Thursday, 12 May 2016

RELEASED: The Scroll (The First Day)

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: 04/05/16 

The Scroll has finally been released. You can read more about it and grab the files from here:- http://neverwinterva...2/module/scroll

There are a total of FIVE compressed files containing all the data you will need to install and play (as long as you own NWN2 and both expansions). Please follow the installation instructions carefully, and use the Quickstart Guide (contained within the Information.rar file) to ensure you have installed everything correctly and that the game starts as it should.

NOTE: Regrettably, no MAC beta tester was able to get this module to work on their computer. If you are a MAC user and succeed, then please report back to me so that I can update the instructions advising how other MAC users can install and play the module.

REPORTED ISSUES & PATCHING INFO

I have to recognise that some minor issues will still remain in this final release, and wanted to encourage players to report anything they may find, so that I can address them as required. NOTE: I will update this post with issues found and inform you when they are fixed. However, no patch will be uploaded unless the issue is game-breaking. Therefore, some issues will remain in place until either a ) A game breaking issue is reported, or b ) A significant amount of time has passed allowing all to be reported. At which time, a patch will be uploaded for current players, and the main files updated.

To this end, I will start an "issue" list, detailing the date discovered and what the issue is. When the issue is covered in a patch, it will be struck through.

DATE    ISSUE NOTED

5/5/16 - The wording "Map Pins" is used to describe part of the Main Menu in an opening GUI. This is no longer an appropriate description. (FIXED v1.01)
5/5/16 - The Main PC was not being issued any starting gold. (Other created PCs were OK.) (FIXED v1.01)
7/5/16 - GAME BREAKER: CONTAINER BUG  *** IMPORTANT *** : DO NOT DROP CONTAINERS WITHOUT PATCH!(FIXED v1.01)

PATCHING THE MODULE

LATEST PATCH DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK (CURRENT v1.01) (65 KB): http://neverwinterva...1.rar&nid=22258

Any patch file added as a download is only required if your version of the module is lower than the patch version. i.e. If you are only just downloading the latest version of the module to play now, then you will NOT require any new patch file at this stage, as your download will already contain the latest scripts. However, once installed, it is *VERY IMPORTANT* to make sure your game is always patched to the latest version. Therefore, keep track of the current patch version in case it is higher than your current module version. Note that the hak patch only addresses essential game-breaking bugs, which are mostly campaign ( C ) scripts. Any module ( M ) fixes, considered non-essential, are only updated for the latest module version uploaded. The differences in the module files should be overlooked by the player unless they are prepared to restart The Scroll completely afresh with the latest files, which would not be worth the time already played for the small differences they might make on a restart.

INSTALLATION: Simply download, unpack and replace the existing althea_patch.hak with this latest version before restarting NWN2. The latest version will always include previous patches and be backward compatible.

VERIFICATION: When you reload your latest saved game, the module should welcome you again, and inform you of the latest patch update. This figure can also be found from the Althéa Main Menu ("Rule Information" section).

PATCHING HISTORY

v1.01 - Fixed containers ( C ). Fixed licquor cabinets & light flicker ( M ).

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Beta Testing (Last Entry)

Finally, I have reached the end of my own beta testing. Or rather, I have reached a point where I am satisfied that further beta testing will not be worth the time compared to being able to release the module. This I did yesterday: 4th May 2016 ... or 4, 5, (1)6 ... or as Star Wars fans might say, "May the fourth (be with you)". At least, it's a date I should remember easily enough.

For those interested in playing the completed module, The Scroll (The First Day), then please go to its download link in the side bar below to the left under "My NWN2 Material".

For the sake of completion, I will make this final post on the discoveries I made and the fixes it required. Even at this very last stage of testing, I had to make some "significant" changes, simply due to the code being so messy and inefficient. Read on ...

FIXES

1) Fixed a "placeable item" drop name.
2) Fixed a description update that was not updating when a level item updated.
3) Creature AI: Added a missing variable to encourage a creature to use its spell abilities.
4) Removed "cleric" description from Jagged Tooth scroll.

