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The Barber guys

Posted By: Levianne

The Barber guys - 20/11/19 09:56 AM

So I've finished FoV, was hell, but here we are. I decided to start a new character and now I'm in Broken Valley, past the tutorial and I've chose the knight voice for my character, the previous one had a soldier voice, suited her well. I thought since I'm going to turn into a Dragon Knight, why not having a knight voice, might suit well? During the character creation it didn't sound bad (well it cycles like 3 phrases anyway), but during the gameplay, I don't really like that voice. I know there's a guy in the Farglow tutorial, there's another one in your Battle Tower's main chambers and there's Chez Chanell in Aleroth during FoV. But is there one somewhere in Broken Valley, either in the village, or anywhere in the valley itself, the Bandit's Den? Do I have to wait until getting the Tower? That's still far from reaching yet.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 20/11/19 10:40 AM

Not that I can think of; there's the Farglow guy who appears in the Battle Tower, and also someone in Aleroth,but not in the Broken Valley region. I have a sort of nagging memory about some guy not that far from the bandit camp but I think he's just a merchant, not an illusionist.
Posted By: Raze

Re: The Barber guys - 20/11/19 11:39 AM

In the Developer Mode version of the Developer's Cut release on PC, you can use the cheat window (F11) to teleport to Farglow. Use goto character Tiresias to get back to the illusionist in Farglow. Alternately, 'goto region: 004_Tutorial Main' and then 'goto: -80 10 10'.
When you are done you can goto region Broken Valley 2 Main, or hit 'loc' to get your region and coordinates before you teleport to Farglow, so you can get back to where you left (or use goto character with Rhode, etc).
Posted By: Levianne

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 07:56 AM

Thanks, that should solve it for me. I was hoping for a cheatless approach, but if there's no one in Broken Valley, using the console might be the only way.
@Vometia: it's not the same guy, the one in Farglow is Tiresias (thanks, Raze, I'm bad with names XD), while the guy in Battle Tower is either Herma Frodit, or Herma Froditus (hermafrodit basically, he speaks with a deep voice, then a high one, in the same sentence), probably a brother of the one in Farglow. I don't really get, why has Chez Channel (Chanell? again, names *sigh*) the option to change your appearance, when at the time, you have access to your Battle Tower with Herma Frodit (Froditus?) in there? Not that it would be difficult to teleport there, change and then back (it's needed just for one optional quest, if you're not a woman already).
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 08:39 AM

Hah, the perils of fact-checking on unreliable sites before I posted. biggrin I should've just waited for Raze to appear!

I was also curious about Chez Thingy: either someone decided to create more NPCs just for additional points of interest (something I would do) or she's the product of some of the late design changes which saw FoV not being ready in time for Ego Draconis' release and stuff like the planned outskirts of Aleroth not happening. But that's a complete guess with absolutely no foundation at all.
Posted By: Raze

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 09:50 AM

Before you get the battle tower (when there is a force field blocking access to the elevator platform from the throne room), if you teleport to Hermaphroditus the lighting is predominantly orange, and it is difficult to see the illusionist, though you don't need to be able to see him/her to use his/her services.

There were skill trainers added in FoV to teach higher levels of skills (Lockpick, at least) ...don't recall if there were any new skills that the BF trainer couldn't teach. I assume having equivalent services in Aleroth was just to make it a complete hub, support the claim that Aleroth had grown into a prominent city, and not require trips back to the battle tower, that wasn't used for anything else (besides the storage chest).
Also, when starting a new FoV game, services in Aleroth can help if you don't care for the random BF servants.

The illusionist place is Chez Chanelle.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 10:29 AM

I should probably play DKS again myself. I'm still wondering what to do with myself since finishing The Outer Worlds, and this discussion is reminding me that I've probably forgotten more than I remember.

But I am remembering various random things like the Lanilor Lane gossips: I wonder if they're the same duo from Broken Valley Village? I'd like to think so and I know that in spite of the comments about its complete demise that a number of its inhabitants made it out. My personal "lore" being that having got wind of the impending unpleasantness, much of the town was evacuated by Zeppelin.
Posted By: Levianne

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 11:40 AM

Even if you don't bother to play through ED, even if you create a character for FoV, you still get the Dragon Stone, even if you don't bother with the random guys on the platforms and use the services of the people in the city, you still get your Hermafroditus in any case. And it's far easier, far more comfortable when you find out they need a woman to play the role of Camilla, you can simply teleport to the tower, run across the room, jump down the lift (or take the lift down, mine is always down, it's quicker to jump really) and speak to Herma, than going through 4 loading screens in total to visit Chez and back to the Playhouse. Chez still has her use as an alchemist, but her barber services aren't really needed, if there is a much quicker way.

