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

Tim. 05-20-2006 04:25 PM

Somthing is better than nothing I supose :/

CaptainPicard 05-20-2006 08:15 PM

Optimization, and me...
It doesn't surprise me all that much. I tend to write pretty optimized code in one sense, but fail to do so in another that doesn't lend itself to automated optimizations. I kind-of out-smart the compiler twice, so to speak. On one of my old C-programs, I was finding that things only ran 10% faster with high-level optimizations. I've since made the thing much faster by better cache utilization.

I suppose one thing I could do is go through the various cinematic triggers, and (once they're no longer going to be used again) call that DestroyTrigger function. That would probably save some time on repeated loads, and help the game to progress more smoothly. I think another thing that I'm doing (that may not lend itself to automated optimization) is using many similar triggers for creep patrol and creation. For every creep on each map, there are two triggers (one to spawn periodically, one to patrol periodically). In future maps, I'll try to write a new creep creation system that uses far fewer triggers. That ought to cut down the number of triggers in each map by up to 50%.

Other than that, I really don't know what to do. Thanks for testing the optimizer, blu!

CaptainPicard 05-23-2006 03:09 AM

Again, just checking in here.


Any more comments on the map? I was looking back over your criticisms, and aside from some of the issues which I believe were fixed in a later version which I've now posted online, the creep spawn rate you said was too high can be explicitly set by the user (it makes a nice player control in addition to the difficulty, which of course sets the enemy player handicaps).


You were running up against a wall when you tried optimizing; any more notable results? Can you make any suggestions on the gameplay other than what's already been covered?

CaptainPicard 05-27-2006 06:48 AM

Zoxc, blu!

Where are you guys? I've been one vote (or half a vote) from approval for more than a week...

It's killin' me, guys! Killin' me!

blu_da_noob 05-27-2006 09:32 AM

I haven't had time to finish this, but I have noticed a bug where neutral creeps revived by Staff of Reanimation seem to be issued their patrol orders and move away from your group at random times. Should be fixed :)

But I think I've seen enough. Approved.

Tim. 05-27-2006 01:16 PM

Welcome on board, CaptainPicard. Moved to the Map Database.

Aray 05-27-2006 02:53 PM

I really want to download this, but all I get when I try that download-link is a page full of this: M3W��tG�̝�qSd�h�v�r��f@R�h�g���F����E��z�{�+���R"����*�avZ���}D0�V]��}�9*q��6�ں<�biD"5
��|Pm,Fb��Rx5#P#M%���fţd�:Si�t$"d9'`L��66�Ƌ�8Y�LKkN���{�... :'(

moyack 05-27-2006 03:47 PM

Me too, please upload this map to this server

CaptainPicard 05-27-2006 04:21 PM


Originally Posted by blu_da_noob
I haven't had time to finish this, but I have noticed a bug where neutral creeps revived by Staff of Reanimation seem to be issued their patrol orders and move away from your group at random times. Should be fixed :)

But I think I've seen enough. Approved.

First of all, thanks! Second of all, wow! I didn't use the Staff of Reanimation much, so I naturally assumed that it was fine. That's amazing that the Staff of Reanimation doesn't create a new unit. I'll fix it, though.

To Aray and moyack: I've posted a new link on the front of this thread. The Dwarf Wiki is a wonderful too.

Tim. 05-27-2006 05:17 PM

It will be on the server in a few hours, I'm a little busy at the moment.

mikeb912 05-27-2006 06:32 PM

Great Map
This is a really great map. I still haven't finished it but from what i've seen so far it's very good.

Tim. 05-27-2006 07:21 PM

I have updated CaptainPicard's first post in this thread with the new offical download location.

Moogleface 05-30-2006 02:39 AM

Do we save this as a campaign?

