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Version 20 of Sword Coast Stratagems released


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#1 DavidW

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:42 AM

Version 20 is now out, not before time. Mainly this is a maintenance release: it updates ToBEx to the new, more-stable version, and fixes a variety of other bugs. It's also got a new (beta-version) automated installer, since at 112 components it's getting a bit unwieldy to install via WEIDU! (It's still a standard WEIDU mod under the hood, though, and the standard WEIDU install process still works.)

Here's the full changelog:

New or heavily modified content
  • New component: clones may not use quick-item slots.
  • New component: large, flying and similar creatures are immune to Webs and Entangles.
  • Added new auto-install options.
Minor tweaks, optimisations, and additions
  • Ease of Use AI no longer autocasts Minute Meteors for fighter-mages, bards, and fighter-mage-thieves.
  • Ease of Use AI no longer breaks Sanctuary to attack.
  • Good-aligned spellcasters no longer summon fiends.
  • Way back at the start of the mod, I took a decision to remove Haste from Mariliths. I now think this may have been a mistake; it's reverted.
  • Archers no longer retreat when they're out of ammo. (Thanks to Polytope for pointing out a nice way to implement this; I've wanted to do it for ages.)
  • Mages who summon monsters now hopefully don't get so confused by invisible characters.
  • Fighters are more careful only to use HLAs when there's an appropriate target.
  • Significantly shortened the duration of vampires' blood drain effect.
  • Tweaked vampires to use their wolf form slightly more often.
  • Minor vampire tweaks and optimisations.
  • Added a .ini option to switch off automatic adjustments to mage and priest levels.
  • "Improved Minor Encounters" now modifies the muggers at the Docks so they're thieves (not Fighter/Thieves) and they don't respawn endlessly.
  • Slight reduction, and randomization, in number of thieves' Invisibility potions.
  • Captain Haegan now gets smarter AI and a help script.
  • Potions of Magic Shielding are now a bit rarer.
  • Tweaked mages to prioritise direct-attack magic slightly more.
  • Mages use area-control magic a bit less readily.
  • If HLAs are made innate, Projected Images no longer get them.
  • Balor vorpal blade now has 20% chance to make killing strike (there's still a saving throw).
  • In deference to Alesia_BH's observations about the economics of crime, the ordinary muggers at the docks don't get potions. (Their leader still does.)
  • Minor streamlining of the "improved Ust Natha defences" option of Improved Drow. (Ordinary drow no longer get smarter AI, which should speed things up.)
  • Disabled Demogorgons "summon infernal host" (you can re-enable it at the console).
  • Melissan's stoneskin (also used by Demogorgon) is now conventionally dispellable (previously it was vulnerable to anti-magic attacks rather than Breach et al).
  • We now check for berserker rage before using Imprisonment or Maze.
  • We experiment with using Wing Buffet a little less often.
  • "Make individual versions of Spell Immunity available" is now updated to use ToBEx. (The old version still installs if you have disabled ToBEx.)
  • Tamah's claws are now +4 weapons.
  • Illasera now attempts to go to melee if she can't find a missile-vulnerable target.
  • Updated ToBEx to version 21. This should fix the problem with magic damage resistance and Harm, and should generally increase stability.
  • We fix the broken slayer change caused if you install Fixpack after Ascension. This doesn't have anything to do with SCSII but I'm bored of being blamed for it. (And neither Ascension nor Fixpack is currently being updated.)
  • Updated WEIDU to version 231.
Bugfixes
  • Fixed a variety of crashes and glitches by updating ToBEx
  • Improved Irenicus now uninstalls correctly.
  • Vampires in mist form no longer cause crashes
  • Vampires no longer use their powers prior to seeing the party.
  • We make slightly more effort not to follow invisible creatures.
  • Smarter Gromnir can no longer be installed unless either Tougher Gromnir or Ascension are installed.
  • Readme now makes clear that the locations of the extra scrolls introduced by the eponymous component are determined randomly.
  • Tweak to the way Smarter Mages handles clones, to make the code that handles PC summons a bit more robust.
  • Vampire-summoned rats hopefully no longer approach invisible characters.
  • Vampires in Brynnlaw no longer turn into bats and flee (this fixes a vanilla-game bug which comes up more frequently with "Smarter Vampires" installed)
  • Mages who summon monsters now hopefully don't get so confused by invisible characters.
  • The Huntress and Xei Win weren't getting their AI improved by "Smarter AI".
  • Fixed some typos that were preventing Avenger spells from being chosen correctly (thanks, ScuD).
  • Fixed some typos in Smarter Mages. (Thanks, ScuD.)
  • Berserkers and Barbarians with HLAs now use their rage correctly. (Thanks, ScuD.)
  • Fixed a glitch in the fighter-proficiency code that was confusing some PCs and disrupting cutscenes. (Thanks, Polytope.)
  • Barbarians now get correct rage. (Thanks, Polytope.)
  • Certain NPCs (notably, those in the Govt. District, in Bodhi's Lair, in Saradush Crypts, and in Garren's Hut) no longer run out of the area and break things.
  • Fixed problem where the code in some places (notably, Smarter General AI) wasn't correctly identifying some creatures as party-joinable (those with DVs longer than 8 characters, e.g. Haer'dalis, were being skipped.) This may fix the intermittent bug with Haer'dalis attacking party members.
  • Udalon no longer attacks the party if they buff in her lair.
  • Dao genies now go hostile if attacked.
  • Fixed a bug in the code that identifies creatures who don't get the new general AI scripts. (This fixes the problem with illusory werewolves doing real damage.)
  • We now slightly-more-systematically remove scripts from polymorph templates.
  • Sorted out some glitches that sometimes prevented "Make Watchers' Keep accessible between SoA and ToB" from working properly.
  • Fixed a typo that was preventing the .ini overrides to mage levels from workking.
  • Wiped the redundant "gpuse" script, that was occasionally overriding SCSII item-use instructions.
  • Under-the-hood streamlining of "improved general AI", to remove cases where a creature has two copies of the combat script.
  • Fixed a bug in the code that prevents certain special creatures from getting potions.
  • A couple of spellcasters weren't getting their HLAs set correctly if "HLAs as innate" was installed.
  • A logic error was preventing mages using Melf's Minute Meteors and Energy Blades.
  • If Option 1 for Smarter Priests was installed, in certain (rare) circumstances priests would re-buff every time you went out of sight. (This is an old bug long fixed for mages; for some reason I didn't replicate the fix for priests.)
  • A glitch in "improved Sahuagin" was causing them not to get the right proficiencies.
Compatibility fixes
  • A bug in the level-50 mod was causing incompatibilities with "More sensible choices of weapon proficiencies and kits for fighters"; we now allow for this. (Thanks, Ardanis.)
  • We now detect Spell-Revisions modifications to the game engine and try to avoid breaking those fixes via ToBEx.
  • Added a .ini option to prevent SCSII mages from using SR spells (this might help compatibility for people who play with some but not all SR spells).


