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After discussing the game balance so much recently, it occured to me that I could actually change it -- or at least much of it -- if I wanted to. So I did.

 

I went through the attack, creature, and item definition files, and made minor adjustments to things I feel are over- or underpowered. The key word here is "minor"; with very few exceptions, I changed numbers by the smallest amount I thought would make a difference. Anything more would be disastrous, since the same sets of definitions determine both player power and enemy power.

 

I also noticed some previously unnoted imbalances. Did you know that Burning Spray basically does the same thing as Searer, except without the magic damage, and at a lower hit rate... yet costs an extra point of essence?

 

I'm testing them a bit to make sure nothing causes evil crashes, and then I'll probably put them online in case anyone else wants to give them a try. But I thought I would gather up my edits and see if anyone had any well-reasoned suggestions.

 

Besides reducing power (Vlish) and increasing it (Clawbugs), I also tried to make boring creations interesting without being unbalanced (Thahd Shades, Searing Artila), add a few skills for flavor (Vlish telepathy, Roamer roaming) and to make arbitrarily annoying aspects of the game less so (item weights). My general rule was that if a great ability still seemed great even after weakening it, I was probably still in OK territory (Mass Energize), and vice versa with crappy abilities. The overall goal: increase potential for fun.

 

Changes:

Increased general melee damage by 1/5

Increased javelin damage by 1/5

Increased thorn damage by 1/4 (not including reapers)

Reduced Vlish missile damage by 1/6

Reduced Vlish melee damage by 1/5

Held Gazer melee damage at 7/6 normal

Held Alwan's melee damage at normal

Increased Alwan's swords by 3 levels to compensate

 

Increased accuracy of Burning Spray by 10%

Increased acid level of Burning Spray by 2/3

Increased essence cost of Group Heal to 10

Increased essence cost of Mass Energize to 30

Increased essence cost of Battle Roar to 40

 

Gave Alwan 30% armor

Gave Greta 15% armor and 15% energy resistance

 

Increased Enraged Fyora's missile skill by 2

Increased Cryoa's effective base level by 2

 

Gave Thahd Shade the Icy Touch melee attack Ghosts use (ice damage + slow)

Reduced Thahd Shade's melee skill by 2

Reduced Thahd Shade's effective base level by 2

Increased Thahd Shade's Dexterity by 2

 

Increased Plated Artila's HP bonus by 10

Gave Searing Artila Burning Spray instead of Searer as a missile attack

 

Gave Roamers +1 AP

 

Reduced Vlish's effective base level by 2

Increased Vlish's Luck by 4

Gave Terror Vlish Terror instead of poison mist as a missile attack

 

Increased Clawbug's melee skill by 3

Increased Plated Bug's melee skill by 5

Increased Plated Bug's armor by 10%

Increased Stinging Clawbug's melee skill by 5 to compensate for the Vlish melee attack weakening

 

Increased Battle Alpha's melee skill by 3

Increased Battle Beta's melee skill by 3

Increased Battle Beta's effective base level by 2

Increased Battle Gamma's melee skill by 3

 

Increased Ur-Glaahk's armor by 20%

Gave Ur-Glaahk a cursing melee attack instead of a slowing one

Increased Ur-Glaahk's fire, ice, acid, and poison resistance by 30%

 

Increased Cryodrayk's missile skill by 8

Increased Cryodrayk's effective base level by 2

 

Removed Symbiotic Cloak's bonuses to Missile Weapons, Quick Action, and Parry (bug fix)

Increased Deadeye Cloak's Missile Weapons bonus by 2

Increased Farsight Chitin's Missile Weapons bonus by 2

 

Increased Shielding Knife's armor by 4%

Increased Singing Rapier's Parry bonus by 2

Gave Frozen Blade an icy slowing attack instead of a cursing one

Gave Flaming Sword a fiery cursing attack instead of a normal one

 

Increased Thorn Baton's attack level by 2

Increased baton, wand, and javelin default charges by 2

Reduced weight of javelins to 0.5 lbs

Reduced weight of Research Notes, Shaper Equipment, and Living Tools to 0.5 lbs

 

Increased All-Protector's hostile effect resistance by 3%

Increased Projection Band's armor and hostile effect resistance by 3%

Increased Deflection Band's hostile effect resistance by 10%

 

Arbitrary flavor changes:

Replaced Carnelian Gloves with Lapis Lazuli Gloves

Replaced Rod of Defenses with Rod of Lordly Might

Replaced Rod of Battle with Rod of Channeling

Replaced Koerner's Blade with a secret weapon that Phobia will very much appreciate

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The real problem is that Burning Spray has a misleading name. Jeff uses both "searing" and "burning" to describe acid type attacks in his games, though sometimes he uses "burning" to describe fire attacks. Searer is, frankly, a questionable word to begin with, and not a good spell name if you ask me.

