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I recently got into finally trying Wizardry 8 in earnest, along the way I found out that getting the spells you want can be tricky as higher level spell books don't exist and even ones that do exist aren't readily available, so the only way to get the higher level spells is to know that you have to save up your "spell picks" from leveling up. A bad and unfair way to do things.

I even seem to remember reading about people save/rest scumming merchants in the hopes of getting certain spell books, I didn't want to deal with that so I ended up adding spell books to merchants and making a few other changes along the way, link and details below.

https://mega.nz/#F!sNh2nCiT!Q2oN-od1-QRLaPCfXykS8w

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==== Wizardry 8 Merciful Magical Merchants mod ====
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----Info-------------------------------------------

This basically adds items mostly spell books to merchants,
and changes a few things such as projectile speed so combat
doesn't take as long.

----Installing-------------------------------------

Extract the .dbs files into the game's databases folder.

\<GameFolder>\Data\databases

----Details----------------------------------------

Created spell books for all spells that can be acquired via "Spell Picks" but didn't have spell books. So players don't have to have precognition just to get all their spells, their best spells. These spell books have been added to various traders but are quite expensive (prices based on an existing high level spell book).

Added other spell books to certain traders, that existed but weren't sold anywhere.

Spell books at most traders now restock so are basically always available, casters can actually buy their spells if they can afford it, and don't have to save/rest scum etc at traders.

Added more spell books to traders, trying to keep it somewhat appropriate, where possible. Such as adding all Divine spells to the Temple trader being an obvious example, or adding Alchemy spells to the Alchemist trader, some weren't as obvious to place but now all spells have books and all books can be purchased, you just have to find the right trader though some books are at multiple traders.

Increased the power of Identify Scrolls (so they are now actually useful)

Created Scrolls for the "Portal" spells and added to some traders. So parties without a character that can cast portals can avoid having to run around the planet, back and forth and back and... though will have to pay for using scrolls instead (guess this also makes it viable to now have a party without a caster able to cast that spell or suffering countless time backtracking).

Generally lowered the amount of restocking junk ammunition and replaced it with better ammunition. You find more than enough junk ammunition anyway and it just clutters up the stores over time. (may actually just replace all junk ammunition with something better at all traders.)

Generally removed some crap from some traders while adding other junk, such as the tavern now sells drinks/food as one might expect rather than other strange things.

Added almost all Bard instruments for sale, you need certain skill levels to use them anyway and have to afford them, besides other classes can buy their gear so why not Bards. (Some Bard instruments were not added for sale as they are found at locations of significance which are basically unavoidable, having the instrument available only at that location helps keep the discovery of the location special.)

Removed gender restrictions from some items that made it really annoying. (this silly limitation is basically what started all this)

Fought an impressive looking boss only for it to drop a single stack of ammo (the only thing it's able to drop) incredibly anticlimactic, so added some better chance loot to it and will likely do the same to others I encounter.

Increased projectile speeds (generally speaking, arrows etc from 50 to 100, spells from 30 to 50) so that combat doesn't take as long, though would still recommend using Wiz8Fast to increase enemy movement speed during combat so you can set that to your liking (5x seemed like a good start).

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Post edited May 21, 2019 by Grogger
If you're going to tweak scrolls, maybe I could mention that at least some of them are severely overpriced? (The Scroll of Resurrection comes to mind; consider that it has an Artifacts requirement *and* it is more expensive (and rarer in shops) than Resurrection Power (which doesn't have that requirement), and we see a problem here.)

Also, can Psionic Blast books be bought without having to reach level 18 first? (Books for that rather interesting spell and some other level 5 spells can only be bought at that level in vanilla, while some other 5th level spell books can be bought at level 11.)

Another thing: Just to make sure, you *did* make it possible to buy Holy Water books from the priest in the temple, correct? (It seems silly that he can rarely drop that spellbook when killed, but doesn't sell it, even though he does sell Banish if you're level is high enough.) (By the way, that particular NPC actually acts like a Psionic or Monk, not a Priest, in combat; just look at the spells he casts!)
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dtgreene: ...
"Book of Holy Water" was added to Braffit (seemed appropriate that he sell it). As for Psionic Blast I loaded an older save at about level 13 at Sadok and could buy the book. I personally didn't set any requirements for goods being available, though I also didn't see such an option to edit. (Unfortunately control over traders stock seems very limited, otherwise I would try to avoid them having loads of entries for things like ammo over time)

Basically as far as I'm aware every spell a player character can learn now has a book and every spell book can be purchased somewhere.



I remember noticing the Scroll for resurrection costing more than the powder, so I just stuck with the powder when playing which seemed more widely available.

I don't know their reasons for making one more expensive, perhaps they wanted it to be a "Plan B" for players. Though I never seemed to run low on the powder and only once bought some purely because I had loads of money.

