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-   -   (1) The Story of the Norj'Hal Elves [Download Broken] (http://www.wc3c.net/showthread.php?t=82976)

CaptainPicard 05-09-2006 04:42 AM

(1) The Story of the Norj'Hal Elves [Download Broken]
 
3 Attachment(s)
The Story of the Norj'Hal Elves begins with the fall of the highborne at the ancient Well of Eternity and as far as outside scholars know it ends in the Reign of Chaos.

(From the introductory cinematic)

Quote:

"Ten thousand years ago, the Kaldorei rose up against the Burning Legion and sundered the world of Azeroth..."

"Broken, the world struggled to heal as its races clung to the quaking, divided remnants of Kalimdor."

"The Kaldorei returned to the surviving moonglades of Mount Hyjal, vigilant against the Legion's expected return."

"Another branch of the ancient Kaldorei took root to the East, in a land they would come to know as Quel'Thalas."

"But another seed of the Moon Children fell in snowy mountains to the North: a reclusive race called the Norj'Hal."

"As the Kaldorei kept their long vigil, their eastern descendants undertook a new elven kingdom: Silvermoon."

"And, inexplicably and in secret, the Norj'Hal elders consigned their history to a set of scrolls for none but their own order even to read again."

"Over time, even these Bahr'Tan elders came to disregard their history."

"Until an ominous twilight descended over their land, at that history returned, at last..."


The Norj'Hal Elves campaign is one of the most ambitious RPG mapping projects that you will find. Now complete, Act I features:

* Four maps all interconnected like the Orc-X campaign.
* Unique map transition method that allows units to transfer with heroes.
* Fifteen polished and original quests, some spanning multiple maps.
* Gorgeous terrain.

* Over 30,000 lines of trigger code.
* Twenty quality cutscenes, in total roughly an hour of cinematography.
* Over 150 custom enemy units.
* Four exceptional custom heroes.
* A playable custom race that opens up unique and exciting strategies.
* Over 60 custom spells.
* More than 100 custom items, plus the ability to build items at workstations.
* Custom doodads to create everything from a docked fleet of Undead battleships to the exquisite marble of Azshara's ancient temple.

* All open source and unprotected.

I've been play-testing as I go, and farming this out to various beta testors. I have yet to see them find a major bug--it's mostly been responses about gameplay, which I have taken to heart.

Act I opens with the text cards above, set to foreboding music. The story builds to an epic cliffhanger, foreshadowing an event that seemed marginal in the Reign of Chaos saga, which I have taken, expaned, and scrupulously checked against the rest of the warcraft lore.

"I am Aszune, ancient Princess of the Moon Children. None may pass until my heart is returned to me..."

If and when I get around to Act II, she's baaack. And nothing will stand in her way as she reclaims her lost heart. Let alone her former subjects.

Download:
Wc3Campaigns Official Download

Offsite Mirrors (those having trouble with the Official link might have luck with "Right Click, Save Target As..." on the UC San Diego Mirror):
UC San Diego
Dwarf Campaign

Again, if there are multiple-hosting issues we should just upload the map to the wc3campaigns server and host it there exclusively. But, I must say a nice word for the Dwarf Campaign people--they make quality maps as well, their Wiki is an excellent resource, and they've been a joy to work with. (END EDIT)

The first image, as per your request, is the campaign thumbnail. The next image is a shot of Ehl'Brun Caldera, an active volcano in the (otherwise frigid) Majh'Nam mountain range in the Norj'Hal homeland (note: when Norj'Hal speak of their homeland, they call it "Nojh'Hajahnah", and when spoken to by outsiders it is "Tomh'Hajahnah" (our land / your land). The last picture shows the icy peak Drakehorn Summit, near an ocean channel between the Norj'Hal homeland and Northrend.

Update:
There was a bug introduced between v38 and v39 that halts the game right before the very last cinematic. If you have played through v39, continue your game until your heroes are removed from normal play around a cave you've been directed to. Then, download the latest version (v40), start a new game, use whosyourdaddy and proceed directly to the spot where v39 halted. Engage cinematics by typing "play cinematics" and then type "i won damn it" or "end it now" to see the cliffhanger finale. For those who spent lots of time doing all the quests, there will be continuity between Acts I and II in later versions, but also an item reclamation and hero strength renormalization dialog at the beginning of Act II (for optimal gameplay) so your hard work will not be lost. Very sorry to all those who may have got left hanging. If this is your first time playing, v40 should see you through just fine.

