Project Delicate Rebalancement: Tales of the Wild Coast

Discussion in 'General Modification' started by TimSmith, Nov 26, 2006.

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  1. ShadowDragoon

    ShadowDragoon Advocate of Vengence

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    Honestly, that's kind of pointless. There's no reason to disable the console except to impede those people who use it for cheating purposes. And letting them enable it whenever they wish kinda eliminates the usefulness. :Crazy_Tig
     
  2. maggit

    maggit Zombie RipTorn Wonka

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    OK... So, what are our priorities at this time? Since Ted is on vacation the community may
    focus on ToEE... and intense testing of KotB (which I'll have to do soon... geez when will I have time.... :p)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  3. ShadowDragoon

    ShadowDragoon Advocate of Vengence

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    From what Ted was saying, the large-scale testing isn't going to come around until the Third Arc. :p Pretty much everything out now has been tested extensively by Lord_Greywolf, and to a lesser extent, myself. Then again, there's probably some things out there we both missed. :D

    Though, I doubt much is going to be done until Ted gets back. Everybody still seems to be on their vacations. The boards have gotten really quiet the last week, IMO...
     
  4. maggit

    maggit Zombie RipTorn Wonka

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    I've decided to start the game anew, this time with only
    one PC and NPCs as the rest of the party. The game likes
    to break with them pretty frequently. Dialogues don't initiate,
    especially those which are to trigger on sight. My postulate is
    to make NPCs be treated as PCs in the game, otherwise it's
    useless to add them to the party anyway. Let's face it... it's
    sad but NPCs are one of the main gamebreakers. If we could
    only make them more BG-like... or make some script that would
    automatically initiate dialogue with the PC leader everytime a
    on-sight conversation triggers...
     
  5. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    We'll get there - Two Swords comments are a tentative step in that direction ;) But as for dialogues initiating, no, I don't think we can do that with NPCs.

    [Edit] Hang on, you mean if an NPC sees an NPC party member, it initiates dialogue with the leader? Well, that is a fine idea, and used in KotB too :wave: But it depends on the size of the map - larger maps and the leader may be several rooms away.

    There are other workarounds though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2007
  6. maggit

    maggit Zombie RipTorn Wonka

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    Teleport him near the initiating NPC then... anything's better
    than bugs! ;)
     
  7. Leopold

    Leopold Member

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    Question:

    Was any final verdict or standard sentiment settled upon regarding XP awards? That is, has Cerulean the Blue's reducer become common use for most players here, or are the default awards considered beneficial?

    What are the thoughts on this subject?
     
  8. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    This is one element of the whole 'rebalancing' idea, which is actually chugging along behind the scenes even if we don't talk about it openly (along with a definitive roll-up of the CMF into a new release - be patient folks, we are werking on it :)). But feedback on people using the reduced XP would still be most welcome.
     
  9. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    I'd like to bump this thread again if nobody minds. The 'delicate rebalancement' initiative has become a topic again, and with some of the old guard back in town, a revived discussion here might be useful.

    I re-read most of this thread pretty carefully and, not surprisingly, I still hold the position I seem to have held when we broke off serious discussion last time:

    Rebalancement

    We should reposition Hickory Branch, Verbomod, and the Moathouse Respawn at the very end of the game, with a comprehensive plot written for it all by Old Book, and call it 'Tales of the Wild Coast.' (Thanks again to Lord Spike for the name, and indeed for the original idea of putting all that stuff at the end. :thumbsup: )

    This would effectively return ToEE to its original state balance-wise (or at least something very close to it), and it would allow for future open-ended modding for higher levels and provide a stomping ground for other higher level modded content such as new spells and monsters. Plus, it would be the least difficult to do, as compared to rewriting everything to fit in our new stuff.

    Making the Temple smarter

    I still like the idea of setting up alerts for the various temples if parties go in and slaughter any given priest. I just recently checked out the audio I had done for this way back when, and it's surprisingly good. Browse the thread for more details on this if you're interested.


    One thing we should learn from our earlier debates this time around is to not set our sites so high that nothing will ever get done. Perceptive readers will note that it was about the time that Cerulean starting suggesting a wide-ranging re-write of nearly everything having to do with the temples (I now believe this was done facetiously, unfortunately) that interest suddenly dropped off. If this mod is to be done, it simply doesn't have to be that intense. Almost anything would be an improvement, and having the various temples go on alert in some fashion or other is both doable and an intelligence boost to the OC.

    Please re-read at your leisure and post your up-to-date thoughts. :)
     
  10. Zebedee

    Zebedee Veteran Member Veteran

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    re. Additional content.

    They should be clearly marked as such - much as DH is on install (this would also cater for those who do not wish additional content to a greater extent than currently). It depends on what the mod creators want to do with their work and how willing they are to have their stuff played about with and integrated by others (and to be honest, I'd certainly not expect eg Allyx to rewrite huge chunks of Verbobonc to integrate seamlessly with the game).

    I've no objections to balanced additional content being integrated in this way without trying to throw it to the end - ToEE is tricksy because there are so many ways to get to the end. I completed it the first time by accident!


    I think everyone is aware of my belief that trying to balance this game is an exercise in futility - and it's something I love about it providing people don't get silly with loot! Even Troika couldn't balance the game, hence they used an xp modifier...

    But it's a community decision really. I don't think clearly marked additional content really distorts the game but the community may decide it's better to have it neatly sectioned off and I'll put in the same amount of work (or lack of it!) to that end. as we all would.