UPDATES

1) Rewrote the OnAcquire and UnAcquire scripts, which were in a very haphazard state.
2) Rewrote the sbfunctions include script, which had some very inefficient coding.
3) Rewrote the Rune Puzzle GUI to enable players with low resolutions to drag the GUI apart.
4) Redesigned the item required system for crafting. (Previous system could not handle larger loops.)
5) Updated some journal entries to be more informative regarding the quest at hand.
6) Added weapon equipped feedback when PC swapped.
7) Added a mage workbench to an area.

Basically, much of what was required in the last set of coding was rewrites of OLD poorly written code and making other code work more efficiently. I still see this kind of thing scattered around the module, but the good news is that most of the important sections have now been addressed, and any that still needs attention can be addressed as I continue to work through modules 2 and 3, as they are campaign scripts, which will be backward compatible.

I think its time for a lay down.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Beta 9.0 (Part 12)

The time is drawing ever closer to release, and today marks the beginning of the final stages of testing. I believe this may even be my last "beta testing" post entry (ignoring responses to this post), and my next post may be announcing the release of this module in a new "Support" post! It really all depends upon what I find in the next (potentially last) session. Anyway, onto the latest list of finds:-

FIXES

 1) PLOT FEEDBACK - Removed some superfluous feedback regarding plot items.
2) PARTY RALLY - Now ignores henchmen and Main PC that could give erroneous feedback.
3) SECRET COMPARTMENT - Changed default action to use. (Sometimes prevented lock GUI.)
4) CONVERSATIONS - Fixed a couple of typos, an incorrect link and some missing cameras.
5) MASTER MAPPER - Fixed a couple of events where the auto-mapping was not auto-restarting.
6) VFX INSTANCES - Fixed VFX removal where more instances were present than I realised.
7) ANIMAL PRESENT - Fixed a "REMOVE ANIMAL" warning missing from a check.
8) UNDEAD WEAPON - Fixed a missing SLAM attack on some undead creatures.
9) MONSTER POSITION - Fixed/added missing post locations of some creatures.
10) PLACEABLES - Stopped some placeables from disappearing after use (that were not meant to).
11) LOOTING - Prevented some looting on a placeable before the PCs were meant to.
12) COMPANION AI - Removed some AI alterations done on PC swap. (Redundant code of mine?)
13) DEATH ANIMATION - The main PC did not always look dead - Hopefully, this fixed it.
14) JOURNAL ENTRY - Fixed an illogical entry and some XP based upon it.
15) ENCOUNTER TIMING - Removed 0.5 second delay that allowed PCs to move too far.

UPDATES

1) PARTY RALLY - PCs now mainly appear behind the Main PC rather than around it.
2) ANIMAL PRESENT - Added an option to allow an animal to STAY in the area when dismissed.
3) ENCOUNTER - Added an encounter where I felt one was needed.
4) EQUIPPED WEAPON - Altered some feedback when giving player equipped weapon info of PCs.
5) BARBARIAN RAGE - Made "raging cry" more creature generic.
6) DATE FEEDBACK - Added the hour to any date feedback given.
7) JOURNAL ENTRY - Added some extra information in the journal for a quest reminder.

 CURRENT PLAY TIME: 42 hours and 0 minutes.

We Have Come A Long Way!

Friday, 22 April 2016

Beta 9.0 (Part 11)

Another couple of sessions, discovering those pesky bugs ... and testing updates ... See my last post for more details regarding the new Recipe Book system.

FIXES

1) RITUAL BOWLS - An earlier fix introduced duplicated items/tags, preventing work. A nasty one!
2) RITUAL BOWLS - Fixed problematic/intermittent container opening.
3) REST WITH SUMMON - Fixed broken "remnant" portraits of summons after resting.
4) FACTION PAUSE - Fixed a conversation from pausing too soon.
5) COMPANION AI - Fixed spell casting (etal) from ending when switching PCs during turn-based.

UPDATES

1) RECIPE BOOK INFO - Instant information when recipe books hovered over in inventory.
2) FEEDBACK IN COMBAT - Reduced some "normal" feedback while PCs in combat.
3) LIFE ESSENCE USAGE - Removed need for Life Essence use with Enchanter's Satchel.

CURRENT PLAY TIME: 40 hours and 38 minutes.