#2 Demivrgvs

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:47 AM

It's great to see you back and to get a shiny new version of SCS!

Btw, I noticed your efforts to make it work with SR even better than before, I cannot thank you enough for that, but thanks! :)

#3 geg_Ma3gau

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:08 PM

Thanks man! you are making our lives better.

Could you think about making contingencies and sequencers more convenient in use in the next versions? So that every rest you get the contingencies you want without resting twice rememorizing it and such.

Could you provide options to nerf beholders in the later versions? they require cheese to be dealt with currently. maybe add chance on dispelling ray and remove number of rays per round? Or maybe its just me bad.

Also, could you somehow limit the amount of drow spawned in the drow city at any given time? Because they spawn like every 5-10 rounds and it quickly becomes a lagfest.

Also, i have yet to see enemy casters use touch attack spells like slay living or harm. I guess it needs ai programming or such?

Amazing man! do yoyu even get paid for this or its a hobby. Because its very high quality and you are determined to improve it too!

Edited by geg_Ma3gau, 18 December 2011 - 09:28 PM.


#4 geg_Ma3gau

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:37 PM

I also always hoped that simulacrums had minimal ease-of use AI.

Also would be great if we could tweak HLA tables for dual and triple multiclasses( for example so that cleric/mage multi could get the alacrity).

