Author Topic: Valen Expansion now in development  (Read 39689 times)

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« on: January 08, 2004, 02:02:02 PM »
Hello everyone.

Now that I have some free time between now and March, I will be working on an expansion to the Valen Mod.

I've received Wes' blessing back in Sept 03 and his generous offer to host it on his site or integrate it as an optional component or directly (if he likes it enough).

My goal is to have it completed by early March.

I have read almost every post on the Valen Mod board and paid particular attention to the comments, suggestions, and concerns about romance, redemption, and alteration of the character.  I think I have a good handle on it.

My plan for writing the mod will be to play the game through with an evil party and take notes on where interjections can be made and her story expanded upon.  I will then write the dialog and code it.

The coding will probably be the hardest for me.  But it is a skill I want to teach myself and I'm using this project as an opportunity to learn.

Anyway, about the expansion itself:

   - Yes, she will be romanceable, but her romance will be the salt of her story- not the meat.  Her romance dialog will be only a part (albeit a potentially important part) of what I envision to be a much larger story. Hence, my calling this an "Expansion" not a "Romance"

  - Her origin will be given much more depth.

  - Her relationship with Bodhi will be explored

  - Her death and dying will be handled differently

  - Her vampiric powers will work differently

  - Her equipment will be different

  - Her skills will be different

  - Her class may be different

If that sounds vague- that's because it is!  :D  I haven't figured it all out myself yet and my final product might be very different than what I envision now.

As it stands the only things that are written in stone about Valen are:

1) she's a vampire
2) she's evil
3) she's bloodthirsty
4) she is Bodhi's thrall

Beyond that- I'll take whatever path I believe tells the best story and, most importantly, makes sense.

I look forward to your feedback and your suggestions (however I'm not big on complaints :angry:  )
 

Seifer

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2004, 02:09:25 PM »
I'd suggest that complaint handling comes part of your dialogue since I suspect that you will get an awful lof of them.

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2004, 02:23:57 PM »
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I'd suggest that complaint handling comes part of your dialogue since I suspect that you will get an awful lof of them.
My method of handling complaints is very simple- I won't respond to them.  Constructive criticism (a very different thing than complaining) will always be respected.

Seifer

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2004, 02:56:20 PM »
That difference should apply regardless of whatever label you stick on them.  Still, keep us posted.

Gabrielle

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2004, 04:32:13 PM »
Quote


  - Her death and dying will be handled differently

  - Her vampiric powers will work differently

  - Her equipment will be different

  - Her skills will be different

  - Her class may be different

 
Why? This is not an "expansion" but a total rewrite by the sounds of it.

Sim

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2004, 04:40:15 PM »
I'd have to agree here. You're making so many changes, why does it have to be part of Weimer Valen? Wouldn't it make more sense to simply develop your own Valen mod off the original Bioware character?

boo&minsc

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2004, 05:49:24 PM »
hello there

IMO current development of Valen should be branched(let me see if i can explain better...) this is, current Valen is the root... other derivations outcome as other branches.(this allows someone to develop your mod, this is, if you would allow it)
ence everybody can try out their favourite Valen, and why is this important? hey just take a look at those threads below this one...
Valen romance
Final re-balancing: Valen
so many differents opinions and ideas... what pleases one, upsettes the other


good luck with your mod, i'll loking forward to it  ;)  :lol:


btw, have u read my posts on both threads ? they're not much... but take a peek if you can  :lol:  :rolleyes:  B)  

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2004, 09:11:19 PM »
I'm sorry; I don't think I understand what you mean by "branched".  I have read your posts (as well as all the posts in the Valen Mod section) and your ideas are solid but I'm taking a different approach to developing this.

I'm not going to brainstorm anything ahead of time.  I'm just going to play the game, take notes, and see what grows out of it.  If there are moments that I feel Valen or the PC should have more to say, I'll write it then.  If what I wrote conflicts with something that's already established- I'll resolve the conflict by changing something when I've finished the game.

