Monday, December 21, 2015

Long overdue update

It's scary how fast time flies considering it's been like four months now since my last post. I do apologize for the lack of communication but this always ended up losing when it came to prioritizing the crazy whirlwind of stuff going on. Not being tied to a server unfortunately made it even easier to put off. I won't bore you with the reasons but I am slowly trying to finish the 1.46 update (more on that in a bit). I'll try to catch up and reply to the comments I've read over the last two updates since they have stacked up a bit.

I've been off the staff of Dalelands since July and they haven't wanted any updates nor have I heard of any. I still log in every now and then when someone PMs me a question in order to answer it. Like any server with my stuff, they have complete permission to change or not change whatever they want. I consider the whole Dalelands subject closed as I can't see going back at this point (and not for negative reasons, simply their way of doing things isn't compatible with what I would like for doing content) so hopefully folks won't keep emailing about it (I get one every few weeks lol).

As far as Baldur's Gate - the whole thing was years and years ago and today I simply don't care. No grudge is worth carrying and I buried that hatchet years ago frankly (when I cleaned up the Nexus and Vault which was 2-3 years ago?).

Once I release a version with the source code they are free to use it (or not) at their discretion. The source code won't come with any caveats on who or what is allowed. One of items on the checklist for releasing the 1.46 update is to clear out all of the incomplete/unused descriptions from the TLK file. No chance of problems! If they wanted to use the content and ask me questions, I'd answer just like I will with any other server.

Speaking of - Realms of Trinity is waiting on the 1.46 update and I know that Realms of Darkness is looking at a re-launch and would like the source code as well. So that's two servers that are looking forward to future content and each will decide which pieces they intend to use from the set.

Which brings us to the topic of the source code. Removing the DB only source code and separating out the HyperV approved code has turned out to be a much nastier problem than I expected. It's simply the volume of files that I have to go through which is extremely tedious and time consuming. I'm also running into the problem of having a creature model hak that works for single player in order to make the Beastmaster work.

I'm working to clean out the unused descriptions (which are legion LOL) as well as add a lot more cmi_options to turn off the MP only decisions (since SP players don't care about exploits) which will hopefully restore compatibility with TonyK's AI. All of this is a lot of work!

What is likely to happen is that I will release a 1.46 update that has no Beastmaster and no source code. That way those wanting to play the game with the pack will be able to do so without much more of a delay. The 1.46.1 update will include the Beastmaster (and a separate download for an override set of creature models) and the cleaned up source code. Once I get closer to release I'll give an estimated release date but for now (and with the holidays) I feel its best to simply not give a date that I'll likely miss.

I have never and I will never take any payment for the work I've done on NWN2. It's always been in a grey area due to licensing (making money of WoTC content can get you sued or slapped with a C&D) and because of that and my job I simply don't want to deal with it. IF I were to ever be the one running a server then any funds allowed would be simply for the cost of the hardware/server rental. Frankly, I'd rather eat that out of my pocket as an entertainment expense in order to keep that clear separation of finances in place. Especially in todays day and age. :(

Combined packs have never and will never be supported by me. It's a risk when someone mashes two things together and hopes it all works out. That's just not something I have the time to chase down or even remotely want to deal with when time is such a precious commodity.

This past weekend was a free trial of Sword Coast Legends which I spent 4-5 hours trying out to see if it was any good. It was ok. It definitely showed the upsides and the downsides of a timer based skill system instead of having uses per day. It was kind of a hybrid between Dragon Age and D&D (which hewing closer to Dragon Age frankly). I realize with a max of 4 characters this will never be a replacement for NWN1/2 but it seems to be fine for doing specific stories for single player.

Maybe if they really do support it will enough over the next year or two that I'll try my hand at that single player story I've had in the back of my mind the last decade. I'd love to mod a campaign to tell that story but lack of time is and always will be the killer. Especially since it seems to have a very small community so it's probably not worth the time investment. Maybe I should just write short stories. LOL

The other thing of note I want to mention before I finish with this late lunch is that I was looking into kicking off a new NWN2 server set in the Moonshaes but that has essentially failed. We were unable to find any area builders so the whole thing was never going to get off the ground. I'm not sure there is even enough interest in a new server to spend the time on it if we did have builders. LOL.

The plans were to essentially drop a nuke on my pack and strip out of ton of the useless and OP stuff and try to generate a set of baseline classes that are open to RP in many different ways. Instead of PrCs for RP you simply go the epithet/guild route. Eh, enough of that, it's all a pipe dream!

That lack of interest will likely extend to future updates past the 1.46 series as well. I'm not sure there is enough interest between servers and the handful of single player users to justify the time I could probably spend on watching some TV shows I've put off for years. No decisions one way or the other yet, I play to get through 1.46 and see how that shakes out before making any real choices.

Thanks again for the interest you folks have (and have shown) and I wish you happy holidays (and a Merry Christmas)!