I will make it short, I love Daggerfall since 2001, I am initiator and project leader of the German translation project and felt like to do more than that. As I have no programming skills, I decided to work intensively on the BIOG-files. I went through all 216 questions and checked them for errors, inconsistencies and wrong values. At this point I would like to thank everyone who worked on finding out the different variables. It was more than helpful and the time consuming work was a little bit easier at the end.
To the point. You will never guess how much things you can find if you look carefully But hey, we weren't Daggerfall experts if we wouldn't love the work. There are some things which are clear (e.g. you get a gauntlet, but the answer says you will get a cuirass; an archer gets a left pauldron instead of a shortbow, etc.), but some are a little bit more tricky, because the outcome will affect the game balancing from the beginning on intensively. For that reason I want to get your expert opinion on some details. Hopefully we can do that together and create well balanced and complete BIOG-files. Most of the time the questions will be the same, but sometimes there are small differencies. E.g. the thief classes are partly completely the same, just with some minor changes.
For your notice: To really reach most of the Daggerfall Enthusiasts, I cross-posted this to dfworkshop.net, uesp.net and xlengine.com. I will be active and watch on every platform and "try" to keep every thread straight and updated.
Let's do it!
Goal: To update, balance and fix errors in the Biography files (BIOGXXT0.txt) to have the best and well-balanced files for future use.
I differ in the following between factual errors and discrepancies. I will start with the discrepancies, because we can make them straight to some main points. Please share your thoughts with me.
- In the questions "You are friendlier than most with ___." there are orcs missing. Orcish is nevertheless a language skill, which is why I prefer to add them constantly to the question like "the barbarous Orcs".
- To bows in general, there should be added some arrows, otherwise it has no use at the beginning.
- In BIOG01 and BIOG02 we have the questions: "After the College of Destruction, what school of magic have you been studying the second longest?" - In the first file you get Destruction +8 and for the magic skill you choose +3; In the other one you get +12 and for the choice +6. I would like to have both questions with similar outcome. I prefer personally the +12 for both. Which makes of course the max. level of the character smaller.
- A similar problem in BIOG13T0 with the questions: "Besides the bow and arrow, you are best at ___."; the answers are the other weapon skills. They get each +9. Would change that to the same value we will have for the question before.
- If you get a weapon or any other equipment you have most of the time iron equipment. But sometimes you'll get elven or steel material. So for one question you can get a bow, axe and tanto, but the outcome is iron bow, a steel axe and an elven tanto. Which makes it of course easier for the the player which takes the elven tanto. Things like the ebony dagger shouldn't be changed, of course. But if there is in the answer no material given we have three possibilities.
--First: Change everything to Iron.
--Second: Keep it that inconsistent as it is.
--Third: Decide on every question individually.
--> As I am currently writing this, I just have to remind ourselves, that there are class restrictions for some materials, which we should double check before changing a file (didn't do that yet).
The other big aspect are the changes. Some changes are clear and will be changed to 99,9% and other ones I would like to discuss with you. Starting with the one we will have to change (probably) for sure.
- Uniblab did fix one error in BIOG00T0 in #3 orcish to jumping, but forgot the rest of the file, the same error occurs in #7. Will fix that there to. (Notice: BIOG00T0 was eventually the first BIOG file created, as there are some strange mistakes, which got be fixed in the later ones by the devs.)
- There are some questions like e.g. "In gratitude for services rendered, the Emperor gave you ___." where a choice of answer is some kind of gold pieces. Every time when there is the answer "Over 200 gold pieces" you'll get actually just 200 gold instead of 200+. I will change that to 250 for all answers like that.
- The question: "As a child, your nickname was ___." with the answer "Quicksilver" was changed to 'restoration' in one question --> will change that back to 'running' as the name indicates speed and running is the right associated skill.
- The question: "As much as you are able, you ___." with the answer "trespass" is associated with "lockpicking" --> will change that to 'stealth' as it fits better.
- BIOG16T0 the question: "You are friendlier than most with ___." the skill values are all +2, which means "a. the savage Harpies" gets the dragon language instead of the Harpy language skill etc. --> change that according to their associated skill which means -2 to all. (honestly no idea how they did not find this one as the same question in every other file is correctly associated with the appropriate skill.)
- The question: "In between formal study, you spent your time ___." with the answer "practicing acrobatics" will be changed entirely to 'climbing', instead of the skill 'running'. Acrobatics has more to do with climbing than with running (which would be more athletic).
- A lot of changes for items - best example BIOG07T0 #7 which is: "Where in your expertise in combat?" the answers and what you get:
a. Short-bladed weapons (Iron Gauntlet -> Iron Short Sword)
b. Hand-to-hand combat (Iron Cuirass -> Iron Gauntlet)
c. Axe fighting (Iron Axe)
d. Blunt weapons (Iron ...)
e. Archery (Iron Left Pauldron -> Iron Short Bow)
--> obvious things will be changed.
- The question: "In between formal study, you spent your time ___." with the answer "sparring" is sometimes associated with the skill "hand-to-hand" or "critical strike". I would change that to one of these possibilities to make it consistent. I prefer to change it to "hand-to-hand", but we could also differ between the classes.
- The question: "Of all disagreeable types, you have the most personal hatred for ___." there are different answers. I would like to add in every occurrence the same answer possibilities. Which would be:
a. Sanctimonious priests
b. Diabolic wizards
c. Stupid peasants
d. Power-mad robber barons
e. Immoral assassins
f. Greedy Merchants
- The question: "You are most fond of using ___." with the answer "archery" in BIOG14T0 is associated with 3x Steel Arrows and 1x Silver Arrow, which I would change to Iron Short Bow, 6x Iron Arrow like in other questions. Without a bow the arrows are useless. And iron material like in all the other answers.
- The question: "Since childhood, you have saved ___." in BIOG14T0 is a bit tricky. To every answer there will be an additional Short Bow + 8 Arrows, but that doesn't fit with the answers (100 gold pieces; a book; a dozen arrows; a cuirass). For the answer "a dozen arrows" you'll get 20x arrows. I am not sure if we should keep it, or if you would think it fits in because it's an archer. But I do not like to have discrepancies between the answer and the outcome. What do you guys think?
So far these are all the changes I found. If you know something else, or you think some questions have to be added with some answers (like with my orcish proposal) tell us and we can decide together on the case. I will try to keep the first post updated as good as I can. It really was a very time consuming work, and it's a some kind of a proud feeling to show the progress to the public. I originally planned to make a (cheat) GDoc File with every answer and the outcome (the UESP page about Background Questions are not entirely correct). Maybe I will do this at some point. But right now you just have to believe me about the values and the associated changes. I tried and will try to do it as transparent as possible. I will include an in-depth readme-file once I finished with the editing of the files, too. It's fascinating how much work you can put in such a "small" project
I love to hear from you and your thoughts on the changes.