Though it may be possible that I didn't use as much as some players so I didn't notice a shortage, personally I don't see a problem with making such consumables easily purchasable to the player (but could see a lack of them being a big problem) so after reading your post I figured I'd make the power restocking at many merchants, except in the Temple town, maybe the Temple/Church has a monopoly on that so they charge more for their scrolls (?).
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Grogger: I remember noticing the Scroll for resurrection costing more than the powder, so I just stuck with the powder when playing which seemed more widely available.

I don't know their reasons for making one more expensive, perhaps they wanted it to be a "Plan B" for players. Though I never seemed to run low on the powder and only once bought some purely because I had loads of money.

Though it may be possible that I didn't use as much as some players so I didn't notice a shortage, personally I don't see a problem with making such consumables easily purchasable to the player (but could see a lack of them being a big problem) so after reading your post I figured I'd make the power restocking at many merchants, except in the Temple town, maybe the Temple/Church has a monopoly on that so they charge more for their scrolls (?).
From a gameplay perspectice, we have the following costs for the most common revival option:
* Resurrection Powder. Costs 2,000, anybody can use it, always works. (Let's assume this is reasonable.)
* Amulet of Life. Costs 2,500, requires 35 Artifacts skill to use, must equip first, can fail, but it has 4 charges. This is the cheapest resurrection option per use (before you get the spell, of course). The low price (625 per use) is balanced by these limitations, not to mention the higher base price makes it a bit less suitable for one-off resurrections. (For players who like to revive characters frequently, this is the preferred option, provided one can keep its wearer alive.)
* Scroll of Resurrection. Costs 2,500, requires 35 Artifacts skill to use, can fail. Basically, take all the downsides of the Amulet of Life except the equip first requirement, and then make it single use like the Resurrection Powder, and you have an item that is useless in comparison. (Also, I believe you can only have 3 Resurrection Scrolls per slot, but can have 5 Resurrection Powder in the same slot.)

I actually think that scrolls are overpriced in general, and as a result don't feel like as worthwhile an option in combat. I could actually say that many other consumables are overpriced. (Be aware, however, that changing the value of certain potions will change how easy it is to make money via Alchemy.)
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dtgreene: ..
I'm not disagreeing with you, the Resurrection Scrolls are basically a ripoff due to the lack of balancing. I don't know if they had some reason for the balancing or lack of it, there could be so many reasons why it ended up like that including it being deliberate for whatever reason I'm unaware of.

Unfortunately so many aspects of the game has similar problems, so I would presume such things were due to stressed development, lack of time/funding etc, and what very little I know about it's development would support that as it was apparently troubled.

I wouldn't feel confident in saying even a single aspect of the game is well balanced, not even something as simple as sword weapons, I seem to remember being tempted to make more ammo-projectiles because there weren't equivalents between ammo types, so many things had crazy prices etc all over the place. As charming as the game is it's like one giant rough corner that never got sanded down let alone polished.

Mostly I just hammered on one of the most obnoxious corners rather than trying to sand it all down smoothly because there's no way I was going to save-scum just to try get spells for my casters and thought I'd share the result for others that might like that. I fear an attempt to really start balancing things, even just the prices of items (excluding states, requirements etc) would be a long chore. Though perhaps in a way with it being so pervasive throughout the game it's part of it's charm, like Morrowind.

I actually had many more plans for things to change and add, for example there are loads of items which just aren't used, and there are some you only get if importing parties from the previous game that had the item (and virtually no new player will have such save) so thought about adding such items here and there, maybe in a shop, maybe as a drop etc, but I'm no longer playing which is why I thought I'd share this as is and also why I currently don't have it in me to continue even with the plans I was thinking about.

One the plus side with it as is, it's probably suitable for new players looking for a first time "vanilla" playthrough as the biggest change is the spellbook availability which frankly was broken so they can hopefully have a less annoying playthrough.
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Grogger: I wouldn't feel confident in saying even a single aspect of the game is well balanced, not even something as simple as sword weapons
I actually don't think swords are that great in this game. If you only look at items that are reliably available, many other weapon types, including pole arms and maces, are generally better. It seems as if swords rely on rare drops, most of them non-repeatable, in order to be useful, whereas other weapons are much easier to get in a reliable fashion. (Maces have Diamond Eyes and The Mauler, Staves have the Staff of Doom and the Cane of Corpus (yes, that's not reliably available, but at least the drop rate is good enough to rely on its availability in non-Ironman playthroughs), Polearms have Stun Rods, and so on.

On the other hand, I like the fact that Bishops are actually useful as spellcasters this time around; they aren't in other Sir-Tech Wizardry games, and in most of the spin-offs, they're only useful because the games expect you to reach higher levels where their slow spell learning is no longer an issue (and that's *if* the spin-off takes you to that point).
The statements about the lack of balancing literally forces me to throw in my glove for the devs.

