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ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

User-centric area to discuss ideas and request mods. Toolset modders may also float ideas for new mods here; if pursued, the thread can be relocated to Mods in Development.

ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby Sir Floopy » 20 Apr 2016, 04:44

So, I've played ME1 a good bit recently, and I found myself wishing for several small changes to some of its game mechanics. I know ME1 has the least in the way of development tools, so I wonder if it's at all possible to do any of these. It seems to me like a matter of opening some specific files and changing a few values, but perhaps there's more to it. In any case, I wouldn't know where to start myself. Anyway, the changes I would request:

-Edit the timing in Pinnacle Station for Hunt mode to make it actually doable on higher difficulties. It has a well-known design flaw, where even a near-constant stream of assault rifle fire isn't enough to keep the timer from counting down, mostly on the Volcanic and Tropical maps. After killing a certain number of enemies, the time added for each kill isn't nearly enough to keep up with the timer, and beating Vidinos' score is possible, but extremely difficult. I have beaten Pinnacle Station on Insanity twice, once as an Infiltrator, and once as a Soldier, but it took me many dozens of tries each time, and felt like an exercise in masochism. So I would think, change a few values in the programming for that combat mode, (I would be quite willing to playtest for you, since I rather liked Pinnacle Station besides this infuriating test), and test a bit to ensure it is still challenging, but doable for a Shepard without 60 character levels, and Level X Spectre-Master equipment.

-Restore some cut content that is already obtainable in console commands anyway, but doesn't appear on the leveled lists. The biggest change I would like to see is the restoration of the Hoplite/Skirmish-pattern armors, and extra weapons, that are statistically awesome and fully functional, but never show up in any crates or vendors. It only makes sense that as we raid Cerberus-held locations, we could get our hands on their armor and weapons. I would think this would be similarly simple: Add the items to the leveled lists and maybe balance the stats to ensure none are overpowered (For instance, I've heard the cut Harpoon rounds are completely awesome, but also clearly cut for being massively overpowered.) Again, I would be willing to playtest on this. Most of the cut content is higher-level stuff anyway, so the impressive stats are usually on par with Vanilla endgame equipment.

-An across-the-board increase in weapon damage, without an equivalent increase in shield strength or health. This is an idea that has itched at me for a while, because I don't know if it would make the game more fun or a complete disaster. The idea initially came from lamenting the fact that the default Hahne-Kedar Lancer, one of the most interesting-looking weapons in the game, is the statistically worst gun in it, and noticing that compared to the other two games in the trilogy, the biggest weakness of ME1's combat was that it was slow-paced and spammy, at least in my opinion. So the idea I had was to bring up the stats of the lower-level weapons and armor to be much closer to their high-level counterparts, while leaving the stats unchanged for high-level equipment. I noticed that at high levels, especially playing Infiltrator or Soldier, I cut through enemies like butter. But particularly on Insanity difficulty, which I play pretty much exclusively, the lower-level fights just feel like sluggish fights of attrition by comparison. I also have a personal tendency to favor high-level equipment that is statistically good, but not the best, because I find it looks infintely better than the bright red of Colossus armor, or the GI Joe-style Predator armor. So I think such a change would encourage players to use armor and weapons that actually looked good, instead of focusing on pure stats. I tried a playthrough using the Lancer X, just because I like the look of it, but found it impossible. So, to summarize the idea of this one, higher-level, more expensive weapons would still be statistically superior, just not by nearly as much.

-Though I know the last item on my list is the least likely to be made into a mod, I figured I'd throw it out there, in case it is doable. Some miscellaneous fixes for actual bugs would be great. One that comes to mind is the bugged lower-wheel option for turning down Liara's romance, or possibly using an existing dialogue line to give Shepard more agency if they find themselves "ninjamanced," in the vein of ME3's BackOff mod. Of course, that's a rather extreme example for a game with the limitations of ME1, but even a simple buigfix, or better yet, a clearer indication on the dialogue wheel itself, of what is considered a "flirty" or "romantic" line, rather than simply a "friendly" or "neutral" one. So, even if the bug itself couldn't be fixed, a text edit could make "ninjamances" much easier to identify and stop.

These are all just ideas I've thought of during multiple trilogy playthroughs, coming from someone with no modding experience other than installing mods that others have made. Let me know whether any of these are feasible, and of course if you think they are good ideas or not. Again, I am quite willing to playtest for you. And it would be great to finally give Ash an infinitely better white-and-red armor than Phoenix without having to pull up Hoplite with console commands.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby KingFeraligatr » 21 Apr 2016, 01:47

Saren should at first not have that "Geth arm" at first like Bioware originally intended. It's passable why he'd have it, but it'd be nice for him get the Geth arm after Virmire like was intended. The problem is getting a "no Geth arm" Saren in the first place.