I don't really think those two are the same girls, eventhough they didn't give you any quest, that would announce them as "Because of Damian's attack, everyone in the Broken Valley Village is dead. That includes So & So*" (*insert the names of the two gossip girls). I think the attack came all of a sudden, there was really no time to evacuate most of the people, considering no one saved the most important one - Richard of Aleroth. He would board the Zeppelin among the first people, but the questlog lists him as dead. Reminds me, when you later meet his daughter, there's almost no interaction regarding her father, mentioning that your character met him, worked for him or anything like that. Would make a better connection between ED and FoV.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 12:21 PM

I think maybe the idea is that for some people, leaving Aleroth to do this and that may be immersion-breaking, just from a purely atmospheric or role-playing perspective. I guess I kinda liked its slightly claustrophobic feeling, though personally I liked escaping to the Battle Tower for a breath of fresh air now and again.

I always thought that the "and everybody died" seemed a little hasty, both in terms of writing and because we do encounter some of the citizens elsewhere later in the game. I can only think of the pig-fancier offhand but I'm sure there are others. I think that still fits in with Richard having died: if he was truly the hero that made him so important he'd surely want to escort everybody else to safety rather than simply saying "I'm important and you are plebs, bye!" At least I would hope so... even if he was a bit of a twit.
Posted By: Levianne

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 01:33 PM

Hah! You're right, Folo (with my mate, I mean his mate Kevin, of course his ... er Rosebud? XD) did reach Aleroth for a quest later in the expansion, and some other figures appeared in different places as well, like the doctor with the anti-mind reading helmet can be found on top of Lovis'es tower once the Valley got poisoned. But still most people wouldn't probably make it.

About Richard's personality, remember how he treated poor Folo and during another quest he enjoyed to "break" that one guard, who owned some rabbit meat to a guy, he doesn't seem anything of the hero he proclaimed to be. That fits perfectly to me with the "Make way! I'm the hero of Aleroth, let me pass, so I can save my city, you plebs" behavior.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 21/11/19 03:20 PM

There was some unexpectedly amusing stuff there; when I finally encountered Prince Michael I almost asphyxiated myself with laughter. I mean that's when Michael Jackson was better known for the zombies in Thriller than... well, as a friend rather undiplomatically broke the news, "Wacko Jacko heart attacko". And if my repetition sounds insensitive, I tried a heart attack myself to see what it was like. I seriously don't recommend them, they bloody hurt.

Your assessment of Richard certainly sounds familiar and I was thinking, "am I really describing him as a hero? All I remember is that he was an arse." I thought I was being a bit uncharitable but you've helpfully confirmed my memory that he was indeed a complete knob! But I still like my idea that many of the townspeople escaped, if not with his help then the myriad guards who were wandering about. I think the only other person specifically named as being dead was the also memorably-named Fanny (hmm, so the two casualties were Fanny and Dick... never realised that before) but even that could well be hearsay. But I am That Person who so despised all the NPCs in Oblivion being pwned before I'd even met them (especially the by then deserted refugee camp at Kvatch, but certainly not limited to it) that I went to the admittedly slightly extreme length of writing my own scripting language to generate a mod to make them all unkillable.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 22/11/19 12:57 PM

So I decided to start a new game and lasted all of about three minutes before I decided I need to start interfering with it. None of the various looks quite captured where I'm going with my character, which is the same as usual. I chose "sorceress" because it fits well with the unconvincing badass, but wasn't quite unconvincing enough so I needed to add freckles too, which go with the country girl voice, or whatever it's called.

[Linked Image]

So I've done things all the player head variants and can view them in Blender but it remains to be seen if I can remember how to get them in game: it is not straightforward and it's been years. Sadly, I did my DKS modding before I really got into the habit of documenting stuff, so I'm very much less than certain what to do next.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 22/11/19 02:54 PM

It's taken me this long to remember what I'm doing.

Partial success: I've got my texture working, but somehow I've also managed to make her go cross-eyed (ish). I recall a similar problem in Oblivion which used broadly the same engine so I'll figure it out. But the other thing that's really bothering me is that hair, or rather its pixelation. I'm less confident I'm going to be able to fix that...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 22/11/19 03:45 PM

Eyes fixed, thankfully. But given how long it took, I'm really not sure I want to start on the hair.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 23/11/19 06:12 AM

And appropriate to the topic title, I thought I'd have a go at improving the hair anyway. A fairly low-effort attempt, just upscaling the DM from 512×512 to 1024×1024 and trying to smooth out the alpha channel a bit. If it's made any difference at all I can't really see it, though it looks worse in screenshots than in-game, I guess because the constant movement disguises the rough outlines a bit.

[Linked Image]

But I don't think I'm going to have any success as I suspect it's less to do with the texture and more a problem with the engine's aliasing, which I've never been able to get working satisfactorily even forcing all sorts of settings with the Radeon tool, as well as the awful jaggedy self-shadows which look really rough even on maximum quality, another of various "features" it shares with Oblivion.

I just noticed the date on the files I was working on which was mid 2012. No wonder I struggled to remember what I'd been doing! I can redo the textures easily enough now, though it's quite laborious, especially as some Gimp and/or Windows 10 bug means it takes forever for the file dialogue to come up, but for small numbers it's not too bad; I dunno whose idea it was to embed them in NIF files though! Which is part of the reason it takes so long as the dds needs to be repacked into a NIF, which then needs to be checked and fixed (sometimes with several iterations) and then the whole lot snuck into the Patch.dv2 archive. And I'm not even going near the models again (which is how come my character is wearing jewellery) as they're ten times more fiddly and arcane.