I'll leave you with a screenshot of my last battle, which turned out much more difficult than I first thought it would be. It required me to make good use of my turn-based system, and careful use of spells and resources. Believe it or not, I lost this battle from this position on the first attempt!
A Tough Battle!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Immediate Crafting Information (Modern Recipes)

Once more I decided to tackle the issue of making crafting as easy as possible for the player. I noticed in my own play testing that simply checking enchanting or crafting requirements from each recipe could be a laborious process ... or at the very least hard to keep track.

The Scroll supports every OC crafting system, but with some heavy improvements to make crafting much simpler. To help differentiate between the various OC systems, I now simply refer to the "ANCIENT" (uses molds and essences) and "MODERN" (uses recipes) systems.

I don't intend to use this post to speak about the various differences between the two systems, but to announce how I have made further improvements to the "MODERN" recipe system.

INTELLIGENT RECIPE BOOKS

The initial improvement I made to this system was to make gathering recipes easier by automatically placing each recipe into its appropriate recipe book for ease of reference. However, I have now taken this automatic help one stage further by having intelligent feedback from each book and its contents.

When a player now hovers their mouse over one of these recipe books, it will give feedback about the recipe pages that are collected within it and whether the party meet the main criteria to use each recipe contained therein. This information is sent to the chat window without the player even needing to open the book if they choose not to.

At a glance, the player will now know what recipes each book contains, and by the colour of the name used, be able to tell if they can immediately use the modern recipe (green font), or need a workbench to complete the task (blue font), or be unable to use it at this time (default font).

Furthermore, additional party information is given with respect to the skills and feats being required/used, the gold the party carries and whether they have an Enchanter's Satchel to use in place of a Magician's Workbench.

If, after all this initial information, the player wants further information (e.g. What exactly are they missing?), then they can simply open the book and read the recipe requirements after clicking on its page. Or ... if they left click on the icon to try to activate the recipe, that will also give detailed feedback about what is missing/required.

Check out these screenshots for further information ....

Enchantment Recipe Book - With New Rune Enchantments!
Weapons Recipe Book - Both Possible If Workbench Found
Alchemy Recipe Book - A Single Page Remains!
Wondrous Items Recipe Book - Many Potentials Await!
Armour Recipe Book - All Used!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Beta 9.0 (Part 10)

Another couple of hours play and another handful of those hard to find bugs (now solved) ... and updates ...

FIXES

1) CONTAINER WEIGHT - Fixed a bug where containers did not show their total weight.
2) RUNE LOCK ATTEMPTS - Fixed "exploit" check. Could be reset with two consecutive rests.
3) TREASURE ITEM DECAY - Fixed a decay time that was decaying much too quickly.
4) LOOT DEAD CREATURES - Made accessing dead creatures more stable. (Added backup.)
5) COMPANION AI - Created PCs had the wrong On Perception script attached.

UPDATES

1) Added "Gather Party" facility to help get around path-finding issues.
2) Added party "Stand Ground" on enemy perceived if "PAUSE ON ENCOUNTER" enabled. (*)

(*) NOTE: Rather than pause immediately on any encounter (with this setting), I found that simply having the PCs "stand their ground" until the creature actually attacked was the better solution. Otherwise, PCs could potentially "pause" the game even before the creature was able to be targeted by the player. The player can still manually pause (before the automatic pause) if they want to, of course.

 CURRENT PLAY TIME: 37 hours and 40 minutes.

To Battle!
And Treasure!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 9)

I genuinely thought that this post was going to be the one when I was going to announce the release of this module. It's that close! However, a few of bugs crept up during play, which would have frustrated me if I had not sorted them again, and so it's not quite there yet. Here is the list of "sneaky" bugs (not easily noticed) that caused me the problem this time:-

1) RESTING - Fixed a bug when resting started from a companion (miscalculating rations).
2) RESTING - Fixed constructs to now ignore the need for rations.
3) ARCAENE SCROLLS - Fixed a missing base item value check. (Were casting at the wrong level.)
4) ENCOUNTER - Fixed some "undead" encounters that were "absent" outside of "TEST MODE".
5) RUNE BAG - Fixed feedback when "activated" by the Main PC. (Required CAST as well as ACTIVATE.)

CURRENT PLAY TIME: 35 hours and 7 minutes.
Into The Unknown