Author Topic: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests  (Read 19580 times)

Offline icelus

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Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« on: March 24, 2008, 10:05:24 PM »
No, I'm not "back," just inspired to help get the ball rolling.  :)

I've been in the process of pruning this forum somewhat.  Nothing's been deleted, but simply moved or merged into archived threads.  If you posted some random thought way back when that you're very partial to, don't worry, it's around here somewhere.  I'll probably continue cleaning up the threads over the next few days/weeks.

I am also not blind to all of the reports of broken components and compatibility-breaking issues that have popped up both here and on other boards.  While new content is always great, I think it's important that these more urgent issues be addressed as soon as possible, so I'd like to try and list the most pressing issues.

Some of these things I can somewhat easily pluck from the various threads here in this forum, but if there are any issues any of you know off right offhand, please post them here. 

NB:  I'm looking for bugs and compatibility issues, *not* requests for new content.  Feel free to post those in separate threads.
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Offline jcompton

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 11:08:07 PM »
Our esteemed colleagues at BWL held an hourlong seminar, complete with Powerpoint presentation and complimentary Vitaminwater and Powerbars*, explaining that UB seems to patch-rename the Crooked Crane's script, which has made a lot of people unhappy and, at least according to them, serves no purpose except some sort of cosmetic fix because the scriptname and the ARxxxx didn't match.

Seminar may be found here, but the upshot is that they think you should be doing

EXTEND_TOP    ~AR0004.bcs~ ~ub/crane/AR0021.BAF~

instead of

EXTEND_TOP    ~AR0021.bcs~ ~ub/crane/AR0021.BAF~
COPY_EXISTING ~ar0021.are~ ~override/ar0021.are~  /* Associates correct area script */
WRITE_ASCII   ~0x94~       ~AR0021~               /* Corrected Crooked Crane, Level One */

I have not extensively researched the matter, but if they're right, then it certainly seems like a change worth making. In my slightly mangled build I don't see that either AR0021.BCS or AR0004.BCS even exist in the core game to begin with--which is presumably why you felt safe in the first place renaming it, but on the other hand is doubtless why later modders felt perfectly safe using the confusing-but-not-otherwise-invalid AR0004.BCS .

* I am exaggerating, but by less than you think.
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Offline devSin

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 01:24:25 AM »
Really? I think you're being rather conservative.

Quote
serves no purpose except some sort of cosmetic fix because the scriptname and the ARxxxx didn't match.
Since they actually create the script, I'm sure there's a purpose to it. "Cosmetic" was probably some slight on the fixpack, but I can't read all the way through that filth without breaking down.

Quote
EXTEND_TOP    ~AR0004.bcs~ ~ub/crane/AR0021.BAF~
Not necessarily a change worth making, but there's nothing wrong with it and it might buy a few moments of silence. At the very least, somebody needs to add a #8 to that WRITE_ASCII action.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 01:29:09 AM by devSin »

Offline DavidW

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 05:23:01 AM »
Two things I've seen recently:

1) this may not be a bug, but is Bodhi intended to join in the fight personally when she's playing cat-and-mouse in Spellhold? She seems to do some of the time in my game, and to break off only when there are no other enemies around. This leads to problems in particular if someone in the party is Dominated, because they count as "enemy".

2) the fix for Glaicas (line 1110) breaks if it's installed on top of Fixpack's similar fix - you end up with a double substitution and WEIDU failing to compile

ActionOverride("kpglai01",ActionOverride("kpglai01",ApplySpell("kpglai01",FORCE_DISPEL_MAGIC)))

and another similar line. IIRC the fixpack fix is slightly differently written and is compatible with itself, so you could just borrow that one.

Offline CamDawg

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 07:20:32 AM »
2) the fix for Glaicas (line 1110) breaks if it's installed on top of Fixpack's similar fix - you end up with a double substitution and WEIDU failing to compile
This was fixed in Fixpack v6. The problem was that both were originally using the same code, which caused the double AO; I changed Fixpack's so that UB's replace will no longer match.
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Offline SimDing0

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 07:31:49 AM »
Uh. Does nobody else think that having area names and scripts matching is actually a fairly good idea? It makes a helluva lot more sense for the BWL people to apply the same patch to change it to AR0021, and it's not like it'd take more than ten seconds.

