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Is this Cheese?

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by Golden Avenger, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Golden Avenger Gems: 2/31
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    I ve played BG2 Hardcore style for 3 years. Only finished it once ( got to level 30 or so in TOB before some Fire Giants pounded the crap out of me) I want to try a new game where my PC is a Mage and i use all my extra gold on buying Scrolls from merchants, drink potions of Genius, and keep on memorizing then deleting then memorizing everything i can get a hold of. I probably can get 1.2 million exp for 100,000 gp. Is this Cheese
     
  2. Serpent Gems: 4/31
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    [​IMG] No, because you're supposed to get XP for each spell you memorize and since it's in the rules I don't consider this Cheese.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Is it literally cheese? No. Is it cheesy from a role-playing perspective? Yes. Your PC wouldn't know he was becoming a more proficient mage just from scribing the same spells over and over and over again. Deleting spells to rescribe them is sort of manipulating the rules. The game designers put that rule in for characters that had learned the maximum number of spells that their intelligence allowed, and then found another spell that they really wanted. The delete spell was a function of getting rid of another spell that they rarely used, and replacing it with one that they really wanted. To be fair, I think that you should only get the XP's for spells once. If you're scribing a spell that was previously in your spell book already, it doesn't make sense that you get the bonus again. So, while it works, and technically doesn't break any rules, it certainly does bend the rules from a roleplaying perspective, so it's a little cheesy.
     
  4. Ivellos the Bladesinger Gems: 5/31
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    no
    if you are not cheating or using SK or something of the like, and you are following the rules, it is NOT cheese
     
  5. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have mixed feelings here.

    On the one hand, I completely agree with everything Aldeth has said. And, despite the other posts, being within the rules does not necessarily make something “non-cheesy”; I don’t want to start yet another general “cheesy” discussion, but here are some examples of things that are within the rules but are nonetheless cheesy.

    On the other hand, in this case it’s not like you’re getting the experience for nothing. You’re taking gold which you’ve (presumably) obtained legitimately, and using it to buy scrolls. I don’t see much of a difference between this and upgrading your reputation at a temple (other than the fact that the reputation upgrade is intentional, whereas the XP for re-scribing probably shouldn't be). This justification is made somewhat weaker, however, if you (and presumably you do) also re-scribe scrolls that you find (in addition to those you buy). And it would be made weaker still if you were stealing scrolls (but you didn’t say anything about that, so I’m assuming you aren’t).

    Overall, I think it’s borderline cheesy.
     
  6. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I can think of a nice justification that makes it decidedly not cheesy. Presumably, a mage is much more likely to get experience (and therefore level up) from doing "mage" things. Why would a mage get a couple thousand experience points from whacking a beastie with his staff, after all? He's not a bloody fighter.

    However, a mage should get experience from studying things arcane. Short problem is that, of course, I don't remember seeing the study button on the tool bar. Thus, the justification: erasing and scribing scrolls is like studying. Doesn't matter if it's the same spell or a new one. The mage is learning how magic works by studying the individual words of the spells and how they magically interact, or something like that.

    (Don't ask me to figure out how this applies to sorcerors, though.)
     
  7. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I had considered the study argument as well, and then discarded it.

    Take the real-world example of studying for an exam. You read the same material several times (similar to scribing the same scroll several times, except that you don’t “unlearn” the material after each reading), learn a little more each time (basically getting better at understanding the material and gaining experience), and finally know it well enough to pass the exam.

    The problem in BG is that, when you first learn the spell, you “know” it as well as you ever will (subject to improvements based on level); subsequent re-scribings don’t improve your ability to use that spell or any others. So since you don’t get better at casting the spell, what kind of skills are you gaining by re-learning it? I suppose you could “pretend” that you are getting better at using the spell, but you could probably pretend a lot of things to justify a cheesy tactic (honest, I "pretended" to bar the door closed behind me when I closed it after casting cloudkill).
     