Edited by Tim. Reason: Updated download locations.

Edited by CaptainPicard. Reason: Product recall and patch .

Tim. 05-09-2006 07:01 AM

Interesting. I will try and test this Wednesday night; if it is approved I will upload it to the server.

CaptainPicard 05-09-2006 08:43 AM

Thanks, Tim!

Feel free to email me at dcerutti(at)ucsd(dot)edu if you have any questions. There are some custom cheat codes, too--"power overwhelming" is the gaga cheat, while "stick and move" / "fight like a man" / "tea earl grey hot" get +5 agility /strength /intelligence for all heroes. The last one is a saying of good ole' Captain Picard.

Tim. 05-09-2006 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
"tea earl grey hot" ...The last one is a saying of good ole' Captain Picard.

<3

GaDDeN 05-10-2006 06:50 PM

The download link doesnt work. It also freezes the internet program (at least for me), please fix it! ;-)

Tim. 05-10-2006 08:13 PM

Works for me no problem, right click save as.

GaDDeN 05-10-2006 09:06 PM

Its a textdocument when i right click and save as. If i click it, the broser shows a textdocument that freezes the computer untill i shut down the internet using ctrl alt del.

Tim. 05-10-2006 10:17 PM

Get a new computer :P I'l send you in via MSN.

BBDino 05-12-2006 10:40 AM

The first 10 minutes are not particularly inspiring, the gigantic creep mobs and the "spamulet" gameplay was rather unpleasant. After i died due to a failure to rapidly swap the amulet's back and forth betwen heroes in the middle of combat i decided to stop playing.

However if someone could give me an indication of when the map gets interetsing/fun, i may give it another go.

CaptainPicard 05-12-2006 06:35 PM

Get to Majh'Nam
 
The first mission is quite clear--get to Majh'Nam. I suppose I could make the beginning slightly easier, but if your first goal is simply to complete this mission it's not that hard. There is a pack of wolves at the beginning which are fairly weak, and there are then a few furbolgs, more wolves, and finally some knolls to take on before you reach the outpost. It takes more patience and skill if you want to rescue all of the captured elves on your way to the outpost, but I have done it that way.

Once you get to the outpost, you receive the "instant revival" item which gives you the ability to summon a ward where your heroes will revive and be playable again after ten seconds. The item also gives a significant stat boost. At the outpost, you'lll also get the ability to hire units for your party which will make the whole thing a lot easier, the ability to purchase items for your heroes, and a wide variety of tomes to fortify your heroes (it is noted that the units automatically become more powerful as the heroes get stronger, so "toming up" is fine but it's still worthwhile you have units in your band).

The gameplay in the beginning is designed to be quick thanks to the amulets you start out with, but that doesn't give you license to take on every foe. I've been very careful about stating quest objectives, so use the Quest Log and plan accordingly.

Tim. 05-12-2006 10:05 PM

First off let me make this absolutely clear; this campaign belongs in our map database (and I’m not just saying that because your username is Captain Picard!) I played through the entire thing and I was very much impressed by your methods of accomplishing things (Such as the cinematic in the Volcano level, amazing!) Although it was a bit slow at the start it sped up quickly and became very entertaining. The dialogue was well written and not overly dramatic. Beautiful terrains were both practical for the gameplay and detailed for the cinametics. The plot was substantial and clear - with what little knowledge of Warcraft lore I have, I was able to follow along no problem. There was effective use of the Quest Menu, which helps to keep the quests organized. The learning curve was great, after that first five minutes I caught on no problem. The volcano level had gorgeous terrain, and that cinematic was remarkable! What did you do? Terrain deformations to rebuild the entire terrain for the flashback cinematic?

