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Thread: Anomalies, Discrepancies, and outright Bugs

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    Anomalies, Discrepancies, and outright Bugs

    I'm trying to fix some bugs and improve some balance issues. I think I have a fairly comprehensive list of anomalies, discrepancies, and outright bugs, but I may have missed some.
    If anyone has noticed anything that I missed, please add it to the list. Some of these things may not need to be fixed, and some may not be fixable, but the first step is identifying them.

    Balance issues


    • The Fusion Cannon is badly unbalanced. I'm not sure what to do with this yet. Energy weapons just aren't especially useful that late in the game. If it did a little Incendiary damage in addition to Energy, and was available earlier, it might be a lot better.
    • The Laser Rapier is a little weak.
    • The Assault Rifle and Pistol are a little too powerful.
    • The Annelid Launcher is much too expensive for its limited usefulness.
    • The Viral Proliferator is pretty weak for something so hard to use. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it, though.
    • Repair skill is virtually useless, due to the abundance of Auto-Repair Units scattered throughout both ships and the relative scarcity of broken things. Making Repair cheaper to learn and removing many of the Auto-Repair Units (on higher Difficulty) may not be enough. I may also break a bunch of (non-critical) things just to have something to use it on.
    • Modify skill is unnecessary, for much the same reason as Repair. There are six or seven French-Epstein Devices in the game (depending on Difficulty level), which is all you need if you can either keep the modified weapons from breaking or repair them (with your extra Auto-Repair Units). More of those F.E.D.s should be Difficulty-dependent.

    Game System anomalies


    • Disruption Grenades don't get damage bonuses, but with full damage bonuses, they would take out a Rumbler with one hit. I'm planning to give them the damage bonuses, but make fewer of them available on higher Difficulty levels.
    • Those grenades that do get damage bonuses get more than other weapons. Grenade Launcher Modification 1 doubles grenade damage (200%), and level 2 is 228%. Other weapons are all 110% and 125%. Grenades do 35% more damage for Sharp Shooter instead of 15%. These are anomalies, but I don't think these need to be fixed. The only way I can think of to fix them would be to disable all damage bonuses for grenades.
    • Fusion Cannon, EMP Rifle, and Viral Proliferator shots also do not get damage bonuses. These can be fixed without much worry about making them too powerful, since Fusion Cannon and Viral Proliferator are currently underpowered, and EMP Rifles would only get bonuses for Sharp-Shooter and Modification anyway, not Research or Skill.
    • Laser Pistol Modification 2 says "Decreases energy consumption 50%" but it actually decreases energy consumption by only 33%. I don't know how to change the Modification script, but I can change the text.
    • Similarly, EMP Rifle Modification 1 says "Increases energy storage capacity and shot speed." but only the clip size is actually changed. It's Modification 2 that increases the shot speed. Both texts should be changed.
    • Stasis Field Generator Modification 1 says "Increases shot speed by 50%" but it actually doubles the shot speed. As with the other Modification effects, I can change the text to accurately represent the actual effects.
    • Occasionally dead monsters drop their claws, spikes, or lead pipes, which are invisible but detectable by psionic Remote Pattern Detection, even after the corpse fades.
    • Cyber-Upgrade Modules are immune to Kinetic Redirection. Setting "Psi/NotPullable" to FALSE does not change this.
    • Recycling an implant while using it does not deactivate it - you keep the bonus until you slot another of that implant and it powers down or you remove it normally. Definitely broken, but nothing I can do about it.
    • You can use certain skills (Maintenance) at the Upgrade Unit and then Undo and get your Upgrade Modules back. Definitely broken, but nothing I can do about it.
    • It always bothered me that when you take a Broken Shotgun from a Hybrid, the corpse still has a Shotgun in its hands, so after you pop out your single Rifled Slug and drop it, it looks like there are now two Shotguns.
    • I find it similarly annoying that I can't put anything back into a container, but there's nothing I can do about that.
    • All weapons take up the same amount of inventory space, three vertical slots, despite the fact that their models are very different sizes. Pistols, Laser Pistols, and Psi Amps in particular should be smaller, but reducing the inventory space those take up would cause you to drop stuff when you switch from using a large weapon to using a smaller one and the larger weapon gets thrown into your already full inventory. Besides, if we start making some weapons smaller, we'll have to make other weapons bigger and rebalance them to take inventory space into consideration. Better to leave this one alone I think.

    Med/Sci


    • There's an invisible Med Hypo in the upstairs Cryo area, next to the debris on the lower floor. It should be put inside something, made visible, or deleted.
    • A hidden Pistol on the ledge across from the walkway in the Crew Sector looks "Modified" but isn't.
    • Listing the objects in medsci2.mis shows 3 Pistols, but there are only two. The third is actually the flashing light in the right tube in the irradiated ICU. Definitely qualifies as "anomaly", but there's no reason to actually fix it, since it can't possibly be noticed without the editor.
    • The Shotgun near the corpse behind the Machinery on the upper level of the storage room across from Watts' quarters, in addition to being the first working Shotgun, is unbreakable and has reduced recoil!
    • The Assault Rifle and EMP Rifle in the Med/Sci Armory are also unbreakable! The Assault Rifle also has no recoil at all for Single Shots and reduced recoil for Full Auto. This is what makes it worth your while to go all the way back to Med/Sci once you get the access code on Ops. Of course, if you just happen to remember the code from the last time you played, all you have to do is bring these with you and remember which ones they are. These "magic" weapons are completely indistinguishable from "normal" ones without using editor, wasting some ammo to test their recoil, or firing the normal one until it breaks.