  8. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Ah, but maybe when you learn it the first time, you are just a technician. Think of a mage as being a computer programmer. There are plenty of programmers who go through the motions and really don't understand why they are doing exactly what they are doing. By learning a spell over and over (as opposed to memorizing it over and over), you gradually go from the technician level to someone who can understand the way it works. Thus, your fireballs will do more damage, you get extra magic missiles, etc. There could be a culmination where you got so good at it that you could write your own spells (maybe think of this as a programmer who can write in machine language to create an OS or something similar).
     
  9. Manus Gems: 13/31
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    I agree with dmc here. While I do think that its a little cheesy *(but I'm harsh on this, I think most things are cheesy, if I win a battle too easy, even legitimately, I'll still re-load and do it again) but I am sorrowful at the lack of options for a mage. So here we can either pretend that we are not re-learning scrolls at all, and it simulates study, or we pretend, as dmc has stated, that we are learning why and how the magic works in the way that it does, and increasing our familiarity with it, which will eventually lead us to become greater spellcasters. Pretending is what this game is all about after all. So while it is of course going to make the game easier, there-fore cheesey (in my opinion) this doesn't mean you should not do it. I would glady reccomend that you do, because I think you are perfectly justified in doing so.
     
  10. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That would be great if that's how it works. But the fact is, fireballs, magic missiles, etc. don't do more damage with each re-learning; you're no better after the tenth time than you were the first (ignoring any effects from higher levels). So, as I said, you have to "pretend" that it gets better, which, and again as I said, potentially leads to justification of other, more "blatant" cheese tactics.

    But, in the end, if you're OK with it, then who cares? One of the best comments on cheese I've seen on these boards is "it's cheesy when I start to feel bad about it".
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    But that's my point. Ignore the arbitrary lines of leveling up and think of it as gradually getting better. Or, if you are wedded to the level-up concept think of each level up as a breakthrough in one's understanding of magic. (This would even help in the concept of level of spell that can be cast -- someone who barely understands the workings of a magic missile could not even be a technician for a horrid wilting, but they could read it off a scroll, I suppose, so I don't know how that really fits in.)
     
  12. Chris Williams Gems: 9/31
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    Your "tactic" for want of a better word is an exploitation of the game engine and hence cheesy. You're not cheating and it's your game so do whatever you please. But don't ask whether it's cheesy when, in your heart of hearts, you know you won't have earned your mage levels.
     
  13. Duke Eltan Gems: 14/31
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    I think it´s cheeze.
    Why?
    Because, it´s abuse of a rule.
    "Everything" that the developers didn´t mean for is cheeze. "Everything"= there miht be something, but I cant think of anything right now.

    I bet most of us has casted a CK through an open door with Mind Flayers in the room and then closed the door and waited for it to end and then do the same til they die. I mean, wouldn´t these highly intelligent creatures know how to open a door? I think they do, how else would they get in and out of that room. Cheeze, because the programmers forgot to add the ability to open doors on all enemies.

    See everything in a real life perspective, and if it is right IRL it´s right IG.

    Almost forgot, I dont think all cheeze is bad, if you feel good with it go ahead and do it. I gotta admit, I do the CK trick as often as I need and I dont feel bad about it :)
     
  14. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    [​IMG] @dmc
    I had thought my previous post would be last in this thread. However, something you said has given me an idea of how to justfy this tactic (and maybe this is what you were getting at but I was just too dense to get it).

    I still feel that, because the power of spells has nothing to do with how many times they've been learned, the "study" angle doesn't work in and of itself. However, it might make sense if it's tied into levelling up, as follows:

    For those spells whose effectiveness improves with higher levels, then upon level-up, it would be OK to re-scribe the spell. You could only do this once per level for each spell, and you could not do it for those spells which do not improve with higher levels (eg. identify). That way, you get XP that you otherwise would not get for actually improving the spell.