However as many know I love to nit pick even the best of works. Here’s a list of things that bothered me:
  • At the start you request 3 alphanumerical characters, but do not define clearly what they are for. You may want to say something more like “Please insert three alphanumeric characters via a chat message. This will be your ID that your progress will be saved to.”
  • In the intro you display the text on a fade filter as well as in the normal cinematic dialogue system. Why? I only found it distracting as the fade filter was so much better.
  • I constantly felt the pull of lag as new creatures appeared in the screen. Likewise for special effects and abilities. I highly suggest you preload as much as possible to avoid these lag spikes.
  • It’s a shame there is no voice acting for this campaign, it would greatly improve it’s quality in my opinion.
  • When the scene with the crashing rocks and demon cloud doodad appears, the sky goes completely agasint the fog. If you apply Fogged Sky for a split second, then the sky you used, it will blend better.
  • Are there any memory leaks? I seemed to have horribly long pause times as one map closed and another loaded.
  • The load times (Especially for the volcano level) were extremely long. I made a sandwich in the time it took to load.
  • The wolf summon triggered the cinematics sometimes, and so a transmission from the wolf came as if it was the hero. This should be fixed.
  • Why do the dragons in the volcano shoot ice?
  • The Frozen Mist ability’s dummy still has it’s shadow!! Fix it!
In its current state this campaign has my full approval; however I would like to see that which I mentioned above fixed anyway.

CaptainPicard 05-13-2006 12:09 AM

Thanks Tim.!
 
Hi Tim.,

Thanks very much for your excellent review. I'll get to your changes as soon as I can. I have just a one question, however.

1.) You mention that "summoning wolves triggers cinematics." I've never seen this effect, but it sounds like a serious bug if it can happen. Can you describe better what exactly occurred?

The cinematic after defeating Xan'Timus (the one that starts in the volcano) uses terrain that's elsewhere on the map. Load it in the editor and you'll see what I did.

As for the long map loads, yeah I know. There's no memory leaks that I can figure out (and I corrected a lot!) but there are a lot of triggers per map (as many as 1250). That seems to be what takes so long. I'll try to make a better creep management system in any future installments.

I have a list, ~60 pages long, of bugs and such I've found and corrected as I was playing, but it's always good to have a new pair of eyes.

Thanks again,
Dave

Tim. 05-13-2006 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
1.) You mention that "summoning wolves triggers cinematics." I've never seen this effect, but it sounds like a serious bug if it can happen. Can you describe better what exactly occurred?

I was in the Volcano level and summoned my wolf. Then I walked it over to the right where it triggered the cinematic with an owl showing the crator of the volcano.

No problem, glad to help!

Pheonix-IV 05-13-2006 02:13 AM

I'm still trying to work out how to get past that damned energy barrier in the mountainy place. Frigging hell, i've been all over all 3 maps i can get too and my heros are so powerful that one of them can solo those golems near the barrier.

CaptainPicard 05-13-2006 02:33 AM

Well, if the energy barrier is all you have to cross then it's no problem. Near the iced-over watering hole where the mean Chin'Zon are guarding the fountain of life, scale the ramp and work your way along the ridge until the path dead-ends at some double doors. Approach the doors with any one of your heroes. The hero will talk to a dragon king behind the gates and that'll release the energy barrier.

On second thought, I'll consider this another "bug report" and add another hint about getting to the gates. You might have gotten to the gates with only a unit and not thought much of them.

After the energy barrier and the completion of the Drakehorn map (you've completed the Whar'Ten map, correct?), there's a "major quest" to complete in the main map, and then you're done! Thanks for playing!

Dave
_______________________________________________________

Forgot to ask, Tim., but how did you like the Chin'Zon dragons that you can control in the final phase of the game? As minor units go, I spent the most time getting those right. I was surprised by the effect of giving the dragons to an allied player with shared unit control--it effectively made the units auto-cast Banish and Forked Lightning! Works OK, in my estimation, and it would be hard for me to incorporate those units into Player 1's slots because of the unit supply cap I'm trying to impose (not to mention the fact that I don't want you to have lots of flying units in the sub-maps).

But, I was very happy with how the Chin'Zon riders came out, just haven't heard any feedback about them.

Also, roughly how long did it take you to complete the whole thing? How much less productive have I made the world by unleashing this little gem?

Dave

Edited by Tim. Reason: Merged a double post into this one post.

Pheonix-IV 05-13-2006 10:40 AM

Oh good god, no wonder i couldn't get past. I saw the gate, but it didn't open when i put a unit near it so i figured i'd have to come back later. I had to walk a unit as close to it as possible and then wiggle it around a bit to open the damn gate. I suggest you make that region a bit biggerer.