    Engineering


    • The first four Pistols you find on Engineering (in open storage locker, across from Aux. Storage 4, under Fluidics Control shaft, and just before Slug Turret) all have reduced recoil. If I knew anything about making new models and textures, I'd suggest making these Pistols actually look different. Then I could make them require Standard Weapons skill 2, give them some different text, and they'd be a whole different weapon. The same could be done with certain other special weapons. (Similarly, some of the Wrenches could be shaped like Lead Pipes, just for variety, and nostalgia.)
    • The broken Shotgun outside Fluidics Control looks "Modified" but isn't.
    • There's an invisible Rifled Slug Box near the corpses outside the Xerxes core. It should be on a corpse or deleted.
    • What is up with the Shotgun Hybrid (#850) with the Pellet Shot Box (#817) in that disconnected room? Under what circumstances does he ever come out and hand over the bullets?
    • There's in invisible Small AP Clip near the corpse between Grav Shafts. It should be on the corpse or deleted.
    • The Cargo Bays have several really cool little niches that would be great to hide things in, but there's nothing there. I really want to hide some extra Goodies in Cargo Bay 1A East 2nd floor, Cargo Bay 1B center, and Cargo Bay 2B West 2nd floor. Maybe I'll throw in another Small AP Clip, a Maintenance Tool, and a pile of Nanites on "Easy" difficulty and make something less useful or nothing at all appear on harder difficulties.

    Hydroponics


    • More than half the breakable weapons on this deck are already broken, and there are no "special" weapons. Nothing wrong with that, but worth noting.
    • Shotgun Sam (OG-Shotgun #801) walks through the broken Biological Survey Lab door.
    • There are five vials of Toxin-A and you only need four. After using four, the fifth can crash the game back to Windows. The only reason to have more than four would be in a Multiplayer game, when a player who isn't currently in the game might have one of them. Made one of the two in the Biological Survey Lab only exist in Multiplayer games.
    • There's an inaccessible Laser Rapier under the floor next to the Environmental Regulator on Hydroponics D.

    Operations


    • One of the logs says that Crystal Shards are "fragile" but like all melee weapons, they are actually unbreakable. I'd personally like to see breakable Crystal Shards and upgradable Laser Rapiers, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can do about either one.
    • None of the Lockers in the bunkrooms are actually locked. Going to try to turn some of them into locker-shaped Security Crates. I'll have to throw in some more Nanites to get the same net gain after spending Nanites to hack them open. Maybe a couple Prisms and Beakers too. See Command.

    Recreation


    • There are three EMP Rifles on Recreation Deck, and they're all unbreakable. Remind me, what was it we needed Repair skill for? I'm thinking of making these three into perfectly normal, breakable, EMP Rifles.
    • Recreation B - West Dining Hall lower area is labelled "Inset: Upper Area" on map. Haven't figured out how to fix this yet.
    • There's an invisible box of 29 Nanites on the floor of the Conference Room in Recreation B. May as well just delete it.
    • Recreation B side of Bulkhead 52 is labelled 25.
    • The pile of nanites on the pipe above the 2nd floor of the Mall cannot be pulled down with Kinetic Redirection.
    • Only one of the Crew Quarters has a light switch?

    Command


    • The working replicator (#363) at the first tram stop has no marker on the map, but does have a Marker object (#618). What's up with this?
    • The only unbreakable Laser Pistol is in a Security Crate above the middle Tram Stop. There's nothing else about it that is noticably different. This would be an important find a few decks earlier, but at this point, with the shortage of rechargers on Command and Rickenbacker and the lack of energy-vulnerable targets in the Body of the Many, even a "magic" Laser Pistol isn't that exciting.
    • The hidden, broken EMP Rifle on the floor behind the control pedestal at the top of the Bridge Elevator looks "Modified" but isn't. Add "Gun/Base Gun Description" with stim mult 1.1 and clip size 150 to make it equal to a normally modified EMP Rifle. Although EMP Rifles are particularly tough to upgrade, I don't think there will be any imbalances introduced by making this one actually live up to its "Modified 1" label, since it's actually breakable and found rather late in the game.
    • None of the Lockers in the bunkrooms are actually locked. Going to try to turn some of them into locker-shaped Security Crates. And none of the broken lockers are repairable. Going to try to make some locker-shaped, broken, locked, repairable Security Crate-like objects and put goodies in them that are almost worth the effort of fixing and hacking the lockers. Maybe about 20% more Nanite value than it costs to repair and hack all of them once, so you can restart 20% of the attempts and break even, and if you're really good, really lucky, or really patient with your QuickSave/QuickLoad, you might net a couple dozen Nanites, a Game Pig, a few random Hypos, an implant you're already sick of, like SwiftBoost, and a bunch of Magazines. This would also be a good place to add a few more Prisms if I make the Fusion Cannon available earlier and to add more Beakers just because the Worm Clusters are so limited.
    • There's an invisible Disruption Grenade Clip next to the top front right (broken) locker in the southwest bunkroom. May as well just delete it. Or put it in the locker if I can find a way to make the broken lockers repairable.
    • The corpse at the intersection between the Shuttle Cargo Bays has the best Pistol in the game. Not only is it recoilless like the ones in Engineering, it's unbreakable. A great find for those of us who are trying to complete the whole game with just Pistols and a Wrench, or are playing Impossible as an OSA Agent and can't afford Standard 6. If you've had an Assault Rifle for several hours by this point, this isn't too impressive.

