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Opinions - exploiting bugs


joleneth
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Just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on exploiting bugs in game?

I've just found Pachtar's Plate in E3, and was playing around with equipment combinations to see how the encumbrance affected APs.  Weirdly I found two different characters ended up with different AP for the same gear,  and after digging into the original Blades source I found that only the encumbrance from the first 16 of 24 inventory items is taken into account.

 

There's really no right answer.  I don't much enjoy dying, so why not?  On the other hand, deliberately exploiting this feels sort of weak - it's all on a slope to just hacking savefiles to make immortal characters, which I know I wouldn't enjoy.  On the other other hand, it turns out I've been accidentally exploiting this for a while now, and it feels obtuse to deliberately punish myself by not doing it now I know.

 

I guess I'll continue to exploit it but not abuse it, 4 or 5 encumbrance with no AP hit, which I was already playing before I found out.  I have enough rings/boots of speed to bring my three fighters up to 5 AP, which lets them get in that second melee hit, so it's really quite an advantage.

I've seen a few different takes on here for related things, so was just curious about what people thought.


Cheers,
//joleneth

Edited by joleneth
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  • joleneth changed the title to Opinions - exploiting bugs

My opinion is that your opinion is the only one that matters as long as you do not make it competitive.  By competitive I mean, "look I completed the game in one hour on torment, how come you guys are so slow" when you exploited bugs or edited your party or used on-line hints (including those in these forums) or map resources, or whatever.  Of the four items that I listed there, and there are of course others that I did not list, you get to decided what is fair and what is not fair.  After all, the point of playing these games is to have fun, not to beat your self up.

 

I am currently playing a game from another manufacturer that I only enjoy with the help of extensive cheats.  I have made a decision on what cheats that I was going to use and what ones I wasn't going to use in order to meet my goal for the game.  I will be happy when I have completed my goal, but I am not going to post about the giant empire that I created on Redit or Discord because I did not do it while playing within the bounds of the accepted rules.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm late to the topic, but love to keep the Exile forums going (and just jumping to E3 myself again after getting distracted by other games -- it's magical how the Exile series keeps calling back). 

 

I agree with Edgwyn about some things are only enjoyable with cheats. In my new start of E3, I'm letting myself have unlimited food and identification via the Editor. It's obviously cheating, but I never enjoyed running back to town to buy food or find a random sage, and constantly having that worry in my mind. Will it make the game that much easier to beat? I don't think so. 

 

To your original point about exploiting the armor / AP bug, go for it if it helps you enjoy it! I almost always avoid plate armor in all of my Exile run-throughs because I can't stand having my characters at <4 AP, so we could argue that the AP penalty is a little bit harsh anyway. I don't remember it exactly, but even with 20 Defense, your character will sometimes get penalized for 3 Encumbrance, right? 

Oh, let me also add, all of us are probably 'cheating' by constantly using Wound on magic-resistant creatures anyway ;)  

Edited by Hondero
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9 hours ago, Hondero said:

To your original point about exploiting the armor / AP bug, go for it if it helps you enjoy it! I almost always avoid plate armor in all of my Exile run-throughs because I can't stand having my characters at <4 AP, so we could argue that the AP penalty is a little bit harsh anyway. I don't remember it exactly, but even with 20 Defense, your character will sometimes get penalized for 3 Encumbrance, right? 

 

At least in Blades of Exile, if you only have one item for 3 encumbrances and enough defense, you should not be penalized, i.e. basically the AP seems to be calculated as follows

pc.ap = pc.traits[eTrait::SLUGGISH] ? 3 : 4;
short r = pc.total_encumbrance(hit_chance);
pc.ap = minmax(1,8,pc.ap - (r / 3));
...

and the total encumbrance is calculated as follows

	short total = 0;
	
	short burden = free_weight();
	if(burden < 0) total += burden / -10;
	
	for(short i = 0; i < items.size(); i++)
		if(equip[i]) {
			short item_encumbrance = items[i].awkward;
			if(items[i].ability == eItemAbil::ENCUMBERING)
				item_encumbrance += items[i].abil_data[0];
			if(item_encumbrance == 1 && get_ran(1,0,130) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)])
				item_encumbrance--;
			if(item_encumbrance > 1 && get_ran(1,0,70) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)])
				item_encumbrance--;
			total += item_encumbrance;
		}
	return total;

so if you have only equipped an object with 3 encumbrances, normally "get_ran(1,0,70) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)]" is called and will always return true if you have more than 10 Defense points ; then total_encumbrance will return 2 and you must not be penalised.

