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Modding questions


E-Rose

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Is it possible to assign special abilities such as Leap or Perma Haste/Extra action points like some creations have to the main characters?

 

The Guardian and Agent chars are now obviously inferior to the Shaper due to the new special abilities assignable to creations. An agent during mid and early-late game has nothing that can compare to the mass acid attacks that upgraded Artilla have or the area of effect attacks coming from the fire shaping creations.

 

Guardians get a pass because they are moderately good at shaping and more health, but they would still benefit from leap/charge attacks like the Scholai..

 

On Action Points, haven't finished the game but I had a look in the scripts, there aren't any item giving extra action points like in the previous games, how do some of the enemies get extra attacks per round(it seems they actually get 2 full turns to me), and is it possible to script an agent to do the same?

 

Edited by E-Rose
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So, for what it's worth, I disagree with your assessment on Agents, and I think giving them extra actions would make them wildly imbalanced compared to the other two classes. But there does appear to be a line for enemies that have extra actions: "cr_bonus_aps = 1;"

 

You may be able to add that to the Agent data in GFitemschars.txt. I haven't tried this myself, and, of course, always make sure to backup your files before editing them just in case.

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14 hours ago, Invisible Glove said:

And again, be aware that editing those defs will affect numerous enemies and NPCs, not just your character.

 

 

 

However, checking the creatures file, I found no creature that draws from the agent. Even the spectres don't use the agent. So you should be safe to make the change as I don't find any other enemy or NPC that uses the agent's stats. 

As someone else mentioned, simply add 

      cr_bonus_aps = 1;

below the           cr_name = "Agent";  

 

 

Always backup your originals. I mean it. A typo in this file could crush your game. 

 

Another way to do it, is to have someone or something to give you an item that gives you bonus Action Points in the very early game. <== that assumes items still give action points which I have not verified.

Avoid simply editing an item to give you action points because, as our friend above said, especially items are used and reused often. You affect a ring and you affect several rings. It is a pain to go look for all the items that use the same entry and correct them.   

If you want to go that route, please tell me what item you want and I will tell you how to give it to your character through script.

 

 

On the topic of agents being weaker
I used to think so too, but keep in mind that as I have been told (in this same forum by a couple of those same people): 
Shaping is powerful as it is supposed to be in the lore. Shapers are not much more powerful than agents, simply because agents can also shape. Yes, an agent would have fewer and weaker creations than a shaper. But more powerful spells. 
do believe Shapers are more powerful because frankly my character is a pushover compared to my creations. I am practically a daze-casting zero (early game). But that's certainly not to say that agents are held back as they can have creations too. 

The requirements to get the good creations are not that high; by the time you get 3rd tier creations, even an agent could afford the 2-3 points needed. 

 

Suggested solution:
If you think Shapers are more powerful because of their creations, boost your agent's shaping skills instead. Start with +3 to all shaping skills and you should be in par with a mid-game guardian on shaping power (and have more control because the Guardian probably didn't buy +3 to all shaping skills).*
If you don't want to play with creations, there are ways to do that but the game is harder.
If you want your agent to be more powerful as a mage, you could use the script to give your character a boost in say, spellcraft and battle magic by+3.

 

 

* Here is how to do it: 



In GFitemschars.txt find the creature 6, which is the agent. 

Then find these in the agent and do the change.

    cr_statistic 16 = 1;    cr_statistic 16 = 4;

    cr_statistic 17 = 0;   cr_statistic 17 = 3;

    cr_statistic 18 = 0;   cr_statistic 18 = 3;

    cr_statistic 19 = 0;   cr_statistic 19 = 3;

Your starting creation fyora would be much more powerful, 3 levels are very important in the early game. But, because you have 3+3+4=10 in shaping skills you would be able to keep the creation under control. Keep in  mind that as others said, this would make your character much more powerful. Your creations would hit like a guardian's while your character's spells would hit like an agent's. 
Especially the early game, where you are supposed to have 1-2 creations even if you're a shaper at levels 6-7 but you would have 1-2 at 8-10 while hitting like an agent would also be much easier. 

 

 

 

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Thanks Alhoon!

 

I know how to change some of these scripts. Been playing Jeff's games since I tried the Geneforge 3 demo from a gaming magazine CD... probably 15 years ago or so 😅. I even had some few hundred posts on these boards, unsure what happened to them.

 

I wasn't aware of the cr_bonus_aps setting, thanks! Using it makes for an interesting gameplay change, and it doesn't look like I'm breaking the game yet or feeling too much like cheating... some critters are still killing me but at least the agent can manage to reliable heal and cast one attack spell per 'round'. It doesn't feel as natural as the extra AP you could get in past games from Speed, but I think it is an improvement over base game as an agent.