I find that if I take the opposite approach, to write everything down I would think would be cool and try to form a story around it, I get stuck in the "idea phase" forever (there's always more cool stuff you can do, right  ;)  ) and the story becomes only a rationalization for the changes I made- as a result the story was weak and the mod overengineered.

That was the conclusion I came to about my creative style after I spent the last month writing dialog, and editing files only to step back from my work for a couple of weeks, look at all I had done and realize that I thought it sucked!  :angry:  So, I deleted it all and am now starting over fresh- with less preplanning and more emphasis on letting the story of the game lead me.

To put it another way, I am taking a "whole story" approach to the mod (what motivates Valen?, why is she as vicious as she is?, could she be hiding something from the PC?).  I'm not thinking in terms of individual elements (romance, the sun, her claws, her alignment).  Once I get the big picture down, I'll let the details fall into place.

...That's the plan at least.  :D

Auvrin

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2004, 12:26:51 AM »
Time to get a copy of the current Valen backed up, as I wont touch anything with a romance involving a non-romance potential character.  I wish you luck, however, though I would agree with what's already been said.  You'd be alot better off starting from scratch with your own version.  One, because you've already got enough changes listed to consider it as such, and two, it would be a great deal easier to work your romance in with a more compatible character type.

All in all, I again wish you luck, as you'll very much need all the luck you can muster altering an existing character into a new light.

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2004, 03:49:49 PM »
@Auvrin: The current Valen mod will still be availible after I complete my work (which won't be for a few months, anyway).

I plan to distribute the mod as either an optional component (possibly with a number of subcomponents) of the existing mod or as a separate installation.

If you really hate the idea of a romance- play a female PC, you'll never know it exists  ;)

Perhaps I'll make the romance dialog an optional subcomponent during installation: yeah, I think I that would be a good idea.

As I've said before, the romance is not be the be-all-end-all of this project, only an aspect to it.  Female PC's won't see it and male PC's won't be required to engage her romantically in order the further the story (something that bugged be a little about the Bioware romances).

Also, Auvrin- I hope you would reconsider your assertation not to "touch" this.  I've read every post on the Valen Mod board and I have found great value in your opinions on the various topics here.  With the notable exception of a romance, I find myself in agreement with many of the various posts you've made in different topics.

We are completely in agreement on that Valen needs "more interjections, banters, and story building dialogue with the PC" (your words) - and that's exactly what my Valen Expansion is about.

I'll also remind you that as of this writing I'm the only one who has posted in the "Valen ideas" thread you started to discuss other possibilities for Valen **besides romance and redemption**.  Given that fact, I think I'm your best chance for the kind of character and story development that you have talked about in other threads.

When it's all said and done, I hope you do decide to try out my interpretation of Valen.  I honestly think you would enjoy it- and I would very much look forward to hearing your opinion.  :)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2004, 03:50:50 PM by Thorium Dragon »

Schatten

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2004, 09:12:28 AM »
i think maestro is already doing a rebalance of valen. at least i remember he said it will be in his mod. so please speak with him to make it compatible.
and i must say i agree with those who said it will be a complete new char and not valen anymore. what you do is recreating her from the beginning. if you want to do an expansion you should focus on the first three points you mentioned. the other points as i said will be worked on by maestro (if wes allowed it). trust me he can balance things really well. ;)

T.G.Maestro

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2004, 12:24:50 PM »
OK, I think it is time for me to drop in.
First, some general info:

-Indeed, my version of Valen is 80% complete. It will feature ALL of her original banters, there will be no change in the storyline, or her character. Her stats, abilities and vampiric progression has been altered quite a bit though. If someone is interested in its main effects on Valen, there are many posts referring to these changes in the "Final rebalancing.." topic.
Still, this is only a non-legal version, I haven't asked Wes for permission yet. This is only because the Valen Rebalancing component was only meant for BG2 Refinements v3, around summer. However, this can change in every moment.