 

Anyway, the reasoning is that Artila are common, and a staple attacker. They need a straightforward attack that actually does damage (i.e., Searer). The Searing Artila are a variant, so they can have the variant attack (Burning Spray).

 

Also, keep in mind that only if you look at the scripts do you realize the Artila attack with Searer. The game just describes them as attacking with a glob of acid or something like that. Searing Artila are described the same way.

 

Edit: Also, Searing Orbs haven't been called that since G1. They're Essence Orbs now. :p

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Quote:
Originally written by Little Billy Sue:
Wow. This is a great idea. Jeff could even release it as a patch. (Yes, Jeff. A patch. Don't be scared. It won't hurt you.)
...
The chance of Jeff putting this kind of balance tweaks into a patch is exactly 0%. However, Slarty could make his own mod, by zipping up all modified files.

Talking about mods, what happened to the idea of scripting in extra quests and changing some dialogue that I've heard floating around during the G1 editor craze? Did anybody ever do a mod that was more involved than just an editor?
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Wow. Of course, it would be a lot more useful to me if I owned G3. One of these days...

 

Originally by Slartucker:

 

Quote:
Increased Plated Artila's HP bonus by 10
Is that supposed to be a searing artila, or is there a plated artila somewhere? And are you planning to change the searing artila from type three to type one, or just leave it?

 

Originally by Zeviz:

 

Quote:
Talking about mods, what happened to the idea of scripting in extra quests and changing some dialogue that I've heard floating around during the G1 editor craze? Did anybody ever do a mod that was more involved than just an editor?

I cleared up the Pentil Woods nest mystery by poking around in the script. Which is less than an editor, actually.

 

This makes Dikiyoba want to write "Jeansforge." Perhaps it's a very good thing Dikiyoba is already in the middle of a script.

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I have some questions...

 

Quote:
Originally written by Anti-Fairy:

2- Gave Roamers +1 AP

 

3- Increased Vlish's Luck by 4

 

4- Removed Symbiotic Cloak's bonuses to Missile Weapons, Quick Action, and Parry (bug fix)

 

5- Increased Singing Rapier's Parry bonus by 2

 

6-Replaced Koerner's Blade with a secret weapon that Phobia will very much appreciate

2- Why another AP? And only for rogues or for the player's creations too?

 

3- Why?

 

4- The Symbiotic Cloack has a bug? If no, why you reduced its bonuses?

 

5- I agree, but won't you add also some damage?

 

6- I don't remember Koerner's Blade...

 

PS: Can't you make a script that allow to use another weapon insted of shield?

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Quote:
Originally written by MagmaDragoon:
2- Why another AP? And only for rogues or for the player's creations too?
Since it's an edit to the actual creature data in the scripts, it'll affect both player-made creations and non-player creations. And to roam means to move around, so it makes sense for roamers to move fast.

Quote:
4- The Symbiotic Cloack has a bug? If no, why you reduced its bonuses?
The Symbiotic Cloak inherits several bonuses from another cloak. It almost certainly isn't supposed to do so.

Quote:
PS: Can't you make a script that allow to use another weapon insted of shield?
No. That would require editing the engine itself, which can only be done with access to the source code, which only Spiderweb Software has.
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I would never ask (or want) Jeff to distribute this. If he sees an idea he likes and uses it, cool, but it's his game. Similarly, editing the story or quests or whatever seems like overkill to me. Not only is it high effort and low reward, that is really not my place to do.

 

I gave the Vlish luck because I wanted to do something interesting to represent their telepathic abilities (which are mentioned several times in game descriptions).

 

Roamers, I desperately wanted to make interesting, and different from Artila. The +1 AP is an extremely minor advantage, but it makes them different, and is potentially useful in terms of tactics -- an area that is often blown to smithereens by the sheer power of shaping.

 

Plated Artila was not a typo. The definitions file contains data on many of the rogue subtypes that appear in the game. The vast majority of them are just higher level versions of the regular rogue, with literally no other changes. I wanted to differentiate them a little bit, to add some more variety to combat. Frankly, I could probably do even more in this regard.

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While tweaking the item weights gets rid of an annoyance, it eliminates the main restriction on agents and shapers. They usually can't afford to carry much because they don't increase strength like a guardian. If you reduce too much weight even for minor items then you pile up junk that you wouldn't collect until after an area is cleared and would probably carry it around.

 

I thought that baton damage should be reduced to keep it in line with spell damage reductions. Batons and crystals with missle weapon skill are almost as deadly as spells, but easier to obtain.