Tim. 05-13-2006 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
Forgot to ask, Tim., but how did you like the Chin'Zon dragons that you can control in the final phase of the game? As minor units go, I spent the most time getting those right. I was surprised by the effect of giving the dragons to an allied player with shared unit control--it effectively made the units auto-cast Banish and Forked Lightning! Works OK, in my estimation, and it would be hard for me to incorporate those units into Player 1's slots because of the unit supply cap I'm trying to impose (not to mention the fact that I don't want you to have lots of flying units in the sub-maps).

I saw no need to change it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
Also, roughly how long did it take you to complete the whole thing? How much less productive have I made the world by unleashing this little gem?


I don't really recall, somthing like 2-3 hours.

On a side note, please don't double post. Just use the edit feature below your post.

CaptainPicard 05-13-2006 08:50 PM

Changes made
 
Well, if you download the new version of the map I've made as many suggested changes as I can.

The cinematic with the Owl flying through the volcano is triggerable by any unit, because I don't want units getting into the volcano without seeing the cinematic first. It does respond to the presence of a particular hero on the map (i.e. if Aria isn't there, then Lan'Inthas will speak instead with different lines). But, I can't really change that cinematic too much. The overall style to this point has been to maintain continuity between the units in the cinematic and the units in the game (e.g. don't have them in one place for the cinematic and then find them back where they were after the cinematic closes). That's why the hero projections appear in certain cinematics.

The Vyra Drakes (in the volcano) now shoot fire. Looks much better.

The Frozen Mist ability summoned unit (not exactly a dummy unit) no longer has a shadow. FYI: these spells are trigger boosted lightly, but often in ways that aren't absolutely necessary for the spell to work. Frozen Mist, in particular, will evaporate over lava very quickly, but before it does it will severely damage any of the magma creatures that come within range. Not related to trigger-boosting, the Frozen Mist will not harm Ice Revenants, Frost Revenants, Ice Golems, and Snow / Frost Witches. On the flip side, Fire Traps will do double damage to units that Frozen Mist can't harm, and unless it kills a unit outright Fire Traps will give a net hp bonus to magma creatures. Subtleties that I leave it up to the user to figure out (but the game is perfectly playable even if you never do).

I've improved the explanation of your three-character saved-game ID. In theory, it allows multiple users to paly separate games on the same computer.

Ah, yes, the text fade filter. The reason I display the text subtitles is that there is some sort of bug that causes some of the text cards not to display. Actually, waiting for a few seconds as I do to show you the opening credits seems to mitigate the effect, but I would like to retain the subtitles just in case.

There are no memory leaks that I know of. The map loading takes a long time, I think, because of the number of triggers, which is partly due to the creep management system. To change that would be hard, but I can promise that Act II will be better in this regard.

Lag jolts do happen, at the start of each map in particular, because certain units are being placed. This happens so that the game can detect how strong your heroes are (they're not on the map at startup) so that it can place appropriately strong creeps. I could remove some of this lag, but since it's right at the map loading phase it hardly interferes with gameplay. Also, I do pre-place certain units to avoid lag spikes in cinematics. In the cinematic where the Drakehorn bosses appear, the units are pre-placed. Also, in the cinematic where Xan'Timus emerges from the dimensional gate he's pre-placed (in both cases, the units are simply invisible to begin with). Not sure how much else I can do to mitigate this effect without seriously running up the number of active unit variables in each map--and that would become a drag on future editing efforts. In Majh'Nam, a lot of units are pre-placed. Edit that map and see how long it takes to specify a unit variable there versus how long it takes in any of the sub-maps. Might want to go make yourself another sandwich.

I carried out your suggestion for the red sky over the light-blue fog. Doesn't work. But I did change the fog to match the sky for that particular scene.

During a test run an hour ago, I also found a bug that could seriously mess up the big cinematic in the volcano. It's only happened once in the twenty or so times I've viewed that cinematic, but I added a safety mechanism to make sure that it doesn't foul up future executions.

Lastly, I made the gates in Drakehorn more accessible and put a hint about them on the map. Should work fine now.

Download the new version from my site in a half hour or so, and it should be ready to go. Thanks for hosting my map--it's good to have it in a database of high-quality projects.

