Modding skill level perks in MM7?

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Modding skill level perks in MM7?

Postby BTB » Apr 11 2015, 14:12

Ok, so this is a question I'm asking largely already knowing the answer to, the answer being that there are only a select few among us who have looked through the .exe long and hard enough to find the offsets necessary to make these sorts of changes. So, rather than ask general questions about how to go about doing them, I'm just going to say what I *want* to do and hope I catch Grayface's attention and titillate his interests enough to make him want to do them.

Axe Grandmaster

It keeps being said that the Axe GM perk is broken/useless since it only slightly bumps up the accuracy of a single attack. I propose changing this perk to "double skill points added to damage".

Shield Grandmaster

Shields are fairly unpopular choices from my observations since the benefits of dual-wielding far outweigh the defensive benefits of a shield. The fact that shield grandmastery merely mimics a spell is just rubbing salt in that wound, so I would propose changing this perk to triple skill points added to armor class.

Alternatively, since I sort of want to mod shields to have more inherent armor class, the expert perk could be switched to halving the recovery penalty and then the GM perk could eliminate it. Of course, this gets me going down an entirely different line of thinking where the Shield skill should actually be broken up into two skills - one for small shields, and one for large shields (which would have a bigger recovery penalty). And I'm not quite sure how feasible adding a new skill to the game is.

Identify Monster (all ranks)

As a purely informational skill, its usefulness is somewhat limited. For it to be a truly viable skill, the knowledge of enemies should somehow translate into a tangible combat bonus. The simplest solution, I think, would be an attack bonus boost: from double the skill level at expert all the way to quadruple it at grandmaster.

The other issue is that the informational aspect of this skill isn't even really useful until you hit GM level - resistance information is by far the most useful, and is much moreso in the early game. And so I think all of the built-in perks of the skill should be available from the get-go, and then it should just be a case of whether or not your skill level (double at expert, triple at master, yadda yadda) matches up to the monster you're investigating.

Perception (all ranks)

See above, re: purely information skill with no actual combat use. In addition to its effects of dodging traps and spotting more treasure (or in lieu of, really - those perks are kind of stupid to begin with), I think perception should convey an armor class bonus, from double skill level at expert to quadruple at grandmaster (same deal as above).

Identify Item (all ranks)

The only real way to rescue this skill from the trash heap is to kill the value of unidentified items (or at least set it to the item's base) and have unidentified items not actually convey the benefits of their enchantment. I think MM9 did it this way, though I don't remember for certain.

Stealing (all ranks)

Oof. This one is a tough sell any way you slice it. The only help I can ask for from someone who knows how to edit the .exe is to reduce the cost of all Stealing training to 0 and to make successful steal attempts no longer put a hit on your reputation.

Honestly, though, this is the one skill that I think should just be axed altogether.
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Postby GrayFace » Apr 11 2015, 16:37

A lot of changes to skills are planned for MM8.5, so I'll have to add the various hooks to MMExt when I get to doing it, but don't expect that happening anytime soon.
In general, adding new perks is always easier than removing existing ones. E.g. I can guarantee perks to armor class, damage and all sorts of stats would be available when I get to doing this stuff.
Last edited by Anonymous on Apr 11 2015, 16:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby BTB » Apr 11 2015, 16:39

GrayFace wrote:In general, adding new perks is always easier than removing existing ones.


That's fine, for the most part. There's really no harm in leaving the existing Shield GM/Axe GM perks there so long as the new ones are added, I'd say, since they don't really do anything noticeable in the first place.
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Postby Paviel » Apr 14 2015, 23:18

I've played quite a few games where shield-wearing characters can bash enemies with their shields; maybe GM Shield could be something similar: "Skill added to Attack Damage," or "Chance to stun equal to skill," or something like that.

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Postby BTB » Apr 16 2015, 4:00

Paviel wrote:I've played quite a few games where shield-wearing characters can bash enemies with their shields; maybe GM Shield could be something similar: "Skill added to Attack Damage," or "Chance to stun equal to skill," or something like that.


Funny you should mention that, since I thought of the exact same thing myself the other day.
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Postby Macros the Black » Apr 27 2015, 4:16

Yes, the Shield GM perk is bad, but I think even if it wasn't there's still the inherent problem that the classes who are good with shields don't need them.. For that reason, the only sort of perk that would make me want to learn Shield on my Knight is something that helps protect the rest of the party from damage - like adding the Shield's armor class to all party members.

I agree with your idea to have Identify Monster display all the values regardless of rank and just have it be a skill check of whether or not you can identify. I also think it would have been nice if this skill let you see the monster's current hit points instead of that being a seperate spell. I don't think the skill would need any other boosts after that, though. Sure, if you already know an enemy's stats then just getting information on them is useless - but half the game is discovering different things in the first place. You have to look at it from the perspective of someone playing it for the first time. Although I will say in that context this skill would have been more useful in Might and Magic 6 because of all the immunities and them being different between enemies of the same type.

