Monday, January 7, 2013

Could someone test the classes?

I haven't had much time to test how the modified classes behave on different levels.

Levels 1-10 would be important for the Demonheart modules. How the classes are supposed to be different than usual is described in the prelude's readme. Does it really work that way, or have I missed something? Bard seems to get 0 spells on each level, but the spell selection still appears. While trying to correct this, I managed to make bard unplayable. Hopefully, that is fixed.

* I should give bards more sneak attack if the player will be able to reach level 8.

I don't know if the classes will work if you just make a character in Demonheart and export it and use it in a leveler module. You can always add the haks to a normal leveler module.

If anyone wants to meddle with this, I'm interested in the results. Else, I guess I'll have to do it all myself. -.-


  1. The classes won't work with modules that doesn't use your hak files, but you can extract the classes.2da from the hak and place it in the override folder to test it. Or, you could give us a loose classes.2da for testing purposes, or even just paste the contents of the file to pastebin.

    1. It's classes.2da and all the files starting with cls_ from the hak dhlamb_top. Not sure where to upload them.

    2. Bayfiles is about as straightforward as it gets.

    3. Otherwise, there's always mediafire. There's countless filehosts out there. Few of them are good, but that doesn't matter when the file size is under 100kb anyway.

    4. I'll get back to it later, have to do things in real life.

  2. Huh. While it is true that rogue's without Weapon Finesse aren't worth the time of day, I have to wonder if you are attempting to balance all the classes equally or not. I mean, WF is my level 3 rogue feat, often level 2 if I take a fighter level then, which I do, for the free feat. The rogue now has a free feat and will be drastically more combat effective in those crucial early levels.

    The bard on the other hand, loses spell casting. The bard is supposed to be a jack of all trades, but is in practice a shitty front line fighter, lacks the two most crucial IMO skills, open locks and disable traps, and has really bad magic. It is a glorified support, since bard song is the only worthwhile feature of the class. And you made it weaker. Still, I think you were considering adding some rogue feats and shit to it though, right? Wouldn't that severely undercut the attractiveness of the rogue class? I know I just ragged on bard pretty hard, but a bard with rogue skills would be way better.

    Also, fighter hate. /cries

    Anyway, enough of my bitching. I am hoping that you get all the classes working how you envisioned them, and that they work well in game. I guess, end of the day, as long as they are fun to play, that's a good thing. I admit to finding pre-level four play in NWN almost intolerable due to your weakness. If you fix that, I'd support you modifications wholeheartedly.

    PS: But that's impossible in 3rd Edition. :p

    1. I think that with the current speed of leveling, your rogue would curse her fate until she reaches level 3 without Weapon Finesse.

      Originally, I wanted to disable bard because it is a spellcaster class. Then I made the first "bard" companion who's actually a rogue with bard songs. When I figured I could disable spellcasting, I allowed bards, mostly so you can imagine your character as a talented musician. At least I like that. Bards will still be weaker than rogues, I think.

      There is a shortage of heavy armors throughout the first chapter. I never liked the idea of a PC who can just beat up her wannabe rapist. And how would they remove her heavy armor?

      If you hate the changes so much, pretend that I only allowed rogues?

    2. Thanks for the reply. As a rogue player, I will of course appreciate having weapon finesse. I know I am critical, but that doesn't mean I hate what I hear, simply that I wonder if it'll work or if some classes will be clearly overpowered. At the end of the day I guess it doesn't matter. I'll play the game and experience it one way. Doesn't matter if someone else has a slightly harder or easier time of it.

      It is interesting to hear there is a shortage of heavy armours and the like. Is this for the early game only, or will it set the tone of the modules? Should be interesting either way, since I roll as more of a hybrid rogue/fighter swapping out my equipment to fit my current needs than one or the other. A lack of fighter equipment might make pure rogue more viable. Conversely, if there is a lack of skill boosting equipment, it might necessitate pure rogue. Are rogue skills utilised in the module? Will I find traps to disarm and locks to pick? Purses to lift?

      Ignore the other classes? An amusing and practical way of addressing balance concerns. :D

  3. A silly qustion if you don't mind, but what classes will we be abel to play? I mean with no magic wis and sor wont be much of an option and druid and cleric not sure how that would work. Ranger would ok but you would have to dissable the pet or?

    If you need help testing I would be be willing to help - but if it will require coding or the toolset I am hopeless with it.

    Worst case you scenerio you could limit class options to only none magic.

    And sorry for my english.

    1. Since you're a commoner without any training that's suddenly tossed into the deep end, you only have 'mundane' class options. More specifically fighter, rogue, and bard without spellcasting.

    2. Monks are people who dedicate their lives to a strict code. It doesn't make sense for a common girl to have monk training. Monks are also notoriously boring in their alignment, much like paladins. Wouldn't fit the setting.

    3. Thank you for explaining it, Denamic. I was tired :)

  4. I've played your Prelude and like it very much! I had no issues with bugs (that I know of or found anyway). Am most certainly looking forward to playing the upcoming chapters once they get released!

    As for the classes, my first opinion from afar is I think NWN does a pretty decent job of balancing the classes. Yes, at higher levels Wizards do become insanely powerful. Clerics can be a bit overpowered too. But generally I don't have too much of an issue with the classes the way there are balanced in NWN. All have their strengths and weaknesses.

    That said, this module has a unique setting. I don't have any problem with the author balancing the classes the way the character story is to unfold and the world that the character will be living in. As has been mentioned above, some classes make sense and others simply don't for this character.

    And I'll try with other classes if I have some time in the upcoming days.

