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Old 04-02-2005, 09:17 PM   #1
Achilles
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[TSL] Achilles's Game Balance Mod is available for download...

...from my website.

The readme's a doozy, so I'll spare you the tears and just post the Q&A.

One of the chief complaint lobbied by those who have played SW:KotORII - TSL is the game is way too easy. Luckily, Obsidian Entertainment (OE) was kind enough to architect their game in such a way that this is easily resolved. Why on earth they didn't do this themselves, I have no idea.

Here are some questions that I imagine many players will have regarding this mod:

Q: What does this mod do?
A: This mod utilizes autobalance.2da to make opponents more difficult. Additionally, I have modified this file so that players can get to Level 35 without having to use cheats or exploit glitches.

Q: Is this a "hardcore mod"?
A: I, personally, would not classify it as a hardcore mod. My experience with these types of mods is that they are designed to make all battles significantly more difficult. Philosophically, I believe that while most fights should be challenging, truly grueling encounters should be reserved for "bosses".

Q: How does this mod work?
A: OE originally designed the autobalance.2da file so that opponents will get more difficult as the game progresses. Unfortunately, they did it in such a way that they reduce penalties at each tier rather than increase bonuses. For example, at Step 1, an opponent's level is 75% of yours (if you're Level 4, then they're Level 3). In addition to this, they also have Vitality Point multiplier of 0.65. This means that if they have 100 hit points unencumbered, then they would only have 65 hit points when you encounter them. What I have done is changed a majority of these multipliers to 1.00 (100%). This means that if a NPC spawns with 100 hit points, it gets all 100 of those hit points. For the upper tiers (Steps 4 and 5) some categories have modifiers of 1.10 or 1.20 (110% and 120% respectively).

Q: How were you able to increase XP using this one file?
A: I have tweaked the level multiplier so that opponents are always a higher level than you are. By doing this, I have exploited the game's existing system in a way that will allow you to earn more XP for the fights that you win.

Q: Why did you choose level 35 as a cut-off for your mod?
A: After level 35 your feat-reliant characters start to run out of useful stuff during level-ups. Similarly, after Level 35 your DS Consular/Sith Lords start running out of useful Force Powers and your LS Consulars/Jedi Masters have exhausted LS Force Powers. I know some people don't have a problem with LS PCs casting DS powers, but I don't care for it, so I felt that Level 35 was appropriate.

Q: Are the fights still cakewalks?
A: Early in the game, while you're party members are still cutting their teeth, the fights can be pretty challenging. Later in the game, when you have a significant number of levels under your belt, more powerful force powers, items, etc, the fights get much easier. They are by no means the "one hit wonders" that they used to be, but you will have to put forth some effort to kill the baddies. Opponents will do more damage when they hit you, but because your party is more powerful, they might not always get the chance (bosses excluded).

Q: Why haven't you put more effort into making normal fights harder?
A: Not all NPCs are bosses, nor should they be. Cannon fodder is cannon fodder, and I really don't consider 15 rounds to kill a cannok "fun". Elite troopers, dark jedi, etc should take multiple rounds to kill (which they do), but since your PC is supposed to be the uber Jedi/Sith coming up on their own, then it doesn't make much sense that everyone else in the galaxy is just as uber as your PC (again, bosses excluded).

Q: What have you done for boss fights?
A: I really didn't care for the way that OE made "the Darths". Instead of making them "real characters", they just gave them an insane number of attribute points and some sick default saving throws. What I did was take the time to build each Darth out as if they were a party member (starting with a certain number of attribute points, gaining force powers at each level, etc). I designed Darth Nihilus to be a level 50 Sith Assassin, Darth Traya as a level 40 Sith Lord, and Darth Sion as level 30 Sith Marauder. Of course some tweaking was required to make the fights beatable, but in my opinion, they are significantly more challenging than they were before.

Q: What other assumptions/philosophies did you account for when making this?
A: You never see any of the Jedi/Sith in the movies stopping to stim up, activate shields, or whatever right before a fight. I know that it's pretty common to have buffs in a video game, but I personally don't care for them. If you use stims and shields with this mod, you're likely to find that most fights are still pretty easy.
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:29 PM   #2
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Sounds great Bud
I do have one additional question however.

Have you tested this mod in the Dxun Tomb?
Where the one Sith Master/Lord is supposed to die from Lightning. Some people have had trouble with this particular spot and I felt it was due to being higher than normal Level. Which gave the Sith too many hitpoints to be killed by the lightning properly.

I'm just curious as to whether my theory is accurate, and if your mod will cause a problem, or if it can be rectified.