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Quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:
While tweaking the item weights gets rid of an annoyance, it eliminates the main restriction on agents and shapers. They usually can't afford to carry much because they don't increase strength like a guardian. If you reduce too much weight even for minor items then you pile up junk that you wouldn't collect until after an area is cleared and would probably carry it around.
Personally, I'd rather do away with encumbrance entirely -- at least for items in the pack, if perhaps not equipment and combat use items. This seems to go in the same category as all the random "player efficiency improvements" Jeff put into A4, of removing things that are a hassle and don't add to gameplay. It's very annoying to have to walk through each area a second time picking stuff up, especially when you are limited to the speed your sprite walks at and can't just 789879987 your way through the area.

I guess that is a class balance issue. The thing is, it doesn't actually make the Agent and Shaper any weaker. It just makes them more annoying to play. (Well, the Agent. The Shaper it just tends to push into becoming a Deadweight Shaper whether he intends to or not.) Annoying = bad, in my book.

Quote:
I thought that baton damage should be reduced to keep it in line with spell damage reductions. Batons and crystals with missle weapon skill are almost as deadly as spells, but easier to obtain.
HUH? Batons and crystals are easier to obtain than spells? Spells are unlimited use, items aren't, and the best items are of limited supply.

Anyway, baton damage has been reduced between games. In normal G3, they do 1-3 per level (all of them except reapers). That's the weakest player attack in the game. Firebolt also does 1-3 per level, but almost every enemy has armor, whereas fire resistance is uncommon, so batons are actually worse than Firebolt.

Crystals and wands on the other hand are exactly as deadly as spells since they have the same effects. Spells, of course, have unlimited uses (in both theory and practice, considering the absurd quantity of Essence Pods in the game), whereas the good crystals and wands run out if you use them on every enemy.

Crystals are the best missiles, no question, since you get the AP bonus and you can keep a stat-boosting weapon equipped. There just aren't enough of them to rely on crystals alone as a primary attack. I think that's more than enough of a restriction.
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It might just be my playing style, but I always wind up with extra crystals and other items at the end. While spells are technically unlimited, if you use wands and crystals as backups for above your level monsters and extra attacks there are enough.

 

I still think the base number of dice damage should be 1 or 2 lower to make them competitive with spells. You can increase missle weapon almost as fast as agents increase battle magic so there is little difference between them. Without dexterity in place of spellcraft the damage is almost the same.

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Encumbrance is a good way to force tactical choices, but I agree that it is merely tedious when all it really does is force you to trudge through an area again in order to pick up all the loot.

 

What I'd suggest is keeping encumbrance, but allowing the player to Fedex loot to towns, by means of a variant of A4's portal technology. Have a mode or a button or something that makes it so that you can click on things, and designate them to be carried away by creations when you leave the zone. The items thus designated will arrive at a specific spot in any friendly town that you have explored. So I guess you'd have to have some way to choose the destinations from among known friendly towns.

 

This seems to me to be plausible for Shapers, much easier to implement than pack mules, and wonderfully convenient for the player. And while it would make carrying treasure very easy, it would not help at all with carrying items that you need to actually use. The encumbrance limits for those could even be lowered, now that the PC doesn't need to carry any treasure.

 

A nice added feature would be the ability to sell items directly from their arrival point, without the need to go and pick them up and carry them to the merchants.

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Quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

A nice added feature would be the ability to sell items directly from their arrival point, without the need to go and pick them up and carry them to the merchants.
Like in Jade Empire! Good point. Or maybe the Shaper could be able to trasform pack of items in essence, for carring more easily.

Is a bit stupid, but can be funcional. wink
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Quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:
Encumbrance is a good way to force tactical choices, but I agree that it is merely tedious when all it really does is force you to trudge through an area again in order to pick up all the loot.

What I'd suggest is keeping encumbrance, but allowing the player to Fedex loot to towns, by means of a variant of A4's portal technology. Have a mode or a button or something that makes it so that you can click on things, and designate them to be carried away by creations when you leave the zone. The items thus designated will arrive at a specific spot in any friendly town that you have explored. So I guess you'd have to have some way to choose the destinations from among known friendly towns.

This seems to me to be plausible for Shapers, much easier to implement than pack mules, and wonderfully convenient for the player. And while it would make carrying treasure very easy, it would not help at all with carrying items that you need to actually use. The encumbrance limits for those could even be lowered, now that the PC doesn't need to carry any treasure.

A nice added feature would be the ability to sell items directly from their arrival point, without the need to go and pick them up and carry them to the merchants.
Quoted, once again, for wisdom.

I don't think I've ever implored Jeff to make specific changes before, because it's silly. But Jeff, please listen to this one smile
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  • 4 weeks later...

Exactly what I want:

 

1:How to do things like this myself.

 

2:Where are the item, attack, and creation defenition files? I could only find some stuff that looked like AI scripts.