Bodhi is meant to join the fight sometimes, but the domination thing is obviously a bug and needs an additional check.

Offline DavidW

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 07:36:46 AM »
2) the fix for Glaicas (line 1110) breaks if it's installed on top of Fixpack's similar fix - you end up with a double substitution and WEIDU failing to compile
This was fixed in Fixpack v6. The problem was that both were originally using the same code, which caused the double AO; I changed Fixpack's so that UB's replace will no longer match.

Cool, sorry - I've been using v4 (I started a playthrough before the last round of releases).

Offline DavidW

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 07:41:08 AM »
Uh. Does nobody else think that having area names and scripts matching is actually a fairly good idea? It makes a helluva lot more sense for the BWL people to apply the same patch to change it to AR0021, and it's not like it'd take more than ten seconds.

Well, in their defence, if Random Modder X looks at a clean install of BG2 and sees that the area script for ar0021.are is ar0004.bcs, they can be forgiven for just thinking "hmm, odd convention" and running with the original choice rather than updating. I actually got caught by the same problem briefly in a prerelease version of SCSII before I remembered the UB change.

Obviously the Original Sin is with the developers for doing something so random in the first place!

Offline Kulyok

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2008, 07:52:47 AM »
Quote
Uh. Does nobody else think that having area names and scripts matching is actually a fairly good idea? It makes a helluva lot more sense for the BWL people to apply the same patch to change it to AR0021, and it's not like it'd take more than ten seconds.

It's pretty damn annoying to be forced to do the same job twice, I say - and with UB change in place, we have to: it's either appending AR0004 and AR0021 both, declaring a technical incompatibility with UB(or a mod that uses AR0004), or avoiding this game area entirely. I had to say "no" to using the Crooked Crane in Angelo, Assassinations and my IM submission precisely because of that reason, which was a hindrance. (Yeah, yeah, IM is supposed to be installed on a clean slate, but you know how it is).

Offline DavidW

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2008, 08:14:27 AM »
Elegant solution:

Code: [Select]
DEFINE_ACTION_MACRO ~append_area_script_bottom~ BEGIN
     COPY_EXISTING ~%areafile%.ARE~ ~override~
          READ_ASCII 0x94 ~oldscript~
          PATCH_IF ~%oldscript%~ STRING_EQUAL_CASE ~None~ OR ~%oldscript%~ STRING_EQUAL_CASE ~~ THEN BEGIN
                SPRINT ~areascript~ ~%SOURCE_RES%~
                WRITE_EVALUATED_ASCII 0x94 ~%areascript%~
          END ELSE BEGIN
                SPRINT ~areascript~ ~%oldscript%~
          END
     BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

     ACTION_IF FILE_EXISTS_IN_GAME ~%areascript%.BCS~ THEN BEGIN
             EXTEND_BOTTOM ~%areascript%.BCS~ ~%extension%.BAF~
     END ELSE BEGIN
             COPY ~%extension%.BAF~ ~override/%areascript%.BAF~
             COMPILE ~override/%areascript%.BAF~
     END

END

OUTER_SPRINT ~extension~ ~MyMod/CrookedCrane~
OUTER_SPRINT ~areascript~ ~ar0021~
LAUNCH_ACTION_MACRO ~append_area_script_bottom~



If this kind of ambiguity was more widespread I'd do this whenever I patched an area script; as it is, it's probably overkill and it's easiest to do

Code: [Select]
COPY_EXISTING ~ar0021.are~ ~override~
   READ_ASCII 0x94 ~script~
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

ACTION_IF FILE_EXISTS_IN_GAME ~%script%.BCS~ THEN BEGIN
   EXTEND_BOTTOM ~%script%.bcs~ ~MyMod/CrookedCrane.baf~
END ELSE BEGIN
   COPY ~MyMod/CrookedCrane.baf~ ~override/%script%.baf~
   COMPILE ~override/%script%.baf~
END
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 08:19:09 AM by DavidW »

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2008, 08:17:18 AM »
It's pretty damn annoying to be forced to do the same job twice, I say - and with UB change in place, we have to: it's either appending AR0004 and AR0021 both, declaring a technical incompatibility with UB(or a mod that uses AR0004), or avoiding this game area entirely.
Whoa. Have you been talking to Baronius? :) Either just WRITE_ASCII ~0x94~ ~AR0021~ in your own mod and go about your business, or append to both scripts which is utterly harmless. Mr. W makes a valid point that any modder who's used AR0004 is left high and dry if you WRITE_ASCII, but I really find it pretty weird that anyone would do that since I wouldn't even give it two thoughts before correcting the script reference myself, but whatever. Everyone knows my coding is one massive hack.