CaptainPicard 05-30-2006 08:31 AM

Moogleface--yes, it gets saved as a campaign in your Campaigns folder. Then access it via Single Player -> Custom Campaign.

mikeb912--glad you are enjoying it. Pray tell, how far along are you? Have you finished Drakehorn Summit? Whar'Ten? Ehl'Brun Caldera? Do you make use of hireable units, or just tome up your heroes? Have you tried the item creation system yet?

Zairus 05-30-2006 12:23 PM

Hey Picard,

I just finished your campaign, and I must say I really enjoyed it. I must have spent a good 10 hours or so trying to do everything there was to do. I was very impressed.

I did all the sidequests, and got all the nifty items. The one thing I didnt try was the item combining. As far as a stratagy, I ended up using 3 wolf riders for pretty much the whole game, and relied heavily on the heal and mana items (the staff and gem, not the potion). I had each of the heros with a set of each, and could pretty much chain 200 hp heal if I started getting into trouble. Other than that, used quest items, and tomes and didnt have too many problems.

Other random comments..

-- The level of the heroes capped out at 10 for me, even though their skills progressed beyond 10. Was this intentional or simply a bug?

-- City of the Dead summoning ritual seemed extremely hard for me. I had both the Princess and the Firemage at 10, with wolf riders, and I was oblitterated. The spirits that aided me, could last only seconds and were almost no help. I ended up having to cheat, because there was no way I could survive the 20 or 30 units that would be attacking my group. Do I just suck? hehe

-- Only thing that got on my nerves was the amount of traveling. I would fight all the way up to the summit, realize I need a vial for the spring water to cure the well; run all the way down to the next map, portal to town, buy the vial, run back up to the next map, fill the vial, fight to the summit, and use it. This happened with a couple other quests as well.. Perhaps could the good dragons give you a special flask?

Thats all I can think of for now, if ya have any specific questions I would love to help out. I really enjoyed this act, and am looking forward to the next!!

CaptainPicard 05-30-2006 07:24 PM

Zairus--right with ya here.

I was play-testing and I found some similar issues. One thing I'm going to do sometime this week is add a feature to the summoned Ward of Revival that allows it to recall units in a small area (there'll be a long cooldown, but it'll be enough to get your heroes back to the start of the map or back to your base.

Also, if you did all the side-quests, note that one of the rescued priestesses gives you FREE one-shot scrolls of town portal which you can use on the main map (where you have to do the most travelling anyway).

I can have the dragons give you a vial, perhaps.

I'm going to put some lumber in the forest behind Whar'Ten so that you don't have to run all the way back to Majh'Nam for more. As for the difficulty of the Brazier defense, I recommend using your heroes' ultimate spells. Whenever I play it, the denizens of Whar'Ten put up a decent fight to slow down the attacking units, particularly if you aid them. Wait a bit in between brazier summonings so that they revive to their full potential. To pass the time, cast Fraozen Mist and Fire Trap at key locations. First, at the city entrance; next, at the acropolis entrance; finally, in and around the Brazier just afte you've activated it. Mana regeneration from the amulet comes in handy.

Perhaps the reason I've been having such as easy time all along is that I used item combining. There are hints--but it still takes a little trial and error. If you read back in this thread, I think I listed the ways to get an item that gives +8/+4/+4 Str./Agi./Int., a +15% attack rate bonus, and the active ability to heal 400hp of a target unit. There's a similar item, +4/+4/+8, +15% attack rate, +240 mana with a comparable cooldown to the original amulet. You'll be told straight up that you can combine any of the Royal Jewels sold at the West Quartermaster with Gloves of Haste, at which point they're about as powerful as a Crown of Kings. Then the trick is to find the right item to add on top of that, in order to raise the stat bonus by 33% and gain the active ability. The final combination specializes in an agility bonus and the non-perishable ability to create illusions.

Three Wolf Riders is a good way to go, I find. It's probably the only combination that you want to take against any of the bosses (the Dreadlords, in this case). The Normal attack damage works well against the Dreadlords, and the Wolf Riders can can boost your band's attack damage significantly. Finally, with their high hp, they're not as vulnerable to area-of-effect spells as a band of archers and hunters. The drawback, of course, is their ground attack restriction, but with two ranged heroes they usually do OK.