    --

    re. Temple

    Sure thing. I don't think Blue was being facetious. Much as I don't intend to be a half-wit by offering to do stuff and it taking me a year to do it :)

    If we can break things down into smaller parts that would probably be a boon to us and also not be offputting to those who'd like to learn to mod with 'easier' bits of work to start with.

    I reckon we should take the game step by step starting from the beginning, nailing each and every bug we can as we go along, polishing it to as close to perfection as we can.

    The Temple alert thing and roving patrols will benefit from scripting done for earlier encounters in any case. Personally, I believe we need to have a big discussion on what constitutes 'additional content'. Because I think every modder here is well aware that there is a lot of stuff which is obviously meant for implementation but Troika never got round to. Plus with the experience of those who have made KotB some things may well now be possible graphically which were not previously. I'm desperately trying to catch up on what the KotB team have been doing to spot these things. Liv noticed several immediately judging from her posts in the forums over the past few months...

    For the moment though, I think attention is rightly on KotB for active modders (of which I am not one right now). We've got a fair few months ahead of us before there's any prospect of getting properly started so let's nail down what needs to be done and try to get some feedback on possibilities and desirabilities before we step into this. Things inter-relate a lot in ToEE so we need a clear path before we take the first step...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  11. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Re: KotB and TotWC labor divisions, remember that we're sort of in vacation mode for KotB atm; however, that won't last long. I'm not sure what the timetable is to finish KotB, but I don't think we'll be able to put one off in favor of the other without delaying to an unacceptable degree. But with the exception of Ted, I don't think that will be too big a deal. I can certainly work on both at the same time, but if you really think it will be a problem then we should probably have some sort of meet to discuss plans/priorities. Otherwise we'll just default to that usual 'work on whatever you feel like' mode anyway.

    Just for the record, moving our major expansions to the end would not be an attempt to balance the game; it would simply restore whatever 'balance' there was originally (with a few exceptions like the revenge encounter, orc prespawn, moathouse ambush) and leave our new stuff to its own devices.
     
  12. Zebedee

    Zebedee Veteran Member Veteran

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    If it's clearly marked on both installation and also (albeit in an immersive way) via whatever dialogue, I don't think the game balance can be affected. We do need to have a decision on whether or not we should make the game as 'vanilla' as possible (haha!) with the option to add in additional content which has no basis in the scripting etc behind the scenes.

    The game is unbalanced no matter what we add in or do not in. This isn't after all a Pokemon game where you complete every quest, see everything with every playthrough.

    Personally, if we're going to do it properly we should rid ourselves of all additional content which can't be defended in that way (ie it's indicated in the scripting or in Troika's own words or work) for a vanilla install and have a Co8 recommended version as our pride and joy with all the additional content properly meshed into the game. If we're going to do it, let's do it in the spirit of measure twice, cut once.

    But as y'all know, I'm easy in every way. :cool:
     
  13. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    I guess I don't entirely understand what you mean by this. Are you suggesting we make the (theoretical) TotWC an optional install like DH, or just that we say 'Hey, there's new content at the end of the game' during the installation?

    I actually put quite a bit of stock in this theory believe it or not, at least in a more general 'D&D is not designed to be 'balanced' way, but it's hard for me to conclude that our mods have had no effect when I see myself breezing through the upper levels of the temple (as I am right now) after doing some of HB and MR. :shrug: Most of the player feeback we've got in the last couple years has indicated the same.
     
  14. Old Book

    Old Book Established Member

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    I never thought the game was balanced, personally. The original developers promised that you could complete it with a team of five gnome bards, and you could.

    Heck, you could do it with a solo rogue if you were willing to sneak and skip the major fights.

    Our primary goal (imo and all that) should be to keep it fun and playable. After that, I'd like to keep it strictly rules compliant (within the limits of a computer game, and as long as it doesn't violate goal #1). Balance, for me at least, is third.

    Which isn't to say that we should throw balance out the window; we just have to be almost as careful about making things too tough as too easy.
     
  15. Zebedee

    Zebedee Veteran Member Veteran

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    I think my optimal suggestion (and it's a lot of work) would be to strip down the basic Co8 install to one of what we know Troika intended for additional content (eg brothel, or stuff which is clear from the scripting). Essentially a vanilla basic install.

    Everything else (eg HB, verbobonc) should be installed like DH is at the moment but in one package - the Co8 preferred option. And in that have the additional content fully integrated in the game. Even then the dialogue should hint that this is additional content so players can choose whether or not to follow the path (and this should really ease the burden of having a 'basic' install and a 'preferred' install). Alternatively we make it as an entirely new module to be mounted via the frontend - so you'd have the option of ToEE as patched up to patch 2, Co8 basic, Co8 preferred and then KotB.

    I do have reservations about some of the additional content and I think we need to ask those who have made it whether or not they'd be willing to have a frank and open session of constructive criticism. If it's to be integrated in the way I suggest, we really do need to be careful with XP awards and loot. And it may be the case that some of the additional content really does upset things too much unless it is revised.


    I genuinely believe that the theory is correct. The game is very much 'sandbox' in some ways (albeit not to the extreme of eg Morrowind). However, I agree totally that we need to look at how the additional content is impacting upon general gameplay - specifically whether or not we should make the Temple more difficult (as it should be) but rules compliant if we go down the integrated route. I think I'm just reiterating what Old Book said here.

    As I said, I think this is a massive task and one which we should kick around for a considerable time before we commit to it, no matter what we end up doing.
     
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