And now some comments on your ideas Thorium Dragon:
- I won't interfere in your plans, since you seem to pick very different points of Valen. I would NEVER give her a romance (gosh, even the idea seems sick to me :blink: ), and I wouldn't want to change her abilities, equipment, race, classes too much. I think Wes has done something perfect, there is absolutely no need to change it while it is good as it stands right now. Her only downsides are her extremely unbalanced items (armor/claws), and some other minor issues like miscoded THAC0 progression and proficiency stars.
Again, this is only my opinion, feel free to do your thing nonetheless! ;)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2004, 12:26:55 PM by T.G.Maestro »

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2004, 10:48:21 PM »
@ T.G. Maestro: I'll be sure to check out your version of Valen.  I'm in agreement with you on the unbalanced items of Valen.  That would be a welcome change.

I'm really a lot more interested in developing a story for Valen and more dialog than anything else any changes in class, .ect will be driven by that.

As for the "romance" (note quotes) I envision for Valen:  it will only encompass about 1% of the total dialog I have planned for her.   It's not critical to the story and may not be what everyone seems to expect.  ;)

But for all the romance haters, I've decided to make it an optional subcomponent of the mod.  I've voiced my opinions on the romance issue in the appropriate thread- I wont rehash it here.

As for the question of, "Why not make this a separate character?": I considered it but so much of my preliminary story notes is geared very specifically to her- transplanting it into a new character didn't seem to work.  I think it would just feel like a Valen rip-off (vampire working for Bodhi who joins the party and gets left behind).  It made more sense to make my first of what I hope to be many projects on the module that inspired me to learn the craft of modding.

On a different note, Maestro, I hope you don't take offense to this but I found your post a little condescending.

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I won't interfere in your plans

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feel free to do your thing nonetheless

Again, no offense intended- but short of sneaking onto the Air Force base that I'll be stationed at, finding my house and stealing my laptop, I don't see how you *can* interfere with my plans to make a Valen mod.  But, I thank you for your enouragement (such as it is).

The second quote, seems to imply that I was asking permission from somebody to do this mod.  Please understand (and this goes for everyone), I didn't start this thread to ask for anybody's permission- I already have that from the only person that matters- the original author, Wes Weimer.

Back in September 03, Wes responded quickly and politely to my request to alter the mod and he even generously offered to make it a part of the existing Valen mod and host it on his site.  He has already provided me with all the guidelines I need with regards to expanding the mod.

So for all of you who seem to feel you are the guardians of the integrity of the Valen mod, get over yourselves.  If the original author doesn't have a problem with what I do, since I'm sure he will be proofreading it- neither should any of you.

This is the first mod I have attempted to make and I am happy to do it because I love the game.  And yet, most of the response to this has been of the "Why bother?" and "There's no way this can possibly be any good." variety.  Trust me, given the time and effort I am about to put into this, I don't want to hear it.  If you are so conviced it will suck, don't play it- noone's forcing you.

It's almost as if you are trying to talk me out of creating something new, with the rationale that any change in something you enjoy can only be for the worse.  That doesn't make a whole lot of sense since all of you enjoy Baldur's Gate (at least I would hope so) , and this is a forum dedicated to modding the game.

Schatten

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2004, 09:42:53 AM »
you seem a bit offended, arent you? :(
i have only said what i said because "I think Wes has done something perfect, there is absolutely no need to change it while it is good as it stands right now. Her only downsides are her extremely unbalanced items (armor/claws), and some other minor issues like miscoded THAC0 progression and proficiency stars."
sure, you can do what you want. :) and i am happy to read the dialog. :)
i say it again, please make it compatible with other valen mods like maestros. i hate it if i cant get the full packet. ;)

"So for all of you who seem to feel you are the guardians of the integrity of the Valen mod, get over yourselves. If the original author doesn't have a problem with what I do, since I'm sure he will be proofreading it- neither should any of you."

i am no guardian of anything. i just said your mod is not a mod more like a total conversion of valen since you alter nearly everything. and this i just dont see apropriate. she is good now except her überkilling power and her general silence. she dont speaks too much, imo. and this is what you intend to work on. more dialogs. :D :D

