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Basically, this would cause the game to run faster until something happens that would pause the game, like dialogue or an auto-pause being triggered.

I could see two instances where this would be useful:

1. Getting from point A to point B, when A and B are not nearby and there are no enemies in between.

2. Winning easy fights; if the fight is easy enough for the ally AI to win without much trouble, why waste time on it?

Basically, a fast forward button would allow one to skip the dull parts of the game where nothing happens and get to the interesting parts faster.

Edit: A third use of this feature. After a battle, if some of your characters are suffering from status ailments, fast forwarding would allow you to get rid of them quickly. (Of course, doing so when someone is poisoned or similar might not be a good idea.) Similarly, if you can't save because of cloud spells, fast forwarding would make them wear off, along with other spells like Project Image.
Post edited October 27, 2015 by dtgreene
Yup, Pillars of Eternity has precisely that and it's incredibly useful. In fact, it has both fast mode and a slow mode.
The Infinity Engine is 17 years old. Did Aurora, Odyssey, Eclipse or Unreal engines have such a toggle?
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Hickory: The Infinity Engine is 17 years old. Did Aurora, Odyssey, Eclipse or Unreal engines have such a toggle?
Well, Aurora, Odyssey and Eclipse were all focused on a lot more direct control, so a "fast" button isn't really needed. I'm pretty sure Unreal engine actually allows for speed changes, but I'm not sure - not that it would need it at all. Anyway, there's a lot of waiting for characters to arrive somewhere in IE which requires no player input at all so it would be quite handy. But ... Yeah, it's 17 years old engine.
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Hickory: The Infinity Engine is 17 years old. ...
Exactly. I think it's a tribute to the quality of those games that newcomers would forget about the age of the game and compare it to just-released titles...;)
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Hickory: The Infinity Engine is 17 years old. ...
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waltc: Exactly. I think it's a tribute to the quality of those games that newcomers would forget about the age of the game and compare it to just-released titles...;)
Actually, I am more prone to compare the game to older titles. Many older games (Ultima 1-6) play fast enough that they don't need a fast forward key. In particular, movement (especially out of combat) is much faster. (In fact, Ultima 2 plays so fast that it needs to be slowed down to be what I would consider playable, and if your computer is too fast, you will even get a division by zero error if you don't slow down the game sufficiently.)

Many older games actually offer a combat speed option. This means that you can slow down the battle messages to give you time to read them or speed them up to save time. (Example: In Wizardry 4, there is an easy fight that yields a lot of money. If you need a lot of money (and you do for one of the endings), you can speed up the fight to save real time.) Even early Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games offer options to change the battle message speed, though it unfortunately doesn't solve the problem of slow walking speed.
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waltc: Exactly. I think it's a tribute to the quality of those games that newcomers would forget about the age of the game and compare it to just-released titles...;)
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dtgreene: Actually, I am more prone to compare the game to older titles. Many older games (Ultima 1-6) play fast enough that they don't need a fast forward key. In particular, movement (especially out of combat) is much faster. (In fact, Ultima 2 plays so fast that it needs to be slowed down to be what I would consider playable, and if your computer is too fast, you will even get a division by zero error if you don't slow down the game sufficiently.)

Many older games actually offer a combat speed option. This means that you can slow down the battle messages to give you time to read them or speed them up to save time. (Example: In Wizardry 4, there is an easy fight that yields a lot of money. If you need a lot of money (and you do for one of the endings), you can speed up the fight to save real time.) Even early Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games offer options to change the battle message speed, though it unfortunately doesn't solve the problem of slow walking speed.
The walking speed in BG1 is pretty much as near to normalcy as damn it, whereas the walking speed in BG2 (and most games) is comical... and that's putting it mildly. You *can* speed up things by raising the engine (AI) speed in config.exe, but that speeds up *everything* in the game. Risky.
The developers obviously didn't anticipate the plague of ADD that has taken over the world.
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vsommers12: The developers obviously didn't anticipate the plague of ADD that has taken over the world.
A pretty valid comment, I'd say.

Don't have an issue with walking speeds or the lack of speed in combat (I auto-pause on spell cast, and still sometimes pause manually in between), but what would have been *very* useful is some kind of auto-buffing sequence. Going through these motions ahead of every big battle is quite frankly a pain in the nether regions. Particularly if you forget to quicksave after you have buffed, and then get torn to shreds in combat.... *grrr*
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dtgreene: Basically, this would cause the game to run faster until something happens that would pause the game, like dialogue or an auto-pause being triggered.

I could see two instances where this would be useful:

1. Getting from point A to point B, when A and B are not nearby and there are no enemies in between.

2. Winning easy fights; if the fight is easy enough for the ally AI to win without much trouble, why waste time on it?

Basically, a fast forward button would allow one to skip the dull parts of the game where nothing happens and get to the interesting parts faster.

Edit: A third use of this feature. After a battle, if some of your characters are suffering from status ailments, fast forwarding would allow you to get rid of them quickly. (Of course, doing so when someone is poisoned or similar might not be a good idea.) Similarly, if you can't save because of cloud spells, fast forwarding would make them wear off, along with other spells like Project Image.
There was a way to increase the walking rate in the original IE games. I can't remember how you did it, but it helped a lot. You basically were run walking everywhere.
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vsommers12: The developers obviously didn't anticipate the plague of ADD that has taken over the world.
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Pangaea666: A pretty valid comment, I'd say.

