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Qwinn's Fixpack Changes Discussion

Discussion in 'Planescape: Torment' started by Roller123, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Qwinn Gems: 3/31
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    I don't have a lot of time to respond tonight, but let me answer what I can quickly:

    On the Friends issue, I actually decided to defer to whatever the guys who did the BG2 Fixpack over at Gibberlings 3 did. I asked 'em about it, and they said yes, it's a bug. Now they do the whole Core and Optional thing, and yet they consider it a Core fix. So you might want to take it up with them.

    http://forums.gibberlings3.net/index.php?showtopic=17265


    Tomorrow, after addressing your points, I'm going to discuss the balance issue, because yes, -in addition to- the manual, every in game dialogue relating to the issue, and the implementation of every other class ability except THACO (aside from the ones where the engine prohibited it), it also throws class balance wildly off kilter in a way that it's just impossible to believe was intentional. I've spent over a year deeply immersed in the code and functionality and I see -great- efforts to balance the classes all over the place... and then this one bug completely destroys it all, so badly that a large percentage of the gamer population doesn't even think combat was meant to be a meaningful part of the game. And before you start - yes, it was, Chris Avellone has stated that his biggest regret was not having more combat in the early game.

    I give the developers credit for not being idiots. The THACO thing creates imbalances so huge that one class choice is utterly more powerful than all others, and makes all combat trivial. I have already described some of these imbalances, like how you can give your mage TNO the THACO of a 40th level mage within 2 minutes in Curst. Tomorrow, I'll explain the vast power difference between a 15th level fighter, and a 15th level fighter who then switches to mage level 3. The 3rd level mage is VASTLY more powerful in melee combat, not casting a single spell, than the 15th level fighter. He can easily handle something like 6 times the enemies in melee combat that the same character can if he doesn't switch to 3rd level mage. This violates everything we know about 2nd ed. rules, about class balance, everything. You want me to believe that on top of the manual, and the dialogues, and the behavior of every -other- class ability in the game, they also wrecked class balance on purpose. I find that unbelievable. I don't think the water is even muddy. You're asking to take every single piece of evidence there is, against one piece of "evidence" (the existence of the bug in question itself, a standard that means nothing should ever be fixed), and claiming the one piece of evidence outweighs the mountain of other evidence.

    I know, you think "if it's even physically possible that you're wrong, you should make it optional." Nice high standard you set for yourself there. I disagree. ANYTHING is possible. I draw the line at plausible. I don't think your "muddy" of the water is plausible.

    I'm willing to continue to listen, and to keep an eye out for a plausible argument, but so far I haven't heard one. Your insistence that TNO is beholden to dual classer 2nd edition rules without any evidence at all to that effect, and a mountain of vanilla game behavior that contradicts it, ain't helping. Other than the fact that a dual classer can also change classes - once, ever, as opposed to TNO who can switch as much as he wants, so even that is wildly different - I can't think of one single rule that applies to dual classers that also applies to TNO.

    I have to add, finally, that I really find it striking that you give so much weight to the way THACO behaves as evidence of designer intent, but the way every other ability behaves tells us NOTHING about their intent.

    Qwinn
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  2. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    It's a zero, not an "O" at the end of THAC0. What do you mean by the THAC0 of a 40th level mage? The THAC0 table stops at level 21.

    Thanks for clarifying the level up question I had.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. Qwinn Gems: 3/31
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    Actually, in PS:T the THACO table goes up to level 60, with mage THACO topping out at level 58. If you have Near Infinity, you can look at the table yourself, it's THAC0.2DA.

    May not be able to get to the fuller response to Drew's last post tonight, sorry, might have to wait till tomorrow, pretty loaded up with work.

    Qwinn
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious

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    Qwinn, you still seem to misunderstand one of my points. I contend that the developers *wanted* TNO to be a pseudo-multiclass Fighter/X. As for evidence, let's look at the descriptions of the various levels of proficiency and class-changing stuff you were talking about.

    This is what Porphiron tells you when you when asking for training as a Mage or thief. Nowhere in it does he say anything about losing skill (Thac0) upon changing classes.

    This is talking about training, which you do need to be a warrior for. It says nothing about losing acquired skill upon taking a new profession.

    ...and Adahn drives that point home. You do have the line from the manual, but I have yet to see anything supporting your POV from the in-game trainers.

    Onto the other topic, I'm not suggesting you make your entire fixpack modular, merely that you make this one component optional and consider moving all the stuff people complain about (like the Constitution fix, the less absolute fixes, and changes you make in the name of game balance) into one component. In other words, you'd be splitting one component into 3.

    I think your HP fix was indeed a fix, and I think the same of your Con fix. I was using them not to argue those specific fixes, but to drive home that your internal logic isn't always consistent. I still don't agree that the change to the "friends" spell qualifies as a "fix", but I really don't care one way or the other what you do with that.
     
  5. hannibal555 Gems: 9/31
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    Thanks to this post I avoided using this so called 'fixpack'.

    Alone the 'fix' to change the hit dice to D10 for all three classes breaks it for me.
    Moreover there are a lot of issues with some other 'fixes' that seem very subjective in interpretation.
    I have issues with some BG2 fixes of G3 as well but compared to this, they are harmless.

    edit:
    Oh, and sorry for necroing this thread, but I just replayed Torment after a few years pause and I guess, at least for me, this issue is still
    relevant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    We don't have any problems with old threads being brought back as long as the replies are on-topic and/or relevant, so feel free.
     