 

On to my point of the agent being weaker, if Daze fails to hit against mixed enemy groups with battle creations/serviles/scholai then the battle is lost. Once they close in they prevent the agent from retreating a few hexes back and you are swarmed by masses of new enemies. Leap is very dangerous because enemies close in too fast and the engine prevents strategic retreat a few hexes back.

 

The fact that hit chance is level based without any input from mental magic points is another huge nerf for agents, it forces them to grind low level zones to level up before trying harder enemies...this wasn't a problem with previous games. 

 

With the new abilities that creations get, the other two classes really need some love in future games to make them fun to play. Agility should play a role in escaping from melee creation that are closing in, skills/spells for leap, extra AP as a skill or un-nerfed single target haste should work fine without being game-breaking. 

 

I think this game was balanced for shapers and it shows, those are fun to play all the way.

 

Edited by E-Rose
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On 3/7/2021 at 6:01 PM, Randomizer said:

Agents get Airshock with that insane damage bonus from Battle Magic which can reach  over 200%. Once you get that you can get through pylons with no fear and take out large groups.

Until Airshock(late game) and Essence Lances(mid, but doesn't work very well) the only way to handle groups of melee + ranged enemies is to hope for daze to hit and abuse crystals (and I really mean hope because of the hit chance scaling only with levels...). Stealth is another option but not usable in most situations and not very satisfying. All this doesn't make for an enjoyable experience on higher difficulties. 

 

I feel like I'm complaining too much though 😅. The game works fine with any class if I switch to Normal instead of Torment, and I get to find the story of the first Geneforge, couldn't play the original due to clumsy engine and inventory management being a bit too messy. 

 

Edited by E-Rose
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19 hours ago, alhoon said:

I used to think so too, but keep in mind that as I have been told (in this same forum by a couple of those same people): 

Shaping is powerful as it is supposed to be in the lore. Shapers are not much more powerful than agents, simply because agents can also shape. Yes, an agent would have fewer and weaker creations than a shaper.

There's a bunch of things that make the Agents weaker than Shaper in this game compared to previous titles.

  • Chance to hit is only influenced by creature level, no other way to improve it.
    • Shapers are better here because they can boost a creature's level to be way higher than the shaper himself. Agents can shape, but creatures are low level and miss a lot.
  • Upgraded creatures get Area Attacks..far more damage per round compared to what the Agent can do before Airshock. The agent might miss and waste the round completely. An upgraded creature rarely misses even against tough enemies.
  • Friendly fire + Enemy Leap + Unable to retreat. The agent can Daze himself when surrounded by enemies, basically a death sentence.
Edited by E-Rose
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Creatures have a very large base chance to hit for some reason. Even when a lower level than my guardian (who was wearing no hit-impacting armor), my creations generally had a higher chance to hit and rarely went below 95%. I think an Agent concentrating on only a single school of shaping could see similar results.

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1 minute ago, Mechalibur said:

Creatures have a very large base chance to hit for some reason. Even when a lower level than my guardian (who was wearing no hit-impacting armor), my creations generally had a higher chance to hit and rarely went below 95%. I think an Agent concentrating on only a single school of shaping could see similar results.

Putting a few extra points in a shaping school to increase creation hit chance will likely improve my build. It also shows a balance issue for the Agent, since he's supposed to focus on Magic/Battle.

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5 hours ago, E-Rose said:

There's a bunch of things that make the Agents weaker than Shaper in this game compared to previous titles.

  • Chance to hit is only influenced by creature level, no other way to improve it.
    • Shapers are better here because they can boost a creature's level to be way higher than the shaper himself. Agents can shape, but creatures are low level and miss a lot.
  • Upgraded creatures get Area Attacks..far more damage per round compared to what the Agent can do before Airshock. The agent might miss and waste the round completely. An upgraded creature rarely misses even against tough enemies.
  • Friendly fire + Enemy Leap + Unable to retreat. The agent can Daze himself when surrounded by enemies, basically a death sentence.

 

Friendly fire: Well, I was talking normal difficulty without AoE. With friendly fire, those area attacks you mention hit your guys too so I don't think you could use them all the time either. I.e. 4 creations with area attacks would not all be able to make their area attack because of friendly fire. 

 

Α Shaper will struggle to control the high level creations. Agents can cast blessings etc for longer durations... I am not saying Agent is not harder than the Shaper, I am saying that Shaping is not worthless for an agent. The difference between Agent and Shaper, I think (could well be wrong, never played an agent to completion), would end up in the agent being with 2-3 creations instead of 4-5 creations and 1-2 levels lower creations. However, the Agent is much more effective in a fight than a Shaper, at least as much as a shaper's creation.
What I mean is: 

Agent +2 creations of 12th lvl should be  just a little weaker than Shaper +4 creations of 14th lvl. <=== Again, my opinion as I don't know how good an agent is in battle.