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2008, 08:19:40 AM »
Incidentally, in my eyes the optimum solution is for a fixpack to correct this and everybody to base their work for that. (You guys have it so easy. The days of updating mods to work with ToB or the official patch--they were fun! Especially sans-WeiDU when making TDD-ToB took about two years. Suk.)

On which note, I propose we bring back the Stripdowns.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 08:24:50 AM by SimDing0 »

Offline icelus

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 09:24:27 AM »
About the Crooked Crane:
at least according to them, serves no purpose except some sort of cosmetic fix because the scriptname and the ARxxxx didn't match.
Well, no, there is added content with the adjustments made by UB, but probably just not the kind that's approved of by one and all.
Uh. Does nobody else think that having area names and scripts matching is actually a fairly good idea?
IIRC, that's exactly the reason I did it.  It does just seem to make more sense, and appeases my anal-retentive nature at the same time.  That being said, the developers obviously did not share my handicap, so if this is a change that can be made that will bring a fair amount, albeit temporary, of peace, then it probably wouldn't hurt to just do it.

My coding skills have never been anything much above passable, so if everyone agrees with DavidW's code above, it'd be an easy fix.
Incidentally, in my eyes the optimum solution is for a fixpack to correct this and everybody to base their work for that.

I don't have any problems with this, per se, but won't it just bring about another round of OMG NOT A FIX insults being thrown at the Fixpack?
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Offline icelus

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 09:25:16 AM »
About Glaicas:
2) the fix for Glaicas (line 1110) breaks if it's installed on top of Fixpack's similar fix - you end up with a double substitution and WEIDU failing to compile
This was fixed in Fixpack v6. The problem was that both were originally using the same code, which caused the double AO; I changed Fixpack's so that UB's replace will no longer match.

It's such a minor component that I think it can be removed from UB altogether. 
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Offline jcompton

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 10:39:12 AM »
Well, no, there is added content with the adjustments made by UB, but probably just not the kind that's approved of by one and all.

I meant that the ARE patch was nothing other than cosmetic. Which in fact seems to be the case.

The easiest move is to simply extend the default script.

The safest move is to use Crazy TP2 Ninjery to always patch the associated script, whatever-that-happens-to-be-at-the-time.
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Offline devSin

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 12:47:17 PM »
The safest move is to use Crazy TP2 Ninjery to always patch the associated script, whatever-that-happens-to-be-at-the-time.
So UB should guard itself against cases where the "interface" has been cosmetically modified but avoid cosmetic modifications? Why the hell can't BWL just do that and spare us the lecture? What makes them so special that they can just shift responsibility to the people they already hate?

Because BioWare decided to change a single character (from whatever ARE this was copied from) instead of clearing the field doesn't magically have using AR0004 make sense. You wouldn't create None.bcs if somebody had written "None" in that field, would you?

@Kulyok - You can't always assume that you're the only fish in the sea. I guess it's not "pretty damn annoying" when you don't know about the changes other mods make and can just believe that things will always look the same as on your local install?
Code: [Select]
COPY_EXISTING AR0021.ARE OVERRIDE
  READ_ASCII 0x94 script
  PATCH_IF (("%script%" STRING_COMPARE_CASE "") || ("%script%" STRING_COMPARE_CASE None)) BEGIN
    INNER_ACTION BEGIN
      EXTEND_BOTTOM "%script%.bcs" "my/script.baf"
    END
  END ELSE BEGIN
    WRITE_ASCIIT 0x94 AR0021
    INNER_ACTION BEGIN
      EXTEND_BOTTOM AR0021.BCS "my/script.baf"
    END
  END
BUT_ONLY_IF_IT_CHANGES

Offline Kulyok

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 12:53:23 PM »
I strongly believe in ignoring other modders and making my mods incompatible on purpose, yes. For example, Tiax breaks about sixteen total conversions, not to mention all CamDawg's mods. As for the changes other mods make, I just overwrite them. Keep an eye on that Audio folder: there is always a spare dialog.tlk there. In Russian.

