Monday, August 23, 2010

Frustration Warning!

Tonight will be a short update because of a bug I found in the Dragon Age toolset that has caused numerous problems that I couldn't track down. This one is for modders.

Do not duplicate plots!

If you duplicate a plot, the toolset does not create a new GUID for the duplicated plot. For those who aren't tech savvy, this means that setting plot flags is not reliable.  You might end up setting a plot flag on a different plot to the one you thought you had selected. It also causes havoc for any codex plots you might have created.

This issue has caused me several headaches... I had a quest that was miraculously being finished for no apparent reason even though the requirements had not been met, I had the codex entry appear for a character the player had not met, and was missing codex entries as well.

I've still got a bit of repairing to do in order to rectify this problem. Something that should have saved me a significant amount of time has actually cost me many hours of productive modding.


  1. When you say set plot flags I assume this is not referring to objects such as placeables?

  2. Plots are similar to journal entries in NWN2, but are used for a lot more. They're used for codex entries, the quest log, keeping track of the game's state, and even to facilitate things like approval ratings. Flags are individual boolean variables within a particular plot, used to determine the current state of a quest, or anything else that needs its state tracked. If you've ever used a integer variable to keep track of a quest's state in NWN2, then in DAO you'd instead use a series of plot flags.

  3. This is a well-documented bug - - but I do understand the frustration it can cause when plots are duplicated. Technically, you could create a new empty plot and copy/paste the GUID into the old copied plot via the GFF editor (after checking in and deleting the newly created plot). If it is just one or two plots, you can recreate them but I think this solution should work if you have more than a couple.

  4. I feel your pain, AH. I recently learned how to script approval for custom companions, but I decided to use duplicates of the DAO companion plots for approval settings. So, whenever an approval was supposed to go up, nothing happened. I set the log file to copy down what the system was doing, and it was apparently trying to make Alistair approve of me (in a custom module.)

    Guess what I had to do? Delete, rename, rewrite. Manual retyping. That was the most boring half hour of modding ever.

    I feel that the worst part of it is that it might not be something that can be fixed in a toolset patch. It wasn't in 1.00 DA toolset, and was introduced in 1.01 to keep the in-game plot flag bugs from occurring.

    We just can't win.

    I hope you recover, especially if you have to re-do more than six plots...

  5. I'll share my frustration to help you out:

    In short not only is it retarded, but even if I tried it the way its set up it doesnt work. So Im quitting ahead of the curve this time.

  6. Timelord: Guess that one slipped under the radar for me. I wish it hadn't. I *really* wish it hadn't.

  7. I ran into this one recently myself. Luckily I caught it early and didn't waste more than a few minutes.

  8. So now that I've created a plot, I assume that if I always create a plot from scratch I will be ok?

  9. EE: Yes. Provided you never right-click->duplicate plot, then you'll be fine. It appears other items are safe to duplicate, just not plots.