I don't know when Act II will be ready, but in addition to the improvements I've already stated, I will be looking for voice actors and going for a level of cinematic quality comparable to Anitarf's "professional" style. The opening cinematic will set the stage for the first movement of Act II, where Aszune raids the Norj'Hal capital of Dajh'Onnar to discover the location of the dragon who has her heart. Aszune's spells will be much more trigger-boosted than those of the existing units, but I shouldn't ramble...

Thanks again!

Tim. 05-13-2006 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
Thanks for hosting my map--it's good to have it in a database of high-quality projects.

You still need two more approvals before I can host you :P However I wouldn't worry much ^_-

BBDino 05-14-2006 01:16 AM

I'm about 3/4+ through this now so i'll quickly note down my thoughts, might flesh them out when i'm finished.

Strengths:

- Writings quite strong, good use of langauge.
- More or less bug free.
- Gameplays relativly solid, if a bit bland (lots of creep killing).

Weaknesses:

- They story's a bit flavourless, think the backstories of the characters could be fleshed out - seem that the players just dumped with little understanding of what's happening. Even 2/3+ hours in, im still not actually sure of the main charatcers history.
- To many items use orb effects, the fact they don't stack means you tend to ignore them, especially since they don't stack with feedback.
- DIfficulty a bit varied, i died many times on Drakehorn because like 12 dragons would come and gank me. The dreadlord(s) boss was quite frustrating because tactics basically boiled down to stun locking them which isn't alot of fun. On the other hand i found the Caldera quite easy.
- The fact you needed 6 living units to solve the City of the Dead puzzle was just anoying, i didn't have the gold for mercs (tome binge ftw) so had to cheat.

I'll wirte more as it comes to me.

Pheonix-IV 05-14-2006 09:12 AM

Quote:

- The fact you needed 6 living units to solve the City of the Dead puzzle was just anoying, i didn't have the gold for mercs (tome binge ftw) so had to cheat.

Thats your stupidity, not the fault of the game. Mercs are MUCH better than tomes, only get tomes once your full up on items and mercs.

BBDino 05-14-2006 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pheonix-IV
Thats your stupidity, not the fault of the game. Mercs are MUCH better than tomes, only get tomes once your full up on items and mercs.


I'd beleive you....if my mercs i DID hire hadn't died 2 minutes into the bonfire defence.

My 140+ damage Ice Princess >>> mercenaries.

Nasrudin 05-14-2006 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GaDDeN
Its a textdocument when i right click and save as. If i click it, the broser shows a textdocument that freezes the computer untill i shut down the internet using ctrl alt del.


Same for me, except for the freeze part. It opens a page full of ascii code, and can save only as text file. :emote_wtf:

CaptainPicard 05-15-2006 03:22 AM

New Download site
 
I've been using the generously provided Wiki of the Dwarf Campaign people as a temporary home for my map (if there are issues with double-hosting a map then I would prefer to host the map here, although the Dwarf Wiki is an excellent way for me to post screenshots, history, and other tidbits related to the campaign).

http://www.dwarfcampaign.com/wiki/in...Elves_Campaign

That should be a more accessible download, at least for the time being.

Dave
AKA CaptainPicard

GaDDeN 05-15-2006 03:00 PM

I dont have time for a lengthy review atm, but from what ive seen its a very nice campaign.

I must say the way you forced the player to abuse the healing item was quite... bad. One of the first fights (after the "oh noes theyre possesed" cinematic) was impossible without healing item abuse. I suggest you make these items undropable and increase the cooldown. To balance, simply reduce the strength of the creeps. Also, the first abilities were quite dull. Frost nova, aerial shackles etc. Im sure you can come up with something more original :)

But as i said, its a very nice campaign. Approved.

CaptainPicard 05-15-2006 03:38 PM

What about this?
 
How about a couple of archer escorts for the Princess and her Par? Pretty weird to see a Princess and the man she's betrothed (but not yet married) to going off all by themselves, and even if they were long-time King and Queen, you wouldn't expect to see them going around without at leas some protection.

Yes, two archers should do it--make the intro more rapid (I was having a bit of a problem myself when replaying it just now), and could even get you a gold bonus if you want to dismiss them the moment you get to Majh'Nam.