Which item did you get from the priestess after rescuing her? I usually go for the Ruby of Ezune, but the Shield of Atahme and the sword Icaber are eqaully good, so far as I can tell--it's just a matter of play style. Did you find all the starlets? A Wolf Riders' Eye of the Owl spell is quite helpful for that. Another way is to open the thing in the editor...

Zairus 05-30-2006 09:25 PM

Yeah, I made a lot of use out of the town scrolls; it was more the getting to the main map, using the scroll, then fighting back to where I was that bugged me. However, that change with the ward sounds excellent.

I went with the Shield of Atahme, and yes I did find all of the shards (you did a nice job hiding them :emote_grin: ). It worked pretty well for me considering I used the 3 wolf riders but the other two sounded like great options as well.

Only other thing was the levels... is 10 the cap?


CaptainPicard 05-30-2006 10:12 PM

Yes, 10 is the cap for Act I. I checked pretty thoroughly to make sure that all of the heroes did get capped at level 10. But, you get 11 hero points (Nav'Handras, Aria, and Lan'Inthas have an extra to begin with, and Val'Maris gets one as you've noticed).

With the Wolf Riders and the shield, boy, so many ways to pump up your band... let's see, +12% from the shield, +20% from the Roar, and +8% from the bow... how very nice!

I'm trying to keep the gameplay taut, but yes, I've definitely noticed some places where it sags. Thanks for your feedback!

PlasticAngel 06-02-2006 08:00 AM

Thos of you who get it downloaded as a txt file, it's because of firefox. Just change the .txt to the correct file name of campagins, which I don't know off hand, it fixes it up properly.

Blade.dk 06-02-2006 12:20 PM


BornToBeMe 06-04-2006 02:52 AM

when i enter the temple on the right i see a black picture and no units its all black can any1 tell me why????:emote_confused:

CaptainPicard 06-04-2006 05:12 AM

Hi BornToBeMe,

Can you clarify? I'm not sure what "temple" you're referring to. Perhaps the icy gate in Drakehorn Summit? Did you run into some sort of bug there?

I've played through this entire thing, and although I haven't encountered any game-crashing bugs as you seem to be describing I have corrected a number of minor problems and smoothed out the gameplay some more.

Just let me know what you're trying to do and I'll take a look.


BornToBeMe 06-04-2006 10:26 AM

when i enter the 1st city and rescue everyone i go to the volcano to the right and then it loads again and when it is loaded its like a diferent mission but i dont have any units the entire map is black :emote_confused: i dont know why is it something in the game or wrong instaled or something like that pls when u find out let me know

CaptainPicard 06-05-2006 04:33 AM


Not sure exactly what's going on here. I have gone to Ehl'Brun many a time, and never had the problem you're talking about. By "first city" I assume you mean the Teal town, correct? It's called "Majh'Nam" in the game.

When you load the Ehl'Brun (volcano) map, do you ever actually SEE the loading screen (it should look like the red screen shot I posted at the front of this thread). If not, perhaps you need to get the latest patch (although I'm not sure how you could have begun to play if the problem were that deep).

If you do enter the level and have the game begin, the screen will initially be blank at first, while the units are being loaded. But this should pass after a few seconds (longer if your computer is slow; it takes about ten seconds for me, as I'm on a 2.4GHz Celeron with 256MB of RAM). But, if you do get a game interface in the actual map, try typing "iseedeadpeople" and see what there is on the map. Are there any units anywhere? Any movement?

Similarly, try travelling North to Drakehorn Summit from the main map, or East to Whar'Ten. Does the same problem still occur?

I did find a game-freezing bug that leaves you with a black screen / letterbox mode after defeating the Drakehorn boss (this ONLY happens if you've opted to skip cinematics). I've already tweaked about a dozen things, but I'm going to fix that bug in my next release (which will be, like, tonight).

wangpa 06-05-2006 10:45 AM

i have played this until the ghost, what do lumber mean?None of them have harvesting ability.