Edited by geg_Ma3gau, 18 December 2011 - 11:56 PM.


#5 DavidW

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:06 AM

Could you think about making contingencies and sequencers more convenient in use in the next versions? So that every rest you get the contingencies you want without resting twice rememorizing it and such.

I'm not aware of any straightforward way to do this. (I agree, it's a pain to keep having to set them up every time.)

Could you provide options to nerf beholders in the later versions? they require cheese to be dealt with currently. maybe add chance on dispelling ray and remove number of rays per round? Or maybe its just me bad.


My normal advice to people fighting beholders is
(i) hit very fast and hard with area-effect magic: they don't have very good defences
(ii) draw their fire away from your spellcasters
(iii) use potions to put your critical characters' defences back up as soon as they're taken down
(iv) carry resurrection spells; expect casualties.

On that basis they're beatable without cheese on a core install. That being the case, I'm not minded to add further options. ("Don't install" is always an option, of course.)

Also, could you somehow limit the amount of drow spawned in the drow city at any given time? Because they spawn like every 5-10 rounds and it quickly becomes a lagfest.

It should be limited to about 25. If you're getting more than that on the current install, it's a bug: please report it.

Also, i have yet to see enemy casters use touch attack spells like slay living or harm. I guess it needs ai programming or such?

Look harder. (They do do it in the right circumstances.) Try finding a high-level enemy cleric and just sitting there and letting him attack: you'll probably see one or other before long.

Amazing man! do yoyu even get paid for this or its a hobby. Because its very high quality and you are determined to improve it too!

I'm not paid for it, and so I'm not "determined" to improve it: I improve it when I feel like it, and ignore it when I don't. That's why there are such wild gaps between new versions. (Having said that, I do try to make sure that serious bugs get fixed quickly, though RL often gets in the way of that - as with the gap between v19 and v20.)


I also always hoped that simulacrums had minimal ease-of use AI.

The "ease-of-use AI" is for auto-pilot situations. If you're casting simulacrum, you're taking the fight seriously enough that ease-of-use isn't really designed for you anyway.

Also would be great if we could tweak HLA tables for dual and triple multiclasses( for example so that cleric/mage multi could get the alacrity).


This isn't really in SCS's remit: it's more the kind of thing that Refinements is aimed at. (If you have a specific set of tweaks you'd like to see, and a rationale for them, you're welcome to ask.)

#6 geg_Ma3gau

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:24 PM

About beholders you are probably right. Its also good that they are extremely strong throughout the game because they should be. One can only feel safe against them if you have prebuffed throughly or have save vs vpells negative or have shield of harmony/hindo's doom combination to be immune to most things.

The monster i feel pity about is pit fiend: i feel that he is way too weak in the mod even with the spells he has. i feel that he uses improved invisibility too often and his 20d6 fireball too rarely. Moreover he is not good at fighting i think. I heard somewhere that his weapon is only +0 or +1 one. You know, pit fiends are supposed to be nearly godlike in PnP (i think there are only 8 pit fiends in forgotten realms). It would ve been great if pit fiends werent too ashamed to spam 20d6 fireballs if they arent attacked and were quite a bit more powerful in hand - to hand. Anyway, ill be testing them in my current playthrough, maybe its just me and they are already doing fine. Hmm when i summoned him to attack a single guy and stoon near him with prot from evil up he didnt cast anything at him at all (xcept the meteor shower). maybe he is afraid to harm innocents(neutrals)? He meleed the guy to death, then i dispelled my party from prot from evil and he spammed symbol fear9i would ve done the same) on me while meleeing in between until the whole party was sent running. When the party ran, he kept chasing and meleeing but he never used his fireball power! He used invis once to improve his thac0 by 4 while attacking from invis. Hmm strange.. the other time i summoned him to attack the party he spammed fireballs at me no problem xD. I think his casting is fine then, my bad. I love the way he keeps spamming his at will powers. By the way, when i attacked him he cleverly cast improved invisibility! But meleeing should be better.

Btw, its not mentioned in additional content and spoilers section that nabassu's death gaze can paralyse as well (in addition to the paralyse power).