    Rickenbacker


    • Am I the only one who spent fifteen minutes searching the pipe alcove next to Chemical Storage Room in Pod 1, assuming that there had to be something hidden in such a convenient little corner? I'm tempted to at least put one of the missing Game Pig games in there. Or maybe a single Nanite.
    • Two invisible Disruption Grenade Clips next to the corpse near Diego's first email trigger should probably be deleted, especially if Disruption Grenades get their damage bonuses.
    • There's a hole in the Unbreakable Window in the Pod 1 Medical Bay. You can jump out the far corner of the window and spacewalk without a suit.
    • One Med Hypo and one Research Soft V3 are under the floor (upside-down ceiling) in the first medical bay in Rickenbacker Pod 2. Neither one is an especially significant find at that point, so they may as well be on the floor.
    • The bottom of the first unbreakable window on the Bridge of the Rickenbacker can be fired through without breaking the window. You can actually kill the egg and spider on the other side by just firing through it. Probably just needs its Scale adjusted to make the Glass fit the wall better.

    Body of the Many


    • There's a Wrench under the floor under the membrane at the entrance to the egg laying chamber. It could be moved a little to make it visible and reachable, if you really want a Wrench for the Endgame and haven't brought one with you. I kinda like having it there. It's weird.
    • Why are the Small HE Clip and Small Nanite Pile on the nerve above the small tooth pool so difficult to get down? Sometimes Kinetic Redirection works on the Nanites, but I usually end up shooting them both down. Haven't figured out why this happens yet.
    Last edited by Straylight; 30th Mar 2002 at 20:08.
    "Do not try to think outside the box, for that is impossible. Simply try to realize the truth; there is no box." - dave@straylight.org

  2. #2

    Excellent work! If you do indeed update the *.mis files and the gamesys to polish the entire game, let me know and I'll see whether I can host your work for you as a giant patch.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Victoria, Australia

    to fix them bugs and publish the patch u might wanna go learn how
    to make .DIF files...unfortunatly i have NO idea how to make them but
    they are like small map patches that change small areas and tem placments Etc..
    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is way better than System Shock 2

  4. #4

    Great ideas

    After finally killing the Many's Brain on Impossible, I was shocked (no pun intended) to discover Mr. Prefontaine was wrong. He claimed that killing the brain should stop all the other creatures, this does not happen. Imagine my suprise when those 5-6 rumblers, 1 arachnid, and 5-6 psi reavers kept on slashing, biting, and shooting. Now, I have no idea how those things work, so excuse my ignorance, but might it be possible to make Prefontaine's log accurate? Like (made up...) IF! many_brain_obj explodes; THEN all Rumblers, Arachnaids, Psi Reavers die. Just wondering, and keep up the good work.

  5. #5

    [quote]Originally posted by Navyhacker006:
    might it be possible to make Prefontaine's log accurate?


    That would be an awful thing to do. The story is much better if Prefontaine rallies all his investigative talents, but ends up getting some things right and some things wrong. It would be incredibly hokey for him to figure it all out perfectly after only a few hours (without lab equipment) in the slime.

  6. #6

    Another thing--If you stock up more than 5 batteries the battery effectiveness goes to a low number like 41 or 52 units per charge, although I think this might be intentional.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    [quote]Originally posted by SmokeScreen:
    Another thing--If you stock up more than 5 batteries the battery effectiveness goes to a low number like 41 or 52 units per charge, although I think this might be intentional.


    Can someone verify this? I seem to remember batteries occasionally only partially charging things, but when I tried to make it happen, everything always got fully charged. I tried an implant (WormHeart), a Laser Pistol, an EMP Rifle, and the Powered Armor, with 1, 4, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50, 100, 150, 250, and 500 Portable Batteries in my inventory. Every single time, each item got fully recharged, up to whatever the maximum was for my Maintenance skill, which I also changed a few times. I doubt there's anything I could do about this anyway, but I'm curious what exactly is going on here.

    And about the idea of making all the Annelids die when the Brain dies, like Prefontaine predicted, I agree with Grundbegriff. Maybe they are dying, but they each do have their own brains (or just are brains) so I don't see how killing the big brain would instantly turn the smaller Annelids into vegetables.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    I've just finished going over every file in strings.crf and making a lot of little changes. In addition to the various weapons text changes listed under "Game System" in my original post, I also found and changed the following:

