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LuD

Member Since 16 Jan 2015
Offline Last Active Feb 15 2015 11:52 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: [Release] BGSpawn version 1.11

07 February 2015 - 08:00 AM

@ melkor: Can i put you under the third degree?


In Topic: [Release] BGSpawn version 1.11

06 February 2015 - 03:40 PM

Hi Melkor. I was simply trying to combine a good peculiarity of BGSpawn System (the possibility of setting the respawn time of monsters) with the respawn system of TuTu, more similar to the original BG1 system. The result would have been in any case insufficient, since both TuTu and BGSpawn use a level-scaling system that makes it simply impossible to maintain the suspension of disbelief that we all need.

The sad truth is that, in the current state of things, there’s no respawn system that can be considered really acceptable, and all three systems applicable to BGT (which is the basis on which the subsequent assessments depend) have negative aspects that cancel out their positivity:

            - The BGT’s spawn system lacks realism, as it tends to create groups of monsters conceptually incompatible. It also seems to make use of pre-programmed creatures, resulting in a lack of the necessary randomness.
            - The TuTu’s spawn system has the level scaling and a not editable respawning timer. Also it misses the right randomness, as it always creates the maximum number of possible monsters and always places them at all available points of appearance.
            - The BGSpawn System has the level scaling and lacks randomness, because the monsters are bound to specific geographical areas and light conditions, so that the player always knows what to expect. Also, as I understand it, introduces in BG1 some BG2’s creatures, resulting in flattening the natural diversification between the two games and erasing the wonder effect that accompanies the player going from one to the other.


NB: The combination "EasyTuTu + Monster randomiser" would be interesting if it were not for the presence (here too...) of the level scaling and the obligation to give up BGT, which I consider essential, as necessary for the use of the Big World Setup.

Now, I do not know how much modders are willing to overhaul their spawn systems, but if so, I highly recommend them to keep in mind some important guidelines:

1) LEVEL SCALING AS OPTIONAL COMPONENT

Some may like to move in a world that lacks its objectivity and seems to have no other function than to act as a mirror to the player's skills, but many other players feel this way of conceive the game simply unbearable.

A good spawn system should take into account the needs of both types of gamers, allowing them to set up and down the level scaling according to their vision of the game. Even better would be the possibility to use a radom level scaling system, setting a percentage (50% seems honest) below which the monsters are scaled, and above they are fixed, with different levels of power. Such a system would ensure the right balance between difficulty and unpredictability of such encounters.

2) RANDOMNESS

The player should never be in a position to predict what is going to happen. In this regard, there are three basic types of randomness that they should be observed:

            a - Randomness of numbers: it should always exists a minimum and a maximum number of creatures that can be encountered, and this number must be determined by a logical-based percentage. To meet 1 or 12 goblins should be possible but unlikely, while to meet 6 goblins should be equally possible and likely. To meet always 8 goblins is simply disturbing.
            b - Randomness of power: this case falls into the category of "no level scaling", treated above.
            c - Randomness of places and times: except for the most grotesque combinations (a polar bear in the forest, a vampire on a sunny beach...), there should always be a certain chance to meet any creature in any area of the game. The monsters are not puppets to put on a shelf without a word: they are supposed to be living creatures, and as such capable of walking ability and spirit of exploration and curiosity. Apart from that, to meet ONLY undead during the night-time travels and ONLY goblinoids and wild beasts during the daytime risks to becoming a bit monotonous. A certain degree of surprise (a skeleton army in sunlight, or a pack of gnolls in a nocturnal forest) should always be present, and the player should have not absolute references.

