Author Topic: Qwinn's Beta Test  (Read 13079 times)

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2005, 07:48:00 AM »
1)  I went into the Underdark knowing that there was a new area somewhere, but I purposefully didn't look up the AR reference you mentioned in the testing guidelines to see what area it was accessed from.  I finished everything in the Underdark without finding it.  I had to look up the AR reference in IESDP to find out where it was accessed from, and then scoured that specific area to find the cave.  So I guess I would say that, yeah, it's pretty hard to find (though once I knew which area it was accessed from, I found it fairly easily - at the least, you should note the area explicitly in the readme).  If you'd rather have it be an area that a player can easily find without having to be led there, I might suggest the NE area of the beholder cave... there's a passage there that doesn't lead anywhere that would be very hard to miss for anyone clearing that area.
I don't think the beholder hive's terribly appropriate for it (and I'm feeling lazy :)). Instead, I've added a trigger that says ~As you make your way through this particular section of the gloomy caverns, a faint echoing sound coming from the rocky wall catches your attention. There is a passage concealed somewhere in the darkness.~ as you pass the transition.

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2)  The fight was -fun-!  And quite challenging.  Very well done.
Thanks. Really, it was just an excuse for me to play with the combat a bit with a bit of backstory thrown in, but eh. :)

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3)  Two grammatical/spelling errors in the conversation with the lich.
Both fixed.

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4)  Upon exiting to the surface, I received the message that Nazariel was freed, and the xp reward, twice.  Not all that bad though, since nothing but a 5,000 xp reward for such a tough fight was pretty disappointing - at least I got 10,000 xp from the bug, heh.  Since it was easily the toughest fight I had in the Underdark (about equivalent to Kangaxx, I'd say), I'd suggest the reward should be scaled up to something more appropriate.  It doesn't have to be quite as nice as a Ring of Gaxx, but just 5,000 or even 10,000 xp is kinda... well... I hate to use the word "insulting", but it fits.
You now get 15000 XP for killing the lich, and 15000 for taking his essence to the surface. I think that's probably plenty.

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1)  A very moving tale, very well written.  I haven't gone back to the Underdark yet to see if there's anything more to it, but in either case I did note two spelling errors in her tale:  "alltogether" should only have one "L", and the same is true of "dispell".  If there's no more to it than a good tavern tale, well, I'll say that I liked it, adds some nice depth.
It's just a tavern tale... don't expect anything to follow it up. All credit for the writing should go to Blue.

The 3 Potion Quest bugs you mention are fixed.

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I don't see these as mutually exclusive.  If you mean that the vanilla game portrayed Miranda as -enjoying- what she was doing, I didn't see that (though it doesn't say she -doesn't- like it either... but who would?  I guess I just defaulted the other way than you did).  In the new context I saw her "conniving" as a result of extreme measures, and didn't really see it as a "mischaracterization" but more of an added depth, an explanation of why she turned bitter and conniving (and pretty much man-hating) as a result of having been abandoned... but hey, that's up to you.  If you really don't like the way the original did it, well, you shouldn't have to deal with anything you don't like, so I'm not going to agitate for you to put it back just as it was.
It's the little things. "Heh heh," she says, as she realises she's failing to con the Talosian out of the money. Screaming "HELP!!  HELLLP!!  THIS FIENDISH BRUTE IS ATTEMPTING TO CHEAT HIS OWN BLOOD!!" doesn't suggest to me that these are the actions of sombody who really regrets what they're having to do. Lanie informs us that Miranda describes the payments she cons men out of as "their dues", which doesn't seem a likely description to give if she knows they're innocent and isn't simply doing it out of malice. All these add up to the general picture that she's doing it because she can as much as because she has to.