CaptainPicard 06-05-2006 06:31 PM

Well, take it from me, wangpa, it's OK to cheat here. Just type "leafittome 8" or "greedisgood 8" and complete the level. I think there's a hint in there about purchasing lumber at Majh'Nam. But, in the latest version (which you can DL from the UCSD mirror at the moment, and hopefully from all sites soon) I've placed little bundles of lumber in the forest behind Whar'Ten where some of the runes were.

I should have made something else where you had to purchase some lumber, so that there was more of a point to the shop icon. At least the empty vials had numerous uses.

But, if you're this far along, probably not worth starting over from the new version (although you should make sure to keep cinematics engaged, because there's a bug in the Drakehorn level, which I've fixed in the new version, if you don't have cinematics "ON").

Tim. 06-06-2006 12:48 AM

Link updated.

Dunhere 06-06-2006 03:45 PM

The mercs are still very fragile for their costs; in the early game they're too expensive and in the late game they die as soon as I leave town to a random trash mob.

I might recommend making some of the bosses magic immune or at the very least giving them resistant skin. Between the stun on the bow, the hex stick, and burning shackles, it's easy enough to lock down at least two targets even without buying spare sticks or passing items around. Add in silence from the elementals and it gets even better. In most cases, the aforementioned swarms of random mobs running from place to place are more dangerous than the bosses.

Speaking of which, after seeing the ghost keepers in the city of the dead and with the icon for Summon Spectre Elemental being a ghost keeper, I was rather disappointed that the summon itself is just a water elemental...with a ghost keeper icon in the control group.

In the hero abilities menu, the slayer has the option to Learn Wrait Storm, although the ability itself is spelled correctly.

CaptainPicard 06-06-2006 04:33 PM

The Mercs are hearty, so far as I can tell, as long as you're careful with them. The creep "mobs" are somewhat more diffuse in this game than in standard Warcraft levels (i.e. they don't just huddle in one place, staring the same direction all the time, waiting for you to attack them). Because of the way the creeps are organized, it's a bit easier to get in over your head.

Are you running the latest version? I did find that in a couple of cases, particularly when your heroes reach level 5, the creep mobs get significantly stronger but your heroes can't quite muster enough strength to defend your mercs. So, I made that difficulty increment happen at hero level 6 when you'll have ultimates to use against the creeps.

I've actually had a number of people complain that the bosses--particularly the two Dreadlords in Drakehorn, are too hard. In all these cases, as it is with you and the mercs, I think the issue is that different strategies--sometimes vastly different strategies--are needed to face each foe. I found that the mercs (particularly, five Archers) are great for scaling Drakehorn Summit, but then they get wasted fighting the Dreadlords. OTOH, three Wolf Riders will do pretty well against the two Dreadlords (normal attack, high hp units, fewer of them to suffer AoE spells). But, in general, it's best to approach the bosses carefully, using your ultimates and power items as often as possible to inflict lots of damage on the bosses. Mercs are great support units (particularly the Wolf Riders--they can cast Roar (+20% damage, +2 armor) as well as Eye of the Owl (Trueshot Aura + Aerial View), so they help the game to go faster.

Dunhere 06-07-2006 02:50 PM

The Drakehorn Dreadlords were the #1 example in my mind of bosses that were far too easy because of a lack of resistances; by the time they agroed and started moving toward me one was stunned and shackled and the other was hexed. I think the second one survived long enough to break hex for a couple seconds, but was already silenced and I had a bolt ready to stun him in case. Neither did any damage at all. The next one with the divine armour was no harder, he just took longer cause I didn't have him on lava when I locked him down. Once again, he never got to deal any damage, all I had to do was click a heal now and then on the third hero I never found boots for.