"It's almost as if you are trying to talk me out of creating something new, with the rationale that any change in something you enjoy can only be for the worse. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense since all of you enjoy Baldur's Gate (at least I would hope so) , and this is a forum dedicated to modding the game. "

bloody hell, no! i wont and have never talked someone out of making a mod. its only my opinion that, well, i said it already. ;) if i think your changes arent good for me i can simply mod it to my liking and restore her. ;)

Seifer

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2004, 11:25:36 AM »
Here is where I press my advocacy of variety yet again but I'd be against ruining this mod for the mere sake of (drumroll please) balance!

Wes  admitted that this was a project borne of deviance from Sola,a bit of harmless fun.  Applying standardisation here will totally ruin Valen I feel.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2004, 12:55:48 PM by Seifer »

Seifer

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2004, 11:45:40 AM »
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@ T.G. Maestro: I'll be sure to check out your version of Valen.  I'm in agreement with you on the unbalanced items of Valen.  That would be a welcome change.

I'm really a lot more interested in developing a story for Valen and more dialog than anything else any changes in class, .ect will be driven by that.

As for the "romance" (note quotes) I envision for Valen:  it will only encompass about 1% of the total dialog I have planned for her.   It's not critical to the story and may not be what everyone seems to expect.  ;)

But for all the romance haters, I've decided to make it an optional subcomponent of the mod.  I've voiced my opinions on the romance issue in the appropriate thread- I wont rehash it here.

As for the question of, "Why not make this a separate character?": I considered it but so much of my preliminary story notes is geared very specifically to her- transplanting it into a new character didn't seem to work.  I think it would just feel like a Valen rip-off (vampire working for Bodhi who joins the party and gets left behind).  It made more sense to make my first of what I hope to be many projects on the module that inspired me to learn the craft of modding.

On a different note, Maestro, I hope you don't take offense to this but I found your post a little condescending.

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I won't interfere in your plans

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feel free to do your thing nonetheless

Again, no offense intended- but short of sneaking onto the Air Force base that I'll be stationed at, finding my house and stealing my laptop, I don't see how you *can* interfere with my plans to make a Valen mod.  But, I thank you for your enouragement (such as it is).

The second quote, seems to imply that I was asking permission from somebody to do this mod.  Please understand (and this goes for everyone), I didn't start this thread to ask for anybody's permission- I already have that from the only person that matters- the original author, Wes Weimer.

Back in September 03, Wes responded quickly and politely to my request to alter the mod and he even generously offered to make it a part of the existing Valen mod and host it on his site.  He has already provided me with all the guidelines I need with regards to expanding the mod.

So for all of you who seem to feel you are the guardians of the integrity of the Valen mod, get over yourselves.  If the original author doesn't have a problem with what I do, since I'm sure he will be proofreading it- neither should any of you.

This is the first mod I have attempted to make and I am happy to do it because I love the game.  And yet, most of the response to this has been of the "Why bother?" and "There's no way this can possibly be any good." variety.  Trust me, given the time and effort I am about to put into this, I don't want to hear it.  If you are so conviced it will suck, don't play it- noone's forcing you.

It's almost as if you are trying to talk me out of creating something new, with the rationale that any change in something you enjoy can only be for the worse.  That doesn't make a whole lot of sense since all of you enjoy Baldur's Gate (at least I would hope so) , and this is a forum dedicated to modding the game.
A note of advice here as well, don't insult your intended audience before your work is received or you can be 95% certain it will not get played.  Get over yourself and this apparent sense of self-importance before laying that kinda attitude on those you will need to draw on to make your theoritical constructs any sort of practical reality.

Period.  

Modding is a hobby, this is an established fact.  Looking at the calibre of your writings you have your fair share of intelligence, perception should also be a part of this.  If you are taking it upon yourself to alter a current mod then you run the danger of upsetting those that  already liked what it was.  It is in this instance that people DO have the right to voice their concerns whether this comes in the form of a suggestion, a complaint or whatever  That will never change.  What will also never change is the fact  that you will have to deal with them.