    • Navy Training Year 2, option 2, UNN Pierce: "...you learned a fair about weapon's maintenance..."
      changed to "...you learned a bit about weapon's maintenance..."
    • Navy Training Year 2, option 3, LaVerne Tactical Training: "You spent plenty of time with military grade pistols, assault rifles and even auto-shotguns." But the +2 Standard you gain is just barely enough to use Pistols and Shotguns, not Assault Rifles. Haven't changed anything here yet.
    • Annelid Psi Organ description says "...acts to rejuvenate and enervate neural tissue." Enervate means to weaken or, in medicine, to remove nerves. Wrong word.
      changed to "...acts to rejuvenate and energize neural tissue."
    • Assault Rifle description says "...does 25% more damage" than the Pistol. Actually, it does 10 points to the Pistol's 7 (at skill 6) which is just over 40% more. I'm planning to change both of those numbers, though. If I reduce the Assault Rifle to a base damage of 8 and the standard Pistol to a base of 3 (5.25 at skill 6) the Assault Rifle will do over 50% more damage than the Pistol. If I also make some pistols do 4 damage but require Standard 2, those will max out at 6.4. 8 is 25% more than that. Of course, I may not like those changes and may later decide on something very different, so it's probably better, at least for now, to leave any actual numbers out of the description.
      changed to "...does more damage."
    • The Assault Rifle description also ends with a quote from "Capt. Edward Diego" about the battle of Boston Harbor.
      changed to "...Capt. William Diego..."
    • Prism description says "...for energy weapons" but these are used in the energy-based Heavy Weapons only, not the battery-powered Energy Weapons.
      changed to "...for heavy energy weapons"
    • French-Epstein Device description says "Simply place your weapon in the device..." Place a Fusion Cannon in a French-Epstein Device? Whoever wrote that must have imagined something very different from the pen-sized F.E.D. we know.
      changed to "Simply scan your weapon with the device..."
    • Grub Pod Organ description and research report list Analysis twice instead of Summary, Analysis, and Recommendation
      changed to "...Recommendation: The Grubs are fairly fragile..."
    • Anti-Personnel clip description says "Nanites inside the head of the clip autonomically sense when the round has entered an organic target." The clip can sense when a particular bullet has hit flesh? That has to be a typo. Also, I'm not sure "autonomically" is really the right word, but with Nanite-filled bullets, I guess it could be, so I'll leave that one alone.
      changed to "Nanites inside the head of the bullet autonomically sense when the round has entered an organic target."
    • Hybrid Organ description and research report talk about "tumerous" growths, which is a misspelling.
      changed to "...tumorous..."
    • Powered Armor description says nothing about the level of protection provided while unpowered. Of course, it also doesn't say how much protection is provided while powered, either. You have to equip it to see the 50% protection from combat damage, and you have to wear it unpowered to find out that all those "solid Titanium/polymer shielding panels" don't actually do anything without power to "support" them. And oddly enough, although the description sounds pretty similar to the description of the Hazard Suit, the Powered Armor gives no protection from radiation and the Hazard Suit gives no combat protection, even from Energy weapons. I'm tempted to give the Powered Armor 10% against radiation and the Hazard Suit 10% against Energy weapons.
    • Annelid Launcher description and research report say "...requires a Strength of 3, an Agilty of 3, and an Exotic Weapons skill of 6." There is no such Agility requirement. Not that it matters too much, since Agility 3 and Strength 3 are pretty much guaranteed that late in the game. Besides, why would you need high Agility to fire a semi-sentient weapon that aims itself?
      changed to "...requires a Strength of 3 and an Exotic Weapons skill of 6."
    • Laser Pistol's ObjectName is "An argon-suspension laser pistol". The description doesn't say anything about Argon, but does mention the model name "Apollo H4". How much sense does it make for your HUD to describe how the Laser Pistol works the first time you see one, and in fact every time you see one, but not identify the model without a close inspection? This "argon-suspension laser pistol" text always kinda bugged me. I'm switching it around, so the object name is "Apollo H4 Laser Pistol" and the Argon-suspension bit is only mentioned in the description.
      changed description to "The Apollo H4 Argon- Suspension Laser Pistol..."
      changed name to "An Apollo H4 Laser Pistol. (%s)"
    • Some other weapon names changed to include model names, just for consistency. Note that no manufacturer or model is ever mentioned for any shotguns.
      Assault Rifle : "An M-22 Assault Rifle. (%s)"
      Laser Rapier : "A Laser Rapier Mark IV."
      Pistol : "A Talon M2A3 Pistol. (%s)"
    • The descriptions of both beakers (large and small) say "...to test new compounds of both carbon and non-carbon based compounds."
      changed to "...to test new samples of both carbon and non-carbon based compounds."
    • The single-use access cards for the Sensual Simulation Center suites say "Sim-Love access card" in their short names, but cards and the slots both say "Stim Unit access" in their long names.
      changed all cards to "Stim Unit access card"
    • Research reports and descriptions for Viral Proliferator and Annelid Launcher are identical except for the available modifications not being listed in the research string. Since there's no way to have discovered the available modifications other than by researching the weapons, I don't see why that one sentence should be left out.
      Added modification effects to the research string to make them identical
    • The "Naturally Able" O/S Upgrade says "One-time bonus of 8 Cyber Enhancement Units."
      changed to "Naturally Able: One-time bonus of 8 Cyber Upgrade Modules."
    • The "Cybernetically Enhanced" O/S Upgrade doesn't mention that you can't use two of the same implant. I was specifically intending to do that the first time I tried it.
      changed to "Cybernetically Enhanced: Allows the use of two implants (of different types) at once."
    • Similarly, the "Cyber-Assimilation" O/S Upgrade text says, "You can extract a diagnostic/repair module from any destroyed robot." It doesn't say that Protocol Droids don't have them or that Turrets don't count as Droids.
      changed to "Cyber-Assimilation: You can extract a Diagnostic/Repair Module from most destroyed robots..."
    • All references to "PSI", "PSI stat", or "PSI statistic" in object descriptions and research reports changed to "Psionic Ability" for consistency.
    • Various other minor and trivial tweaks, such as consistent capitalization and the occasional comma or apostrophe
    Last edited by Straylight; 30th Mar 2002 at 20:26.
    "Do not try to think outside the box, for that is impossible. Simply try to realize the truth; there is no box." - dave@straylight.org

  9. #9

    Some editorial refinements:

    [quote]
    Navy Training Year 2, option 2, UNN Pierce: "...you learned a fair about weapon's maintenance..."
    Edited strings.crf/chargen.str
    Mission14: "...you learned a bit about weapon's maintenance..."



    First, the original intended text was probably "a fair amount about weapons maintenance". A "fair amount" is somewhat more than "a bit".

    Second, the word "weapons" should have no apostrophe. It's a plural form, not a possessive form.

    [quote]"You spent plenty of time with military grade pistols, assault rifles and even auto-shotguns." But the +2 Standard you gain is just barely enough to use Pistols and Shotguns, not Assault Rifles. Haven't changed anything here yet.