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There is indeed a certain kind of dilemma that BG2 is lacking and needs more of, but this isn't it.  The reason that the bulk of the BG2 quests have an obvious "optimal" solution is because, generally, the "good" way is also almost always the most profitable for the character, so be a goody two shoes and you'll prosper.  I liked the quest originally because it seemed to be filling -that- hole... the player actually had to face the rare choice in this game between real "temptation of power" versus "doing the right thing" (I think killing Vithal or not is really the only other place where such a choice between significant in-game power and roleplaying has to be made, and you can even evade that issue with pickpocketing.  Oh yeah, and the silver pantaloons too, which doesn't do anything for you till the end of TOB.  That's about it).  What you replaced it with is making the player have to choose between "temptation of power" and "sending a freaking madman chasing after a wife and daughter who are absolutely and justifiably terrified of him and running for their lives".  I doubt she'll be thanking the character from the bottom of her heart for your "help" in putting him back in their destroyed lives!
Do bear in mind when sending him back to the sewers that getting the potion combination right means the same thing's gonna happen as last time... which was, by his own admission, a lot of killing. As such, it's not quite as simple as your "temptation of power" comparison makes out.

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I'd actually say the new option of sending him after his family is -more- evil than having him make the potions, and when I got to the point after you find out there were never any bandits and his being a loon had -nothing- to do with the potions in the first place (he was apparently just chugging one potion after another for no apparent reason!), and his wife and daughter run off screaming, I wasn't exactly conflicted about sending him back into the sewer to finish the potion just to keep him away from them!
If some people see the option of sending him after his family as the better path (as I believe Murdane concluded-- correct me if I'm wrong), while some see it as evil, then I've done my job. Ideally it wouldn't be so obvious to you which was which, so I might see if I can make Jadarath reform a little more obviously before you send him off, but the fact the different interpretations are coming out is quite encouraging.

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My advice:  If you don't like the bit with Miranda and her child trying to find new "daddys" being involved, fine, but put everything else back, including the fact that bandits really -did- break into his home and that's why he chugged all the potions, trying to save his family, and put back the "happy" ending if you decide to give up power and do the right thing.  (I do think the original ending was cute and funny, but again, your call if you don't like it).  Cause as it stands now, I pretty much wanted to slit my wrists after taking the painful step of giving up whatever great reward would come out of the quest just to do the right thing, only to wind up terrifying a poor woman and child half to death and send them running in unadulterated terror.  The ultimate goal is to have fun... and that wasn't fun, not even a little.
I don't buy the line that giving the player a painful decision to make equates to a badly written or unfulfilling finish. Additionally, the bandits line wasn't one that I found particularly believable: when I read it in the original, I immediately thought "Aha, he's lying!" If bandits break into your house and you want to protect your family, the last thing you do is gulp down a ton of potions which are more likely than not to kill you.

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Sorry if any of that comes across as overly harsh... and if you decide that it's going to remain the way it is, I won't say another word.  I just felt it important to give you the straight scoop from my perspective.
Please don't stop arguing on my account. I'm not gonna be offended if you continue to discuss stuff, although I'm unlikely to be inclined to change it purely on the basis that there's no clear-cut good path.

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On the first part, yes.  Actually, to give you the exact sequence of events, I got the "letter of transfer" from Renal in Chapter 3 but didn't give it to Gorch, just went on to Brynnlaw before doing any of it.  In Chapter 6, the messenger asked me to talk to Brega, I said I would but I haven't yet.  Instead I went and gave the letter to Gorch and started doing the quest normally from there.  Works fine until Edwin.
I think this is the same bug that came up in another thread. Try setting "D0Maevar","GLOBAL" to 0.

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I gotta beta test more often.  That had to be the single most hilarious gaming experience of my life.  That was just way too much fun, not just playing it but writing up this report too.
...ah. Uh, yeh. This doesn't appear to be an outstanding moment in my modding career. :)

I think the Shadow Thieves stuff going totally wrong should be fixed. The issue was, as you probably noticed, that the Brega and Mae'Var quests were getting mixed up. I've made them more distinct in the coding now, which should hopefully solve most of the bugs you mention (and create a load of new ones, I expect).