Also, can there mod to make the inventory UI far more user friendly. I like ME1 and do not mind the inventory, but making overhauling it to make it more friendly to the user would alleviate the pain of going through the current one.

Also, fixing Garrus's "PC always low res face texture". I don't like to load up Texmod just so my buddy does not have to have a low res face at all time (Texmod kills performance like crazy).

I'm unconcerned about any changes that contradict ME2 and and 3, because as far as I'm concerned, they're nothing but fanfics for ideas.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby Sir Floopy » 21 Apr 2016, 02:50

That's an interesting point about Saren, I always just figured he'd lost his arm in service as a Spectre, or in the Turian military, and he'd recently upgraded the cybernetics to Geth spec when he allied with them. The inventory idea is great as an idea, but I don't know how doable it would be to fundamentally overhaul an entire game mechanic in that way. There is, however, something to be said for a sorting system of some kind. And for Garrus' face, I have a recommendation for you. MEUITM, the Mass Effect Updated/ Improved Textures Mod, fixes this, and makes everything else look awesome as well. If your computer can handle it, install that thing asap.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby KingFeraligatr » 21 Apr 2016, 20:28

Sir Floopy wrote:That's an interesting point about Saren, I always just figured he'd lost his arm in service as a Spectre, or in the Turian military, and he'd recently upgraded the cybernetics to Geth spec when he allied with them. The inventory idea is great as an idea, but I don't know how doable it would be to fundamentally overhaul an entire game mechanic in that way. There is, however, something to be said for a sorting system of some kind. And for Garrus' face, I have a recommendation for you. MEUITM, the Mass Effect Updated/ Improved Textures Mod, fixes this, and makes everything else look awesome as well. If your computer can handle it, install that thing asap.


I do not have a good enough computer to run MEUITM, let alone run ME1 in anything but medium at best settings (even then, I need a cooling pad). MEUITM looks great, but alas, I cannot hope to run that anytime within several years at least (stuck with laptops for a long time).
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby FemShep » 21 Apr 2016, 20:58

As someone who does GUI work with me series, overhauling GUIs is very difficult. You are working with a decompiler for flash files which lets you edit things but adding new things (such as frames or objects on screen) is much more difficult. Due to how scaleform integrated into the game you need both UE3 and SWF editing. Dybuk got some work done in ME2 though for face codes so maybe it is possible, but I don't think he documented it. Ive been meaning to write a scaleform editing guide for a while now...

Due to how they changed how GUIs load in ME3, changing interface typcially means having to change a huge set of files. Not sure if that's how it works in ME2 or 1.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby Sir Floopy » 22 Apr 2016, 16:16

Okay...But what about the ideas I originally put forward? The first two don't seem like they would be too difficult; it's just that I wouldn't know where to even start myself.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby JunkoXan » 23 Apr 2016, 17:48

Personally I think with the Saren bit, the way he is now is actually how he should be. in the Comic series Evolution, it shows how Saren became to be how he is in ME1 as well give insight as to why he hates Human as well and both Appearance and his attitude took place in the First Contact War.

Spoiler:
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby Sir Floopy » 23 Apr 2016, 18:33

Okay... But WHAT ABOUT THE IDEAS I ORIGINALLY PUT FORWARD? Come on, y'all, is nobody going to give me any input on the original topic? I would really like a reply from some experienced modders on this one.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby giftfish » 23 Apr 2016, 19:55

Sir Floopy wrote:Okay... But WHAT ABOUT THE IDEAS I ORIGINALLY PUT FORWARD? Come on, y'all, is nobody going to give me any input on the original topic? I would really like a reply from some experienced modders on this one.

The first three things you mention are combat-related changes that may or may not be INI-type edits. For the most part, it's not stuff many modders around here are interested in doing and releasing as mods. We tend to be "story" folks around here. We did have a lot texture and mesh modders at one point, but they have mostly moved on. AVPen might be interested; he's made some combat-related mods. Kinko might also have some interest, I know he's done some stuff with armors for EGM. They can of course speak for themselves. Just letting you know a possible reason why you not getting many responses.

As far as your last idea, I've talked about content modding limitations to ME1 in this thread, which was posted just a few days ago.
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Re: ME1: Specific Bugfixes and Cut Content Restoration

Postby Sir Floopy » 17 Aug 2016, 02:09

So obviously it's been a while, and I was still wondering if anyone has anything more to say on this. The modders that giftfish mentioned are currently busy with other mods, but I wondered if anyone's ever managed to edit combat settings in ME1, or if you have any advice for where to start. Even if the other stuff I mentioned isn't possible, I would very much like to make Pinnacle Station more playable.
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