I speak as the dude that is repackaging the SilverStar mod for the current day, following a precendent that was started when Tashia was upgraded by the fanbase.  I'm one of the few who has an idea of where you are coming from BTW.

To clarify, this place is mostly concerned with modding but there is a communuty here as well.  You'd do worse off then rememvering that fact.

Kiki

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2004, 12:33:41 PM »
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I didn't start this thread to ask for anybody's permission ...

So for all of you who seem to feel you are the guardians of the integrity of the Valen mod, get over yourselves.  If the original author doesn't have a problem with what I do, since I'm sure he will be proofreading it- neither should any of you.
I think most people would assume that if you're making an announcement about a mod, you're looking for feedback about it. Now you've gotten some. If you're not looking for feedback, then why not just do the mod and then present it for people to download or not?

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2004, 07:53:19 PM »
Hmmm.

I started this thread with in the primary hope that it will get give me a creative spark much like I've gotten from the rest of this forum.

Instead, I'm finding it to be a tremendous drain.

I think the best course of action for me is to abstain from the forum until I announce the release of the mod.  I think my time is better spent working on the mod than defending it on the forum.

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A note of advice here as well, don't insult your intended audience before your work is received or you can be 95% certain it will not get played.

Your advice isn't without merit, but I think the opposite would apply as well- don't insult a prospective modder before his work is completed or you can be 95% certain it wont get made.

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Time to get a copy of the current Valen backed up

*That* is an insult.

Did I mention this was an optional component?  Yes, I'm sure I did.

Part of my reason for my willingness to undertake this project is my desire to learn command-line programming.  I could do it with the Unix machines at my air base, or I can do it with WeiDU.  Learn with a game I love or learn at work- not the hardest decision I've ever made.

So, you see, I will still feel the same sense of satisfaction upon the completion of this project whether it sits on my hard drive alone or on the hard drives of others.  My passion lies in the learning more so than the payoff.  However, when I'm done I'll be happy to make it available when I'm finished- if only to give something back for the many hours of extra gameplay I've gotten off the mods of others.  If someone doesn't want to play my mod because of some perceived insult on a forum, it won't hurt my feelings one bit.

Does that make me sound "self-important"?  I don't think so.  But again, everyone's entitled to their opinion.  :)
 

domi

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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2004, 08:28:23 PM »
:D Just go ahead and do it. Arguing takes immense amount of time  :lol:  

serjeLeBlade

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2004, 10:15:22 AM »
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Hmmm.

I started this thread with in the primary hope that it will get give me a creative spark much like I've gotten from the rest of this forum.
So let's start back from here.

Know what? Here's one that will play your mod if it gets finished, no matter what.
I needed a reason to play BG2 *yet another time* and your mod looks like the first good reason I found about in months. I hope you really manage to get it done.

Now, is there anything you would like to discuss (and I mean discuss not "argue"  :)) about the various changes you have in mind? (It is difficult to provide feedback if you don't add some more details...)  ;)
 

Auvrin

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2004, 01:02:34 AM »
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Time to get a copy of the current Valen backed up

*That* is an insult.

Did I mention this was an optional component?  Yes, I'm sure I did.
No, no you didn't.  Not until I made the mention of getting an unchanged copy backed up.   As for my statement being an insult, take it however you wish.   It honestly means little to me once I log off this forum on my random haunts.  I've never claimed to be 'nice' or tip-toe with what I think.

In general, this is your choice, nor did I ever say anything different.  You're altering an existing work into your own ideas, good luck with that, as I said before.  Though it would seem that anyone with negative input is being labeled as a 'gaurdian' of Valen, or something along those lines.  It sounds more like an easy answer to thwart off any unwanted attention in the form of an indirect insult.  I would say this however, I don't defend Valen.  I defend my right to have an opinion and openly voice it, even if it's about a written character.  Wether it's something you may or may not like is ultimately up to you, because once I've said it, chances are I'm not even thinking about it five minutes from when I posted it.