    Interesting puzzle. Come to think of it, we usually suppose that by upgrading his rig with cybermodules, Goggles is learning new skills. This has always seemed strange, since any hack off the street could pick up an assault rifle and pull the trigger.

    Perhaps the issue isn't that Goggles is untrained in advanced weaponry; perhaps the issue is that such weapons are designed (as a safety feature) so that they can only be used in conjunction with a cyberrig of sufficient calibre.

    For the weapons that Goggles has certainly never seen, this explanation won't work. But then, for those weapons, it's reasonable that Goggles would be clueless.

    [quote]"...acts to rejuvenate and enervate neural tissue." Enervate means to weaken or, in medicine, to remove nerves. Wrong word.
      [*]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
      Annelid_Psipatch:"...acts to rejuvenate and energize neural tissue."



      Yeah, but "energize" is also the wrong word. First, it doesn't make sense. But second, the word they intended is clearly "innervate".

      [quote]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
      Assault_Rifle:"...does more damage."



      The problem here is that it's intuitively obvious that an assault rifle "does more damage" than a pistol. The only reason to bring the topic up at all, then, would be to tell how much more damage it does. Changing the text to "does more damage" would be like labeling a calzone with a sign that says "more filling than a croissant".

      [quote]French-Epstein Device description says "Simply place your weapon in the device..." Place a Fusion Cannon in a French-Epstein Device? Whoever wrote that must have imagined something very different from the pen-sized F.E.D. we know.
        [*]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
        frenchnepstein_device:"Simply scan your weapon with the device..."



        You're right that the original text is absurd. But I can't say I've ever envisioned merely scanning a weapon with the FED. The FED appears to be some sort of ... device used as a tool. It assists modification presumably by means of nanotechnology, which would normally seem to require physical contact and an exchange of nanofluids. Perhaps "insert the device into your weapon" would be more appropriate here.

        [quote]Also, I'm not sure "autonomically" is really the right word, but with Nanite-filled bullets, I guess it could be, so I'll leave that one alone.


        "Autonomically" is fine, and means "according to a law or principle of its own" or "involuntarily". (Auto = self; "nomos" = law)

        [quote]Besides, why would you need high Agility to fire a semi-sentient weapon that aims itself?


        Because it wiggles.

        [quote]I'm switching it around, so the object name is "Apollo H4 Laser Pistol" and the Argon-suspension bit is only mentioned in the description.


        Good call.

        [quote]"Cyber-Assimilation: You can extract a Diagnostic/Repair Module from most destroyed robots..."


        Your logic here is that the claim shouldn't be universal, since there are some robots (turrets, protocol droids) from which you can't extract such a module. But then, by that same logic, you shouldn't provide reassurance that it will be possible to extract them from "most" robots, since there's no telling whether a majority of (i.e., most) robots encountered will be non-turrets and non-droids. For that reason "many" would be a better word.

        [quote]Various other minor and trivial tweaks, such as consistent capitalization and the occasional comma or apostrophe.


        Be sure not to use apostrophes on plural forms, as happened with "weapons maintenance".

        Good work!

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    [quote]Originally posted by Grundbegriff:
    First, the original intended text was probably "a fair amount about weapons maintenance". A "fair amount" is somewhat more than "a bit".
    Second, the word "weapons" should have no apostrophe. It's a plural form, not a possessive form.


    Agreed.
      [*]Edited strings.crf/chargen.str
      Mission14:"...you learned a fair amount about weapons maintenance from one of the lifers onboard."[/list][quote]Yeah, but "energize" is also the wrong word. First, it doesn't make sense. But second, the word they intended is clearly "innervate".
      I disagree here. According to webster.com, "innervate" means "to supply with nerves," while "energize" means "to put forth energy, to make energetic, vigorous, or active, to impart energy to, or to apply voltage to." We're talking about an alien organ that restores Psi Points, so we have to be careful what assumptions we make about neurophysiology, but I think it's more likely to be providing energy to existing nerves than the be providing new nerves. Here's the whole original string:
      [quote]from strings.crf/objlooks.str:
      Annelid_Psipatch:"Summary: This tissue can be used to restore lost psi points.

      Analysis: This gland produces a potent cocktail of psychoactive and adrenal hormones which acts to rejuvenate and enervate neural tissue. In addition to standard (and somewhat unusual) biological compounds, the gland also appears to secrete small amounts of semi-physical psychocreative energy.

      Recommendation: While this gland can be used to restore psionic potential, the danger inherent in consuming alien psychocreative energies suggests that this should only be done in emergencies."


      Note the references to "semi-physical psychocreative energy." I think "energize" would be the correct verb in this context, although I'm willing to consider other suggestions.
      [quote]The problem here is that it's intuitively obvious that an assault rifle "does more damage" than a pistol. The only reason to bring the topic up at all, then, would be to tell how much more damage it does. Changing the text to "does more damage" would be like labeling a calzone with a sign that says "more filling than a croissant".

      Perhaps I should have quoted more context in the strings I was changing. The whole sentence was as follows: "Uses the same ammunition as a pistol, but has a bigger clip and does 25% more damage." It might not be intuitively obvious to players who are not personally familiar with firearms that a different weapon could do more damage with the same ammunition. It would probably be expected, given the skill level required and the point in the game where the first assault rifle is discovered, but using the same bullets as the pistol might be rather unexpected.
      More to the point, I don't know yet what the exact number is going to be. I'm planning on changing those numbers. I might even make two different kinds of pistols that do different amounts of damage. Would an adverb suffice?
        [*]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
        Assault_Rifle:"Uses the same ammunition as a pistol, but has a bigger clip and does significantly more damage."[/list][quote]You're right that the original text is absurd. But I can't say I've ever envisioned merely scanning a weapon with the FED. The FED appears to be some sort of ... device used as a tool. It assists modification presumably by means of nanotechnology, which would normally seem to require physical contact and an exchange of nanofluids. Perhaps "insert the device into your weapon" would be more appropriate here.