Again, Awesome Mod Achilles.
Tougher is what the game needed for sure.

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Old 04-02-2005, 09:45 PM   #3
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Achilles could you post this on a link other than your site, I can't seem to download anything from your site. I get the error of current security setting won't allow download or something to that effect. I have tried to reset all of my security settings but to no avail. I do not know why this error keeps appearing nor do I know how to rectify it as of yet. Please post so I may use your fine work. Maybe at pcgamemods or here? Anyway thanks for the great mods (I hope I can try this one out)


*Edit: Ok it was wierd but for some reason my pc did not want to trust your site, so I uninstalled my AVG, reinstalled, re-configured and had to add your site to allow downloads. Funky but it worked........ Now to get down do some serious gameplay....... thanks


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Old 04-02-2005, 10:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drazin
Have you tested this mod in the Dxun Tomb?
I've tested this on about 4 different games and have yet to run into this problem. Odd are that if he's not dying, then you have a file conflict with his .utc. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-02-2005, 10:14 PM   #5
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I've never "had" to kill that sith with lightning? I just kill him.


B.O.T (back on topic)

Achilles, This sounds absolutely KILLER. I have been waiting for a mod exactly like this one. This is going in the override and a new game begins tonight


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Old 04-02-2005, 10:49 PM   #6
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Not a bad idea achilles. This will be going in my override.


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Old 04-02-2005, 11:12 PM   #7
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I was beginning to wonder what you were doing, now i know, good job


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Old 04-03-2005, 05:27 AM   #8
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I'm with Mav, this sounds marvelous Achilles!


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Old 04-03-2005, 06:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achilles
I've tested this on about 4 different games and have yet to run into this problem. Odd are that if he's not dying, then you have a file conflict with his .utc. Just my 2 cents.
The script (a_ritual_sc_1) applies a flat 1000 Universal damage to the Sith that's killed when the ritual breaks. So if he's got more than 1000 hitpoints, he'll not die.

A wild guess would be that the people who run into this problem have their party at very high levels by the time they do the tomb, and as such the Autobalancer will push his hitpoints above 1000.

I'll post source code for that script if you want it, should be an easy fix to apply GetMaxHitpoints() damage instead of 1000 to accomodate high level players.
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Old 04-03-2005, 06:23 AM   #10
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Sounds like a good reason to start a new game. Most fights were way too easy before.
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Old 04-03-2005, 06:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by stoffe -mkb-
The script (a_ritual_sc_1) applies a flat 1000 Universal damage to the Sith that's killed when the ritual breaks. So if he's got more than 1000 hitpoints, he'll not die.

A wild guess would be that the people who run into this problem have their party at very high levels by the time they do the tomb, and as such the Autobalancer will push his hitpoints above 1000.

I'll post source code for that script if you want it, should be an easy fix to apply GetMaxHitpoints() damage instead of 1000 to accomodate high level players.
*shrug* In my last game, I visited Dxun (the 2nd time) in the high 20's. I've yet to encounter a situation where he didn't die. Perhaps some people are using KSE to get to 30+ and that's what's causing the issue.
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Old 04-03-2005, 12:12 PM   #12
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I agree with Ach. never had a problem one at any level visiting 2nd planet or last (god onderon is LONGGG). I kill that sucker everytime though with no probs.


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Old 04-03-2005, 12:16 PM   #13
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Superb work as usual man, got mine and can't wait to test this sucker out!


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Old 04-03-2005, 12:17 PM   #14
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Very nice, Achilles.

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Old 04-03-2005, 01:44 PM   #15
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Very very nice mod achillies
It's going to my Override folder as I type this



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Old 04-03-2005, 02:45 PM   #16
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do you need to start a new game for this to work?


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Old 04-03-2005, 02:50 PM   #17
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This sounds much better than a lot of the so-called "hardcore" mods in that I like your "realism" philosophy that takes into account the fiction of the game as well as the game itself.

I will definitely try this mod out.

Q: Does it conflict with the Prestiege Class Mod that Maverick and Redhawke did?

I would love it if some of the modders got together and released a Community Mod Pack -- One Mod -- That combined the Handmaiden for Female players + This mod + Prestiege Class Items and Robes Mod as I think it makes it a better gaming experience "from the ground up", regardless of any other mods.

This is actually the answer to your earlier question (even if it was rhetorical): Obsidian didn't even beta test this game -- for glitches/bugs and gameplay/balance issues -- And was rushed to deliver an incomplete game to Lucas Arts.
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Old 04-03-2005, 03:25 PM   #18
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@shosey: Nope, but you might find that you're at a disadvantage if you install it in the middle of one. How much of a disadvantage, I can't say.