 

Note: Blades of Exile seems to check all items (not the first 16).

 

 

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Ah, that's interesting.  It's this from the open Blades?  I looked at the source of the originally released code, since I understand a lot of bugs have since been fixed.  Curiously, in the Mac version, it checks all 24 slots - the bug is only in the Windows version.  I guess Jeff reckoned Windows users needed all the help they can get  ;)

I agree about generally avoiding plate, getting the full AP is really worth the lower defence in my opinion (especially with an item to boost speed for a second melee attacks).  The resist all that Pachtar's plate gave was just too good to pass up, though.

In the end I managed the final fights pretty easily, so I think it didn't make too much difference either way.  I must have shot

Spoiler

one of Erika's summons

by accident, so ended up with everyone on the map being hostile.  It didn't change the ending.

I really enjoy having the released code to look through, I like understanding the mechanics of things so I can decide whether it's worth equipping something or not.  I know that's not everyone's idea of fun.

Edited by joleneth
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50 minutes ago, joleneth said:

Ah, that's interesting.  It's this from the open Blades?  I looked at the source of the originally released code, since I understand a lot of bugs have since been fixed.  

Yes, it is from https://github.com/calref/cboe ( or more precisely from my fork https://github.com/fosnola/cboe where I have corrected many small problems at least on OsX )

 

50 minutes ago, joleneth said:

  Curiously, in the Mac version, it checks all 24 slots - the bug is only in the Windows version.  I guess Jeff reckoned Windows users needed all the help they can get  ;)

Effectively, the original Windows version only checks the first 16 slots 🙂 

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11 hours ago, osnola said:

 

At least in Blades of Exile, if you only have one item for 3 encumbrances and enough defense, you should not be penalized, i.e. basically the AP seems to be calculated as follows

pc.ap = pc.traits[eTrait::SLUGGISH] ? 3 : 4;
short r = pc.total_encumbrance(hit_chance);
pc.ap = minmax(1,8,pc.ap - (r / 3));
...

and the total encumbrance is calculated as follows

	short total = 0;
	
	short burden = free_weight();
	if(burden < 0) total += burden / -10;
	
	for(short i = 0; i < items.size(); i++)
		if(equip[i]) {
			short item_encumbrance = items[i].awkward;
			if(items[i].ability == eItemAbil::ENCUMBERING)
				item_encumbrance += items[i].abil_data[0];
			if(item_encumbrance == 1 && get_ran(1,0,130) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)])
				item_encumbrance--;
			if(item_encumbrance > 1 && get_ran(1,0,70) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)])
				item_encumbrance--;
			total += item_encumbrance;
		}
	return total;

so if you have only equipped an object with 3 encumbrances, normally "get_ran(1,0,70) < reduce_chance[skill(eSkill::DEFENSE)]" is called and will always return true if you have more than 10 Defense points ; then total_encumbrance will return 2 and you must not be penalised.

 

Note: Blades of Exile seems to check all items (not the first 16).

 

 

Wow - awesome detail. I appreciate the help here. Very interesting to know that with DEF >10, a single item at 3 encumbrance is OK, compared to how a gear setup with 2enc + 1enc would sometimes hurt your AP (if I am understanding correctly). I'll have to dive into your links to better understand. 

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If you have enough defence, any item with encumbrance of two or more will be reduced by one.  An item with 1 encumbrance will sometimes be reduced by one.

As @osnola says, one item with 3 encumbrance would never reduce AP, and one item of 4 encumbrance would always reduce AP.  One item of 2enc and one item of 1enc would also never reduce AP, since the 2 encumbrance is guaranteed to be reduced.  You could even have two items with 2 enc and not take a hit.