In the case of the mercs, there's not a lot that can avoid a random finger of death frying one, especially when you get a couple of the wraiths/dragons that cast it at once. And once you lose a merc, unless it's still so close to the town that it's still clear, there's no way to replace one short of fighting all the way back to town and then back through respawn to where you were.

CaptainPicard 06-07-2006 07:16 PM

Well, I suppose I could try making the dreadlords harder to fight. But, at some point the game is just going to have to become easy because I can't make provisions for every attribute level you might take your heroes to.

I'll try giving the Dreadlords better movement and attack patterns that kick in with higher hero levels. I can also try making them spell immune, but that'd really knock the gameplay into the gutter. Perhaps I can make them spell immune for certain periods of time, such as when a certain ward in their ice-crater is alive.

Not sure what to do about Xan'Timus (the lava guy). I found him not too easy to defeat, but I suppose I could (based on hero skill level) make the creeps in his caldera respawn faster.

But, in any case, thanks for your feedback!

King Billy 06-10-2006 08:36 AM

Hell yeah good job make more campaigns when you can!

CaptainPicard 06-12-2006 07:12 PM

Glad you like it, King Billy. I'm pretty tied up for the next few months, but hopefully Act II will be out before long. If they ever make Starcraft II (and I'm sure we'll hear about it for at least a year before they release it) I'll sadly have to abandon the Norj'Hal Elves and start writing about some nasty band of Terran rebels.

Kilroy40 06-16-2006 06:04 AM

It's way too confusing, and a little too hard. That first thing with the 5 torches is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too powerful, even if you get the torches.

Anvilsmith 06-17-2006 03:45 PM

I'm loving the campaign, myself, but I did find myself annoyed by certain features.

-The phoenix egg in the middle of the northeastern lake in the main map is visible, but cannot be reached by your heroes alone. I'm guessing one of the available mercenaries has blink on them, but I never bothered to experiment.

-The summoners were easier to lure away than stand against while taking down their pentagram of torches, especially as they don't summon anything if you attack from a great enough distance. I suggest making the torches themselves weaker and less damaging.

-Mercenaries are too vulnerable, particularly to AoEs. I had to keep my two archers behind on Drakehorn Summit to avoid getting them blasted into crispy shreds by the black dragons' fire breath.

-For that matter, I've had a hard time with flyers, as I often ended up attacked by half a dozen of them who just happened to fly in from the surrounding woods; sometimes, even the phantom dragon lord himself, along with his entire entourage, happened to intersect a swarm of other hostile dragons, making it impossible for me to even run away from the bunch before they all slaughtered me. My suggestion is that you reduce the speed of flyers, so they aren't as likely to stumble on the player's troops while they're fighting, or, if possible, reduce the frequency of their patrols.

-I wish you could've given a clear explanation of what "creep spawning" meant, or perhaps used the more appropriate term, "creep REspawning". I wasn't sure what the campaign was about when I started, and if I had gotten a warning, I know I would've avoided letting random creeps respawn. I simply hate that, and now, in the middle of the game, I'm stuck with the 100% respawn rate - which could probably be tinkered with in-game via more advanced triggers. I could probably adjust the scripts myself, if you'd accept my contribution.

It's still a fantastic campaign, all in all. I felt enchanted by its literary content, which rests far above what I'd expect from any commercial game, and the entire prospect of fighting a war which I knew from the start would lead to disaster was just marvellous. I hope your next endeavour will maintain the high level of quality you've given here.

And I volunteer myself as a male voice actor, should you still need one. Let me know how I can help in that regard. I can also do GUI triggers, terraining and JASS, though right now, I'm working on my own pair of multiplayer maps.

CaptainPicard 06-17-2006 06:11 PM

I'll keep your name handy, as I do intend to incorporate voice actors in future versions of the game. Haven't seriously started on Act II, however.

I might try adding some spell protection to the archers (they do tend to get whacked pretty easily, and they're the best ranged units for certain things).