 

If #1 is unavailable, with #2 I'll figure #1 out myself.

 

Or, if all this fails, I would like, mainly, the creation modifications.

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The files you want are called "gf3floorster", "gf3objmisc", and "gf3itemschars". "gf3floorster" contains definitions for floors and terrain, and so on.

 

"gf3itemschars" is where most of the action is. There you can change names, looks, attack types, and much more.

 

Before you do any editing, though, you should back up the files being edited. Sometimes, it's possible to make a mistake or purposely change something and then forget what you did. Then you're left with a broken script and no way to change it back.

 

Now, let's say that you want to make your Terror Vlishes fire actual Terror spells. Open up "gf3itemschars" using a basic text editor and then look around for the Terror Vlish (use CTRL + F and search for "Terror Vlish"). Then look at the lines with _abil_ in them. However, anything in the same line behind two dashes ("//") is ignored by the game. So skip the bit about ability 13 and go to " cr_abil_num 1 = 60; // terror". Jeff would swear that this is a Terror spell, but it's not. Ability 13, rather than 60, is. So make the Vlish's first ability 13 instead of 60. Read below to see if you did it correctly.

 

The only thing you had to change was "cr_abil_num 1 = 60;" to "cr_abil_num_1 = 13;". Now your Vlish will terrify foes quite easily. However, this kind of makes the game harder because enemies flee with a large amount of health still left, so you have to track them down over and over. Also, many non-creations have high resistances to Terror, such as Spinecores.

 

All you have to do is change a few digits, and then suddenly your Cryoae will fire Discipline blasts and your red drays will have sixteen AP. The trick is to identify what ability you want to give a creature, find out where that exists in the game, and then be able to move it to another creature.

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  • 8 years later...
  • 11 months later...

Another thing-- I tried to give Alwan some levels of QA and Parry, but nothing has changed. Is it necessary to start the game from the beginning for this to take effect, or is it impossible to do by simply editing the text? I know I writ everything out just right/perfectly, so what am I doing wrong? When I load up a save file and enter combat, nothing has changed.

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This is how it looks, BTW. (I also gave him a couple raised resistances-- stun and mental, also, 2 points of QA, just like the PC guardian's beginning stats)

 

cr_name = "Alwan";

cr_base_level = 4;

cr_graphic_coloradj = 1024;

cr_regen_rate = 0;

 

cr_statistic 6 = 2;

cr_statistic 7 = 4;

 

cr_resistances 0 = 20;

cr_resistances 7 = 30;

 

cr_abil_num 1 = -1;

cr_abil_level 0 = 5;

 

What did I do wrong?

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If it's like others, the game probably loads the definition the first time it loads Alwan.

 

Also, while I realize this is sort of related, seriously, 8 years went by. And then another year before your second post. Next time, maybe just start a new topic? ^_^

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If a thread hasn't been posted in for years and years, please DO start a new topic. There may be rare exceptions, but if a thread hasn't seen use in years, it's almost always the better choice to just start a new one. You can always include a link to the old thread if you think there's something there everyone needs to see, but it's easier for everyone else on the forum to see a nice, neat, clean new thread with your latest thoughts or questions than to have to sift through years-old posts trying to figure how your comment relates. It's not "clutter" to start a new thread because the old ones are typically buried many pages deep in the forum where no one sees them, and in terms of accessing your particular post, the effect is to make the forum LESS cluttered, because other people don't have to mess with a dozen ancient posts surrounding yours in the thread.

 

Thanks!

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I can see your point Startibus, but I don't really get Triumph's

 

Browsing through small single-topic threads on a forum listing is generally easier than browsing through a big blob of posts in one thread, especially since there are useful features like thread titles to help people find threads with relevant information, while there aren't such useful features for people to find specific posts within a thread. That's why we encourage members to make new threads rather than revive old ones unless there's already a recently active thread that relates directly to what they're posting about. It's just a better way of bringing attention specifically to your posts without dragging up old conversations that nobody cares about any more.

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while there aren't such useful features for people to find specific posts within a thread.

Yeah there is-- doesn't the thread load the appropriate page? (can't remember) and Ctrl + F. That's what I use, and I rarely have any difficulty finding what I'm looking for.

 

there's already a recently active thread that relates directly to what they're posting about

There is? For G3 specifically? Because I've found that questions about earlier, less popular games like G3 tend not to get answered in a G1/2/4/5 or Geneforge general thread.

 

Anyhow, I confirmed what Startibus said-- have to start a new game. Same with making items stackable. I also got the answer to my first question on making only one item in a category stackable (put an *entry* "= 0" on the next item)

 

It's worth mentioning that you don't need to start a new game to affect the coloradj. Also, that generic monsters re-load every time you re-enter the area, so item drop % works without starting a new game.

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