To all testers, I wouldn't waste any more time with the awful Brega stuff, because from the sounds of it, it really is pretty unplayable. If you're all still willing, I'll put up a new beta soon, and I'd appreciate it if you could confirm that it's slightly less of a disaster. :)

Thanks!

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2005, 01:43:42 PM »
Still willing, but will finish my current game (or at least test the rest of the QP stuff) first.

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2005, 05:19:17 PM »
I'm willing as well.  Actually, I'll likely finish my current game first and then play through all the way from the beginning again.

Qwinn

Offline Murdane

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2005, 08:08:20 PM »

If some people see the option of sending him after his family as the better path (as I believe Murdane concluded-- correct me if I'm wrong), while some see it as evil, then I've done my job. Ideally it wouldn't be so obvious to you which was which, so I might see if I can make Jadarath reform a little more obviously before you send him off, but the fact the different interpretations are coming out is quite encouraging.


You're right, Sim. :)  I feel that the PC already does damage simply by taking Jadarath up to see his family, but at that point you don't know he was the bad guy.  When Sidhe is running away from Jadarath in terror, it seems unlikely she'll be willing to make things up with him later, but I figure a chance is probably better than nothing, and Jadarath does seem contrite at the end. 

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2005, 04:13:11 PM »
Sorry that I didn't reply earlier - wasn't able to test/play for a few days.

Setting the D0Maevar global to 0 did in fact fix the issue where Edwin's dialogue was botched.  He did send me on to kill Rayic as he was supposed to.  I was able to get Rayic to give me his ring, which kicked off a "Deceiving Edwin" journal entry, although so far nothing else has come of it.  Edwin just accepted the ring as if I'd killed him and went on as normal with the next step of the Mae'var quest.

Note that each time I went outside, Brega's messenger showed up again and asked me to go see Brega.  Telling him I'd go see him would of course set the D0Maevar variable back to 30, so I had to reset it to 0 at each next step of the Maevar quest.  I'd have to do that once inside a building, of course, since setting it to 0 outside would cause a Brega messenger to immediately spawn.

Anyways, that issue aside, the Mae'var quest proceeded as normal.. for a while.  I bought the documents Edwin wanted, he sends me back to Mae'var, Mae'var wants Embarl dead, I get Embarl's dagger and return it to Mae'var, he sends me back to Edwin, Edwin gives me the key to Mae'var's chest and heads off to the Coronet.  With documents proving Mae'var's treachery in hand, I head off to give Renal the good news... except Renal's not there.  Larell is there now, and he responds to me as if I'd betrayed Renal on Mae'vars orders.

So though setting that variable got me quite a bit further along, I still can't complete the quest.  Is there another variable I can change that will keep Larell from replacing Renal so I can give Renal the documents and complete the quest as normal by killing Mae'var on this playthrough?  Would I have to go back to a point before I asked Aran for his help in the graveyard?  (I ask that last question only cause Six's rendition of his play experience made it sound like that was a factor)

Qwinn
« Last Edit: February 07, 2005, 04:17:15 PM by Qwinn »

Offline Murdane

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2005, 09:08:36 PM »
Just to let you know (Sim told me this), if you want to betray Edwin to Rayic, you actually have to take Edwin into your party and manually bring him to Rayic's house.

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2005, 09:11:49 PM »
*nod*  That makes sense.  And it did occur to me, I just didn't have any room to spare in my party atm.  I was planning on trying that when I had the quest otherwise completed.  Thanks for the info.

EDIT:  Woohoo!  I figured out how to resolve my problem and complete the quest.

The issue was the D0Maevar variable being not-zero when I was walking into Renal's area.  As I noted in my last post, I couldn't make the global variable 0 while I was outside because Brega's messenger would instantly show.  Therefore, I could only change it when I walked into a building.