I think Perception is fine as-is. It does lots of different things: spot treasure, secret doors, traps, lets you dodge traps that you fail to disarm, lets you get items from interactibles more often as well as protect against diseases they can give you (i.e. trash heaps). I think it does enough things that it's worthwhile.

Identify makes life easier and that's worth my skill points honestly.

Stealing is indeed the worst of the bunch. It's like Diplomacy in MM6 - just completely worthless.. I think if I were to design a game like this, I would just have a Stealth skill for the Rogue that you can activate outside of combat. While in stealth, enemies can't attack you. Attacking from stealth grants a damage bonus and breaks Stealth. And - while in stealth, you can steal items, with success depending on the stealth skill. I think stealing is a fun idea, but it's not worth being a whole skill on it's own. Adding it to another skill that is already useful would be nice.

One thing that would be cool if stealth worked this way is if enemies could use it too, and Perception skill allowed you to see them.


But anyway, just some ideas.

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Postby BTB » Apr 28 2015, 19:47

Macros the Black wrote:Yes, the Shield GM perk is bad, but I think even if it wasn't there's still the inherent problem that the classes who are good with shields don't need them.. For that reason, the only sort of perk that would make me want to learn Shield on my Knight is something that helps protect the rest of the party from damage - like adding the Shield's armor class to all party members.


That would actually be kinda neat. I may steal that idea if it's actually workable.

Macros the Black wrote:I agree with your idea to have Identify Monster display all the values regardless of rank and just have it be a skill check of whether or not you can identify. I also think it would have been nice if this skill let you see the monster's current hit points instead of that being a separate spell.


I'm pretty sure that it does.... though I can't remember the last time I actually *used* the damn skill, so it's hard to say.

Macros the Black wrote:I don't think the skill would need any other boosts after that, though. Sure, if you already know an enemy's stats then just getting information on them is useless - but half the game is discovering different things in the first place. You have to look at it from the perspective of someone playing it for the first time. Although I will say in that context this skill would have been more useful in Might and Magic 6 because of all the immunities and them being different between enemies of the same type.

I think Perception is fine as-is. It does lots of different things: spot treasure, secret doors, traps, lets you dodge traps that you fail to disarm, lets you get items from interactibles more often as well as protect against diseases they can give you (i.e. trash heaps). I think it does enough things that it's worthwhile.


Ideally, the "purely informational" skills should convey at least some combat benefit, or else they're pretty worthless once you're familiar with the game. This would include ID Item/Monster and Perception (the "avoid trap damage" thing is a wash because, ideally, I want to rework Disarming Traps to be more of a "Pick Locks" deal where you can't just tank the trap damage and move on).

I've had a lot of ideas, starting with a "skill point rebate" system where you get back some/all of the points you invest in "useless" skills. Another idea would be actually allowing the combat bonuses: +damage for ID Item, +attack bonus for ID Monster, +AC for Perception, and reduced recovery time for Disarm Trap.

Another idea, since I intend to rework them anyway, is to take certain artifacts/relics out of the "random" rotation and make them exclusive to masters/grandmasters of certain skills. In fact, I may end up reworking the entire artifact system like that if it works out well, so you don't end up with relics you can't use (i.e. Gibbet in a party where nobody uses spears).

Macros the Black wrote:One thing that would be cool if stealth worked this way is if enemies could use it too, and Perception skill allowed you to see them.


Cool, but most likely not feasible.
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Postby Macros the Black » Apr 29 2015, 0:28

BTB wrote:That would actually be kinda neat. I may steal that idea if it's actually workable.
You may not!! Just kidding of course. Be my guest :D

I'm pretty sure that it does.... though I can't remember the last time I actually *used* the damn skill, so it's hard to say.

It displays max health but not current. You need Detect Life to see current health (it's a pretty useless spell in Spirit Magic). I would have prefered it if ID Monster would show current health as well. If you know an enemy's weaknesses than you should be able to tell how injured it is.. And if it's an informational skill than I want it to at least give me the information I care about most.

Ideally, the "purely informational" skills should convey at least some combat benefit, or else they're pretty worthless once you're familiar with the game.

I'm personally fine with them being worthless once you know the game, but you can mod/play the game however you want of course :)

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Postby BTB » May 1 2015, 1:06

I was actually trying to kill this thread by rolling everything over to this more comprehensive one regarding what all I plan to do:

http://www.celestialheavens.com/forums/ ... hp?t=14782

Bear in mind that a lot of it is still up in the air, and a final decision will end up being made WRT what is actually workable or not.
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