        Better for some cases, notably the Standard weapons, but how about a Laser Pistol? Does it even have an "in" to put something? All of the weapons that can be modified can also be maintained with a standard Maintenance Tool, even the Annelid Launcher. Unfortunately, the Maintenance Tool text says nothing about how it actually works. If we were to assume that all these weapons that are maintainable, upgradable, and repairable with standard tools and Nanites had some kind of standard access port, we could claim that the French-Epstein Device uses the same port.
          [*]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
          frenchnepstein_device:"Simply attach the device to your weapon's standard Nanite access port, and let the French-Epstein's expert systems do the work necessary for the weapon's modifications."[/list][quote]Your logic here is that the claim shouldn't be universal, since there are some robots (turrets, protocol droids) from which you can't extract such a module. But then, by that same logic, you shouldn't provide reassurance that it will be possible to extract them from "most" robots, since there's no telling whether a majority of (i.e., most) robots encountered will be non-turrets and non-droids. For that reason "many" would be a better word.

          You're right. I like "many" better. Now that I think about it, given the frequency of respawning Protocol Droids, the majority of robots very likely won't have Diagnostic/Repair Modules. If this wasn't the longest string in the list already, I'd consider clarifying it more with some phrase like "advanced droids" or "larger types of robots," but I seem to recall this one already being very close to the limit of what could be displayed.
            [*]Edited strings.crf/traits.str
            Trait12:"Cyber-Assimilation: You can extract a Diagnostic/Repair Module from many destroyed robots and can use it to heal 15 Hit Points."[/list][quote]Be sure not to use apostrophes on plural forms, as happened with "weapons maintenance".

            Good catch. I missed that one, even after I copied and pasted it.
            [quote]Good work!

            Thanks. I'm just getting started, and I suspect the text was the easy part. Next come the numbers. I expect to have a real project with real cash flow coming up "real soon now," so I might not have a lot of time for this, but I'm definitely going to keep working on it when I can. I'll post more progress reports and check for more feedback as I go.

            [ December 04, 2001: Message edited by: Straylight ]


  11. #11

    [quote]Originally posted by Straylight:
    [QB]

    Can someone verify this? I seem to remember batteries occasionally only partially charging things, but when I tried to make it happen, everything always got fully charged. I tried an implant (WormHeart), a Laser Pistol, an EMP Rifle, and the Powered Armor, with 1, 4, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50, 100, 150, 250, and 500 Portable Batteries in my inventory. Every single time, each item got fully recharged, up to whatever the maximum was for my Maintenance skill, which I also changed a few times. I doubt there's anything I could do about this anyway, but I'm curious what exactly is going on here.[QB]


    I tried spawning several dozen batteries and using up the Laser Pistol. It recharged fully. But I go to the next map and recharge that energy weapon and find that it takes up several batteries just to get it to 100. Ubermensch my Maint skill and it takes even more to get to 160. Seems to me that:

    Step 1: Have more than your fair share of batteries.
    Step 2: Go to next map.
    Step 3: Use up an energy weapon.
    Step 4: Try a battery on drained energy weapon.

  12. #12

    [quote]Originally posted by Straylight:
    I disagree here. According to webster.com, "innervate" means "to supply with nerves," while "energize" means "to put forth energy, to make energetic, vigorous, or active, to impart energy to, or to apply voltage to." We're talking about an alien organ that restores Psi Points, so we have to be careful what assumptions we make about neurophysiology, but I think it's more likely to be providing energy to existing nerves than the be providing new nerves.


    But, with respect, that's exactly wrong. First, it's wrong because the nerves of the Psionic are already energized biochemically, and there's no reason to think that a fluctuation in voltage will augment psionics. But increased brain activity varies directly with the number, density, and packaging of nerve fibers in Real LifeTM, so there's every reason to suppose that an increase in neural density, and therefore in psionic power, is in view here. In fact, the allusion to "rejuvenation" (making young again), underscores my point. One of the classic manifestations of aging is the simplification of cerebral structures.

    Second, it's wrong to substitute "energize" for "enervate" because the authors of the game clearly intended "innervate" when they wrote "enervate". It's one thing to correct obvious mistakes and typos. It's another thing to rewrite the strings to match your pet theory about neuroscience fiction.

    [quote]Note the references to "semi-physical psychocreative energy." I think "energize" would be the correct verb in this context, although I'm willing to consider other suggestions.


    Actually, the fact that the second phrase mentions that the gland also secretes psychocreative energy further reinforces my point. After all, the research report would be redundant if it said, in effect, that the gland produces energy and also produces energy! But your use of "energize" where "innervate" (build up neurons) is intended would introduce that redundancy.

    [quote]Would an adverb suffice?


    In this case, the adverb does the trick! "Significantly more" is significantly more than "more"

    [quote]Better for some cases, notably the Standard weapons, but how about a Laser Pistol? Does it even have an "in" to put something?


    I always assumed it had a USB port But perhaps firewire would be more appropriate

    [quote]Unfortunately, the Maintenance Tool text says nothing about how it actually works.


    No, but the graphic of the maintenance tool shows a cylindrical handle and what appear to be pincers. It seams natural to suppose that this is some sort of gripping, pliers-like affair that clamps onto a weapon and introduces nanodevices at the point of contact.