  7. hannibal555 Gems: 9/31
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    Ok, I read the newest readme of Qwinns 'fix' pack and here is my opinion why
    it isn't a real fixpack but rather a mixture of mostly well done fixes together
    with other changes that aren't fixes or at least pretty subjective in interpretation.

    The following list are just examples of items I don't agree on being fixes. It is not complete, as it would be too long
    if I posted all items.
    In square brackets my comments:

    The thief trainer in Ragpicker's Square, originally named Ratbone, is now named Carver. (Qwinn -
    this is to remove redundancy with a different, unimplemented Ratbone found in the game files, and
    that is restored in the Unfinished Business Restored Pendant of Yemeth Quest component)
    [not a fix, rather a compatibility mod]

    The Crier of Es-Annon will actually Cry for Es-Annon now (via floating text), rather than wander
    around silently. (Qwinn)
    [not a fix, rather a cosmetic change that might make sense, but still no fix]

    The Remove Curse spell - both priest and mage - will now ignore magic resistance. Vhailor would
    always resist this spell previously. (Qwinn)
    [my opinion: Vhailor carries a cursed axe for a reason: it is a part of him]

    Consistent HP: As per the game manual, TNO now always gains hit points as a fighter (1-10hp per
    level till level 9, 3hp per level thereafter) when leveling his highest level class, and no
    longer gains 1hp when leveling any of his other classes. (scient)
    [my opinion: the existing system is working as intended by the designers. Moreover it
    goes conform with DnD rules (beside the always at least 1 HP issue, but that is imho intended by the designers as well).
    The manual might as well be in error on this special issue]

    Class Based THACO: As per the game manual, TNO loses all of his class abilities when he switches
    to another class. He no longer keeps his fighter THACO when operating as a mage or thief. (scient)
    [my opinion: TNO functions in some ways similar to a F/M/T. And a F/M/T gets his best
    THAC0, saves and attacks among the 3 classes.Imho, this is an intended design feature
    that shouldn't be changed as part of a fix]

    Morale Fixes! This major set of fixes correct the previous behavior where party NPC's morale
    would reset every 8 game hours, among other issues.
    [more a balance change than a fix]

    TNO and his fellow PC's are no longer immune to fear spells. This makes several fights with mages
    that were trivially easy no longer so. Beware! (scient)
    [more a balance change than a fix]

    Fear spells will no longer effectively just paralyze opponents, which made those spells far far
    more powerful than they should be. Opponents struck by fear will now run 80% of the time, panic
    (paralyze) 10% of the time, and go berserk 10% of the time, the same as if their morale had
    broken naturally. (scient)
    [more a balance change than a fix]

    AI Fix: Selected creatures in game will now move as quickly as they can (i.e. run) when attacking
    or being attacked. This raises their minimum intelligence to that of vertebrates. No more
    casually walking through Baator with 20 ravening demons behind you unable to catch up. This
    mostly affects creatures only in the later stages of the game. (Qwinn)
    [more a balance change than a fix]

    Tenement of Thugs fixes: This entire area is designed to be a Thieves' Playground, but instead it
    was a boring interruption to the game. There were 3 reasons for this. The 1st reason is that
    there's a secret door near the area exit that lets you run right through the place with zero
    challenge that was only supposed to be available to Xaositects. That is now fixed by scient in
    the engine (and Xaositects can still use it if they talk to the right person). The 2nd reason is
    that all the thugs were set to be initially hostile, which made them unable to be pickpocketed.
    There was tons of scripting to make them aggro when they saw you, but none of it mattered because
    they were hostile to begin with. Making them neutral to start with reactivated all their
    excellent aggro scripting, and made them able to be pickpocketed, which was supposed to be the
    only way for non-Xaositects to get through the Tenement without combat. The 3rd reason was that
    the thugs couldn't run (see AI fix above) to block your path to the escape should you attempt to
    do so without stealth, and they are now capable of doing so. When you see how it all works out
    and see how carefully the creatures are placed to make it fun for thieves in there, you'll see
    what I mean. Oh, and as a bonus, the hostility fix means it's now possible to save your game in
    the area without having to kill almost everyone in it. (Qwinn)
    [more a balance change than a fix]

    Lock Fixes: The thief Open Lock ability was effectively broken. Most locks in games were set to trivial values, easily bashed by a mage with 9 strength, and all but 2 were easily openable by Annah's starting skill or TNO as a level 4 thief. I reviewed all locks one by one and assigned reasonable values that will require some attention to TNO or Annah's lockpick skills (or the Knock spell, no longer useless) in order to open successfully. Do note that there is a small random component to picking/bashing attempts, so trying more than once may achieve unexpected success. Also note the related change to the prybar in the engine fixes section. (Qwinn)
    [again, this only tries to balance the game, rather than being a bugfix]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    Taluntain likes this.
  8. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses

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    Nice list Hannibal. I was planning on replaying through PST with the fixpack at some point but was always put off by all the tweaks that I thought shouldn't be core fixes. With this list it should be possible to just go through the Override directory and delete all the files affecting the issues you listed.
     
  9. hannibal555 Gems: 9/31
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    In my opinion this is too much of a hassle.
    There are a lot more questionable fixes in Qwinn's pack. Just have a look for yourself.
    Otherwise there ARE some nice fixes in this pack. Therefore it's a bit sad it's so mixed up.

    I made the decision to just install Platter's fixes (which won't try to balance or change game mechanics, just plain bug fixes). It is not as thorough and not maintained anymore,
    but I never had any issues in the game with it installed.
     
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