 

And Agents can (probably) sneak by easier without a horde of monsters next to them. Sneaking by is, at least for my Shaper, harder that previous titles because of my creations (and I don't have points to put on stealth). 

 

Chance to hit for agent: Doesn't the proficiency also add to your chance to hit? I.e. with missile 5 you have the same chance to hit as with missile 2? 
Even if that's the case, with spellcraft and mastery, the agent may miss ... but she won't necessarily waste the round as she would have a chance to fire again. 

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Pretty much all that affects hit chance is your level, buffs/debuffs, and possible armor penalties.

 

In practice, I haven't found agent creation accuracy to be much of an issue. In the early game you can keep your creations at your level pretty easily, and late game they're still high enough to have a great chance to hit against most enemies. Ignoring shaping entirely on an agent is absolutely a mistake that I think a lot of players may make.

 

Hell, just from a skill point perspective, an agent isn't missing out on too much. Assuming you want to unlock all tier 3 spells on both characters, it would cost an agent 10 points (4 for healing craft, 2 for battle magic, 2 for mental magic, 2 for blessing magic), but a shaper 23 points (2 for healing craft, 7 for battle magic, 7 for mental magic, 7 for blessing magic). An agent investing those saved points into shaping skills will have parity with a shaper through the first 6 shaping skill unlocks, which I think is pretty reasonable. And of course, they'll still have the other advantage like much higher hp pool, more spell damage, going faster in initiative, etc.

 

I'm not sure which I'd say is better at the moment (I've only played guardian and agent on torment so far, but I haven't had too many issues), but I know for sure the agent isn't so bad that they'd need twice as many actions to compete with a shaper.

Edited by Mechalibur
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1 hour ago, TJ Hedgescout said:

I would love to see more mods made for this game, but the game just came out very recently so it will be quite a while sadly.
I wanted to make a topic that could be a directory to mods made but i think there is only 1 mod right now so it would be pointless.

 

What kind of mods do you have in mind? 
I am thinking of making a mod to give tier 2 creations +1 level and tier 3 creations +2 levels... and I plan to make a mod to make the character able to create Rotdhizons (from later games) instead of Battle Betas. After all, Rotgroths were made in GF2 but nobody there (that I found) said anything about Rotdhizons being first made there. And Rots were quite hard to control which fits. 

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More Creations you can make, more NPCs both friendly and hostile (as well as species wise), More Zones, More spells to cast, new mechanics via scripts if possible (might need a script extender or a really good coder), probably more quests too.

Edited by TJ Hedgescout
Wanted to add a modding idea to my comment
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31 minutes ago, TJ Hedgescout said:

More Creations you can make, more NPCs both friendly and hostile (as well as species wise), More Zones, new mechanics via scripts if possible (might need a script extender or a really good coder), probably more quests too.

 

As far as I have seen, more NPCs, even just more creations, let alone new zones would require tools we don't have, and a lot of work to develop such tools. The Geneforge modding tools we already have (Blades of Geneforge and Modding Suite) are unusable for this game. You may be able, with some difficulty, to add a few trees here or there, but not to make meaningful changes. The file structure is significantly different than the ones we know and we have tools for. 

 

 

Now, new mechanics via scripts is possible to a degree. New creations ... I am not sure. I guess we will have to see. 
Swapping creations with different ones is straightforward and easy. However, making new creations on top of the 18+2 creations you can make, is something that I have not tried to do. Yet

Still, if you're willing to ditch the Ornk and  put a different creation there, one you need to unlock in some way (including but not limited to the cannister), you can. If you use the script to "kill" the ornk cannister wherever it is (I have not found it and please no spoilers) and then unlock the ability through new dialogue or scripts (like for example gathering the info through using research notes and shaper tools and pods of essence and have a dialogue in a lab, requiring say 5 notes +5 shaper tools +5 essence pods) you can do it.  


Going by what I was told in this thread and assuming the essence cost is hardcoded like it was for the previous games (something I cannot confirm as this game seems much more modable and it has stuff that I have not checked yet since I am afraid I will find spoilers and/or break the game) your new creation that would replace the ornk would have a 12 essence base cost and cost 4 essence/upgrade putting it on par (in cost) with Charged Vlish and a tiny bit cheaper than Battle Alphas and Drayks. I.e. if you want balance that's the kind of power you should be looking at. 

 

 

I want to repeat here: GF1-M seems much more mod-friendly than previous installations. Simply put, we seem to have access to the text for the beginning and other things that used to be hardcoded. Changing the scale of a creation is now a matter of simple line of code instead of a whole procedure to manually change it like the previous games. 

And again I have not delved deeply in to modding possibilities to avoid spoilers and/or breaking the game. 

