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The ettiquette of fixing/adding to another's mod.

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brothermutant
The ettiquette of fixing/adding to another's mod.

Hi all, first time posting my own topic, and I hope I am doing it in the correct area.

The title explains the first part of my dilemma. I am making/fixing/changing others' mods. Specifically, I am updating and changing things I liked and deleting things that are broken or subpar from a bunch of spells used in NWN2. The mod that is serving as my template has been a merged pack made by Kaedrin (has a ton of stuff in his/her mod, including Reeron's Spell Fixes and Improvements, tome of battle (I think), Mage tome and many others. I am even toying with the idea of adding those special effect changes I have been using...either the ones I downloaded or the ones that I have personally changed to suit my needs.

First and foremost, I do NOT want to take credit for the phenomenal work of others. So, what is the proper way to post my changes to their work, where I give them all the credit they deserve? Is it enough to thank them in the acknowledgements section of a text document? Do I refer people to their (unaltered) files that I copied from? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Next, and this is the reason I chose this forum to post in, I would like to know more about how to change NSS files. I know how to open them, save them, and compile them. What I am missing is the technical know-how for changing a spell or spells around. All I am looking for is either a tutorial for spell writing, or a decent book/article that may pique my interest. The spells that I find to be broken (ones that do not do the damage they claim AND the amount of damage is too much to justify for ANY spell level, otherwise I'd switch the spell level accordingly, an easy fix), to my more ambitious spells I'd like to create or modify (always wanted to "fix" the shadow conjuration line of spells as well as make the missing Shadow Evocation pair of spells, as well as make a Chromatic Orb spell that utilizes the 5 current orb spells in a pull down menu option) is the reason I would need the tutorial.

I assume I could, by trial and error, "fix" those spells whose damage is flat out wrong by opening enough NSS files to see what I could copy/paste from currently working spells. Again, how do I give credit to the original creator of the spell? Its important to me to give credit where it is due. Any thoughts?

Lub U ;)

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caillean

I already thought about that as well, and couldn't find any policies regarding modifying and re-uploading other folks' work. There is the section about permissions & licensing, for once. But what if someone years ago forgot this, is no longer registered here? Would be a pity for their work  to just sit here if there is potential and someone else willing to fix / enhance / modernize them. As long as credit is given...? Agreed, some clarification would be good.

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kevL's

here's an example of an upgraded/enhanced package:

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/script/personal-impossibility-...


but it depends. If an author is active it's best to get in touch with them. If they're long gone, be very upfront about where you got the base code/resources from.

If it's a small fix, offer your efforts as a patch; if a major overhaul, i'd basically go by the premise of any of the public licenses: give credit and do whatever you want.
 

  • Next, and this is the reason I chose this forum to post in, I would like to know more about how to change NSS files. I know how to open them, save them, and compile them. What I am missing is the technical know-how for changing a spell or spells around. All I am looking for is either a tutorial for spell writing, or a decent book/article that may pique my interest. The spells that I find to be broken (ones that do not do the damage they claim AND the amount of damage is too much to justify for ANY spell level, otherwise I'd switch the spell level accordingly, an easy fix), to my more ambitious spells I'd like to create or modify (always wanted to "fix" the shadow conjuration line of spells as well as make the missing Shadow Evocation pair of spells, as well as make a Chromatic Orb spell that utilizes the 5 current orb spells in a pull down menu option) is the reason I would need the tutorial.


i doubt there's a tutorial geared to writing spellscripts. There are several basic patterns, self-only, persistent AoE, instant AoE buffs, instant AoE attacks (fireball!!), single-target attack, etc.

There are several functions that you'll see used over and over: GetSpellId(), GetSpellTargetObject(), etc. and they each have their usages and tricks. The basic thing to remember is that OBJECT_SELF is always the caster in any bona fide spellscript, even if it's triggered by a Feat (ie, is a spellability).

If it's a simple change to the damage delivered, simply make a note at the top "name/date: changed damage from 2d8 to 2d6" for example. Such a change in the code itself ought be straightforward.


Spells on dropdown menus are handled by the "Master" and "SubRadSpell*" columns in Spells.2da. Expect issues that may need to be resolved since the caster memorizes the SpellID of the master, but casts the SpellID of the subspell.

And some of the incorrect descriptions can be resolved only by editing Dialog.Tlk ...



In general, all of the spellscripts can be rewritten/improved - this is not a secret to me since i look at/rewrite them almost daily. To get good at it, to understand the strengths to exploit and pitfalls to be wary of, is I'd say a matter of time/effort/and play-testing. that is, you've got to be into it,

and using a version control system like Git is a bonus - so you can go back and see exactly what's changed at any time.


/thoughts

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brothermutant

Thank you both for the post. I am fairly certain my tweeking of the text/tooltips is minor stuff, but will of course point out what I changed and where I got the originals. Easy fixing of damage in the NSS files I have should be easy enough as well.

 

As for the pull down menu, that one don't work like I thought. I really must just sit down and look at a bunch of NSS files and see what others do to make things work. That update MAY take awhile, but I am confident I can get the other, more mundane fixes done in the next few weeks.

Last question: HOW do I submit my files? I assume I ZIP them, is that right? Can someone point me to the page for this?

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

Neverwintervault.org has guidelines on this topic.

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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GCoyote

Here is how I handled attribution. Note that there is a specific field in the upload process where you can insert the link to any related projects, in this case the original module.

Original: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/temple-elemental-evil-r...

My Version: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/temple-elemental-evil-u...

I posted a standard change log along with my version but almost no one it seems has bothered to read it. Still, due dilligence.

Hope that helps.

<b>"Please VOTE on the content you play."</b>

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brothermutant

Thanks all! That helps a lot. I still need to know how to get ahold of the original authors though. Any advice? I can (probably) get Kaedrin via their webpage, but need the others on Kaedrin's merged pack as they are most of the creators whose work I am using/changing. They are (at least): Reeron and Trekari, ChainsawXIV, Jake Zahn, Kamigoroshi, K2, and RedRover. I may need one or two others more, but that should keep me busy. Does anyone know a way to contact them on this site?

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GCoyote

User names are searchable from the Home page or just click the Users link at the top of the page and scroll through the list. You can send PMs to each one but if they don't have an option set to be notified by email of new messages you may not get a quick response. For those that are not members here. No idea.

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

As the names are pretty unusual, Google is your friend.

However, at the end of the day, there's only so much you can reasonably do about "abandonware". If authors have not bothered to register here, and you can't find them online, no one will hassle you for using their stuff, as long as you follow the site guidelines mentioned above.

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