aren't more complaints about this because a lot of experienced players use SCS which overwrites these files. so they never encounter this enhanced difficulty.

 

I definitely think it should be the same as in BG1.  SIxth level spells are not for sale in any of the stores in the BG1 area, even if a player somehow got to be an 11th level mage before this battle (not sure how this could be possible even in BGT) so I don't see any balance concerns.



#14 The Imp

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:29 AM

I definitely think it should be the same as in BG1. SIxth level spells are not for sale in any of the stores in the BG1 area, even if a player somehow got to be an 11th level mage before this battle (not sure how this could be possible even in BGT) so I don't see any balance concerns.
Well you must be blind then, see Semaj is 12th level mage, so he has 6th level spells.
The Tales of the Sword Coast manual does not include any sixth level spells like Flesh to Stone or Death Spell, nor would the XP cap allow a player to ever get to the level where they could use them.  So I am puzzled about your remark about them existing in TotSC, unless Flesh to Stone is how they implemented a basilisk's ability behind the scenes.
But ...
Spell.ids contains:
2604 WIZARD_FLESH_TO_STONE
2605 WIZARD_DEATH_SPELL

One thing that should never be there though, is the fireball spell... he is a fucking Conjurer. So he had NO ACCESS to the fireball spell, cause it's an Invocation spell, which was the opposite school for Conjurers.

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.


#15 skellytz

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 11:05 AM

I am puzzled about your remark about them existing in TotSC, unless Flesh to Stone is how they implemented a basilisk's ability behind the scenes.

SPWI604.spl and SPWI605.spl. I don't think Death Spell is used by anyone in the game, but there are some late-game NPCs casting Flesh to Stone: Shandalar and Daital. In any case, the more powerful Semaj could be a component in one of the tweak mods. It does look like the devs nerfed Semaj (whatever spells he was supposed to force-cast) for the original TotSC release out of difficulty concerns. On the other hand, the player has access to kits, BG2 spells, faster animation walking speed, etc. For many people this battle is still a joke -- just pop all those protections, potions, wands and summons.