@DaxJorell: I haven't used that mod, so I don't know. Unless it utilizes any of the files included in this mod, or attempts to address game balance, they should be compatible. Perhaps you could try it out and let us know.

...And please, let's not turn this thread into yet another diatribe on OE, LA, or the release schedule of this game. TIA.
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:27 PM   #19
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Very Nice Achilles. I will defentivily try this out when I have the time to actually play the game

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Old 04-03-2005, 10:43 PM   #20
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Hey Achilles,

I am curious what you have found out about the autobalance 2da. I looked at it when I was building the Hardcore mod. On the surface, the autobalance.2da seems like the perfect method to balance TSL, because anyone could customize their level of difficulty without having to script anything.

But I ran across one huge problem with the autobalance.2da. Everything works perfectly except for the vitality bonus. If you change the Hit Dice, saving throws, damage, AC or To Hit the change will take effect right off the bat. However, the vitality bonus never seemed to change. For instance, open up autobalance.2da and change the vpmult, tohitmult, armormult, damagemult, savemult and levelmult to 0.02. Now open up a save game and start fighting! Cast a few force powers - notice how horrible their saves are? How bad their AC is? But, the HP never changes. It still takes the same amount of damage to kill them. Now, quit and reopen autobalance.2da. Change everything to 4.00 and restart TSL. Notice how the monsters are almost impossilbe to hit, how they do massive damage and have super saving throws. But, they still die after the same amount of damage. No matter what value you enter for vpmult they will still have the same HP.

Now let me place one condition on this. You can affect the HP if and only if the NPC has a high constitution bonus. Then, if you raise their Hit Dice they will get the bonus HP. But changing vpmult does nothing.

That is the only reason I did not use autobalance.2da. I should have posted this earlier, but I did not realize anyone was working with this 2da.
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:41 PM   #21
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Interesting. I never noticed, but it's entirely possible that the level multiplier allows for added VP without changes to the vpmult column, which would explain why that never became apparent to me during testing.

Thanks for the info! I won't worry about that column if I decided to make adjustments to the file in the future.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:32 AM   #22
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Let me clarify that. Raising the level of the creature by adjusting levelmult only does two things. It gives more experience for killing it and it gives the constitution bonus to vitality. It does not change the base vitality, saves, to hit or damage.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by beancounter
Let me clarify that. Raising the level of the creature by adjusting levelmult only does two things. It gives more experience for killing it and it gives the constitution bonus to vitality. It does not change the base vitality, saves, to hit or damage.
Fair enough. Thanks again!
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:08 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by beancounter


But I ran across one huge problem with the autobalance.2da. Everything works perfectly except for the vitality bonus. (snip)
No matter what value you enter for vpmult they will still have the same HP.

Now let me place one condition on this. You can affect the HP if and only if the NPC has a high constitution bonus. Then, if you raise their Hit Dice they will get the bonus HP. But changing vpmult does nothing.
Interesting. There is one thing with this autobalancer I don't quite understand though: Some enemies, like a number of Sith Captains and the respawning Sith Assassins on Dxun, have huge amounts of vitality points, far more than what anyone of their level reasonably should have. They get increasingly more as you go up in level as well.

If this is not determined by the autobalancer, and doesn't come from their level and Con bonus to VP, from where do they get this extra vitality?

Here's a screenshot of the stats of one such enemy as an example:

Healthy Sith Assassin
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by stoffe -mkb-
Interesting. There is one thing with this autobalancer I don't quite understand though: Some enemies, like a number of Sith Captains and the respawning Sith Assassins on Dxun, have huge amounts of vitality points, far more than what anyone of their level reasonably should have. They get increasingly more as you go up in level as well.

If this is not determined by the autobalancer, and doesn't come from their level and Con bonus to VP, from where do they get this extra vitality?

Here's a screenshot of the stats of one such enemy as an example:

Healthy Sith Assassin
Hmmm i am really interested in how you get to see the enemy stats in the message log. Is it just something i havent seen before or is it a mod?
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:00 PM   #26
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Stoffe - that is one healthy Sith Assassin! I think you misunderstood me on the autobalancer - the game does adjust their hitpoint based on your level. But it is always the same percentage regardless of the values you use in autobalance.2da.

Now, is that one of the Sith Assassins on Duxn? It is probably one of the following utc files sith_ass404 to 406. The utc file shows that they are level 8 with 60 HP. I think that is the key to your mystery. The vast majority (90%)of your opponents utc files are level 1 with 10 hitpoints. To be honest I think it is a bug in the game. I think it is using the formula: Level Adjustment of 17 * Base Hit Points of 76 * 75% = 960. Check out the Mandorian Guide who's UTC is f_mand_guide. He is level 1 with 9 hit points. His formula seems to be Level Adjustment of 15 * Base Hitpoints of 9 * 84% = 117. I will be honest I could never pin the formula down, and I know different NPC's use different formulas.