Offline devSin

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2008, 01:33:45 PM »
I strongly believe in ignoring other modders and making my mods incompatible on purpose, yes. For example, Tiax breaks about sixteen total conversions, not to mention all CamDawg's mods. As for the changes other mods make, I just overwrite them. Keep an eye on that Audio folder: there is always a spare dialog.tlk there. In Russian.
I knew it!

I didn't want to single you out, but it was the easiest way to point out that somebody making changes is not that big a deal (dependencies and interfaces and contingencies and whatever-he-comes-up-with-next be damned!). I agree that it's not the best solution at the point where it discourages you from creating what you want, but there's a certain point where somebody is going to have to do it anyway (you can't know all the mods a player might install, so you can't know everything to avoid). With that, why not just do it yourself and get back to modding (and there's already two posts here with working code that makes this a non-issue, so not knowing the exact code to workaround the case where it could AR0021 instead of AR0004 isn't really an excuse)?

Offline jcompton

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2008, 02:09:43 PM »
The safest move is to use Crazy TP2 Ninjery to always patch the associated script, whatever-that-happens-to-be-at-the-time.
So UB should guard itself against cases where the "interface" has been cosmetically modified but avoid cosmetic modifications?

I wouldn't normally, but since this has apparently mushroomed into a non-trivial problem for people (with some, rather than making a big deal out of it, simply avoiding using a Crane script at all), and apparently with multiple workarounds in the wild, it might just prove, as I said, safest.

Quote
Why the hell can't BWL just do that and spare us the lecture? What makes them so special that they can just shift responsibility to the people they already hate?

Because BioWare decided to change a single character (from whatever ARE this was copied from) instead of clearing the field doesn't magically have using AR0004 make sense. You wouldn't create None.bcs if somebody had written "None" in that field, would you?

No, but "None.BCS" makes less sense than "we were off by a few numbers but neither script exists anyway, so what's the harm in using what's already defined?"

Maybe it's the free Powerbar talking, but I actually do think they have a valid point here and that the "responsibility" lies with UB for having changed the ARE in the first place when it seems that it wasn't really necessary to do so.
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Offline icelus

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2008, 07:40:58 AM »
Right, so, the three major bugs seem to be the invincible trolls in the Minsc/Boo quest, redundancy with the BG2 Fixpack re: Glaicas, and deciding what to do about the Crooked Crane.

If there are no other super-urgent issues, I'll somehow see about folding these into a v17, along with any of the things done by Andyr and Salk in the old v16 beta.
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Offline berelinde

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2008, 09:34:41 AM »
You know, it occurs to me that you don't have to use the script of the Crooked Crane itself for creature spawns, in any case. You can't get to the Crooked Crane without going to the City Gates first. You can spawn the creature there, and move it via creature script. That's what I had to do for the IM10 entry, since I wasn't sure that the inns all had area scripts without the fixpack.

Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2008, 01:32:35 PM »
Right, so, the three major bugs seem to be the invincible trolls in the Minsc/Boo quest,
Smethy sending the party to the Druid Grove at all.

Offline icelus

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2008, 02:23:11 PM »
Right, so, the three major bugs seem to be the invincible trolls in the Minsc/Boo quest,
Smethy sending the party to the Druid Grove at all.

OK, I'll admit that I haven't looked at the code for the Minsc quest for several versions.  The last time I played it,










OMG SPOILERS















Boo gets taken, you find the kid, go to the pet store, go to the Government district, get Boo back.  The whole Druid Grove stuff is new to me.  Can anyone outline what happens and discuss what the issues/concerns are?
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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2008, 02:26:38 PM »
Would you consider putting the v17 .tp2 up for public scrutiny before you do a final upload of the mod? There's kind of a lot of minor-ish changes that want making while this springtime flourish of activity lasts.

Offline icelus

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Re: Spring Cleaning and Urgent Requests
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2008, 02:30:19 PM »
Absolutely.  If you can see about remembering your password, I'll see about getting you workroom access.  :)
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