Also, for everyone who's been playing the map--what units do you stock up on? There are a number of combinations I've found to work well:

* 5 Archers (have Aria's Call of the Wild spell take melee damage while they waste everything)
* 3 Wolf Riders
* 3 Archers, 2 Hunters (similar to above)
* 2 Wolf Riders, 1 Hunter, 1 Priestess

Another thing, has anyone been poking around with item melding? There are some suggestions for item melds, although I should probably add some more hints. In particular, the most useful item melds are:

* (Gloves of Haste + Crown of Pel'Jaam: IN-GAME-HINT) + Jah'Tara's Amulet = Flawless Crown of Pel'Jaam (+240 mana with 30-second cooldown, +15% attack speed, +4/+4/+8 Str./Agi./Int.)
* (Gloves of Haste + Crown of Bar'Janiis: IN-GAME-HINT) + Amulet of Healing = Resplendent Crown of Bahr'Janiis (+400 hp with 8-second cooldown, +15% attack speed, +8/+4/+4 Str./Agi./Int.)
* (Gloves of Haste + Necklace of Kah'lMar: IN-GAME-HINT) + Wand of Illusion = Radiant Necklace of Kahl'Mar (60-second illusion with 30-second cooldown, +15% attack speed, +4/+8/+4 Str./Agi./Int.)

Nobody seems to have picked up on the way you can meld secondary items onto the three "Royal Jewelry" + Gloves of Haste products, but there is a hint about that too. Probably the best way to be spending your money is Mercs > Items > Item Upgrades > Tomes.

I've found that having a band of units significantly improves the pace of the game, as it's intended to, but there are a couple of "difficulty spikes" that can get your band killed off. I like "unit conservation" games, but the way the creeps and terrain on my map work, it can be easy to walk right into a very nasty fight without realizing it because lots of units are in the woods nearby. Part of this, of course, is getting some Sentinels or Wolf Riders in your party who can scout or summon Eyes of the Owl to illuminate the playing field for you. But, having to start over, having lost your ~12000g worth of units makes you wish you had just tomed. I think I can make a simple fix--notching up the difficulty when you have a hero reach at level 6 instead of level 5. That way you've got ultimates to protect your units, and both Aria and Lan'Inthas have some nice spells in this respect (GaDDeN, I hope you've played far enough to check out those ultimates...).

Finally, GaDDeN, after playing some more custom maps (I've only played a few, and this is my first), I have been impressed with the trigger-boosted spells. In the next installment, if and when it arrives, I intend to outfit Aszune as a hero of comparable power to the four main characters of Act I, but with many (or all) trigger-boosted abilities. Force Wall, of course, but I'm also thinking of some tricks that turn Night Elves / Norj'Hal Elves into more powerful Naga for a finite time as well as a Charm-like ability that plays off of Aszune's connection to the Well of Eternity.

OK, I ramble. I'll get these mods done sometiime in the next few days.

GaDDeN 05-15-2006 05:07 PM

Having an escort for the first scenario would be perfect. Micro managing two heroes (and two wolves) isnt really a challenge, but having two archers would be alot more interesting.

CaptainPicard 05-16-2006 02:04 AM

GaDDeN, roughly how far did you get?
 
Did you see the cinematic at the end of the volcano level?

Did you obtain the third hero?

Did you travel to Gahl'Dun yet?

Just curious, no pressure. Thanks for your thumbs-up review! :emote_dance:

BBDino 05-16-2006 07:15 AM

I think everyone underestimates tomes of damage when combined with.....the IMBA MASK OF DEATH ITEM!!

Seriously i don't *need* mercs because Aria heals 85 damage an attack and thanks to her passive/the damage reduction ring thing/her being awesome she never takes much damage.

One thing though, atm you can use the wand of revivial in battle because enemies tend not to attack it cos ya heroes spawn next to you, maybe make it less abusable in the middle of battle as a infinite ank/healing ward?

Tim. 05-16-2006 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBDino
One thing though, atm you can use the wand of revivial in battle because enemies tend not to attack it cos ya heroes spawn next to you, maybe make it less abusable in the middle of battle as a infinite ank/healing ward?

I didn't even think of trying that! He is right, though.

CaptainPicard 05-16-2006 03:09 PM

The Staff of Revival
 
Hmm,

The way I've set up the Staff of Revival is that the hero will revive instantly at the staff, but then be paused and invulnerable for two seconds so that the creeps will start attacking the staff. The hero is then paused and vulnerable for another eight seconds so that if the hero is revived in the middle of battle the nearby creeps have a definite advantage. The point of this was largely to prevent the staff from being abused in such a manner. However, I suppose I could make the staff a higher priority and give it a weak, passive damage aura or something? Would that work?