3) CONSISTENCE

Consistency is the key, in all of the three forms it can present:

            a - Consistency of monsters at regard of monsters: one zombie, one gnoll and a polar bear do not group together. If they do, the credibility of the game is simply destroyed. The monsters must always and necessarily adhere to a policy of racial affinities (a group comprised of only gnolls, perhaps with a stronger one to direct operations) or at least of narrative plausibility (groups formed by six gnolls and an ogre, or mixed groups of goblins and wolves, albeit inconsistent on the racial ground, are credible in terms of narrative).
            b - Consistency of monsters at regard of the game mood: BG1 has its peculiar atmosphere, based around the presence of two specific groups of creatures: goblinoids (gnolls, ogres, kobolds, goblins, etc ...), and wild animals (wolves, bears, wild dogs, wyverns, spiders, basilisks, ankhegs, etc ...). The undead are rare, shapeshifters and demons quite unique. These are the main characters of BG1, and BG1 is fascinating thanks to the presence of them. No need to do more: for that, there’s Shadows of Amn. Do more only destroys the original sweet game’s atmosphere.
            c - Consistency of monsters at regard of times and places: just as in the real world, each creature type must have its habitat and his favorite time of day to go hunting. Be aware: this point may appears in contrast with the point 2-c "randomness of places and times”, as constraining some creatures to specific places and times fulfills the principle of credibility but destroys surprise and randomness, while allowing all the monsters to always appear in all the areas and at all times fulfills the principle of randomness but destroys the world’s credibility. In fact, it is sufficient to act wisely on the probability tables to reconcile these two needs. Establishing a percentage like the following for a night-time travel...

 

            40% chance of running into undead

            30% chance of running into wild animals

            20% chance of running into goblinoids

            8% chance of running into shapeshifters

            2% chance of running into a demon

 

                        ...makes it possible to keep the consistency of the monsters relatively to the surroundings and at the same time to set an element of unpredictability that makes travel more fun and lively.

If anyone of good will wanted to implement these features in a spawn system mod, or at least develop a mod that restores the original BG1 system (which already roughly fulfills the criteria stated above) he would do something very welcome to all persons who are or will be in the process of approaching BGT. Otherwise, only two choices remain: to play BGT with an unsatisfactory spawn system, or give entirely up with BGT, with all that this implies.


In Topic: A New Medieval Map

05 February 2015 - 11:41 AM

But you should be able to scroll the map, so I guess I'm not understanding the issue.

 

To put it simply, this is how the map looks:

 

fz0k2a.jpg

This is how I wish it to appear:
 

imietu.jpg

 

Regarding to using diffrent maps for BG1 and BG2 I guess It isn't possibile. Engine can display diffrent map for ToB, but I don't think, that you can change map to another when transitioning to SoA.

 

I'm not sure. Do not forget that the "BP-BGT Worldmap" mod allows you to carry the ToB landmarks into the Trilogy's unified map. To achieve this, I guess the modder is intervened in the game files to reroute the links of the places toward the unified map: why shouldn't it be possibile to do the opposite, rerouting the links from the unified map to a distinct and personalized one ?


In Topic: A New Medieval Map

04 February 2015 - 04:01 AM

Another aspect that I don't love of the BGT's map system is the dispersiveness. To gain access to only a small handful of places while in front of you there's a giant but inaccessible worldmap is just frustrating and giving a bad feeling. I really prefer the original map system, where the geography is limited to those few actual places that you can reach in that moment of the game. The existence of dedicated maps, like those of vanilla games, also transmitted in some way a feeling of completeness that the unified BGT's map destroys in favor of a dispersion that overwhelms the player and makes him feel somewhat lonely and exposed.
Then, the help I need is: how can I break the BGT's unified map into two separate and localizied maps (one for BG1's portion of the game, the other for BG2's one) as it was originally intended?

In Topic: Spawn System Pain...

01 February 2015 - 03:12 AM

Add SCS to your install if you want to be terrified by kobold commandos (though when your characters are level 1, they're pretty scary without any mods, the cheating little buggers).

 

So far we agree. But what about monsters scared by me? As long as you continue to use that hideous level scaling system, a player will never be in a position to bully the weaker creatures, as it is suitable at a certain level of power