As for the phoenix egg--there's another in Ehl'Brun. It's in about as secluded a place as one of the Wendigo Eyes. They are both significant powerups. The one on the lake is reachable by "tip-toeing" around what parts of the water are walkable. No blinking, but there is a series of pathing blockers that get removed as your units come close, so you're effectively navigating a maze to find a route in the shallow water.

(EDIT: I'm glad that you've taken in the full plot, but the current plan is to have the flight to Kalimdor end in something a fair shot better than total disaster, although it will look "to outside scholars" as if the proud Norj'Hal civilization ended in the Reign of Chaos). There's also a reason those scrolls mentioned in the opening splash screen glow in the dark--for now, I'll just say, they're not Bahr'Tan scrolls, and they're not demonically afflicted.

CaptainPicard 06-20-2006 10:01 PM

Umm, OK. I've been thinking more about the voice actors thing (hat tip AnvilSmith). If you would like to help me in my quest to have the Act II download top 100MB, email dcerutti(at)ucsd.edu. We'll start taking auditions in a couple of weeks, and I'll also start writing the storyline out in more detail.

Characters I'll need (warning--may be considered spoilers!):

* Princess Aria N'Halan
* Lan'Inthas Par
* Val'Maris Zahl
* Nav'Handras Johl

* Pen'Otepp Baijn (Bah-EEN), hunter evacuee of Majh'Nam who assumes command of the survivors during their sea voyage
* Swordsmen
* Archers
* Hunters
* Priestesses
* Sentinels

* Anub'Arak
* Nerubian Spiders

THE OTHERS (For those worried about this plot twist, "The Others" will never be explicitly introduced--they'll just fit into the story as some immensely powerful beasts and magical beings, unnamed but well in character. If you want to see the Protoss Archon, type "POWER OVERWHELMING" on any of the Act I levels--it's the ga-ga cheat).
* Protoss Archon
* Zerg Hydralisk (non-vocal, but you'll have to grunt and hiss)
* Zerg zergling (non-vocal, but you'll have to chirp)
* Zerg cerebrate

* Aszune (VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN ACT II--probably as improtant as each of the four heroes)
* Xan'Timus
* Pantemon
* Talphirrius
* Archimonde
* Revenant
* Doom Guard
* Banshee / wraith
* Necromancer
* Possessed Norj'Hal hunter
* Possessed Norj'Hal archer
* Possessed swordsman

* Dajh'Onnar guardsman (swordsman)
* Dajh'Onnar guardsman (hunter)
* Dajh'Onnar sentinel
* Dajh'Onnar archer
* Dajh'Onnar priestess
* Ild'Imahr Johl (chief protector of the Bahr'Tan temple)
* Fahl'Vijn (a Bahr'Tan elder who sees most clearly the true history of the Norj'Hal, but has become marginalized for his unusual interpretation of the Scrolls)
* Maht'Fuun Nijn (father of Lan'Inthas)
* Uru'Gahn (father of Aria and king of the Norj'Hal)

Wow... lots of characters. But, there should be lots of opportunities to double-up as well as work different people into different roles to make sure that we have variety in the numerous swordsmen/archer/hunter/etc. roles.

Again, email me at dcerutti(at)ucsd.edu and in a bit I'll send out some practice lines to help you get the feel for each of the characters and audition. I don't expect that anyone iwll be turned down, but we might want to shuffle people around to get the best voices on different characters.

Anitarf 06-20-2006 10:09 PM

Let's keep this the archive thread of Act I, and move development discussion for further parts of the story to new threads, shall we? :)

Vetinari 06-21-2006 09:00 AM

First thing, I thought it was a great map, but the amount of walking required was too large.
Secondly, I got the Phoenix egg in the middle of the lake using a strange method.
I destroyed my revival portal and created one next to the egg in the lake as I could not get to it no matter what i tried for some reason. The I killed Aria. She resurrected next to the egg. I got it, then TPed out and created a new revival portal at the main base :D

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