But actually it wasn't freckles or hair that incited me to do this but that I wanted to avoid the "silver" eyes thing: I know it's supposed to happen but I became quite weary of the way it looks. I guess I shall soon find out if it worked. She currently has hazel eyes as I made the base colour brown but forgot to change the specular map which is still blue/green.
Posted By: Raze

Re: The Barber guys - 23/11/19 06:17 AM

Originally Posted by vometia
I wanted to avoid the "silver" eyes thing

I was wondering why you'd bother fixing the minor issue with the original eyes.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 23/11/19 06:21 AM

The cross-eyed thing wasn't minor! But it was entirely my doing, I'd somehow managed to offset the entire eye texture by 15%, or more like 30% of the visible part of her eyes, so it looked fairly obviously goofy.

It's mostly down to my "can it be done?" inclination, though. And the pixelly hair does irritate me a bit.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 24/11/19 05:03 AM

I knew it wouldn't take me long to want to start interfering with the 3D modelling too. I think this is the point where gaming ceases to be relaxing. biggrin Apart from having totally forgotten how I managed to get the NIF into the correct format for DKS (there was at least one point where it required hex editing) and also having to rewrite the Blender export script (quite a feat as I don't "do" Python... fortunately it was mostly a cut-and-paste job, which is probably why I needed the hex editor) I can't even get Blender to export any sort of NIF at present.

I suspect I may be better off finally doing the job properly, understanding the NIF file format and writing to it directly. That way I wouldn't require all this horrid little scriptlets, work-arounds and kludges to hammer them into a shape that DKS fortunately doesn't complain about.

Edit: I've also spent the past two hours trying to build NifSkope on both FreeBSD and Linux and think it's time I quit. I can probably run it under Wine if I must do my work on Unix, which I mainly want to do as there's half of bugger all chance of me discovering the various bugs and glitches that're making life so painful with Windows 10. But so far this isn't any less painful.

For that matter I'm also wondering if the DV2 format is described anywhere. I have the executables for the packer and unpacker but would rather not be totally reliant on exe-only stuff.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 25/11/19 01:23 PM

I couldn't just get on with the game comfortable in the knowledge that I've forgotten how to do 3D modelling but that's okay. Because obviously, being me, it isn't okay so even though I have nothing much I "need" to change I was compelled to spend the morning reminding myself.

Turns out it's actually not as difficult as I'd thought, the tricky bit was remembering what I did all those years ago, so I now have a headache anyway! Fortunately, my clumsily hacked together Python script for Blender 2.49 still works, or it started working again once I'd repaired the ancient version of Python it needs; in fact it seems a lot of people have trouble getting newer versions of Blender to write NIFs, the recommendation seemingly being to either use the old Blender or to go via some intermediate program like OutfitStudio.

I did need to experiment a bit to get the right export options, as the game will crash if I don't check the "export skin partition" box. The only slightly painful bit is that, same as with pretty much every other game I've exported NIFs to, they require some cleaning up in order to work, in this case just opening the new NIF at the same time as a copy of the original and copying and pasting the NiTriShapeData and NiSkinInstance sub-blocks for each of the three instances of NiTriShape: and that's the painful bit, the fact that there are three meshes, high, medium and low poly count meaning pretty much everything has to be done in triplicate. But it is doable.

Oh yeah, it also needs an old version of NifSkope (I keep a copy of 1.0.22 for this purpose) as somewhere along the line its XML that describes the NIF format seems to have diverged from supporting Ego Draconis. I tried to figure out what had got broken but I suspect I could've pointlessly spent days on it.
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 27/11/19 04:34 PM

I'm still probably spending more time modding than playing, but most of it is "because I can", I think. Too much time spent with games that can't (yet) be modded so I just needed to. So today I found a new piece of armour I didn't care for so I nuked the bare legs and replaced the boots with some I made for Fallout 4. Meaning that, yes, heels have finally appeared in my ED game, but if DOS can have them...

In other news, in spite of much dithering I've finally made it to Sentinel Island. Never trust anyone with a mouth like a cat's bum.

[Linked Image]

I would progress more enthusiastically if I wasn't aware of the implications. I really wish they hadn't done that and if there was proper modding support I would've changed the outcome.

Edit: oh, and I suppose I should include the impractical shoes just for the record. Well it keeps me entertained anyway. I was wearing a similar pair IRL when I really knackered my knee over 18 months ago. Apparently heels and a late frost (i.e. ice) don't mix. Still hasn't put me off, though.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: caninelegion

Re: The Barber guys - 29/11/19 01:35 AM

Probably seriously hurt a badie when kicking so, not completely impractical. smile
Posted By: vometia

Re: The Barber guys - 29/11/19 04:01 AM

She's more the running away type, so they're probably somewhat inconvenient in that regard (though from personal experience it's certainly possible!)
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