Quote:

I think everyone underestimates tomes of damage when combined with.....the IMBA MASK OF DEATH ITEM!!

Well, I was a bit worried about that item. I'll nerf that one a bit, too. The Summoners' Orb is also very powerful, but it's what comes with the dedication of seeking out and killing powerful creeps spread out over three maps. The Blizzard people provided an even worse Mask of Death item (the Kil'Maim axe) in the Orc-X campaign that you got from just killing a level 12 creep that was barely off the required path, and so I thought that a similar item with not quite so intense a life gain would be acceptable. But, I'll nerf it down to, say, +25% hp recovery maximum and +12 damage.

I did try to keep the bash item (Balde of Al'Panjaar) balanced--I think it builds up to at most 20% chance to bash. I realized that your heroes could become very agile, and so effectively arrest any one unit. Of course, if your heores dp get that powerful, you've essentially said that you're willing to work patiently and that you don't care if the gameplay gets boring.

What about nerfing the Staff of Revival by dealing 125 damage to the ward every time a hero revives, and increasing the pause duration slightly? That'd allow you to recover four times before having to re-position the ward, and since the item cooldown is rather long it would force you to be more careful with it.

One other thing I've been noticing is that the sight range on your heroes is sometimes not what it should be (i.e. during the day in Majh'Nam). I think this may be a bug in Blizzard's coding--in step with the geography being at a northern lattitude, I made the days shorter and the nights longer (we're assuming that Azeroth has an axial tilt); I also increased the overall number of seconds per day to around 640 or so. But something seems to have gone wrong, in that on some days your heroes (probably all your units) only see as far as they are supposed to during the night. Anyone have an idea for fixing this?

Finally, has anyone completed the Starlets of Ezune quest? They're all in the main map (you can cheat by looking in the editor to find the region where the staff gets placed). Which item did people choose? My favorite is the Ruby of Ezune, which builds up to give a you a 500-damage zap ability. The sword, Icaber, becomes a nice cold damage + (minor) Critical Strike item, and the Shield of Atahme builds up to bestow a nice Command Aura, armor and Spell Shield ability (the Ring of the Wendigos also builds up to confer a Spell Shield ability, and both have 10-second cooldowns--I've tested this, and if you go into battle against a few creeps at once, even with these spell shields your heroes still take some hits). I'd never put a spell immunity item in there, though--that'd be "IMBA."

GaDDeN 05-17-2006 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainPicard
Did you see the cinematic at the end of the volcano level?

Did you obtain the third hero?

Did you travel to Gahl'Dun yet?

Just curious, no pressure. Thanks for your thumbs-up review! :emote_dance:


Haha sorry i actually didnt do much at all, i got the staff of revival and that stuff. I was actually at a friends house and he got bored so i had to quit. Dont take that personally though, id gladly have continued since i was having fun.

CaptainPicard 05-18-2006 01:50 AM

Some changes made
 
Hi,

Just checking in here. I've made most of the changes I said I would, particularly about the archers at the start of the game and nerfing the imbalanced mask of death item. Still not sure how to better prevent abuse of the Ward of Revival, but I think that what I've got is actually pretty good--I know I've died when I tried engagin a lot of enemies very close to my ward. At some point, I think, if the player works enough at it the heroes will just get so powerful that the game becomes easy. What I've got seems to present a reasonably adaptive challenge to keep a fairly constant pressure on the user, but there's always a limit.

I'll upload the latest changes as soon as I've tested them out.

When might a third official tester find the time to give this map a run? Should I do anything else, or just sit tight?

Dave

GaDDeN 05-18-2006 06:36 AM

You cant do more than wait ^^

Ill try to get one of the lazy shits to test it :D

CaptainPicard 05-19-2006 02:32 AM

Yup, it's a lot faster at the start, now
 
I was a bit worried long ago that some archer escorts would make it too easy, but that's definitely not the case. It just goes faster at the beginning. No more spamulet, from what I can tell. I want to make one more adjustment, which is going to be notching up the levels for respawning creeps when your heroes reach level 6, not 5. But that's simple.

I'm already thinking about the opening scenes of Act II. Big, big cinematic, with Anitarf's cinematic system if I can swing it.