    [quote]and repairable with standard tools and Nanites had some kind of standard access port, we could claim that the French-Epstein Device uses the same port.


    But then, if all maintenance and quick-modification went by way of a "standard nanite access port" there would be no reason at all to mention that port. It would be like saying, "to eat a hotdog, simply place it in your facial, proto-digestive mastication facility" when everyone already knows to stick the thing in the mouth. Why not simply say, "connect the device to your weapon", which sidesteps the "attach/insert" debate entirely?

    Cheers,

    G.

    [ December 04, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]


  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    [quote]Originally posted by Grundbegriff:

    But, with respect, that's exactly wrong. First, it's wrong because the nerves of the Psionic are already energized biochemically, and there's no reason to think that a fluctuation in voltage will augment psionics. But increased brain activity varies directly with the number, density, and packaging of nerve fibers in Real LifeTM, so there's every reason to suppose that an increase in neural density, and therefore in psionic power, is in view here. In fact, the allusion to "rejuvenation" (making young again), underscores my point. One of the classic manifestations of aging is the simplification of cerebral structures.


    If we were talking about the "Psi Booter", the hypospray that temporarily increases "Psionic Ability", I would agree. The "Annelid Psi Organ" does not increase Psionic Ability, it simply restores depleted "Psi Points", just like a "Psi Hypo", but more effectively. Unfortunately, all of these terms are poorly defined. What exactly are "Psi Points"? I wish we could confer with the original authors to clear this up.
    [quote]Second, it's wrong to substitute "energize" for "enervate" because the authors of the game clearly intended "innervate" when they wrote "enervate". It's one thing to correct obvious mistakes and typos. It's another thing to rewrite the strings to match your pet theory about neuroscience fiction.

    It's just as "clear" to me that they must have meant "energize." The possibility that the Annelid Psi Organ might actually be adding new nerves to replenish Psi Points never even crossed my mind (if you'll excuse the pun) until you suggested it. Instead, I assumed that "Psi Points" had to be some kind of energy that could be depleted and recharged, like the electrochemical potential in a neuron, but didn't automatically recharge itself for some reason. The "tension relievers, dopamine inhibitors, and circulatory stimulators" in a Psi Hypo can replenish these Psi Points without having to replace the nerves, and the Annelid Psi Organ can do the same thing with "psychoactive and adrenal hormones" and "psychocreative energy". The Psi Organ description also warns about the hazards of "consuming alien psychocreative energies" but if alien nerves were actually being grafted into the user's neural tissue, I would think that would be much more of a concern. Or are you proposing that the alien psychocreative energy is something that stimulates the growth of new human nerves?
    I'm afraid I don't have any coherent theory that satisfactorily explains Psionic Ability with Psi Points that do not automatically regenerate. If it's so clear to you that the original authors meant "innervate", perhaps you have a theory that supports that idea?
    [quote]Actually, the fact that the second phrase mentions that the gland also secretes psychocreative energy further reinforces my point. After all, the research report would be redundant if it said, in effect, that the gland produces energy and also produces energy! But your use of "energize" where "innervate" (build up neurons) is intended would introduce that redundancy.

    Providing new details in a second sentence expanding on the first is not a redundancy, and that paragraph was poorly phrased before I ever saw it. I have to assume that the energy described in the second sentence must be an explanation of the second effect described in the first sentence, whether that second effect is "energize" or "innervate". The way the first sentence was already written seemed to indicate that the "psychoactive and adrenal hormones" are the cause of that effect, which doesn't make a great deal of sense for "energize" and even less for "innervate."

    [quote]But then, if all maintenance and quick-modification went by way of a "standard nanite access port" there would be no reason at all to mention that port. It would be like saying, "to eat a hotdog, simply place it in your facial, proto-digestive mastication facility" when everyone already knows to stick the thing in the mouth. Why not simply say, "connect the device to your weapon", which sidesteps the "attach/insert" debate entirely?

    Hmmm... That might be better. It's less of a change. I suggested the unnecessarily explicit approach because the rest of the string reads so much like advertising copy that I thought it fit better. The whole (modified) string is:
    "The perfect birthday gift for the techie with less than ideal technical skills, the French-Epstein device is a portable, nanite-driven, self-contained analysis and modification tool. Simply attach the device to your weapon's standard nanite access port, and let the French-Epstein's expert systems do the work necessary for the weapon's modifications. One use only."
    Since a "standard nanite access port" has not been explicitly mentioned elsewhere, simply saying "connect the device to your weapon" may not make sense to a player who has not come to the conclusion that some such thing must exist. On the other hand, players who don't habitually over-analyze everything they see are less likely to be worried about just where they're supposed to connect this thing.
      [*]Edited strings.crf/objlooks.str
      frenchnepstein_device:"Simply connect the device to your weapon..."[/list]

  14. #14

    [quote]Originally posted by Straylight:
    It's just as "clear" to me that they must have meant "energize."


    I find this amazing. They wrote "enervate". The word "innervate" sounds almost exactly the same and has a meaning that fits the context. Nevertheless, you think that when they wrote "enervate" they meant "energize".

    Whatever.

    [quote]If it's so clear to you that the original authors meant "innervate", perhaps you have a theory that supports that idea?


    Here's my theory to support that idea: I think they meant "innervate" because they wrote "enervate"; I propose that they misspelled the word they intended to use, and that we can reconstruct their intended meaning rather easily.

    Here's a corollary: making up a new word just because you don't understand what they meant by "innervate" (which they misspelled "enervate") is not the same as correcting typos or discrepancies.