Most important Wiz 8 was made at a time when games were not expected to hold the players hand on the bright lit path to easy victory,
and its also an homage to even older games which were much harder, considered merciless by players of that time(today probably rated as sadistic:p)
For someone like me who started playing crpg's in the early 80s, after a long career in p&p rpg#s as player and dm,
the games core mechanics are well balanced and it has a decent stone scissor paper design.
Only the finances are really broken, it appears someone went mad with the prices for uber items,
that may have caused the devs to set revenues especially from mixing potions too high.
Besides the fact that magic screen and missile shield are OP, and turn to stone/flesh is missing,
i am pretty ok with the game mechanics.


Now to the ingame indications for a decent balancing, at least in matters of open world/all options available:
For nearly every set encounter, the terrain allows to skip them with combat move,
is you check the terrain design of the different lvls it cant be coincidental that at so many places there are pillars, rocks etc where you can hide.
(it is possible to skip all encounters in the game, mostly with combat run&hide exploit,
in case check biogoos speedruns to see >90% of the skips, name any unskipped encounter and i will post the way how to do it here;)

Regarding no time to fully playtest the game, thats probably true as the game is not complete,
e.g. check npc script of rapax queen, shaman das dying etc.
however the npc scripts emmons, play day, set fact and probably also the fact that nord exists
prove that playtesting was done simultaneously with development.
Another indication that the devs took effort to balance the game
is the function of the v1.0 exe to calculate experience points for monsters based on their abilities/values
and write a file to disk which lists the results, admittedly only for iirc ~40 monsters before the whole results in a freeze.
(note this requires an unpatched wiz8 with version 1.0 exe in conjuntion with cyber mans cmwz8tr.exe,
if interested the dld link: mediafire.com/file/2lfxp2cc9i64x64/Wiz8_unpatched_%2526_cmwz8tr.7z/file
in case make sure to not have saves created by a newer exe in the \saves folder, else the game will refuse to work)


However, I appreciate every mod and ofc also this one,
although for people who have beaten dodds on im solo, or with classic wiz8 equipment only,
it may make the game too easy.



p.s. some cents on stuff picked up from thread randomly, not sorted in any way and maybe(is likely;) incomplete

"psionic blast books"
its a lvl 5 spell, the book becomes available at Ferros shop when party is about avg lvl 14,
still not quite sure whether it is based on lvl sensor values like for specific loot
or if the game uses a seperate calculation to determine whether the party "deserves" to find these items in shops,
but the avaiability of spell books is certainly lvl related.


"Increased the power of Identify Scrolls"
An imo more balanced approach would be to add some new identify scroll with higher power in steps,
these may be created by merging 2 scrolls to the scroll of nect power lvl ....


"... though I also didn't see such an option to edit.
(Unfortunately control over traders stock seems very limited, otherwise I would try to avoid them having loads of entries for things like ammo over time)
..."
Lua scripting allows to take full control over trader inventory, and literally any other aspect/function of the game,
but that would require to run the game with injection, see CF manual

"increased projectile speed"
while I think the acceleration of several monster anims in Kaucukovnik666's mod is exaggerated,
projectile speed of 250 still allows to see the arrow etc so thats imo not too fast,
and this will greatly speed up battles with much ranged combat.
Spells can be a little slower because a caster can only cast one spell a turn,
but a travel speed of 150 is fine for most spells,
the impact anim will ensure that the spell is noticed by player.
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Grogger: I wouldn't feel confident in saying even a single aspect of the game is well balanced, not even something as simple as sword weapons
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dtgreene: I actually don't think swords are that great in this game. If you only look at items that are reliably available, many other weapon types, including pole arms and maces, are generally better. It seems as if swords rely on rare drops, most of them non-repeatable, in order to be useful, whereas other weapons are much easier to get in a reliable fashion. (Maces have Diamond Eyes and The Mauler, Staves have the Staff of Doom and the Cane of Corpus (yes, that's not reliably available, but at least the drop rate is good enough to rely on its availability in non-Ironman playthroughs), Polearms have Stun Rods, and so on.
I think that looking at drop-lists is very different to in-game performance as far as weapon power goes. In this game the damage range of the weapon hardly matters - bonuses to penetrate and number of swings/attacks etc (mostly from weapon/melee skill) are way more important. It's why the simple 5-13 of bloodlust will be enough to 3 round KO the biggest enemies at worst by midgame and lategame. The inability to realisitclly get something like a 10-45 excalibur hardly matters when looking at the "effiecncy" of swords.

IMO when looking at weapons by availability anything that requires SE wildrness or Ferro should be weighed less since Lategame is SO SO much easier than earlygame and midgame. I would definately rate sword/polearm/sling the highest since getting extra to hit directly on the weapon (or indirectly in case of the +10 polearm stuff) around arnika or Trynton is way more important and allows you to do repeat playthroughs completely differently by going into places that you felt level gated out of on your early playthroughs even at crazily low levels.