 

As for swapping creations? As I mentioned I plan to simply change the quite unispired BBeta (even the text admits it was not an imagitive change) with Rotdhizons since we now can change the text. The graphics for the Rot are quite worse than what we see in this game though. So, in the end, I may simply change the BBeta to have an acidic punch and be able to spray acid like a spawner and keep it "as is". 

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In general creations are different in Mutagen than any Geneforge game, as they no longer scale with your character by experience, and existing creations gain levels from upgrading your shaping skills. All classes should use shaping to some degree, (obvious hierarchy), but agents will have the weakest creations and least creations. Keep in mind that War Blessing increases your chance to hit, so an agent with 4 in fire shaping and 2 drayk canisters, will have at least one, and drayks have the best damage output, so at that point your pretty close. Agents are meant to be played differently from Shapers in the first place, employing stealth, leadership, and mechanics more than shapers, and only in the endgame are they meant to obliterate everything.

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I only brought it up because i heard someone was able to add new zone to Geneforge 5, and i heard rumors that someone was able to add zones to OG Geneforge 1.
Also does Blades of Geneforge exist? (unofficially, i dont think jeff will make an official one because it would be alot of work and the modding community sadly wont migrate from Elder Scrolls and Fallout to check it out, unless we advertize the game like mad)

Edited by TJ Hedgescout
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13 minutes ago, TJ Hedgescout said:

I only brought it up because i heard someone was able to add new zone to Geneforge 5, and i heard rumors that someone was able to add zones to OG Geneforge 1.
Also does Blades of Geneforge exist? (unofficially, i dont think jeff will make an official one because it would be alot of work and the modding community sadly wont migrate from Elder Scrolls and Fallout to check it out, unless we advertize the game like mad)

 

I am the one that made a new zone for GF5. :) I have not head about extra zones in OG GF1. You can find the mod in my sig. 

Blades of Geneforge "Exist" as in there is a spreadsheet you use but it's a bit hard to use. 

 

HOWEVER... the Kian's Modding Suite for GF5 makes the creation or modification of GF5 zones easier. 

@TheKian

Edited by alhoon
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I think @Ishad Nha had figured out most of the scenario format for Geneforge 5, there was a wiki containing zone offsets - not sure if it's still up now. It's probably easier to figure out the new format based on the old one (knowing what to look for), but it'll still take some digging around.

 

I'm not sure how much work it'd be to rewrite the G5 Modding Suite based on the new offsets - or if there's enough level-designing interest to make it worthwhile. But I guess there'll always be interest in playing custom levels once they're made.

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9 hours ago, BMA said:

I think @Ishad Nha had figured out most of the scenario format for Geneforge 5, there was a wiki containing zone offsets - not sure if it's still up now. It's probably easier to figure out the new format based on the old one (knowing what to look for), but it'll still take some digging around.

 

 

I tried but it is simply too different. Now the levels have sublevels. That alone puts a ton of changes to the format. Not only you need more than one "layer" for terrain and floors, but there's probably something in the coordinates for items to denote the layer they are in. 

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  • 1 year later...

I know that that's a different kind of mod, but where would I start when trying to increase the pack size? [In Geneforge 1 Mutagen, but from my research the engine is pretty much the same] I tried going by the accessed sprites (aka where a potential function building the HUD for the inventory would draw its graphics from), by keywords in the script (but couldn't find the definitions of functions, just their usage) and so on.

 

Or is that a kind of modding that the Spiderweb Engine is rather unfriendly to?

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That's going to be very hardcoded -- meaning it's probably a factor in the game's code in multiple places, and there's no guarantee it's handled by a single constant, particularly because it has all kinds of HUD handling implications.

 

It's definitely something you can't edit via the scripts or defs files, or just image replacement.

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  • 2 months later...
15 hours ago, Val Ritz said:

Is there a way to disable things like Terror on the player character, like they were in the original series? I'm trying to run an Agent, but I'm kind of tired of seeing a vlish and immediately writing off a zone as Reload City.

 

I played around with this a bit - you can set yourself to 100% mental resist by adding "cr_resistances 7 = 100;" to the class you're playing in the GFItemsChars file. It isn't retroactive, however, so it will only work on a new game.

 

It's worth mentioning characters have 75% mental resist by default though, so I haven't found Vlish to be that big of a deal (although it does suck that you can't really do anything but wait if you do get afflicted).

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And as explained earlier in this thread, if you put your character's resistance to 100, most NPCs will have mental resistance 100. Also, some monsters MAY be taking that template into account (shades come to mind although I am not sure they load that or just use the sprites). 

 

You could give it to the main character through script or by editing an item to do it. There are things that give you their bonuses in inventory. So, you could make it so that if you have apples in your inventory, you have 100 mental resistance. 

Edited by alhoon
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