    [quote]That might be better. It's less of a change.


    That goes for this, too.

    [ December 06, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]


  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: Three sigma left of strange.

    [quote]Originally posted by Grundbegriff:
    Here's my theory to support that idea: I think they meant "innervate" because they wrote "enervate"; I propose that they misspelled the word they intended to use, and that we can reconstruct their intended meaning rather easily.


    I think they spelled "enervate" correctly, but they thought it meant something else. "Enervate" doesn't mean only "to remove nerves", the opposite of "innervate". It also means "to weaken", which is close to the opposite of "energize". (From webster.com, "lacking physical, mental, or moral vigor: ENERVATED") This word is often misused to mean exactly its opposite. I have many times seen and heard "enervate" used intentionally but mistakenly to mean "energize" or "invigorate" by people who probably didn't know "innervate" was a word and misidentified its root as "ener-" instead of "-nerv-". "Enervate" and "energize" also sound rather similar, and English speakers learn at an early age that words that sound that similar, especially at the beginning, are usually related. It's an easy mistake to make, and relatively common, given that "enervate" is such an uncommon word.

    I agree that assuming "innervate" was intended would be attributing to the original author a significantly smaller error, but I think the larger error of substituting "enervate" for "energize" is a much more common one. I give them a great deal of credit for game design and development, but I'm somewhat less inclined to assume their familiarity with medical terminology.

    I think the only way to settle this issue is to ask the original author. Does anyone know exactly who that would be, or should I just email IrrationalGames.com and ask around?

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Cambridge, UK

    Maybe I'm blundering in here totally uninformed - I never really got past playing with the editor, and that was a while ago - but I do remember that all the actual SS2 levels had the terrain removed. If you make all these changes etc, won't you have to rebuild the level? And if you do, won't you then end up with a level with no terrain?

    I expect to be corrected, but that was the first thing that struck me when I read your post, Straylight.

    About the energise/innervate debate: We already know that annelid organs are known to add to existing tissue; as far as I can remember (I'm sending this after hours at the office so I can't check) the annelid healing glands do that - I think the description mentions that the tissue of the gland alters itself to match the surrounding native tissue, as well as being a source of adrenalin etc.. So the idea of adding new nerves isn't that hard to take, if you can accept the healing glands.
    Is it perhaps possible that the use of psionic powers actually damages nerves? Burnout certainly hurts, but even successful psionics use might degrade nerves over time. Normal psi hypos might help restore these nerves as well as supplying some nice chemicals (again, I can't check the original text here, to see if that's already implied or could plausibly be added). This would explain why psi points don't regenerate with time.
    The annelid organs, therefore, might 'innervate' by causing the old, damaged nerves to *regrow*. Is this an acceptable use of the term 'innervate'? This would also give good agreement with the 'rejuvenate' term. Tautology can be useful for emphasising your point, so the redundancy that seems to creep in with this interpretation might be deliberate.

    [ December 18, 2001: Message edited by: Jenesis ]


  17. #17
    indiechild
    Guest

    Guys this is a pretty fascinating discussion. Maybe one of you could turn it into a "System Shock 2 Universe FAQ"? It would be of great historical interest and might even be a boon for mod/map makers who are looking for info about the game world.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: here

    Great work, Straylight. Many thanks.

    I'd just like to call attention to what appears to be a slight anomoly between the Deck 1 - 5 and Deck 5 - 6 (primary) elevators. I used the first elevator as a depot where I'd accumulate my surplus gear. When it came time to move my belongings up to Command, every item dropped on the floor of the primary lift vanished in transit. Fortunately, it reappeared on returning to Deck 5, however nothing ever disappeared between earlier levels while using the Deck 1 - 5 elevator. Strange.

    ...btw, happy 2002 everyone!! [Thumbs Up!]

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: here

    ...Oh yes, and two other suggestions regarding triggers:

    1. I usually crouched while approaching doorways, especially if they opened upwards or if they parted with that annoying Von Braun logo plate continuing to block your standing view for an additional second. Unfortunately, many of the door activation triggers seemed to be out of reach while crouching and could have been lowered a bit.

    2. I almost never heard any of the messages spoken by "The Many" because they were nearly always triggered at the onset of some fray. If that was done intentionally to distract me from the conflict at hand, well then it worked. But in that case, their messages should have been logged in my PDA so that I'd at least have had the opportunity to read what I'd missed. Rather I think those messages could have added more to the mood of the game had they been triggered a bit further away from ambush points.

    Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed SS2 - especially the journey leading up to Xen... oops... I mean the Body of the Many.

  20. #20
    BANNED
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: Bach lobster! BWV B-52S

    And I noticed a distinct shortage of wheelchair ramps!

  21. #21
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2001

    About that Annelid Psi Organ description text: I'm from Hungary, and have completely no interest in psionics or anything related, but my mother is a doctor and I've often heard her use the word 'enervate' instead of 'ease, relieve', so I think the original description text is perfectly accurate, as it fits the text nicely.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: here

    elgyengit

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2001

    Az vazz pontosan... figyu nem cooperative-ozunk egyet? D

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA

    [quote]Originally posted by Snyder:
    I've often heard her use the word 'enervate' instead of 'ease, relieve',


    But you see, that's the issue; "innervate" sounds verrrry close to "enervate" unless you know the difference. Did you, at the time you heard her using the word?

    Grund:
    I've got to throw my vote in w/ Straylight re: the implementors misunderstanding the definition of "enervate"; up until about 10 minutes ago, I also thought it meant the same as "reenergize", and I consider myself fairly literate for a non-English major.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: uk SE

    [erg]

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