    What does everyone think about that?

    [ November 11, 2003, 17:06: Message edited by: Splunge ]
     
  15. Septic Yogurt Gems: 9/31
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    dmc, any fool can read a C++ user manual out aloud and not know what the fuzz it means, guess you could go for the same approach, because somebody like a technician (staying with the same comparison here) would know the basic "gist" of languages and how they work.... so instead of copying the spell into the book, the mage just blindly reads it out and follows the instructions instead of copying them, so they may cast it still.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    @ Splunge - I suppose that is somewhat of a justification.

    But then again, that's all that it is right? A justification to make you feel better about doing something cheesy. By definition, something is cheesy if it expoits a rule in the game, that the programmers did not intend to be in the game. The programmers intended that you get the XP's the first time you scribe a scroll into your spellbook. Thus, the first time it is clearly NOT cheese. Adding a delete option was actually an instance of the programmers being "nice" for lack of a better word because, IIRC, in PnP once you scribe a scroll, it's yours forever. You can never "unlearn" that spell. So, if you have an intelligence of 16, which allows up to 14 spells per level, and Fireball is the 15th level 3 spell you attempt to scirbe into your book (assuming you were successful scribing the other 14), you're SOL. You will never be able to cast fireball from memory, and will be restricted to using it from scroll, wands and other items of the like.

    So, what rules are we talking about? If we're talking 2nd edition rules, then clearly you don't get the bonus for scribing a spell twice, because it's not an option (of course in PnP, you don't get XP's for scribing scrolls). On the other hand, we're talking about BGII rules, not 2nd edition rules. BGII rules are based on 2nd edition rules but have modified them to some extent - the delete spell the most obvious example to point out at this moment. So, you have to ask if the programmers intended that you can relearn a spell and get the experience from it again. I think they didn't, so I think it's cheese. Anyway, if you gain XP's for learing a spell, does it not stand to reason that anything you gained from learning it would be lost be "unlearning" it?
     
  17. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    @ SY - of course any fool could read the manual out loud. There, however, is another category of people who know how to program a computer but have no idea why what they are doing works. They also have been taught in a rigorous fashion and probably have little ability/creativity to do things a different, perhaps better, way. Those people are the technicians. You also have group that not only knows how to program, but know why they are doing what they are doing and, better yet, have the creativity and skill set to figure out different and better ways of doing it. Even rarer are those poeple who intuitively understand the way the machines work and can program in, essentially, binary (machine language).

    That's my analogy. It's not perfect, but so what - most aren't.

    @ Splunge - perhaps a different way of looking at it would be that there should be a law of diminishing marginal return on learning a spell. Thus, the first time you learn it you get 100% of the experience, then 80%, etc. - this would allow 300%, so you could memorize and delete twice, stuck on the third time. Varying the margin would vary the experience up or down. Alternatively, you can go with your once per level concept as well.

    The biggest problem I have with the BGII engine's treatment of scribing mage spells is the sheer ridiculous concept that a brand spanking new mage has a chance in heck of scribing a level 9 spell to his book. Give me a break. I think PNP would have made that a prohibitive favorite to fail big time, probably with some major damage to the mage. However, even under insane, I think the mage has a better than decent chance of scribing the scroll (and getting the 9,000 experience for it). Please.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    @dmc

    I don't know if this was changed from BGI to BGII, but in BGI the rule was that if you weren't able to cast a spell of that level yet, your chance of successfully scribing that scroll into your book was reduced by 10% per level beyond that which you could cast.

    So for your example of a 1st level wizard successfully scribing a 9th level spell would be as follows (assuming an Intelligence of 18):

    Base chance to learn spell: 85%

    9 is 8 levels higher than you can currently cast, so it's an 80% penalty.

    Only a 5% chance of successfully scribing the scroll.
     
  19. Rastor Gems: 30/31
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    Aldeth,
    I believe that is in BG2 as well.
     
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