Well, earlier, I was walking directly into Renal's area (the upstairs portion of the guild) from outside, and changing the variable once I entered.  I started wondering if it was the fact that the variable wasn't set to 0 when the area containing Renal loaded that was causing Renal to get replaced by Larell.  So I tried going in the downstairs entrance, changing the value of the variable to 0 there, and -then- walking upstairs into Renal's area.  And it worked!  Renal's still there.  Woohoo!

EDIT 2:  By going in the downstairs and keeping the variable set to 0 before going upstairs into Renal's area, I was able to fully complete the kill-Mae'var quest.  Everything worked great, although the Mae'var fight seemed pretty easy in Chapter 6 and could probably use some significant beefing up if that was an intention.  Only 3 mobs attacked (including Mae'var and the Priest), the rest of the shadow thieves there remained blue and then pretty much disappeared.

I'm venturing a guess that it was that variable's setting that caused most of the screwy bugs I found trying to do Brega's quest too.  I'm wondering if I've got the reflexes to change it to 0 and get into the guildhall after accepting Brega's quest before the messenger accosts me again... I might try it, just for kicks.

EDIT 3:  Well, I didn't bother changing it before walking in through the main entrance where the guards help you (I'm doubting I could've anyway), opting to just changing it before going downstairs.  It did help somewhat.  I set the D0Maevar global to 0 before going downstairs into Aran's area (the guards in the main entrance still exhibit their obnoxious behavior of blocking the way down, by the way).  It did prevent the infinitely spawning Renal from showing up, which alone eliminates about 90% of the problems I encountered on my way in.  I'm betting that if I played it through, Larell wouldn't show up in the end either.  Still, despite the fact that Brega specifically asks you to "free the prisoners" in the guildhall, Tizzan is the only prisoner (now that Renal's gone) and he still thinks I'm working for Bohdi.  It seems odd that Brega would actively ask me to free a thief that worked for Bohdi himself - I would recommend adding some more prisoners worthy of being freed if that wasn't already part of the plan and we're just not seeing it cause of the bugs.  Siince I don't really expect this to work out in the long run (i.e. I'm betting everyone will still think I work for Bohdi and Brega still won't give any reward), I won't bother continuing unless Sim expresses curiosity as to what'll happen if I finish it that way and tells me to go ahead (or better yet, tells me a specific value to set the variable to other than 0 before going down into the guildhall, if there is indeed a better setting to try).

For the record, here's the way I detected changes in the D0Maevar variable, since I was checking it so often.  Maybe it'll be useful:

1)  When you tell Brega's messenger you'll go see Brega, it gets set to 30
2)  When you talk to Brega and accept his quest, it gets set to 34
3)  When you talk to the guard outside the guildhall and he runs into the guildhall, it gets set to 35

I detected no further changes as far as I went, which was getting the key off the torturer and talking to Tizzan.  If you leave it at 35 when you go down into Aran's level, you will get the infinitely spawning Renal.  If you force it to 0, you don't.

Qwinn
« Last Edit: February 07, 2005, 11:14:45 PM by Qwinn »

Qwinn

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2005, 09:51:17 AM »
Okay, since I'm fully into TOB now, I guess I'm pretty much done with this beta test, so I should wrap things up.

Simding0, as per your last reply:

Regarding the lich in the Underdark:  On points 1), 2) and 3), great  :)  On point #4 (killing the lich), agreed if bringing his essence to the surface is 15k -quest- experience.  If it's all of 15k xp split between 6 party members (less than 3k each), I still think bleah.  In fact, to be honest, I'm very surprised that the lich himself only gives 15k split between all party members - that thing is a lot lot LOT tougher than your average elder orb or ulluthiarid (sp?).  I've already fought Ascencion-level Gromnir and Isalera (sp?) and they were both a great deal easier.  I'm in TOB now fighting common mobs that are infinitely (and objectively) easier and giving more than 15k exp.  I'd think 30k would line him up a lot more with other rewards in game.