Three items of 1 enc will, however, sometimes give a hit, but the chances aren't very high if you've maxed out defence (~1.5%, if I'm counting right - three chances of 99/130).  Even at 10 defence, three chances at 77/130 works out at having AP reduced ~6.8% of the time, or about 1 in 15.

If you're interested, in the original release it uses the "hit chance" table, which is (from 0-20):
  20,30,40,45,50,55,60,65,69,73,
  77,81,84,87,90,92,94,96,97,98,99

Edited by joleneth
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Dunno if you'd call it a bug, or just an exploit of a weird mechanic, but when walking around dungeons I often find it useful to enter combat mode, walk my first fighter forward, hit a nearby monster and then end combat with the second PC.  That brings the party together a little way away from the monster before it can hit back and I try it again.

 

Useful for, say, the Shayder sewers which get annoyingly grindy.

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On 1/1/2022 at 2:26 AM, Thaluikhain said:

Dunno if you'd call it a bug, or just an exploit of a weird mechanic, but when walking around dungeons I often find it useful to enter combat mode, walk my first fighter forward, hit a nearby monster and then end combat with the second PC.  That brings the party together a little way away from the monster before it can hit back and I try it again.

 

Useful for, say, the Shayder sewers which get annoyingly grindy.

I was just doing this yesterday in that exact area on a new E3 run-through. This plus a having the main 2-3 fighters "camp" the corner with Stand Ready makes these dungeons a lot more manageable (and even the lack of a "Stand Ready" command is why I keep returning to Exile and can't get too far in Avernum).  

 

That's some cool stuff to know also, Joleneth. I'm about to try E1 again, so will have to see if any of the encumbrance rules are similar there. The "non-armor" items in the game that raise your Defend score are a favorite of mine exactly for this whole encumbrance reason - Ivory Charm, Shielding Band, Shield Mace, Scrioth, Krysknife, Rings of Protection, etc. 

 

Edit: Thanks for the clarification, Scropius. Will have to retrain my brain to remember to give those to all my spellcasters. I'm going to keep my eye out for that cursed studded armor just for fun. 

 

Edited by Hondero
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1 hour ago, Hondero said:

That's some cool stuff to know also, Joleneth. I'm about to try E1 again, so will have to see if any of the encumbrance rules are similar there. The "non-armor" items in the game that raise your Defend score are a favorite of mine exactly for this whole encumbrance reason - Ivory Charm, Shielding Band, Shield Mace, Scrioth, Krysknife, Rings of Protection, etc. 

 

 

E1 is very generous as far as encumberance goes.  Unlike the later games, shields and helms are mostly non-encumbering, so once you have items like the mithril plate mail or airy chain mail, multiclassing becomes a breeze.

 

As an aside, the cursed studded armor in E1 has a defence value of 65534 due to some kind of underflow error.  I've only tested it a bit, so I'm still unclear how effective it actually is.

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On 1/1/2022 at 9:26 AM, Thaluikhain said:

Dunno if you'd call it a bug, or just an exploit of a weird mechanic, but when walking around dungeons I often find it useful to enter combat mode, walk my first fighter forward, hit a nearby monster and then end combat with the second PC.  That brings the party together a little way away from the monster before it can hit back and I try it again.

I've certainly switched in to combat to run across conveyor belts.  I didn't do it in the golem factory, since I quite enjoyed that, but I didn't have qualms about doing it in the new factory.

 

14 hours ago, Hondero said:

I'm about to try E1 again, so will have to see if any of the encumbrance rules are similar there.

This would be interesting.  Just thinking about it again, I opened an old save and can confirm that rings of skill reduce encumbrance - my mage can still cast when wearing iron plate (enc 4) if they've also got a gold ring of skill equipped.  This certainly isn't the case for Exile 3.

 

12 hours ago, Scorpius said:

As an aside, the cursed studded armor in E1 has a defence value of 65534 due to some kind of underflow error.

I'll need to keep an eye out for one on my next playthough, although having done one a few months ago that'll probably be in 5 years or so  ;)

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