For me personally, the biggest difference I notice is in the armour textures. The following screenshots were taken from Castle Rural with the default Muggy lighting. First shot is EE Stable and the second is from the Dev build:
Curious… to me, the first one looks like metal, the second plastic.
There’s some fundamental visual norm issue here. It strikes me that most of the visual changes Beamdog have made play to a paradigm that games ought to look like brightly coloured polythene. From player reaction, there seems to a market for that.
Personally, I prefer pastel shades and realistic textures. Maybe a generational thing?
Yes, if you want the new stuff you have to merge some 2das. For the post part they padded them out and added the new stuff near the end. Some they added columns to. And one, racialtypes, they added a column between existing columns as well, which seems odd. Note, my notes are from a comparison between this NWNEE dev release and last bioware, so some of the changes I saw may have come in earlier NWNEE releases.
No, you don’t need to update CEP to continue to play existing stuff.
If you need to add any of the new stuff to a CEP module, then, as @meaglyn implies, you need to add the new 2da lines to the CEP 2da files in a top hak. This has always been the case with every new release that changes 2da files.
The new creature and placeable appearances are at line 15000 onwards. For other 2da files, use a free utility (e.g. Wincompare) to discover the differences between the 2da files.
I notice that most of the new placeables are already in CEP, thanks to the past generosity of Ossian Studios.
Zarathustra (Soren) had reached out to me to do some performance testing since I’ve been seeing fps slowdowns in SoU that neither he nor Symphony have experienced. We narrowed it down to the # of lights (32 vs. 16 vs. 8). I have no issues with my graphics card not consistently supporting 32 lights and he thought there might be some room for performance improvement.
I took the opportunity to point out the substantial change in appearance of the mirror-finish metallic textures and linked to this thread. Long story short, he came back the next day with two shaders to test (inc_lighting & inc_materials) and this is the result.
Personally I think this a huge improvement over the Release Candidate/Development version and good enough to ship and I told him as much. I encouraged him to merge it with the RC/Dev branches so that everyone else can test it.
Also, this screen shot doesn’t do the textures justice. It actually looks even better in game.
Say, does anyone know exactly which 2DAs have been updated for the patch 81.8193.15 ? So far I’m seeing that they’re ambientsound, appearance, doortypes, genericdoors, loadscreens, placeables, skyboxes, and soundset. Does anyone know if I’m missing any?
The list you have above sounds about right. I know they threw some new shields in there, so you’ll need to find out which numbers they used for that (note I asked for both a list of affected 2da’s and which new lines were added at Beamdog… crickets).
Here is a snippet of my notes from comparing 1.69 with this nwnee release. I was mostly concerned with the ones I already had a modified copy of. Take it as is… some may find it useful.
Diffstat from bioware_2da to nwnee_2da
/cls_stat_dradis.2da |only in nwnee
/cls_stat_palema.2da |only in nwnee
/ruleset.2da |only in nwnee
ambientmusic.2da | 240
ambientsound.2da | 376 -
appearance.2da |15973 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++--
Padded out to 15099 and added some things in the 15000 range.
baseitems.2da | 232
Added a bunch of cols to specify feats for epic focus etc for weapons.
chargenclothes.2da | 36
classes.2da | 92
Added a bunch of cols - and one blank row.
doortypes.2da | 5441 +++++++++++++++
Added lines 2003-5199
genericdoors.2da | 3232 +++++++++
Added entries at 26 and 27.
Added lines 1501-3199
iprp_visualfx.2da | 18
Added ModelSuffix column?
keymap.2da | 149
loadhints.2da | 118
loadscreens.2da | 596 -
Added lines 270-333
placeables.2da |17349 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
Added rows from 847 to 16500
Made all originals 1-847 static by default
marked 847-1000 BD_RESERVED
Added dag_* and ptm placeables at 15000-15324
added buildings,doors, fences, gaming, etc at 15366-15473
added weeds 15489-15499
added gaming, tables, etc at 15504-15525
added fog 15600-15609
marked OS_RESERVED from 15000-16500
portraits.2da |17304 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
Padded to 16000
Added entries at
15000, 15001, 15010, 15013, 15017, 15018, 15023,
15031-15173, 15201-15408, 15426
pregen.2da | 162
racialtypes.2da | 66
NWNEE added col in middle Icon between desc and appearance
And 9 cols to the end
skyboxes.2da | 6
Added cyclical to icy (row 6)
soundset.2da | 5560 +++++++++++++++-
padded to 5000 and added some between 5000 and 5100
tailmodel.2da | 5543 ++++++++++++++--
Added 1 at 5000 (padded from 491 to 5049)
ttz01_edge.2da | 61
visualeffects.2da |10775 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++--
Padded to 10099, added a few lines at 10000+
Of course the 2das are in the game installation. You can just use the nim tools and unpack the key file. However, there is a 2da.zip file in there which looks right. I didn’t do more than list it though. Could have saved 5 minutes if I had seen that before
Another follow-up question, and I’m not sure how many people this might affect but it affects me so I imagine it would affect others: what is the preferred method for handling the Zwerkules’ tileset additions to the last patch if you were already using the tilesets he shared with the Community on the Vault? For instance, the medruralcomp.hak (Medieval Rural) has 5115 files in the hak, but the BD version has only 5088. The biggie is that the new version has completely different file names in the hak, so one can’t just “swap” them out.
Visually the main difference between the two is the BD version has the great-looking water while the Vault version has the lackluster water.
If textures or doors would be missing that would soon become very obvious. You don’t have to compare all the files, just comparing the .set files is enough to see if all the tiles and groups are the same. And you can exchange one version for another by editing the .are file with a gff-editor and make it use trm02 instead of trm01. After that you’d just have to change the doors of the windmill if you used that in your area because it had to be changed and the doors couldn’t be in the same position as before.