As for the potion quest, this was the only point in your reply that I can't just "agree to disagree" on:

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If bandits break into your house and you want to protect your family, the last thing you do is gulp down a ton of potions which are more likely than not to kill you.

Wait a minute - so let me get this straight.  Here's bandits breaking into your house, you simply don't have the capability of fighting them off, you're pretty sure you're about to watch your daughter/wife get killed/raped/etc., and in all likelihood be killed yourself as well even if you do nothing, and "the last thing" you'd try is chugging potions in a last ditch desperate attempt to possibly save everyone involved.  On the other hand, chugging a bunch of potions that would likely get you killed is just fine and totally plausible if you are under no threat whatsoever.  Sorry, I still find the bandit scenario -infinitely- more plausible.  The idea that someone risked a 99.9% chance of death on the off chance that they might get "power" out of it, and this is more plausible than their doing so in a desperate attempt to avert -certain- death, seems very odd to me.

Just to reiterate:  I find the idea that he'd chug the potions in a last ditch effort to save his family to be eminently plausible - in fact, under similar circumstances, I'd almost certainly do the same thing he did.  I find the idea that he took such a staggering risk for a one-in-a-billion chance of getting a beneficial effect from mixing potions with no pressing reason to do so to be implausible in the extreme, regardless of how whacked he is.  Someone that whacked, to the point of trivially suicidal, really... I think any sane wife would've had him committed or fled with her child long before.

Beyond that, honestly, I don't know that I have the energy to argue about this particular quest further.  You seem to be pretty married to the idea of making this a "no good way to resolve this" quest and of making Jadarath a thoroughly despicable character.  I have a hard time believing that someone as thoroughly despicable as your version of the quest makes him out to be could possibly be "redeemed" or even remotely apologetic for his actions over nothing more than a meeting with his ex-family.  I'm of the school of thought that for a story about a person redeeming themselves to be believable, there has to be at least a shred of decency detectable in that person before their sudden "seeing the light", or the redeeming event in question has to be mega-traumatic (like, you know, spending a few months in the Abyss contemplating what you did to get sent there).  The idea that he could be such a monster, and then suddenly "reform" so easily, is even more implausible to me than the initial chugging-multiple-potions-on-a-lark gambit.  So implausible, really, that that's why I feel sending him after them is effectively sentencing them to death, and I don't think making the reformation more "obvious" is going to help that.  Anyways, that's probably my last two cents on the subject unless you feel there's something to what I've just said.

Leftover notes:

1)  For the Moiya quest, I never got anyone to come after me after Celile fled.  Course, I did wind up having to set variables and creating mobs in order to get the quest to happen, so that might've messed it up.  Pretty easy 21k+ gold overall - I hope that fight, when it does come, is pretty tough for that much gold.

2)  Revised Hell Trials - worked great for me.  One nitpicking detail - is it possible to get the dexterity boost from the Fear trial to not remain a permanent-temporary "red" stat boost?  All the original hell trial boosts don't show up as "red" changes to your stats, they're white.  If it's a lot more trouble than it's worth, no big deal, it's just a minor but recurring irritation.

Qwinn
« Last Edit: February 11, 2005, 10:08:32 AM by Qwinn »

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Qwinn's Beta Test
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2005, 07:17:26 AM »
I'd be fighting the bandits as best I could, rather than doing something that was more than likely to kill myself even quicker.
I'm not married to the implementation of Potion Quest-- I just think it provides a more interesting story. And Jadarath isn't a monster, but somebody who made a mistake. Given that it's fairly likely similar "mistakes" are going to be made if he takes the potion again, while he doesn't show any intent of killing anybody while not, uh, under the influence, I don't think it's so clear-cut that sending him back to his lab is the good path.

The lich and Hell Trials things are implemented. You should also now get the Debt Collectors after you even once Celile's fled.

 

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