  5. found a minor bug in the prelude. loading the auto-save just puts me in the cell and doesnt progress the story further.
    (only tried this once, uncertain if it was a one time thing)

  6. Everything went smoothly for me, no bugs, no problems. I love the prelude. Keep up the good work!
    Speaking of which, Lamb, in your bio on the vault you wrote "Things I'm looking forward to finding are mystery and romance modules - but more on the dark side. Oh, and madmen, must not forget the madmen (...)I am glad to have discovered several such modules. There are some more that I need to play, but their gameplay length scares me". As I love this kind of modules too, can you maybe point me to some titles I may not be aware of? Of course, I've played ADWR a bunch of times already;)

    1. I can't think of any module I've played with romances like those in ADWR.

      For non-romance, Excrucio Eternum - darkness, madmen and mystery (it's well known, you might have played it). I want to try the HeX Coda from the same author, which has romances, I think, but it's longer and unfinished.

      Black Thorn for mystery solving. I got annoyed with some scenarios, but I had to play them all. :D

  7. Note: I had to divide the post in two because it was too large: the first part is about general comments, the second one is about the class balance.

    Sure am glad I decided to check the vault after so many months to find this gem. While small, the module left my hyped as all for the next part, keep up the good work!
    About the classes, first I would like to say this: I know that you want to discourage players from choosing a fighter, but unless there are at least a few times where someone playing the class will say: “I sure am glad I picked a fighter, a roguish approach to the situation would have required me to sacrifice something important/would have lead to a worse outcome and a bard wouldn’t have been able to beat this fight!”, then I would consider simply dropping the fighter completely. After all, what would be the point of a fighter then: playing in hard mode (2 vs 6/8 skills)? Personally, I can live with either choice, but in the latter case having a class that is good for nothing will likely only lead to the few who pick it becoming disappointed.

    Well, that took a while, hope it is of some use to you.
    As for the module itself, the only suggestions I have to offer is that it makes little sense to get evil points for killing the guard. From the point of view of my good character, I couldn’t be sure if the woman in the cell was innocent or not – in the barracks this is hinted at, but no definite answer is given and she refuses to talk to me whether I talk to the demon or not or whether I accept his task or not– so it made little sense to just release her, but her captor is a vile man that makes her life in prison even more unbearable, and no one deserves that fate. So it came to either killing the man or letting her suffer the rest of her life: it might not be a good act, but it is certainly no worse than doing nothing.
    It would also be great if we got some dialogue from the other prisoners or some information about them. I know this would take additional time for writing and in no way makes or breaks the prison part, but I felt it would be great if it was a bit more fleshed out, especially as it is likely an important location for the main character!
    And that is all I can think of. Again, thank you for this wonderful teaser, and best of luck for the rest!

    1. Class Balance Related Stuff

      Assuming, then, that there is a point in picking a more combat-oriented character (although I am sure no one expects combat to be the solution to everything even then, only another option in some cases), bard, at the moment, completely outshines the fighter, the rogue having a place simply by virtue of having more skills (although he still far less versatile than the bard). By level 10, the fighter has an advantage in 3 to attack, 2 to damage and 40 hp. The bard song, by itself, and even assuming there is only one party member, gives the player 2 to attack, 2 to damage and 8 hp, while the tumble skill gives the bard 2 extra to defense. Better saving throws may or may not be a factor depending on the enemies faced, but bard also wins in that department. Once you factor in sneak attacks and the curse song, then it becomes easy to see how the fighter only has the advantage of having more hp to survive 1,2 extra attacks – which isn’t very relevant due to the player’s regeneration. The Fighter does have the advantage of having extra feats, but while this makes a difference early in the game, later on it provides a barely tangible advantage, especially in comparison to the lack of versatility out of combat the fighter will have.
      To have a solid combat, you need heavy armour proficiency (the fighter no longer has that advantage) and expertise (to get the most of your regeneration), after that you get less important feats: dodge and weapon focus. A Bard can have all this by level 5. The other feats the fighter might have: knockdown and improved knockdown, cleave, blind fight and power attack are very situational (unless enemies consistently have low defense and discipline) and certainly are no match for the aforementioned sneak attack and curse song (as previously discussed, the bard song is by itself enough to nullify the native class advantages). Only at level 8 would the poor fighter receive a truly good ability: improved critical, making him more or less as strong (not stronger) as the bard… while still remaining worse at everything else!

      End of Boring Stuff

    2. While allowing fighters increases the amount of work for me role-playing-wise (I have to think that not everyone can pick locks and so on), part of me likes the possibility of the demonheart girl being just a ruthless fighter. I just don't want her to be monstrously strong, as that ruins the image of femininity for me (am I a female chauvinist? :D).

      She can still spend a feat to take heavy armor and I'm planning an opportunity to acquire one in Chapter 2, though I'm not sure if it will only be possible for an evil character or if the armor will actually be medium. So much for that.

      I always have doubts about alignment shifts. Maybe there shouldn't be a shift to evil for killing Bold. I can't guess the player's intention. I usually imagined the girl killing him out of revenge. She could also do it to save the other girl, but that's kind of difficult to guess. Maybe:
      (0) kill Bold if girl is alive -> no evil
      (1) kill Bold if girl is dead -> 1 evil
      (2) kill girl while Bold is alive -> 2 evil
      (3) kill girl if Bold is dead -> 3 evil because you didn't get 1 for killing him and you obviously weren't doing it to save her

      I would like to spend more time thinking about heart-eating schemes, so I was in a hurry to get the prelude over with, so the prisoners aren't developed and there's no mingling with commoners or exploring the city.

      What happens if I give the fighter more skill points? More chaos, probably :D

    3. Well, it's done, and I gave fighters 4 base skill points, so they can at least take some persuasion, if not listen and spot.