The major point, however, is that I harbor no hard feelings towards you or your desire to make your own version of Valen.  That doesn't change my opinions though.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2004, 01:03:51 AM by Auvrin »

serjeLeBlade

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2004, 06:49:23 AM »
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I've received Wes' blessing back in Sept 03 and his generous offer to host it on his site or integrate it as an optional component or directly (if he likes it enough).
@Auvrin:

1) To me, it looks like he *mentioned* it in his first post :P

2) In my limited comprehension of the english language, what I read there seems to mean that the final decision will be up to Wes, which is good enough for me.
Is it good enough for you too?  ;)
Please. Peace?

@ThoriumDragon

Now my half-a-cent value opinion about all of the changes and the additions as you presented them... :

1)
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Yes, she will be romanceable, but her romance will be the salt of her story- not the meat. Her romance dialog will be only a part (albeit a potentially important part) of what I envision to be a much larger story

Hehe... this is my favourite one. Do it please!!!  ^_^   :)  :rolleyes:


2)
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Her origin will be given much more depth.
    Her relationship with Bodhi will be explored

These are very welcome  :)

3)
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Her death and dying will be handled differently

Not a bad idea.
(May I ask "how"? Do you have something in mind already or care about suggestions?)

4)
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Her vampiric powers will work differently

Hmm... is it necessary? (+ see above)
2 persons trying to "rebalance" Valen at the same time are a little too much...

5)
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Her equipment will be different
  - Her skills will be different
  - Her class may be different

To what extent?
Do you mean normal equipment or the special one?
I mean, I wouldn't suggest to change her armor...
Sort of a trademark...
(detail, detail!)

I think that the people here could be less scared about "changes", if they knew what "changes" are we talking about in the first place!   ;)  

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If that sounds vague- that's because it is!  I haven't figured it all out myself yet

Try harder!   B)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2004, 06:50:54 AM by serjeLeBlade »

Schatten

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2004, 02:29:22 PM »
@ serje: Auvrin means the romance wasnt mentioned as optional in the original post. ;)

points 3-5 fall under the rebalance category and thus "Hmm... is it necessary? (+ see above)
2 persons trying to "rebalance" Valen at the same time are a little too much...". ;)

Auvrin

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2004, 02:39:30 PM »
Thank you for saving me the bother, Schatten.

Thorium Dragon

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Valen Expansion now in development
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2004, 04:48:01 PM »
@serjeLeBlade:

I've done some work on it and here's what I've got so far...

I figure Valen could intall something like this-

  Valen Setup Options:
    -Story and Dialog
        ~Wes Weimer (no change)
        ~Thorium Dragon

    -Vampiric Ability Handling
        ~Wes Weimer (no change)
        ~T.G. Maestro (BG2 Refinements) if he wanted to include it here
        ~Thorium Dragon

    -Valen's Class <if #3 above>
         ~Fighter/Thief (no change)
         ~Fighter
         ~Fighter/Mage
         ~Sorceress
         ~Assassin
         ~Monk


Regarding equipment:  Some of the new class options for Valen can't wear armor- so something else would have to be implemented for them.  Also, I plan for Valen's vampire-specific equipment to be upgradable over the course of the game (see Valen, tombs, and blood).

Regarding death and dying: Upon reaching 1 hp Valen turns gaseous and retreats to a magical urn the PC is carrying.  After a set time period she will reform. I discuss this in "Valen's Final Death".  Check it out if you want more detail.

Regarding her vampire powers: check out some of the discussions in "Valen Dual Weilding Claws". Some good ideas were put forward there that I am considering- mainly her powers as summoned weapons, coded into her unarmed attack (like a monk's attacks) or as a transformation (like a shapeshifter).  As she increases in level her number of abilities and thier potency will increase.

I'll figure out all of the above after I get Valen's story and dialog written, which is my priority at this time.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2004, 04:53:21 PM by Thorium Dragon »

 

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