About kit HLA tables my complaint is that alacrity and planetar are only avaliable to pure mage or something-> mage dual class. But i think ill take my argument back because after a second thought it looks very fair and balanced that the two best spells in the game are only avaliable to a character if he limits himself to going pure/dual class.

What im saying about ease of use and simulacrum is that it would ve been great if a fighter simulacrum would just autoattack enemies in sight without the need to baby sit him. Its a hassle to check every two rounds whether the clone has killed his current target or not. |And its not always possible because magical special effects often obscure sight and you cant tell what is happening with a clone xD. But i agree to you.

Edited by geg_Ma3gau, 19 December 2011 - 05:59 PM.


#7 Ritz

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:55 AM

David,

The weather is cold and I'm planning my n'th play through of BG II (w/SCSII of course!)

I have been a fan of your mod for many years now and I was more than delighted to see a new version released.

I just wanted to extend my thanks that is long over due.

Thanks, David, for continually improving what I will always consider to be the greatest game of all time.

#8 DrAzTiK

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:07 PM

Could you think about making contingencies and sequencers more convenient in use in the next versions? So that every rest you get the contingencies you want without resting twice rememorizing it and such.
I'm not aware of any straightforward way to do this. (I agree, it's a pain to keep having to set them up every time.)

It is possible to tweak scroll of triggers/contingencies to be not consumed after casting them by quick item slots.? Maybe not the more elegant solution thought... Currently, I always import via shadow keeper about 100 scrolls of all contingençies/triggers.

#9 Demivrgvs

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:33 AM

Could you think about making contingencies and sequencers more convenient in use in the next versions? So that every rest you get the contingencies you want without resting twice rememorizing it and such.

I'm not aware of any straightforward way to do this. (I agree, it's a pain to keep having to set them up every time.)

It is possible to tweak scroll of triggers/contingencies to be not consumed after casting them by quick item slots.? Maybe not the more elegant solution thought... Currently, I always import via shadow keeper about 100 scrolls of all contingençies/triggers.

Leaving aside that resting twice to refresh all contingencies/triggers for every encounter is an obvious exploit (you can't do that in PnP), and that changing the rules to make such exploit a standard situation makes arcane spellcasters extremely more powerful...I do planned to suggest a tweak/solution for that within SR V4 (or KR).

Long story short, you could just turn all contingencies/triggers into innates, and grant them via clab files at character's lvl up (e.g. a 7th lvl spellcaster gain the Minor Sequencer innate ability). Multiple contingencies/triggers don't stack, thus you can have those innates have no charge (aka use/day) so that you can refresh them as much as you wish.

What do you think about it?

#10 DavidW

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:44 AM

I'm not convinced it's in SCS's remit. (When I said that I'd like to tweak it, I really meant some way akin to auto-casting Stoneskin via the Ease-of-Use AI.) Presumably it is exactly in SR's remit, though?

#11 Demivrgvs

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:55 AM

I'm not convinced it's in SCS's remit. (When I said that I'd like to tweak it, I really meant some way akin to auto-casting Stoneskin via the Ease-of-Use AI.) Presumably it is exactly in SR's remit, though?

Indeed, I was just asking for your opinion (in terms of concept, compatibility with SCS, and balance wise). Btw, auto casting a memorized Stoneskin isn't what the player was asking for though ("Could you think about making contingencies and sequencers more convenient in use in the next versions? So that every rest you get the contingencies you want without resting twice rememorizing it and such.")

#12 Dakk

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

We fix the broken slayer change caused if you install Fixpack after Ascension. This doesn't have anything to do with SCSII but I'm bored of being blamed for it. (And neither Ascension nor Fixpack is currently being updated.)


Should aVENGER or Wisp - being on a Fixpack spree - be told, so it could be fixed at the source?

#13 Wisp

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

We fix the broken slayer change caused if you install Fixpack after Ascension. This doesn't have anything to do with SCSII but I'm bored of being blamed for it. (And neither Ascension nor Fixpack is currently being updated.)


Should aVENGER or Wisp - being on a Fixpack spree - be told, so it could be fixed at the source?

IIRC, the dev version of Fixpack already resolves this issue. (But this happened after SCSII 20.)

Edited by Wisp, 30 January 2012 - 03:18 PM.




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