Don't have an issue with walking speeds or the lack of speed in combat (I auto-pause on spell cast, and still sometimes pause manually in between), but what would have been *very* useful is some kind of auto-buffing sequence. Going through these motions ahead of every big battle is quite frankly a pain in the nether regions. Particularly if you forget to quicksave after you have buffed, and then get torn to shreds in combat.... *grrr*
I believe you can write your own AI script to handle auto-buffing sequences. Once you have the script set up, all you need to do to get your buffs up is to turn on the AI, wait for all the spells to be cast, and then turn it off for the actual battle.

Note that it is possible to cheat in AI scripts. For example, ForceSpell can cast a spell you don't have memorized. Therefore, if you don't want to cheat, you should be careful not to let your characters do things they shouldn't. (CastSpell is what you want if you want to cast a spell fairly.) With that said, some enemies cheat in this way.
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Pangaea666: A pretty valid comment, I'd say.

Don't have an issue with walking speeds or the lack of speed in combat (I auto-pause on spell cast, and still sometimes pause manually in between), but what would have been *very* useful is some kind of auto-buffing sequence. Going through these motions ahead of every big battle is quite frankly a pain in the nether regions. Particularly if you forget to quicksave after you have buffed, and then get torn to shreds in combat.... *grrr*
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dtgreene: I believe you can write your own AI script to handle auto-buffing sequences. Once you have the script set up, all you need to do to get your buffs up is to turn on the AI, wait for all the spells to be cast, and then turn it off for the actual battle.

Note that it is possible to cheat in AI scripts. For example, ForceSpell can cast a spell you don't have memorized. Therefore, if you don't want to cheat, you should be careful not to let your characters do things they shouldn't. (CastSpell is what you want if you want to cast a spell fairly.) With that said, some enemies cheat in this way.
Don't know how to write such scripts, but if nothing exists, it may actually be worth it to look into it. Not great fun to spend 10+ minutes buffing. It would need to be legal, obviously.

Somewhat similar, I noticed that one of the thief scripts (thief3) *only* checks for traps. This makes it really good for areas with many traps and containers, where you otherwise would need to turn on trap finding every 10 seconds. Just make sure to turn off the AI during combat so they don't do ludicrous stuff like running into cloudkills and whatnot.
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dtgreene: I believe you can write your own AI script to handle auto-buffing sequences. Once you have the script set up, all you need to do to get your buffs up is to turn on the AI, wait for all the spells to be cast, and then turn it off for the actual battle.

Note that it is possible to cheat in AI scripts. For example, ForceSpell can cast a spell you don't have memorized. Therefore, if you don't want to cheat, you should be careful not to let your characters do things they shouldn't. (CastSpell is what you want if you want to cast a spell fairly.) With that said, some enemies cheat in this way.
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Pangaea666: Don't know how to write such scripts, but if nothing exists, it may actually be worth it to look into it. Not great fun to spend 10+ minutes buffing. It would need to be legal, obviously.

Somewhat similar, I noticed that one of the thief scripts (thief3) *only* checks for traps. This makes it really good for areas with many traps and containers, where you otherwise would need to turn on trap finding every 10 seconds. Just make sure to turn off the AI during combat so they don't do ludicrous stuff like running into cloudkills and whatnot.
I cannot see how such a 'pre-fight buff' script could even be a possibility. AI scripts rely entirely on triggers such as 'If I'm being melee attacked...' etc. If you are not in combat, but you foresee it, the computer AI does not have that foresight. You could potentially write a buff 'combat' script, but not pre-combat.
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Hickory: I cannot see how such a 'pre-fight buff' script could even be a possibility. AI scripts rely entirely on triggers such as 'If I'm being melee attacked...' etc. If you are not in combat, but you foresee it, the computer AI does not have that foresight. You could potentially write a buff 'combat' script, but not pre-combat.
The idea is that you decide when to turn on the script. The script doesn't care about whether you are in combat, but instead checks to see if buffs are active and re-casts them if necessary. Alternatively, you can set it to activate when you press a key.

Another thing you could do with a script, if you just want to have a little fun with an obvious cheat, is to make a script that will ReallyForceSpell Magic Missile when you press a certain key. Target an enemy and repeatedly press that key and see all the missiles fly! (Note that this could slow down the game if you go overboard.) I recommend using this script only for fun and script-writing practice, not for serious playthroughs (ReallyForceSpell is even more of a cheat than ForceSpell).


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Pangaea666: Somewhat similar, I noticed that one of the thief scripts (thief3) *only* checks for traps. This makes it really good for areas with many traps and containers, where you otherwise would need to turn on trap finding every 10 seconds. Just make sure to turn off the AI during combat so they don't do ludicrous stuff like running into cloudkills and whatnot.
Here is another good scripting exercise: Create a script that will cause the character to do nothing but sing. Unlike the Magic Missile example I posted, this would actually be both useful and fair, assuming you have a bard to assign it to. Won't have a flashy obvious effect like the other one, however.
Post edited November 02, 2015 by dtgreene
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Hickory: I cannot see how such a 'pre-fight buff' script could even be a possibility. AI scripts rely entirely on triggers such as 'If I'm being melee attacked...' etc. If you are not in combat, but you foresee it, the computer AI does not have that foresight. You could potentially write a buff 'combat' script, but not pre-combat.
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dtgreene: The idea is that you decide when to turn on the script. The script doesn't care about whether you are in combat, but instead checks to see if buffs are active and re-casts them if necessary. Alternatively, you can set it to activate when you press a key.
That's what spell triggers/sequencers/contingencies and are for. Using a script for such a thing is just silly.
Post edited November 02, 2015 by Hickory