Zoxc 05-19-2006 01:50 PM

I’m finding this campaign very close to approval, but there is a few things bothering me. The loading time is quite long and the map lags at start-up. Since you called this campaign “open-source” I guessed you haven’t used any optimizer to make the maps run faster. The start was a bit hard. The forced switching of the healing item could be avoided by allowing the item to heal “self” or simply make it easier. Also the princess doesn’t have any guards and you get a more scout feeling. The terrain was a bit colorful. The cinematics was great. (…and of course I missed voice acting, like always) When I got to the outpost I was told I got some help, but only a little guy came to me. I wasn’t really sure of what to do so I flied to the dragons. After a long loading and some lag I found them at the fountain. So I used the little revival staff and killed those that didn’t heal. I was unable to kill the healing ones, which resulted in a mass revival. Therefore I went lower down on the map and used the staff there. Then I killed my followers. The spawn time of the dragons was a bit low so it took some time to kill them. So I got up and find a magic wall. Then I looked for other ways. After meeting some spawned dragons I found me some undeads. I almost got stuck reviving there. Then I saved and went to bed.

Things to do:
  • Reduce lag.
  • Lower spawn rate
  • More linear gameplay

I thing that might help with lag and spawn might be if spawns where created where you go instead in map startup. (I think you create all units at start?)

CaptainPicard 05-19-2006 09:56 PM

Need to DL from my home site
 
Zoxc,

Did you download from http://mccammon.ucsd.edu/~dcerutti/ ?

If you download from there, you'll have the most recent version where I gave the Princess a pair of guards. That will relieve the need to swap the amulet, and make the game play a lot faster in the beginning. I'll try to upload the new version to the Dwarf Campaign Wiki server as well.

As for the lag, I'm not sure I can really do much--these are very complex maps, and loading one after another seems to just be hard. I'll try to optimize some things in future versions (if you could suggest an optimizer, I've never heard any of them!), but that'll be future levels. For now, I'd rather avoid making major changes to Act I and look forward to making Act II even better.

Dave

(Edit) About the linearity of gameplay--I've made these maps precisely to be NON-linear. More exploratory, like The Legend of Zelda and that genre. There is something of a suggested order to the quests, particularly that you rescue the captive elves before scaling the firey or icy peaks around Majh'Nam. Rescuing the captives will get you a number of bonuses, and even open up more optional quests. I'd go for the sub-maps, and particularly the bosses in them, ONLY after completing at least a couple of the optional quests. I uploaded the new version to the Dwarf Wiki server, by the way. Have fun.

blu_da_noob 05-20-2006 08:07 AM

I should be testing this today (or soon, as time allows) because Tim tells me too :).

On the subject of optimisation of the maps:
I understand that you want to keep it open source, but the decreases in lag/loading time etc that some of the optimisers can bring about are too great to ignore. My suggestion would be to have two versions; one release version which is fully optimised (not openable in editor, made for playing) and a second copy which is open source for those who wish to look at how things were done.

I haven't worked with campaign files before, so I'm not sure how exactly the maps fit into them. The two standard optimising programs are PitzerMike's Widgetizer and Vexorian's Optimizer. Whether those can be used on maps in a campaign file, I don't know, but it is atleast worth checking out.

Edit: A quick browse around the campaign editor tells me that it could work. Extract all of your maps from the campaign file, widgetize and Vex optimize them, and put them back in. I might test this myself to see the kind of performance increase this results in.

CaptainPicard 05-20-2006 08:38 AM

Optimizers!
 
I'll take a look at the optimizers, but I don't have time to do serious experimentation right now. If you're mroe skilled with the optimizers, I would very much appreciate your contributions to the project (worth a mention on some of the credits, certainly). I'm going to start tinkering with Anitarf's cinematic system sometime in the next month, which pave the way for some really quality cinematic action. I was quite happy with what I could do with dount-down timer accuracy, but this should be another league.

blu_da_noob 05-20-2006 08:54 AM

I'm testing to see if optimized versions work in campaign files atm. Another useful feature of optimization is file size reduction. For example, the first map (Twilight) went from just under 3mb to about 2.1mb after optimization.

Edit: Hmm. The optimization reduced the overall campaign file size by a bit over 2mb. However, the load time for the first map was only about 8 seconds shorter (57 down to 49) :/


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