Try changing the UTC files to level 1 with 9 hitpoints and see what happens.

una - you can not post that data directly to the game. Stoffe is running a custom mod.
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:41 PM   #27
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Post Difficult is based on one's perception.

Well this should prove very usefull. I have found KoTOR 2 very easy so I started a new game with Beancounter's Hardcore mod (Insane set), now i get to start over with Bean's AND this installed as they don't seem to conflict file wise. And when the Ultimate Lightsabre mod comes out with it's beefed up Nihilus encoutner sabre I should throughly get my ass handed to me

Thank you all
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:28 PM   #28
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Re: Difficult is based on one's perception.

Quote:
Originally posted by By Design
And when the Ultimate Lightsabre mod comes out with it's beefed up Nihilus encoutner sabre I should throughly get my ass handed to me
All Sith Lord encounters have been beefed up with this mod, however from what I've heard, the Nihilus battle included in the ULM is going to be epic
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:19 AM   #29
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Re: Difficult is based on one's perception.

Quote:
Originally posted by By Design
Well this should prove very usefull. I have found KoTOR 2 very easy so I started a new game with Beancounter's Hardcore mod (Insane set), now i get to start over with Bean's AND this installed as they don't seem to conflict file wise. And when the Ultimate Lightsabre mod comes out with it's beefed up Nihilus encoutner sabre I should throughly get my ass handed to me

Thank you all
Yea, I'm too playing with these now; great work Achilles
Let's see how hard Nihilus is gonna be, luckily I'm already on my way to the Ravager with my current character ^^;
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:08 PM   #30
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can't download from your siter is says error then a emssage saying get ur own freewebs site
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by infernox
can't download from your siter is says error then a emssage saying get ur own freewebs site
i get the same thing, uve used up ur bandwidth it says.


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Old 05-02-2005, 11:04 PM   #32
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Yep. Resets on the 20th. FWIW I'm looking at other options for free web hosting, but it will probably be a while before I put any work into a new site.
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:24 AM   #33
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The site appears to be up but the link to the mod is broken just so you know.


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Old 11-06-2005, 04:45 PM   #34
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Oh
my
GOD!
I have just fought Nihilus and it was ... ... ... hard. My PC was level 31; Nihilus had a defense of 76! I was only able to hit him with a natural 20 (automatic hit) or after buffing myself up with a ridicoulus amount of stims.
In the end, it was old school 1on1 - and at the exact same time Nihilus collapsed, my character collapsed too - but it was still counted as a win.
What an exciting fight! Would also be cool to have a chance of more than 5% of hitting though
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Old 11-06-2005, 08:53 PM   #35
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Ya know I always found TSL to be annoying. Not too easy or hard but challenging. And after finishing Peragus you spend a LONG time having enemies always save against your force powers.


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Old 11-06-2005, 09:46 PM   #36
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i'm dl-ing this and i don't even own TSL yet. This sounds perfect, and I know the fights in KOTOR1 could be too easy at times... and that's the major complaint I hear from TSL on this site. Looking forward to using this mod...


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Old 01-29-2006, 02:53 AM   #37
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How the heck are you supposed to defeat Nihilus? He resists everything, crits for 200-400 almost every round, uses an unresistable (since he is 20 levels above you) health drain when he gets near 50%...

I've tried absolutely everything I can, and I can't get anywhere near defeating him.

The mod was great up until this... even with the added challenge it was a lot of fun. Nihilus is just insane though.
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:19 AM   #38
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I don't remember him being quite that hard, but then again it's been a long time since I tested that fight. In fact, I remember making him progressively easier during the testing (1st version: everyone died within seconds ). Maybe it's time to rebalance the rebalance mod
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:25 AM   #39
rpuresteel
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I may have been exaggerating a little...

I just tried three more times and it was more like 200-400 damage crits every other round, not every single one...
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:03 AM   #40
ChAiNz.2da
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I welcomed the challenge... Nihilus was hard.. but since I had stockpiled tons of crap I thought I'd never use, Nil gave me the opportunity to lift off some of that weight.. hehehe

Take note though that if you use the USM along with Achilles' mod (which I do).. Nil becomes uber tough... ya' better be prepared...

Achilles' Re-Balance is still one of my favorite mods to this day. I don't think I'll ever say this game is "too easy" anymore hehehe...


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